Ayyanar Temple, Kalugumalai, Thoothukudi
Ayyanar Temple is one of the prominent landmarks on the Kalugumalai hill. This temple is about 100 years old and is dedicated to Ayyanar who is believed to be the protecting Kalugumalai.
It is believed that Ayyanar protects the people living in Kalugumalai from evil forces and dark magic. The holy tree of this Ayyanar temple is a Banyan Tree.
The sanctum sanctorum of the temple is within a natural cavern. There are three bas-reliefs of Tirthankaras near the Ayyanar image.
Ayyanar Kovil at Kalugumalai is located at 9°09'07.2"N 77°42'13.7"E or 9.151995, 77.703815.
This temple is located on the Kalugumalai hill adjacent to the historical Jain carvings at Kalugumalai. Devotees have to climb several stone steps in the hill to reach this temple. The other prominent landmarks near this temple are Ambal Oorani, Kalugasalamoorthy temple and Vettuvan Temple.
People worship Ayyanar by offering sacrifices to him. As the Jain monuments located adjacent to this temple have been declared as a protected monument due to which certain restrictions have been put in the nearby areas. One can see a sign installed by the Archaeological survey of India stating that sacrifices should not be made here.
Kalugumalai is only 15kms off the National Highway NH7. Coming from Madurai towards Kanyakumari, follow the signs and take a right to Kalugumalai just after Kovilpatti. The 15 km stretch from the highway to Kalugumalai is narrow but good and there is very little traffic. Most of them are buses that ply between Kovilpatti and Sankarankovil. Kalugumalai is well connected by bus from Kovilpatti and Sankarankovil.
The nearest train station is Kovilpatti though it would be nearly equidistant from Kadambur and Sankarankovil stations too. All trains going towards Kanyakumari will stop at Kovilpatti. Many passenger trains and long distance trains passing through Kovilpatti also stop at Kadambur, including trains from Bombay, Mysore, Chennai, Coimbatore and Erode. Trains from Chennai, Senkottai and Nagercoil stop at Sankarankovil station. The best tip would be to get off at Kovilpatti and take a local bus or taxi to Kalugumalai.
The nearest airport is Madurai International airport which is around 110 kms. Air India, Jet Airways and Spice Jet fly into Madurai. The other option is Tuticorin airport which would be nearly the same distance as Madurai airport. Only Spice Jet from Chennai flies into Tuticorin.