A view of the Temple Entrance along with the Sea in Thiruchendur Murugan Temple.
A view of the Temple Entrance along with the Sea in Thiruchendur Murugan Temple.

The famous Thiruchendur Murugan Temple,dedicated to ‘Lord Murugan’ is located in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) District of Tamilnadu and also one of the Arupadai Veedu Temples. The word Thiruchendur denotes sacred and prosperous town of Victory. Thiruchendur temple is trusted to be a sign of Lord Murugan’s victory over the demon king Surapadman. A legend reveals that,after ‘Surasamharam'(Killing of Surapadman) Lord Murugan wished to worship His Father Lord Shiva here. So,the divine architecht named as Mayan constructed the shrines here. Even now Lord Murugan is seen in the posture of worshiping Lord Shiva in the Sanctum Sanctorum of Thiruchendur Murugan Temple.

A full view of the Temple from the seashore of the Thiruchendur Murugan Temple
A full view of the Temple from the seashore of the Thiruchendur Murugan Temple

According to the poem of ‘Thirunavukkarasar'(one of the Nayanmars)who lived in the 7th century, this ancient temple might have been built during that period. The Temple towers was consecrated by ‘Desigamoorthy Swamigal’ of Thiruvavaduthurai Aadeenam about 300 years ago. The Raja Gopuram of the temple has nine storeys high at 137 feet.To indicate this,there are nine Kalasams(copper finial stoopies) at the top of the Gopuram.

A view of the entrance along with the towers of Thiruchendur Murugan Temple
A view of the entrance along with the towers of Thiruchendur Murugan Temple

Raja Gopuram of most of the temples in Tamilnadu has been placed in the Eastern direction.But here only it is placed in the western side and also named as Mela Gopuram. This Gopuram was constructed 300 years ago. The temple and Gopuram will be visible at sea for twelve miles around. Originally, the Temple was built by sandstone, and due to corrosion by the sea near the temple the structure of the temple started to disintegrate. A sannyasin named ‘Mouna Swami’ in 1900 A.D. started the rework. And over 72 years, the three Pragarams were constructed by black granite stone.

A view of the Thiruchendur Murugan Temple from the sea
A view of the Thiruchendur Murugan Temple from the sea

Specialties

Among the Six chosen temples (Arupadai Veedu temples) dedicated to Lord Murugan in Tamilnadu, Thiruchendur Temple is known as the Second Arupadai Veedu Temple. The six Arupadai Veedu temples are:-

  1. Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple
  2. Thiruchendur Murugan Temple
  3. Palani Murugan Temple
  4. Swamimalai Murugan Temple
  5. Thiruthani Murugan Temple
  6. Pazhamudhircholai Murugan Temple
An aerial view of Thiruchendur Murugan Temple along with the Sea
An aerial view of Thiruchendur Murugan Temple along with the Sea

It is the only temple which is located near the sea shore. The other five temples are situated in mountain region. The Raja Gopuram of this temple is situated in western gate and it is the only temple which does not have Eastern gateway. Lord Murugan is worshipped by various names in Tamil Language. Some of the names are ‘Lord Subramaniar’,’Lord Senthil Andavar’,’Lord karthikeyan’,’Lord Shanmugar’and so on. In this temple, Lord Murugan is represented in various forms:

  • Moolavar (Lord Balasubramanyar or Lord Subramania Swamy)
  • Shanmugar (Utsavar)
  • Jeyanthinathar
  • Kumaravidanga Peruman
An image of the Thiruchendur Lord Murugan
An image of the Thiruchendur Lord Murugan

Lord Murugan defeated Surapadman, who was a powerful demon and also intimidating Devas. On defeating Surapadman, Lord Murugan converted Surapadman into a Peacock and a Chanticleer. The peacock turned to be the vehicle for Lord Murugan and so He is called as ‘Mayilvahanan’(Peacock is named by ‘Mayil’ in Tamil language and ‘Vahanam’ means vehicle). He also set the Chanticleer as His flag.

Many deities presides in this temple. Most important major deities are ‘Lord Ganesh’ as ‘Vallaba Vinayagar’, ’Lord Shiva’  (as ‘PanjaLingam’), ’Lord Dhakshina Murthy’, ’Lord Bhairavar’, ’Lord Anjaneyar’, ’Goddess Valli’, ’Goddess Devasena’, ’Goddess Aandal’ and so on. ‘PanchaLingam'(Five Lingams) is located on the left side of the Sanctum sanctorum of Lord Murugan. It is believed to be that Lord Murugan worshipped His Father Lord Shiva here thru these five Lingams. A little place apart from the temple is a Sandstone Cave Temple which is dedicated to Goddess Valli, consort of Lord Murugan.

An entrance tower near the seashore of Thiruchendur Murugan Temple
An entrance tower near the seashore of Thiruchendur Murugan Temple

The Sannathi Street of Thiruchendur Murugan Temple is the longest among all the other temples in Tamilnadu. The holy visit to the Thiruchendur Murugan Temple will be fulfilled only by visiting ‘Nazhi Kinaru’ (A Holy Well). ‘Nazhi Kinaru’ is a 14 square feet well and there is one smaller well inside this well with 1 square feet. The water in the larger well seems to be salty, whereas, in the small well the water will be clear and it tastes sweet. This is because the Legend to be believed that Lord Murugan’s troops were thirsty and so He planted His spear at the spot of small well and caused fresh water to spark out from the large brackish well.

Devotees relaxed in the seashore of Thiruchendur Murugan Temple
Devotees relaxed in the seashore of Thiruchendur Murugan Temple

Pooja timings

The temple will be opened from 5.00 am till 9.00 pm. The poojas in this temple are performed as per “Kumara Thandiram Murai”.

  • Thirupalli Eluchi – 5.10 am
  • Viswaroopam Darshan – 5.30 am
  • Dwajasthamba Namaskaram – 5.45 am
  • Udaya Marthanda Abishegam – 6.15 am
  • Udaya Marthanda Deeparadhanai – 7.00 am
  • Kalasandhi pooja – 8.00 am to 8.30 am
  • Kalasha pooja – 10.00 am
  • Uchikala Abishegam – 10.30 am
  • Sayaratchai pooja – 5.00 pm
  • Arthasma Abishegam – 7.15 pm
  • Arthasama pooja – 8.15 pm
  • Ekanda Seva – 8.30 pm
  • Ragasia Deeparadhanai – 8.45 pm
  • Nadai Thirakappaduthal – 9.00 pm
Roofed pathway to Nazhi Kinaru in the seashore of Thiruchendur Murugan Temple.
Roofed pathway to Nazhi Kinaru in the seashore of Thiruchendur Murugan Temple.

Festivals

Vaikasi Visagam – (May – June)

  • A large number of devotees, participate in this festival.
  • The procession of Lord Jayanthinadhar with Goddess Valli and Goddess Deivanai is conducted in the night.

Avani Festival – 12 days in the month of August – September

On this Avani festival, 7th, 8th and 10th day functions are more important.

  • 7th day – Sikappu Sathi Festival
  • 8th day – Pachai Sathi Festival
  • 10th day – Car Festival

Skanda Sasti Festival – 7 days in the month of October – November

On this festival, devotees undertake fasts for six days.Thousands of devotees stay in this temple during these six days.

  • On the 6th day, Surasamharam is demonstrated in this temple.
  • On the 7th day, Thirukkalyanam of Goddess Deivanai is celebrated in a very grand manner.

Masi Festival – 12 days in the month of February – March

  • 7th day – Sikappu Sathi Festival
  • 8th day – Pachai Sathi Festival
  • 10th day – Car Festival
  • 11th day – Floating Festival
By Road

This temple is located near Tuticorin city of Tamilnadu. (40Km from Tuticorin bus stand) There is also state run buses and private buses from tuticorin and Tirunelveli. It is 55 km from Tirunelveli and 75 km Kanyakumari. There are several buses from Madurai (185kms)


By Train

Every day there is an express train (Tiruchendur EXP) from Chennai and four passenger trains from Tirunelveli.


By Air
  • Tuticorin Airport – 30 Kms
  • Madurai Airport – 168 Kms

About 2 Kms from Murugan Temple, there is an ancient Lord Shiva Temple which is named as “Lord Shiva Kolundeeswarar” temple.

A bunch of nine Vaishnava temples known as “NavaThirupathi Temples” are located near Tuticorin. They are

  1. Srivaikuntam – Srivaikuntapathy Swami Temple
  2. Thenthirupperai – Makara Nedunkuzhai Kannan Temple
  3. Thiru Puliankudi – ThiruPuliangudi Permual Temple
  4. Thiru Kurugoor – Thirukurugoor Temple
  5. Thiru Kulanthai – Srinivasa Perumal Temple
  6. Thiru Koloor – Sri Vaitha Maanitha Perumal Temple
  7. Twin Tirupati 1 – Lord Devapiran Temple
  8. Twin Tirupati 2 – Lord Aravindalochanar Temple
  9. Thiru Varagunamangai – ThiruVaragunamangai Permual Temple

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