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The Tale in Brief

The Epic Story

Tourism Plays a Key Economy for the District even though Agriculture and Fishing are the Major ones. Shrines, Places of Hindu Faith, Mosques forms the Spritual Tourism for the district. Annual Festivals and functions marks glory of the Year. Heritages like Tarangam

One of the major economies of the District, Agriculture contributes a higher share of Rice Production in the State. We have raised so many important agricultural crop in our District. Rice, Groundnut, Pulses, Gingelly, Sugarcane and Cotton.

Visiting Hours

Fore Noon
08.30AM-13.00 IST
After Noon
14.30-20.30 IST

Poombuhar

the footstep

Poombuhar is in Sirkali Taluk of Nagapattinam District.  It is known as Kaveri poompattinam. Tourists have to alight at Mayiladuthurai junction to proceed Poombuhar by road, visitors from Chennai by train have to get down at Sirkali. Poombuhar is connected to Mayiladuthurai as well as Sirkali by road. The distance from Poombuhar to Mayiladuthurai is 24 kms and to Sirkali is 21 kms. Chennai to Poombuhar by private carriers can take the route via Dindivanam, Pandicherry, Cuddallore and Sirkali.Tourists from Those who come from Madurai, Ramanathapuram and Tirunelvelli may proceed via Mellur, Tiruppathur, Karaikudi, Pattukkotai, Thiruthuraipoondi, Nagapattinam, Karaikkal, Tharangambadi and Akkur. They can also come via Pudukkottai, Thanjavoor, and Mayiladuthurai.

POOMBUHAR AGAIN

After the Sangam chola period a major part of Poompuhar town was swallowed by the Bay of Bengal. Though Poompuhar became a prey of times, still a few small villages remain a silent witness to the cruelty of times. Thirusaikadu (sayavanam), Pallavaneeswaram Melapperumpallam, Kelaperumpallam, Keezaiyur, Melaiyur and Vanagiri are what remain of ancient Poompuhar.   The Tamailnadu Government has taken steps to reproduce the glory thus submerged and scattered ancient town on the basis of historical evidences and literacy reference.  In 1973 Kalaingar Dr.M.Karunanithi the Honoruable Chief Minister of Tamilnadu gave crystal form to the lost town,by reproducing it on the basis of literary evidences. Several Symbolical monuments were raised.Sillappathira-Art gallery, Illangi manram, Pavaimanram Nedungal mandram and Kotrappandal found their existence and remain today, to attract visitors, with their artistic splendour.

HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE OF POOMBUHAR

Among the dynastic rules Cheras, Chola, Pandias, Athiyas who ruled over Tamilnadu since the time before the Christ, the Cholas who held a place esteem had this ancient town for their port capital. Puhar means the estuary of river in the sea. The port town of Kaviripoompattinam has been mentioned in the temple inscriptions, ancient literature and travelogues by different names like Kaganthi, Sampathi, Palapukaz, Moothur, Mannagathu, Vanpathi, Cholapattinam  Kabaris Emporiam, and Kolappattinam.

There are frequent references to the important port town in ancient Tamil literature like Akananooru, Purananooru, Pattinapalai Pathitruppathu, Muthollayiram, Silappathikaram, Manimekalai, Deveram, Thiruthondapuranam and Nandhikalampagam. Ancient pali literature like Milindapan, Budha Jathakakathaikal, Abithama avathar and Buthavamsagatha, travelogues of periplus, and merris Erithroy contain the reference to this ancient town.  Ptolemy and Plini also mention Poombuhar in their writings.

Somaya a Buddha Pikkuni from Poombuhar donated one of the beautiful sculptural pillars erected by Sunga-Kings of North India during the second century B C .The pillar carries the inscriptions “Kaganthia Somaya Pikkunia Thanam” (pillar donated by Somaya Pikkuni of Poombuhar) Buddhism flourished in Poombuhar two thousand years ago.

Details of Poombuhar have been read in the Brahmiinscriptions dating back to the second century B C in “Barkuth” of north India. The historical details of Poombuhar have also been found in the inscriptions of Sayavanam Temple at Poombuhar.

The ancient Kings like Sembiyan, Musugundhan, Manuneethicholan and Karikal cholan.  Who carried myths with them, added to the glory of Poombuhar town.    Poombuhar grew into a great city during the region of Karical cholan.  He conquered the territories up to the Himalayas and made a pass into the China through the Himalayas. On his return Karikal Cholan brought back the monuments and gifts presented by the Vajraking, hte Magatha King and the Avanthi King who were defeated by Karikal Cholan and exhibited them at Poombuhar.

Indiravizha was grandly celebrated during the period of Thodithol Chempian. Inscriptions at Thiruvengadu make a mention of grand festival of Indira, during the latter Cholas times. Even after Sangam Cholas period Poombuhar occupied a significant place during the regimeof Kalabras.  After the Kalabras in the 6th century A.D.,Poombuhar came under the Pallavaregime and during that time Pallvaneeswaran temple was built by them.  The great Siva saints Appar and Thirugnana Sambandar have sanctified the temple with their holy hymns.

With the rise of latter Cholas in 850A.D. the city regained its past glory.  It is mentioned as” Rajathiraja Valanaattu Nangoor Nattu Kaveripoompattinam” in the Sayavanam temple inscription of Vikramacholan in the same temple, calls the town “Puhar Nagaram”  Later Kopperunchingam also contributed  to the grandeur  of the place.

THE STRUCTURE OF POOMBUHAR CITY 2000-YEARS AGO

The town structure of Poompuhar can be traced from the fifth chapter of Silappathikaram. Pattinapalai, Manimegalai also describe the same. The city is said to have been designed on the lines of Mayans architecture. The town was divided into well marked divisions as Pattinappakkam and Maruvurppakkam by the market place in the middle town as Nalangadi in the day and Allangadi by night.The seashore was habituated by the fisher folk. It was also used as warehouses People of different occupations like weavers, Silk merchants, sweetvenders fish and meat sellers, pooters, grainmerchants, and diamond makers lived in Maruvurppakkam. King and nobles rich traders and formers Physicians, and astrologers Army people of four wings of the King's force and Court dancers Occupied Pattinappakkam.The five Mandrams called Vellidai Mandram,Elanchi mandram, Nedungal mandram Poothachathukkam and Pavai mandram were located in Pattinappakkam. Gardens like Elavanthikaicholai,Uyyanam, Chanpathivanam, Uvavanam, and Kaveravanam added beauty to the town. 

Temples of Supreme God Siva, to Chathukkappootham the last of the Deities were found in the city. There are temples for Siva, Indira his Elephant Iravatham, and his Vajrayutham, Balaraman Suriyan Machathan Chandran, Arugan and Thirumal. Buddha sthupas (pillars) and seveen Buddha vihars were also found. Apart from these Temples for Champapthi Amman Brick idols and an Ulagaaravi manram existed in Poombuhar.

Cool and shady river Banks with dense trees, sacred passages from temples to the river for Gods to come and take bath and the ring wells on the fringes of the town were salient features of the town planning.  The town had a compound wall and it’s gates were engraved with tiger emblems. The town also had different market places and living areas for foreigners like Yavanas.

EXCAVATION OF POOMBUHAR

Excavations work on Poompuhar city has been in progress since 1910.The excavation conducted by Indian Archaeological department has revealed the existence of several ring –wells (Urai Kinaru) near the seashore. The Sangam literature Pattinappali tells of these wells.

The excavation has also been taken up near Champapthi Amman and Pallavaneswaram temples.  The remains of the various buildings have been found by the excavation in 1960-1961.Remains of a brick building and a boat –jetty were discovered at Keezhaiyur area at Poompuhar. A water Reservoir and the remains of several buildings were found. Relics of a sixty feet long Buddha vihar with.  Rectangular rooms were discovered at Pallavaneswaram. The feet of lord Buddha (Buddhapada) in Marable (Limestoneslab) was unearthed.  This Buddha Padam in limestone resembles the marble feets got from Amaravathi, and Nagarjunakonda Buddhist sites in Andhra Pradesh.  The Buddhapadam of the size 31/2 x21/2 has two feets and holy symbols like the lotus flower, Poorna–Kumbam and Swastikam.Several kinds of brick figures and copper coins were also found.  These coins are both of rectangular and circular shapes. The chola emblems of the tiger with upright tail and the sun were engraved on them. These coins are considered to be those of Karikal Cholan.

A coin of Karpagatharu (heavenly tree capable of giving anything) engraving was unearthed. In Velliyan irruppu area on ancient Roman Copper coin was dug out.  Copper coins with the inscriptions of Rajaraman were also found during the excavation. Copper idol of Buddha in meditation and green beeds, shells and glass bangles were the other items excavated A gold coated copper statue of Buddha in mediatation (Bothi Sathuva Mytheya) was found at Melaiyur in 1927.It belongs to the 8th century. Recently Tamilnadu Archaeological Department has discovered the remains of several buildings.  The National Institute of oceanography, Goa and the Archaelogical Departmrnt of Tamilnadu Governtment have undertaken off shore exploration at Poompuhar.

SILLAPPATHIKARA - ART GALLERY

A beautiful seven-tired building of great sculptural value has been built as Sillappathikara Art gallery. The first storey is 12”high and each storey above it has a height of 5’. The topmost part, which has “Kalasam has height of 8’.   The total height of art gallery is 50’.

The ”Magara Thoranavayil” at the entrance of the art gallery imparts an imposing and beatiful look to the whole structure.  Its height is 221/2’ It has been designed on the pattern of Magara Thorana Vayil found in Suruli Malai Mangala devi koil. There is also anklet shaped tank in the art gallery.  On this sides of this tank are erected the statues of Kannag (91/2)’and Mathavi (81/2)’ Scenes from Sillappathiram, the epic of the land have been given lively shapes in stones on the walls of the gallery. These sculptures carved by the sculptors of Mamallapuram Art College remain the treasure house of Tamil culture.

DISTANCE BY RAIL ROUTE
From To Distance
Chennai Sirkali 261 KMs
Chennai Mayiladuthurai 290Kms
Thanjavoor Mayiladuthurai   70 KMs
Tiruchi Mayiladuthurai 120 KMs
Tourism Department Lodging facilities at Poombuhar
TypeRate
Shell Type Cottage I (Sangu Type) Rs 150/- Two Beds A/C
Shell Type Cottage II (Sippi Typpe)
Two Beds Rs120/-Two Beds A/C
Tourist Lodge
Rs 25/- per room(Two Beds with common Toilet)