Thiruchendur Murugan Temple
On 23rd July 2014 during the Tirunelveli Book fair I visited Thiruchendur Murugan Temple along with my father. We started around 5 AM in morning from Palayamkottai and reached the Temple around 6.30 AM. As it was a week day there was not much devotees in the temple and we had a peaceful darshan of the Lord Muruga.
Usually I dislike to visit the temples in auspicious days as there will be more crowd during that time. I wish to have a peaceful atmosphere in temples, which give more peace to our soul. Other details about the murugan temple is given below.
Thiruchendur Murugan Temple is a Hindu temple complex dedicated to Lord Muruga situated in Tamil Nadu, India. It is also one of the Arupadaiveedu (six major abodes) or Six sacred temple complexes of Lord Muruga.
It is located in the eastern end of the town Thiruchendur in the district of Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, India. It is 60 km south-east of Tirunelveli, 40 km from Tuticorin and 75 km north-east of Kanyakumari.The temple complex is on the shores of Bay of Bengal.
It is the only one among the Six sacred temple complexes to be situated near the sea shore. Other five are situated in mountain region. The puranic name or historical name for this temple is jayanthipuram. This is the only temple where Raja gopura is situated in western gate. This temple is the fourth Hindu temple in Tamil Nadu to get ISO certification.
This is the only temple in tamilnadu where sanctum sanctorium is below the ground level.The 133 feet Rajagopura,built in the shores of Bay of Bengal,very near to the sea,just within 200 meters is still a mystery and an outstanding example for the Dravidian temple architecture.
Mela Gopuram has nine storeys and it is about 137 feet high above Yalimattam, 90 feet long north to south and 65 feet broad east to west. At the top of the Gopuram the width is 20 feet and the length is 49 feet. To indicate that the Gopuram consists of 9 storeys there are nine Kalasams (sacred copper pots) at the top of the Gopuram.
An asura by name Surapadma was ruling Veera Mahendrapuri, an island fortress. He performed many austerities invoking Lord Shiva and the Lord granted him many boons. Later, the asura became arrogant and captured all the three worlds - the heaven, earth and the hell. He made the Devas, the heavenly immortals to do menial task.
The Devas were unable to bear his torture and complained to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva opened his third eye to create a son to kill Surapadma. Six sparks of fire emanated from the third eye. These divine sparks were received by River Ganges through Agni, the God of Fire and passed on to the Himalayan lake, Saravana Poigai. Here they were transformed into six babies.
These babies were suckled by the six Kirithika nymphs. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi Devi came to Saravana Poigai, and when Goddess Uma fondly clasped the babies they joined together to become Lord Arumuga with six faces and twelve arms.
When child Arumuga grew up to become a young boy, Lord Shiva asked him to destroy Surapadma and free the Devas from their cruel bondage. Lord Muruga reached Tiruchendur with his huge army and camped. He sent his lieutenant, Veerabahu to the asuras as an emissary and asked Surapadma to release the Devas. Since Surapadma turned down the request, a war ensued.
An intense battle was fought for a few days. During the first five days of the war, the brothers of Surapadma and all other asuras perished. On the sixth day, in the battle between Lord Muruga and Surapadma, the lance of Lord Muruga pierced the body of Surapadma, who got himself transformed into a frightful mango tree, and broke it into two. The broken pieces instantly transformed themselves into a mighty peacock and a cock. Lord Muruga took the peacock as his vahana or vehicle and the cock on his banner. This event is popularly known as Surasamharam, or the destruction of Surapadman.
After Surasamharam, Lord Muruga desired to worship his father, Lord Shiva. Hence Mayan, the divine architect constructed this shrine at Tiruchendur. Even now Lord Subramaniyan is seen in the posture of worshiping Lord Shiva in the sanctum sanctorum.
The devotees take a holy dip in the sea and the Nali Kinaru (small well), the source of fresh salt free water before entering the temple for worship.
In the sanctum, Lord Subramanya faces east, worshipping Siva. In one hand He holds a rosary of beads and in the other, flowers to be offered to Siva. Next to this shrine is another sanctum for Sri Arumuga with His consorts. On the outer prakaram, there are shrines for Valli and Deivayanai. There are also shrines for Vishnu (in Anantasayanam posture) and Gajalakshmi in a rock-cut niche.
About 60 metres north of the temple alongside the seashore, there is Valli cave, cut inside natural sandstone rock facing east. There are two images, one dedicated to Valli and the other to Dattatreya.
Adi Sankara had worshipped in this shrine and sung in praise of the Lord in his Subramanya Bhujangam.
Tiruchendur temple which is situated nearer to the sea escaped from Tsunami with the blessings of Lord Muruga on December 26, 2004. The sea level opposite to the sanctum sanctorum was higher than the ground level at the sanctum sanctorum, even then the sea didn't enter the temple rather the sea went more away from temple, though the nearby areas were affected by the sea waves.
Daily Train from Chennai ( TIRUCHENDUR EXP : # 16735 (now renamed 16105)-starts at 16.05 from Chennai Egmore )
As there are more Train connectivity to Tirunelveli- One can travel up to Tirunelveli by Train and take a bus or car to Tiruchendur. Four Passenger Trains are there from Tirunelveli starting 7.00am, 9.35am,11.15am and 18.15pm.
Nearest Airports are Tuticorin 30 km (45 Mins) Madurai 168 km ( 3 Hours ) Tiruchy 311 km ( 4.5 - 5 hours ) Thiruvanthapuram International Airport 175 km ( 3.5 hours )
The poojas in this temple are performed as per the Kumara Thandiram Murai. Nine pooja kalams are observed daily. Temple will be opened from 5.00 am till 9.00 pm.
Morning 5.10 : Subrapadam - Thirupalli Eluchi
Morning 5.30 : Viswaroopam Darshan
Morning 5.45 : Dwajasthamba Namaskaram
Morning 6.15 : Udaya Marthanda Abishegam
Morning 7.00 : Udaya Marthanda Deeparadhanai
Morning 8.00 to 8.30 : Kalasandhi Pooja
Morning 10.00 : Kalasha Pooja
Morning 10.30 :Uchikala Abishegam
Noon 12.00 : Uchikala Deeparadhanai
Evening 5.00 : Sayaratchai Pooja
Night 7.15 : Arthasama Abishegam
Night 8.15 : Arthasama Pooja
Night 8.30 : Ekanda Seva
Night 8.45 : Ragasia Deeparadhanai, Palliarai Pooja
Night 9.00 : Nadai Thirukappiduthal
Monthly Special Poojas
1. On the Visakam day Special Abishegam for Lord Shanmuga is performed and the procession of deity during night is conducted.
2. Special Pooja is performed on Sukla Sashti day in every Tamil month and the procession of deity during night takes place.
3. 108 Thiruvilakku pooja is performed on the Karthigai day every month. Special Abishegam is performed to Jayanthi Nathar and the Utsava idol is taken in the golden chariot in the night.
4. On the first day of every Tamil month, Ganapathy Homam and Special Pooja are performed. The Utsava idol is taken in procession during night.
5. On the last Friday of every Tamil month Special Pooja and procession of Utsava idol is conducted.
6. On the first day of Chithirai month Annabhishegam and Special Pooja are performed and a procession of Utsava idol is conducted during night.
7. During the Purattasi month Navarathiri festival is conducted for 9 days.
8. On the first day of the Iyppasi month Annabhishegam and Special Poojas are performed and the procession of Utsava idol is conducted.
9. On the Panguni Uthiram day the Thirukalayanam of Arulmigu Valli is celebrated.
Vaikasi Visagam (May - June)
A large number of devotees, numbering about two lakhs, participate in the festival. A procession of Sri Jayanthinathar with Valli and Deivanai is conducted in the night. Avani Festival (August - September)
Devotees numbering about two lakh participate in this festival. On this Avani festival 7th, 8th and 10th day functions are more important.
- 7th Sikappu sathi Festival
- 8th Pachai Sathi Festival
- 10th Car Festival (Big cars will not be available)
Skanda Sasti Festival - 7 days (October - November)
Devotees numbering about five lakhs will participate in the above festival. On this festival occasion, devotees fast for all six days. On the 6th day Surasamharam is demonstrated. On the 7th day Thirukkalyanam to Deivanai is celebrated in a grand manner.
Masi Festival - 12 days (February - March)
More than three lakh people participate in this festival.
- 7th day Sikappu Sathi
- 8th Pachai Sathi Festival
- 10th Car Festival (Big cars will not be available)
- 11th day Floating festival (yearly once)
An orphanage for children is run by the temple and free boarding, lodging and education facilities are provided to 125 children from the temple funds.
Nadaswara Training School
About 10 students have been trained in this school and the expenses are met from the temple funds.
Devara Isai Training School
10 students are learning in this school and their expenses are met by the temple funds.
Archahar Training Institutions
Temple priests are trained in this institution and their expenses are met from the temple funds.
Free marriages are conducted for the poor and Adi Dravida people at an estimated expenditure of Rs. 3000/- per couple from the temple funds.
1.Religious discourses are conducted every day evening.
2.Thirukkural classes are conducted every Sunday between 10.00 A.M. and 11.00 A.M.
3.Religious education classes are conducted every Sunday between 11.00 A.M. and 12 Noon.
Annadhanam is carried out sincerely providing not less than 100 people daily. Annadhanam Menu : Rice, Sambar, Rasam Buttermilk with Pickle. Annadhanam for 500 people (one day) Rs. 10000/- Fixed deposit Rs. 150000/- (one day in the year as per wish of the donor from the interest)
Joint Commissioner/Executive Officer
Arulmigu SubramaniaSwamy Temple,
Tiruchendur - 628 215.
Phone Numbers : 04639-242221, 04639-242270, 04639-242271