Sri Solai Andavar Temple (ஶ்ரீ சோலை ஆண்டவர் திருக்கோவில்) / Sri Arulmigu Solai Valartha Ayyanar Temple (அருள்மிகு சோலை வளர்த்த அய்யனார் திருக்கோவில்) in Kothari at Palathur, Chettinad, Sivaganga District – The Oldest Lord Ayyanar Temple in Chettinad – Temple Timings, Visit, Travel Guide
– famous village guardian ayyanar temple in chettinad
Sri Solai Andavar Temple / Sri Arulmigu Solai Valartha Ayyanar Temple is one of the famous village guardian Ayyanar / Aiyanar temple in Kothari at Palathur village near Karaikudi, Chettinad region in Sivaganga District. Solai Andavar temple is located in a beautifully serene and idyllic greenish environment, as per the name “Solai Valartha Aiyyannar – சோலை வளர்த்த அய்யனார்” – which literally means Solai – Garden, Andavar – god in the Tamil language, as the temple is located and surrounded with trees in the middle of a mild forest area, the greenery surrounding is a very peaceful and pleasant place to worship. Lord Sri Solai Andavar is the Kuladeivam – the family god for many communities in and around the Sivaganga region.
Sri Solai Andavar Temple / Sri Arulmigu Solai Valartha Ayyanar Temple is located at the boundary of Palathur villages and seen sitting with wielding a whip in his right hand. In some other Ayyanar Temples, Lord Ayyanar was found to be holding a sword, arrow, bow, knife in his hands and found to be riding an elephant.
Within the main premises of this temple, their is a seperate shrine for Pathinettam padi Karuppar (பதினெட்டாம்படி கருப்பர்), Sannasi (சன்னாசி), Kalikkari (களிக்காரி), Dhakshnamoorthi (தட்சணாமூர்த்தி), Periya Karuppar (பெரிய கருப்பர்), Chinna Karuppar (சின்ன கருப்பர்), Pattavar (பட்டவர்), Agora veerapathrar (அகோர வீரபத்திரர்), Chithra Vinayagar (சித்திர விநாயகர்), Muniswarar (முனீஸ்வரர்), Adaikalam Katha Ayyanar (அடைக்கலம் காத்த அய்யனார்) and Saptha Kanniyarkal (சப்த கன்னியர்கள்).
At the Lord Solai Andavar temple, only Male, elderly old women, and small kids are allowed to visit or view inside the main Sri Solai Andavar idol. While the younger women’s are allowed inside the temple but they stand back visiting the main idol.
As the divine vehicle or vahana of this Sri Solai Andavar is Horse, there is a majestic mounted white horse is found in front of the temple. It was highly believed that Solai Andavar’s worship will ensure that justice would prevail in the village. Worshipping him can provide divine protection from all sorts of dangers.
Solai Andavar is a very powerful god. Devotees from all over the world make it a point to visit the temple at least once a year for various reasons, including Marriage functions, naming their children, and offering their children’s hair and ear piercing.
We may find that the people around the region are named after the Lord Solai Andavar such as Solaiappan, Solaiyamma, Solai, and Solaichi – derived from the Lord Solai Andavar.
Devotees of Lord Solai Andavar fulfill their vows by dedicating bright colorfully painted clay horses/elephants through rituals known as “Kuthirai Eduppu – குதிரை எடுப்பு” (horse dedication)at the Ayyanar temple festivals. These terracotta statue horses/elephants are placed surrounding the Lord Solai Andavar temple. It is known to show a gesture of gratitude and love, to Lord Solai Andavar. These terracotta Horses are generally replaced annually with new offerings during the festival.
Recently the Mahakumbhabisegam is grandly held with a wonderfully well-renovated Sri Solai Andavar Temple. The Sri Solai Andavar Temple is very clean, well maintained, and administered by the Chettiyar communities.
Generally, Lord Ayyanar is worshipped widely in South India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Singapore mainly among the Tamil, Malayalis, and Sinhalese Communities. Lord Ayannar is worshipped as the God of rainmaker, protector of people, cattle, harvest, earth, and nature. Lord Ayannar is believed to circling the village perimeter and guards the village against evil entry. Lord Ayyanar is also worshipped and known as Sathanar, Sathayaa, and Sasthaa. According to the Scriptures, Lord Sastha has various avatars, including the “Aiyappan” temple in Kerala.
Lord Solai Andavar also has a separate clean and well-maintained Cattle shed called the “Nattar Pasu Madam” – Goshalas, where the temple’s official Cows and Calves are housed.
Lord Solai Andavar has a well-maintained large temple pond. Bathing is allowed at this pond, but using bath soap and shampoos is not allowed, this is to maintain the purity of the pond. It is also believed by the devotees of Lord Solai Andavar that diseases will vanish after the bath at this pond. Devotees also can offer pori பொரி – puffed rice to the pond fishes.
Festivals at Sri Solai Andavar Temple / Sri Arulmigu Solai Valartha Ayyanar Temple:
Chitra pournami is the main festival celebrated for 10 days. From the first day of Chithirai, Poo sorithal vizha (பூச்சொரிதல் விழா) is performed for Sri Solai Andavar.
During the Chitra pournami festival Lord Solai Andavar comes out from his temple. The final day festival is called satharnam. Thousands of people from various places arrive on that day. Solaiandavar will be on pupallaku at the end of the day, and it will conclude early the next morning. Every day, he is dressed up in different beautiful outfits and parades about the village. On the final day of the festival morning, Lord Solai Andavar returns to the temple.
Travel Tips for Visiting Sri Solai Andavar Temple / Sri Arulmigu Solai Valartha Ayyanar Temple in Kothari at Palathur, Chettinad, Sivaganga District:
Address of Sri Solai Andavar Temple / Sri Arulmigu Solai Valartha Ayyanar Temple :
Sri Solai Andavar Temple, Kothari, Pallathur Post, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu, 630102.
Entry Fee: No Entry Fee
Temple Timings of Sri Solai Andavar Temple:
Monday and Friday: 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM / 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Sunday: 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM / 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Other days: 7:00 AM to 12.30 PM / 4:00 PM to 6:45 PM
How to reach Sri Solai Andavar Temple:
On Road: Kothari is a nearby village to Karaikudi. There is a Bus stop named Pallathur and engage an auto to Kovil from pallathur. Solai andavar temple is nearly 6 KMs from Karaikudi, You can either get into a public bus or hire a car to get to the temple. Private vehicles or taxis are easily organized once you get to Karaikudi.
On Flight: The nearest one is Madurai (Code IXM) or Tiruchirapalli (Code: TRZ).
By Train: Karaikkudi Junction railway station (station code KKDI) with very good connectivity to Chennai.
Special thanks to my travel guide Dr. K. Thamarai Selvi.
Check out and enjoy our photo captures of Sri Solai Andavar Temple / Sri Arulmigu Solai Valartha Ayyanar Temple in Kothari at Palathur, Chettinad, Sivaganga District.
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