40 km from Chidambram in the state of Tamil Nadu, Kaveripattinam, now a fishing village, was a great city and the chief port of the Chola empire in ancient times. It had an artificial harbour which was built by soldiers captured by the great Chola ruler Karikala on a raid on Sri Lanka. The greatness of Kaveripattinam finds mention in the great ancient Tamil epics of Silappathikaram (Jewelled Anklet) and Manimekalai.
Manimekalai was written by the poet Seethalai Saathanar, who was a Buddhist. The heroine of Manimekalai, Manimegalai, is the daughter of Kovalan, the son of a wealthy merchant of the city of Kaveripattinam. Her mother was Madavi, a dancer who became a Buddhist nun on hearing of Kovalan’s death. Manimegalai also became a Buddhist nun.
Kaveripattinam (currently Poompuhar), also known as Puhar in ancient India, is home to the ruins of a 4th-5th-century AD Buddhist monastery. According to the 5th century AD Pali commentator Buddhadatta, Theravada Buddhism flourished in Kaveripattinam. He spent some time in this monastery while composing his Abhidhammavatara.
Located at the convergence of river Kaveri and Bay of Bengal, Kaveripattinam was swallowed by the sea and is now only a small village.
How to Reach Kaveripattinam
Air: Nearest airport to Kaveripattinam is at Tiruchirapalli which is 130 km from Kaveripattinam. The airport is connected by flights with major cities in India.
Road: Buses are available from different parts of Tamil Nadu to Kaveripattinam.
Rail: the nearest major railway station to Kaveripattinam is Thanjavur which is 85 km from Kaveripattinam. Buses are available from Thanjavur.
Best Time to visit Kaveripattinam
Best Time to visit Kaveripattinam is between December and February.