A sacred temple for Pithru Tharpanam
Several Inscriptions in the temple date back to the Chozha and Pandya period
Pallava Period Sculptures inside the temple
Located 15kms South West of Avudayar Koil on the Aranthangi – Thirupannavasal road in the Pudukottai District is the Purana Sthalam of Sundararaja Perumal Temple in Ponbethi where Sundararaja Perumal is seen in a sitting posture alongside Sri and Bhoo Devi.
In the Sangam Period, this region including the belt extending to Irumbanadu in West was known as Mizhalai Nadu with Ponbethi serving as the capital of Mizhalai Nadu. This place is also referred to as Swarnaranya Kshetram.
Sacred Place for Tharpanam
The story goes that 96 rishis stayed here for one year and performed Tharpanam on 96 sacred days of the year. Once upon a time, there were 96temples and 96 sacred tanks at this place.
Pleased with their sincerity in performing the Tharpanam on the 96sacred days of the year, Lord Sundararajan provided darshan to the 96Rishis at this place.
In centuries gone by, this had also been under the Pandya kingdom as can be seen from some of the inscriptions.Inscriptions also indicate that Budha Mithran ruled this place as a local king during the time of Veera Rajendra Chozha in the 11th Century AD. As per the direction of Veera Rajendra Chozha and given that there was no big literature in Tamil after Tholkaapium, Budha Mithran wrote Veera Sozhiyam.
Some of the sculptures inside the temple indicate that this temple may have been built during the Pallava Period around the 8th Century AD.
A grand festival referred to as Vishnu Pathi Festival with Thirumanjanam for the Lord was initiated by the then rule of this region Irungo Velmaan and performed every year. This was believed to have been equivalent to Brahmotsavam at this temple.
Ashtami every month is sacred at this temple with special poojas being performed
Moolavar: Sundara Raja Perumal East Facing Sitting Posture
Thaayar : Swarna Lakshmi
Time : 7am-11am and 5pm-7pm
Contact : Mani Bhattar @76398 74516
How to reach
Ponbethi is about 30kms from Aranthangi. Buses every half hour from Avudayar Koil to Thiru Pannavasal.
No autos at Avudayar Koil.
Taxi to Ponbethi, Theeyathur and Irambanadu Perumal Koil and back to Avudayar Koil will cost Rs.750.
When at Ponbethi, also visit Irumbanadu and Theeyathur Perumal Temples.