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Kaleeswarar Temple - Kalayarkoil

Kalaiyar Kovil is a palace which is situated in Sivaganga District, Tamil Nadu, India which was ruled by the Maruthu Pandiyar Kovil is owned by the family of the Rajah of Sivaganga. It is run by their devasthanam, and a trust of the zamindar family of Devakottai.

On 25th June 1772, the Company forces under Col. Joseph Smitt and Cap. Bonjour marched towards Kalayar kovil. The second king of Sivaganga, Muthu Vaduga Natha Thevar (1750 1772) and Maruthu brothers defended it bravely. Rajah Muthu Vaduganatha Thevar in anticipation of the English invasion made every possible preparation for defense. But the brave Rajah Muthu Vaduganathar with many of his solders fee dead in the kalaiyarkoil battle. The invading English forces plundered kalaiyarkoil and collected jewels worth 50,000 pagodas. Kalaiyarkoil temple belongs to Sivagangai Devasthanam.

Kalaiyar Kovil derived its name from the Kaleesarar 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 moolakizar, 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 or suffixed to it denoting respect. The temple came to be known as Kalaiyar Kovil and later adapted to the place also.


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