Located at Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai city, Marundeeswarar Temple is a temple dedicated to Hindu Lord Shiva. The temple is adjacent to East Coast Road (ECR) and the beach of Bay of Bengal and it is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams.
Lord Marundeeswarar taught Sage Agasthya about the medicinal qualities of herbals and the medicines for various diseases. In Tamil language Marundhu means medicine and Eeaswara means God of Medicines. So the lord praised as Marundeeswarar here. 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. Later the name gradually changed to Thiruvanmiyur. in his honour there is a place called Valmiki Nagar in Thiruvanmiyur.
On the Western side of the temple the sage shrine is there. The lingam for which Hanuman performed pooja, the lingam (Meenakshi Sundareswarar) that cured the curse of Indra, the Lingam for which Saint Bharadwaja performed pooja are present here. Markandeyar performed a penance and prayed to Shiva here, Brahma conducted a festival here for Shiva. The presiding deity is also called Palvannanathar as Kamadhenu.
The road starting from Marundeeswarar temple, now called ECR was an important route during the Chola period and was known as Vadagaperuvazhi, connecting the kingdom to places in Thanjavur and Andhra Pradesh. Inscriptions can be found in the shrine of Tripurasundari Amman dating back to the 11th century during the period of Rajendra Chola. The origins and antiquity of this temple is corroborated by the inscriptions found in other temples in the city namely Kapaleeswarar Temple, Virupaksheeswarar Temple and Thiruvidandai which bear testimony to Tiruvanmiyur’s existence. A new life has been put into this ancient worshipping place, first in the year 1903 and then in the 1970s.
The temple is believed to have partial feature of Pallava dynasty and partially with Chola art. The temple has two entrances, one from East Coast Road and the other from West Tank Street both adorned by 5-tiered gopuram (gateway tower). The Entrance from the West Tank Street has got three gates whereas the entrance from the East Coast Road has only one gate. The temple occupies an area of about 1 acre – numerous images adorn the pillars of the temple, while stucco figures adorn the gopurams. The mandapam (hall) housing the Somaskanda form of Shiva has 36 massive pillars adorned with carvings.
The temple has smaller shrines for Ganesha, Murugan, there is a shine for 3 ganeshas who control all three time periods, and adjacent to this a vedagama padasalai is situated. The shiva linga is a swayambu. Hence pure cow’s milk alone is used for abhishekam. The shrine of Shiva, which has the idols of Shiva in his three forms, Theyagaraja, Marundeeswarar, and Nataraja. The last shrine is for Marundeeswarar’s consort, Goddess Thirupurasundari, who is actually Goddess Parvati. The samadhi of Pamban Swamigal is also found near the shrine.
The major festivals celebrated are
- Panguni Brahmmotsavam in March- April
- Shivrathri in February-March
- Vinayaka Chaturti, Skanda Sashti in October-November
- Full moon days Kruthika star days
The temple is open from 6.00 A.M. to 12.00 A.M. and from 4.00 P.M. to 9.00 P.M.
The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 5:30 A.M. to 10 P.M.
- Ko Pooja 05:30 A.M
- Kala sandhi 07:00 A.M
- Uchi kala 08:30 A.M
- Sayaratchai 05:30 P.M
- Arthajamam 08:30 P.M
- Palliyarai Pooja 08:30 P.M
How to reach
The Chennai International Airport is about 8.1 km. Taxi services are available from airport to the temple.
Chennai Central Train Station is 10.6 km. and Chennai is Egmore Railway Station 9.9 km. Local trains are there from Chennai Park Town to Thiruvanmiyur. But the convenient option is taxi which takes arround 15 min.
Bus services are available from Egmore station and other parts of the city.