Konerirajapuram - World's Tallest Bronze Nataraja

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Nataraja "Worlds Tallest Nataraja"
"Sembiyan Mahadevi" "Chola temple" Nataraja

Flag of India  , Tamil Nādu,
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Konerirajapuram is a sleepy village in Mayiladuthurai taluka of Nagapattinam district, about 20km from Kumbakonam.  To get here you can take bus no. A22 from Kumbakonam, or by car or auto take the Thirunageswaram Karaikal road upto S. Pudur, take a right turn here on a tranquil country road flanked by lush fields and duck filled canals of the delta.  There is a distinct left turn a couple of kilometres down this road.  This road leads to Konerirajapuram or Thirunallam of yore.

The Chola temple here is of Lord Siva as Uma Maheswarar.  The unpretentious facade

gives not the slightest hint of what lies within - just the World's Tallest Bronze Nataraja !!

Gnanaskandan is the genial priest in charge here.  He remembered us from our previous visit two years ago and welcomed us with a booming "Bombay !!!"


The Konerirajapuram temple was generously endowed by the Chola queen Sembiyan Mahadevi [Chembiyan Maadevi]

and also boasts a priceless collection of smaller bronzes

ancient inscriptions

exquisite sculptures

and ancient frescoes

One such fresco from the Nayaka period records the offering made by British officials in gratitude for being healed at the Vaidyanathar temple within the main temple.

Priest Gnanaskandan runs a daily Annadanam or "feeding of the poor" within the main temple hall

This was our second visit.  We first learnt about Konerirajapuram quite by chance, through  a random perusal of the book Temples of Tamil Nadu by AV Shankaranarayana Rao.  This is just an ordinary Vasan Publication paperback, but with a wealth of information in it.  Anyway, having read about the "Colossal Nataraja" as it is described in the book, we just had to see it, taking considerable pains to find the sleepy hamlet on our last visit in 2008.  It was well worth the visit, and oh, so enchanting.

This time, we knew the way and reached in no time at all.  I do not know what drew us there in the first place, nor what drew us back again but we just had to return.  Priest Gnanaskandan was firmly of the opinion that we must have lived here in the Chola era, albeit in another incarnation.  Hmm ...............    We will certainly be back, for Konerirajapuram beckons, a call that just cannot be ignored.

Some of my Konerirajapuram photos posted on Flickr have been embedded in a well written article on the Natarajar Temple here:

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mvmansingka on

Iliked your information and picture of the Nataraja temple. I wouild love to know about more temples in this area.Mamta

indianature on

Thank you.

You can get the book Temples of Tamil Nadu by AV Shankaranarayana Rao easily available in any bookstore in India. It has a lot of useful information.

Also go through this site, it has a lot of detail:

girijapattabiraman on

Namaste sir, we ,all people of Kenerirajapuram thank you sincerely for your visit to our place and publishing the same.It is a wonderful place, and during your next visit kindly have a Dharshan of our Perumal & Akasha Durgha.

girijapattabiraman on


Vilasini Ganesan on

Thank you for your visit and for posting amazing pictures. All those Fresco paintings (paint material is totally organic) used to be more clear when I was young (say 25/30 years ago). There are some pictures above sandalwood grinding stones..hope you had chance to see them. It shows how people are treated in hell, depending on their sin.

uma venkatraman on

This temple and this palce Thirunallam has got a place in kalki's famous historical book "paarthiban kanavu'

Pattabiraman on

I belong to this village. Our village is mentioned in Ponniyin Selvan of Kalki. There are many famous temples around our village. We invite everyone to visit Sri Uma Maheswarar temple and also Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple and Akasa Durgai temple.



indianature on

Thank you very much all of you for your comments.

Konerirajapuram is a special place on this earth which we will surely visit again at the earliest opportunity, and look forward to seeing the village and other temples there too - and maybe to meet all of you if you are still living there?.

Vilasini, I noticed deterioration in the frescoes from our last visit about 2 years back so I can imagine the deterioration you have observed.

indianature on

I have ordered Ponniyin Selvan, the English translation and hope to read it soon. I can converse in Tamil but cannot read or write.

If you are interested you can see more photos of Konerirajapuram here:

vj on

Hi, would you like to share the photos with us. Please write to me vj.episteme@gmail.com


R. Anantharaman ( KPR ) on

I am really proud to be born & brought in Konerirajapauram.. Even now I visit there atleast 6 times in a year.. calm, clean with natural surroundings... Sivan temple, Tank, Perumal Koil, Durgai amman koil etc makes Koneri a perfect place to spend time with.

Jayasri Venkataramani on

Hello..nice to see this place..My Mom's native is Konerirajapuram..



indianature on


jayapadma viswanathan on

very thrilled to see the wonderful photos of our village.

indianature on

You are lucky to hail from such a lovely and historic place.

Baskar on

I am from Konerirajapuram. Our temple and village are special always to me. The famous function of Nataraja temple is Aruthra Dharshnam held every year.Participate if you have time

sridhar on

thank you, i was brought up in this famous village. nice to see the pic of lord nataraj and temple pic.. its remembering my child hood days. thank you once again. Its very old and ancient temple with big tank and good sourrounding. Perumal koil and Agasha Durga mandir. Some more temples also in the near by. I was in the temple several occasion when Annaabhisham to lord shiva happen. I like Arudhra Dharsan to Lord Nataraj full decorated with sandle wood paste. It is wonderful memory still in my life. Om Namashivayam

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