Neelakanteswarar Irugur

Neelakanteswarar Irugur

Saivite Temples, Coimbatore District


Neelakanteswarar, facing west


Swayamvarakala Parvathi, facing west

Other Deities

Karivaradaraja Perumal with Sreedevi and Bhoodevi, Muruga with consorts, Gnanadhandayudhapani, Soundareswarar, Meenakshi, Markandeswara Lingam, Pradhana Vinayaka, Dakshinamurthy, Durga, Chandikeswara, Kalabhairava, Sevi Saitha Vinayakar, Navagraha, Saneeswara, Mahishasuramardhini, Sivasurya

Neelakanteswarar Irigur is a west facing temple. The Shiva Lingam here is considered to be very ancient one based on its style. This Lingam has a depression on top, marks of milk poured by Kamadhenu on the side and a tuft behind. A large 5 tiered Rajagopuram is under construction. Apart from Neelakanteswarar there is also another deity here, Soundareswarar, this Banalingam is in the color of honey and is said to have been installed by Karikala Chola (not the one who built the Kallanai?) who is believed to have built 36 large shiva temples and 360 small temples in the region. There are four nandis here and the one facing Meenakshi has the form of a Lion in its legs. Lord Muruga here is east facing with his consorts Valli and Devyanai. Another Muruga idol, Gnanadhandayudhapani is facing west in a separate shrine. A rare shrine of a seated Brahma is present here in the Ardha Mantapam of Gnanadhandayudhapani.

Neelakanteswarar Irugur is said to be one of the 46 west facing Shiva Temples in Tamilnadu. Cheras are belived to have built this temple with the lord facing their lands towards the west and later Cholas installed Soundareswarar facing east toward their lands. This is probably the only temple in the Kongu region where two each of Shiva, Parvati and Muruga are installed. In ancient times this place is said to have been in two parts called Ponnur and Mannur. Later they were combined together by a Tribal chief called Iruvan and received the name Irugur. In certain months when the evening rays of the sun fall on Lord Neelakanteswara he appears in a Rudraksh colored form. His Parivara (accompanying group) Deities are only Nandi and Surya here. Descendants of Sage Markandeya are the hereditary custodians and still perform the rituals at this temple.

This is also a Vishnu temple with Karivaradarajar as the main deity.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Sivagangai Theertham

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Vanni (Prosopis cineraria)


Neelakanteswarar Irugur temple’s antiquity is evident from the various mentions in the form of copper plates, stone inscriptions and palm leaf manuscripts found here and in various other locations including Government Oriental Manuscripts Library, Karikala’s Chola Poorva Pattayam (copper plates), Thirumurugan Poondi, Kovilpalayam and Anniyur shiva temples. Veeracheralan (835 CE), Amarabuyangara Perumal (985CE), Uthama Chola (1110 CE), Rajaraja Chola (1120 CE), Karikala (1152 CE), Kongu Veera Pandiyan (1265-1285 CE) and Tipu Sultan (1782) have rendered services to this temple.


Kamadhenu (Holy Cow) who worshiped in many Shiva Temples of Kongunadu (this region) is also believed to have worshiped here by secreting its milk. The Shiva Lingam has the marks on it. The above mentioned Karikala Chola is believed to have built 36 Shiva temples in the region to get rid of the curse he incurred for killing people in battles, and this is one of them. Sage Markandeya installed a Lingam here and worshiped. Sadasiva Sidhdhar has worshiped the lord here.


Neelakanteswarar Irugur is in Irugur which is about 13 kilometers east of Coimbatore. The temple is outside the Irugur Railway Station and adjacent to the Bus stand.

Stay and Food

None locally. Closest is Coimbatore. A small shop sells hot fried snacks and good tea right next to the temple.

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