Kaliyappatti

Close to the village, Kaliyappatti (காளியாப்பட்டி, ‘kaa-Li-yaa-pat-ti’), is a small but interesting Siva temple built entirely of well dressed granite blocks, belonging to 9th –10th century A.D. The temple is similar to that of the famous Muvar-koil (மூவர்-கோயில்) of Kodumbalur (கொடும்பாளுர்).

The temple is one among the earliest temples of the Chozha design, and plays an important role in the study of temple architecture in Tamilnadu.

Approach

Kaliyappatti is a small village near Kunnandarkoil (குன்னண்டார் கோயில்). It is located in the Kiranur-Killukkottai (கீரனூர்-கிள்ளுக்கோட்டை) route. There are only a few buses running in this route. Taxi service is available from Kiranur, Pudukkottai (புதுக்கோட்டை) and Tiruchi (திருச்சி).

The monument: Siva temple

Siva Temple, Kaliyappatti

Siva Temple, Kaliyappatti

Situated on the foreshore of a tank, Samadhi-kulam (சமாதிக் குளம்), is a small but interesting east-facing Siva temple.

This temple belonging to 9th-10th centuries has a compact structure. The central shrine measures about 8-feet square. It is built entirely of well-dressed granite blocks from basement to finial. The vimanam (விமானம்) is simple and plain. It has a four-sided grivam (கிரீவம்) with niches on each side, a four-sided and curvilinear sikharam (சிகரம்) and kudu-s (கூடு) surmounted by simha-lalatam (சிம்ம-லலாடம்). The structural elements resemble those of the Muvar-koil (மூவர்-கோயில்) at Kodumbalur (கொடும்பாளுர்). It appears to have been originally covered with pilaster and decorated in stucco. Of the ardha-mandapam (அர்த்த-மண்டபம்) the moulded basement alone remains. There are traces of the usual sub-shrines, which are characteristics of the early Chozha temples of the 9th-10th centuries.

The temple, which was in neglected and ruined condition for a long time, has later been repaired. The idols of Brahma, Vishnu and Dakshina-moorthi (தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி) have been restored to their respective niches in the grivam of the vimanam, and two of the three stone bulls discovered at the site have been placed at the corners of the top of the shrine and the third on a pedestal in front of the temple.

There are a few inscriptions on the outer wall of the temple. One of them is dated to the 18th year of a Parakesari-varman (பரகேசரி-வர்மன்) and has been ascribed to the middle of 9th century AD.

Some of the pre-historic cists existing near Kaliyappatti were opened in 1937.

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