Tiruvottriyur is one of the ancient villages that today make up Madras that is Chennai. The heart of this settlement is the temple to Adipuriswara/Tripurasundari. The Sivalinga here is an anthill that has a kavacham on it, which is removed only on certain occasions of the year.

Chennai: Thyagarajaswami Temple Gopuram, Tiruvottiyur. Photo: V. Ganesan.

In literature and music, Tiruvottriyur has great historic significance. It is a Padal Petra Sthalam, receiving verses in its praise from Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar. The Goddess, also known as Vadivudaiamman, has been sung of by Pattinathu Adigal, Ramalinga Swamigal and Tyagaraja, who composed five songs on her, collectively known as the Tiruvottiyur Pancharatnams. This is also where Kamban composed his Ramayanam.


There is a lot more to Tiruvottriyur, including its Tyagesa cult, which links it to Tiruvarur, its tradition of Devadasis, and its role in colonial history. Come join historian Sriram V on a tour of this temple at 5.45 am on Sunday May 7. This being the 250th year of Tyagaraja the composer, the focus will be on his Pancharatnams. Singing these and some other songs associated with the temple will be Bharati Ramasubban.


It will be hot, but you need Vitamin D as well, so just brave the sun. And don’t worry; we travel by AC coach to and from Tiruvottriyur. We will as usual conclude with breakfast, at (where else?) New Prakash Bhavan. We should be done with tour and breakfast by 9.30 am.



Date: May 7

Time: 5.45 am

Charges per head – Rs 1000


As it is a tour by bus, we have limited seats. So hurry if you are interested.


You can register by clicking on the link for making the payment.

You can otherwise pay directly into our bank account by NEFT. Details are below. If you are doing that, you need to send proof of transfer by email to walks@chennaipastforward.com so that we know who had booked.


Account Name: Past Forward

Account Type: Current

Bank Name: The Federal Bank Ltd

A/c No. 12820200104237

Branch: Royapettah


If you still prefer paying the heritage way, do drop in at our office between 9.30 am and 5.30 pm Monday to Friday and pay by cheque (payable to Past Forward) or cash. Address is given below:


c/o HVK Systems,

2&3, Bhattad Tower

30, Westcott Road,

Royapettah, Chennai 600014