1400 year old wall clock at Sivayoginathar temple, Tamil Nad

Sivayoginathar temple located at Thiruvisainallur (this village is famous for the great saint Sridhara Ayyawal who made the Ganges water flow into his well), about 12 km from the temple city of Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district is a historical Hindu Temple. dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is 1400 years old and was built by the Chola rulers. The special feature about this temple is there is a wall clock to calculate the time and it was believed to have been built during the reign of  Parantaka Chola. This old clock, one of its kind in Tamil Nadu works on the very old principle- calculating time, using sun's shadow.

1400 year old clock,Sivayoginathar temple,TN  mysteryofindia.com/

The wall clock, mounted on a 35 feet tall inner wall of the temple, is carved out of granite in the shape of semi circle with  a three inch-long brass needle permanently fixed at the centre of a horizontal line. As the sun changes its position from 6 am to 6 pm and casts rays on the brass needle, the shadow of the needle indicates the proper time. Devotees coming to this temple get a thrill out of this vintage clock by calculating the time, using the shadow cast by the needle. The clock on the wall of a 1400 year old Hindu temple bears testimony to the scientific knowledge, wisdom and curiosity of those Chola rulers of Tamil Nadu.

Sivayogi Naathar temple, Tiruvisanallur. dinamalar.com/

It is said that during the colonial period, the 
British added numerals to make calibration easier. Considering the antiquity of the clock, lack
of frequent maintenance and  the long time  span, discolouration has set in on the needle and this has resulted in the slow fading of the numerals.

map of Thrivisanallur. www.google.co.in/

 The temple is being managed by the Thanjavur Palace Devasthanam that undertook renovation work in the past  at an estimated cost of Rs 46 lakh to preserve the clock and the temple for the posterity. The time shown by the old clock may not be efficient, but certainly, it is a legacy of Chola ingenuity. 


01. The first renovation work was done in 1931 after a pretty long time.

02. Here, in the garbagraha - sanctum, the main deity Sivayoginathar does not have his consort by his side. He is in deep meditation and his consort is waiting outside the shrine.Stha viruksham is Bael tree - Vilvam

03. Lord's consort Soundarya Nayaki has a separate shrine facing south where the sun clock is mounted. 

04. The name Sivayoginathar is derived from the fact that here eight Shiva Yogis merged with Shivalinga after getting salvation.

05. The unique feature at this temple is in the Tamil month  Chithirai (April) on 1, 2, and 3, the Sunrays fall right on the Lingam in the sanctum.