Karpaka Vinayakar Temple, Pillaiyarpatti, Tamil Nadu

Karpaka Vinayakar Temple, Pillaiyarpatti, Tamil Nadu
Karpaka Vinayakar Temple, Pillaiyarpatti, Tamil Nadu

The Karpaka Vinayakar Temple (also known as the Pillaiyarpatti Pillaiyar Temple) is a renowned temple dedicated to Karpaka Vinayakar (Lord Ganesha), located in the Tiruppathur Taluk of the Sivaganga district Tamil Nadu, India. The site features rock-cut images of Ganesha, Shiva Linga, and other carvings, known for their unusual iconography. The temple has great religious and cultural significance and is visited by devotees from all over the world.

History of Karpaka Vinayakar Temple

The Karpaka Vinayakar temple is believed to have been built in the 7th century, during the reign of the early Pandya dynasty. The temple has undergone several renovations and restorations over the years, adding to its magnificence. The cave temple has several layers of additions, with the earliest layer dating back to the 7th century.

Architecture of Karpaka Vinayakar Temple

The Karpaka Vinayakar Temple has three rock-cut sanctums that are noteworthy for their unique iconography. The primary sanctum is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and has a 6-feet rock-cut bas-relief of Karpaga Vinayagar, which faces the north direction. The statue of Ganesha is unusual in several ways, as he has only two hands and holds sweets in his right hand. The Shiva Linga sanctum, located on the west face of the cave wall, has a 7th-century Shiva Linga at its center. The third rock-cut bas-relief is an interpretation of either Ardhanarishwara or Harihara or a king between two officials.

Spiritual Significance of Karpaka Vinayakar Temple

The Karpaka Vinayakar Temple is an important place of worship for devotees of Lord Ganesha. It is believed that worshipping Lord Karpaka Vinayakar will fulfill all wishes and bring prosperity and good luck. Here Lord Vinayaka appears with 2 hands unlike in other places where he is seen with 4 hands. The idol of Lord Vinayaka in this temple is unique as it is carved out of a single stone, and it is said to be more than 1000 years old. The temple is also associated with Lord Murugan, and it is believed that worshipping Karpaka Vinayakar will please Lord Murugan and bring good fortune. The panchaloga statues discovered during a restorative excavation in the 19th century, date back to the 11th century, and are a testament to the temple’s long-standing significance.


The 10 days Vinayaka Chaturthi festival is major festival celebrated here.

Temple timings

The temple is open to visitors every day from 6 am to 12 pm and from 4 pm to 8 pm.

How to reach

The Karpaka Vinayakar Temple is located in the town of Pillayarpatti, 75 kilometers from Madurai.

The Nearest station is Karaikudi bus stand and 29 Km from Shivagangai bus stand. Buses from Thiruppathur to Kundrakudi go via Pillayarpatti. Temple is walkable distance from Pillayarpatti bus terminus.


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