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Witness The Legends Of The Marundeeswarar Temple

Marundeeswarar Temple

If you are planning a trip to Chennai, don’t forget to visit the Marundeeswarar temple. This temple is one among the 275 paadal petra sthalams. The two most revered Nayanars (Saivaite saints) Uppar and Thirugnana Sambandar further glorified the temple with their verses.

Marundeeswarar Temple is located in Thiruvanmyur, Chennai. It is one of the 275 paadal petra sthalams. Paadal petra sthalams are temples that have been glorified by the verses of Nayanars (Saivaite saints) and are some of the greatest Shiva temples in the continent. During the 11th century, the Chola kings expanded the temple.

Marundeeswarar Temple in all its glory
A panoramic view of Marundeeswarar temple and the pond

Legend of the Marundeeswarar Temple

Legend has it that Lord Marundeeswarar imparted knowledge about the medicinal properties of different herbs and plants to sage Agastya. Since then, thousands of devotees from across the country visit the temple to cure various diseases and health problems. The temple, hence, derives its name from this instance. The word marundu stands for “medicines” and Eeshwarar stands for “god”, and together it means “the god of medicines”. Sage Valmiki, famous for writing the Ramayana, obtained blessings from Lord Shiva in this temple. Hence, this place obtained the name “Thiruvalmikiyur”. The name gradually changed to Thiruvanmyur.

Opposite to the Marundeeswarar temple, there is a temple built in the honour of sage Valmiki. The temple also houses the Lingam worshipped by Lord Hanuman. The Lingam cured the curse of Lord Indra and saint Bharadwaja worshipped it. It is believed that Markhandeya observed penance and prayed to Lord Shiva in this temple. Lord Brahma also celebrated a festival in the honour of Lord Shiva in this temple. Another name of the deity is Palvanathar, as Kamadhenu, the sacred cow, is believed to have showered milk on the Lingam. According to another legend, the Sun and Moon worship Lord Marundeeswarar every day during sunset. As a result, the main shrine faces west.

Marundeeswarar Temple History

Marundeeswarar temple's gopuram
The well crafted gopuram of Marundeeswarar temple

The Marundeeswarar temple has a rich history. The road starting from Marundeeswarar temple was an important route for the Chola kingdom, named Vadagaperuvazhi. It connected the kingdom to Thanjavur and other places in Andhra Pradesh. Additionally, in the shrine of Tripurasundari Amman, inscriptions dating back to the 11th century can be found. These inscriptions belonged to the period of Rajendra Chola.

The Temple Architecture

Marundeeswarar temple's entrance
The entrance to Marundeeswarar temple in Chennai

The temple architecture takes inspiration from the Pallava and Chola dynasties. The temple has two entrances. One entrance is on the East Coast Road (ECR) and the other entrance is from the West Tank Street. Both the entrances have a 5-tiered gopuram. The entrance from the West Tank Street has three gates, while the entrance from ECR has just one. The mandapam houses the idol of Lord Shiva in his Somaskanda form. The mandapam has 36 large pillars adorned with carvings. The temple has shrines for Lord Ganesha and Lord Muruga. There is a separate shrine for three Ganesha idols who control the three time periods. The temple also has a Thirumurai mandapam in which devotees recite Thirumurai every day. The shrine of Lord Shiva depicts him in his three forms – Theyagaraja, Marundeeswarar and Nataraja. There is a separate shrine for Goddess Tripurasundari, the consort of Marundeeswarar.

Marundeeswarar Temple Timings

The Marundeeswarar Temple Chennai timings are from 5:30 am to 12:00 pm. Marundeeswarar temple, in the evening, opens at 4:00 pm and closes at 8:30 pm.

Marundeeswarar Temple Festival 2018

The temple celebrated the Panguni Brahmotsavam in 2018. The celebrations took place in the Tamil month of Panguni (March – April). On the 9th day of the festival, the temple celebrates the day when Lord Shiva appeared in front of Sage Agasthya. Shivarathri, Vinayaka Chathurthi and Skanda Shashti are other main festivals celebrated in this temple.

How To Reach Marundeeswarar Temple

Marundeeswarar Temple is easily accessible by roads and railway. The nearest local railway station to the temple is the Thiruvanmyur Railway Station, which is 1 km away from the temple. The nearest airport to Marundeeswarar Temple is the Chennai International Airport, which is 7 km away.

A pond within the Marundeeswarar temple
The sacred pond in the temple premises

Nearby Tourist Spots To Visit

  1. Marina Beach: This beach is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Chennai. It is the longest beach in the country and the second longest beach in the world.
  2. MGR Film City: This structure was built in the year 1994 in the honour of the famous Tamil film actor MG Ramachandran.
  3. Breezy Beach: Located in the serene neighbourhood of Valmiki Nagar, this beach is the perfect place to spend time with your family. It is less crowded and less polluted.
  4. Arignar Anna Zoological Park: Also known as Vandalur Zoo, it is located at a distance of 32 km from Chennai City. It houses a variety of animals such as Himalayan brown bear, lions elephants, tigers and Indian civet cat.
  5. Valluvar Kottam: This is an auditorium dedicated to the classical Tamil philosopher and poet, Thiruvalluvar. The pillars in the auditorium depict the famous verses of Thiruvalluvar.