CHENNAI: Kaveripakkam, a small town in Vellore District located on the banks of River Palar, has an ancient shrine known as the Azhagiya Rama temple. Inscriptions mention the historic names of Kaveripakkam as Vikrama Chola Chaturvedimangalam after Vikrama Chola (1118-1135 AD). and also as Vijayagandagopala Chaturvedimangalam and Avaninarayana Chaturvedimangalam.
The Azhagiya Rama temple is actually dedicated to Varadaraja Perumal. This deity, more than six feet in height including the pedestal, is in a standing pose holding the conch (Sankha) and discus (Chakra) in the upper hands, with the lower right hand in the pose of blessing devotees (abhaya mudra) and lower left hand resting on the top of the mace (gada).
The processional image, seen with consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi, is worshipped as Sundara Varadar. The shrine for Azhagiya Rama, after whom this temple takes its name, has the stone images of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita all standing, with Anjaneya seen next to Lakshmana.
Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped here as Sundaravalli Thayar. There is an unique image of Garuda where he is seen with the left leg on the ground, and the right leg bent and uplifted as though just about to fly. This deity is called Ashtanaga Garuda as there are eight serpents (naga) on his body. Two are earrings, two around the wrists, two are on the shoulders, one is a garland and one is around the waist.
An unique image of Madapalli Nachiyar (Goddess worshipped in the temple kitchens) is here. This deity is in a natural pose, with her garment slightly hitched up as a lady in a kitchen is wont to do. The earliest inscriptions here, dating to the 9th century, belong to the reigns of Nripatungavarman and Kampavarman of the Pallava dynasty.
Kaveripakkam was once situated in the area called Paduvur-kottam, a district of Jayankonda Cholamandalam.
The holy tank is called Kshira Pushkarini.
Pallava, Chola and Vijayanagara epigraphs are found here.
The writer is a historian who focuses on temple architecture