The Murugan temple in Thiruchendur is the 2nd among the 6 Abodes of Lord Murugan. Thiruchendur is located in the Thoothukudi District (Tuticorin), with the temple at the shore of Thiruchendur, in opposite to the other 5 temples. This was the last temple of all 6 Arupadai Veedu we visited. It is one of the most beautiful temples I’ve visited, and also one of the favourite temples.
The name Thiruchendur means “the prosperous town of Victory”. According to the legend, this was the place where lord Murugan stayed with his army during the war against the demon Surapadman. This is also the place, Murugan came back to after defeating Surapadman, to worship his father, lord Shiva. The divine architect Mayan therefore constructed the shrines here, and today you see the deity in the sanctum in the posture of worshipping lord Shiva, with Pancha Lingam (Five Lingams) on the left side of the sanctum. It is believed that the 5 Lingams were those constructed by Mayan, that lord Murugan worshipped.
Pillars with lines from Skanda Sashdi Kavasam.
The temple is mentioned by Thirunavukkarasar, who lived in the 7th century, so the temple is believed to be from that time. However the towers were built about 300 years ago by Desigamoorthy Swamigal. Unfortunately, as the temple was built of sandstones, due to corrosion by the sea, the structure started to disintegrate. In the year 1900 AD a sanyasi named Mouna Swami began the reconstruction work, that took 72 years to complete. The temple now stands great and very beautiful at the seashore. A place apart from the temple, there’s a cave-temple dedicated to Goddess Valli, one of the 2 consorts of lord Murugan.
The Sura Samharam is grandly celebrated at this temple each year. I really hope to be at the temple when Sura Samharam is celebrated, hopefully this will happen for me in future. Thiruchendur was indeed a very peaceful experience for me, and walking to the seashore, that faces the Gulf of Mannar, and let the water touch your feet was so special. Actually, it is said that bathing in the sea is considered to be a very spiritual merit and a blessing. I didn’t take a bath, as I didn’t have other clothes with me, instead I just walked into the sea and sprinkled some water on my head.