Temples & Other interesting Historical Places
1. Sivagangai Palace
Sivaganga Palace is a palace in Sivaganga district, Tamil Nadu, southern India, about 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Madurai. It is an old royal palace, with many historical connections. The palace was used as residence by queens Velu Nachiyar (1780–90), Vellacci Nachiyar (1790–93) and Rani Kaathama Nachiar (1864–77). No remains of the original Sivaganga Palace exist, but a new palace, known as “Gowri Vilasam”, was built by Padamathur Gowry Vallabha Thevar (1801-1829) in the year 19th century. A heritage site of Chettinad, it was the property of Rani Velu Nachiar.
The Sivaganga palace was built in 1730, tt also called “Gowri Vilasam”, is situated in the Sivaganga district about 40 km from Madurai. It was once the seat of Marava kings. At present the palace is in dilapidated condition but the architectural beauty can still be appreciated. The architectural style of the palace reflects elements borrowed from the Thirumalai Nayak’s period and infused with Rajputana arts.
Inside the Palace : The Temple of Sri Raja Rajeshwari The only portion intact at the Gowri Vilasam is the temple of Sri Raja Rajeshwari. It is the family deity of the royal family. Sri Raja Rajeshwari temple is open for the public only in the evenings and on auspicious days. On the Southern part of the temple there is a huge hall supported with numerous pillars. It is believed that the entire royal household functions used to take place there. There is a palanquin in the front facade of the palace that lies in a decrepit condition.
Nadai Kinaru : Nadai Kinaru is another important and interesting feature in the Sivaganga palace. It is actually a miniature swimming pool. It is believed that the tank had direct connections so that fresh water could be provided and also fill two huge tanks beside the Nadai Kinaru. It was apparently meant for the womenfolk of the royal family.
2. Velunatchiyar Mani Mandapam
An another milestone for sivagangai is the new Velu Nachiyar Memorial Block building has finished and opened successfully. Many of the tourists has been visiting every day and this place became more fame. And it was Inaugurated by Honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Selvi J Jayalalitha on 18.07.2014.
3. Raja Duraisingam Government Arts and Science College
Raja Doraisingam Government Arts College, Sivagangai had a historical and social significance in the pre-independence India. The illustrious founder, Raja Srimath Vijaya Ragunatha Gowrivallabha Doriasingam Shanmugaraja, the then ruler of Sivaganga, genuinely desired to light the lamp of higher education in this economically and socially backward region of Tamilnadu and established the College on 11th August 1947, naming the institution after his father Raja Doraisingam. With boundless generosity, he allotted the ‘Gowri Vilas Palace’ for the functioning of the College, besides gifting out the entire stock of his precious books, his club house and play grounds to the College. It may be the only college in India with a total area of 216.65 acre of land, revealing the broad vision of the founder for future expansion and development of this institution.
The inauguration of the College, on 11th August 1947 is also marked by the uniqueness of the State Education Minister; Thiru T. K. Avinasilingam Chettiyar himself lectured the first inter-mediate class of the College, to mark the commencement of the academic journey of the College. Further courses were added in 1952 and developments were continuous from then onwards.
The College, originally started as a Private College, affiliated to the University of Madras, when under the fold of Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, it underwent a transition in 1977 and came under the administrative regime of the Tamilnadu Government as per Private Colleges (regulating) Act 1976. Ultimately, it became a Government College with effect from 01-07-1981 and is now affiliated to Alagappa University, Karaikudi.
4. Idaikkattur Church
Built in 1894, Fr. Ferdinand Celle SJ, a French Missionary, Idaikattur Church is another popular place to see around Sivagangai. It is located in village named Idaikattur which is about 21 km away from Sivagangai city. Replica of Rheims Cathedral of France, this cathedral presents captivating architecture. Its architectural beauty also makes it a must visit on Sivagangai Tour. It is also known by the name of Church of Sacred heart of Jesus.
History of Idaikattur Church, Sivagangai
This church was built by Mary Anne, a French Anglican lady. She was suffering from a serious ailment which doctors weren’t able to cure. She, on advice of three Roman Catholic ladies did Novena prayer for nine days for sacred heart of Jesus. As an answer to her prayers, she got cured of her illness within her 9 days of prayers. To thank God for the miracle she donated 2000 francs for the construction of the church of Sacred heart of Jesus in Idaikattur.
According to legend, Ferdinand Celle SJ wanted to build a bigger church so as to accommodate at least 1000 people. Unfortunately, because of lack of funds and inability of local villagers Idaikattur to contribute, he had gone to his homeland France for collecting money. It is during then when Mary Anne had met Fr. Ferdinand Celle SJ and requested him to build a church. Upon her request, the church structure was built in the same way as the one of Rheims cathedral.
Architecture of Idaikattur Church, Sivagangai
Church of Sacred heart of Jesus, popularly known as Idaikattur Church is known not only for its religious importance but also for its structural beauty. As a whole this church resembles France’s Rheims cathedral. However, it still has many unique features that make it all the more captivating.
This church has been constructed with around 200 varied kinds of tiles and moulded bricks. Church has been decorated by using these different bricks and tiles. Interior of this church is also worth noticing. The inner gothic arches of the church have been beautified with mesmerizing terracotta work depicting rows of garlands, flowers, beads, etc. Windows have also been ornamented with small pillars of brick which are connected with hallow flower work. The hallow brick work in the church has been used for reducing the impact of hot weather conditions.
The main altar of the church is its most alluring feature. Its gothic façade which is of around 45 feet is consisted of God holding his son Jesus by his hand and Holy Spirit along with angels surrounding him. The altar here depicts the Christian doctrine – Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. The church also showcase exquisite stucco work, figures of saints, angels, St. Joseph, mother of sorrows and many others. Amazing examples of French art work can also be seen here. There are around 153 depictions of angels in this church. and is was situated at River bed of VAIGAI.
5. NattarasanKottai Kannudai Nayaki Temple.
The temple has been built by the Nagarthars as a way of fulfilling their vows to the Goddess.The Goddess Kannudainayaki was present in this place for many years.It was in the 18 th century a temple was built for her. There is a big pond in front and the temple itself is spacious. Seven kilometres from Sivagangai.
6. Kambar Tomb ( 7 kms. from Sivagangai )
The famous poet Kambar, who translated Valmiki Ramayana to Tamil, spent his last days in Nattarasankottai and his tomb is situated here. Seven kilometres from Sivagangai.
7. Kollangudi Vettudai Kaliamman Temple ( 10 kms. from Sivagangai )
8. Kalaiyar Kovil Twin Tower ( 15 kms. from Sivagangai )
Kalaiyar Kovil is a historic location in Sivaganga District, Tamil Nadu, India which was ruled by the Maruthu brothers. There is a very large Shiva temple that is run by the Devasthanam of the family of the Rajah of Sivaganga and a trust of the zamindar family of Devakottai. Kalayar kovil is very important city Sivagangai district.
Kalaiyar Kovil derived its name from the Kaleeswarar temple of the place. Kalaiyar is a corruption of the word Kaleeswaran. During the Sangam period, this place was known as Kaanapair as is seen from the 21st verse in the purananooru sung by Iyur moolakizhar, a poet of the Sangam period. In the 9th Century A.D. Saint Sundara moorthy nayanar described the presiding deity in his devotional songs as Kaalai. Since then the deity was known as Kalaiyar, with the Tamil sufix yar added to it denoting respect. The temple came to be known as Kalaiyar Kovil and this was later adapted to the place also. It is one of the shrines of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams.
A lofty Rajagopuram (150 feet) and an imposing Teppakkulam tank (with a mandapam) named Aanai madu adorn this shrine. Airavatam the elephant of Indra is said to have created this tank. There are three shrines in this temple associated with the three functions of creation, preservation and completion. The presiding deity lord shiva is called as Kaaleeswarar, Someswarar, Sundareswarar and the Ambal his consort mother Parvathy is called as Swarnambikai, Soundara Nayagi, Meenakshi. Additional to that there are 3 separate shrines for both the male and female deities of famous Shiva temples in a mandapam outside the shrine.
And many of Historical places in and Around Sivagangai like …… Singampunari, Thirupattur, Thirukostiyur, Pattamanagalam, Pillayarpatti, Kanadukathan, Chettinad.