Murugan Temple Thiruchendur

By Sanjeev Nayyar | 2016

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We left Rameshwaram about 11.30, stopped by Tuticorin for lunch-visited the port to reach Thiruchendur by 3.30ish. It was the Pongal weekend of 2016 so very crowded. Had seen pics earlier but when we reached felt in love with the place. Spiritually speaking felt very good within. Temple view from beach side.

Devotees and devotees. "Thiruchendur Murugan temple is known as the second Arupadai Veedu of Lord Muruga. Lord Muruga won the battle with the asura, Surapadma and worshipped Lord Shiva in this sacred place".

Pic taken from temple side gives u a sense of the number of devotees. Name of temple is Arulmigu Subramaniya Swamy Temple. "Nine teerthas or sacred bathing places are mentioned in the stala purana. A bath in the sea itself is one, described as of great spiritual merit. "

A closer view of gopurams and temple entrance from south side. "Twenty-four stone pillars with inscriptions thereon set up at intervals on the beach mark the special significances recorded therein to bathe at those particular spots."

This is the small gopuram on sea side. Centre image is flanked by peacocks on both sides. According to local tradition Dutch soldiers took away the deity idol in 1653. Their ship was rocked because the sea had become boisterous. They threw the idol in the sea. It was retrieved. To read more Click here

Shanmukha Vilasa (gopuram on left) is the frontal adjunct to the main temple. It is a magnificent mandapa worked minutely of intricate stone plinths and columns 120 feet long, 86 feet broad and supported by 124 columns. It runs north to south facing the sea. A colossal porch at the centre is 48 feet square. It houses an ornate mandapa of four pillars, on a fifteen feet square base and which is elevated by three feet."

Entrance gopuram. Centre image is 5 headed Murugan (I think) on a peacock. Just above him is Kirti Mukha, to ward away evil spirits, ie found in temples throughout Bharat.

Entrance to darshan area. Since was crowded and darshan would take about two hours we left it for another trip, hopefully soon.

Pillars have sculptures as you see. To know temple history Click here

View of Rajagopuram. "Mela Gopuram has nine storeys and it is about 137 feet high above Yalimattam, 90 feet long north to south and 65 feet broad east to west. At the top of the Gopuram the width is 20 feet and the length is 49 feet. To indicate that the Gopuram consists of 9 storeys there are nine Kalasams (sacred copper pots) at the top of the Gopuram."

Rear side view. Seeing the mandapam in front think this side was the original entrance.

Close up of the sculptures on main gopuram. The more I saw this gopuram the more I liked it, something special about Thiruchendur.

Side view from other side of the main gopuram. Note the Kirti Mukhas on top of gopuram.

Close up of top portion of gopuram.

Entrance gate, not used. Missed seeing Vali''s Cave, a remarkable spring known as ''Skanda-Pushkarani'' -- the Nazhik-kinaru, the Vishnu shrine of Venkatesa,

Just opposite entrance is this huge hall with pillars. Normally Raja Gopuram erected on eastern side but since temple close to sea it was erected on western side.

Coconuts for darshan. To read about the Principal Sanctum Click here

This was the favourite place for devotees to get themselves clicked by local photographers. Thiruchendur is 171 kms from Madurai and 55 kms from Tirunelveli.

Another view of devotees in the Bay of Bengal. We went on to the first floor of a structure to click this. Whilst coming down the plaster on chajja gave away, lucky no injury.

Devotees. We left Thiruchendur at about 5 pm to reach Thenkasi (Vishwanath Mandir) by 9.30 pm. Driver Velu drove over 300 kms that day. We believe it was Murugan''s kripa - Velu is a stanch Murugan bhakt. To visit temple site Click here

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