Virudhachalam is 94 km from Thiruvannamalai, 23 from Ulundurpettai, 83 from Pondicherry and 45 from Chidambaram.
Sri Virudhagireeswarar Temple
Virudhachalam means old age and Achalam means Mountain. Virudhachalam mean an Old mountain. In chaste Tamil, the place is mentioned as Thirumudhukundram in the hymns Thevaram.
Here Lord Siva dedicated as Pazhamalainathar, Virudhagireeswarar, and Ambal as Virudhambikai. Everything in this temple is five. Five Prakaras, five holy springs, five rivers, five cars, five flag posts (Kodimaram), five faces to the Lord. Generally temples are built at the ground level. But Virudhachalam temple is formed in steps as if on a mount. There are only four prakaras and for Nandhis now (bull vehicle of Lord Shiva) It is to be presumed that one Prakara and one Nandhi might have been lost due to some reasons during the past. One Nandhi is found beyond the river in the eastern side.
The 12,000 gold coins gifted by the Lord to Saint Sundarar was despatched through Manimutharu river (near by the temple) so that it could not be robbed by anybody on the way and delivered at Tiruvarur (near Thanjavur) tank safely. Virudhachalam Thirumudhukundram is praised by the three Thevaram saints, Thirugnanasambandar, and Sundarar.
This temple is considered one of the eight Swayam Vyaktakshetras (self created) of Lord Vishnu. Here Lord Vishnu is dedicated as Sri Bhuvarahaswami. The original image in marble is said to have been taken away by Krishna Deva Wodeyar of Mysore and installed it at Srirengapattinam. The front Mandapam called Purushasukara Mandapam built in the 17th century looks like a chariot with elegantly carved figures of warriors riding the horses and elephants.
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