Tiruvanmiyur Temple

Tiruvanmiyur, on the southern outskirts of Chennai, is famous for another great Shiva shrine, Sri Marundeeswarar temple.

Tiruvanmiyur derives its from sage Valmiki, the celebrated author of the Ramyana.  Tiru Valmikiyur is now Tiruvanmiyur.  It is said that, while on a pilgrimage of the south, Valmiki heard a voice directing him to a Vanni tree.  He found a Lingam embedded nearby.

Shiva is worshipped here as Marundeeswarar, as He is said to have taught the great rishi, sage Agastya, the secrets of medicine.  Hanuman is said to have performed a pooja at the shrine, while Indra is said to have been relieved of his curse here.  Sage Bharadwaja is said to have offered prayers here, while saints, Thirugnanasambandhar and Thirunavukkarasar, have sung in praise of the deity.  Inscriptions pertaining to the Chola rulers, Rajendra, also known as Rajendra Chola Deva and Rajadhiraja (1018-54) have been found in the shrine.

Shiva is worshipped here in three forms, as Thyagaraja and Nataraja, and, in the Lingam form, as Marundeeswarar.  The divine cow, Kamadhenu, is said to have worshipped the Lingam with its milk, thereby giving it the white color.  The Lingam is swayambhu and is said to have the scars inflicted, unwittingly, by Kamadhenu's hooves.  There are some fine sculptures in the temple, notably the one on a pillar in the Thyagaraja Mandapam that depicts saint Kannappa removing his eye with an arrow.  The Lord's consort here is Goddess Chockanayaki, better known as Sri Tripura Sundari.  There are smaller shrines for Ganesh and Subramanya.  The Vanni tree, the sthala vruksha, is in an elevated place in the northwest of the temple.  Also in Tiruvanmiyur, in the middle of the East Coast road, is a tiny shrine for Saint Valmiki, near the temple.  There was an attempt to remove it, but the Madras High Court allowed it to stay, after the petitioners pointed out that the temple was there long before the road came.

How to get there:

Tiruvanmiyur is on the East Coast Road, one of the busiest in the city.  The bus terminus, is located near the temple.

Quickly Find What You Are Looking For