Thirukalukundram is one of the most famous pilgrim centers in Tamil nadu. This place is renewed for its Hill Temple ad Sangu Theertham.
The town is known for its Hindu temple, Vedagiriswarar temple complex, popularly known as Kazhugu koil (Eagle temple). They consist of two temple structures, one in the foothill and the other at top of the hill.
History of the temple
Two sages Poosha and Vruddha performed penance on Lord Shiva seeking Sharoopa status. Lord modified their demand and granted the Sayujya status and promised elevation to Sharoopa later.
The sages refused to accept the offer and were adamant on their demand. Angry Lord cursed them to become eagles. Since then they are in this hill known as Shambu and Aadhi and are worshipping Lord with the Pakshi Theertha they had created. It is believed that these eagles use to bathe in Rameswaram, eat in Kazhukundram and stay at Kasi each day.
The feeding of the eagles is going on for thousands of years, it is believed. King Suraguru, to whom Lord granted darshan was instrumental for the creation of this sacred place, says the history.
It is a contradiction here that Nandhi before the sanctum sanctorum is absent in this temple. There are 565 steps to reach the hill temple.
Lord Sri Vedagiriswarar resides at the top of Hills. The four Hills – nothing but a grouping of the Four Vedas – requested the Lord to be present on the top. And so he is called Vedagiriswarar.
This Lord has been worshipped by Indra, Thilothamai, and a dancer of Indra’s court. Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu, Ashtavasus and many more Rudras.
The temple at the foothills is dedicated to Parvathi, the consort, known here as Thiripurasundari Amman. The temple at the foothills has four towers (gopurams) closely resembling the architecture ofThiruvannamalai Annamalaiyar Temple
This theertha praised as Markandeya theertha produces a conch even now once in 12 years. There are 12 theerthas-sacred springs-around the hill named
- Meignana-true wisdom
Majority of the devotees throng the temple for mental peace and salvation. Those mentally retarded come and stay here for 48 days, bathe in the Sangu Theertham, pray to Lord Veda giriswarar and return fully cured. This miracle is happening even now. Diseases of any intense nature as Asthma, blood pressure and heart are cured by prayers to Lord. They breathe the air with herbal effects and get cured. Devotees also come here seeking wedding, child boons too.
10 day Chithirai festival drawing huge devotee crowd in April-May; Aadi Pooram 10 day festival for Mother Ambica in July-August; Full moon days; new moon days; pradosha days ; Tamil and English New Year Days, Deepavali, Pongal are the festivals celebrated in the day. Special abishek and aaradhanas are performed during these days. Next to Tiruvannamalai, Girivalam is observed by devotees here too on full moon days.
A great festival known as Pushpakara Mela as great as the Kumbh Mela in north is celebrated here once in 12 years with one lakh deepas on the Jupiter transition day to Virgo sign. A conch is born in the theertha once in 12 years.
This miracle happens even now. It is noteworthy that the tank in the temple is one containing herbal properties. It is the experience of the people that a mentally retarded person is cured completely with a dip in the theertha and prayer to Lord.
This is a hill temple. Lord Shiva in the temple is swayambumurthi. It is named after the sacred Eagles who visit every noon at the Hill Temple called Pakshi Theertham and the Kaliash of South India.
Even today two eagles visit the temple every day to accept the rice offered to them. This is the place where Saint Sundarar got gold from Lord. Vedas are in the form of this hill. Crores of Rudras and Siddhas performed penance and attained salvation here. The environment is so suitable for those to do meditation peacefully.
Glory of the place and Lord of the temple are praised by saivite saints Pattinathar and great poets. Lord granted darshan to Saivite Saint Manickavasagar in this place.
Four Nayanmars, Appar, Sundarar, Manickavasagar and Thirugnanasamandhar visited the temple complex and composed hymns in praise of Vedagiriswarar. A shrine, Nalvar Koil is dedicated to them. Arunagirinathar composed many of his hymns of Thirupugazh in Thirukazhukundram.
Time to visit
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
How to reach
Thirukazhukundram is located on State Highway 58, 70 km away from Chennai and 15 km away from the famous tourist town Mahabalipuram. It is also 15 km away from Chengalpattu. Near road links are, 10 km away from Old Mahabalipuram Road, 10 km away from East Coast Road and 15 km away from GST road.