This temple has the old sounds of music

The Bharadvajeshwarar temple, popularly known as the Puliyur Sivan Kovil, is one of the many ancient shrines in Kodambakkam.

Published: 14th March 2018 04:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2018 04:55 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI:The Bharadvajeshwarar temple, popularly known as the Puliyur Sivan Kovil, is one of the many ancient shrines in Kodambakkam. At the entrance on the south side, which is the one used by most who visit this temple, is a five-storeyed gopuram constructed in recent times. Interestingly, many old musical instruments, perhaps once played in this temple, are displayed at the side of the gopuram, as one enters it.

The central east-facing sanctum of Chola vintage enshrines the Siva Lingam, which according to inscriptions, was once worshipped as Puliyur Thiruvalikoil-udaiya Nayanar and now known as Bharadvajeshwarar. According to the traditional lore (Sthala-Puranam) of this temple, Sage Bharadvaja worshipped this deity here. It is also said that Vali, the monkey-king prayed to this Lingam as did the beautiful celestial (apsara), Urvashi.

The sanctum for Goddess Parvati, worshipped as Swarnambikai Ambal, designed like a chariot is a modern structure, though the original one was as old as the central sanctum. The entry to the shrine of the Goddess is through a mandapa, through which devotees have to enter to reach the main sanctum also. At the east-entrance to the mandapa, leading to the principal shrine from the outer prakaram, is a Chola image of Ganesa to the left and a modern image of Subrahmanya to the right.

The temple has numerous small modern sanctums for Bhakta Ganapati, Veda Subramanya with consorts Gaja Valli (Devasena) and Vana Valli, an ancient Linga worshipped as Ramanatha, Bhairava, Navagraha, Surya and Saptamatrikas.

A donative Tamil inscription dated c.1259 AD, belonging to the reign of Vijayaganda Gopala, a chieftain of the Telugu Choda dynasty found in this temple, mentions that this area was situated in the ancient territorial subdivision called Puliyur Nadu, a subdivision of Puliyur Kottam alias Kulottunga Chola Valanadu, in Jayankonda Chola Mandalam.

Chithra Madhavan

The writer is a historian who focuses on temple architecture

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp