Athmanathaswami Temple, also known as Avadayar Koil, is an important Shivasthalam
, located at Avadaiyarkovil
, about 48 km from Pudukkottai
, in Tamil Nadu
. The presiding deity here is Lord Shiva
enshrined in the form of Aatmanathar.
Athmanathaswami Temple is noted for its exquisite sculptural work and is one of the best architectural marvels in South India. The temple is known as ‘Thiruperunthuarai’ in inscriptions and is closely associated with saint Manickavachakar.
Other deities worshipped here include Lord Vinayaka, enshrined with 11 hands, Goddess Kali and Lord Virabhadra with 8 arms holding the Sula crosswise his body. There is also an idol of Manickavachakar, which is worshipped with all ceremonial rites and rituals.
Most noteworthy feature of the construction of temple is that, the rays of the Sun always falls on the sanctum sanctorum although the temple is inside three prakarams. The sanctum sanctorum covered with copper plate is similar to that of the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple.
Another important feature is the Panchakshara Mandapam, also known as ‘Kanakasabhai’.
Athmanathaswami Temple can be reached by bus from the Pudukkottai Bus Station. Arantangi Railway Station is the nearest railhead, 12 km.