Sri Kandhaswamy Temple is dedicated to Sri Kandhaswamy, one of the manifestations of Lord Muruga. It is situated at Thiruporur, one of the Town panchayaths of Chengalpet District of Tamil Nadu.
Sri Kandhaswamy Temple – Legend
As per the legend, it is believed that Lord Muruga, as the commander of the Devas’ army, had fought with the Asuras in three ways. At Thiruparankundram, He fought on the land with the sons of the demon Sura Padma and won; At Thiruporur, He fought in the air with the demon Tharakasura, the brother of Sura Padma and won; At Thiruchendur, He did engage in the war with Sura Padma in the ocean (water) and won;
Thiruporur is also called as Tharakapuri, Samarapuri and Yudhapuri. Sri Arunagiri Nathar has referred Thiruporur as ‘’Samarapuri” in Thirupugazh.
There a few legends as to the destruction of Tharakasur. One of them is narrated here.
Lord Muruga was incarnated for the purpose of defeating the demons who were tormenting the Devas. Lord Muruga had embarked on the war with Asuras. Before starting, He took the blessings of His parents.
When He was progressing with His army, he sighted a small hill. The hill started growing bigger which was obstructing Their way. When the Deva’s army was baffled with this, Sage Narada Said, “This is Demon Krouncha who had become a hill due to Sage Agasthya’s curse; Though it is immobile, it simply grows huge and disrupts whoever passes by”.
Sage Narada also said, “There is a place called Mayapuri Pattinam nearby. It is ruled by Tharakasur. He is the brother of the demon Sura Padma. He is torturing Devas.”
Veerabhagu was the commander of Sri Muruga’s army. After hearing Sage Narada’s lamentations, He had ordered Veerabhagu to take a part of the army, go and fight Tharakasur.
Veerabhagu obliged. The battle was fierce. Both the sides suffered losses. Tarakasura had beaten down Veera Kesari, a warrior in Veerabhagu’s army. Veerabhagu got furious. He attacked Tharakasur more ferociously. Tharakasur had landed a severe blow on Veerabhagu. Veerabhagu fainted.
When Veerabhagu regained consciousness, he saw Tharakasur damaging the Deva’s army. This time, Veerabhagu made his battle highly intense.
Tharakasur could not bear the ferocity of Veerabhagu’s attack. He changed his form to a rat and went into Krouncha hill. Krouncha hill, being a demon itself, had accommodated Tharakasura conveniently.
When Veerabhagu and his army entered into Krouncha hill, Tharakasur and Krouncha had teamed up and were damaging the Deva’s army.
Hearing the status from Sage Narada, Lord Muruga had decided to directly get into action. He took the spear (Sri Shakti Vel) in His hand and sent it as a missile on the Krouncha hill. The Krouncha went to pieces and Tharakasur also died.
Thus, Lord Muruga did the samhara of Krouncha and Tharakasur.
Sri Chidambara Adigalar
As per the legend, the whole place of Thiruporur was under deluge. The original temple and the idols therein have got buried.
The Sage named Sri Chidambara Adigalar was living in Madurai. He was said to be the descendent of the Sangam age poets.
Sri Chidambara Adigalar was a great bhakth of Sri Meenakshi. He wanted to see Her in person. So, he did fasting. He refused to partake of food till he had had Her darshan. He almost had fainted.
Sri Meenakshi was very much pleased with his penance. So, She first appeared in his dreams. Then he did hear the sounds from the anklets. He had opened his eyes and he was granted the darshan of Her feet. Then he was then slowly woken up.
Sri Meenakshi Devi then told him, “at the place named Thiruporur, many attempts were made to re-build the temple for Muruga. You go there and build the temple”.
He went to Thiruporur which was a dense forest with palm trees then. Lord Muruga is said to have come to him in the form of a small boy. With the help of the Small Boy, Sri Chidambara Adigalar had taken out the statue of Lord Muruga from under a palm tree from an anthill. He had then built the temple in the place from where he had unearthed the idol.
It is believed that Sri Maha Vishnu and Sri Mahalakshmi had worshipped Lord Muruga here.
It is believed that Sage Agasthya had visited this temple. Lord Muruga had given sanctuary to Sage Agasthya and the Devas at this place. The Pranava mantra ‘Om’ is said to be initiated at this place. It was Lord Muruga who explained the importance of Pranava mantra to Sage Agasthya and the Devas at this place.
The hillock named Pranava hill is very near the temple. It contains the temple for Lord Shiva.
The temple was originally believed to have been built in 10th Century A.D in Pallava period. Sri Chidambaram Swamigal had rebuilt the temple after the deluge in 17th Century A.D. The temple has been expanded with various idols unearthed in the area in 18th Century.
Sri Kandhaswamy Temple – Structure
The temple is built in the Dravidian style of architecture. The Rajagopuram is five tiered.
The Dwajasthambam is in a rounded enclosure.
There is a separate shrine for Sri Vinayaka. As the sanctum is under the neem tree, He is referred as Sri Vembadi Vinayakar.
The sanctum is reached through the pillared mandapams. The pillars have several sculptures. The main sanctum is facing east. Lord Muruga (the swayambu murthy) is in standing position with Sri Valli and Sri Dhevyani. The vahan peacock is also depicted here. No abhishekam is done to the main Deity here.
There are shrines for Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. The sthala vruksham is samee (vanni) tree. In the outer precinct inside the compound there are several sculptures.
There are separate sanctums for Sri Valli and Sri Dhevyani in the first precinct. Sri Chidambara Adigalar is worshipped in a separate sanctum. During Vaikasi Visakam day, his merger with Lord Muruga is depicted.
Apart from this, the Yantra established by Sri Chidambara Adigalar in the northeast side of the temple is also worshipped daily. The Yantra is depicted on Kurma (tortoise).
The temple tank is called Pranava Theertham.
There is a mandapam in the middle of the water tank. The tank is said to emerge from the piercing of Lord Muruga’s spear in the ground. The water level is mostly copious.
Sri Kandhaswamy Temple – Rituals and Festivals
Pujas are done four times a day, Kalasandhi at 9.00 a.m, Uchikaala Puja at 12 noon, Sayaratchai at 5.30 p.m and Raakaalam at 8.00 p.m.
Vaikasi Visakam, Skandha Sashti, Ani Thirumanjanam, Pavithra Uthsavam, Navarathri, Chidambara Swamy Gurupuja and Panguni Uthiram are the major festivals of this temple.
Sri Kandhaswamy Temple – Timing
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m to 12 noon and from 4 p.m to 8 p.m. Darshan time may differ during festival days.
How to reach
Thiruporur is situated at 28 kilometers on the Old Mahabalipuram Road. From Chennai, buses are available. Call Taxis can also be booked.