Nallinakka Eswarar Temple, Ezhuchur – History
This temple is said to have undergone its last Kumbhabhishekam (consecration) during 1948 after which it got dilapidated. Many trees, plants and bushes were covering the temple for so many years. The native villagers have then taken initiative to completely rebuild the temple again, as it was. It is said that they got a divine instruction that the temple must be completely a stone structure and with much difficulty they are constructing a stone temple itself, starting from year 2000. Now the temple is nearing the finish with about 60% of the work completed.
Some stone inscriptions were found in the temple on couple of stone slabs, which revealed the age and history of this temple. According to a study done by Archeological Survey of India, the temple dates back to 920 A.D. Inscriptions reveal the details of this temple during the 13th year of reign of a Chozha King ‘Koppara Kesari Panmar’ (கோப்பர கேசரி பன்மார்) identified as Paranthaka Chozha 1 and this village was then called as ‘Velimaa Nallur’ (வெளிமா நல்லூர்).
During this period, a local administrative head called Nochi Kizhaan Kaliya Perumaan (நொச்சி கிழான் கலிய பெருமான்) belonging to the village Velimaa Nallur of Velimaa Nallur Naadu, a sub division of Ootrukkaattu Kottam handed over gold to the native Naattaar (நாட்டார்) to build the temple (During the said period agriculturists were called Naattaars). Inscriptions also reveal that the Naattaar has to take responsibility to build the temple in this village using the given gold, failing which they have to pay a fine of ‘Manjaadi Pon’ (மண் ஜாடி பொன்- a pot full of gold) to the king.
As per the inscriptions, it was found that, this village was called as Velimaa Nallur which was under Ootrukkaattu Kottam and this village itself had been the head quarter for this region (Naadu).
Vijayanagara Copper Plate Inscriptions:
There is also a copper epigraph which was found in the temple belonging to 1429 AD. According to this copper inscription, there was a Vijayanagara King called ‘Veera Narasimha’. King Veera Narasimha was born to Narasa-Tippaji couple - of Vijayanagara dynasty. He had admirations to this temple and the village. During his period, a seer called ‘Sri Vyaasaachala Mahadeva Saraswathi Swamigal’ is said to have headed the present Kanchi Mutt as 54th Peetathipathi in the lineage.
The copper epigraph says that ‘the king Veera Narasimha seated on a jeweled throne on the banks of the river Thungabhadra, gifted Ezhuchur and Venpaakkam villages to ‘Sri Vyaasaachala Mahadeva Saraswathi Swamigal’. The seer is said to have worshipped the Lord here and also attained ‘Mukthi’ at this place. The Jeeva Samadhi of the Acharya is behind the shrine of Lord Nallinakka Easwarar as a proof of this fact. Sri Maha Periyaval – His Holiness Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal of Kanchi Mutt came to know of these facts.
He also came to know that the temple was in a bad shape then. He deputed a few of his disciples to study the condition of the temple and prepare plans for renovation. Periyaval told the disciples about the connections the Mutt had with the temple and asked them to prepare an estimate for the renovation adding that it was the duty of the mutt to undertake this project even at a huge cost. The loyal disciples visited the temple and collected all information and prepared the estimate.
It was his ardent desire that the temple should come up majestically, but his dreams could not be achieved in his life time due to unknown reasons. This was once a temple with a tall Rajagopuram. Ezhuchur then had about 400 Brahmin families. This has been found recorded on stone edicts which were unearthed during renovation and also in the copper plates in possession of the Kanchi Mutt and also verified recently by the ASI. The hereditary trustee Mr. Ramamurthy said there were almost 31 Samadhis in the Temple premises which are still to be unearthed properly.