Surapadman with his powers conquered the Triloka or the three worlds comprising Heaven, Earth and Hell. He threatened the Devas [Heavenly beings], who were helpless and frustrated of him, sought help from Lord Shiva. Shiva opened his third eye and 6 sparks emerged from his frontal lobe which was accepted by the Ganges River and reached the Himalayan lake Saravana Poigai. These sparks were transformed into 6 babies. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati visited these babies. When Parvati embraced the babies affectionately, they merged magically to form Lord Arumukha with six faces and twelve arms.
When Arumuga grew up to become a young boy, Lord Shiva asked him to kill Surapadman and free the Devas from his wrath. Lord Arumuga obeyed the words of his father, led his army and camped at Tiruchendur. Lord Arumuga sent his lieutenant to Surapadman to free Devas, but he refused. A terrible war was fought between them, and at last Lord Arumuga Slained Surapadman and freed Devas from their misery. Later he wished to worship his father Lord Shiva and therefore Mayan, the divine architect built this shrine at Tiruchendur.
Tiruchendur Murugan Temple is more than millennia old and initially it was a very small structure on sandstone reefs of the seaside. The temple is not built by Rajas or kings rather it was built by three holy saints. Later the temple was remodelled and expanded gradually over a period of thousand years during the period of Chera and Chola rulers. Now it is one of the largest temples in India considering the whole temple area. The most striking feature of Tiruchendur Murugan Temple is its 9 storeyed, 137 feet high Mela-Gopuram [Temple Tower], which is believed to be constructed 300 years ago. Another unique feature of this temple is that unlike all the other temples in India which has its Raja Gopuram at the eastern side, Tiruchendur temple alone has its Raja Gopuram at the western side. It is one of the richest and most visited temples in India which directs devotees from many other countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, England, Australia and so on. There are four lithic inscriptions which dates more than thousand years and belonged to the Pandya Dynasty.
The two Brahmotsavams are the two most revered festivals of Tiruchendur Murugan Temple which goes on for 12 days when tens of thousands of pilgrims gather around the temple to be a part of these grand festivals. The Masi Brahmotsavam is celebrated during the months February- March is considered as the most auspicious occasion. Another Brahmotsavam is Avani Brahmotsavam which is celebrated during the months of August- September. If you want to take part in these large spiritual gatherings, visit the temple during these festivals, or else if you want to explore the temple in detail in a much less crowded atmosphere, you may visit the temple some other time. Also, early morning is the best time to have darshan, and as it is less crowded, you will experience a spiritual ambience which fills the whole temple premises.
The temple is opened from 5am to 9pm. Poojas are conducted here at specific time intervals as per the Kumara Thandiram Murai. Below is a table representing time schedule of poojas.
|POOJA DETAILS||TIMINGS||POOJA DETAILS||TIMINGS||POOJA DETAILS||TIMINGS|
|Subrapadam – Thirupalli Eluchi||5.10 AM||Viswaroopam Darshan||5.30 AM||Dwajasthamba Namaskaram||5.45 AM|
|Udaya Marthanda Abishegamh||6.15 AM||Udaya Marthanda Deeparadhanai||7.00 AM||Kalasandhi Pooja||8.00 AM to 8.30 AM|
|Kalasha Pooja||Morning 10.00||Uchikala Abishegam||Morning 10.30||Uchikala Deeparadhanai||Noon 12.00|
|Sayaratchai Pooja||Evening 5.00||Arthasama Abishegam||Night 7.15||Arthasama Pooja||Night 8.15|
|Ekanda Seva||Night 8.30||Ragasia Deeparadhanai, Palliarai Pooja||Night 8.45||Nadai Thirukappiduthal||Night 9.00|
How to Reach?
The nearest airport is Tuticorin Domestic Airport [30kms]. For international visitors, first fly to Thiruvananthapuram International Airport [175kms] or Madurai International Airport [165kms] and connect a flight to Tuticorin Domestic Airport. If flight is not available at the specific day of your arrival, grab a taxi and head to the temple. Likely a 4 hour drive is more than enough from both the international airports to the Tiruchendur Temple.
There are trains available from Madurai, Chennai and other major cities in Tamil Nadu to Tiruchendur, but frequent trains are available to Tirunelveli from all major cities in India. After getting down at Tirunelveli, grab a taxi or government transport bus to Tiruchendur which is just 52 kms away.
The nearest cities from Tiruchendur are Tuticorin [40kms] and Tirunelveli [52kms]. There are frequent Tamil Nadu Government buses available from all the cities in Tamil nadu to Tirunelveli or Tuticorin. From there connect another bus to Tiruchendur or grab a taxi.