Name of the Temple
Sri Thirumuruganathaswamy Temple
Period of origin
Before 2000 years
Name of deity
Moolavar: Sri Thirumuruganathar
Ambal: Sri MuyangupoonMulayammai
Sthala Theertham: Shanmuga Theertham, Gnana Theertham, Brahmma Theertham
Sthala Virksham: Gurukkathi, Mullai
Devaram: Sundaramurthy Nayanar
This is one of the 276 Thevara Paadal Petra Sthalams and 2nd Shiva Sthalam in Kongu Nadu. Lord Shiva graces in the temple as Swayambumurthi (self-manifested) The temple is west facing. There is no main tower (Rajagopuram) here. A large stone Sthupam (Lamp Pillar) is present in front of the temple, as in most of the Kongu Nadu Shiva temples. This is an ancient temple and believed to have been built in the 9th Century CE. The temple is now maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and is declared as a National Heritage Monument. The temple has an interesting legend. Proud of his prowess gained through rigorous penance, demon king Soorapadman tortured the Celestial Gods (Devars) and imprisoned them. Fearing for their lives, the disturbed Devars approached Lord Shiva to seek his help. Lord Shiva sent Lord Murugan with a large number of soldiers headed by lieutenant, Veerabhahu to destroy Soorapadman and his associates. After a fierce battle, Lord Murugan destroyed the demon and relieved the Devars. It is believed that Lord Murugan got Brahamahathi Dosham due to the killing of the demon king Soorapadman and others in the battle. This battle was referred to as “Surasamharam”.
To seek respite from this dosham, Lord Murugan installed a lingam at this place and worshipped it. Since this lingam was installed by Lord Murugan, it was given the name “Thirumuruganathaswamy”. It is believed that while coming to worship Lord Shiva, Lord Murugan left his divine spear (Vel) and his mount peacock outside the temple. Because of this, Lord Murugan’s idol inside the shrine does not have the Vel and the peacock with him. It is believed that the Brahmmahati (the sin accrued by the killing of a Brahmin) that left Murugan is now in form of a square stone under a neem tree near the temple. Another legend associated with this temple is that of Saint Sundarar, one of the most celebrated saints of Saivism. It is believed that Saint Sundarar received valuable gifts from king Cheraman Perumal for his poetic excellence.
When Sundarar was travelling with his gifts near this place, Lord Shiva felt the need to listen to his compositions. He decided to play a little game with the saint and sent his Boodhaganas (the Lord’s army) in the guise of hunters to rob the Saint off all his valuables. Sundarar complained and prayed to a nearby Vinayakar to help him recover the gifts. Lord Vinayakar in turn directed him to this Shiva temple. Sundarar went to the temple and rendered a pathigam blaming the Lord for not protecting him from the hunters. Through his song, he expressed that the Lord’s divine presence in such a notorious place was meaningless. He demanded Lord Shiva’s immediate action to help him get back his valuables. Lord Shiva enjoyed the Saint’s composition and returned the stolen goods. This incident is celebrated as a festival called ‘Vedupari’. There is a separate place in this temple where it is believed that the Lord gave Saint Sundarar back his valuables (Pon maraithu vaidha idam). Interestingly, the King Cheraman Perumal who brought Saint Sundarar to this place later became a revered Shiva devotee occupying a place among the 63 celebrated Nayanmars. Ambal is in a separate temple adjacent to Moolavar’s shrine.
Shrines for Saneeswarar, Navagrahas, Bairavar, Pancha Linganms, Suryan, Sandikeswarar, Dhakshinamoorthy, Bhavaneeswarar, 63 Nayanmars, Durgai and Lingothbavar are in the corridors. You can see two Sundarar idols at the entrance of the Lord Shiva’s shrine – one sad and the other joyous, depicting his state of mind prior to and after the incident. Lord Shiva’s idol is also there as a Hunter (Veduvan). Sages Agasthyar, Markendeyar and Dhurvasar are believed to have worshipped the Lord here. Sage Durvasar is said to have brought the Mullai tree – the Sthala Vriksham from Karpaka Lokam (Heaven). There is also a hall in the outer corridor (Prakaram) called Adalvallan Sabha where the Lord is believed to have performed the “Brahmma Tandava” dance. There are three springs in the temple – the Shanmuga Theertham, Gnana Theertham and Brahmma Theertham. Saint Arunagirinadhar has also sang in praise of Lord Murugan of this temple in his revered Thirupugazh.
Lord Murugan’s idol inside the sanctum Santorum has six faces and it has the distinguishing feature of being carved out of a single stone. There is a shallow well opposite to Lord Vinayagar’s temple. It is believed that once in every 12 years’ water gushes out of this well. Just across the road, there is another Shiva temple which houses Sri Madhavaneswarar and Goddess Mangalambika. This temple is considered to be the original Thirumuruganpoondy temple. It is believed that devotees can be relieved from mental ailments and can get respite from the evil effects of curses by worshipping the Lord at this temple. This temple is also famous as a Parikara Sthalam for Kethu Dosham and Brahmahathi Dosham. It is also believed that devotees can recover their lost items by reciting Saint Sundarar’s Pathigam of this temple.
It is believed that taking a dip in the Shanmuga Theertham grants the boon of childbirth to the childless couples. It is also said that the Pandya King Maharadhan performed pooja here and was blessed with twins. The “Vedupari Urchavam” in the Tamil month of Thai (April) is very famous here. The annual Brahmotsavam is celebrated in a grand manner in the Tamil month of Maasi (May). Soora Samhaaram, Thai Poosam, Pankuni Uthiram, Skantha Shashti are also significant festivals celebrated in this temple.
45 kms from Coimbatore and 5 kms from Avinashi and Tiruppur. Nearest airport is at Coimbatore.
05.30 AM to 12.45 PM and 03.30 PM to 08.15 PM.
Temple Telephone Number:
04296- 273 507
Sri Thirumuruganathaswamy Temple,
Pin code: 641 652.