Monday, May 18, 2009

A visit to Marundeeswarar Temple at Thiruvanmiyur

I dread weekends these days, primary reason being hot blistering summer at Chennai. I wish to have working days just to save myself from the oppressive heat under the blanket of AC. Given an opportunity, I wish to huddle myself inside my bedroom with AC blasting to its peak. Never I like to get out of the front gate, not even to buy fruits/vegetables from the street vendors. My children, on the other hand, love to go around to the nearest store to get a pack of bread/ sweets or simply for a scooter ride with my dear hubby. Saturday, my family excused me from my weird crazy behavior. By Sunday evening, my children got crazy and angry with me. I’ve to give in. OK, but only after 6pm. Still under sweltering sun, we, 4 went for a scooter ride in all possible directions, wherever the road goes. We were not sure where to go. I was indulgently suggesting my hubby to go some temple reminding him that we have not visited any religious place this week. Now my hubby focused his ride on particular direction towards the beach road. I mistook him that he has ignored my proposition. I was about to sulk when my hubby stopped right in front of Marundeeswarar Temple, Thiruvanmiyur. The entrance is on the main road and I missed it almost completely. We removed our footwear’s and deposited in the counter.

As soon as we entered the entrance, I was amazed to see the whole big open space to the left with a pavement to walk almost ½ km. We first entered the sanctum Santorum of Goddess Thirupurasundari, who is actually Godddess Parvati . There were heavy decorations around with lots of flower strings dangling all over the outer pavilion. The Goddess was almost hidden under a silk sari and flowers and the priest with his aarathi tray of oil lamp, kumkum and flowers to be distributed to the devotees. As we were praying, in the middle of huge crowd, I heard the “Abirami Andhathi” being recited in a loud manner. I thought it is coming from the speaker. But to my amazement, there was this person who was singing to the top of his voice, seeing and singing the verses inscribed in the wall. I was watching him and was thrilled to hear and suddenly I could feel a sense of fulfillment, an unexplainable feeling...a positive aura...frankly speaking, not that I understood what the verses meant..but the way he has recited with full involvement and submission to Goddess Abirami. Coincidently, my hubby also felt the same.

(Photo courtesy : Internet)

We were off to visit Lord Marundeeswarar. Had a close up darshan and my children were vying with each other putting some paise in the thallam that the priest offered the aarathi to us. I dragged the children out and did pradhakshanam of remaining Gods and Goddess around. There were some cows tethered inside and outside the sheds and my children were amazed to see them. Infact, my hubby persuaded them to touch couple of cows in spite of their shivering and scared looks which later turned out to be like fun game scaring the cows off.

(Photo courtesy : Internet)

We checked out the bookstall which had good collection of sostharam and slokas books and ended up buying quite a few books. My daughter’s focus was on the next door shop, the place where one can get nice thatta’s/laddoos/puliyogare rice etc etc. She got her share of thatta packet and my son got his favourite laddoos. I had to fight with them to get a little piece to taste, my share.

We rushed back to the exit and off on the scooter to reach home.

(Photo courtesy : Internet)
About the temple: (Courtesy Internet)

Marundeeswarar Temple is a legendary temple located in the breezy area of Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai adjacent to the beach of Bay of Bengal. This is a magnificent temple built for Lord Shiva, in his incarnation of Lord Marundeeswarar. Lord Marundeeswarar is said to have the power to heal. Lord Marundeeswarar is known so because he taught sage Agastya about some magical medicine. Since then The Marundeeswarar temple has been a place of worship for people with diseases and various problems with their health. It is said that even The Sage Valmiki, who wrote The Ramayana, came here to The Marundeeswarar temple to worship The Lord. Sage Valmiki was said to be blessed here. After this incident, this place was to be known as Thiruvalmikiyur, after a long period of time, the name gradually changed to Thiruvanmiyur. The lingam for which Lord Hanuman performed pooja, The lingam(meenakshisundareswarar) that cured the curse of Lord Indra, the Lingam for which Saint Bharadwaja performed pooja are present here. Markandeyar performed a penance and prayed to lord Shiva here, Lord Brahma is believed to have conducted a festival here for lord Shiva.Located in the southern part of chennai city this famous temple is a Paadal Petra Sthalam with Thirugnanasambandhar and Thirunavukkarasar having delivered Paasurams here.The temple has smaller Shrines for Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan, Lord Shiva, which has the idols of Lord Shiva in his three forms, Lord Theyagaraja, Lord Marundeeswarar, and Lord Nataraja. Lord Nataraja is supposed to be Lord Shiva in his dancing form. Lord Theyagaraja and Lord Nataraja are the only forms of Lord Shiva in which he is not in the Lingam form. The last shrine is for Lord Marundeeswarar's consort, Goddess Thirupurasundari, who is actually Godddess Parvati.( The order of shrines given is the order which is supposed to be followed while worshipping the idols). The sculpture of the temple is accurate, and has a lot of detail in it.The Primary deity, The Marundeeswarar Lingam is said to be formed naturally and has not been sculpted by anyone. This formation is known as Idumbu in Tamil. In the Mahamandapam where The deity resides, there are 108 lingams, and the replicas of the five lingams of the five elements. The divine cow Kamadhenu is believed to be delivering milk to the lingam daily and the lingam is hence white. For this reason, the lingam here is also called 'Paalvannanathar' (in Tamil, 'Paal' means milk, 'Vanna' means colour). And hence, Paalvannanathar means 'one whose colour is that of milk'. Other names of the Lord here are Oushadheeswarar, Marundheesar, Vedapureeswarar. The Goddess is also known as Thirupurasundari, Chokkanayagi and Sundaranayagi.The eastern and western entrances are marked by elegant raja gopurams (cascading towers). The central part is occupied by two large chambers housing the Thyagaraja and Marundeeswarar mandapams. A total of 36 beautifully carved pillars stand here. Inside the temple complex are provided a number of sculptures, including the dancing Ganapati, Lord Narasimha killing the demon Hirankayasibu, Sarbeswara and Mahavishnu. The temple also contains five main Sivalingams and 108 others.The Vanni tree at the site is considered as sacred. There are five tanks holding sacred water near the temple complex. These tanks have been named as Janmanasini, Kamanasini, Papanasini, Gnanadhayini and Mokshadhayini.


  1. I envy you for the scooter ride....used to hop on my Kinetic and ride all around the city.

  2. well written. interesting too!
    can i request you for the pics of Marundeeswarar temple to be sent to my mail

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Well written. I have started visiting this temple offlate and it is very good and more impirtantly its maintained very clean. My wife n I loved the placement of cows and we love feeding them too. Lord marundheeswarar is indeed powerful.


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