The Temples Of Tamil Nadu 

Thousands of temples with lofty towers dot the skyline of the southernmost state of Tamilnadu in India. These temples are torchbearers of the glorious heritage of the Tamil speaking region, and are repositories of the magnificent art forms that evolved over several centuries. Several of these temples have been glorified by the ancient tamil hymns of the 1st millennium CE.  

Annamalai deepam 

Tiruvannamalai the home of Arunachaleswarar, where Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of a lingam. The Consort here is Unnamulaiyaal, also known as Apitakuchambaal. This is one of the largest temples in India. One of the most important Shaivaite temples, Tiruvannamalai is also the pancha bhootha sthalam of Agni (Fire). Shiva is said to have manifested himself in the form of a massive column of fire.Legend has it that once Brahma and Vishnu quarreled for ascertaining the superiority of one over the other. They went on fighting, when Lord Siva appeared between them in the form of a column of fire. Simultaneously, a voice was heard from the heavens that they must stop fighting. Trying to find out what the column of fire was, they tried in vain to find out the beginning and the end of the fire.   

Tiruchendur Murugan koil

 Lord Muruga, the younger son of Lord Shiva and his Consort Parvathi, has six special abodes, known as the aru padai veedu, and they are Tiruchendur, Tiruparangundram, Swamimalai, Pazhani, Pazhamudir cholai and Tiruttani. The first temple of this six part series on Lord Muruga's abodes is Tiruchendur. Here, the Lord is known as Senthil andavar. It is one of the most visited shrines in Tamil Nadu, and, unlike the other abodes which are atop hills, this one is located on the seashore in the southern part of the state. According to the legend, Lord Muruga vanquished the demon Soorapadman and his army, in his fortress Veeramahendram situated in the middle of the ocean near here. Originally, the shrine was a rock cut structure cut out of a hill and later, it was renovated with granite. The gopuram is an imposing 137 feet in height and is visible for miles. 

Panduranga of Thennaangur

Among the four seats of authority established by Sri Adi Sankara, one is the Jyothir Mutt in Badrinath. The sixth head of this mutt ('peetathipathi') swami. Gnananda Giri entrusted the responsibilities of the ashram to his disciples and went to the Himalayas. One of his chief disciples swami. Haridas Giri was on a pilgrimage around Pandarpur to spread his guru's message. During this time his guru came in his dream and asked him to reach Pandarpur. When swami Haridas Giri reached Pandarpur, the 'Panda' or the priest informed him that he also dreamt of swami Gnanananda Giri asking him to hand over the idols of Lord Panduranga and Goddess Raghumayi to his disciple and it was done accordingly. 

Aru padai veedu of Palani

Palani or Tiru Aavinan kudi, is one of the most popular temples in Tamil Nadu dedicated to Lord Muruga, the supreme commander of the celestial army. The temple of Dhandayudhapani is located atop the Palani hills, which is about 450 metres above the sea level. 690 stone steps line the mountain passage and an electric winch also takes pilgrims up the hill. This is one of the famous padal petra sthalams in the country today. Poet Nakkerar has sung about this temple in Thirumurugaatrupadai. In his Thiruppugazh, Saint poet Arunagirinadhar has composed many verses about the Palani temple. The structure of the temple is such that Tiruvavinankudi temple is located at the foot of the hill while the Palani Andavar is located on top. 

The abode of Lord Shiva at Thirukkadavoor

This week, we feature the temple famous for the legend of Markandeya as well as Abirami Andadhi - the abode of Lord Shiva at Thirukkadavoor.  

Location: Thirukkadavoor near Mayiladuthurai

Deity: Amritaghateshwarar

Goddess: Abhirami

Vriksham: Vilvam

Theertham: Amrita Pushkarini  

Thirukkadavoor, near Mayiladuthurai is a famous Shiva sthalam, well known for the lingam, the goddess, the teertham, and every year, devotees flock to this temple by the thousands. The main deity Shiva is known as Amritaghateshwarar and the goddess is Abhirami. It is here that Abirama Bhattar composed his famous 'Abhirami Andadhi'. 

Some of the places of worship
Temples of Tamil Nadu
Temples of Karnataka
Temples of Orissa
Temples of Maharashtra
Temples of Kerala
Temples of Andhra Pradesh
Temples of Madhya Pradesh
Temples of the Gangetic Plains