Viruddhachalam (also known as Vridhachalam) (Tamil: விருத்தாசலம்) is a municipality and taluk headquarters in Cuddalore district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The ancient name of this town is Thirumudhukundram. As of 2011, the town had a population of 73,585.
The name Vriddhachalam is obtained from two Sanskrit words – vriddham which means “old” and achalam which means “mountain”.
Vriddhachalam is located at. It has an average elevation of45 m (148 ft).
Places of interest
This is one of the oldest towns in Cuddalore district. The ancient Lord Siva temple (Pazhamalai Nadhar Temple) is located in the heart of town. The temple was constructed by one of the chola empires. It has five big towers – one in the middle, the remaining representing the four directions. The famous Kolanjiappar Temple is located 3 km away from the town. Both of them are located near Cuddalore – Salem highway in Virudhachalam. Vriddhachalam Railway junction is one of the most important railway junctions which connects Chennai – Madurai line to Salem, Cuddalore and Pudhucherry. Vriddhachalam is famous for its ceramic industry. The industry with an industrial estate which only consists of the ceramic and refractory manufactures is exclusive in Vriddhachalam. Ceramic industrial estate is situated only at Vriddhachalam in the whole Tamil Nadu. A polytechnic college especially for ceramic technology is also situated only in Vriddhachalam for the whole Tamil Nadu. A special research center for the research of cashew and byproducts is situated in Vriddhachalam.
Virudhagireeshwarar Temple @ Pazhamalai Nadhar Temple
This is the 41st Devaram Padal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 9th sthalam in Nadu Naadu. Moovar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple.
Iraivan: Virutha gireeswarar, Pazhamalai Nathar
Iraivan: Viruthambigai, Periya Nayagi, Balambigai
Some of the important features of this temple:
- It is believed that departed human soul will be soothed by Iravan and Iraivi with the Shivaya nama mandhiram.
- The temple is believed to be on the hill, of very old Pazhala malai. The hill is below the present temple.
- The temple is in a huge complex consisting of five RajaGopurams and five Prakarams.
- Ambal sannadhi is constructed separately facing east on the outer Prakaram ate North side Raja Gopram entrance.
- The virksham is Vanni Tree and the same is believed to be of older than 3000 years.
- Relief of 72 Bharatha Natya dance styles are available in the 16 pillar mandapam, in front of east side Rajagopuram.
- Ambal is in a separate temple facing east with Rajagopuram.
- In the Vanniadi prakaram sannadhi for Pancha Lingams, Vallaba gabnapathy, Meenakshi Chokkalaingam, Vishwanatha Lingam, Arumugar, Sahasra Lingam, Ekambra Lingam, Jambu Lingam, Annamalaiyar.
- On the way to Periyanayagi Amman sannadhi, sannadhi for Navagrahas, Dhandapani.
- In the third parakaram sannadhi for 63var, Naalvar, Vinayagar, Rishabaroodar, Yoga Dhakshinamoorthy, Sabtha mathakkal, Uruthirar, Matruraitha Vinayagar, Varuna Lingam, Mooppilayar, Dhakshinamoorthy, Valli Devasena Subramaniyar, Vallaba Ganapathy, Chinna Pazhmalai nathar, Bindhumadhava Perumal, Mayura Murugan.
- In Ilamai Nayagi Amman Temple sannadhi for Gajalakshmi, Bairavar, Surya Lingam and Suryan.
- 72 Tamil epigraphs were traced so far and there many epigraphs available in this temple. These are from the 10th century.
MLA of Vriddhachalam assembly constituency is V.T. Kalaiselvan. During the 2009 general elections, Virudhachalam was a part of Cuddalore (Lok Sabha constituency) that had the following six assembly segments. Tittakudi (SC), Vridhachalam, Neyveli, Cuddalore, Panruti and Kurinjipadi. Before 2009, Cuddalore Lok Sabha constituency composed of the following assembly segments:Ulundurpet (SC), Nellikkuppam, Cuddalore, Panruti, Rishivandinam and Sankarapuram. The Lok Sabha seat has been held by the Indian National Congress for eight terms during 1951–56, 1971–77, 1977–80.1980–84, 1984–1989, 1989–91,1991–96,and 2009–present, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam for four times during 1962–1967, 1967–71, 1999-04, and 2004–09, Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam once during 1998–99, Tamil Maanila Congress once during 1996-2001 and an independent during 1957–62, The current Member of Parliament from the constituency is A. Arunmozhithevan from AIADMK. Vriddhachalam Constituency is the place where Vijaykanth the leader of DMDK become MLA for the first time. G. Bhuvaraghan of INC was MLC of Vriddhachalam at the period of 1962 to 1971 who have developed town with the current advantages like bridges, government schools for boys and girls, government arts college, Government Printing Press Etc., Vriddhachalam is a first grade municipality with 34 municipal wards and 34 municipal councillors. The current chairman of the municipality is Mr. Arulazhagan M.A who was elected in the by-election after the demise of Mr. Ranganathan municipal chairman and Ex MLA, Vriddhachalam LA.