Sri Marundeeswarar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated in Thiruvanmiyur near the sea coast of Bay of Bengal. This is one of the “Paadal PeRRa Sthalam” temples. Sri Appar and Sri Thiru Gnana Sambandar had composed hymns in praise of the presiding Deity. The temple is believed to be atleast 1200 years old.
Sri Marundeeswarar Temple is one of the Trinity Sea Shore Shiva Temples. The other two are Sri Thyagaraja Temple at Thiruvittriyur, Chennai and Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple at Mylapore, Chennai.
Lord Shiva is worshipped at this temple as Sri Marundeeswarar. “Marundu” in Tamil means “medicine”. It is believed that Lord Shiva provides cures for the ailments. There are a few legends associated with the temple.
As believed, Lord Indra had given Kamadhenu, the celestial cow to Sage Vasishta to meet his food needs. One day, Kamadhenu was late in providing milk for the Puja. Sage Vasisht was annoyed and cursed the Kamadhenu to become an ordinary cow.
When Kamadhenu repented, he had asked the cow to do Puja to Lord Shiv at this temple to atone her curse. Hence Kamadhenu did abhishekam to Lord Shiva here and was relieved of the curse.
It is believed that Lord Shiva is of whitish form due to the constant flow of milk. Hence He is also called as Sri Palvanna Nathar.
It is believed that Lord Shiva had taught Sage Agasthya the properties of various herbs and their medicinal qualities when he was ailing with stomach pain.
As per the legend, Sri Valmiki had worshipped Lord Shiva here under the Vanni (samee patra) tree. As believed, he had rectified his life as a robber. Later, he became the author of Srimad Ramayan. Hence this place was originally called as Thiru Valimiki oor which later became Thiruvanmiyur.
It is believed that Lord Brahma had done Puja to Lord Shiva here. Sage Markandeya is believed to have done penance on Lord Shiva at this place.
It is believed that Sri Arunagiri Nathar has stayed at this temple and composed hymns on Lord Muruga.
The temple was originally built during Pallava Era and then expanded during Chola Dynasty around 11th Century A.D. The temple is also said to be patronized by Vijaya Nagara Kings.
The temple has two entrances. The one on the East Coast Road has five tiered Rajagopuram.
The one at the West Tank Street has seven tiered Rajagopuram.
The mandapam with Sri Soma Skanda has 36 pillars with carvings and sculptures.
In the main sanctum, Lord Shiva is facing west. As it is self-manifested, it is called as Swayambu Lingam.
As per the legend, once Sri Appayya Dikshithar, an ardent Shiv Bhakth and the Sanskrit scholar cum composer of Slokams had visited the temple. At that time, the main Deity was facing east.
Due to heavy floods and fury of the ocean, Sri Appayya could not have the darshan of the Lord. He cried for His darshan. The Lord was pleased with his prayers and had turned west side to give him darshan. From then onwards, the main Deity is facing west.
The presiding Deity is called as Sri Marundeeswarar, Sri Aushadheeswarar, Sri Valmeekinathar, Sri Vedha Pureeswarar, Sri Amutheeswarar and Sri Palvanna Nathar.
Abhishekam to Lord is done only after Gau-Puja to the cow. Only pure milk of the cow is used for doing abhishekam in this sanctum. It is believed that Sun and Moon worship Lord Shiva here. Consuming of the abhishekam milk is said to cure the ailments.
The Shiv Ling worshipped by Sri Hanuman, the Shiv Ling which cured the curse of Lord Indra and the Shiv Ling worshipped by Sage Bharadwaj are in the precinct of the main sanctum.
The main sanctum also has 108 Shiv Lings in the precinct. The gopuram above the main sanctum is said to be of Chathur Vashtham design.
A separate Shrine for three Ganeshas exists in the temple precinct. The three Ganeshas are said to depict the three time aspects of the life such as past, present and future. Worshipping of the Mummudi Vinayak is believed to alleviate the sins and their effects.
Sri Parvathi Devi here blesses as Sri Thiripura Sundari in a separate shrine in the temple facing south.
There is a dedicated shrine for Sri Ganesh. Sri Muruga is worshipped as Sri Muthu Kumara Swamy. He is praised by Sri Arunagiri Nathar in the hymn Thirupugazh. Both Sri Vinayak and Sri Muruga shrines face east.
There is no sanctum for Navagrahas in this temple.
The Sthala Vruksham is Vanni. The temple tank is called as Pancha Theertham.
Maha Shivrathri in February-March, Brahmotsavam in March- April, Vinayaka Chathurthi in August-September and Skandha Sashti in October-November are the major festivals in the temple.
Apart from these, Pradosham, Full moon days and Kruthika Star days are prominent for this temple.
The temple is open from 06.00 A.M to 12.00 Noon and from 04.00 P.M to 09.00 P.M.