Padal Petra Sthalams


Vennikarumbeswarar (also Venninadar), facing east


Soundaranayagi (also Azhagiya Nayagi), facing south

Other Deities

Kannimoola Ganapathy, Muruga with consorts, Gajalakshmi, Bhairava, Navagraha, Anunjai Vinayaka, Nataraja. Sanctum Niches – Narthana Ganapathy, Dakshinamurthy, Lingotbavar, Durga, Chandikeswara

Kovil Venni is a large ancient temple with a small 3 tier Rajagopuram at the entrance. The rays of Sun fall on the Lord on 2, 3 and 4th day of Panguni (March-April). The main deity in the shrine is a Swayambu (self occurring) with a square base (Aavudayar). The Lingam looks like a stack of Sugarcanes – ‘Thirumeni Karumbu Kattudaithu’ as sung by Thirumoolar. This form will be clearly visible during ablution. The Shiva Lingam is at a height and you have to climb 12 steps to reach it.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Surya Theertham, Chandra Theertham

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Nandiyarvattam (Tabernaemontana divaricata)


Thirugnanasambandar and Thirunavukkarasar (7th Century CE) have rendered Thevaram hymns here. Emperor Musukuntha Chakravarthy has contributed to the building and development of the temple. The Battle of Venni was fought by Karikala Chola between Pandya and Chera kings. The battle resulted in absolute victory for Karikala Chola and the Chera King Uthiyan Cheralathan starved himself to death. The battle, dated approximately 190 CE, is considered historical and Karikala is believed to have contributed to this temple’s development after the victory. This is the birth place of noted Tamil Scholar Vennikuyathiar belonging to the Sangam Age. One of her songs in Purananooru mentions the war of Karikal Chola known as Vennippor – War of Venni.


According to scriptures, the antiquity of the temple dates back to countless millenniums covering all the four yugas – Krutha, Thretha, Dwapara and Kali. In ancient days two sages who visited this place and argued that the sacred tree of the Temple should be sugarcane while the other said that it should be Venni or the Nandhiavartham.  A divine voice interfered to declare that the Lingam should be called Karumbeswarar and the Sacred Plant would be Nandiarvattam. This was watched by Emperor Musukunda and he wondered why they were arguing since there was no temple at the spot. Upon digging the ground the Lingam was discovered. One of the shovels had created a scar on the Lingam which is present to this day. The top portion of the lingam while digging seemed to go under for a long depth and the king decided to raise the height of the sanctum sanctorum accordingly. Since then, Lord is worshiped as Karumbeswarar in Tamil and Rasapureeswarar in Sanskrit. The place is named after the sacred tree as Venniyur which later changed to Koil Venni.


Kovil Venni is 8 kilometers northwest of Needamangalam.

Stay and Food

None locally. Some small eateries are available in Needamangalam.

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