Located 45kms from Tiruchirapalli in a remote village in the Kulattur Taluk of Pudukottai District is the largely unknown North Facing Rock Cut Anantha Padmanabhaswamy cave temple in Malayadipatti, one that dates back around 1200 years to the late 8th Century AD / early 9th Century AD.
In centuries gone by, Malayadipatti was also referred to as Thiru Valattur Malai and was known for two rock cut temples – one dedicated to Shiva and the other to Vishnu- both hewn out of the same rock.
While the rock cut style is more reminiscent of the temple at Thirumayam ( also in Pudukottai District) and the stucco decorations there, the Perumal temple at Malayadipatti is more of the Mamalla style with elegant pillars. The pillared hall contains large panels cut in the side walls filled with scriptures including those of Narasimha and Varaha.
The 15feet Moolavar is a beautifully carved image of Lord Anantha Padmanabhan in a Sthala Sayana Posture lying on the serpent Adisesha and is similar to the one seen in Thiruvananthapuram Divya Desam. The five heads of the serpent are spread out like a canopy over the God’s head. While his right hand is hanging down in a posture of blessing the devotees, the Lord’s feet rest on a lotus. Performing poojas with Lotus flowers is a speciality at this temple. Above Anantha Padmanabhaswamy archa-vigraha are interesting paintings on the ceiling.
Inside the sanctum are Pundareekaksha, in a standing posture, with the Gandharvas seen performing pooja on him, Malola Narasimha in a Sitting Posture, Vaikunta Nathan, with Sri and Bhoodevi, in a posture similar to the one seen at Vaikuntam and Chaturbhuja Hayagriva in a grand sitting posture.
On the wall of the sanctum are two demons, Madhu and Kaitabha, who threatened to kill Brahmma- but were slain in the process.
The two Dwarapalakas, Jaya and Vijaya, at the entrance are not conventional sculptures and are more in the form of portrait sculptures.
Legend has it that Diwakara Rishi, who in a fit of anger tried to disrupt the yagna of King Indradyumna, was cursed to lose his powers. He is believed to have undertaken penance here invoking the blessings of Lord Vishnu, who pleased with sincerity of the prayers, provided him darshan as Anantha Padmanabhan in a Sayana Posture and handed back his yogic powers and knowledge. The temple is an Abhimana Sthalam.
There are several inscriptions that provide interesting insights about the temple. An 8th Century AD inscription refers to Danti Varma Pallava and the Siva temple which is just next to the Perumal temple. The structure of this Malayadipatti cave temple and the Lord himself also has similarities to the Sthala Sayana Perumal Divya Desam at Thiru Kadal Mallai (Mahabalipuram).
A 16th Century AD inscription relating to the period of Achuthappa Nayaka of Thanjavur refers to gifts of villages and other grants made to this temple describing the Lord as ‘Kan Niraintha Perumal’ and to this place as Thiruvai Malai. Another inscription dating back to the same period refers to the Lord as Thiru Vaazha Vantha Perumal.
Procession on Full moon day in Chitrai
Theerthavari on Maasi Magam
Moolavar: Ananthapadmanabhan in Sthala Sayana Posture
Thaayar : Kamala Valli Nachiyar
Temple time : 7am- 11am and 5pm-630pm
Priest : Srinivasa Bhattar @ 99407 49234
How to reach there?
One can reach Malayadipatti by taking the Trichy- Keeranur – Killukottai route (17kms from Keeranur) or Trichy – Thuvakudi – Poyyakudi- Asur- Sengalur route.
Bus Numbers: K3 and K12 from Keeranur
No. 100 from Tiruverambur
No. 26 from Chatram Bus Stand
The temple is 33kms from Pudukottai.
Auto/Taxi from Trichy will cost around Rs.500.