Lord Subrmaniya, Thiruchendur- one of the six holy abodes, Tamil Nadu

Thiruchendur Subramanya temple, spiritualdrive.wordpress.com

Thiruchendur Subramanya temple, one of the Aaru padai veedu (six shrines or holy abodes) dedicated to Lord Muruga dates back to several centuries. Each of these Murugan temples is unique and has its own interesting legend that teaches us some lessons on life that might come handy for us in our arduous life's journey.  The divine visit of the God makes the place holy and whoever visits such s plsce of veneration get peace of mind and gain metal prowess to face challenges in life.

Temple elephant,Thiruchendur Subramanya temple,Tamil Nadu, Indiawww.triposo.com

Unlike other Subramaniyar temples which are traditionally on the hill, this important temple is located on a pleasant scenic sea shore off the coast of Mannar Gulf. Every day thousands of people visit this temple not only for bakhti / devotion but also for peace of mind and get the mind off from mundane things in life. This temple is always as crowded as the Palani temple and  the atmosphere is charged with  intense devotion.  Thanks to the state government's initiatives, the entire temple complex and the surrounding places  are free from garbage and are being well maintained. 

Thiruchendur Subramanya temple,.tiruchendurmurugantemple.tnhrce.in/

133 feet tall main Gopuram,Thiruchendur Subramanya temple,T.N, en.wikipedia.org

One interesting fact is this temple was not built by the mighty, affluent kings, rather it was done by the holy Hindu Saints. It is one of the largest temple complexes (by area) and is also one of the most visited temple complexes in India (including devotees from countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, England, Australia, etc).  Here the Raja gopuram (main tower) is facing west and the entrance into the temple is in the western gate. The Pandya and Chera dynasties were involved in the construction of  many temples including this one at various periods. Many Saivite saints sang in praise of Muruga. Adi Sankara, one of the greatest Hindu philosophers and who established several Mutts across India, once fell ill. It is believed, he visited this temple and got the relief  owing to the divine grace of the deity here.

Tiruchendur location map. Mapsofindia

For a brief period this area was under the Dutch in the late 1640s. Madurai Nayak rulers  later recovered the idols taken by the Dutch through negotiations. The temple was rebuilt later with funds from people and others. 

In this temple sanctum sanctorium- Sri Kovil or Garbagraha  is  below the ground level. The daily puja protocol in the temple is done according to the Kumara Tantra of Kerala tradition and the main hereditary priests in the sanctum here are from Namboodri Brahmin families of Kerala. All the poojas are performed both for Lord Shiva and Subramanya. In the months of December and January,the daily pooja begins at 3 AM instead of 5:30 AM and continues till 8:30 pm.  This temple was once under the control of the Travancore Samasthanam, hence the Kerala tradition is being followed with respect to Nithya poojs, etc.

There are several festivals associated with this temple, one being Soora Samharam that falls in November every year. It attracts thousands of devotees.