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.
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.
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
Shanmukha Vilaasa Mandapam,with carved pillars, stands
in front of the temple. The temple has two prakarams
- the sanctum to Subramanyar (moolavar) is located
inside the innermost mandapam. The cave-like panchalingam
shrine is situated right next to the shrine. It is
believed that it was here that Subramanya worshipped
to the Subramanyar's sannadhi is the sannadi of Senthil
aandavar - this houses the uthsava moorthi of Lord
Subramanya along with his Consorts, Valli and Deivanai.
The inner most prakaram facing south is that of Aarumugaswamy.
This prakaram also contains the images of 63 nayanmars,
and shrines to Natarajar, Karaikkal Ammaiyaar and
a year, once in Maasi and once in Aavani, the temple
brahmmothsavams are held and they go on for 12 days.
On the seventh and eighth days of the festivals, Lord
Shanmukha is housed in the Shanmukha Vilaasa mandapam
before and after the processions. The ratha festival
is conducted on the 10th day and the theppam (float)
festival on the following day.
the month of Vaikasi, the Vishaakam festival is celebrated
for 12 days.
the month of Aippasi, Kandha Sashti festival is celebrated
with great pomp and the Soora Samharam, when Muruga
married Deivanai, is enacted on the seashore. Devasena