Written by London Swaminathan 



Date: 25 MARCH 2018



British Summer Time uploaded in London – 21-39


Post No. 4850

Pictures shown here are taken by london swaminathan






I was in India between 5th March and 12th March, 2018. I visited five famous Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu in five days. First day and last day of my stay was spent on shopping and visiting friends and relatives.


I visited Siva temples in Mypalore/Chennai, Tiruvakkarai, Virudhachalm, Vaitheeswaran koil and Chidambaram.

Of the five the Shiva temples at Tiruvakkarai and Tirumudukundram (Virudhachalam) are not as famous as Chennai Kapleeswarar or Chidambaram Nataraja temple or Vaitheeswaran Koil and falls under the category of not much visited temples. So I would like to give some information about the two  temples in bullet points.


Both the temples are very ancient and at least 1400 years old because they were sung by the Saivite saints.

Tiruvakkarai Temple


Tiruvakkarai Shiva temple is unique in many ways.

God’s name- Chandra Mouleeswar

Goddess’ name – Amirteswari

Sthala Vrksha- Temple Tree Vilva/ Bilva

Sung by Tamil saint Tiru Gnana Sambandar, who lived 1400 years ago.

Easily accessible from Pondichery or Viluppuram


The unique feature of the temple is that we have shrines for Goddess Vakra Kali and Vishnu.

Another unique thing about the main idol is that this is a beautiful Shiva with three faces.


The Dwajasthamaba, Nadhi and the main shrines are not in one straight line. In other temples we can see perfect alignment.

As usual the Sthala Purana (local mythology) has lot of stories. Like other temples, here there is a saint’s Samadhi. Kundalini Muni died (attained Siddhi) here and as usual a Sivalinga was erected on the place of his burial.


There is a 100 pillar hall (mandap) with decorted Chariot and horses.

The linga is called Mukhalinga. It has got Siva’s three faces. This is a very unique idol. The three faces known as Agoram,Tat purusham and Vamadevam get different Alankaram (decoration) with three different ingredients at three different times of the day.


Virudhachalam Temple


God’s name- Pazamalainaathar

Goddess’ name – Virudhambikai

It is located near Viluppuram

Sung by three Tamil saints.

Vanni Tree is the Sthala Vruksham (Temple tree)


Virudha Giri Eswarar’s temple is at least 1400 years old and it was praised by the three great Saivite saints.


The hill is considered holy and it is circumambulated by the people on Full Moon days. The tree here is said to be very ancient.

Vinayaka/ Ganesh shrine in underground is unique.

Virudha means very old or ancient; it is believed that the temple did not get affected even during the deluge.


When I went around the temples wall paintings were half stripped or spoiled. A huge temple with lot of sculptures. The sculptures at the entrance are similar to Sri Mushnam temple. So the same architects or sculptors must have worked here. Almost all the temples in the region were renovated by the Chozas, Vijayanagara Empire kings or the Hoysala Kings. So we can see similar structures.


Here also we have a Mandap (hall) designed like a chariot pulled by the horses.


The chains of the Temple car were donated by Charles Hyde during the British rule.



Last but not the least, the meaning of the words Pazamalainathar, Virudhdha Giri, Mudu Kundram in Tamil all indicate this hill and temple are very ancient.

In most of the Shiva temples the idol is considered Swayambhu—that means it was a spontaneous appearance. We can look at it from another angle. Siva Linga is worshipped because it indicates formless God. So when the ancient Hindus such spontaneous outbursts or projection on the hill or rocks, they would have worshipped is as the formless God. Such rocks naturally millions of years old. As  the years rolled each kingdom would have added something new. So it is scientifically right to say such rocks or Siva Lingas are millions of years old.












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