Written by London Swaminathan 



Date: 23 MARCH 2018



Time uploaded in London – 15-22


Post No. 4844

Pictures shown here are taken by london swaminathan




I visited Sri Mushnam temple in the first week of March 2018 and amazed to see the beautiful sculptures.

Some facts about the temple for future visitors:


Where is it?

Very near Vridhachalam (Virudhachalam) in Tamil Nadu. Easy to travel from Chidambaram.


Who is the presiding deity?

Sri Bhuvaraha swami/ Vishnu in Varaha avatara- with Goddess Ambujavalli (Lakshmi).


Varaha Avatara (boar incarnation) is one of the Ten famous Avataras of Lord Vishnu.

Whose temple is this?

Though it is very ancient, we have records from Vijayanagara Empire and Hoysala times.


What is the special features of this temple?

Beautiful sculptures with women’s hair do. The plait of the hair in some of the statues are very natural.

Devotees believe Lord Vishnu in three forms in this temple—Bhuvaraha, Bodhi/ Asvatta tree- Ficus religiosa and Nitya pushkarani- the tank.


During festival times, the deity is taken to a mosque in a nearby village and the Muslims pay respects to the god.


Colourful Tower


The tower is a seven storeyed one with colourful sculptures and on the top there are nine Kalsas.

The murti/ staue is accompanied by Bhdevi and Sridevi


The temple entrance has lot of carvings identical to Vridhachalam temple. Both must be constructed by the same sculptors.

Danda Theertham (water source) was made famous by Madhavacharya and people from Karnataka and other states visit this place during special festival the Theertham.


Significance of the Statue

The main statue is believed to be a Swayambhu (spontaneous appearance). It is made up of Salagrama. The meaning is fossil stone with the impressions of sea creatures. Hindus—particularly Vaishnavites—respect all the fossil stones with when and conch impressions as the form of Vishnu. In other parts of the world, these fossils are valued by the geologists and palaeontologists. They tell the story of the earth.


Here in Srimushnnam, it might have been an ancient stone with such symbols and later sculpted in to Bhuvaraha.


Another significance of this place is the birth place of one of the  Shankaracharyas of Kanchi Kamakoti peetam, samadhi of one of the Ahobilam jeeyars and the theertham established by Sri Madhwacharya.

There is a Shiva temple as well.

Geologically, historically and by religious Sthala puranas (local religious history) this is a very ancient place.


But it is not sung by the famous Tamil Vaishnavite saints- Alvars.


The sculptures at the gate show several dancing postures, which reminds one of Chidambaram temple.


One must do some research comparing these dance mudras in Chidambaram, Virudhachalam and Srimushnam.



Kuzanthai Amman Shrine

Another unsual thing about the temple is there is one Goddess shrine called Kuzanthai amman shrine (kuzanthai = baby).

Those who wish for issues pray here. There are seven goddesses (sapta matas) under a neem tree.


Every temple as some special features. The idol in the main shrine itself is unique. In other places Lord Vishnu appar with four hands with Conch and Wheel (Sanga, Chakra). Here he holds both of his hands on his waist reminding Panduranga.


You may hear many more specialities from the Bhattacharya/ priest when you visit the temple.


Every temple has a special prasada (eatable) and this temple has special laddu.


Like all the Nayak temples of Madurai, Tiruvannamalai, we have 1000 pillar Mandap/hall here.

16 Pillar Mandap

In all the Nayak temples we have 16 pillar mandap; here we have one Purushasukta mandap where Vedic recitation is held. It is aid that like the music pillars of Nayak temples, we can hear musical sound here with the help of stones. There are beautiful Yali (mirror image of Leo= leonine= lion like) and knights. All the sculptures in the temple are unique and beautiful.

Mandapa= hall