This Adhipurisvara temple at Tiruvorriyur has been in existence since the late Pallava period, which is attested by two inscriptions on stones of the pavement of this temple. The Pallava temple was perhaps a brick structure. The region round about Tiruvorriyur in Tondainadu should have been annexed to the Chola empire only in the days of Parantaka I (907-954 CE), and his inscriptions found here range from his twentieth to his thirty-fifth regnal year. These inscriptions record the Chola annexation of the territory and various donations of gifts to the temple. There are also inscriptions from the period of Uttama Chola (971-988 CE) that record his donations to the temple. During the reign of Rajendra Chola I (1014 - 1044 CE), the original temple was reconstructed and a three-storeyed super-structure (vimana) was erected in black stone.
References: Balasubrahmanyam, S.R. Early Chola Temples: Parantaka I to Rajaraja I (A.D. 907-985). Bombay: Orient Longman, 1971, 97-99.
The Agastisvara Shiva temple at Panangudi, though of the simplest design, is fully realized. It is built of stone from the basement to the finial (stupi). It is single-storied and complete with its original tower – crowning cupola (sikhara) and stupi. Much of the figures are now lost, for example, the door guardians (dvarapalikas) and the divinity niches’ (devakoshta) images are missing and there is little evidence of style that can be derived from the surviving four small images and therefore a precise date cannot be inferred. However, on the north wall of the temple, there is an inscription of year 14 of a Parakesari in an early script so this temple has been attributed to the time of Vijayalaya (850 – 871 CE) (the earliest Chola king having the tile of Parakesarivarman is Vijayalaya). The temple also bears inscriptions from the reign of Kulottunga III (1178–1218 CE) and a Pandyan king Maravarman Kulasekhara (c.?1268 – c.?1308 CE).
References: D. Barrett, 1974, p.47, S.R. Balasubrahmanyam, 1966, pp.54-56.
The Agastisvara temple is the larger of the two twin shrines of the Avani-Kandrapa-Isvaram temple at Kilaiyur belonging to the reign of Aditya I (871-907 CE). The other one is called the Colisvara temple. The earliest incontrovertible inscriptions on this temple are dated in Parantaka I's years (907 - 954 CE) though it has also been suggested that there are at least three inscriptions that belong to Aditya I's time. The stone of the main building is granite and that of the hall is a corrosive yellow stone. The names of the donors are inscribed on the pillars. The shrine is a prototype of early Chola art. The scrollwork over the jambs and lintels of the doorway is most ornamental. Another interesting feature is that the superstructure (vimana) is square and with a square finial (stupi) unlike its twin shrine that has a circular vimana and stupi.
References: S.R. Balasubrahmanyam, 1963, pp.13-20; and M.W. Meister and M.A. Dhaky, EITA, Lower Dravidadesa, 1983, 215-18.
The Agastyesvara temple at Anangur is also called Tirukkarrali Mahadevar (the stone temple of Mahadevar). Sembiyan Mahadevi built this stone temple during the reign of Uttama Chola (971 - 988 CE). The temple bears inscriptions recording information on patronage and donation of gifts in the reign of Uttama Chola, Rajaraja I (985-1014 CE) and Vikrama Chola (1118-1135 CE).
References: S.R. Balasubrahmanyam, 1971, pp. 185-186; D. Barrett, 1973, pp.92-93.
The Agastyesvara temple at Perungudi in the past was known as Tiruppermudi Paramesvaram. There are contrary opinions on the patronage of the temple. Although, the earliest inscription on the temple registers a gift in the reign of Aditya II (960-965 CE), which was part of his father, Sundara Chola’s reign (957-973 CE), it has also been suggested in scholarly debates that despite the hard style of the sculptures and their atavistic tendencies, the temple is not earlier than the time of Rajendra Chola (1014-1044 CE) especially since the reign of Sundara Chola and Aditya II was artistically bleak.
References: S.R. Balasubrahmanyam, 1971, p.156; M.W. Meister and M.A. Dhaky, 1963, p. 178 and 229.