Know the Etymology: 72
Place Name of the Day: Monday, 14 August 2017

Aiyaṉār-kōyilaṭi, Nātaṉār-kōyil, Antōṉiyār-kōyil-veḷi

ஐயனார் கோயிலடி, நாதனார் கோயில், அந்தோனியார் கோயில் வெளி
Aiyaṉār-kōyilaṭi, Nātaṉār-kōyil, Antōṉiyār-kōyil-veḷi


The Aiyaṉār-temple neighbourhood

The temple of Nātaṉār (Buddha)

The open place or expanse of the St Antony's church

Kōyil palace, temple (Tamil, DED 2177, Puṟanāṉūṟu, 67: 10-11; 241: 3; Cilappatikāram, 5: 169-173); Jaina or Buddhist temple (Tamil, Tivākaram, 5: 148); church, chapel (Tamil, MTL); parish church, parish (Tamil, MTL citing Jaffna diction); Kōvil: temple (Tamil, DED 2177); seldom-used alternative form of Kōyil; it is not seen in early usages but noticed after c. 10th century CE (Tamil, Piṅkalam, 10: 420, 697; Kamparāmāyaṇam, Cuntarakāṇṭam 11: 54); Kōyil, Kōvil: palace, temple (Malayalam, DED 2177); Kōyila, Kōvela: temple (Telugu, DED 2177); Kōvila: Hindu temple, "Dēvālayaya" (Sinhala, Clough, Sorata); Kō+il: king/ god+house (Tamil, DED 2177+ DED 494, grammatically it could become either Kōyil or Kōvil); Kō: emperor, king, great man, leadership (Tamil, DED 2177, Puṟanāṉūṟu, 9: 8, Tamil Brahmi inscriptions, ETE, 61, 62, 81, 82); father (Tamil, Kalitttokai, 116: 10-11); God (Tamil, Tēvāram, Appar, 4: 26: 1); Il: house, home, place (Tamil, DED 494, Kuṟuntokai, 8: 3)
Aiyaṉār 1. a popular deity, for which temples are found in all parts of the Eezham Tamil territory; considered as a deity guarding villages, tanks, dams etc.; a son of Siva and Viṣṇu; has two consorts; has both horse and elephant as vehicles; has either a whip or elephant-prod as weapon; worship is found with or without Brahmanical temples, images and rituals (Eezham Tamil usage, with some differences comparable to how the deity is perceived and worshipped in Tamil Nadu); name of a guardian deity of the village, who has a cock as his banner and a riding black horse (Tamil, MTL, early reference to the form of the word comes in Pāṇṭikkōvai, 7); 2. elder brother (Tamil, Cīvakacintāmaṇi, 7: 153); Aiyan 1: father, sage, priest, teacher, brahman, superior person, master, king (Tamil, DED 196a); elder brother (Tamil, Piṅkalam, 10: 208); Aiyaṉmār: elder brothers (Tamil, Caṅkam diction, Kalittokai, 107: 32-34); Aiyar: elder brothers (Tamil, Caṅkam diction, Naṟṟiṇai, 127: 5); deities (Patiṟṟuppattu, 70: 18-19); ascetics (Tamil, Kalittokai, 130: 9-10); Aiyaṉ 2: God Murukaṉ (Tamil, Kalittokai, 43: 5); the deity Cāttaṉ (Tamil, Tivākaram 1: 9 gives four more names; Piṅkalam 2: 25 gives 12 more names and Cūṭāmaṇi 1: 28 gives 12 more names, all are related to Aiyaṉār of the description given above; one name Puṟattavaṉ helps to relate the deity to Puṟampaṇaiyāṉ, meaning, the one who resides in the outskirts, noted in Cilappatikāram, 9: 12; Cāttaṉ is also equated to God Arukaṉ of Jainas and to Buddha by Cūṭāmaṇi Lexicon, 11: 35; 11: T24; see usage examples given below); Ayyaṉ, Ayyanā, Ayyanātha, Ayyanāyaka, Ayyanār: a deity of the forests in Vaṉṉi-hatpattuva region, "Vaṉṉi-hatpatuvehi vanayanṭa adigṛhīta deviyā" (Sinhala, Sorata); Ayiyan-kōvil: temple of Ayiyan, "Ayyanāyaka dēvālaya" (Sinhala, Sorata); Ayiyā: (singular), Ayiyālā: (plural) elder brother (Sinhala, Clough); Ayyā, Ayyańḍi: elder brother, "Vẹḍimahalu sahōdarayā" (Sinhala, Sorata); Ayiyańḍi: respectful term for an elder brother used in conversation (Sinhala Clough); etymology could be traced to the root, Ai 1: lord, master, husband, king, guru, priest, teacher, father (Tamil, DED 196a, Kuṟuntokai, 27: 3; Puṟanāṉūṟu, 78: 2-3); cognates in 10 Dravidian languages; Ai 2: wonder, astonishment (Tamil, DED 196b, Akanāṉūṟu, 71: 6-7); cognates in 11 Dravidian languages
Nātaṉar a term for Buddha as in the context of Nātaṉār Kōyil/ Velgam Vehera (Eezham Tamil, Trincomalee); Nātaṉ: Buddha (Tamil, Maṇimēkalai, 11: 74); leader (Tamil, Maṇimēkalai, 12: 102-103); ascetic (Tamil, Maṇimēkalai, 25: 93); God, king, chief, guru, husband, soul (Tamil, meanings seen in Tēvaram and later literature); Nātha: refuge, help, protector, master, patron possessor, lord (Sanskrit, CDIAL 7051, Monier Williams); Nāth: (verb) to seek aid, approach with prayers or requests, to have power, be master, to grant a request (Sanskrit, Monier Williams)
Antōṇiyār Tamilised form of Saint Antony (Antōṇi+ār, honorific suffix)
Aṭi locality, neighbourhood (Tamil, DED 72). See column 56
Veḷi open place (Tamil, DED 5498). See column 13

In early usages, the Tamil/ Dravidian term Kōyil was mostly used to mean a palace and subsequently it became the most common term for a temple (see usage examples).

Kōyil comes from two words: Kō and Il, the former meaning king and the latter meaning house. Kō, meaning king in Caṅkam literature and in Tamil Brahmi inscriptions, acquired the meaning God in Tēvāram.

In grammatical conjunction, Kō+il could become Kōyil or Kōvil (both Y and V are accepted in Tamil as "Uṭampaṭu-mey" for conjunction). However, Kōyil is the form that is seen written since early times and is seen in common Tamil speech. Kōvil was rarely used, that too noticed after c. 10th century CE. The V-used form, besides the Y- form, comes in Malayalam and Telugu also. In Sinhala, Kōvil is the form used to mean a Brahmanical temple. In Eezham Tamil, even though Kōyil is the form found in common speech and in standard old writings, there is a recent tendency to use Kōvil in official and other records.

The form Kōyil only is followed in presenting place names in this column, unless long usage is seen for the other form, as in Tiruk-kōvil. Jaina and Buddhist places of worship had their own terms of identity, but Kōyil was also seen as a term used for them in Tamil (Piṅkalam, 5: 148).

There is a long legacy for churches acquiring the term in Tamil, mostly in folk speech.

* * *

Kō meaning king and Kōyil meaning palace:

"கோயில் புக்கு எம் பெருங் கோக் கிள்ளி கேட்க" (புறநானூறு, 67: 10-11)

"Kōyil pukku em peruṅ kōk kiḷḷi kēṭka" (Puṟanāṉūṟu, 67: 10-11)

Go inside the palace and tell to the hearing of our great king Kiḷḷi

Kōyil meaning temple of Indra:

“வச்சிரத் தடக்கை நெடியோன் கோயில்” (புறநானூறு, 241: 3)

"Vaccirat taṭakkai neṭiyōṉ kōyil" (Puṟanāṉūṟu, 241: 3)

The temple of the tall person armed with Vacciram (Indra)

Koyil meaning temple of any god/ God as well as palace:

"பிறவா யாக்கைப் பெரியோன் கோயிலும்
அறுமுகச் செவ்வேள் அணிதிகழ் கோயிலும்
வால்வளை மேனி வாலியோன் கோயிலும்
நீல மேனி நெடியோன் கோயிலும்
மலை வெண்குடை மன்னவன் கோயிலும்" (சிலப்பதிகாரம், 5: 169-173)

"Piṟavā yākkaip periyōṉ kōyilum
Aṟumukac cevvēḷ aṇitikaḻ kōyilum
Vālvaḷai mēṉi vāliyōṉ kōyilum
Nīla mēṉi neṭiyōṉ kōyilum
Malai veṇkuṭai maṉṉavaṉ kōyilum" (Cilappatikāram, 5: 169-173)

The temple of the great one (Siva) who doesn't have a born body; the decorated temple of the six-faced red chief (Murukaṉ); the temple of the white one (Balarāma) of the white conch-like body; the temple of the blue-bodied tall one (Viṣṇu) and the palace of the king having garlanded white parasol.

"பெருந் திருக்கோயில் எம் பெருமான்" (தேவாரம், சம்பந்தர், 2: 105: 3)

"Perun tirukkōyil em perumāṉ" (Tēvāram, Campantar, 2: 105: 3)

Our God (Siva) of the great sacred temple

Kōyil meaning Jaina or Buddhist place of worship:

"சினகரம் சேதிமம் தேவராலயம்…பள்ளி…வானவருறையுள் கோயில்" (திவாகரம், 5: 148)

"Ciṉakaram cētimam tēvarālayam…paḷḷi…vāṉavaruṟaiyuḷ kōyil" (Tivākaram, 5: 148)

Jaina temple, Buddhist caitya (stūpa), temple of a deity…Jaina or Buddhist monastery…and residence of celestials are called Kōyil

* * *

Aiyaṉār is a popular folk deity in Tamil culture. As guardian of villages, tanks and dams, the shrines and temples for the deity are found widespread.

The deity seems to be of local folk origins in ancient Tamil culture, syncretized with various religious trends coming in different times.

The deity first appears in literature, probably in Cilappatikāram, in the name Puṟampaṇaiyāṉ, meaning the one residing in the outskirts of a settlement.

Sculptural representations and shrines follow in the Pallava times.

Murukaṉ and Aiyaṉ were probably syncretized around this time, sharing the cock banner and elephant vehicle. One of the monolithic temples in Māmallapuram could be assigned to both Murukaṉ and Aiyaṉār.

The deity depicted in Tivākaram lexicon differs in Piṅkalam, with the addition of the Hari-hara-putra concept, showing syncretism as well as folk and Brahmanical responses of the time.

From Cūṭāmaṇi lexicon one could get a cue on the syncretism of Aiyaṉar with Jainism and Buddhism that were disappearing at that time. In the Eezham Tamil context, location of some of the Aiyaṉār temples near Buddhist archaeological sites needs to be noted here.

The latest in the line is the syncretism of the cult of Ayyappaṉ with Aiyaṉār, just within a span of a few decades.

* * *

Aiyaṉ/ Ayyaṉ, Aiyā, Aiyar, Ai, etc., in the meanings noted in the box above, are listed as words of Dravidian etymology (DED 196).

The root word seems to be Ai, meaning lord, master etc., related to the same word meaning, wonder, astonishment etc., and in turn being a term of exclamation (DED 196a and 196b)

See usage examples below for the derivatives meaning a divinity or a person to look upon.

Usages meaning elder brother are cited here; as the meaning is shared between Tamil and Sinhala, besides the deity name Aiyaṉār. Also see column 26 for Aṇṇaṉmār meaning great people or elder brothers being the name of a collective folk deity related to protection.

* * *

Aiyaṉ as a deity:

Tivākaram: (c. 8th century CE)

"கோழிக் கொடியோன் சாதவாகனன் காரி சாத்தன் கடல் நிற ஐயன்" (திவாகரம், 1: 9)

"Kōḻik koṭiyōṉ cātavākaṉaṉ kāri cāttaṉ kaṭal niṟa aiyaṉ" (Tivākaram, 1: 9)

The one who has cockerel in his flag (Murukaṉ, as well as Aiyaṉār, the latter according to Piṅkalam), Cātavāhaṉaṉ (the one who has elephant as vehicle: both Murukaṉ and Aiyanār), Kāri (the dark-coloured God: Aiyaṉar), Cāttaṉ (Aiyaṉār as well as Buddha and Arukaṉ, the Jaina God), are terms for the sea-coloured Aiyaṉ

Piṅkalam: (c. 10th century CE)

"சாதவாகனன், கோழிக்கொடியோன், சாத்தன், வெள்ளை யானை வாகனன் காரி, செண்டாயுதன் கடல் நிற வண்ணன் பூரணை கேள்வன் புட்கலை மணாளன் ஆரியன் அறத்தைக் காப்போன் யோகி அரிகர புத்திரன் ஐயன் பெயரே" (பிங்கலம், 2: 25)

"Cātavākaṉaṉ, kōḻikkoṭiyōṉ, cāttaṉ, veḷḷai yāṉai vākaṉaṉ kāri, ceṇṭāyutaṉ kaṭal niṟa vaṇṇaṉ pūraṇai kēḷvaṉ puṭkalai maṇāḷaṉ āriyaṉ aṟattaik kāppōṉ yōki arikara puttiraṉ aiyaṉ peyarē" (Piṅkalam, 2: 25)

The one who rides elephant, the one who has a cock on his banner, Cāttaṉ, the one who rides white elephant, the dark one, the one who wields whip as weapon, the sea-coloured one, the husband of Pūraṇai, the husband of Puṭkalai, Āriyaṉ, the protector of Dharma, the ascetic, the son of Siva and Viṣṇu -are names of Aiyaṉ [note the concepts added since the times of Tivākaram]

"காரி ஊர்தி காரிக் குதிரை கோழிக் கொடியும் ஆகும் என்ப" (பிங்கலம், 2: 26)

"Kāri ūrti kārik kutirai kōḻik koṭiyum ākum eṉpa" (Piṅkalam, 2: 26)

Cūṭāmaṇi: (c. 13-14th century CE)

"காரியே புறத்தவன் பூங் கடல் வண்ணன் நெடிய சாத்தா
பூரணை கேள்வன் யோகி புட்கலை தன் மணாளன்
ஒரு மாசாத்தன் செண்டாயுதன் வெள்ளை யானை ஊர்தி
ஆரியன் அறத்தைக் காப்போன் அரிகர குமரன் ஐயன்" (சூடாமணி, 1: 28)

"Kāriyē puṟattavaṉ pūṅ kaṭal vaṇṇaṉ neṭiya cāttā
Pūraṇai kēḷvaṉ yōki puṭkalai taṉ maṇāḷaṉ
Oru mācāttaṉ ceṇṭāyutaṉ veḷḷai yāṉai ūrti
Āriyaṉ aṟattaik kāppōṉ arikara kumaraṉ aiyaṉ" (Cūṭāmaṇi, 1: 28)

Kāri (the dark one); Puṟattavaṉ (one who resides outside); Kaṭal-vaṇṇaṉ (the sea-colured one); Neṭiya-cātta (the tall Cātta); Pūraṇai-kēḷvaṉ (the husband of Pūraṇai); Puṭkalai-taṉ-maṇāḷaṉ (the husband of Puṭkalai); Mā-cāttaṉ (the great Cāttaṉ); Ceṇṭāyutaṉ (the one who wields whip as weapon); Veḷḷai-yāṉai-ūrti (the one who rides white elephant; Āriyaṉ (probably meaning of Guru or teacher, as used in Maṇimēkalai); Āṟattaik-kāppōṉ (the one who protects dharma); Arikara-kumāraṉ (the son of Siva and Viṣṇu) - all means Aiyaṉ

Aiyaṉ, Cāttaṉ, Arukan and Puttaṉ being synonyms:

"சாத்தனே அருகன் ஐயன்" (சூடாமணி 11: 35)

"Cāttaṉē arukaṉ aiyaṉ" (Cūṭāmaṇi 11: 35)

Cāttaṉ means Arukaṉ (the Jaina God) and Aiyaṉ

"புத்தன் மால் அருகன் சாத்தன்" (சூடாமணி, 11: தகரவர்க்கம் 24)

"Puttaṉ māl arukaṉ cāttaṉ" (Cūṭāmaṇi, 11: Takaravarkkam 24)

Puttaṉ means Viṣṇu, Arukaṉ and Cāttaṉ [Note the syncretism that has taken place by this time]

* * *

Aiyaṉ as elder brother:

"தந்தையொடு ஐயன்மார் எல்லாம் ஒருங்கு" (கலித்தொகை, 107: 32-34)

"Tantaiyoṭu aiyaṉmār ellām oruṅku" (Kalittokai, 107: 32-34)

Father and elder brothers, all together [the common term Tamaiyaṉ in Tamil meaning elder brother has come from Tam+aiyaṉ]

Aiyar as elder brothers:

"கல்லாக் கதவர் தம் ஐயர் ஆகவும்" (நற்றிணை)

"Kallāk katavar tam aiyar ākavum" (Naṟṟiṇai)

Aiyaṉ as the deity Cāttaṉ and as elder brother:

"வானோர் முனிவர் மறையவர் ஆசான் சாத்தன் மூத்தோன் தகப்பனும் ஐயன்" (பிங்கலம், 10: 208)

"Vāṉōr muṉivar maṟaiyavar ācāṉ cāttaṉ mūttōṉ takappaṉum aiyaṉ" (Piṅkalam, 10: 208)

Celestials, ascetics, Brahmins, teacher, Cāttaṉ, elder brother and father are called Aiyaṉ

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Usage of the root Ai:

Lord, person of divine strength: (see box for the other related meanings)

"அணங்கு அருங் கடுந் திறல் என் ஐ" (புறநானூறு, 78: 2-3)

"Aṇaṅku aruṅ kaṭun tiṟal eṉ ai" (Puṟanāṉūṟu, 78: 2-3)

My lord [Ai], having great supernatural strength; or my lord of great strength, who cannot be made to suffer [Aṇaṅku as verb means to put to suffer and as noun means supernatural entity]

Wonder, astonishment:

"ஐ தேய்ந்தன்று" (கலித்தொகை, 55: 9)

"Ai tēyntaṉṟu" (Kalittokai, 55: 9)

Astonishingly reduced


"செவ் வாய் வானத்து ஐ எனத் தோன்றி" (குறுந்தொகை, 207: 2-3)

"Cev vāy vāṉattu ai eṉat tōṉṟi" (Kuṟuntokai, 207: 2-3)

Exclamation on the sudden appearance of crescent moon in the red sky of the evening

* * *

Reference to Aiyaṉār in Eezham Tamil literature:

"தன்னிகரற்றிலங்கும் எழில் ஐயனாரை தாவறு சீர் கடல் தனக்கு அருகு வைத்து" (வையா பாடல், 32)

"Taṉṉikaraṟṟilaṅkum eḻil aiyaṉārai tāvaṟu cīr kaṭal taṉakku aruku vaittu" (Vaiyā Pāṭal, 32)

Placing the deity Aiyaṉār of incomparable beauty near the seafront [the reference was about Kutirai-malai in Puttalam district and the context was about burying treasure and placing Kāḷi and Aiyaṉār as guardians]

"வாகு செறி ஐயனைப் பூசிப்போர் தாமும்" (வையாபாடல், 65)

"Vāku ceṟi aiyaṉaip pūcippōr tāmum" (Vaiyāpāṭal, 65)

Those who worship the shoulder-strong Aiyaṉār [the reference was to members of a soldier guild]

* * *

Aiyaṉār-kōyilaṭi comes as a place name in Nallūr division of Jaffna district and in Kaṇṭāvaḷai division of Kilinochchi district. The former place has gained the name from placing Aiyaṉar in a temple there, as guardian of the limits of the native city of Jaffna designed by Vaittiliṅkac-ceṭṭiyār in the Dutch times. Following tradition, a Kāli temple also was built there, facing North, while the Aiyaṉār temple faces East.

Nātaṉār-kōyil is the Tamil name of Velgam-vehera near Kaṉṉiyā in Trincomalee Town and Gravets division of Trincomalee district.

Antōṉiyār-kōyil-veḷi is a place in Puthukkudiyiruppu division of Mullaiththeevu district.

* * *

Some related place names:

Kāḷi-kōyilaṭi: Islands North, Jaffna; Puthukkudiyiruppu, Mullaiththeevu; trincomalee Town and Gravets, Trincomalee

Kāmāṭci-kōyil: Islands North, Jaffna

Nākammāḷ-kōyil: Islands North, Jaffna

Citamparamūrti-kōyilaṭi: Karainagar, Jaffna

Civaṉ-kōyilaṭi: Karainagar, Jaffna

Nākar-kōyil: Vadamaradchi East, Jaffna

Piḷḷaiyār-kōyilaṭi: Vadamaradchi North, Jaffna; Karaichchi, Kilinochchi

Kōyilāk-kaṇṭi: Thenmaradchi, Jaffna

Kōyil-kuṭiyiruppu: Thenmarachi, Jaffna; Karaithuraippattu, Mullaiththeevu; Koralaippattu North, Batticaloa; Thampalakamam, Trincomalee

Kōyil-vayal: Pachchilaippalli, Kilinochchi

Aiyaṉ-kōyil-kirāmam: Kandavalai, Kilinochchi

Murukaṉ-kōyil-kuṭiyiruppu: Kandavalai, Kilinochchi

Kōyiṟ-kuḷam: Manthai West, Mannar; Vavuniya, Vavuniya; Manmunaippattu, Batticaloa

Kōyil-mōṭṭai: Madu, Mannar

Kōyilaṭi: Karaithuraippattu, Mullaiththeevu; Trincomalee Town and Gravets, Trincomalee

Tiruk-kōvil: also Tiruk-kōyil: Thirukkovil, Amparai

Kōyil-pōratīvu: Poratheevuppattu, Batticaloa

Civaṉ-kōyil: Trincomalee Town and Gravets, Trincomalee

Nāccimār-kōyilaṭi: Vaṇṇārpaṇṇai, Jaffna

Kōrak-kōyil: Sammanthurai, Amparai

* * *

Aiyaṉ/ Aiyaṉār:

Aiyaṉ-puram: Karaichchi, Kilinochchi

Aiyaṉār-puram: Poonakari, Kilinochchi

Aiyam-perumāḷ: Manthai East, Mullaiththeevu

Aiyaṉ-kēṇi: Eravurpattu, Batticaloa

Aiyaṉ-kēṇik-kāṭu: Eracurpattu, Batticaloa

Aiyaṉ-kuṭā: Trincomalee Town and Gravets, Trincomalee

Aiyaṉ-kōyil-kirāmam: Kandavalai, Kilinochchi

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Ayyanāyaka as deity in Sinhala:

Ayyanāyaka-dēvālaya: near Ebawalapiṭiya, Wariyapola, Kurunegala

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Ayiyā as elder brother in Sinhala:

Ayiyatigē-vẹva: Kepithigollewa, Anuradhapura

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Mamallapuram: five rathas
The five rathas of Mamallapuram. A lion is shown in front of Kaa'li shrine. The monolithic temple, on the extreme right with an elephant adjacent to it, was probably built for Aiyanaar or Murukan. Note the shrines facing different directions. [Image courtesy:]
Mamallapuram: front view
The front view of the monolithic temple, probably built for Aiyanaar or Murukan, with an elephant adjacent to it. World Heritage site, Mamallapuram. [Image Courtesy: Travel Log by Steven Andrew Bell]
The sculpture of a man with a head of a horse in the background, overlooking a tank at Isurumuniya in Anuradhapura. Probably one of the earliest depictions of Aiyanaar/Ayyanaayaka. [Image courtesy:]
The rock of sculptures overlooking the tank. Isurumuniya, Anuradhapura. [Image courtesy:]
Aiyanaar with two consorts
A Chola bronze image of Aiyanaar with two consorts, Poora'nai and Pushkalai. c.12th century CE. It is usually in this form, Aiyanaar is worshiped in the Tamil temples of Sri Lanka.
Aiyanaar deity
Aiyanaar, riding an elephant. Bronze.
Aiyanaar, riding a horse
Aiyanaar, riding a horse to protect the village. Terracotta images abound in the folk shrines of Aiyanaar in Tamil Nadu. [Image Courtesy: A. Srivathsan, The Hindu]
Terracotta forces of Aiyanaar
The terracotta forces of Aiyanaar, assisting him in the protection of the village. Naarthaamalai, Tamil Nadu. Devotees bring in such votive images. Folk practices shown here and in the previous image are not found in Sri Lanka. [Image courtesy: Palagret,]
Sabarimalai aiyappan
Iconography of Sabarimala Aiyappan.
Aiyappan as Ma'nika'ndan
Another iconography of Aiyappan as Ma'nika'ndan, riding tigers. Folk religious cults associated with tiger are peculiar to the Western Ghats.
Devotees of Aiyappan
Sabarimalai Aiyappan devotees in black on pilgrimage. [Image courtesy: Helen Puckey,]
Aiyanaar temple, Kaadduppulam
Aiyanaar temple at Kaadduppulam, Chuzhipuram is located closeby a Buddhist archaeological site.
Aiyanaar temple, Ariyaalai
Aiyanaar temple, Ariyaalai East. The foreground seen in the picture is an early historic archaeological site.
Paalaavikku'lam Iyanaar Koayil
A headless image of Buddha, made of limestone, is worshipped as Aiyanaar at Paalaavikku'lam, facing Pa'l'likkudaa Bay. The image is blackened by the application of oil. A close look may reveal the drapery on the left shoulder of the image. [Photo- Antony Richard, Ki'linochchi]

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Revised: Monday, 14 August 2017, 18:30

First published: Wednesday, 17 October 2007, 01:08

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