Tiruchendur Murugan Temple

Tiruchendur Murugan Temple - Situated along the shores of the Bay of Bengal, Tiruchendur Murugan Temple is known as the second Arupadai Veedu of Lord Muruga. It is also known as known as Sri Senthil Andavar Temple. This has been clearly described by Nakkirar, the famous Tamil poet, in Thirumurugatrupadai and in other Tamil works like Purananooru, Silapathikaram and Devaram.

Tiruchendur temple beach

The temple is located on Chandana Hill, rising near the shores of the sea rich in pearl deposits. It has been praised in Kandapuranam as “Kanda Madana Parvatham”. All other Padaiveedu shrines are situated on hills and mounds, and it is the only Murugan temple on the seashore, bounded on the north and east by the sea.

The mighty Raja gopuram (known as Mela gopuram), with nine storeys, built in a height of 137 feet, is in the western side. The gopuram has nine Kalasams (sacred copper pots) at the top. Shanmugha Vilasa Mandapam is the main entrance to the temple facing the south, although the sanctum faces the east. The temple has two prakarams.

According to legends, it is said that Lord Murugan (Skanda) camped here along with his army and vanquished the demon Surapadma and his army, in his fortress Veeramahendram situated in the middle of the ocean here. Hence it is known as one of His “Padai Veedu” in Tamil which means the battle camp. On defeating the demon, the Lord converted Soorapadma into a peacock and a cock. The Mayil (peacock) became His vehicle and therefore Lord Murugan is also called Mayilvahanan.The festivals of the temple are attended by lakhs of people. Some important features of Tiruchendur Murugan Temple.

  • This is the 4th temple in Tamil Nadu to get ISO certification.  
  • This is the only temple in TN where sanctum sanctoram is below the ground level.
  • The Rajagopuram of Thiruchendur Murugan temple is on the western side whereas all other temples in Tamil Nadu have the main entrance  on the eastern side.
  • The temple’s gopuram has 9 tiers with 9 sacred copper pots  at the top of it. This gopuram can be seen at sea for 12 miles around.
  • Every day 9 times pujas are performed here and different prasadams are given each time.  
  • The temple is very close to the sea. There is an old inscription on a stone tablet which proclaims that Lord Varuna promised Lord Murugan that no harm will come to the temple due to the anger of the sea.
  • That must be the reason  even though the nearby structures were destroyed in the Tsunami of 2004, nothing happened to this temple.
  • Like most ancient structures in India, the Thiruchendur temple too has its share of stories.
  • Lord Muruga won the battle with Asura Surapadma who worshipped Lord Shiva in this place.  Skanda Sashti  is celebrated here for 6 days and to conclude the festival the event of Sura Samhar or the killing of the demons by Lord Murugan is enacted to this day. Lakhs of Devotees throng the temple to witness this grand event and seek the blessings of the Lord.
  • Dutch pirates who looted this temple in the 16th century, had taken out the panchaloka idol of Lord Murugan and were taking it in the ship to their country.  Suddenly they met with a massive cyclone which frightened them to move forward and dropped the idol to the sea. Immediately the sea became calm and they went away. Later, Lord Murugan appeared in one of the pujari’s  dreams and said that they would see a lemon floating in the sea where they would find the lost idol and it should be taken out and reinstalled in the temple. The pujari along with few others followed the instruction and found the idol and reinstalled it in the temple.
The main festivals of Tiruchendur Murugan Temple:

Vaikasi Visagam, which falls in May-June. Avani festival which falls in August-September. 7th,8th and 10th day functions are more important. Skanda Sasti Festival is celebrated during October-November. This festival is celebrated for 7 days, in a large scale, with a unique ritual called Soorasamharam. Masi festival falls in February-March, which is celebrated for 12 days.

The last Friday of each month a procession of Senthilandavar with His consorts is held in the outer prakaram.

Temple timings: From 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 5.15 pm to 9.00 pm. Nine Kalams of pooja are performed daily to the deity.

Accommodation Free and cheap accommodations are available there.

Hotels nearby.

You may please check out this video of my trip, a revisit, to Tiruchendur Murugan Temple.  

Reaching Tiruchendur Murugan Temple

The distance from the temple to Tirunelveli - approx. 56 km.
The distance from the temple to Kanyakumari - approx. 88 km.
The distance from the temple to Tuticorin - approx. 45 km.
Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) buses are available from these places.The nearest Railway station is Tiruchendur, and the nearest Airport is Tuticorin.

The Other five Temples in the Arupadai Veedu  sung by Nakkeerar

(1) Tiruparamkundram Subramanya Swami Temple,
(2) Swamimalai Swaminatha Swami Temple,
(3) Palani Dandayudhapani Swamy Temple,
(4) Tiruthani Subramanya Swamy Temple and,
(5) Palamudhircholai Subramanya Swamy Temple.

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