Erumbeeswarar (Shiva) Temple in Thiruverumbur near Trichy - needs periodic upkeep

Sri Erumbeeswarar temple in Thiruverumbur near Tiruchi.

Sri Erumbeeswarar temple in Thiruverumbur, TN

damaged temple due to  Delhi sultanate raid Malai Kovil near Trichy
Erumbeeswarar Temple in
Erumbeeswarar Temple in Thiruverumbur en.wikipedia.or

In Trichy  district, Tamil Nadu there are many temples dedicated to God Shiva , but little is known about  Erumbeeswarar Temple near Thiruverumbur, a  suburb of Trichy city.   

 Located close to  the popular Tiruchi-Thanjavur expressway,  Erumbeeswarar Temple (Malai kovil),  atop a hill (60 ft tall) in Thiruverumbur,  near Tiruchirappalli city, is quite visible  from far of distance and no person can miss it with its tall boundary walls that are similar to a fort.  A Hindu temple, dedicated to God Shiva,  it can only be accessed by a series of carved stone steps. The temple's main shrines and its two prakarams (outer courtyards) are on top of the hill, whereas a hall and the temple tank are  at the foothills. 

Erumbeeswarar  temple is a Paadal Petra Sthalam. glorified by Tamil saint poets known as Nayanmars  in the 7th-century Tamil  devotional canonical  work (on Shiva) ''the Tevaram''. There are several stone inscriptions  from the Chola Empire  and also from the Pandya dynasty dating back to the 9th to 10th century and it is said to be one among a  series built by Aditya Chola (871-907 CE) along the banks of the river Cauvery to commemorate his victory in an important war. Though a classified historical protected  monument, neither ASI nor the HR & CE does not show any interest in maintaining this old temple well. The place needs proper upkeep and periodic repairs.  It is a Chola-built rock-cut temple  built on the oldest rock terrain and needs periodic  care. Although the Tourism Department and the City Corporation, took up the beautification work  several years ago, all along the tank and girivalam path at an estimate of Rs. 45 lakh this monument appears to remain neglected.

Erumbeeswarar Temple in Thiruverumbur en.wikipedia.or

This temple also known as  "Kailash of South India" is being visited by lots of devotees.  The annual Brahmotsavam  is a major event that attracts lots of devotees from far and near. The TN state govt. agency HR & CE - the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board manages the temple presently 

Malai Kovil near Tiruchirappalli

An  interesting fact is every  full moon in the last decade girivalam (just like the tradition at Thiruvannamalai) has become popular worship ritual in which  thousands of  pilgrims worship Erumbeeswarar by  going round (circumambulating) the hill (giri) barefoot.  In June 2011 under supervision of Thiruverumbur Town Panchayat authorities,  removal of encroachments around Sri Erumbeeswarar Temple near along the Tiruchi-Thanjavur National Highway was carried out   with the primary purpose to retrieve  enough  space for strengthening the ‘Girivalam' pathway.  A cement road measuring 20 feet wide (originally planned width was 33 ft with) three feet spacing on either side was to be laid strengthening a length of 900 metres around the temple,

The temple built on a big  rock outcrop which is geologically 3 to 3.5  billion years old. The rocks were formed  after the planet earth came into being. Called Precambrian rocks,  the Indian Shield complex is just like  huge Canadian Shield, a part of North American Craton  containing mostly Pre-Cambrian rocks- both igneous and metamorphic rocks

The ‘kumbabishekam’ of the temple was performed last about 15 years ago, according to sources


Recent stone inscription, alai Kovil, Trichy:

Erumbeeswarar  temple, Thiruverumbur. en.

Erumbeeswarar Temple, Thiruverumburen.wikipedia.or

Above image:  In June 2018  Research scholars from the local institutions  discovered additional inscriptions at  Sri Erumbeeswarar Temple.  According to them though  the temple dates back to 6 to 7th century C.E., the present  temple to 10th century C. E.  Credit goes to one    Chembiyan Vedivelan, a philanthropist who lived in the early Chola period and  who converted  it into a stone cut  temple. Inscriptions studied here earlier included Chola, Pandya and Vijayanagar period.  The 2018 research work included the ''fragmentary inscriptions - about 40''  belonged to the Chola period scattered all around the outer prakara walls of the temple. The continuity of the inscriptions  is lost possibly due to improper handling of  stones  carrying inscriptions when temple renovation  (Kumbhabhishekam)  was done  last several years ago.  According to one  Dr. Kalaikkovan, Director, Centre for Historical Research, one of the inscriptions mentions that nearly 24 ‘veli’(a measure) of land was gifted to a mutt named after Thirunavukkarasar, who glorified this temple  during the 30th regnal year of Rajaraja Chola III. A royal order provided 10 veli of tax-free land to another Saivite mutt named after Sambandar that functioned on  the temple quarters. From the inscription , we standstand the temple had financial strain due to dough conditions centuries ago and teaching was imparted by the  literate residents of the nearby villages by singing to the learners.......................