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Thirumullaivayal Masilamanishwarar Temple
Thirumullaivayal Masilamanishwarar Temple
Thirumullaivayal is located in Chennai
Thirumullaivayal is located in Tamil Nadu
Thirumullaivayal is located in India
Coordinates: 13°07′55″N 80°07′51″E / 13.13183°N 80.13082°E / 13.13183; 80.13082Coordinates: 13°07′55″N 80°07′51″E / 13.13183°N 80.13082°E / 13.13183; 80.13082
StateTamil Nadu
 • OfficialTamil
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
600 062
Vehicle registrationTN 13 (RTO, Ambattur)

Thirumullaivoyal is a western residential neighbourhood of Chennai, the capital of the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located in the Chennai Metropolitan Area in Tiruvallur district, 2 km (1.2 mi) from Ambattur. The neighbourhood is served by Thirumullaivoyal railway station and Annanur Railway Station. The region was historically part of Thondaimandalam, a region in Chola Empire during 9th century A.D.

The place was originally called Mullaivanam, a forest, after which the suburb is named. The history of the suburb revolves around the Masilmaninathar temple. The place is also one of the five revenue firkas under the Avadi Taluk.[1] The place is a pilgrimage location and also houses several other religious and natural tourist destinations.


Outer view of the temple

Thirumullaivasal is one of the many temple towns in the state which is named after the grooves, clusters or forests dominated by a particular variety of a tree or shrub and the same variety of tree or shrub sheltering the presiding deity. The region is believed to have been covered with Chamapaka forest and hence called Chamapakavanam.[2] In ancient times, the forest surrounding Tirumullaivayil was occupied by two notorious tribesmen, Vaanan and Onan from the Kurumbar tribe. King Thondaiman, the then ruler of the land, wanted to put an end to their atrocities. All his attempts went futile and finally he decided to defeat them in war. He set out for the war with all his infantry and cavalry with elephants and chariots. En route to the war, they waded through a dense growth of Mullai plants (Jasmine climbers). The foot of the elephant on which he was mounted was entangled in the dense foliage. The king and his men, in an attempt to free the elephant from this mess, went on to cut the wild twines with their swords and daggers. Suddenly they noticed blood gushing out from the leaves and found a 'lingam' bleeding. Shocked, the king was in great distress that he has committed a sin. Seeking mercy and forgiveness from Shiva, he prayed to Him. Without any delay Shiva and Parvathi appeared before the king lest he indulge in causing self-inflicted injury out of grief. Shiva asked the King to build a temple for Him right there and promised that he would reside there as Masilamaniswara, Shiva who is as precious as a gem, but without stains ['maasu' - dirty or stain (caused by the profuse bleeding), 'ila' - without, 'mani' - gem]. It is believed that Shiva also promised to support him in destroying the Kurumbars by sending his holy steed, the Nandi bull. On his orders, the Nandi also gets ready to go and fight for the King. This is why the Nandi in this temple faces outwards, ready to leave for the battle on the orders of Shiva, whereas in all other Shiva temples, it faces inwards facing the sanctum.[3]


The history of the place is ascertained from the inscriptions in the Masilaminiswarar temple. The temple has inscriptions from the period of Medieval Cholas and has received various architectural additions during their regime. An inscription from the period of Uttama Chola (970-85 CE) recorded as AR 669 of 1904 indicates that Sembiyan Mahadevi, the mother of Uttama bought 9,300 kulis of land fo 80 kalanju of gold from the Mahasabha of Ambattur and made a gift to the temple. This is the northernmost of temples where Sembiyan Mahadevi donated for the temple construction. There are also inscriptions from the regime of Parthivendravarman, a feudatory of Uttama Chola, which mentions the reconquest of the regions lost to Rashtrakutas during the Battle of Takkolam fought during 949 CE. Another inscription recorded as 677 and 678 of 1904 from the period of Rajendra I (1012–1044 CE) records gifts to the temple. There are other inscriptions from subsequent Chola kings like Kulothunga III (1178–1218 CE) and Rajaraja III (1216–1256 CE). There are inscriptions from Pandya king Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan I and from kings of Vijayanagara Empire like Harihara Raya II (1377–1404 CE), Harihara Raya II (1377–1404 CE) and Mallikarjuna Raya (1446–1465 CE).[4] The large Nandi Bull statue is believed to have been built to commemorate the victory of king Thondaiman over two demon brothers.[5]

Temples built by ancient kings[edit]

Thirumullaivoyal has a set of heritage Temples. One of Chennai's most renowned and famous temples, Sri Manatheshwarar Sri Pachaimalaiamman Kovil, is located in Thirumullaivoyal. The other famous temple incarnated by the hymns of Sundarar, Ramalinga Adigalar and Arunagirinathar is the Masalimaneeswarar Sivan Kovil and Sholingakeswarar Sivan Kovil. These two temples are co-located. Vaishnavi Temple is also a popular temple located in Thirumullaivoyal. Thirumullaivoyal is a Padal petra stalam which is part of the 274 temples that are revered by the verses of Saiva Kuravars and are amongst the greatest Shiva Temples of Tamil Nadu. Sri Manathieswarar Sri Devi Pachaimalai Amman Temple Arulvaku Siddhar Peedham, Thavastalam is one of the oldest and famous temple for Thiruvilakku Arulvaku by Sri Ambikapathi Swamigal and Balaji Swamigal in Thirumullaivoyal. Every year in the month of Chittirai, on Sadaya nakshatra, the Santhana kappu is refurbished with Veru kappu. This is believed to be the treatment for the blood that oozed out because of the king's attack.


View of the temple tank
The temple tank

Thirumullaivoyal is well connected by both railways and roadways to other parts of Chennai and the Chennai Metropolitan Area. Thirumullaivoyal sits on National Highway 205 (India) and is 25.0 km (15.5 mi) from Chennai International Airport and 20.0 km (12.4 mi) from Chennai Central.

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation runs a mixed fleet of regular and deluxe buses through Thirumullaivoyal. All the buses operating in the 70 Route, which runs from Avadi to Tambaram through CMBT serves residents of Thirumullaivoyal. Some of the important routes include 70, 70A, B70, D70 EXTN, and 77.

Chennai suburban railway, a commuter rail system operated by the Southern Railway, serves Thirumullaivoyal. It connects the residents of Thirumullaivoyal to various parts of the city by providing access to Chennai's complex railway network. Thirumullaivoyal railway station sits on the rail network, which connects Chennai with Bangalore, Arakonam, West and southern parts of Tamil Nadu and also neighbouring states of Kerala and Karnataka. It is part of West Line in Chennai Railway Network. Senthil Nagar Bus Stand is available next to the Thirumullaivoyal Railway Station.

On 4 October 2013, the Tamil Nadu Highways department issued a GO extending the entire stretch of the road till Tirutani to 6 lanes at a cost of 1,680 million, by means of land acquisition from 12 villages.[6] In the first phase, the road will be widened to 100 ft (4 lanes) with center median at a cost of 980 million.[7]

Other notable places[edit]

On the way to Masilamaneeswarar Temple, one can also visit another famous temple - Muneeswaran Temple. The next bus stop from Thirumullaivoyal towards Avadi is Vaishnavi Nagar which is very famous for Vaishnavi Shrine for the Goddess Vaishnavi Maatham. Sri Manathieswarar Sri Devi Pachaimalai Amman Temple Thiruvilakku Arulvaku Siddhar Peedham is also a very famous here. Sri Neela Ammaiyar Jeeva Samadhi Alayam located near the Kodi idai Amman koil, north mada street and Sri Masilamani Swamigal Samadhi Alayam located at Cholampedu thamarai kulam, in Anjaneyar koil are other religious places in the locality. The Korattur lake extends to the border of Tirumullaivoyal.[8]


  1. ^ "Revenue administration". Tiruvallur district administration. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  2. ^ Reddy, G.Venkatramana (2013). Alayam - The Hindu temple - An epitome of Hindu Culture. Mylapore, Chennai: Sri Ramakrishna Math. p. 10. ISBN 978-81-7823-542-4.
  3. ^ R., Dr. Vijayalakshmy (2001). An introduction to religion and Philosophy - Tévarám and Tivviyappirapantam (1st ed.). Chennai: International Institute of Tamil Studies. pp. 386–7.
  4. ^ S.R., Balasubramanyam (1975). Early Chola temples Parantaka I to Rajaraja I (AD. 907-985) (PDF). Thomson Press (India) Limited. pp. 209–14.
  5. ^ Kumar, Anuradha (2012). Myth quest 2: Nandi: The Divine gatekeep. Hachette UK. p. 39. ISBN 9789350093917.
  6. ^ "Chennai to Tirupati 6-lane highway soon". The Deccan Chronicle. Chennai. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  7. ^ "Encroachments along CTH Road removed". The Hindu. Chennai. 5 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  8. ^ S., Muthiah, ed. (2008). Madras, Chennai: A 400-year Record of the First City of Modern India, Volume 1. Palaniappa Brothers. p. 14. ISBN 9788183794688.

External links[edit]