The charms of an old ruined temple in India – Pulicat

Have you noticed that ruined Temples have a charm associated with them – Especially, if a Temple is very old? Today, let us look at one such charming, old and ruined Temple in India – Adi-Narayana Perumal Temple, Pulicat, Tamil Nadu. Does the photo below look like the entrance of a Temple? It sure looks like an entrance alright, but Temples here generally have a Gopuram (Tower) on top of the main entrance doors. Looking at the size of the Temple doors of this Temple, the Gopuram should have been quite huge. But no one knows whether the Gopuram was destroyed in a war, or whether the Temple was constructed with a Gopuram at all! If there was no Gopuram from the beginning, this Temple should be quite unique.

Adi-Narayana Perumal Temple, Pulicat, Tamil Nadu
Adi-Narayana Perumal Temple, Pulicat, Tamil Nadu

However, there is a Gopuram Tower atop the central complex which houses the main deity – God Vishnu. Notice the material used to construct the wall, in the above photo – Doesn’t it look different from normal bricks? That’s because, these walls were constructed using Laterite blocks, not bricks. Laterite blocks, it seems, were available in plenty along the Coromandel (Eastern coast) of India, but not on the Konkan (western coast). That’s one reason why old Temples in this region used them extensively for construction purposes. This particular Temple is believed to have been built during the 13th Century, when this region was under the rule of Vijayanagara Empire.

Vijayanagara Empire Temple
Temple believed to have been built during the 13th century under the rule of Vijayanagara Empire

This photo shows the second shrine inside the Temple complex – Thaayaar Sannidhi. There are three shrines in Total – the other one is Aandal Sannidhi, but it is totally surrounded by bushes. Since this Temple hasn’t been used for centuries, a lot of greenery has grown all over the place. It is on the top of this Thaayaar Sannidhi that they found an inscription in Telugu, giving reference to the period of construction and the King who might have initiated the same (Balavandakulu).

 Thaayaar Sannidhi
Thaayaar Sannidhi

The main (central) shrine has been renovated recently. We were able to go inside this shrine, which contained many pillars (like the ones shown below). It seems, the entire story of Ramayana (the famous Hindu Epic) has been engraved pictorially on the pillars and the roof. I saw one interesting note put up by the trustees of the Temple here, in which they have provided a short history of the Temple. They have also given – hold your breadth – A WEBSITE ADDRESS for this Temple!! I checked, but the link is not working. Nevertheless, I am sure this is the first ruined/unused Temple that has its own web-address/URL πŸ™‚

Pillars with story of Ramayana, Pulicat
Pillars with story of Ramayana

The town where this Temple is located has a very interesting history. The recorded history goes back up to 8-10th Century when this coastal town was under the Chola Empire. Thereupon, it shifted hands to the Vijayanagara Empire. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to land here, but they were soon defeated by the Dutch who built a large fort (Fort Geldria), here. This town, was in fact, the Dutch Coromandel headquarters for over a century and they even minted Dutch Pulicat coins/currency. Later on, the Dutch were defeated by the English and the strategic location of this town played a major role in identifying and creating the city of Madras/Chennai, which is located 55 KM to the south of Pulicat/Pazhaverkadu.

Fort Geldria, Temple built during the Chola Empire
Temple built during the Chola Empire

Can you guess what the below tool could have been used for? To make Shiva Linga! Now look at it again in perspective, you’ll be able to correlate. The entire Temple complex is surrounded by a huge wall (which is still intact), but thick vegetation has covered most of it. The Temple well can also be seen, but there is no water in it right now!

Garuda Sannidhi
Garuda Sannidhi

This is a fuller view of the Garuda Sannidhi, which is located right before the main (central) shrine. There are two other structures called Dwajasthamba Peedam and Balipeedam, but I don’t have a proper photo to show you. This Temple is normally locked, but it was specially opened for us as we went there on the Pulicat Day. They do open it occasionally, for performing puja and sometimes also if requested by travelers.

Fuller view of the Garuda Sannidhi
Fuller view of the Garuda Sannidhi

There is a lot of history that still survives in Pulicat, but not much has been done to showcase them to visiting tourists. That makes this place more exciting than a normal tourist place – the possibility of exploration is endless. AARDE (aarde.in) is an NGO which is involved in development of this location and a few months back, they organized the Pulicat Day walk, which I attended. I took these photos during that heritage walk, which was organized quite well.

People do visit this place, but mostly for boating/visiting the islands of the second largest salt-water lagoon in Asia, which is also here. Given the proximity to Chennai, I am sure you can guess why this place could become an important tourist spot in the country, very soon.

Pulicat Adi Narayana Perumal Koil Temple Tamil Nadu
Pulicat Adi Narayana Perumal Koil Temple Tamil Nadu

About the author:Β 

Rajesh (Destination Infinity) is a Sustainable-Living enthusiast and a Blogger. He has recently published an eBook – ‘Happiness Guide for Tourists Visiting India: 50 Exciting Things To Do‘.

Hello world, Shalu here!

Did you like this article then post this on your favourite social media site for others to read! Just hit any of the buttons on the bar on the left...

Connect with me on my Facebook page or connect with me on Google+, or like the site’s Facebook page or follow me on Twitter. If you have any questions on India, just request to be my friend and send me a message...

Do you want to start a travel blog but don’t know how? Click here to find out how to start your own travel blog.

Amazing Facts About India
India For Kids: Amazing Facts About India

What to learn about India? What to teach your children about India? Are you travelling to India? Here is a simple book that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about this amazing country. My book, India For Kids is designed especially for children but travellers going to India can also take advantage of this simple book. You can find out more about the book here India For Kids: Amazing Facts About India which is available on all Amazon stores.

Shalu Sharma

Shalu Sharma is a blogger and a writer from Bihar, India. She is the founder of YouBihar, the Bihar social networking site and writer on tourism in India. Apart from blogging, she is also a mother who does cooking and washing. She also watches movies and read other blogs. You can follow her on .

80 thoughts on “The charms of an old ruined temple in India – Pulicat

  • August 5, 2013 at 1:36 am
    Permalink

    Hi Rajesh, and welcome to Shalu’s blog πŸ™‚

    Reading your post surely made me remember my history lessons and the various old temples we had learned about πŸ™‚

    I liked the way you described the place so well, and yes – the charm, history and mystic behind old ruins and temples has always intrigued me. Frankly speaking, there are very few temples I’ve really visited, but the ones I have, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.

    I’ve only heard about Pulicat, Tamil Nadu – but never really been there, so this temples goes down in my list of must-see now!

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice week ahead, both of you πŸ™‚
    Twitter:

    Reply
    • August 5, 2013 at 11:13 am
      Permalink

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Harleena. Actually, many people in Chennai don’t know much about Pulicat, but that will hopefully change soon. You know what, when I was young, I didn’t much care about history, but now that I am devoid of it, I have started adoring it! I feel that history offers an excellent gateway to understand our complicated human minds.

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
    • December 8, 2014 at 5:57 am
      Permalink

      I simply must tell you that you have written an excellent and unique article that I really enjoyed reading. I’m fascinated by how well you laid out your material and presented your views. Thank you.

      Reply
  • August 5, 2013 at 3:10 am
    Permalink

    hello rajesh and shalu. thanks for sharing this insightful post. anything that is ancient fascinates me. it keeps me wondering how those ancient people live their lives during their existence.

    this article made me include this location as one of my “must visit” ancient landmarks

    Reply
    • August 5, 2013 at 11:18 am
      Permalink

      Well, right now they have not made Pulicat into a full-fledged tourist place. But they may do it in the near future. And yes, I am really interested to know more about how ancient people lived – It allows me to understand humanity better.

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
      • August 5, 2013 at 1:15 pm
        Permalink

        wow. we both have the same interest. glad to know that you’re also interested about ancients’ lifestyle

        Reply
  • August 5, 2013 at 5:19 am
    Permalink

    Thanks Rajesh πŸ™‚

    Am so glad to read the details of Puicat AAdi Narayana Perumal Kovil Temple.

    I visited once before long as Perumal is powerful and our favorable god.

    Thanks for publishing it Shalu πŸ™‚
    Twitter:

    Reply
    • August 5, 2013 at 11:20 am
      Permalink

      Great to know that you have visited once before. These days, I like to go to Temples (esp. old ones) to know more about their history and architecture.

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 5, 2013 at 5:34 am
    Permalink

    I really want to see ruins in the different part of the world and may be go there in person. These photos are awesome and it sparks something in me. Thanks for sharing this one….

    Reply
    • August 5, 2013 at 11:22 am
      Permalink

      Yes, ruins do have a charm associated with them. I guess that’s why it’s preserved carefully in many countries. We should also take our history more seriously and try to protect/preserve the incredible number of ancient monuments that have survived in our country.

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 5, 2013 at 6:33 am
    Permalink

    Especially temple ruins have this characteristic to allow us a look into the abyss of time and remind us of the transcience of our beeing. Thanks for sharing this post.
    Twitter:

    Reply
  • August 5, 2013 at 6:33 am
    Permalink

    Especially temple ruins have this characteristic to allow us a look into the abyss of time and remind us of the transcience of our beeing. Thanks for sharing this post.
    Twitter:

    Reply
    • August 5, 2013 at 11:24 am
      Permalink

      Absolutely. Your ‘2000-year old Pyramid’ post is really inviting… Will visit it shortly πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 5, 2013 at 11:41 am
    Permalink

    Hi Rajesh,
    I in particular isn’t a guy very interested in things like this but this is one post which kept me reading. It’s really amazing! History is indeed beautiful!
    Twitter:

    Reply
    • August 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm
      Permalink

      Frankly, I too was not interested in these things before a couple of years. But, the bug catches you suddenly and unawares. Beware!! πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm
    Permalink

    I really love these old temple ruins ! I saw many new and old temples during my travels and hope, that I will find the time to visit the tempels of Tamil Nadu in the future.

    Reply
    • August 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm
      Permalink

      I guess India is full of such treasures waiting to be discovered! Yes do make it to TN when possible…

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm
    Permalink

    Really a great post I am enjoyed this post. Thanks again for adding such as great post here.
    Twitter:

    Reply
    • August 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm
      Permalink

      Yes, I too should thank Shalu for adding this post her. I know it’s quite late, but better late than never πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 5, 2013 at 3:44 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Rajesh,
    Thanks for posting images of historical place. I really like to visit ARCHAEOLOGICAL places. once again Thanks for providing wonderful information.
    Twitter:

    Reply
    • August 5, 2013 at 5:51 pm
      Permalink

      One thing that strikes me about our archaeological treasures is – Our ancestors built monuments like these without any modern implements/plans. It should have taken them a lot of time/efforts to complete any construction. I salute the spirit of our ancestors and wish we imbibe some of that spirit in our daily work, as well.

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm
    Permalink

    We have so many hidden gems in India, you bring another one to the limelight. Thanks. The pics capture the beauty of the old temple nicely.
    Twitter:

    Reply
    • August 6, 2013 at 2:24 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Prasad. Yes, we have many hidden gems in India and I hope more bloggers will join in to show them to the world πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 5, 2013 at 7:51 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Rajesh,

    This was a wonderful review of the Adi-Narayana Perumal Temple and Shalu, thanks for having Rajesh over at your blog!

    Rajesh, what I liked in particular about your post, is how this is a ruined temple. India as we know, is full of amazing ancient temples, which are still being used today. On a similar token, there must be so many unused ones, which also have a fascinating history behind them like the Adi-Narayana Perumal Temple.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • August 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm
      Permalink

      Yes, this one is an unused Temple. You are right – there are so many ancient Temples that are still in use, in India. I guess every Temple has a fascinating story behind it.

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
    • August 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm
      Permalink

      I guess one lifetime may not be enough to visit all the historic places in India! πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 6, 2013 at 9:04 am
    Permalink

    Beautiful ! I will be visiting this temple when i get a chance to visit the beautiful state of Tamil Nadu .There are many such temples across our wonderful country and this is one of them .

    -Pramod
    Twitter:

    Reply
    • August 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm
      Permalink

      Do visit TN sometime – I am sure you’ll love it. Just avoid the summer. BTW, the Acer Liquid seems to be an interesting name for a phone but I don’t see many reasons to explore beyond micromax πŸ˜‰

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 6, 2013 at 9:38 am
    Permalink

    this will be very beneficial for the purpose of history lesson
    thanks shalu

    Reply
    • August 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm
      Permalink

      Exactly. We can learn a lot from our history. What a better way to know our history than to visit historical places? Thanks for your comment…

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 6, 2013 at 6:37 pm
    Permalink

    I love visiting old temples, even if they’re in ruins already. So much history in one place!
    Twitter:

    Reply
  • August 6, 2013 at 7:46 pm
    Permalink

    Great post. Hardly anyone know this , Keep writing and let reader know πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • August 7, 2013 at 7:01 am
    Permalink

    It actually seemed a run down to the history lectures we used to have in school and university. I love reading about and exploring such old monuments and remains. Thanks for sharing an interesting one.

    Reply
    • August 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm
      Permalink

      During the history lectures I was sleeping, but now I travel so far to learn about our history! πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 7, 2013 at 9:21 am
    Permalink

    Hai shalu, sorry out of topic. But it’s surprise me that you write about garuda. In Indonesia, garuda is a big bird. And the symbol of Indonesia is Garuda. Is it same meaning?

    Reply
  • August 7, 2013 at 9:55 am
    Permalink

    Hey Rajesh as mentioned here you wrote a book β€˜Happiness Guide for Tourists Visiting India: 50 Exciting Things To Doβ€˜. So from it is clear that you explore India very keenly with love and interest and sharing your personal experience about Pulicat temple here in Shalu’s blog. πŸ™‚ Beautiful discovery by the ways πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

    Reply
    • August 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks… Yes I do travel a bit, but not enough to my liking. I want to be able to travel more…

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 7, 2013 at 12:49 pm
    Permalink

    I was agree “Hey Rajesh as mentioned here you wrote a book β€˜Happiness Guide for Tourists Visiting India: 50 Exciting Things To Do, “

    Reply
  • August 8, 2013 at 6:35 am
    Permalink

    That is an amazing temple, it would be a great place to visit. The temple follows the Dravidian architecture (if i am not mistaken).

    Reply
  • August 8, 2013 at 6:55 am
    Permalink

    Such a rich culture India has. So much to explore and to be seen around. Incredible India.

    Reply
  • August 8, 2013 at 11:10 am
    Permalink

    This is a fascinating post. The pictures are simply amazing. I really loved the photography skills. The ancient temples have their own grandeur which is one thing which captivates the tourists for visiting the various temples. Thanks for the share.

    Reply
    • August 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks for your comment, but I feel that the quality of the photographs could have been better πŸ˜‰

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 8, 2013 at 11:35 am
    Permalink

    First time visit to your site. Love the post. BTW is there a law in India that protects such historical sites, or are they at risk of being razed down by some developer in future?
    Twitter:

    Reply
    • August 9, 2013 at 3:33 am
      Permalink

      Yes, there are laws and the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) protects many historical monuments from being razed to the ground. This one is not yet protected by ASI but it may soon be…

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm
    Permalink

    The temple looks really old and seems to have a lot of history to it. I wouldn’t mind checking it out. I have kept track of the Chola of India and I think they we responsible for building some of the most beautiful temples and structures in South of India.

    Reply
    • August 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm
      Permalink

      Good to know that you are aware of the Chola Empire and their Temples – Some unique gems built by them still survives. I need to sometime visit and document them all in my site – Thanks for your comment πŸ™‚

      Destination Infinity

      Reply
  • August 17, 2013 at 4:27 pm
    Permalink

    I’ve always been fascinated with these temples. I believe that behind these ruined temples lie the rich stories and sacredness of the place.

    Reply
  • August 22, 2013 at 8:50 am
    Permalink

    Nice blog thanks for sharing. This is really great and very informatics blog. There are a lot of historical temples in India. We have planned a trip to India.

    Reply
  • September 4, 2013 at 6:15 am
    Permalink

    I love visiting old temples, even if they’re in ruins already. So much history in one place!

    Reply
  • October 11, 2013 at 4:32 am
    Permalink

    I am a fan of Indian construction technology. It was awesome.
    If we talking about Adi-Narayana Perumal Temple still it looking in good condition.
    Twitter:

    Reply
  • December 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm
    Permalink

    Hello Shalu ji i just want to say that i’m proud to be an Indian and proud on you also.As a lady its very hard to give time to internet after the home.Really appreciate your dedication πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • June 20, 2014 at 3:13 pm
    Permalink

    Very nice template it is a must see and you have a nice blog do more posts like this

    Reply
  • July 4, 2014 at 1:08 pm
    Permalink

    I love visiting old temples wonderful blogspot .. nice images great to see u have to visit this to get another experience

    Reply
  • July 25, 2014 at 8:05 pm
    Permalink

    Awesome template… πŸ™‚
    Keep posting cool templates like this.!!
    Regards
    Mayank

    Reply
  • July 28, 2014 at 6:17 pm
    Permalink

    Why dont you visit Udaipur and see the charm of the temples of Udaipur.

    Reply
  • August 4, 2014 at 4:07 pm
    Permalink

    there are infinite such places in india, That’s why it is said that india is incredible. πŸ˜€ Thanks a lot for sharing this article mam! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • August 13, 2014 at 5:44 pm
    Permalink

    Awesome template… πŸ™‚
    Keep posting cool templates like this.!!
    Regards
    Mayank

    Reply
  • October 6, 2014 at 9:54 am
    Permalink

    The best way to meet this kind of historic places is to dig out all the possible info about it, then only we can meet this kind of places in real manner.

    Reply
  • November 24, 2014 at 9:29 am
    Permalink

    It sure looks like an entrance alright, but Temples here generally have a Gopuram (Tower) on top of the main entrance doors. Looking at the size of the Temple doors of this Temple

    Reply
  • December 7, 2014 at 9:14 am
    Permalink

    thanks for sharing this insightful post,I love reading about and exploring such old monuments, and even i love to read your articles.

    Reply
  • December 13, 2014 at 1:43 pm
    Permalink

    I note that the temple is not so neglected. Are local authorities do not make it as a tourist attraction. Unfortunately once. As we know that the temple of Borobudur is so enchanting and the goal of all foreign tourist.

    But, you really are so good article. Hopefully, the local government can take good care.

    Reply
  • December 13, 2014 at 1:43 pm
    Permalink

    I note that the temple is not so neglected. Are local authorities do not make it as a tourist attraction. Unfortunately once. As we know that the temple of Borobudur is so enchanting and the goal of all foreign tourist.

    But, you really are so good article. Hopefully, the local government can take good care.

    Reply
  • December 19, 2014 at 4:54 pm
    Permalink

    very attached to the cultural history of the area , it’s probably a relic of history in India , but there is another Hindu cultural center in the country , namely Indonesia , in Indonesia is also very much the temple just as Borobudur , Prambanan and so forth . This case shows that the Indonesian state once stood Hindu kingdom and became one of the cultural centers of Hindu kingdoms in Indonesia

    Reply
  • January 23, 2015 at 7:42 am
    Permalink

    Bulls Capital Markets is one of the reputed Forex Trading Brokerage provider and we are Offering Free Education in Forex. Bulls Capital Markets is a brokerage firm with products such as currencies, commodities and indices. We provide free training about forex Trading.

    Reply
  • March 15, 2015 at 10:01 pm
    Permalink

    i love it, I love visiting old temples wonderful blogspot .. nice images great to see u have to visit this to get another experience

    Reply
  • April 22, 2015 at 1:54 pm
    Permalink

    such an old and big temple, i’d like to go to such temples. and always i do reasearch on old and archeological stuff. thanks for the interesting post
    Twitter:

    Reply
  • June 13, 2015 at 10:58 am
    Permalink

    such a beautiful ancient temple. I think we should care of our historical place to live our culture.

    Reply
  • June 14, 2015 at 3:49 am
    Permalink

    I love temple. Many temple in Indonesia such as Borobudur, Mendut, Prambanan and I think Indonesia and India has the same background culture in the past.
    Twitter:

    Reply
  • September 15, 2015 at 4:51 am
    Permalink

    I think most of will love these pulicat temple. They are cool, thanks for telling me about them.

    Reply
  • March 2, 2016 at 2:16 pm
    Permalink

    Old temples in India attract me so much. I like the ancient atmosphere here. Such a great place to visit this summer. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This blog uses premium CommentLuv which allows you to put your keywords with your name if you have had 3 approved comments. Use your real name and then @ your keywords (maximum of 3)