Vedagiriswarar temple, Tirukalukundram, Tamil Nadu

Vedagiriswarar temple, Tirukalukundram
Simply CVR, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Vedagiriswarar temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva and it is located in Tirukalukundram (also known as Thirukazhukundram) in the Tamil Nadu state. Lord Shiva is worshipped as Lord Sri Vedagiriswarar who resides at the top of Hills. The four Hills here representing the Four Vedas. This Lord has been workshipped by Indra, Thilothamai, a dancer of Indra’s court. Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu, Ashtavasus and many more Rudras.


According to the lengend, Sage Bharadwaja prayed to the god Shiva for a long life so he could learn all the Vedas. Shiva appeared before him and granted him the wish to learn the Vedas and created three mountains each signifying a Veda (Rig, Yajur and Sama). Shiva took a handful of mud and said “Dear Bharadwaja! The Vedas that you could learn are only this handful compared to the mountains present here, even if you live much longer and hence, learning is never ending and could possibly cannot be the route for Salvation”. Shiva also said that in Kaliyuga, the simplest and the surest way to salvation is Bhakti or unfettered devotion, service and love of God and his creations. It is believed that the hill on which the Vedagiriswarar temple is built, is the mountains signifying the Vedas created by Shiva himself. The name Vedagiriswarar means “the Lord of the Vedic Mountains” in Sanskrit.


Two sages Poosha and Vruddha performed penance on Lord Shiva seeking Sharoopa status. Lord modified their demand and granted the Sayujya status and promised elevation to Sharoopa later. The sages refused to accept the offer and were adamant on their demand. Angry Lord cursed them to become eagles. Since then they are in this hill known as Shambu and Aadhi and are worshipping Lord with the Pakshi Theertha they had created. It is believed that these eagles use to bathe in Rameswaram, eat in Kazhukundram and stay at Kasi each day. The feeding of the eagles is going on for thousands of years, it is believed. King Suraguru, to whom Lord granted darshan was instrumental for the creation of this sacred place, says the history.

Vedagiriswarar temple, Tirukalukundram
Srinitrinity, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Tirukalukundram is known for the Vedagiriswarar temple complex, popularly known as Kazhugu koil (Eagle temple). This temple consists of two structures, one at the foot-hill and the other at the top-hill. The main attraction, the large temple hill-top temple houses the deity of Shiva, known as Vedagiriswarar. The temple at the foot-hills is dedicated to his consort Parvati, known here as Thiripurasundari Amman. The temple at the foot-hills has four towers (gopurams) closely resembling the architecture of the Annamalaiyar Temple.

Temple Timings

The temple is opened from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

Pooja Timings

The temple priests perform four times pooja in daily basis.

  • Kaala Shanthi Pooja at 8.00 a.m.
  • Uchchi Kaala Pooja at 11.30 a.m.
  • Sayaratchai Pooja at 5.30 p.m.
  • Arthasama Pooja at 8.00 p.m.

In the Festival days pooja timings can be changed.


  • 10 day Chithirai festival in April-May.
  • Aadi Pooram 10 day festival for Mother Ambica in July-August.
  • Full moon days, New moon days, pradosha days.
  • Tamil and English New Year Days, Deepavali, Pongal are the festivals celebrated in the day. Special abishek and aaradhanas are performed during these days.
  • Next to Tiruvannamalai, Girivalam is observed by devotees here too on full moon days. Lakhs of people join the event. It is said that the Girivalam practice was in vogue in this temple even before it began in Tiruvannamalai.
Vedagiriswarar temple, Tirukalukundram
Ssriram mt, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How to reach

By Air:

The nearest airport is Chennai International Airport.

By Rail:

Near By Railway Station Chengalpat, Tambaram, Chennai.

By Bus:

Thirukazhukundram is on the Chengalpat-Mamallapuram road. Bus facility is available. It is also linked by road from Chennai, Kanchipuram. The place is 80 km from Chennai and 17 from Chengalpat.


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