Hall Of Thousand Pillars

The hall of thousand pillars(Ayiramkal Mandapam):

The largest mandapam in the holy temple complex, this mandapam is situated near Veeravasantharayar Mandapam to the north. This was built by Ariyanatha Mudaliyar, minister and commander of Viswanatha Naicker in the year 1569.

This Mandapam has a total of 985pillars. These pillars have been so arranged that from whatever angle one looks from within, the pillars look in rows and rows.

At the centre of the mandapam is the idol of Chira Sabha of Lord Natarajar.

There is an idol of a hero on a horse at the entrance to the Mandapam facing south. Legend has it that this is an idol of Ariyanatha Mudaliyar who built the mandapam. But this is a sacred idol of Lord Sundareswarar who on behalf of Saint Manickavasagar converted foxes into horses.

To east of the idol of the deity on the horseback, are sculptures of Kannapar, Lord Siva destroying an asura and Pichadanar.

At the eastern entrance there are statues of a hero on a horseback, Harichandra, gypsy man and woman with a child in arms, woman (Chandramathi, wife of Harichandra).

Carved on eight pillars next to the entrance are statues of Thiripurandhakar, Nirutha Ganapathy with an urn containing ambrosia, Lord Muruga on peacock, Nagaraja, Saraswathy, Hunter, as well as that of two Dwarapalakars.

In the area next to the entrance, there are idols of Thirumal, Arjuna in the form of a eunuch, and Draupadhi. There is also a statue of a man carrying a woman. This is said to represent the nature of Kaliyuga, depicting that man was a serf of woman. In the pillars in between there are carvings of yalis.

At foot of the pillars, along the centre of the mandapam are carved sculptures of Pitchadanar, Dharman, Beeman, Rathi and Veerpathirar while at the top are carvings of Agni, Veerapathirar, Manmadan, Purushamirukam, Arjunan and Mohini. Among these sculptures is one of Rathi seated on a Swan, which are quintessence of the art of sculpture with musical notes.

The pillars at the beginning and end of the row are big ones with small circular blocks and the one at the bottom could be rolled. These pillars are called musical pillars and they produce musical notes when tapped.

At the roof of the entrance are sculptures representing the 60 years in the Tamil calendar.