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Tiruchendur Murugan Temple
The famous Tiruchendur seashore temple of Lord Subramanya is situated in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) District of Tamilnadu. This shrine is believed to be most liked by Lord Subramanya or Muruga and according to Skanda puranam is second among the six shrines of Kumara or the Arupadaiveedu. Tiruchendur temple is believed to be a commemeration of Lord muruga's victory over Surapadman.
Lord Muruga is represented in various forms in the temple the presiding deity (Moolavar) being Balasubramanya or the boy Muruga. The other forms are Shanmugar (Utsavar), Jayanthinathar, and Kumaravidanga Perumal.
Any visit to the temple will not be complete without visiting Nazhi Kinaru. The Nazhi Kinaru is a rare natural phenomenon where there is a 14 sq.ft well and inside this well is a small 1 sq.ft well. The water in the larger well has sulphurous smell and is brackish, but the water in the small well is clear and sweet-tasting. According to the legend Lord Shanmukha's troops were thirsty and Shanmukha planted his spear or Vel at this spot and caused fresh water to gush out from the brackish water well.
Valli Guhai (Cave)
A little removed from the main shrine is a sandstone cave dedicated to Valli, Lord Muruga's consort.
History of Tiruchendur
The magnificient temple over the course of nearly 1,000 years has grown from its original modest structure through many additions made by Pandya and Chera kings, and various benefactors.
'Tiruchendur' means a sacred and prosperous town of victory. Notably, the Gopuram or the temple tower is on the West instead of the East as is traditional due to the sea. The massive structure is nine storeys high and stands at 137 feet. The Gopuram was constructed roughly 300 years ago. The sculptures on the Gopuram chronicles interesting events. For instance, there are scenes from the life of Manikkavachakar. In the ninth storey, a huge bell was fixed by one Mr. Eden, probably the Collector of Tirunelveli from 1832 to 1839. The ringing of the bell indicated the hours of the day. The bell is now not in use because the mechanism is in disrepair.
In the 17th century AD, Tiruchendur temple was occupied by the Dutch for few years and they even looted some of the idols in the temple. Legend has it that the Arumuga Peruman idol was carried away in their ship. There was a sudden storm and the Dutch grew afraid and threw the idol into the sea. Vadamalaiyappa Pillai, an ardent devotee of Lord Muruga saw a vision of the idol's position in his dream. Immediately, he and several other devotees rushed to the spot where as foretold in the dream a lemon was floating and Garuda was flying over the spot. They dove into the sea and recovered the statue.
The temple was originally constructed on the sandstone reefs of the beach, but due to corrosion by the sea the structure began to disintegrate. In early 1900s a sannyasin, Mouna Swami took up the renovation work. This was followed by others over a course of 72 years and the three pragarams were constructed anew in black granite stone.
Pooja Kaalams (Timings) of Thiruchendur Temple
There are 9 poojas in a day
- Mudal-K‚alasandhi, Ciru-K‚alasandhi and Periya-K‚alasandhi
- Ardha-jaaman or Raakkaalam
- Palli-arai DÓp‚ar‚dhanai or the Lord's rest
Main Utsavams (Festivals) of Tiruchendur Temple
The most famous festivals of this temple are
There are also two Mahotsavams celebrated in a grand fashion. The first being the Aavanipperunthirunaal in the month of Aavani (August-September) and the second being the Maasipperunthirunaal in the month of Maasi (January-February). These are 12-day festivals that happen every year during the above said periods. Lord Shanmukha is taken out in procession on select days during these two festivals.
- Brahmothsavam in the month of Magha (February - March).
- Vasanthothsavam for 10 days in Chaitra (April - May).
- Vaikasi Visakam for 12 days in Vaisakha (May - June).
- Skandha Sashti in Asvini (October - November).
How to get to Tiruchendur?
Nearest Airport : Madurai (185 kms). There is also an airport at Tuticorin (40 kms).
Nearest Railhead : Tiruchendur. Thiruchendur town is connected to Tirunelveli by rail.
By Road: There are several state-run buses from Madurai, Aruppukottai, and Ettayapuram. There are state-run and private buses from Tuticorin and Tirunelveli.
Local Transport: Auto rickshaws without meter and cycle rickshaws are available for local transportation.
Places to Stay
Hotels In Tiruchendur :
The private lodges are better maintained.
Note: As this is a small temple town with no other means of employment, there are several shops in and around the temple selling anything from pooja items to China-made toys. There is also the nuisance created by the grappling beggars outside the temple.
- Siva Murugan Lodge
4, Sannathi Street
- Mani Iyer Hotel
- Devasthanam rooms and cottages
Contact Devasthanam Information Centre (04639) 442271
Other temples Near Tiruchendur
- About 2 kms from the Muruga temple there is an ancient Shiva temple named 'Shiva Kolundeeswarar'.