Thiruporur Kandhaswamy Temple Kanchipuram - History, Timings, Festivals & Address!

Thiruporur Kandhaswamy Temple Kanchipuram


Thiruporur Kandhaswamy Temple Kanchipuram

Thiruporur Kandhaswamy temple (or Thiruporur Murugan Temple or Kanthswamy temple) in Thiruporur, a panchayat town in Kanchipuram district in the South Indian state of Tamilnadu, is dedicated to the Hindu god Murugan. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is believed to have been expanded during the 18th century with the images excavated from Thiruporur. This is an ancient temple dating back to the Pallava period and is one of 33 major temples in Tamilnadu dedicated to the worship of Murugan. The very name Thiruporur in Tamil language means “the place of the holy war”.

The temple is east facing, underneath the Pranava Mountain, which is its salient aspect. The Suyambu avatar of Lord Murugan in this temple is the most noteworthy aspect. This sthala is also beckoned as Yuthapuri. The seafront where the Lord Muruga fought with the demons is known as Thiruchendur, the land front where the Lord put an end to the Asuras is known as Thiruparagundram. Likewise the Aghayamarg (Skies) where Lord Murugan fought the evil is hailed as Thiruporur as per the Puranas. The temple is open from 6:30 am – 12:00 pm and 5 - 8 pm.

Four daily rituals and many yearly festivals are held at the temple, of which the Vaikasi Visagam celebrated during the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May - June), Kanthasashti festival and Navarathri festival being the most prominent. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamilnadu. Thiruporur is located on Old Mahabalipuram Road and is flanked by Kelambakkam on one side and Alathur Pharmaceutical Industrial Estate on the other side, both of which are also on Old Mahabalipuram Road.

Thiruporur Kandhaswamy Temple Kanchipuram Legends

Chidambara Swamy unearthing the Idol of Lord Muruga

This place was founded by the Adhinam Srimad Chidambara Swamy. He was a great follower of the "Madurai Meenakshi Amman". Hence, he challenged the Goddess that he would not eat until she graced him with her vision. Many days passed and Chidambara Swamy was almost in a coma. Impressed by his penance, Goddess Meenakshi appeared in his dreams. Suddenly, he could hear the anklets of the Goddess Meenakshi and when he opened his eyes slightly, he got a magnificent glimpse of the divine feet.

The Goddess then raised swamy to his feet and as her hands touched him, his skin turned golden. She told him that six earlier attempts to establish the temple had failed and asked him to build the temple for Lord Muruga at Thiruporur. Chidambara Swamy reached Thiruporur to find that it was a dense forest full of palm trees. But he could not find evidence of any previous attempts to build the temple. But he was not able to locate the temple, at that time; Lord Muruga himself appeared as a small boy and gave him the vision of the sanctum sanctorum.

Chidambara Swamy unearthed the Swayambu Moorthy of Lord Muruga and his consorts and established the temple. There is a separate shrine dedicated to him in the temple and he is given special respect during the Vaikasi Visagam festival. During the last event of the festival, he is depicted merging with the presiding deity.

Muruga’s battle with Demons

As per Hindu legend, Murugan fought with demons in three places, namely, the sea at Thiruchendur; land at Thiruparankundram and in air at Thiruporur.

Etymology

Since Muruga won over Tharuka, this place came to be Porur (por in Tamil means war) and also called by other names like Tharukapuri and Samarapuri.

Vishnu worshipped Shiva here

In ancient times, Lord Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi were subjected to the curse of Kanva rishi. Lord Shiva came to this place and liberated them from its effects. Therefore, Thiruporur temple is a very significant shrine dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva as well as his son Murugan.

Muruga teaching Pranava to Devas and Agastya
It is believed that sage Agastya on his way to Pothigai hills visited this place. The Sthalapuranam discloses that at this place Murugan (Skanda) with his consorts Valli and Devayanai granted protection to devas and expounded the meaning of Pranava to Agastya Muni. According to legend, Skanda enunciated the principle of Pranava or reality to devas here. The very concept of Pranavam is said to have born here, and the hill behind the temple is known as Pranava Malai.

Muruga worshipped Shiva here

Skanda worshipped Shiva as Vanmeekeswarar to rid himself of the sin of having killed Soorapadman. 

Thiruporur Kandhaswamy Temple Kanchipuram History

The temple is believed to have been built during the Pallava era during the 10th century. Chidambara Swamigal, believed to be a descendant of the Sangam age poets, rebuilt the temple during the 17th century. An effort was made to dig up a room in the temple by archaeologists during 2013, which yielded only items used during rituals and not any archaeological artifact. During 2013, as many as 36 acres (15 ha) belonging to the temple located at Thandalam that was leased earlier, was recovered from the land grabbers. The recovered land was valued at ₹100 crores.

Thiruporur Devasthanam preserves Pallava inscriptions from as early as the 10th century as well as from the period of Vikrama Chola of the 12th century CE. As evidenced from an inscription found on a stone pillar in this temple, one is inclined to infer that the temple must have been originally built in the reign of Pallavas because of the two birudus of atyantakama and Atiranachanda ascribable to Rajasimha (Narasimha Varma II). Thiruporur flourished in that age but slipped into oblivion for some time.

During the middle of the seventeenth century, however, Thiruporur was rediscovered and renovated by Chidambara Swamigal, who is said to be a descendant of one of the poets of the Tamil Sangam of Madurai. This place was then a forest of Palmyra trees. Lord Murugan as Swayambhu Murti lay covered up by an anthill. Chidambara Swamigal is said to have discovered the image of Skanda in the anthill and then rebuilt the temple and reinstalled the deity.

When the Muslim ruler's daughter was afflicted with a form of vertigo, his minister "the dubash" suggested that the ruler seek the blessings of the nearby Chidambara Swamy as all other efforts to cure his young daughter had proved unfruitful. The Muslim ruler accepted the suggestion and prostrated, along with his daughter before Sri Chidambara Swamy. When Sri Chidambara Swamy applied the sacred ash to his daughter's body, she was cured instantly. In modern times, the temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamilnadu. 

The Temple

The temple is located in Thiruporur, in Old Mahabalipuram Road, 28 km (17 mi) from Chennai, the capital of Tamilnadu. The temple has a five-tiered Rajagopuram, the gateway tower, rising to a height of 70 ft. (21 m) and 200 ft. (61 m) wide. The temple covers an area of 4 acres (16,000 m2). The sanctum of the temple is approached through a 24 pillared hall near the gateway. The temple tank is located outside the temple. The sanctum is built with granite, which houses the image of Murugan in the form of Kandhaswamy in standing posture. The sanctum faces east and the image of the presiding deity is 7 ft. (2.1 m) tall.

The image is sported with two hands with one of them holding Vel (divine spear), and an image of peacock besides the presiding deity. There are separate shrines of his consorts Valli and Deivanai around the first precinct. There is a separate shrine for Shiva and Parvathi and all the Parsvatah Devatas (attendant deities) associated with Shiva temples. This temple enshrines Skanda in several forms relating to legends from the Skanda Puranam. The foremost of these is the depiction of Skanda as a warrior, Samhara Subramanyar. He is also enshrined in the form of a child, expounding the meaning of the oneness of creation –‘Om’ to his father Shiva.

Skanda is enshrined with his consorts Valli and Devasena in an east facing sanctum. No abhishekams are offered to these deities. The 24 pillared halls and the 30 pillared circular halls are other features of this temple. There is a shrine to Vembadi Vinayaka under a neem tree. The Vanni Maram is the holy Tree of the Temple. Pictures depicting the life of Chidambaram Swamigal can be seen in the temple. On the southern side of the temple there is Saravana Poigai and Valliyar Odai, the two sacred Theerthams. On the eastern side of the Theerthams, there is a mandapam of four pillars. There is also another Teertham by the name Pranavamritam. When Lord Muruga's spear pierced the earth, water came gushing out and that is the 'Vallaiyaar odai', the holy tank. 

The descendants of Chidambara Swamigal followed up the religious service and brought it to the present day fame. The sanctum sanctorum of this temple is situated on the eastern side wherein one can see the Palmyra tree and the anthill under it wherein is Kanda Perumal with Valli and Devayanai on a small peetham. Chidambara Swamigal used to perform Abhishekam to these images. The murti in the anthill is covered with kavacham and other jewels but no Abhishekam is performed for this deity. The descendants of Chidambara Swamigal followed up the religious service and brought it to the present day fame.

The exterior wall around the main shrine has the niche images (Koshta idols) of Ganesha, Kukkuta dhwajar (Skanda with a flag of rooster), Dhandayuthapani, Vishnu and Durga. There are separate shrines for Ganesh and Durga. The exterior walls of the shrine of Durga have the niche images of four Goddesses. When one circumambulates the inner prakara can have a glimpse of the exquisitely chiseled panchaloha idols of Vighneswara, Somaskanda, Chandrasekara, Dwanishandeswara, Astra Deva, Brahma, Vishu, Devendra Nandi and Matruchandesa. The copper icon of Lord Muruga sitting on the lap of Lord Siva in the posture of Shiva hearing Pranava Upadesha chiseled according to the details and descriptions found in Manasaram, a treatise on Shilpa Sastra.

The base reliefs of Upadesa to Agastya, Valli kalyana and Agni-ghanta Subrahmanya have been chiseled very beautifully on the pillars of Sarvavaidya Mandapa. The Yantra established by Chidambaram Swamigal can be found in the northeast of the temple on a platform with Kurma, Ashta gaja, ashtanaga and ganas. Daily pujas are performed to this Yantra. In the outer mandapa is situated the Sannidhi of Teyvayanai. It is believed that functions like ear boring, head trouncing as offering to the Lord, conducting marriages etc., bring sacred blessings. Arunagirinathar through 'Tirupugal' and other poets like Pamban Swamigal and Ramalinga Adigalar have revered the deity of this temple through their songs. 

Thiruporur Kandhaswamy Temple Kanchipuram Opening Time

  • 07:00 to 12:00 (All days of the week (Morning))
  • 16:00 to 19:00 (All days of the week (Evening))

Thiruporur Kandhaswamy Temple Kanchipuram Pooja Timings 

Poojas

Timings

Kalasandhi

9.00 A.M

Uchikala Poojas

12.00 P.M

Sayaratchai

05.30 P.M

Rakkalam

08.00 P.M

 

Thiruporur Kandhaswamy Temple Kanchipuram Fees Structure

Name

Price

Archanai

Rs.5.00

Mudi Kanikkai

Rs.10.00

Special Entrance

Rs.10.00

Ear Boring

Rs.25.00

Kavadi

Rs.50.00

Photo

Rs.50.00

Video Camera

Rs.150.00

Mappillai Azhaippu

Rs.150.00

Milk Abisheka

Rs.500.00

Urchavar Abisheka

Rs.750.00

Sri Chakra Abisheka

Rs.1000.00

Sandhana Kappu

Rs.1000.00

Golden Chariot

Rs.1500.00


Religious Significance

Kandhaswamy is revered by Chidambara Swamigal in 726 verses. The image of Muruga is believed to have been found out under a palm leaf. There is a palm leaf maintained in the temple, which is believed to have been the original palm leaf. Arunagirinathar, a 16th-century saint has glorified the temple in his work in Thirupugazh. He has mentioned that Arunagirinathar is the head of all Vedas, the sacred texts. Bala Devaraya has mentioned Kandhaswamy as "Samarapurivaazh Shanmugatharase" in his works in Kanda Shasti Kavasam. 

Festivals & Religious Practices

The image of Kandhaswamy is believed to have originated on its own and hence ablution is not done to the presiding deity as with the other temples. There is a Yantra over a Tortoise base where all the rituals are performed. The temple is open from 5:30 am – 12:30 pm and 5 - 8 pm on all days except during festive occasions when it has extended timings. The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. There are weekly, monthly and fortnightly rituals performed in the temple. The four major rituals in the day include Kalasandhi at 9 a.m., Uchikala Pooja at 12 p.m., Sayaratchai at 5:30 p.m. and Rakkalam at 8 p.m. The major festivals of the temple include Vaikasi Visagam celebrated during the Tamil month of Vaikasi (May - June), Kanthasashti festival and Navarathri during Aippasi (October - November).

Major Festivals celebrated in this temple are as follows;

  • Chithirai-Tamil New Year Day and Pranava malai
  • Thirupadi Uthsavam and Vasantha Uthsavam Thirukkalyanam Uthsavam – Yanai Vahanam
  • Vaikasi-Srimath Chidhambara Swamigal Gurupoojai
  • Ani-Ambalavanar Abishekam (Ani Thirumanjanam)
  • Avani-Vinayagar Sathurthi, Three days Pavithra Uthsavam
  • Purattasi- Navarathri Uthsavam Saraswathi Pooja Vijayadasami – Parivettai (Kuthirai Vahanam)
  • Iyppasi-Deepavali Festival
  • Maha Kanda Shasti Uthsavam – Sura Samkaram
  • Karthigai-Somavaram Uthsavam
  • Manika Vasagar 10 Days Uthsavam
  • Margazhi- Dhanur Matha Pooja Natarajar Abishekam (Night) Aaruthra
  • Thai-Thaipoosam – Theppam Uthsavam 12 Days
  • Masi-Brahmotsavam 10th Day – Theerthavari Night –Theppam Uthsavam Brahmotsavam Vedarpari Uthsavam
  • Panguni-Panguni Uthiram – Abishegam – Night Thirupadi Uthsavam
  • Chithirai-Tamil New Year Day and Pranava malai (Jeya Varudam)
  • Margazhi Tiruvadirai 

Literary Mention

Arunagirinatha has sung four Thirupugazh psalms in praise of Lord Muruga at Thiruporur. Thiruporur Sanndhimurai, Thiruporur Purana, Kalambagam, Alamkara-Panchakam, and Pranavachala Satalam are some of the works relating to this temple by Purasai Ashtavadanam Sabhapati Mudaliar. Other noteworthy literary works relating to this temple are Tirupporur Kovali Tirupporur Anadadi and the songs of Ramalinga Vallalar and Pamban Swamigal. Tirupporur is considered as the head of the places wherein Lord Muruga willingly lives. Arunagirinatha goes to the extent of saying that all the four Vedas worship at Tirupporur.

How to Reach Thiruporur Kandhaswamy Temple Kanchipuram?

Thiruporur Kandhaswamy Temple is located in Thiruporur, Chennai suburb. The temple is around 1 km away from the Thiruporur bus terminus. Thiruporur is well connected to Chennai city by bus. It is 46 km from Chennai on the Old Mahabalipuram road (OMR or IT corridor). Mahabalipuram is 16 Km away from Thiruporur. Thiruporur is also connected to Chengalpet by road. Nearest Railway Station is located at Chengalpet and Nearest Airport is located at Chennai.

Thiruporur Kandhaswamy Temple Kanchipuram Address

Arulmigu Kandhaswamy Temple,
Thiruporur – 603110,
Kancheepuram District,
Email: thiruporurtemple@gmail.com,
Phone: +91 44 – 27446226,
Mobile: +91 – 90031 27288,

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