Ulagalantha Perumal Temple (Trivikrama Temple), Tirukoyilur – History
The temple was originally made of bricks, but during the period of Virarajendra Chola (1063–70), a granite structure was developed.
Virarajendra general Narasimha Varma constructed the other shrines also in granite. The temple received benevolent contributions from most of the later Chola rulers like Rajadhiraja Chola (1018–1054), Rajendra Chola II (1051–1063) and other rulers of the region like Vikramapandiya, Kopperunjingan and Vijayanagara rulers like Saluva Narasimha Deva Raya (1485–1491) and Sadasiva Raya (1542–1570) as seen from the inscriptions in the temple.
The temple was expanded during the rule of the Vijayanagar kings and Nayaks. The temple was the fortress to the British during the Carnatic wars. It was also attacked during the days of the period of Hyder Ali.
This temple was originally a brick and mortar structure in the period of Parantaka Chola I (early 10th century); it was patronized by the great Chola rulers Raja Raja Chola I and Raja Raja II. Rajendra Deva in the 11th century rebuilt it of granite.
The temple has a large number of inscriptions. The most important is the record if the 6th year of Rajendaradeva II. One of his governors for this area, Narasimhavarman, pulled down the old bricks which were cracking and rebuilt the central shrine entirely of fine black granite. He also built the enclosing verandah and the front mandapa. He also presented the central deity a canopy of pearls.
After the construction, he engraved the walls with true copies of records found on the walls of the earlier structure.
There are plenty of other inscriptions that record many gifts from various kings such as Kulottunga I, Vikrama Pandya, Kulottunga III, Rajendra Chola I, Saluva Deva Narasinga Maharaja, Chakravartin Rajarajadeva, Rajaraja Chediyarayan, and Immadi Narasa Nayak.
A thousand years ago, Thirukkovilur was one of the four largest cities in Tamil Nadu, very much like Kanchipuram, Madurai and Thanjavur. Later, kings like Adiyaman demolished the city. The famous Chola king Raja Raja Chola was born in Thirukkovilur, as Arulmozhivarman, the third child of Parantaka Sundara Chola and Vanavan Devi of the Malayaman dynasty.