Thiruchendur Murugan Temple

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Thiruchendur Murugan Temple
திருச்செந்தூர் முருகன் கோவில்
Temple's Raja Gopuram
Raja gopuram or Western tower
Thiruchendur Murugan Templeதிருச்செந்தூர் முருகன் கோவில் is located in Tamil Nadu
Thiruchendur Murugan Templeதிருச்செந்தூர் முருகன் கோவில்
Thiruchendur Murugan Temple
திருச்செந்தூர் முருகன் கோவில்
Location in Tamil Nadu
Other names Sri Subramanya Swamy Temple
Proper name Thiruchendur Murugan Thirukovil
Devanagari Sri Subramanya Swamy Mandir
Sanskrit transliteration Sri Subramanya Swamy Mandir
Tamil Senthilandavar Thirukovil
Coordinates 8°29′45″N 78°7′45″E / 8.49583°N 78.12917°E / 8.49583; 78.12917
Country India
State Tamil Nadu
Location Tiruchendur
Primary deity Senthilandavan (Murugan) or Sri Subramanya Swamy
Important festivals Aavani festival,Maasi festival,Soorasamharam, Thaipoosam,Panguni uthiram,Vaikasi visagam,Karthigai viratham
Architectural styles Dravidian architecture
History and governance
Creator Pamban swamigal,Mouna swamigal

Thiruchendur Murugan Temple (Tamil: திருச்செந்தூர் முருகன் கோவில்) 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 Kaumaram religion. 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. It is one of the largest temple complexes (by area) of India and it is one of the most visited temple complex in India (devotees from countries like Singapore,Malaysia,Sri Lanka,England,Australia). It is the only temple in Tamilnadu which has a separate bus terminal and It is one of the temple which has separate parking facilities for devotees and tourists. The sannathi street of this temple is the longest of its kind among the temples of Tamilnadu. This is the only temple where Raja gopura is situated in western gate. This temple is the largest temple among all the temples built by saints. This temple is not constructed by Kings,it is built by three holy saints. It is one of the richest temple (by wealth) of Tamil Nadu.This is the only Hindu temple which has no Eastern gateway. This temple is the fourth Hindu temple in Tamil Nadu to get ISO certification.[1] 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 Tamil temple architecture and an example for extreme civil engineering of Ancient Tamils.


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.The terrain is partially a sandal mountain and sea shore.


Each of the six major abodes of Lord Muruga has an event mentioned in the puranas (major religious texts). Thiruchendur is said to be second in importance among his six abodes. This place is also referred to by other names in religious poems and literature as Thirucheeralaivai, Thiruchenthil, and Thiruchenthiyoor. The deity is worshipped by various names such as Senthilandavan, Senthilkumar, and so on. The six Arupadiveedus are: Palani (120 km west of Madurai), Swamimalai (150 km east of Madurai), Thiruthani (50 km from Chennai), Pazhamudircholai (10 km north of Madurai) and Thiruparamkunram (10 km south of Madurai). The devotees of Lord Muruga emphasize that Thiruvoragam, one of the four Padaiveedu referred to by sage Nakkeerar in his poem Thirumurugattupadai is none other then Kumarakoil, also known as Kumarashetram by Keralites (Malai Nattavar). The temple is situaatead in the foothills of Velimalai also known as Velvi Malai, the southern tip of the western ghats. The place is where Lord Muruga married his second consort Valli Devi. The marriage was love marriage (Kandarva Kalyanam). The "thala varalaru" cites numerous names of places, river, water bodies, caves and purana stories in support of this. Reference "The Velimalai Kumarakoil Thala Varalaru" written by Annalar Adigal.

The temple is situated so close to the sea that waves from the Gulf of Mannar lap at the eastern perimeter wall of the temple. 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.

The temple has devotees across the world including Singapore, Malaysia, America, Canada, London, etc. This temple plays a significant role in the faith of the world's Tamils.


Sri Adi Shankaracharya praised Lord Murugan of Thiruchendur by his "Sri Subramnaya Bhujanga Stotra". He praised the greatness of Vibhuti of Lord Murugan as follows,

ApasmAra kushta kshayArsha prameha
JvaronmAdha gulmAdhi rogA mahAntha
PishAchAshcha sarve bhavatpatra bhoothim
Vilokya kshanAth tArakAre dravanthe
(Shloka no. 25)

Oh Conqueror of Taraka! Severe epilepsy, leprosy, consumption, lung diseases, venereal diseases, fevers, mental diseases of all types, they run away the moment they see Thy Vibhuti contained in a leaf.


An Asura by name Surapadma was ruling Veera Mahandrapuri, an island fortress, as his Capital. He performed many austerities invoking Lord Siva and Lord Siva granted him many boons. Later he became arrogant and captured three worlds and made the Heavenly immortals to do menial task. Devas were unable to bear his torture and complained to Lord Siva. Lord Siva opened His frontal eye to create a son to kill the asuras. Six sparks of fire where issued from the frontal eye of Lord Siva. The divine sparks of grace 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 Siva and Goddess Parvathi Devi came to Saravana Poigai. When the Goddess Uma fondly clasped the babies, they became Lord Arumuga with six faces and twelve arms. When the child Arumuga had grown into a youth God, Lord Siva asked Him to destroy asuras and free Devas from their cruel bondage. Lord Muruga reached Tiruchendur with his huge army and encamped. He sent his lieutenant Veerabahu to the asuras as an emissary and asked Surapadma to release the Devas. Since Surapadma turned down the request, war was started.

The intense battle continued for few days. During the first five days of the War the brothers of Surapadma and all other asuras perished. On sixth day in the battle between Lord Muruga and Surapadma, the lance of Lord Muruga pierced Surapadma (who got himself transformed as a frightful mango tree ) and broke it in twain. The broken pieces instantly transformed themselves into a mighty Peacock and a Chanticleer. Lord Muruga took Peacock as his vahana (Vehicle) and Chanticleer on his banner.

After Surasamharam ( Destruction of Surapadman) Lord Muruga desired to worship his father Lord Siva. Hence Mayan, the divine architect constructed this shrines at Tiruchendur. Even now Lord Subramaniyan is seen in the posture of worshiping Lord Siva in the Sanctum sanctorum.

As detailed in Skanda Purana, one of the eighteen Hindu puranas, While the deities hailed the glory of Kartikeya for having killed Tarakasur, Kartikeya himself was saddened by his act. He told the deities--'I regret for having killed Tarakasur because he was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Is there any way to atone for my sin?'Lord Vishnu consoled him---'Killing a wicked person, who nourishes himself on the blood of innocent people, is not a sinful deed. But, still, if you feel guilty then there is no better way to atone for your sin than worshipping Lord Shiva. Install Shivalingas and worship them with deep devotion.' Kartikeya instructed Vishnukarma to make three divine Shivalingas. Later on Kartikeya installed these Shivalingas at three different places and worshipped them with appropriate rituals. In course of time these three holy places came to be known as Pratigyeshwar, Kapaleshwar and Kumareshwar. Kartikeya, while worshipping at Kapaleshwar sprinkled holy water on the Shivalinga and prayed so that Tarakasur's soul rested in peace. He also offered sesame seeds to Lord Kapaleshwar and prayed --'May my offerings made in the form of sesame seeds reach Tarak—the descendant of Sage Kashyap.' This way, Kartikeya was absolved of his sins.

Near the temple is also a holy temple dedicated to Ayya Vaikundar considered to be an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The followers of Ayya Vaikundar is called Ayyavazhi sect of the Vishnavite, and his teachings are contained in Akilathirattu, a holy book. Ayya Vaikundar was the architect of "Samabandhi Bhojan" meaning feeding of poor and downtrodden among the backward communities and scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, who were considered to be untouchable by the rulers of the erstwhile Trivancore (now Kerala State) together under one roof. This was not liked by the rulers and they gave him many physical and mental trouble including putting him in the company of a hungry tiger in a lock up. But they were perplexed by his mystic acts and released him unconditionally.


This temple has been in existence for millennia, according to the Puranas. Thiruchendur is merely a Tamil name given to this site due to the abundance of sandalwood paste in this temple. It is hailed as Sri Jayantipura in the scriptures. There is an expectional tradition of adhering to the Kumara Tantra instead of the Saivagamas, which makes this temple an exclusively Kaumara shrine. With the onslaughts of Saivism, however, this temple has still managed to resist the introduction of the Saivagamas, amazingly enough. The form of Lord Murugan in this temple has also been extolled in the Kumara Tantra. The Kumara Tantra describes the Lord of Sri Jayantipuram to wield a shakti(lance), akshmala(rosary), katibaddha(one hand resting on His hip) and ambhuja(lotus).

Major deities[edit]

  • Sri Muruga Perumal (Main god-moolavar)
  • Sri shanmuga (Primary substitute-Urtchavar)
  • Panchalingam (Worshipped by Lord Murugan)
  • Jayanthinathar (Who killed demon surapadma)
  • Kumaravidanga peruman (Who is going to archery)
  • Sri Valliamman (Companion of Muruga)
  • Sri Devasena (Companion of Muruga)
  • Sri Dakshina moorthy (God of knowledge)
  • Sri Mahalingeswarar (Equivalent to thousand lingas)
  • Sri Venkateshwara (Uncle of Lord Muruga)
  • Aandal (Aunty of Lord Muruga)
  • Sri Vallabhai vinayaga (Brother of Lord Muruga)
  • Sri Satru Samhara Moorthy (who destroys our enemies)
  • Sri sandikeswara (Protector of temple wealth)
  • Sri saneeswara
  • Sri bairava (Kaala Bhairava Moorthi - Sign of Lord Shiva)
  • Sri Nataraja (Dancing pose of Lord Shiva)
  • Sri Thoondukai vinayaka (Elder brother of Muruga)
  • Sri Anjaneya
  • Sri Dharma Sastha(Brother of Muruga)
  • Sri Idumba(Devotee of Lord muruga)



The temple has festivals almost throughout the year.In the Tamil month of chithirai (April) Tamil new year is celebrated.In the Tamil month of Vaikasi visakam festival is celebrated.In the Tamil month of Avani annual festival is celebrated.In the Tamil month of Aipasi amavasya is celebrated.In the Tamil month of karthigai,karthigai viratham is celebrated.In the Tamil month of thai,poosam festival and pongal festival is celebrated.In the Tamil month of Maasi,Annual greater festival is celebrated.In the Tamil month of panguni,uthiram festival is celebrated.Besides these festivals soorasamhara is celebrated in the month of November. During these festivals people used to take kavadi to the temple.Some people will pull the cars connected with the nails pierced in their bodies.Some people will pierce their toungue with the spear.Besides these the god will come out of temple in Golden chariot in every week.

Temples to be visited[edit]

  • Thoondugai vinayagar temple.[3]
  • Valliamman cave.[3]
  • Idumban temple.[3]
  • Ayya vaikunda swamy temple.[4]
  • Siva temple.[5]
  • Moovar samathu.[6]
  • Selva theertha kinaru.[6]
  • Veilukandamman temple.[5]
  • Kulasekaran pattinam "Sri Mutharamman" temple.[5]
  • Venkatachalapathy temple, krishnapuram.[5]

Tiruchendur Escapes from Tsunami[edit]

Tiruchendur temple which is situated nearer to the sea escaped from Tsunami with the blessings of Lord Muruga on December 26, 2004.[7] 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.[8]

Temple help desk[edit]

  • Temple pooja timings.[9]
  • Temple festivals.[10]
  • Tiruchendur Railway timings.[11]
  • Tiruchendur Express.[12]
  • How to reach tiruchendur.[13]

Travel To Thiruchendur[edit]

It is 55 km south-east of Tirunelveli, 40 km from Tuticorin and 75 km north-east of Kanyakumari.

Bus : Govt & Private buses from Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchy and Coimbatore. From Tirunelveli & Tuticorin more frequent buses are there.

Train :

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.

Air :

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 )

Picture gallery[edit]



External links[edit]