Kaliyar Koil Temple
In the territory ruled by kings of the Pandya dynasty, there were 14 sacred shrines of Lord Shiva, which have been visited by the three great Tamil saints, Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar. Of these fourteen places Tirukanapper, presently known as "Kaliyar Koil" is an important shrine and is known by many other names.
Kaliyar Koil is situated in Devakottai town, five miles away from Shivaganga on the railway line from Karaikudi to Rameshwaram. The presiding deity, Lord Shiva, in temple is known as "Kaleesar". The Gopuram of the temple is not only gigantic in stature but also immensely imposing, being visible from a great distance. As the Gopuram has become very old, devoted people have joined together to renovate it, which is being done now.
It is said that Sage Agastya came to this place and took bath in the holy Teertha of Shivaganga, where he visualized the real form of Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva once cursed Parvati Devi for closing his eyes out of jest and throwing the entire universe into complete darkness, which caused untold sufferings to the people. As a result of the curse, she had to spend her time on the earth in the form of Kali, worshipping Lord Shiva.
At that time, there was a demon by name Chandasuran who was harassing all the Devas (Gods) including Vishnu, Brahma and Indra. All of them approached Lord Shiva for help and according to his advice they approached Kali.
The Mother of the Universe took pity on them and killed the demon in a fierce battle and relieved them of their sufferings. The place where the Devas first met the Devi, came to be known as "Kandadevi"
(Kanda means 'seen' in Tamil', - The fort which was built by the Devas for the Devi to reside in is known as "Devakottai" (Kottai means fort).
The present town of Devakottai has derived its name thus. The place where the demon was conquered is known as "Vetriyur" (Vetri means victory); the place where the flag-mast of the Demon's chariot was broken into two is known as "Kodikulam" (Kodi means flag and Kulam means tank); the place where flowers were showered by the Devas on the Devi returning with victory after killing the Demon, is known as "Poongudi" (Poo - means flowers).
After the terrible fight with the Demon, Kali reached this holy place, worshipped Lord Shiva and at last got back her original form of Parvati and attained re-union.
HOW TO GET THERE
Shivaganga is well connected by rail and road with the important places within and beyond the state.
Rail : The nearest railway station is at Karaikudi.
Road : From Shivaganga there are regular buses to Devakottai.
WHERE TO STAY
Accommodation is available at the small hotels in Devakottai town or at the moderate class hotels and lodges in Shivaganga.