Karaikandeswarar Mambakkam

Karaikandeswarar, Mambakkam

Saivite Temples, Thiruvannamalai District


Karaikandeswarar, facing east


Periyanayaki Amman, facing east

Other Deities

Ganesha, Murugan

Karaikandeswarar Mambakkam is a small recently renovated temple situated near the banks of the Cheyyar River. The original temple has been completely lost and the rpesent one is a new construction. It is situated in a spacious Prakaram. The sanctum sanctorum has a grilled door and the deity is visible. The key is available in the hut adjacent if required. The Parvathamalai hill is in the background. This is the third of the Saptha Karaikandeswarar Sthalams (7 temples) located on the north banks of the Cheyyar River. As the Cheyyar River runs northwards at this spot it is considered as holy as Varanasi. The temples in the order of proceeding north from Kanji along Cheyyar River are Kanji, Kadaladi, Mambakkam, Thenmathimangalam, Elathur, Poondi and Kuruvimalai.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Cheyyar River

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – No information


Karaikandeswarar Mambakkam would be as old as the other temples in the group which go back more than a thousand years. But historical information is not available as of now.


Lord Muruga is believed to have built the Saptha Karaikandeswarar temples in the northern banks of Cheyyar River to counter the sin of killing seven Sages (Puthirandan, Puruhudan, Pandurangan, Bodhavan, Bodhan, Koman and Vaman) performing penance in the hills in the region with his spear (Vel). Karaikandeswarar Mambakkam is said to be the third in this series. This event happened in a quest to create a Theertham for his Mother Parvati to perform ablutions for the Shiva Lingam she created out of earth at Vazhapandal. Another version is that to counter the sin of killing the asura Surapadman, Lord Muruga was advised by his mother to throw his spear and install and worship a shiva lingam where it lands. According to the same legend Muruga is also believed to have created seven temples in the southern banks of the river Cheyyar which are called Saptha Kailasha Sthalams and worshiped Lord Shiva there. The River Cheyyar is believed to be the theertham created by him – Sei (child) representing the young Muruga and Aar meaning river in Tamil.


Karaikandeswarar Mambakkam can be reached by proceeding north from Kadaladi for about 2.5 kilometers and then taking a right onto a smaller road and driving for about half a kilometer. Kadaladi is about 23 kilometers northwest of Thiruvannamalai.

Stay and Food

None locally. Closest for food would be Thiruvannamalai or Polur depending on your travel plans. There is a small mess at Kadaladi Bazaar where you can get simple decent food.

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