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Annamalaiyar Temple (Arunachaleswarar) i

Arunachleswarar temple


Arunachalesvara Temple, also called Annamalaiyar Temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Shiva, located at the base of Arunachala hill in the town of Thiruvannamalai in Tamil NaduIndia. It is significant to the Hindu sect of Saivism as one of the temples associated with the five elements, the Pancha Bhoota Stalas, and specifically the element of fire, or Agni. Shiva is worshiped as Arunachalesvara or Annamalaiyar, and is represented by the lingam, with his idol referred to as Agni lingam. His consort Parvati is depicted as Unnamalai Amman.[2][3] The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the nayanars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. The 9th century Saiva saint poet Manikkavasagar composed the Tiruvempaavai here.

The temple complex covers 10 hectares, and is one of the largest in India.[4] It houses four gateway towers known as gopurams. The tallest is the eastern tower, with 11 stories and a height of 66 metres (217 ft), making it one of the tallest temple towers in India built by sevappa nayakkar(Nayakar dynasty). The temple has numerous shrines, with those of Arunachalesvara and Unnamalai Amman being the most prominent. The temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the thousand-pillared hall built during the Vijayanagar period.

The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and twelve yearly festivals on its calendar. The Karthigai Deepam festival is celebrated during the day of the full moon between November and December, and a huge beacon is lit atop the hill. It can be seen from miles around, and symbolizes the Shiva lingam of fire joining the sky. The event is witnessed by three million pilgrims. On the day preceding each full moon, pilgrims circumnavigate the temple base and the Arunachala hills in a worship called Girivalam, a practice carried out by one million pilgrims yearly. 

The present masonry structure was built during the Chola dynasty in the 9th century, while later expansions are attributed to Vijayanagara rulers of the Sangama Dynasty (1336–1485 CE), the Saluva Dynasty and the Tuluva Dynasty (1491–1570 CE). The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

In Hindu mythology, Parvati, wife of Shiva, once closed the eyes of her husband playfully in a flower garden at their abode atop Mount Kailash. Although only a moment for the gods, all light was taken from the universe, and the earth, in turn, was submerged in darkness for years. Parvati performed penance along with other devotees of Shiva. Then her husband appeared as a column of fire at the top of Arunachala hills, returning light to the world. He then merged with Parvati to form Ardhanarishvara, the half-female, half-male form of Shiva.] The Arunachala, or red mountain, lies behind the Arunachalesvara temple, and is associated with the temple of its namesake.[3] The hill is sacred and considered a lingam, or iconic representation of Shiva, in itself.]

Another legend is that once, while Vishnu and Brahma contested for superiority, Shiva appeared as a flame, and challenged them to find his source. Brahma took the form of a swan, and flew to the sky to see the top of the flame, while Vishnu became the boar Varaha, and sought its base. The scene is called lingothbava, and is represented in the western wall at the sanctum of most Shiva temples. Neither Brahma nor Vishnu could find the source, and while Vishnu conceded his defeat, Brahma lied and said he had found the pinnacle. In punishment, Shiva ordained that Brahma would never have temples on earth in his worship.

The present masonry and towers date back to the 9th century CE, as seen from an inscription in the structure made by Chola kings who ruled at that time. Further inscriptions indicate that before the 9th century, Tiruvannamalai was under the Pallava Kings, who ruled from Kanchipuram. The 7th century Nayanar saints Sambandar and Appar wrote of the temple in their poetic work, TevaramSekkizhar, the author of the Periyapuranam wrote that both Appar and Sambandar worshiped Arunachalesvara in the temple. The Chola Kings ruled over the region for more than four centuries, from 850 CE to 1280 CE, and were temple patrons. The inscriptions from the Chola king record various gifts like land, sheep, cow and oil to the temple commemorating various victories of the dynasty. The Hoysala kings used Tiruvannamalai as their capital beginning in 1328 CE. There are 48 inscriptions from the Sangama Dynasty (1336–1485 CE), 2 inscriptions from Saluva Dynasty, and 55 inscriptions from Tuluva Dynasty (1491–1570 CE) of the Vijayanagara Empire, reflecting gifts to the temple from their rulers.[18] There are also inscriptions from the rule of Krishnadeva Raya (1509–1529 CE), the most powerful Vijayanagara king, indicating further patronage. Most of the Vijayanagara inscriptions were written in Tamil, with some in Kannada and Sanskrit. The inscriptions in temple from the Vijayanagara kings indicate emphasis on administrative matters and local concerns, which contrasts the inscriptions of the same rulers in other temples like Tirupathi. The majority of the gift related inscriptions are for land endownments, followed by goods, cash endowments, cows and oil for lighting lamps. The town of Tiruvannamalai was at a strategic crossroads during the Vijayanagara Empire, connecting sacred centers of pilgrimage and military routes. There are inscriptions that show the area as an urban center before the precolonial period, with the city developing around the temple, similar to the Nayak ruled cities like Madurai.

During the 17th century CE, the temple along with the Tiruvannamalai town came under the dominion of the Nawab of the Carnatic. As the Mughal empire came to an end, the Nawab lost control of the town, with confusion and chaos ensuing after 1753. Subsequently, there were periods of both Hindu and Muslim stewardship of the temple, with Muraru Raya, Krishna Raya, Mrithis Ali Khan, and Burkat Ullakhan besieging the temple in succession. As European incursions progressed, Tiruvannamalai was attacked by French Soupries, Sambrinet, and the English Captain Stephen Smith. While some were repelled, others were victorious. The French occupied the town in 1757, and the temple along with the town came under control of the British in 1760. In 1790 CE, Tiruvannamalai town was captured by Tippu Sultan, who ruled from 1750–99 CE. During the first half of the 19th century, the town along with the temple came under British rule. From 1951, under the provision of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, the temple has been maintained by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board (HR &CE) of the Government of Tamil Nadu In 2002, the Archaeological Survey of India declared the temple a national heritage monument and took over its stewardship. Widespread protests and litigation with the Supreme Court of India, however, led the Archaeological Survey to cede the temple back to the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board. 

Complex and towers

The temple is situated at the bottom of the Arunachala hills, and faces east, lying over 25 acres. The walls on the east and west measure 700 ft (210 m), the south 1,479 ft (451 m), and the north 1,590 ft (480 m). It has four gateway towers, the gopuram, on its four sides. The eastern tower, the Rajagopuram, is the tallest in the temple. The base of the Rajagopuram is made of granite, measuring 135 ft (41 m) by 98 ft (30 m).[15] It was begun by king Krishnadevaraya (1509–29 CE) of the Vijayanagara dynasty, and completed by Sevappa Nayaka (1532–80 CE). The inscriptions indicate that the tower was built at the behest of Sivanesa and his brother Lokanatha in 1572 CE.[25] The south tower is called Thirumanjangopuram, and the west, Pei Gopuram. Ammani Amman gourami in the north.Raghunathabhyudayam and Sangitha Sudha, both Nayak scriptures, also describe the towers. The Tanjavuri Andhra Raja Charitamu mentions that Krishnadevaraya built the tower and the outer precincts of the temple. The temple has a total of five precincts, each of which holds a huge Nandi, the sacred bull of Shiva. Towers include the Vallala Maharaja Gopuram and Kili Gopuram, or Parrot Tower.


The main shrine of Arunachalesvara faces east, housing images of Nandi and Surya, and is the oldest structure in the temple. Behind the walls of the sanctum, there is an image of Venugopalaswamy (Krishna), an incarnation of Vishnu. Around the sanctum, there are images of SomaskandarDurga, Chandekeswarar, GajalakshmiArumugaswamiDakshinamoorthySwarnabairavarNataraja, and Lingodbhavar—the last an image of Shiva emanating from lingam. The Palliyarai, the divine room for resting deities, is located at the first precinct around the sanctum. The shrine of his consort, Unnamulai Amman, lies in the second precinct, with Amman depicted in a standing posture. Sambantha Vinayagar, the elephant god shrine, is located to the north of the flagstaff and the Bali peeta, or platform for sacrifice. To the south of the thousand-pillared hall, there is a small shrine for Subramaya and a large tank. Pathala Lingam, the underground lingam, is the place where Ramana Maharshi (1879 – 1950 CE) is believed to have performed his penance. The shrine of Sivagangai Vinayagar is present in the northern bank of the Sivanganga tank.


There is a sixteen pillared Deepa Darshana Mandapam, or hall of light, in the third precinct. The temple tree, Magizha, is considered sacred and medicinal, and childless couples tie small cradles to its branches in obeisance. Vedas write that the mast of the temple separated the earth and the sky during creation of the universe. The Kalyana Mandapam, the marriage hall, is in the south-west of the precinct, and is built in Vijayanagara style. A stone trident is present in the outer shrine of the temple in open air, and has protective railings like a sacred tree. The Vasantha Mandapam, meaning the Hall of spring, is the third precinct, and contains the temple office and Kalahateeswarar shrine. The fourth precinct has an image of Nandi, Brahma Theertham, the temple tank, the Yanai Thirai Konda Vinayaga shrine, and a hall with a six-foot-tall statue of Nandi, erected by Vallala Maharaja.

Inside the doorway of the first tower and the fifth precinct, there is a thousand-pillared hall built during the late Vijayanagara period. Krishnadevaraya constructed the hall and dug the tank opposite to it. The pillars in the hall are carved with images of yali, a mythological beast with body of lion and head of an elephant, a symbol of Nayak power. The Arunagirinathar Mandapam is located to the right of the Kalayana Linga Sundara Eswara Mandapam, and the Gopurathilayanar shrine is to the left of a broad flight of stone stairs that lead up to the Vallala Gopuram.

Worship and festivals

The temple priests perform the pooja (rituals) during festivals and on a daily basis. Like other Shiva temples of Tamil Nadu, the priests belong to the Shaivaite community, a Brahmin sub-caste. The temple rituals are performed six times a day; Ushatkalam at 5:30 a.m., Kalashanti at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 10:00 a.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 8:00 p.m. and Arddha Jamam at 10:00 p.m. Each ritual comprises four steps: abhishekam (sacred bath), alankaram (decoration), naivedyam (food offering) and deepa aradhanai (waving of lamps) for both Arunachaleshvara and Unnamulai Amman. The worship is held amidst music with nagaswaram (pipe instrument) and tavil (percussion instrument), religious instructions in the Vedas read by priests and prostration by worshippers in front of the temple mast. There are weekly rituals like somavaram and sukravaram, fortnightly rituals like pradosham and monthly festivals like amavasai (new moon day), kruttika, purnima (full moon day) and chaturthi.

Deepam at Mt. Arunachala

The temple celebrates dozens of festivals throughout the year. Four prime festivals, the Brahmotsavam, are celebrated yearly. The most important of these lasts ten days during the Tamil month of Karthikai, between November and December, concluding with the celebration of Karthikai Deepam. A huge lamp is lit in a cauldron, containing three tons of ghee, at the top of the Arunachala hills during the Deepam. To mark the occasion, the festival image of Arunachalesvara is taken around the wooden chariot around the mountain. Inscriptions indicate that the festival was celebrated as early as the Chola period (from 850 CE to 1280 CE) and was expanded to ten days in the twentieth century.

Every full moon, tens of thousands of pilgrims worship Arunachalesvara by circumambulating the Arunachala hill barefoot. The circumambulation covers a distance of 14 kilometres (8.7 mi), and is referred as Girivalam.[39][6] According to Hindu legend, the walk removes sins, fulfils desires and helps achieve freedom from the cycle of birth and rebirth. Offerings are made in a string of tanks, shrines, pillared meditation halls, springs and caves around the hill.[3] The circumambulation continues during the rest of the month. On the day of yearly Chitra Pournami, the full moon of the Tamil calendar, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims come from across the world to worship Arunachalesvara. Five temple cars, called ther, with wooden carvings, are used for the procession.

Tiruvoodal is another festival celebrated during the first week of the Tamil month Thai at mid-January of every year. On the morning of Maatu Pongal, between 15 and 16 January, Nandi is decorated with garlands made of fruits, vegetables and sweets. The festival deities of Arunachalesvara and Unnamamulai Amman are taken out of the temple to Tiruoodal street to enact the oodal (or love tiff) between the two in the evening.

Religious significance

The Arunachalesvara temple is one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalams, or five Shiva temples, with each a manifestation of a natural element: land, water, air, sky and fire.[41] In Arunachalesvara temple, Shiva is said to have manifested himself as a massive column of fire, whose crown and feet could not be found by the Hindu gods, Brahma and Vishnu. The main lingam in the shrine is referred as Agni Lingam, and represents duty, virtue, self-sacrifice and liberation through ascetic life at the end of the Agni kalpa.

Aathara Stala are Shiva temples which are considered to be personifications of the Tantric chakras of human anatomy. The Arunachalesvara temple is called the Manipooraga stalam, and is associated with the Manipooraga chakra. Manipooraga is the chakra associated with the solar plexus.

Saints and literary mention

Tirugnana Sambandar, a 7th-century Tamil Saivite poet, venerated Arunachalesvara and Unnamulai Amman in ten verses in Tevaram, compiled as the First Tirumurai.[43] Appar, a contemporary of Sambandar, also venerated Arunachalesvara in 10 verses in Tevaram, compiled as the Fifth Tirumurai.As the temple is revered in Tevaram, it is classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam, one of the 276 temples that find mention in the Saiva canon.

Manickavasagar, a 9th-century Tamil saint and poet, revered Arunachalesvara in his writing, describing the deity as "AnnAmalai". He composed the Thiruvempavai in the Tamil month of Margazhi at the temple. Arunagirinathar was a 15th-century Tamil poet born in Tiruvannamalai. He spent his early years as a rioter and seducer of women. After ruining his health, he tried to commit suicide by throwing himself from the northern tower, but was saved by the grace of god Murugan. He became a staunch devotee and composed Tamil hymns glorifying Murugan, the most notable being Thirupugazh

The western world learnt of Tiruvannamalai during the mid 20th century, through the work of Ramana Maharishi (1879–1950 CE).[2][50] The cave where Ramana meditated is on the lower slopes of the Arunachala hills, with the ashram further down at the foothills.[29][51] The basement of the raised hall inside the temple has the Patala Lingam, where Ramana attained supreme awareness while ants devoured his flesh.[51] The place is also called a Mukthi Sthalam, meaning place of salvation, and saints like Seshadri Swamigal, Gugai Namachivayar and Yogi Ramsuratkumar have been associated with the temple.


Trains and buses available to this temple town from all parts of Tamil nadu.





Thirunavalur is situated at a distance of about 28 kms from Villupuram. On the Villupuram to Trichy National Highway (bypass), at the Gadilam junction, there is an overbridge. Take the service road under this bridge to get on to the Panruti road. Continue on this road further for about 3 kms to reach this temple.

The temple is 12 kms from Panruti on the Panruti to Ulundoorpettai road and it is 15 kms from Ulundoorpettai. 

Other Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams near this temple are – Thiruvamathur, Thiruthuraiyur, Thiruvathigai, Thirumundeecharam, T.Idaiyaru and Thiruvennainallur.



  • Sri Naavaleeswarar, Sri Bhakta Janeswarar, Sri Jambu Natheswarar

  • Ambal

  • Sri Manonmani, Sri Sundaranayaki, Sri Naavalambigai

  • Theertham (Holy water)

  • Gadilam River, Gomukhi Theertham, River Garuda

  • Sthala Vriksham (Sacred Tree)

  • Naaval (Jambu)

  • Pathigam (Hymn) rendered by 

  • Saint Sundaramurthy Nayanar (Sundarar)

  • This is one of the 276 Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams and 8th Shiva Sthalam in Nadu Naadu.

  • Lord Shiva in this temple is a Swayambumurthi (self-manifested) who is believed to have appeared in the midst of Jambu trees (Naaval).

  • This is the birth place of Saint Sundaramurthy Nayanar, one of the four great Saints (Nalvar) and one of the 63 Nayanmars.

This temple’s entrance has a 5- tiered main tower (Rajagopuram) and it has 2 corridors.


Thirunavalur is situated in the erstwhile Thirumunaippadi Nadu and is in between the rivers Gadilam and Pennai. The temple is considered to be one of the oldest one and is said to have existed here even before the 4 yugas. This temple was earlier called “Thiruthondeecharam” and the place around it was called Thirunavalur and Jambunathapuri. However, it is now called Thirunamanallur.

As per the stone inscriptions available in this temple, the Chola king Rajathithan, son of Paranthakan-I, renovated and expanded this temple.


It is said that Goddess Parvathi, Lord Brahma, Lord Mahavishnu, Chandikeswarar, Sukran, Indran, Ashtathik Balakars, Suryan, Saptharishis and Garudan have worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple.

Also, Saint Sundaramurthy Nayanar, and his parents Sadaya Nayanar and Isaignaniyar and his foster father Narasinga Munaiyaraiyar have worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple. All of them find a place among the 63 Nayanmars.

As advised by Goddess Parvathi, Sukrachariyar (Sukran) worshipped the Lord Shiva here and got relieved from “Vakra dhosham”. The lingam installed and worshiped by Sukran is named as “Bhargaveeswarar” and it can be seen in the temple’s corridors.

Lord Mahavishnu is believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva here to seek his blessings before taking the “Narasimha Avatar” to destroy demon Hiranyan (Pragalad’s father). There is a separate shrine for Sri Varadaraja Perumal (Lord Mahavishnu) in this temple.

It is also believed that Goddess Parvathi worshipped Lord Shiva here before their wedding.

It is believed that Sivapriyar, a Shiva devogtee, worshipped Lord Shiva here and attained the post of Chandikeswarar. Beautifully engraved reliefs depicting the life of Chandikeswarar can be seen in this temple.

It is also believed that in a fight between Garudan and the Serpent Aadhiseshan, Garudan had turned blue after coming in contact with Aadhiseshan’s venom. Garudan prayed to Lord Shiva here and got relief from his ailment. 


Goddess Parvathi is in a separate temple and can be seen in a meditative posture. It is interesting to see that her hair is not braided or tied. The temples of both Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi are facing east.

Shrines and idols of Lord Vinayakar and Lord Murugan with his consorts can be seen in the corridors. In this temple, Lord Dakshinamurthy is seen in a standing posture with his bull mount but without Muyalagan under his feet.

Lingams worshiped by Saptha Rishikals, Pollapillayar, Sekkizhar, Gajalakshmi, Navagraham, Sri Bhargaveeswarar, Suryan and Bairavar can be seen in the corridors.

In the corridors, there are Shiva lingams that are believed to have been worshipped by Lord Mahavishnu in Kirutha yugam, Chandikeswarar in Thretha yugam, Lord Brahma in Dwabara yugam, and Saint Sundarar in Kali yugam.

The beautiful procession idols made of bronze (Utsava Murthy) of Lord Natarajar with Sivakami Amman, Vinayakar, Murugan, Bhikshandavar, Saint Sundaramurthy Nayanar with his two wives and the Nalvar can be seen in the temple’s hall.

There is a Shivalingam in the inner corridor that is believed to have been worshiped by King Narasinga Munaiyaraiyar, foster father of Saint Sundamurthy Nayanar.


Lord Dakshinamurthy’s idol here is in a standing posture with his bull (Rishabha Vahan) and is believed to have given darshan to Saint Sundarar. It is believed that worshiping Lord Dakshinamurthy here is especially auspicious for those born during the time of the “Poorada nakshatram”. 

This is the birth place of Saint Sundaramurthy Nayanar, who is also known affectionately as “Thampiran Thozhan” (Lord Shiva’s comrade). He was an eighth-century poet who was one of the most prominent Nayanmars. The hymns (Pathigams) rendered by him are called “Thiruppattu”. A separate shrine for Saint Sundaramurthy Nayanar with his wives Sangili Nachiyar and Paravai Nachiyar can be seen in the temple. You can read more about Saint Sundaramurthy Nayanar’s life here.

Near this temple, a mutt (madam) is being constructed to commemorate the birth place of Saint Sundaramurthy Nayanar. 

In his hymn, Saint Sundarar referred to the lord of this temple as “Sri Thirunavaleesan” (Naaval is the sthala viruksham here and it means “Jambu” in Sanskrit). The lord is also praised as “Sri Jambu Natheswarar” and the place is referred to as “Thirunama Nallur”. 

This is said to be the star temple for those born during the time of “Rohini Nakshatram” as this temple’s sthala viriksham (Naaval tree) is associated with the “Rohini Nakshatram”.

Contrary to its normal position in the Navagraham, Sun (Suryan) is facing east (facing Lord Shiva).

It is believed that Lord Suryan (Sun) worships Lord Shiva of this temple by directing his rays on the lingam for five days (23rd to 27th of the Tamil month of Pankuni).

In the wall of the sanctum, there are beautifully carved reliefs depicting the life of Chandikeswarar.

Saint Arunagirinadhar has also sang songs in praise of Lord Murugan of this temple in his revered Thirupugazh.

Saint Thirunavukkarasar’s birth place Thiruvamur is very near to this place.


Since Sukran is believed to have worshiped the lord here, it is believed that worshiping Lord Shiva here devotees will get relief from “Sukra Dosham”.

Devotees believe that worshiping the lord here will remove obstacles from their marriage proposals.

As this temple is considered especially auspicious for the Rohini Nakshatram, devotees who are born in the period of this constellation visit this temple for worship.


Almost all festivals are celebrated in this temple. The important ones are –

Saint Sundararamurthy Nayanar’s birthday (Janana Vizha) in the Tamil month of Avani (Aug-Sept) on the day of the “Uthiram” star day,

Sundarar’s Guru Pooja in the Tamil month of Adi (July-Aug) on the day of the “Swathi” star, and

Car festival (Ther) in the Tamil month of Chithirai (Apr-May).

Pradosham is also observed regularly. 


From 07.00 AM to 12.00 Noon and 04.00 PM to 08.00 PM.


Sri Pakthajaneswarar Temple,
Ulunthurpettai Taluk,
Villupuram District,
Tamil Nadu - 607 204.
Tele: +91 4149-224 391.

The temple priests can be contacted at:–
Sri Chandrasekara Gurukkal : 09943359480
Sri Sambandha Gurukkal : 094436 24585.
Sri Muthuswami Gurukkal : 094433082945
Sri Senthil Gurukkal : 09486150809.



கோவலன் நான்முகன் வானவர்
கோனுங்குற் றேவல்செய்ய
மேவலர் முப்புரந் தீயெழு
வித்தவன் ஓரம்பினால்
ஏவல னார்வெண்ணெய் நல்லூரில்
வைத்தெனை யாளுங்கொண்ட
நாவல னார்க்கிட மாவது
நந்திரு நாவலூரே.

“Kōvalaṉ nāṉmukaṉ vāṉavar
kōṉuṅkuṟ tṟēvalseyya
mēvalar muppuran thīyezhu
vithavaṉ ōrampiṉāl
ēvala ṉārveṇṇey nallūril
vaitheṉai yāḷuṅkoṇṭa
nāvala ṉārkkiṭa māvathu
nanthiru nāvalūrē”.

தன்மையி னாலடி யேனைத்தாம்
ஆட்கொண்ட நாட்சபைமுன்
வன்மைகள் பேசிட வன்றொண்டன்
என்பதோர் வாழ்வுதந்தார்
புன்மைகள் பேசவும் பொன்னைத்தந்
தென்னைப்போ கம்புணர்த்த
நன்மையி னார்க்கிட மாவது
நந்திரு நாவலூரே.

“Thaṉmaiyi ṉālaṭi yēṉaithām
āṭkoṇṭa nāṭsapaimuṉ
vaṉmaikaḷ pēsiṭa vaṉtṟoṇṭaṉ
eṉpathōr vāzhvuthanthār
puṉmaikaḷ pēsavum poṉṉaithan
theṉṉaippō kampuṇartha
naṉmaiyi ṉārkkiṭa māvathu
nanthiru nāvalūrē”.

வேகங்கொண் டோ டிய வெள்விடை
ஏறியோர் மெல்லியலை
ஆகங்கொண் டார்வெண்ணெய் நல்லூரில்
வைத்தெனை ஆளுங்கொண்டார்
போகங்கொண் டார் கடற் கோடியின்
மோடியைப் பூண்பதாக
நாகங்கொண் டார்க்கிட மாவது
நந்திரு நாவலூரே.

“Vēkaṅkoṇ ṭō ṭiya veḷviṭai
ēṟiyōr melliyalai
ākaṅkoṇ ṭārveṇṇey nallūril
vaitheṉai āḷuṅkoṇṭār
pōkaṅkoṇ ṭār kaṭaṟ kōṭiyiṉ
mōṭiyaip pūṇpathāka
nākaṅkoṇ ṭārkkiṭa māvathu
nanthiru nāvalūrē”.

அஞ்சுங்கொண் டாடுவர் ஆவினிற்
சேவினை ஆட்சிகொண்டார்
தஞ்சங்கொண் டாரடிச் சண்டியைத்
தாமென வைத்துகந்தார்
நெஞ்சங்கொண் டார்வெண்ணெய் நல்லூரில்
வைத்தெனை ஆளுங்கொண்டு
நஞ்சங்கொண் டார்க்கிட மாவது
நந்திரு நாவலூரே.

“Añchuṅkoṇ ṭāṭuvar āviṉiṟ
chēviṉai āṭchikoṇṭār
thañjaṅkoṇ ṭāraṭich chaṇṭiyaith
thāmeṉa vaithukanthār
neñjaṅkoṇ ṭārveṇṇey nallūril
vaitheṉai āḷuṅkoṇṭu
nañchaṅkoṇ ṭārkkiṭa māvathu
nanthiru nāvalūrē”.

உம்பரார் கோனைத்திண் டோ ள்முரித்
தாருரித் தார்களிற்றைச்
செம்பொனார் தீவண்ணர் தூவண்ண
நீற்றரோர் ஆவணத்தால்
எம்பிரா னார்வெண்ணெய் நல்லூரில்
வைத்தெனை ஆளுங்கொண்ட
நம்பிரா னார்க்கிட மாவது
நந்திரு நாவலூரே.

“Umparār kōṉaithiṇ ṭō ḷmurith
thārurith tāhrkaḷitṟaich
chempoṉār thīvaṇṇar thūvaṇṇa
nītṟarōr āvaṇathāl
empirā ṉārveṇṇey nallūril
vaitheṉai āḷuṅkoṇṭa
nampirā ṉārkkiṭa māvathu
nanthiru nāvalūrē”.

கோட்டங்கொண் டார்குட மூக்கிலுங்
கோவலுங் கோத்திட்டையும்
வேட்டங்கொண் டார்வெண்ணெய் நல்லூரில்
வைத்தெனை ஆளுங்கொண்டார்
ஆட்டங்கொண் டார்தில்லைச் சிற்றம்
பலத்தே அருக்கனைமுன்
நாட்டங்கொண் டார்க்கிட மாவது
நந்திரு நாவலூரே.

“Kōṭṭaṅkoṇ ṭārkuṭa mūkkiluṅ
kōvaluṅ kōthiṭaiyum
vēṭṭaṅkoṇ ṭārveṇṇey nallūril
vaitheṉai āḷuṅkoṇṭār
āṭṭaṅkoṇ ṭārthillaich chiṟtam
palathē arukkaṉaimuṉ
nāṭṭaṅkoṇ ṭārkkiṭa māvathu
nanthiru nāvalūrē”.

தாயவ ளாய்த்தந்தை யாகிச்
சாதல் பிறத்தலின்றிப்
போயக லாமைத்தன் பொன்னடிக்
கென்னைப் பொருந்தவைத்த
வேயவ னார்வெண்ணெய் நல்லூரில்
வைத்தெனை ஆளுங்கொண்ட
நாயக னார்க்கிட மாவது
நந்திரு நாவலூரே.

“Thāyava ḷāythanthai yākich
chāthal piṟathaliṉtṟip
pōyaka lāmaitthṉ poṉṉaṭik
keṉṉaip porunthavaitha
vēyava ṉārveṇṇey nallūril
vaitheṉai āḷuṅkoṇṭa
nāyaka ṉārkkiṭa māvathu
nanthiru nāvalūrē”.

வாயாடி மாமறை ஓதியோர்
வேதிய னாகிவந்து
தீயாடி யார்சினக் கேழலின்
பின்சென்றோர் வேடுவனாய்
வேயாடி யார்வெண்ணெய் நல்லூரில்
வைத்தெனை ஆளுங்கொண்ட
நாயாடி யார்க்கிட மாவது
நந்திரு நாவலூரே.

“Vāyāṭi māmaṟai ōthiyōr
vēthiya ṉākivanthu
thīyāṭi yārsiṉak kēzhaliṉ
piṉseṉtṟōr vēṭuvaṉāy
vēyāṭi yārveṇṇey nallūril
vaitheṉai āḷuṅkoṇṭa
nāyāṭi yārkkiṭa māvathu
nanthiru nāvalūrē”.

படமாடு பாம்பணை யானுக்கும்
பாவைநல் லாள்தனக்கும்
வடமாடு மால்விடை ஏற்றுக்கும்
பாகனாய் வந்தொருநாள்
இடமாடி யார்வெண்ணெய் நல்லூரில்
வைத்தெனை ஆளுங்கொண்ட
நடமாடி யார்க்கிட மாவது
நந்திரு நாவலூரே.

“Paṭamāṭu pāmpaṇai yāṉukkum
pāvainal lāḷthaṉakkum
vaṭamāṭu mālviṭai ētṟukkum
pākaṉāy vanthorunāḷ
iṭamāṭi yārveṇṇey nallūril
vaitheṉai āḷuṅkoṇṭa
naṭamāṭi yārkkiṭa māvathu
nanthiru nāvalūrē”.

மிடுக்குண்டென் றோடியோர் வெற்பெடுத்
தான்வலி யைநெரித்தார்
அடக்கங்கொண் டாவணங் காட்டிநல்
வெண்ணெயூர் ஆளுங்கொண்டார்
தடுக்கவொண் ணாததோர் வேழத்
தினையுரித் திட்டுமையை
நடுக்கங்கண் டார்க்கிட மாவது
நந்திரு நாவலூரே.

“Miṭukkuṇṭeṉ tṟōṭiyōr veṟpeṭuth
thāṉvali yainerithār
aṭakkaṅkoṇ ṭāvaṇaṅ kāṭṭinal
veṇṇeyūr āḷuṅkoṇṭār
thaṭukkavoṇ ṇāthathōr vēzhath
thiṉaiyurith thiṭṭumaiyai
naṭukkaṅkaṇ ṭārkkiṭa māvathu
nanthiru nāvalūrē”.

நாதனுக் கூர்நமக் கூர்நர
சிங்க முனையரையன்
ஆதரித் தீசனுக் காட்செயும்
ஊரணி நாவலூரென்
றோதநற் றக்கவன் றொண்டன்
ஆரூரன் உரைத்ததமிழ்
காதலித் துங்கற்றுங் கேட்பவர்
தம்வினை கட்டறுமே.

“Nāthaṉuk kūrnamak kūrnara
siṅka muṉaiyaraiyaṉ
ātharith thīsaṉuk kāṭseyum
ūraṇi nāvalūreṉ
tṟōthanatṟ akkavaṉ tṟoṇṭaṉ
ārūraṉ uraithathamizh
kāthalith thuṅkatṟuṅ kēṭpavar
thamviṉai kaṭṭaṟumē”.

Temple 2.png



Panayapuram is at a distance of about 12 kms from Villupuram and 3 kms from Mundiambakkam. It is on the Pondicherry to Mundiambakkam route. The temple is hardly one km away from the Vikravandi tollgate on the Panruti / Kumabakonam route. 

Other Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams near Panayapuram are: Thiruvamathur (13 kms), Thiruthuraiyur (24 kms) and Thirumundeeswaram (Gramam) (29 kms). 


  • Moolavar - Sri Panangatteswarar, Sri Nethrotharaneswarar, Sri Kannamarntha Nayanar

  • Ambal - Sri Sathyambikai, Sri Meyyambikai, Sri Puravambikai

  • Theertham (Holy water) Padma Theertham

  • Sthala Vriksham (Sacred Tree) Palm tree (panai)

  • Pathigam (Hymn) rendered by Saint Thirugnanasambanthar

  • This is one of the 276 Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams and 20th Shiva Sthalam in Nadu Naadu. 

  • Lord Shiva in this temple is a Swayambumurthi (self-manifested).

  • This is one of the few temples that has palm tree is its “sthala viruksham”. 

  • This temple has two corridors and its main tower (Rajagopuram) has 4-tiers.

  • The last Consecration ceremony (Maha Kumbabishekam) took place on 02.06.2004 and prior to that in the year 1971. 


This temple is believed to have been built by the Chola King Kulothungan-I.

It is believed that once this place was densely populated with palm trees. This place is called “Puravaar Panangkatur” because “Puravaar” in Tamil means forest and Panangkatur means full of palm trees. Saint Thirugnanasambanthar has also mentioned this place as Puravaar Panankatur in his hyms. Of the 276 Paadal Petra Shivasthalams, very few temples have Palm tree (Panai) as their Sthala Viruksham. This temple is one of them. They are - Thiru Panaiyur, Thiru Vanparthan Panankattur, Thiru Puravaar Panankattur, Thiru Cheyyar, Thiru Mazhapadi, Thiru Valampuram and Thiruppanandal.


The legend is that Dakshan (father of Goddess Parvathi) once performed a yagna where he invited all the devas (celestial gods) but intentionally left out Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was angered by this slight and all the devas who attended the yagna and consumed the yagna-food (avirbhaagam), became the object of his fury.

Lord Shiva instructed Aghora Veerabhadrar to go to Dakshan’s yagna-hall and punish all the devas. Agora Veerabhadrar carried out the lord’s instruction and as a result the Sun God (Suryan) who was one of the attendees lost his eye sight and lustre. To seek Lord Shiva’s forgiveness, Suryan went to several holy places and offered his prayers. It was finally at this place (Puravaar Panangkattur) that Suryan’s eye sight and his brightness were restored. Hence, Lord Shiva is also praised here as “Kan parithu aruliya kadavul” (the God who took and later restored the eye sight).

As Suryan got back his brightness at this temple, it is believed that every year, he worships Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi for a period of seven days from the 1st day of the Tamil New year by illuminating the idols in the two sanctums.

Another legend associated with this place is that of the Chola Emperor Sibi Chakravarthi. It is believed that once, a pigeon that was being hunted by a vulture surrendered to the King and sought his help. He immediately cut a portion of his thigh flesh equivalent to the weight of the pigeon and offered it as food to the vulture instead. This deed came to the notice of Lord Shiva who appreciated his generosity, gave him his dharisanam and offered him salvation (moksham). In order to celebrate this event and to honour King Sibi, his descendants built a beautiful temple at this place.


In the inner corridor’s idols of lords Vinayakar, Murugan, Saneeswarar, Suryan, 63 Nayanmars, Saptamaathas, Lord Mahavishnu, Gajalakshmi, Bikshaantavar, Dakshinamurthi, Bala Dandayuthapani, Vallabha Vinayakar, Brahma, Durgai, Chantikeswarar, Navagrahams and others can be seen.

There are also separate shrines for Lords Natarajar and Somaskandar.


There are four sacred palm trees in the outer corridor.

There is a rare idol of Thiruneelakandar (one of the 63 Nayanmars) and his wife where both of them are holding a staff and standing in praying posture.

There is also a rare rock relief depicting Lord Vinayakar (Polla Pillaiyar) at the entrance. This relief has been made using stone tools.

In the 11th stanza of his hymn, Saint Thirugnanasambanthar said that those who recite his hymn of this temple, will get a place at Lord Shiva’s abode.


It is believed by devotees that worshipping Lord Shiva here would cure their eye sight related problems. 

Devotees also pray to Lord Shiva here for the removal of hurdles from marriage proposals, to attain knowledge and wisdom.


Amongst others, Surya Pooja in the Tamil month of Chithirai, Brahmotsavam in the Tamil month of Chithirai, Maha Shivarathiri in the Tamil month of Masi, Thiruvaathirai in the Tamil month of Markazhi and Annabhishekam in the Tamil month of Aippasi are celebrated in a grand manner.


 From 06.00 AM to 11.00 AM and from 04.00 PM to 08.30 PM.


Sri Panangaateeswarar Temple,
Panaiyapuram Post
Mundiyampakkam Via
Villupuram District
Tamil Nadu - 605 601.
Tele: +91 9942056781.

The temple priest Sri S.Ganesan Gurukkal can be contacted at 094448 97861.




விண்ண மர்ந்தன மும்ம தில்களை
வீழ வெங்கணை யாலெய் தாய்வரி
பண்ணமர்ந் தொலிசேர் புறவார் பனங்காட்டூர்ப்
பெண்ண மர்ந்தொரு பாக மாகிய
பிஞ்ஞ காபிறை சேர்நு தலிடைக்
கண்ணமர்ந் தவனே கலந்தார்க் கருளாயே.

"Viṇṇa marnthaṉa mum'ma thilkaḷai
vīzha veṅkaṇai yāley thāyvari
paṇṇamarn tholisēr puṟavār paṉaṅkāṭṭūrp
peṇṇa marnthoru pāka mākiya
piñña kāpiṟai sērnu thaliṭaik
kaṇṇamarn thavaṉē kalanthārk karuḷāyē".

நீடல் கோடல் அலரவெண் முல்லை
நீர்ம லர்நிறைத் தாத ளஞ்செயப்
பாடல்வண் டறையும் புறவார் பனங்காட்டூர்த்
தோடி லங்கிய லாத யல்மின்
துளங்க வெண்குழை துள்ள நள்ளிருள்
ஆடுஞ்சங் கரனே அடைந்தார்க் கருளாயே.

"Nīdal kōdal alaraveṇ mullai
nīrma larniṟaith thātha ḷañcheyap
pāṭalvaṇ daṟaiyum puṟavār paṉaṅkāṭṭūrth
thōṭi laṅkiya lātha yalmiṉ
thuḷaṅka veṇkuzhai thuḷḷa naḷḷiruḷ
āduñsaṅ karaṉē aṭainthārk karuḷāyē".

வாளை யுங்கய லும்மிளிர் பொய்கை
வார்பு னற்கரை யருகெ லாம்வயற்
பாளையொண் கமுகம் புறவார் பனங்காட்டூர்ப்
பூளை யுந்நறுங் கொன்றை யும்மத
மத்த மும்புனை வாய்க ழலிணைத்
தாளையே பரவுந் தவத்தார்க் கருளாயே.

"Vāḷai yuṅkaya lum'miḷir poykai
vārpu ṉaṟkarai yaruke lāmvayaṟ
pāḷaiyoṇ kamukam puṟavār paṉaṅkāṭṭūrp
pūḷai yunnaṟuṅ koṉtṟai yum'matha
matha mumpuṉai vāyka zhaliṇaith
thāḷaiyē paravun thavathārk karuḷāyē".

மேய்ந்திளஞ் செந்நெல் மென்க திர்கவ்வி
மேற்ப டுகலின் மேதி வைகறை
பாய்ந்ததண் பழனப் புறவார் பனங்காட்டூர்
ஆய்ந்த நான்மறை பாடி யாடும்
அடிக ளென்றென் றரற்றி நன்மலர்
சாய்ந்தடி பரவுந் தவத்தார்க் கருளாயே.

"Mēynthiḷañ chennel meṉka thirkavvi
mēṟpa dukaliṉ mēthi vaikaṟai
pāynthathaṇ pazhaṉap puṟavār paṉaṅkāṭṭūr
āyntha nāṉmaṟai pādi yādum
adika ḷeṉtṟeṉ tṟaratṟi naṉmalar
chāynthaṭi paravun thavathārk karuḷāyē".

செங்க யல்லொடு சேல்செ ருச்செயச்
சீறி யாழ்முரல் தேனி னத்தொடு
பங்கயம் மலரும் புறவார் பனங்காட்டூர்க்
கங்கை யும்மதி யுங்க மழ்சடைக்
கேண்மை யாளொடுங் கூடி மான்மறி
அங்கையா டலனே அடியார்க் கருளாயே.

"Seṅka yallodu sēlse rucheyach
chīṟi yāzhmural thēṉi ṉathodu
paṅkayam malarum puṟavār paṉaṅkāṭṭūrk
gaṅgai yum'mathi yuṅka mazhsadaik
kēṇmai yāḷoṭuṅ kūṭi māṉmaṟi
aṅkaiyā ṭalaṉē aṭiyārk karuḷāyē".

நீரி னார்வரை கோலி மால்கடல்
நீடி யபொழில் சூழ்ந்து வைகலும்
பாரினார் பிரியாப் புறவார் பனங்காட்டூர்க்
காரி னார்மலர்க் கொன்றை தாங்கு
கடவு ளென்றுகை கூப்பி நாடொறும்
சீரினால் வணங்குந் திறத்தார்க் கருளாயே.

"Nīri ṉārvarai kōli mālkadal
nīdi yapozhil chūḻnthu vaikalum
pāriṉār piriyāp puṟavār paṉaṅkāṭṭūrk
kāri ṉārmalark koṉtṟai thāṅku
kaṭavu ḷeṉtṟukai kūppi nāṭoṟum
sīriṉāl vaṇaṅkun thiṟathārk karuḷāyē".

கைய ரிவையர் மெல்வி ரல்லவை
காட்டி யம்மலர்க் காந்த ளங்குறி
பையரா விரியும் புறவார் பனங்காட்டூர்
மெய்ய ரிவையோர் பாக மாகவும்
மேவி னாய்கழ லேத்தி நாடொறும்
பொய்யிலா அடிமை புரிந்தார்க் கருளாயே.

"Kaiya rivaiyar melvi rallavai
kāṭṭi yam'malark kāntha ḷaṅkuṟi
paiyarā viriyum puṟavār paṉaṅkāṭṭūr
meyya rivaiyōr pāka mākavum
mēvi ṉāykazha lēthi nāṭoṟum
poyyilā aṭimai purinthārk karuḷāyē".

தூவி யஞ்சிறை மெல்ந டையன
மல்கி யொல்கிய தூம லர்ப்பொய்கைப்
பாவில்வண் டறையும் புறவார் பனங்காட்டூர்
மேவி யந்நிலை யாய ரக்கன
தோள டர்த்தவன் பாடல் கேட்டருள்
ஏவிய பெருமான் என்பவர்க் கருளாயே.

"Thūvi yañchiṟai melna daiyaṉa
malki yolkiya thūma larppoykaip
pāvilvaṇ ṭaṟaiyum puṟavār paṉaṅkāṭṭūr
mēvi yannilai yāya rakkaṉa
thōḷa ṭarthavaṉ pādal kēṭṭaruḷ
ēviya perumāṉ eṉpavark karuḷāyē".

அந்தண் மாதவி புன்னை நல்ல
அசோக மும்மர விந்த மல்லிகை
பைந்தண்ஞா ழல்கள்சூழ் புறவார் பனங்காட்டூர்
எந்தி ளம்முகில் வண்ணன் நான்முகன்
என்றி வர்க்கரி தாய்நி மிர்ந்ததொர்
சந்தம்ஆ யவனே தவத்தார்க் கருளாயே.

"Anthaṇ māthavi puṉṉai nalla
asōka mum'mara vintha mallikai
painthaṇñā zhalkaḷchūzh puṟavār paṉaṅkāṭṭūr
enthi ḷam'mukil vaṇṇaṉ nāṉmukaṉ
eṉtṟi varkkari tāyni mirnthathor
santhamā yavaṉē thavathārk karuḷāyē".

நீண மார்முரு குண்டு வண்டினம்
நீல மாமலர் கவ்வி நேரிசை
பாணில்யாழ் முரலும் புறவார் பனங்காட்டூர்
நாண ழிந்துழல் வார்ச மணரும்
நண்பில் சாக்கிய ருந்ந கத்தலை
ஊணுரி யவனே உகப்பார்க் கருளாயே.

"Nīṇa mārmuru kuṇdu vaṇdiṉam
nīla māmalar kavvi nērisai
pāṇilyāzh muralum puṟavār paṉaṅkāṭṭūr
nāṇa zhinthuzhal vārsa maṇarum
naṇpil sākkiya runna kathalai
ūṇuri yavaṉē ukappārk karuḷāyē".

மையி னார்மணி போல்மி டற்றனை
மாசில் வெண்பொடிப் பூசு மார்பனைப்
பையதேன் பொழில்சூழ் புறவார் பனங்காட்டூர்
ஐய னைப்புக ழான காழியுள்
ஆய்ந்த நான்மறை ஞான சம்பந்தன்
செய்யுள்பா டவல்லார் சிவலோகஞ் சேர்வாரே.

"Maiyi ṉārmaṇi pōlmi ṭatṟaṉai
māsil veṇpoṭip pūsu mārpaṉaip
paiyathēṉ pozhilchūzh puṟavār paṉaṅkāṭṭūr
aiya ṉaippuka zhāṉa kāzhiyuḷ
āyntha nāṉmaṟai gñāṉa sampanthaṉ
seyyuḷpā ṭavallār sivalōkañ sērvārē".

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