From the lofty mountains in the north of the country to serene coastal towns in the south, India is a veritable holy grail of Hindu pilgrimage destinations. Devotees of Lord Shiva, one of the most fascinating Hindu deities, are particularly known to undertake odysseys across the country – from Uttarakhand to Odisha, all the way to Tamil Nadu.
While in Tamil Nadu, take the pilgrim trail towards a peaceful town with a historic past. Sirkazhi is a few hours drive from Chennai and located 10 km off the shore of the Bay of Bengal in Nagapattinam district. The town is a well-known Hindu pilgrimage destination.
Sirkazhi has seen empires come and go - the Medieval Cholas, Later Cholas, Later Pandyas, Vijayanagar Empire, the Marathas, as well as the British – each one embedding their own versions of history into the fabric of this small town. The sublime and ethereal traditions of Carnatic music find their roots in this picturesque town. Referred to as the Tamil trinity of Carnatic music, Arunachala Kavirayar (1711–78), Muthu Thandavar (1525–1600) and Marimutthu Pillai (1712–87), originated from Sirkazhi. The Saiva saint Tirugnanasambandar, foremost of the Saiva Nayanars, was born in Sirkazhi around the seventh century.
Sirkazhi’s history revolves around its Sattainathar Temple, which is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. This sacred place of worship is closely linked to legends of the child Sambandar, who is believed to have been fed by Parvathi on the banks of the temple tank. Sambandar grew up to compose the ‘Tevaram,’ a Saiva canonic literature, becoming one of the most prominent of the sixty-three Nayanars or Tamil Saiva bhakti saints who lived between the sixth and tenth centuries CE.
This ancient temple complex houses three different shrines to Shiva on three stories. Each level in the complex celebrates three different forms of Shiva: the Shiva Lingam (Brahmapureeswarar), a massive image of Uma Maheswarar (Thoniappar) at the medium level, and Bhairavar (Sattainathar) at the upper level. The middle level is notable for Periyanayaki on a ‘Thoni’ (boat in Tamil), hence the name Thoniappar.
Watch the sunrise or set at the Poompuhar Beach nearby, with its gentle waves and rocks strewn about. It is believed that Kovalan and Mathavi from the Tamil epic ‘Silapathikaram’ lived here.
Glimpses of the area’s heritage as a crucial trading center can be witnessed at the Tranquebar Fort, about an hour away from Sirkazhi. Founded in 1620, the fort was the main trading settlement for the Danish. The entrance to the fort still has a Danish Coat of Arms displayed on the gate.
The Experience Of OYO Hotels In Sirkazhi
OYO residences offer services across the spectrum such as free Wi-Fi, AC, and non-AC rooms, running cold and hot water, 24-hour room service, complimentary breakfasts, along with conference rooms to Banquet Halls and in-house restaurants.
The OYO hotels in Sirkazhi complement its beauty and spirituality. The hotels are aesthetically designed, safe, clean, and contain all essential amenities. Couples are welcome at the OYO residences in Sirkazhi.