When you travel from Chennai to Pondicherry on the East Coast road, you would certainly pass through Edaikazhinadu, a beautiful coastal town in Chengalpattu district. Edaikazhinadu is a collection of about 27 villages. It is known as ‘Little Kerala’; the beauty and vegetation give you a feeling that you are in one of the coastal villages in the state of Kerala.
Every house in Edaikazhinadu is surrounded by a large farm with lots of trees. Mango, Jackfruit, coconut and palmyrah trees are found in abundance here.
Kadapakkam is the largest town in this region. I finished my kindergarten in Kadapakkam, in GVR Matriculation Higher Secondary School which still exists.
I recently came here on Saraswati puja day of 2020, the day when people worship Saraswati, the Goddess of wisdom, education and arts. Since my earliest years of school education was done here, I felt like the Goddess of education was welcoming me back to the place where she initiated me first to education.
History of Edaikazhinadu
Mentions in Tamil Sangam Literature
History of Edaikazhinadu goes back to the years of sangam literature in Tamil. The villages and nearby towns like Marakkanam, Tindivanam etc are mentioned in ancient Tamil literature. The Author of Sirupanatrupadai ( Ciṟupāṇāṟṟuppaṭai) was born in Nallur, one of the villages in this region. His name is Edaikazhinattu Nallur Naththathanar.
Sirupanatrupadai is an ancient Tamil poem which is a part of Pathupattu anthology (anthology of ten songs). Nallur, the village where the author was born, is about 1.5 kms from Kadapakkam. A memorial for Nallur Naththathanar, the author of the poem has been constructed here by Tamil Nadu government.
Sirpanatrupadai deals with the author guiding a band of bards to meet a king called Nalliyakotan for patronage. The king was ruling Oimanadu, which is the present day Tindivanam.
Connections with Idaikattu Siddhar
Idaikattu Siddhar is considered as one among 18 siddhars in Tamil tradition. Siddhars are considered as people who are self-realized and have expertise in multiple domains including medicine, martial arts and mystical powers such as siddhis.
Idaikattu siddhar was born in the family that tends and looks after goats. He was a siddhar and is said to have predicted a famine 12 years before its occurence. He is said to have rearranged nava grahas to bring rainfall and end the famine. This incident is said to have happened in Kadapakkam and there is a temple called Arunachaleshwarar temple which was believed to have been constructed by Idaikattu siddhar. He also meditated on a small island near the sea, which is called ‘idayan thittu’. It is believed that this siddhar still lives in idayan thittu in the astral form and visits the Arunachelaswarar temple in Kadapakkam every full moon day.
Ruins of Alamparai fort – a 17th century fort built by Mughals
This is what Edaikazhinadu is very famous for. It is home to the ruins of a historical fort called ‘Alamparai fort’ which was built in the late 17th century by Mughals. This ;port once had a 10-metre long dockyard stretching into the sea. It was a busy port from which salt, ghee and zari cloth were exported.
In 1735, It was under the control of Nawab Doste Ali Khan. In 1750, this fort was given as a gift to French, honoring the services rendered by French commander Dupleix to Subedar Muzaphar Jung. But it was captured and destroyed by the British in 1760. The fort was further damaged by the 2004 earthquake.
The place as a tourist place was neglected by the government until recently. Renovation work has been going on now. It is a famous shooting spot for Tamil movies; the cremation scene from the Tamil movie ‘Pithamagan’ and the song ‘Vizhigalil Vizhigalil’ from ‘Thiruvilayadal Arambam’ were shot here. Due to a lot of antisocial events that happened here, the fort was closed to the public for some years. Visitors are allowed at the moment though.
There was also a mint in the fort where coins named as ‘Alamparai varagan’ were made. Once this mint was managed by a person called Pottipatthan who had a concern for travellers travelling to North Indian cities like Kashi (Varanasi) through Edaikazhinadu. There is a famous ancient road called Kashi Paattai, still called by that name that runs through Kadapakkam. This road was used by travellers from Tamil Nadu to travel to the north; it was used by Rama and Adi Shankara too. Potti Patthan constructed a chatram, a place to stay at night for travellers in Kasi Paattai road. He also constructed Kashi Vishwanathar temple nearby, which is close to Lakshmi Narasimhar temple.
On the way to the beach, there is a bridge that is over the canal. You can see the Kadapakkam lighthouse from here; the waves in the sea and boats in the canal are visible.
The beach here is very beautiful. Here are some pics from the beach:
Recently when I went there on a Sunday (10th Nov, 2020), I made a Shivalinga in the sand.
Temples in Edaikazhinadu
My hobby has been visiting various small temples nearby, studying their structure and trying to learn their history. In the first couple of days after coming here, I visited Durga temple, Kadumbadi Chinnamman temple and Angala Parameshwari temple in Kadapakkam. There is a huge statue of the Goddess in front of Angala Parameshwari temple.
The temples with historical importance are Arunachaleshwarar temple and Kashi Vishwanathar temple, which I already mentioned. There is a Draupadi amman temple in Kashi Paattai road and a Muthumariamman temple nearby.
Muthumariamman temple is some where inside the woods and it was closed when I went there. Here are the pics of Muthumariamman temple and the places on the way:
About 1.5 km north of Kadapakkam, there is a Hanuman temple called Arumuga Bhakta Anchaneyar temple. It is in Sembulipuram village. There is a sign board in ECR road from which you have to take left. The temple has a huge 13 feet Hanuman statue with six faces. The sixth face is at the back and it is a human face. It is visible through a glass window at the back. Panchamukhi Hanuman with 5 faces is common but the one with six faces is unique to this temple.
Gangai amman temple is another temple for mother Goddess which is very close to the Hanuman temple.
There is also a temple called Pachai Vazhi amman in Sembulipuram. It has huge statues of village deity Muniswaran and of many other village deities.
Here are some pics from a small temple on the way to Pachai Vazhi Amman temple:
Here are the pictures from Pachaivazhi Amman temple:
Another important temple called Muthalamman temple is situated about 1.5 km south to Kadapakkam. It has shrines of 12 devatas or deities meant for 12 rashis or zodiac signs, which is something unique to this temple.
A newly constructed temple of Lord Ganesh called Sowbhagya Vinayagar temple is very close to the Kadapakkam bus stand. It has a unique combination of deities with shrines for Bhakta Anchaneya, Dakshinamurthy, Amirthakadeswarar and Abirami, Danvantri, Santana Lakshmi, Subrahmanya with his two consorts, Brahma and a beautiful statue of Sarasvati opposite to each other, Vishnu Durga, Ayyappan, Lakshmi Hayagrivar, Swarna Akarshana Bhairavar and navagrahas.. The statues of Saraswati and Ayyapan have extraordinary beauty.