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17 Apr 2024, Edition - 3200, Wednesday

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Thirumayam – a picnic spot steeped in history

U Bharath


Tiruchy: Thirumayam (a corruption of Thiru-Meyyam, the place of Truth) is a much-frequented tourism spot near Tiruchy that offers something for the discerning tourist who ventures a little beyond the beaten track and to the history buff as well.

Situated about 70 kms south of Tiruchy on the Tiruchy-Rameshwaram National Highway, the historical place boasts of an impressive fort set in 40 acres that was built by Sethupathi Vijayaraghunatha Thevar, the ruler of Ramnad in 1684 AD.

The fort served the Sethupathi rulers of Ramnad as a garrison and a citadel of great strategic importance on their northern boundaries. Interestingly, the founder the princely state of Pudukkottai had served as Governor of this historic fort before he was made a vassal of the Sethupathi kings. The fort presently is in the custody of ASI and attracts large number of tourists.

There are two famous rock-cut shrines in Thirumayam – Sathyagirishwarar (for Shiva) and Sathyamurthy (for Thirumal). Though the Shiva temple, which stands east to the Vishnu temple, is the older of the two, it is the Vishnu temple where large number of devotees and tourists throng all around the year. “The much venerated Sathyamurthy temple is considered very holy and second in importance only to the famous Srirangam temple. The reclining Perumal, the presiding deity here, is one of the largest Ananthasayi group icons in the whole of India.

The temple also has an octagonal sacred tank called Sathya pushkarni,” said S Rajamohammed, famous historian and former curator of the Pudukkottai Government Museum.

The fort also served as the hiding place of Veerapandiya Kattabomman and his brother Omathurai before they were caught and handed over to the British overlords by the local rulers.

Thirumayam is the birthplace of S Sathyamurthi, the renowned freedom fighter, orator and Congress leader who had mentored K Kamaraj during the freedom struggle.

So the next time you are near Tiruchy, do stop by and appreciate the historical splendour of Thirumayam.

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