Ellangudipatti

Sacred groves

Silence

Arriving at one of the sacred groves in the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu is quite a surreal experience. We expected to be confronted by ticket booths and all the rest that you get in tourist sites in India, but not at all.

There is a rather grand entrance, but nobody, apart from the odd monkey and a few grazing goats – the place is completely silent.

As you walk down the dusty pathway, lined with terracotta horses, elephants and other figures of various ages, you start to realise the scale of the place.

The next thing that hits you is the almost total silence – we only saw a man tending his goats for the whole time we were there – which adds to the almost mystical atmosphere.

 

Terracotta statues

At the end of the pathway, flanked all the way with terracotta statues, many with flower garlands or bright textiles placed on them, is a shrine to the earth deity named Ayannar.

A black statue of Ayyanar stands among flower garlands, candles and offerings of fruit and rice. All of the flowers look fresh, so it is clear that it is visited often by praying villagers, but none were to be seen. In fact, on closer inspection, the monkeys had eaten the fruit and left the empy skins on the shrine.

You feel alone here, but it’s not a scary alone, it could be the multitude of eyes of the statues that follow your every move, or it could be the absolute silence.

Ayyanar

It seems that every village in this region has some sort of Ayyanar shrine, always on the edge of the village , which they worship in duality with worship in the Hindu temples in the centre of the villages.

Ayyanar is a god who rides a white horse and protects the villagers from evil spirits – at night he is believed to patrol the village on his horse.

The cult of Ayyanar predates Hinduism and probably dates back to the 3rd century. Some of the statues here clearly look Hindu, even the statue of Ayyanar at the shrine had a red Bindi, but none of the Ayyanar statues have entered Hindu shrines.

Getting there

The best way to get here is by driver, Ellangudipatti lies around 8 kilometers from Pudukkottai, about 120 kilometers from Madurai, 390 kilometers from Chennai and about the same from Kochi.

If you are in the area, then you are probably here to visit the elaborate houses of Chettinad, but do go and visit another pretty unique place with cave temples on a mountainside at Vijayalaya Choleeswaram in Narthamalai.

Final thoughts & recommendations

This is an almost must-see place to visit while on your travels, not only for the quiet beauty and heritage, but also for the uniqueness – there really is nothing like this anywhere, but in Tamil Nadu.

Take water with you and something to eat as there are no facilities for tourists here, which makes it an even better experience.

After visiting Ellangudipatti, explore the outskirts of other villages in the area as you are sure to find other sacred groves and statues dedicated to Ayyanar.

In summer, at a time decidied by the village elders, a festival is where the newly-made terracotta horses and statues are carried in a procession from the kilns where they are baked to the village’s Ayyanar shrine. The terracotta statues are placed beside others from past years, so that Ayyanar might grant the village bountiful rains and good harvests.

Drop us a line by email

Start a conversation with us, we are really friendy and would love to hear from you.

contact@twofrogstravel.com

More photos …

[dsm_typing_effect typing_effect=”Recent Adventures|Places we have visited|If you Like this, have a look at this” typing_speed=”223ms” typing_backspeed=”16ms” _builder_version=”4.4.1″ header_font=”Amatic SC|700|||||||” header_text_align=”center” header_text_color=”#e02b20″ header_font_size=”55px” _i=”0″ _address=”1.9.0.0″ /]

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway Tamil Nadu, India

A trip on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway in Tamil Nadu, India from Mettupalayam to Ooty - sometimes called The Ooty Toy Train. Beautiful scenery on this UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is truly unique and the only rack and pinion railway in India. We met some lovely...

South India Highlights 2020

South India Highlights 2020 of our trip to Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in South India in January 2020. From the deserted village destroyed by a tsunami at Rameshwaram, the tea plantations at Munnar and Fort Kochi, in the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil...

Munnar

Kashmir of South IndiafacebooktwitterinstagramyoutubeHigh in The Western Ghats  The best parts of Munnar are on the outskirts of the town and the drive up and down to the hill station. Munnar is a hill station high in the Western Ghat mountains at around 1,600...

Marari Beach

Miles of beach facebooktwitterinstagramyoutubeThe Chill capital of Kerala?   Marari beach is a short tuk tuk ride from the busy town of Aleppey and if you have a choice, stay at Marari beach and travel in when you need / want to. In terms of culture and...

Menal Shiva temple complex

Ancient TemplesfacebooktwitterinstagramyoutubeMahanaleshvara temple  Menal was a huge surprise for us - our driver mentioned, on the way to Bundi that he knew of an interesting temple that we could visit. We expected it to be crowded as usual, but the surprise...

Madurai the jasmin city

The city of TemplesfacebooktwitterinstagramyoutubeThe Meenakshi Ammanahanaleshvara temple  The city is centred around the spectacular Meenakshi Amman Temple, with, amongst other sights, the 100 pillared Mandapa Nayaka Mandapam, a pillared corridor with different...

What to do and see in Haryana, India Podcast

In this podcast episode, I speak to a local from Hisar, Haryana about Haryana : Things to do Places to see What to eat & drink Things to be aware of All the best advice given by a local for travellers to Haryana. [powerpress...

What to do and see in Calicut, Kerala, India for two days Podcast

In this podcast episode, I speak to a local from Calicut (Kozhikode), Kerala about Kozhikode : Things to do Places to see What to eat & drink Things to be aware of All the best advice given by a local for travellers to Calicut (Kozhikode). [powerpress...

What to do and see in Kasargod, Kerala, India for two days Podcast

In this podcast episode, I speak to a local from Kasargod, Kerala about Kasargod : Things to do Places to see What to eat & drink Things to be aware of All the best advice given by a local for travellers to Kasargod. [powerpress...

Kumarakom

The backwaters facebooktwitterinstagramyoutubeBack to nature   One of the first things that you notice in Kumarakom is the peace and quiet along with the very laid-back feel of the place. We travelled the short distance from Allepey, where we spent a day and a...
Flamenco in Malaga, Spain 🇪🇸 #spain #españa #flamenco #malaga #travel #culture #tablaoflamenco

Flamenco in Malaga, Spain 🇪🇸 #spain #españa #flamenco #malaga #travel #culture #tablaoflamenco ...

13 0
Flamenco - a fabulous evening of enchanting Flamenco in Malaga, Spain 🇪🇸 #spain #españa #flamenco #malaga #travel #culture #tablaoflamenco

Flamenco - a fabulous evening of enchanting Flamenco in Malaga, Spain 🇪🇸 #spain #españa #flamenco #malaga #travel #culture #tablaoflamenco ...

13 0
Beautiful Split in Croatia - this is why you need to visit Split.
#split #croatia #travel #travelvideo #video #vlog #4k 
https://youtu.be/-qj1YjMjGb0

Beautiful Split in Croatia - this is why you need to visit Split.
#split #croatia #travel #travelvideo #video #vlog #4k
https://youtu.be/-qj1YjMjGb0
...

7 0
¡Realmente, realmente amo España! #spain #nerja #food #wine #beer #people #places A mi encanta mucho España …

¡Realmente, realmente amo España! #spain #nerja #food #wine #beer #people #places A mi encanta mucho España … ...

22 3
The magnificent (words are not enough) Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain #spain #alhambra #granada #placestogo #bucketlist #culture #history #unesco

The magnificent (words are not enough) Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain #spain #alhambra #granada #placestogo #bucketlist #culture #history #unesco ...

14 0
The magical Alhambra in Granada Spain #spain #alhambra #palace #andalucia #bucketlist #travel #history #moorsinspain

The magical Alhambra in Granada Spain #spain #alhambra #palace #andalucia #bucketlist #travel #history #moorsinspain ...

12 0
Granada from The Alhambra #alhambra #granada #spain #andalucia #city

Granada from The Alhambra #alhambra #granada #spain #andalucia #city ...

11 0
The beautiful clear #mediterranean #sea at #nerjaspain #nerja #spain #andalucia

The beautiful clear #mediterranean #sea at #nerjaspain #nerja #spain #andalucia ...

19 0
Don’t do it! #spain #nerja #andalucia #sea #mediterranean #frog

Don’t do it! #spain #nerja #andalucia #sea #mediterranean #frog ...

8 0
Parisien tête de chien - no es Malaga - cabezas de perro español #spain #malaga #dog #statue #andalucia 
Just been to a superb Flamenco tablao in the centre of Malaga - totally blown away by it #flamenco 
Los Amayas #losamayasdemalaga

Parisien tête de chien - no es Malaga - cabezas de perro español #spain #malaga #dog #statue #andalucia
Just been to a superb Flamenco tablao in the centre of Malaga - totally blown away by it #flamenco
Los Amayas #losamayasdemalaga
...

10 0
Man the canons number 1. Nerja, Andalucia, Spain 🇪🇸 #spain #nerjaspain #andulucia

Man the canons number 1. Nerja, Andalucia, Spain 🇪🇸 #spain #nerjaspain #andulucia ...

11 0
Nerja, Andalucia, Spain #andalucia #spain #nerjaspain #sea #mountains

Nerja, Andalucia, Spain #andalucia #spain #nerjaspain #sea #mountains ...

14 0
Feels like the Taj again. Funny how you imagine these places completely empty, but they are full of tourists - seems like we all have similar ideas at times #alhambra #granada #spain #bucketlist #unesco

Feels like the Taj again. Funny how you imagine these places completely empty, but they are full of tourists - seems like we all have similar ideas at times #alhambra #granada #spain #bucketlist #unesco ...

15 0
The Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain - fabulous, out of this world place and one more off the bucket list #spain #alhambra #palace #granada #bucketlist

The Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain - fabulous, out of this world place and one more off the bucket list #spain #alhambra #palace #granada #bucketlist ...

16 0
Granada Spain #longweekend #spain #granada #travelphotography

Granada Spain #longweekend #spain #granada #travelphotography ...

18 0
The Alhambra palace from Granada #alhambra #granada #spain #travel

The Alhambra palace from Granada #alhambra #granada #spain #travel ...

23 4
The cathedral in Granada, Spain #granada #spain🇪🇸

The cathedral in Granada, Spain #granada #spain🇪🇸 ...

13 0
The Alcazaba in Malaga #spain #malaga #andalucia #alcazaba

The Alcazaba in Malaga #spain #malaga #andalucia #alcazaba ...

12 2
Malaga - such a lovely city that flies under the radar of most traveller’s itinerary #spain #malaga #andalousie #andalucia

Malaga - such a lovely city that flies under the radar of most traveller’s itinerary #spain #malaga #andalousie #andalucia ...

8 0
las Sierras to the north of Malaga, Spain 🇪🇸 #malaga #spain #españa #Espagne #travel

las Sierras to the north of Malaga, Spain 🇪🇸 #malaga #spain #españa #Espagne #travel ...

21 5
Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This