A Kovil in tamil means temple and this one stands real tall as my heading suggests. Tall not in the literal sense but by its great picturesque location, and a litter free zone where mankind has not stepped in to scratch on the walls and on the rocks of the temple. This is a rarity to find because, most of the temples have lovers etch their couplets on the walls and rocks just to make sure that they get noticed. Luckily this one escaped. Pudukkottai is a water starved district in Tamil Nadu.
I bet even if you google this name, it will not come out in the searches because not many know of this temple. Though my native place is somewhat near this location, I have not been here at all. A friend of mine recently suggested this place, knowing my interest in temple architecture and my liking for places away from the maddening crowd .
My wife and me drove down from my home town Ponnamaravathi to this place. It was in December when Chennai was witnessing the biggest floods of the century and the rest of my family was safely tucked away there, rather locked indoors at Annanagar. We had all the time in the world since Chennai was isolated from the rest of India for a week, with heavy downpours and we could not travel back.
Malayakovil was burning hot , when we reached there at ten in the morning. I have posted this picture above just to show the beautiful contrasting view.
It was beauty at its best. A postcard perfect lake with crystal clean water drifting slowly in the wind, birds flying high above us, monkeys jumping on the trees. We sat there for an hour admiring the photo jet colours , enjoying the peace and sinking into its tranquility.
The beauty of this temple is because it remains unspoilt. The lake is not polluted even though they have their annual festivals during thaipusam. I hope they maintain it the same way. Why I’m suggesting you to visit it is because, you wont find these sort of architectural wonders in the the regular tourist map and in the ” to visit ” list of rushing pilgrims. Tamil Nadu is a huge state where we have a collection of the world’s best temples mostly in Tanjore and Kanchipuram area. The unknown and lesser visited ones like this one may not find it’s place simply because they are away from the cities and small villages.
So anyone visiting, Trichy or Pudukkottai in Tamil Nadu, India, please take a drive here and enjoy what I have written. Happy motoring.
Driving Route – from Trichy – Pudukkottai
Malaya Kovil, is 5 km away from Virachilai,
Tourist places nearby – Tirumayam Fort, 8 km away from Virachilai is one of the historical places where famous freedom fighters Veerapandiya Kattabomman and his brother Umathaiturai hid after their fight against the British during 17th Century.
Thirumayam Perumal temple is one of the 108 Thirupathi’s defined by Alwars/vaishnavites.
Devamalai, 6 km away from Virachilai is associated with one of the 63 Nayanmars called Perumizhalai Kurumbanayanar.