Sekkizhar was born at Kundrathur in the Thondai Nadu (a part of Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh ruled by Pallava kings) which was famous for its scholars. He was born in a Shaivite family, whose main occupation was farming, in the ‘Sekkizhar’ tradition along with his younger brother Palaravayar. The Chozha king - Kuloththunga II (Anapaaya), who was ruling the region then, was impressed with the intelligence, honesty, and excellence of Sekkizhar and made him his prime minister conferring the title ‘Uthama Chozha Pallavar’ on him. Sekkizhar was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva at Thirunageshwaram and performed many services at that temple. He built a temple in Kundrathur and named that Thirunageshwaram too.
The king Anapaaya, a connoisseur of the arts, was always praising works especially the likes of the Tamil epic ‘Jivaka Chintamani’. As a dedicated minister, Sekkizhar took it as his duty to guide the King and advised him that literature like ‘Jivaka Chintamani’ do no good either for this life or life hereafter. On enquiry, Sekkizhar suggested to the King that the ideal works to read and follow would be the lives of Shiva devotees who were praised in the Thiruththonda Thokai of Sundaramurthy Nayanar, later sung by Nambiyandar Nambi in his Thiruththondar Thiruvandhadhi, Inspired, the King asked Sekkizhar to expound these works and sing in detail about the lives of the devotees.
Sekkizhar took up the monumental task and first offered worship to the dancing Lord Nataraja at Chidambaram. Pleased with him, The Lord gave him ‘ulakelAm’ as the benedictory word. Sekkizhar used this word to start the epic and reverentially used it in the middle and the end of the work. The mammoth task was completed and presented as the great epic Periya Puranam in front of intellectuals, saints and citizens at a grand event in the famed town of Chidambaram. After the event, the King took Sekkizhar around the town on the royal elephant and himself fanned Sekkizhar during the procession. He proclaimed the Periya Puranam as the twelfth Thirumurai.
Periya Puranam also known as Thiruthondar Puranam is the only known work of Sekkizhar. After writing the Periya Puranam, Sekkizhar dedicated himself completely emulating the lives of the 63 saints and finally reached the holy feet of Lord Shiva.
Other names of Sekkizhar: Arunmozhi Thevar (original name), Thondar Chir Paravuvar , Uthama Chozha Pallavar
Guru Pooja : Vaikasi/Poosam or Vrishabha/Pushyami