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Kottai Bhairavar Temple at Thirumayam in Pudukkottai District, Tamil Nadu

The Kottai Bhairavar Temple, situated on the northern side of the fort at Thirumayam in Pudukkottai District, Tamil Nadu, is a significant yet small shrine dedicated to Bhairavar, an aspect of Lord Siva. This temple holds a special place in the hearts of the local people due to its unique orientation and the protective role Bhairavar is believed to play.

Unique Features of the Temple

Deity Orientation: Unlike the typical orientation of Bhairavar statues in Siva temples—where they are usually located in the eastern or northeastern parts facing west—the Bhairavar in the Kottai Bhairavar Temple faces north. This northward facing position is considered unusual and adds to the temple's distinctiveness.

Guardian Deity: Bhairavar, revered as a fierce guardian deity, is believed to protect the fort and its surroundings as well as the devotees who worship here. The popular belief is that Kottai Bhairavar safeguards people from all kinds of enemy attacks and negative influences.

Festivals and Rituals

Bhairava Ashtami: The main festival celebrated at the temple is Bhairava Ashtami, which falls on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the waning phase of the moon in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December-January). This festival is marked by special rituals and a significant gathering of devotees.

Monthly Ashtami: Apart from the annual Bhairava Ashtami, all Ashtami tithis (the eighth day of the lunar phase) during the waning or dark phase of the moon are considered highly important. Devotees visit the temple on these days to seek Bhairavar's blessings and protection.

Cultural and Spiritual Significance

The Kottai Bhairavar Temple is not only a place of worship but also a cultural landmark in Thirumayam. The temple's unique position within the fort and the north-facing Bhairavar enhance its spiritual aura and attract devotees who seek protection, peace, and prosperity. The belief in Bhairavar's power to ward off evil and provide security is a cornerstone of the local faith.


Located in the historic region of Pudukkottai, the temple is accessible to both locals and visitors. Its presence within the fort makes it a notable point of interest for those exploring the historical and spiritual heritage of Tamil Nadu.

In conclusion, the Kottai Bhairavar Temple at Thirumayam stands out due to its unique architectural and spiritual characteristics. It continues to be a vital part of the local community's religious practices, embodying the protective and benevolent aspects of Bhairavar.