Temples

THIRUCHENDUR MURUGAN TEMPLE

Thiruchendur Murugan temple is known as the second Arupadai Veedu of Lord Murugan. Lord Murugan won the battle with the asura, Surapadma and worshipped Lord Shiva in this sacred place. The temple is situated along the shores of the Bay of Bengal.

Normally, the Raja Gopuram will be in the eastern side of temples in Tamil Nadu. But in Thiruchendur alone the Raja Gopuram is in the western side. It is said that the Raja Gopuram was not erected on the eastern side since the sea is very close on the eastern side.

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 Temple 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.

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 Parvati 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 Thiruchendur 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.

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