Keezha Pazhayaarai, a temple near Kumbakonam, was once a great temple. Built in the 7th Century (around 660 A.D.). Worshipped daily by King RajaRaja Cholan – the Great Chola Emperor, history has ever seen. His son Rajendra Cholan was brought up by King RajaRaja Cholan’s sister – Kundavai Naachiar – at this place. But the great temple is desolate ruins now, with the ruined Raja Gopuram (Front tower), act of time, plant growth on the walls that surround temple. King Kulothunga Cholan maintained and renovated parts of the temple and he built the 7-tier Raja Gopuram of which only one remains now. Take a look at the pictures of this great temple that has stood around 1500 years. The government started off the renovation in 1989 but stopped abruptly and has been ignorant till date. It is still not too late to save the temple. This is one of the temples that I visited recently. When we went there, only a old lady, Rukmani Ammal, took us around the temple. Tears almost came out our eyes when she told that she would like to see the Kumbabhishekam before in her life, which might not be probable. It really burdens our heart that the we don’t have the thought that Rukmani Ammal has. There are more good hearted people who could help renovate this great temple. Hats off to the great lady!


The main entrace, Raja Gopuram, to the temple (only the first tier remains)


Closeup view of the first tier


Side view of the Raja Gopuram


View of the Raja Gopuram from inside the temple


Somalaambikai Amman Temple inside


The Great Temple (Mandapam and Vimanam)
In the photo – Yamanoor (taking picture), Pradeep,
Rukmani Ammal – The lady who took us around the temple, Vijayendran


The Temple Mandapam design in the shape of a chariot pulled by horses


View of the Temple Vimanam

Exit door from the temple shrouded with bushes and plants

The Mandapam – View from near the Vimanam


Could have been possibly a Mandapam or Corridor


Trees grown on the temple walls – a sign of slow destruction

Trees grown on the temple walls – a sign of slow destruction

Inside the first tier of the Raja Gopuram


Inside the first tier of the Raja Gopuram
(Vijayendran and Pradeep)

View of Temple’s Inner gopuram from inside the first tier of the Raja Gopuram

View of Temple’s Inner gopuram from inside the second tier of the Raja Gopuram

A headless Nandhi statue

A headless Nandhi statue

There another great temple that is almost in ruins now. The Veerabadhirar Temple at Darasuram, which is even older than the Airavatheshwarar Temple at Darasuram, which was built during the 12th Century. The Airavatheshwarar Temple at Darasuram is maintained by the Archaelogical Society of India however these two temples were ignored, reason unknown. The Veerabadhirar temple also has another speciality, that the famous poet Ottakoothar attained his Jeeva Samadhi (Grave) here.


The Raja Gopuram of The Veerabadhirar Temple – Darasuram

The Raja Gopuram of The Veerabadhirar Temple – Darasuram
(From inside the temple)

The Mandapam inside the Veerabadhirar Temple – Darasuram



These are the invaluable treasures our ancestors left for us and for the generations to come. Its our heritage, our pride and our possession that cross the borders of caste, creed and religion. We neeed to protect these heritage sites for our next generations. More pics here

More to come, until then…