Lord Murga

Temple History

One of the six places of worship dedicated to Lord Muruga, the shore temple of Arulmigu Subramanya Swami at Tiruchendur has a unique significance as the culmination of the concept of Muruga. With its lofty tower of about 140 feet, it has a holy past dating back to 2,000 years, if not earlier. References are available in such texts as Purananuru, Silappadikaram, Tirumurugatrupadai, Adi Sankarar Sri Subramanya Bhujangam, Kanda Puranam, Tiruppukazh, Tiruchendur Pillai Tamil, etc.

The Avast mandapam with 124 pillars adorns the entrance to the main temple.The sanctum of Lord Shanmukha with his consorts is visible from this Mandapam itself. It is named Shanmukha Vilasam. The principal entrance of the templefaces the south and opens into the first temple prakaram. It is the SiviliMandapam. Towards the west of the southern portal of the first prakaram,the shrine of Dakshinamoorty, facing south, is situated. Further west at the corner there is a mandapam where the processional deities are decorated during festivals. It is at this mandapam that the annual Tirukalyanam of Valli on Panguni Uthiram day is held. Further north on the western portalis the idol of Lord Subramanya astride a peacock giving battle to Surapadman.Sivalingams follow at intervals. The main western gopuram stands on the outer side of this doorway. Welcoming the devotees here is a giant idol of Lord Ganesha, better known as Mukkuruni Pillaiyar. On the northern portal is the shrine of Venkatesh, hollowed out of rock. Sri Venkatesa is seen in a standingposture. Adjacent to it in a carved grotto are Gajalakshmi, Pallikonda Ranganathar, Sridevi, Bhudevi and Neeladevi. The twelve Alwars are also depicted here. The temple was fully constructed anew in all its details and Kumbhabhishekam performed in 1941. The temple and its gopuram of nine floors, built on the extremity of the sandstone cliff are a landmark, and visible at sea for twelve miles around, looking as has been said like a brig in full sail.

An asura by name Surapadma was ruling Veera Mahendrapuri, an island fortress. He performed many austerities invoking Lord Shiva and the Lord granted him many boons. Later, the asura became arrogant and captured all the three worlds—the heaven, earth and the hell. He made the Devas, the heavenly immortals to do menial task. The Devas were unable to bear his torture and complained to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva opened his third eye to create a son to kill Surapadma. Six sparks of fire emanated from the third eye. These divine sparks were received by River Ganges through Agni, the God of Fire and passed on to the Himalayan lake, Saravana Poigai. Here they were transformed into six babies. Saravanapoigai . Here they were transformed into six babies.

These babies were suckled by the six Kirithika nymphs. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi Devi came to Saravana Poigai, and when Goddess Uma fondly clasped the babies they joined together to become Lord Arumuga with six faces and twelve arms. When child Arumuga grew up to become a young boy, Lord Shiva asked him to destroy Surapadma and free the Devas from their cruel bondage. Lord Muruga reached Tiruchendur with his huge army and camped. He sent his lieutenant, Veerabahu to the asuras as an emissary and asked Surapadma to release the Devas. Since Surapadma turned down the request, a war ensued.

An intense battle was fought for a few days. During the first five days of the war, the brothers of Surapadma and all other asuras perished. On the sixth day, in the battle between Lord Muruga and Surapadma, the lance of Lord Muruga pierced the body of Surapadma, who got himself transformed into a frightful mango tree, and broke it into two. The broken pieces instantly transformed themselves into a mighty peacock and a cock. Lord Muruga took the peacock as his vahana or vehicle and the cock on his banner. This event is popularly known as Surasamharam, or the destruction of Surapadman. After Surasamharam, Lord Muruga desired to worship his father, Lord Shiva. Hence Mayan, the divine architect constructed this shrine at Tiruchendur. Even now Lord Subramaniyan is seen in the posture of worshiping Lord Shiva in the sanctum sanctorum.

Vaikasi Visagam, Avani Festival, Skanda Sasti Festival and Masi Festival are the major festivals grandly celebrated here. A large number of devotees participate in these festivals.


Additional Information

Choultries and rooms are maintained by the temple board for the use of the pilgrims at a nominal prices. Nityannadhanam is organized by the temple. Private hotels and lodges are also available in Tiruchendur city.

Tiruchendur city is well connected with the major cities of Tamilnadu by road and railways. Tiruchendur main bus station is 1.6 km and by rail Tiruchendur railway station is 1.8 km from the temple. Buses and private transport is available from the bus stand and railway station.

Tuticorin Domestic Airport, Thoothukudi is the nearest airport which is just 38.3 kms from the temple. Madurai International Airport is 170 km from here.
  • Morning 5:00 AM To 9:00 PM
  • Contact Person: Executive Officer
  • Contact Number: +91 04639-242221/242270/242271