Ardhanareeswarar Temple, Tiruchengode - History
In ancient days, Tiruchengode was known as Thirukodimaadachenkundrur – one of the historic places in Tamil Nadu. It was also known as Thiruchengottankudi Nageswaram. It enshrines the Ardhanareeswarar (man-woman) manifestation of Shiva, representing the unity of Shiva and Parvati, is enshrined in this revered hill temple of great significance, accessible by a Motorable road; this is an ancient temple mentioned in the Tamil work, Silappadikaram as Neduvelkunru. The red color of the hill is the reason that it was called Chengode. This temple is regarded as the 4th of the 7 Tevara Stalams in the Kongu Region of Tamil Nadu.
The temple dates back to the Sangam period and was renovated during the periods of Cholas, Pandyas and Nayak kings. A British officer, Davis, repaired some parts of the temple. We can see his image in Mukkoottu Vinayagar temple. Tirugnanasambandar wrote ‘Tiruneelakanta Pathigam’ and Arunagirinathar is believed to have written ‘Tirupugal’ in this temple.
It is believed that Kannagi (Silappathikaram), after demolishing the city of Madurai by fire is called to Sorgam (Heaven) by her husband Kovalan at the peak of the Tiruchengode hill. Tiruchengode has the pride of having the country’s first Gandhi Ashram a tribute to India’s great leader Mahatma Gandhi and opened by country’s then viceroy Rajaji (Rajagopalachari).