Vedagiriswarar Temple Thirukalukundram - History, Timings, Festivals & Address!

Vedagiriswarar Temple Thirukalukundram Chengalpattu


Vedagiriswarar Temple Thirukalukundram Chengalpattu

Vedagiriswarar Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Thirukazhukundram, an outskirt of Chennai City in Chengalpattu District of Tamil Nadu. Thirukalukundram is one of the most famous pilgrim centers in Tamilnadu, renowned for its Hill Temple and Sangu Theertham. The Temple is famously called as Pakshi Theertham and the Kailash of South India. Vedagiriswarar Temple Complex is popularly known as Kazhugu Koil (Eagle Temple).

This temple consists of two structures, one at the foot hill and the other at the hill top. The Foot Hill Temple, also called as Thazha Koil houses the presiding Bhaktavachaleswarar and Mother Thirupurasundari. The temple at the foot-hills has four towers (gopurams) closely resembling the architecture of the Annamalaiyar Temple. The Hill Temple, also called as Malai Koil houses Vedagiriswarar and Mother Sokka Nayagi.

The two sacred eagles appearing over the temple to worship the Lord every day are a major attraction for the devotees. Legend also says that the birds will not come if there are sinners in the crowd which assembles at the temple. Till 1998, the mystical bird pair used to appear every day at noon at Thirukazhukundram. But one day they stopped coming and they simply vanished. This temple is administrated by The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department, Tamilnadu.

Vedagiriswarar, the Lord of the Hill Temple, has been praised in song and verse by the four great Tamil Saints; Thirugnana Sambandar, Appar, Sundaramurti and Manikkavasakar. These four Nayanmars have visited the temple complex. A shrine, Naalvar Koil, is dedicated to them is located nearby. This Shiva Sthalam is the 28th Devaram Paadal Petra Sthalam in Thondai Nadu. It is also considered as Thiruvasaga Sthalam. Saint Arunagirinathar had praised Lord Murugan of this Temple in his Thirupugazh Hymns.

Vedagiriswarar Temple Thirukalukundram Chengalpattu Legends

Significance of the Eagles

According to a legend, sage Pusha and sage Vidhadha 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 they are the two eagles that visit Thirukazhukundram daily from time immemorial, in order to worship Siva and to obtain salvation from their curse. To attain moksha and regain their original forms, they have to worship the deity of this temple till the end of Kaliyuga. While these sacred Eagles were known as Sandan and Prasandan in Thretha Yuga, Sambathi and Jatayu in Krutha Yuga, Sambhukthan and Mukundan in Dwapara Yuga, in Kali Yuga they are now known as Pusha and Vidhadha.

It is said that after a bath in the Ganges in the morning, they come here at noon for food, reach Rameswaram in the evening for darshan and return to Chidambaram for the night. The eagles circle around the temple top and approach the priest. They eat the balls of rice and after cleaning their beaks in the water kept in a small vessel nearby, take off, circle around the tower again and fly off. This has been going on for centuries now. The scene is also sculpted on one of the walls in front of Goddess Thirupurasundari, in the lower temple.

The two sacred eagles appearing over the temple to worship the Lord every day are a major attraction for the devotees. Legend also says that the birds will not come if there are sinners in the crowd which assembles at the temple. Till 1998, the mystical bird pair used to appear every day at noon at Thirukazhukundram. But one day they stopped coming and they simply vanished. For the local people, it’s a bad omen and attributed to the presence of sinners among the onlookers. For a decade now, no mythical birds had visited the temple, but the ritual is of practised by the temple priest in the hope that they eventually will turn up some day.

Unique phenomenon of birth of Conch

It is believed that Saint Markandeya, came down here after visiting Benares. He wished to have a bath in the sacred tank and perform abhishekam to the Siva lingam here, but he found no vessel to take the water. Just then a conch suddenly emerged from the tank, with a humming sound, and Markandeya performed the abhishekam. It is said that even now once in 12 years, a conch emerges from this water, which the temple authorities collect with all honors and preserve in the temple in an enclosed glass box with dates mentioned therein. It is astonishing that a conch gets formed in fresh water since the natural phenomenon of a birth of a conch can happen only in salt water. Abhishekam is performed to Lord Vedagiriswarar with the collected conches on the last Monday in the Tamil month of Karthigai.

Vedagiriswarar

Sage Bharadhwaja prayed to the Lord 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 Bharadhwaja! 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.

The hillock is named as Vedagiri, since it is traditionally believed that the four (Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana) Vedas are seen one above the other in the form of four rocks. Lord Shiva is believed to be emerging from the head of the fourth (Atharvana) Veda and said to have derived the name Vedagiriswarar (a Swayambhu lingam), the presiding deity of the temple situated on the hilltop.

Indra is worshipping Lord Shiva here

It is believed that Indira is still worshipping Lord in this temple. As an evidence of this fact, thunder falls through a hole in the tower above the sanctum sanctorum (Vimana) and goes around the Shivalinga. Unbearable heat is experienced while opening the sanctum next day. This happens once in a few years. Scientists had proved that such an incident took place on the 10th November 1930.

Nandi Theertham

The Nandi once undertook penance on Earth. Pleased with him, Siva appeared before him and granted boon. The Nandi desired that the place and the tank be named after him and asked that those taking a dip in the tank and offering prayers to Lord Vedagiriswarar be absolved of their sins. His prayer was granted and hence the place is also known as Nandipuram and the tank, Nandi Theertham.

Thirukazhukundram

The word Thirukazhukundram comes from the Tamil words Thiru (Respectful), Kazhugu (Vulture/Eagle), Kundram (mount). It was known as "Thirukazhugukundram" in ancient times, which, overtime became Thirukazhukundram.

Sangu Thirtha Pushkara Mela

According to the Sthalapuranam, Lord Siva himself had declared Sangu tank to be the holiest of all, and as per his command, all the sacred waters in India would meet here once in 12 years when Guru (Jupiter) enters Kanya rasi. The event is conducted as a festival known as Sangu Thirtha Pushkara Mela when there is a huge gathering from all parts of the country (The Hindu 02, August 2002).

There is an interesting story prevalent with respect to the origination of Sangu Theertha Pushkara Mela festival. There occurred a tussle of proving supremacy amongst various rivers such as Ambai, Indraputra, Rudra, Cauvery, Pamba, Yamuna, Thamirabarani, Vaigai, to name a few. Each one touted itself to be the best. The rivers then decided to worship Lord Vedagiriswarar by taking bath in the Sangu Theertham.

The Lord appeared before the rivers and told them that none of them was superior before the conch that appeared in the tank, which was used to perform abhishekam to Lord. The rivers felt ashamed about their mean fight and then decided to take bath in the Sangu Theertham during the day of transition of Jupiter into Virgo rasi.

Lord Shiva initiation of Panchakshara to Manikkavasakar

It was in Bhaktavachaleswarar Temple that Lord Siva appeared before the Tamil saint Manikkavasakar, in the form of Dakshinamurthy, and initiated him into the secrets of the holy Panchakshara.

Part of Sanjeevi Parvatha

When Sri Anjaneya took the Sanjeevi Parvatha from Himalayas, some parts of Mountain fell over this mountain. Hence even today rare herbals are available here.

Different Names

The place has been called as Pakshi Theertham, Uruthrakodi, Nandipuri, Indrapuri, Narayanapuri, Brahmapuri, Dinakarapuri, Muniganapuri in the past.

Equivalent to Amaravathi

Saint Arunagirinathar describes the place as the one equal to Amaravathi the capital of Indira.

King Suraguru had Lord Shiva darshan here

It is believed. King Suraguru, to whom Lord granted darshan was instrumental for the creation of this sacred place.

Vedagiriswarar Temple Thirukalukundram History 

Vedagiriswarar Temple Complex is popularly known as Kazhugu Koil (Eagle Temple). This temple consists of two structures, one at the foot hill and the other at the hill top. The Foot Hill Temple, also called as Thazha Koil houses the presiding Bhaktavachaleswarar and Mother Thirupurasundari. The temple at the foot-hills has four towers (gopurams) closely resembling the architecture of the Annamalaiyar Temple. The Hill Temple, also called as Malai Koil houses Vedagiriswarar and Mother Sokka Nayagi.

Vedagiriswarar Temple Thirukalukundram Theerthams

There are 12 Theerthams associated with this temple. They are;
1. Indra Theertham
2. Sambu Theertham
3. Rudra Theertham
4. Vashishta Theertham
5. Meygyana Theertham
6. Agasthiya Theertham
7. Markandeya Theertham or Sangu Theertham
8. Koushika Theertham
9. Nandi Theertham
10. Varuna Theertham
11. Agalikai Theertham
12. Pakshi Theertham
Sangu Theertham:

Rudra Theertham

There is also a small temple named Rudrakoteeswarar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and a visit to this temple is said to be equivalent to performing penance with 1000 Rudrakshas. Of the 12 Theerthams, which surrounds the temple, Rudra Theertham can be found here.

Nandi Theertham

The Nandi once undertook penance on the Earth. Pleased, Siva appeared before him and told him to ask for a boon. The Nandi desired that the place and the tank be named after him and asked that those taking a dip in the tank and worshipping Vedagiriswarar be absolved of their sins. His prayer was granted and hence the place is also known as Nandipuram and the tank, Nandi Theertham.

Vedagiriswarar Temple Thirukalukundram Opening Time

Malaikovil: 09.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.
Thazha Kovil: 6.00 am to 1.00 pm and from 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm.

Vedagiriswarar Temple Thirukalukundram Pooja Timings



Vedagiriswarar Temple Thirukalukundram Festivals

10-day Chithirai festival drawing huge devotee crowd in April-May, Aadi Pooram 10-day festival for Mother Ambika in July-August, Full moon days, New moon days, Pradosha days, Tamil & English New Year Days, Deepavali and Pongal are the festivals celebrated in the day. Special abishekam 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. A great festival known as Sangu Theertha Pushkara Mela as great as the Kumbh Mela in north is celebrated here once in 12 years with one lakh deepams on the Jupiter transition day to Virgo sign. A conch is born in the Theertham once in 12 years. This miracle happens even now.

Vedagiriswarar Temple Thirukalukundram Prayers

Majority of the devotees throng the temple for mental peace and salvation. Those mentally retarded come and stay here for 48 days, bathe in the Sangu Theertham, pray to Lord Vedagiriswarar and return fully cured. This miracle is happening even now. Diseases of any intense nature as Asthma, blood pressure and heart are cured by prayers to Lord. They breathe the air with herbal effects and get cured. Devotees also come here seeking wedding, child boons too. Devotees perform abishek and aaradhanas to Lord and Mother and offer vastras. Prepare nivedhanas and distribute to visitors. They also undertake feeding Annadhanam and contribute to temple fund. It is noteworthy that the tank in the temple is one containing herbal properties. It is further believed that praying to Lord Vedagiriswarar for a period of 45 days will bless the couple with a child.

How to Reach Vedagiriswarar Temple Thirukalukundram Chengalpattu?

The Temple is located at about 500 meters from Thirukazhukundram Bus Station, 12 Kms from Chengalpattu, 14 Kms from Chengalpattu Railway Station, 16 Kms from Kalpakkam, 17 Kms from Mahabalipuram, 23 Kms from Thiruporur, 50 Kms from Kanchipuram, 54 Kms from Chennai Airport and 72 Kms from Chennai.

Thirukazhukundram is situated on State Highway 58, connecting Chengalpattu with Kalpakkam (ECR Road). Thirukazhukundram is also situated on the Chengalpattu – Mamallapuram road. Frequent Bus facilities are available from Chengalpattu, Chennai, Kalpakkam, Tambaram and Kancheepuram.

Vedagiriswarar Temple Thirukalukundram Chengalpattu Address

Vedagiriswarar Temple,
Thirukalukundram – 603 109,
Chengalpattu District,
Phone: +91 44 2744 7139 / 2744 7393,
Mobile: +91 94447 10979 / 94428 11149,

Mobile: +91 98945 07959 / 94432 47394,

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