August 4, 2009

Thiruporur Murugan Temple

Site Name: Murugan Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location:  Thiruporur, 45 kms from Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: A very important temple of Lord Murugan (Kartikeya)
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai - well connected from the cities/towns all over India

Nearest Airport: Chennai has both national and international airports
How to reach: Easily reachable by road 
Hotel: Many star hotels, luxury hotels/resorts, and budget hotels are available in Chennai
Restaurants: All options - vegetarian, non-vegetarian, Chinese, South Indian, Gujarati, North Indian, Punjabi,....- you can find everything in Chennai city

Chennai is considered as the gateway to South India. The capital city of Tamil Nadu state of India has hundreds of tourist sites which include museum, British period monuments, temples, beach, etc. Let us explore a very famous temple named Thiruporur Murugan temple located near Chennai in this article.

Thiruporur Murugan temple is one of the most important temples near Chennai. For the sake of global audience, let me briefly mention who is Lord Murugan. Lord Murugan is one of the sons of Lord Shiva. He is also called as  Subramanya or Kartikeya. As per the Hindu mythology, he waged war against the Asuras (one kind of powerful demons) and won them. Thiruporur is believed to be one of the places, where Murugan won the battle against the Asuras. The word 'Thiruporur' means 'battlefield' in Tamil language.


Lord Kartikeya lead the Devas army and fought against the Asuras. He killed the main Asura named Soorapadman in Tiruchendur; then, he destroyed the rest of the Asuras at Thirupporur. As this was the battlefield, the site was named as Thiruporur. It is also called as Poriyur, Yuddhapuri or Samarapuri. All those words mean battlefield.

This site is important not only to Skanda, but also to his father Shiva. When Vishnu and Lakshmi were subjected to the curse of the sage Kanva, they got rid of their curse by praying to Lord Shiva in this site. 

As per another legend, Kartikeya explained the Pranava mantra (hymn) to the sage Agastya in Thirupporur. He also explained the meaning of this holy mantra to the Devas here. As per another legend, the holy Pranava mantra worshiped Kartikeya in this site and hence the hill behind the temple is called as Pranava Malai (the word 'malai' means hill in Tamil language).

Vishnu worshiped Shiva in this Pranava Malai and even Skanda worshiped Shiva called as Vanmeekeswarar in the same hill in order to get rid of the sin of having killed the Asura named Soorapadman.


Historically, the original temple can be dated back to 1118-1133 AD (the king Vikrama Chola's period). As there are few Pallava inscriptions found in the temple, some date the original temple even to Pallava period. The temple had lost importance in due course. A saint named Chidambara Swamigal unearthed the idols from an anthill and rebuilt the temple with great difficulty during the middle of 17th century CE. 

Temple Layout:

The huge east facing temple has a six tiered Raja gopuram (tower).

Lord Muruga is called as Kandaswamy in this temple. It is believed that the idols of Lord Kandaswamy along with his consorts Valli and Devayani are swayambhu murtis (idols originated on their own). The east facing sanctum sanctorum enshrine these swayambhu murtis for which abhishek is not performed. The festival (utsav) metal idols of Murugan, Valli and Devasena are also found in the main shrine.

Arunagirinathar through 'Tirupugal' and other poets like Pamban Swamigal and Ramalinga Adigalar have revered the deity of this temple through their songs.

The temple also enshrines Kartikeya in different forms, which cannot be usually seen in the other temples. The depiction of Skanda as a warrior (Samhara Subramanya) is notable one. There is a sub-shrine where Kartikeya is found as a child.

The exterior wall around the main shrine has the niche images (Koshta idols) of Ganesha, Kukkuta dhwajar (Skanda with a flag of rooster), Dandayudhapani, Vishnu and Durga.

The temple has a 30 pillared circular hall and another 24 pillared hall with full of sculptures.

There is a sub-shrine enshrining the Panchaloha idols of many deities such as Ganesh, Somaskanda, Chandrasekhara, Brahma, Vishnu, Devendra, Nandi and importantly the copper idol of Kartikeya revealing the meaning of Pranava mantra to his father's ears by sitting on his lap.

There are separate shrines for Ganesh and Durga. The exterior walls of the shrine of Durga have the niche images of four Goddesses.

Saravana Poigai, Valliyar Odai and Pranavamritam are the three holy teerthas of the temple. The Saravana Poigai tank is huge and attractive and it is one of the highlights of the temple.

Happy travelling.


  1. All your blogs are unique and informative.Please keep it up.

  2. i want to know the name of god kukcodothbajar especially for late visa and passport.i read in the newspaper but now i want to know the correct temple in thiruporor

  3. i have heard the name of this temple but knew its location only now

  4. hi, nice photo and nice coverage.

  5. What is the connection between Tiruporur and Siruvapuri Temples? I have heard that Tiruporur is the Head of the Lord Muruga and Siruvapuri is the middle portion and where is the Padham?