Nilathingal Thundam Perumal temple, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

Ssriram mt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nilthingal Thundam Perumal temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is located in a shrine in Ekambareswarar Temple in the Kanchipuram of Tamil Nadu state. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. Lord Vishnu is worshiped as Nilathingal Thunda Perumal with his consort Lakshmi as Nilathingal Thunda Nayagi. The temple is also called Chandrasoodeswarar Perumal temple.

Nilathingal Thundam Perumal temple Legend

According to the legend, Goddess Parvati was doing penance under the temple’s ancient Mango tree near Vegavathi River to attain the blessings of her husband Lord Shiva.  She prayed to her brother Lord Vishnu for help as Lord Shiva sent fire on her to test her devotion. Vishnu appeared as Vamana with a conch and disc and radiated light as moon. It is believed that Vishnu appeared for Chandra (moon) and Shiva.

As per another legend, when Devas and Asuras were churning the Ocean of Milk, Vishnu helped them as a tortoise Kurma holding the mount. The snake Vasuki using as a rope for churning emanated poison that turned the skin colour of the tortoise from blue to black. Vishnu reached out to Brahma for resolution, who advised him to worship Shiva. It is believed that Sun and moon are the two eyes of Shiva. He opened his left moon eye to ease the pain of Vishnu with the cold lunar rays. On account of it, the presiding deity came to be known as Nilathingal Thunda Perumal.

Nilathingal Thundam Perumal temple History

The Ekambareswarar temple is one of the most ancient in India having been in existence since at least 600 AD. Initially temple was built by Pallavas. The existing structure then, was pulled down and rebuilt by the later Chola Kings. The Vijayanagar kings, during the 15th century, also made lot of contributions to the temple and later developed by Vallal Pachiyappa Mudaliar used to go regularly from Chennai to Kanchipuram to worship in this temple. The Archaeological Survey of India report of 1905–06 indicates widespread renovation activities carried out in the temple by Nattukottai Chettiar. In modern times, the temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Ssriram mt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nilathingal Thundam Perumal temple Architecture

The temple is located on the first precinct around the Ekambareswarar Temple, located to the South West of the sanctum. Nilathingal Thundam Perumal is seen in standing posture facing West in the shrine under Purushasuktha Vimana. There is no separate shrine for the consort Nilanthingal Nayagi, neither there is any separate festival image. The shrine faces West, while the Ekamabareswarar shrine faces the East.

Temple Timings:

Temple remains open from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM in the morning and 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM in the Evening.


The major festivals celebrated in this temple are

  • The 10-day Vaikunta Ekadasi festival during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December – January)
  • Purattasi Saturdays of September-October
  • Also there are special poojas performed during every Poornima day i.e. full moon day

Pooja Timings

The temple priests belong to the Saivite community , perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. The temple rituals are performed six times a day: Ushathkalam at 7:00 a.m., Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 p.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 7:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 10:00 p.m. Each ritual has three steps: alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Govindarajan and Pundarikavalli.

How to Reach the Nilathingal Thundam Perumal temple

By Air

The Nearest airport is the Chennai International Airport is 60 KM away.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is Kanchipuram Railway Station is about 1 KM away.

By Bus

The temple located at about 1.5 KMs from Kanchipuram Bus Stand which is also well connected through the other major cities in South India by Bus.


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