Situated at : 48 kilometers from Tirunelveli from Tamil Nadu
Presiding Lord : Lord Muruga
Well Known : One of the Six Aarupadai Veedu
Festivals Celebrated : There are 2 main annual Brahmotsavams that is held during the month of August to September and in the month of February to March.
Skanda Shasti festival is celebrated during month of October to November and in Visakam Festival during the month of Visakam Festival during the month of May to June.
The Sacred Shrine of Lord Muruga :
The Thiruchendur Temple is one of the very impressive temples that is located on the shore and is committed to Lord Subramanya in the Taluka of Thiruchendur in the Tirunveli district of Tamil Nadu. The temple has one of the six Aarupadai Veedu, a holy place for Lord Murugan while the remaining five abodes are situated in the Padaiveedu are situated on the mounds or the hills. The Thiruchendur temple is situated on the amazing sea shore that is bounded by the east and the north by the sea.
There are many of the beautiful works that are residing in the glory of the Thiruchendur. The work has been brought by the Tamil Sangam which is well known as “Thirumurugatruppadai” along with 83 Tiruppugazh hymns that belongs to the “Arunagirinathar”. It is believed that at this point, Lord Subramanyam annihialated Surapadnam, who was with his brothers Taraka and Singamukha was reining Triloka well known as the heaven, earth and the hell or Patala. At the point of his eminence, the demons were subjected to the Lords to untold miseries.
The Devas here are invoked to Lord Shiva for the excellence deliverance. Lord Shiva has his eye full of mercy for the protection and has sent around six fireballs. The God of fire known as Agni is carried away to the Himalayan from the holy Gangas. At this palce, they took away the six little babies on the lotus flower who were well nourished by the Krithikanymphs.
All the six babies were embraced by Goddess Parvati who was the consort of Lord Shiva who took an avatar that has six heads and twelve hands which is now popularly known as Arukhmukh and Shanmukh, the six facet. The Lord had taken the journey in this avatar from to Thiruchendur from Kailash with his mission of accomplishing the Asuras. On this point of time, he wanted a shrine committed to Lord Shiva for worshipping him.
The celestial malan had ordered to construct the temple near the shore. The Lord was on the divine mission and had a fight with the demons and the other hordes for six days on the ground, in air and on the sea. It was end of all but not the Surapadnam who took the avatar of the Mango tree and emerged in the center of the ocean surprisingly.
The Lord came in the incarnation of Lord Indra’s had challenged the evil spirits from the isle and had parted the Asuras dividing him into two parts. After the fight, the left put portion of the body turned into the Peacock and Cock and yet never gave up. Even this form was able to fight to their last breathe and demon was penitent in front of the death. It was the point when it was the end of the Auras and the above have presented in the two forms in the form of the Lords.
Celebrating the Victory of the Lords :
In order to celebrate this beautiful victory, a Festivals is celebrated which is known as Skanda Sashti and is celebrated in Thiruchendur along with the other shrines that belongs to the Lord Muruga for all the six days with the piety and the pomp all around. The final day of the celebration includes the battle of the Surasamhara and is again enacted in its actual forms by the devotees. Again after the success of this mission, it is believed that the lord gets turned into Thiruchendur, waited and prayed to the Lord Shiva which was constructed by the Mayan.
Apart from this tale, it is also discussed that the actual image was regained from the capsized Dutch vessel during the period of 17th century at the convergence of the River Kaveri along the sea that lies from the historic chola forming the capital known as Poompuhaar or 'Kavirippoompattinam'. This is one of the beautiful image shining in the golden form enshrined in the Pallavaneeswaram temple of poompuhaar. Well, the similar image of the Senthil Aandaver is also found in the Tiruchaaikkadu near Pallavaneeswaram. Both of the images are considered to be born or discovered on the shore and both of them portray the form of Skanda in warriorlike position.
Legendary Idol :
The image of the temple has its evidence even in history that makes it as the legendary idol. In the period of 1648 AD, the temple was invaded by the Dutch and it was considered as the temple that was mounted with gold. A thundering storm broke out in the high sea which was enough to frighte the men who were carrying this idol of the lord to abroad. Then the theft was filed to Sri Vadamalayappa Pillayan, who was the well known local renter during the period of Nayaks. He was amongst the one who was able to prepare the same kind of idol in the premises of Panchaloha which is the mixture of five metals.
It is this period when the god came in his dream and had ordered him to be in the premises of the sea, and then it was this point where the idol had appeared and also the lime fruit was floating on the way. The Vishnu kite or the Garuda was moving around the sea. Thus, the actual idol was reinstalled and recovered in the temple. Also, a mandapam was erected by his name and the assets for the concert of the Kattalai for the God on 7th day of the Avani and the Masi festivals.
About The Temple :
Even though the shrine belongs to the olden days, the shrine is totally engraved with the structure that is from the 19 -20th centuries. There are also the inscriptions that are seen here from the 9th century and those belonging to the Pandya rulers can be viewed in the temple. It was considered that the temple earlier totally comprised of the rock and it is developed from the structure that is made up of the high hill and later part decorated with the granite.
The temple is a very beautiful structure with the Gopuram of the nine tiered which is about 137 feet high adoring its beatuful entrance and is visible to anyone from the vast distance. The temple has Shanmukha at the entrance. And it also has the Vilaasa Mandapam with many of the carved pillars.
The Inner Prakaram :
Near the Subramanyar’s sanctum, there is a Senthilaandavar Sanctum located in the imaged that belongs to the Subramanyams along with his consort. The Prakarams lying in the inner most part are facing towards the south in the way of Aarumugaswamy turning towards the south. In the inner most Prakarams there are in all 63 Nayanmars and the idols of the Natarajar, Karaikkal Ammaiyaar along with many others.
There are the shrines of the Valli and the Devasanas situated outside the enclosure as described above that lies in the inner most of prakarnas. There are pillared corridors lying in the outer most prakarnas along in the house of the Dakshin Murthi which is Mukkunni Vinayaka and the Arunagirinatha.
The northern part of the outer most parakram is the shrine dedicated to the shrine of Venkatachalapati who is also known as the Nellai Govindan in addition to the other sub shrines present here in the form of the Gajalakshmi, pallikonda and the Ranganatha along with this consorts.
Skanda Pushkarini :
The Naazhi Kinaru and the Skanda Pushkarini are the step well and are considered to be sprung upon the Skanda spear graved inside the ground. It has the outer and the smaller well situated in this region. There is brackish water inside the outer well where as there is a fresh and the clear water present inside the inner most well. The protocol to worship Kumara Tantrum has been seen here. This is a similar manner to that of the Keralites temples. The Subramanyar has eight types of offerings to the deities every day.
An Amazing Location :
This temple is located in the shore that belongs to the Bay of Bengal and the sanctum situated in the caves. Tamilians have deep faith in Lord Muruga. They assign the Muruga to the kurinji or to the hilly regions. The sun rises in a beautiful way giving a picturesque view in front of the sea. It is skirted by the ocean from the north and the south direction. The temples are swayed with the beautiful waves that are coming and flowing near the temple coming from the Gulf of Mannar. The temple has its origin from the ancient period belonging to the Puranics.
The actual entrance of the Thiruchendur temple is directed in the south and emerged into the foremost temple which is known as the Sivili Mandapam. The entrance has a very huge mandapam that is in front of the temple from where the sanctum to the Lord Shanmukh along with his ensemble. This place is termed as Shanmukh Vilasa.
Along side of the west of the south part lies the first prakaram situated a beautiful shrine of the dakshinamoorthy facing towards the south. Apart from this, there lies another mandapam which is located in the west of the temple. This is the place where all the rituals and the poojas are being performed during the time of the festivals. The annual Tirukalyanam and the Valli on Panguni Uthiram day the rituals are performed in this mandapam.
The statue of the lord subramanayam in the form of the peacock is situated in the north wards direction on the western portal. There are many shivalingams placed one after another. Now, it is the turn of the Arunagirinathar. The statue of the author from Thiruppugazh that is positioned in the separate sanctum. The melagopura is another portal lying in the western part is situated at the center of the temple.
The most important the Gopuram stands of the western part are lying outside the door. You can have a look at a huge idol of Lord Ganesha entering the devotees that are actually known as Mukkuruni Pillaiyar.
The idol of the Venkatesh is also found in the standing position inside the temple.Along with this there is a carved grotto of that of Gajalakshmi, Sridevi Pallikonda Ranganathar, Neeladevi and Bhudevi. The well known twelve alwars are depicted in this region.
The Miracle :
There is much artistic beauty that belongs to the temple. There are amazingly carved arts and the sculptures that beautifies the temple that is visible on the many of the lingams done on the single part of the stone. The most important and the main edifice of the temple is the Raja Gopuram that is situated on the western part of the temple has the striking element. This part of the temple is associated with the most amazing and interesting story connected to its construction.
There are around 300 years Desikamurthiswamy of Maha Sannidhanam of Tiruvavadurai Mutt was intended, in his dream along with the work of erecting this tower. Considering the situation of poverty, the swami was not able to pay wages to his laborers. So, he then decided to give the wages in the form of the ashes. It was believed that the ashes was turned into the coined of the gold as the laborer pass from the Thoondukai Vinayakar shrine. This miracle got resulted after entering the sixth storey and it has been passed the miracle used to cease.
Poojas and Services :
The pooja been performed here are dedicated to the Subramanyam and the Lord Shiva. The most important diety here is the Subramanyam and Shanmukhas are followed with the ritual known as Abhishekam which is performed 3 times every day. The rituals that belong to the Shanmukh are performed by the Namboodris. It is then followed by the Rahasya Deeparadhans that is performed behind the curtains of the temple.
Where to Stay :
You can plan a trip to south India as it has very good facilities of the hotels and lodges that are around the Tirunelveli and neighboring cities.