The Arulmigu Subramaniya Swamy Temple, also known as the Chenthilandavar Temple, is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Murugan (also known as Kartikeya or Subramaniya Swamy). It is situated in Tiruchendur, in the Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is the second among the six abodes of Lord Murugan (also Known as Arupadai Veedu) and is one of the major sacred temples of the Kaumaram religion.
History of Subramaniya Swamy Temple, Tiruchendur
The temple has a fascinating history. It was occupied by the Dutch East India Company from 1646 to 1648 during their war with the Portuguese. They took away the sculpture depicting the 2 utsava murthis made of Shanmukhar, an alloy, and left the temple. However, during their sea voyage, they encountered a strong storm and realized their mistake of stealing the murti. They dropped it in the middle of the sea and saw the storm stop immediately. Later, an ardent devotee of Murugan had a dream where Senthil Aandavan appeared and revealed the place in the sea where the idol had been abandoned. The devotee retrieved the murti in 1653, and the story is depicted in paintings inside the temple.
Architecture of Subramaniya Swamy Temple, Tiruchendur
The temple has a unique distinction of being the fourth Hindu temple in Tamil Nadu to receive an ISO certification. The temple complex is located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal and has a nine-tier gopuram that stands tall at 157 feet (48 meters). The principal entrance faces south and opens into two prakarams, the first of which is lined with rows of Yalis (also called Vyala). The inner sanctum of the temple is in a cave, and the main deity is Murugan, portrayed as a saintly child in a granite carving.
Subramaniya Swamy Temple, Tiruchendur, Festivals:
The two principal annual festivals of Tiruchendur are the Brahmotsavam festivals held in the Tamil months of Masi (February-March) and Aavani (August-September) each year.
- The Masi festival is celebrated for 12 days and concludes with a Teppam or Float festival. On the 7th and 8th days of the festivals, Lord Shanmukha is housed in the Shanmukha Vilāsa mandapam before and after the processions. The Ratha Festival is conducted on the 10th day and the Teppam (float) Festival on the following day.
- The Avani festival is celebrated for 12 days and concludes with the Theppam, and the 7th, 8th, and 10th days are considered more important.
- Apart from these festivals, Tiruchendur also celebrates the Vasanta festival for 10 days in the month of Chittirai (April-May) and the Skanda Sasti festival for 7 days in October-November. The Vasanta festival is an annual festival of ten days in which the processional deity of Subrahmanyam with his consorts Valli and Teyvayānai are taken from their sanctum in the temple to the Vasanta Mantapa on the giri-prakāra, which is suitably decorated with festoons for the occasion.
- The Skanda Sasti festival is celebrated for 7 days and is dedicated to Lord Murugan. Devotees fast for all six days, and on the sixth day, Surasamharam is enacted before a gigantic crowd of devotees on the very beach where Lord Murugan fought Sura Padman. On the seventh day, His Tirukkalyanam (wedding) to Teyvayanai is celebrated in a grand manner.
Subramaniya Swamy Temple, Tiruchendur, Timings:
The temple is open from 5 AM to 9 PM
How to Reach Subramaniya Swamy Temple, Tiruchendur
The nearest airport to Tiruchendur is the Tuticorin Airport, which is about 40 km away from the temple. The Madurai International Airport and Trivandrum International Airport are other options, which are located about 173 km and 192 km from Tiruchendur, respectively.
Tiruchendur has its own railway station, which is well-connected to major cities like Chennai, Madurai, and Trivandrum.
Tiruchendur is well-connected by road to major cities like Chennai, Madurai, and Trivandrum. State-run buses and private cabs are also available from nearby cities and towns.