Padal Petra Sthalams


Vanmeega Naadhar (also Putridankondaar), facing east


Kamalambigai, facing east in a separate shrine

Other Deities

Thiyagarajar, Vinayaka, Muruga, Jurahareswarar, Indralingam, Musukundhar, saraswathi, 63 Nayanmars, Mahalakshmi, Durga, Pitchadanar, Imaya Chandikeswara, Aadhi Chandikeswara, Asaleswarar, Daksheswarar, Manuchakkareswarar, Bhageeratheswarar, Kailasathyagar, Pandyanadhar, Saptharisheeswarar, Cheranadhar, Aadakeswarar, Viswamithreswarar, Puroorvachakkareswarar, Mahabaleeswarar, Atunachaleswarar, Varuneswarar, Anandeswarar, Varuneswara Vinayakar, Sidheeswarar, Navagraha

The Thiruvarur Temple occupies an area of 20 acres and the Kamalalayam Temple Tank occupies an area of another 25 acres. Thiruvarur is a very large temple with huge 7 tiered Rajagopurams on all four sides and several smaller gopurams inside. There are 5 Prakarams including the streets. The shrines here are many and also houses another separate Paadal Petra Sthalam (Aroor Araneri) inside in the Prakaram. The large temple tank on the east of the temple has another temple also in the middle for Naduvan Nadhar (also Nageswarar) which can be accessed by a boat. The temple car here is the biggest in Tamilnadu.

The main deity Vanmeega Nadhar (also called Putridankondaar) here at Thiruvarur is in the form of a Mound (Putru). A separate Maragatha (Emerald) Lingam which is in the Sanctum Sanctorum receives all the ablutions. The goddess here is Kamalambikai who is considered the confluence of Parvathi, Mahalakshmi and Saraswathi. There is another separate shrine for the Adhi Devi (original old goddess) Neelothbalambikai (Alliangodhai). Next to this goddess is a lady holding Muruga in her arms. The goddess’s hand is seen caressing Muruga’s head. This is a rare depiction. The Navagrahas are in one line here facing the main deity.

The idol of Thiagaraja as Veedhi Vidangar is a Somaskanda Idol where Lord Shiva is seated with his consort Parvati and the child Muruga seated in between them. The name of his consort in this idol is Kondi.

This is one of the Saptha Vidanga Kshetras where the 7 idols of Thiagaraja in different dancing poses are found. Here Thiagaraja is found in the Veedhi Vidangar form (Dance without chanting, resembling the dance of Sri Thyagaraja resting on Lord Vishnu’s chest).

Literary mentions:
* In the hymns of Thirunavukkarasar an entire section describes the praises of the Thiruvarur Temple.
* Kachiyappa Sivacharyar in his Kandha Puranam has written that the idol of Thyagesar has been worshiped by Lord Mahavishnu and then received by Lord Indra for worship. It was then received by Emperor Musukundha and brought to Thiruvarur.
* Arunagirinathar’s songs
* Ramalingaadigalar’s Thiruvarutpa
* Cherman Peruman’s (one of the 63 Nayanmar) Thiruvarur Mummanikovai

Holy Water (Theertham) – Kamalalayam (large tank opposite the temple), Sangu Theertham, Gaya theertham, Vani Theertham, Sengazhuneer Odai

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Paadhiri (Stereospermum chelonoides)


Thiruvarur temple dates back to the ancient times. Thirugnanasambandar, Thirunavukkarasar and Sundarar (7th – 8th Century CE) have visited and rendered Thevaram Hymns for the lord here. At that time it was a brick temple. It is believed that the brick temple was expanded into a complex by the Pallavas. The brick structure was converted into a stone structure by Rajendra Chozha I (reign 1014 – 1044 CE) on the behest of of his favourite queen Paravai Nangai. The Sanctum sanctorum was tiled with gold plates, the doors, corbels and pillars were covered with copper plates and he donated various ornaments to the Lord. His queen also donated various ornaments, valuable stones and lamps. Further Rajendra Chozha and Paravai Nangai came on a procession in their chariot through the streets to the temple ro pray to the Lord. All this information are inscribed in detail in stone in the walls inside the temple complex. This inscription meticulously records the weight of the endowed gold and copper, besides listing the various ornaments gifted to the temple with description each of them. Further his sons Rajathirajan I and Rajendran II created idols of their father and his queen and installed in the temple and is seen even today in the Anandeeswarar shrine in the second Prakaram.

Later expansions are attributed to Vijayanagar rulers of the Sangama Dynasty (1336–1485 CE), the Saluva Dynasty and the Tuluva Dynasty (1491–1570 CE). The last Chola monarch to play an important role in the affairs of the temple was Kulothunga Chola III in the early part of the 13th Century CE.


Puranic mentions describe the Thiruvarur temple as built by Vishwakarma upon the instructions of Lord Shiva himself. The lord is believed to have gone as a messenger to Paravai for Sundarar. Sundarar is said to have received his vision on the right eye here. Nami Nandiyadigal is said to have lit a lamp (Lakshadeepam) with the waters of the Holy Pond here.


Thiruvarur temple is right in the middle of Thiruvarur town.

Stay and Food

Thiruvarur has some good hotels and a few decent restaurants.

Temple Layout

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