Marundeeswarar Temple

Marundeeswarar Temple
Marundeeswarar Temple

The Marundeeswarar Temple, also known as the Oushadheeshwar Temple is a spiritual abode dedicated to Lord Shiva. He is adored here in his manifestation of ‘Marundeeswarar’ and symbolized by an impressive lingam form. His beloved companion Sati appears as Anjanakshi at this temple that dates back to the 7th century when Tamil Saiva Nayanars Sundarar used to offer prayers regularly. It’s believed that Kachabeswarar Temple was created during the era when Vishnu undertook rigorous penance seeking blessings from Shivji for taking birth in his tortoise avatar!

The temple complex extends over one acre, encircled by granite concentric rectangular walls which encompass every shrine. The Marundeeswarar and Irulneeki Thayar shrines are the most remarkable of all – a magnet for worshippers throughout.

The temple’s rituals occur thrice a day, peaking between 6:00 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., while four festivals are celebrated annually – the most prominent being the Brahmotsavam festival that takes place during Magam (February – March).

Erected in the 16th century, the present-day temple complex is thought to have been constructed by Cholas. Nowadays, this remarkable structure is carefully maintained and administered by Tamil Nadu’s Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department.

According to Indian folklore, Anjanakshi dropped her skin on Mount Rudragiri – the place where the temple currently stands. Anjanakshi means “Destroyer of Darkness,” due to two legends: firstly, when Matha Sati’s skin landed on the mountain it sparked a burst of fire; secondly, legend has it that during Brahma and Vishnu’s search for a lost weapon in darkness, Matha Sati showered light from above onto them. The Devas, including Indra were healed from their illnesses by offering worship to Shiva at this place and obtaining holy herbs from Mount Rudragiri where Goddess Satí’s skin had fallen off. The present temple is placed on the very same mountain. At Lord Shiva’s behest, Aswani Devata–the divine doctor–treated them with these precious medicinal herbs of Bhumadevi that originated from merging with Satí’s skin. Also, Lord Shiva appeared during a plague, during which the sage there was unable to make medicines for a lot of people. The Lord told people to eat a little of the mud of the holy Mount Rudragiri on which His consort Satí’s skin merged, to get cured and this saved the people from the plague. Shiva earned the name Marundeeswarar (Oushadheeshwar), where ‘Marundu’ translates to a Medicine. This temple has been an integral part of history since at least as far back as the 8th century, with Sundarar, one of Saiva’s Nayanars adding his praise to it in 11th Thirumurai Thevaram. It is even noted that this temple paired with another Marundeeswaer Temple located within the same village.

Marundeeswarar Temple is nestled in the foot of the hills of Tirukachur, a village in Kanchipuram district. This temple has an impressive flat gateway tower and all its shrines are surrounded by concentric granite walls which extend to about 1 acre (0.40 ha). Upon entering you’ll find Marundeeswarar represented as Lingam at the center shrine followed by Irulneeki Thayar’s (also known Anthaga Nivarini) Shrine located behind it facing East. The central shrine can only be accessed through a Mahamandapam and Arthamandapams grandly leading up to it. The grand temple of Marundeeswarar, Virundeeswarar and Iranthittai Eswarar features the traditional shrines of Vinayaka, Murugan, Navagraha, Chandekeswara and Durga surrounding its main shrine. On the western side is a magnificent depiction of Shiva feeding Sundaram with images honoring Vianyaga, Thandapani Apper Sambandhar Pattinathor Vallalart gracefully carved onto it. This legendary account has been reverently written by Sundaram himself who was deeply moved at witnessing this divine event. The image of Chandesa is depicted with four heads. In modern times, the temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Accessing Chennai is a breeze, whether you choose to use the bus, train or plane. The bustling Chennai airport provides international connectivity with daily flights departing from both Anna and Kamaraj terminals, making it easy for travelers coming in from other parts of the world and India alike. With ample transportation options available at your disposal- all that’s left is to sit back and enjoy the journey!

Chennai is connected to the rest of India through its dependable railway system. Visitors can board trains from Chennai Central station in order to travel beyond Tamil Nadu, while those who wish to explore other parts of this state may depart from the Chennai Egmore terminal.

Buses can be taken from CMBT (Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminal). For transport within the city electric trains, metro trains and local buses are a preferred mode of commuting. People can take a bus, taxi, auto rickshaw or cab to reach the temple from the airport, bus stand or railway station.

Marundeeswarar temple is located in Lalitha Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur. The nearest bus stop is Thiruvanmiyur.

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