Thyagaraja Temple, Thiruvarur – History
This temple is supposed to have existed ever since sixth century AD. However the present rock structure came into existence in the Chola era during the 9-10C AD during the reign of King Aditya Chola and was continued under the reign of Queen Chembiyanmadevi. The epitaphs in the temple are the proof for it. Later certain extensions were done by the Vijayanagara Reign by King Krishnadeva Rayar.
The temple dates back to the time of the Medieval Cholas. An inscription dated in the 20th regnal year of Rajendra I (1012–1044) beginning with introduction "Tirumanni valara" is found on the north and west walls of the Thyagaraja shrine. It gives a list of gifts including a number of jewels and lamps to the god Veedhividankar (Thyagarajar). It records that the temple was built in stone in the regnal years of the king by Anukkiyar Paravai Nangaiyar. Besides the same lady liberally endowed gold for plating and gilding parts of the vimana, the entrance and the four sides of the shrine.
Copper was also donated for plating the doors, corbels of the pillars of the mandapa in front of the shrine. This inscription meticulously records the weight of the endowed gold and copper, besides listing the various ornaments gifted to the temple with description each of them. The temple complex seems to have acted as the cultural model for the big Brihadeeswara temple at Thanjavur of Rajaraja Chola I, wherein he enshrined a vitankar which shared with the Atavallan of Chidambaram the status of state cult.
The last Chola monarch to play an important role in the affairs of the temple was Kulothunga Chola III in the early part of the 13th century A.D. It attracted saivas of all schools and was important centre of Golaki Matha in the 13th and 14th century. It was also an important Jaina dwelling place, which was attacked by saivas, as is evident from Periya Puranam, account of life of tantiyadigal.