Vrudhachalam Temple: Vrudhagreeswarar. Cuddlore Dt.  

Posted by Shamala Krishnan

Vrudhachalam Temple:  Vrudhagreeswarar.

When we visited the temple it was Bramotsavam festival time.

The place Vrudachalam is on Mdurai Chennai National Highway about 23 kms south of Ulundurpettai. It is about 45kms distance from Chidambram.

Vrudachalam temple is one of the four temples which were unaffected during the Pralayam, which is said to be end of the world.  It is a huge temple with four Gopuram
to four sides. There are four prakaram seen in the temple.

View of the temple from road side.

Inner Gopuram known as Kandaradatthan Gopuram

As we enter we see Nandi in a mandpam.

Main Deity in this temple is Swayambu Lingam known as Vruddha Gireswarar, Pazhamalai Nadhar, and Mudhu kundrar.

There are two Goddess, seen in this temple; one is Vrudhambikai and other one Blambikai in different sanctums.  Goddess Durga is seen in the sanctum here in standing posture.

Vrudhambikai means elderly Lady. Guru Namashivayar halted in the place for a night on his way to Chidambaram. He prayed Goddess to feed him for the night and sang a hymn in which he used the word Kizhathi- means old, in his verse. Goddess Periyaanayaki appeard as an Old Lady and said Kizhavi-Old lady cannot bring food, only young can do that. Guru Namashivayar sang another hymn with verse describing the youth of Goddess. She appeared as young lady and fed him with food. So we also see Goddess as Balambikai in this place.

Sthala Vruksham is Vanni Tree.

Greatness of Vanni leaves in the temple.
When the temple was renovated by Sage Vibasithu, Vanni leaves were paid as wages to labour, which later turned into Gold coins according to the quantum of work done by the labourer. Researchers have proved that Vanni tree is as old as 1700 years.

Teertham is Chakkra Teertham and Kubera Teertham.

Lord Vinayaka is seen in under ground sanctum with 18 steps leading down. He is known as Paadala Ganapathy.

View of Gopuram from a corner, inside the temple premises.

Lord Murugan sanctum is seen in-between the sanctum of Lord Siva and Goddess Vrudaambikai. Here in the sanctum he is seen in standing posture with Valli and Devannai.

We see about 28 Siva Lingams installed according to Sivagama rule. Lord Murugan worshipped these Siva Lingas. Lord Vinayakar is seen here near the Lingam and Murugan with his concert to the other end.

Sthala Purana says Lord Siva appeared in the form of a mount. Vruddha means old and Achalam represents hill, hence the name Vruddhachalam. Saints who sang hymns on this place represent the place as Pazhamalai. It is believed the ashes of dead when dissolved in River Manimuttharu, changes into stone and stay underneath. Hence the place is considered more than Kasi-Kshetram. It is believed Goddess Vrudambikai places the departed souls on her lap and with her saree pallu she fans them, while Lord Siva chants Namashivaya Mantra in the ears of the dead ensuring Salvation.  

Once, when Sundarar was passing through this place, he passed without singing the glory of Lord Siva. Sundarar was stopped by Lord Siva, who sang Hymns on Lord Siva. Sundarar was raising funds to feed poor. He praised Lord Siva and sang Hymns on Lord. He was gifted with12, 000 Gold Coins by Lord Siva which was placed in River Manimuttharu and directed Sundarar to collect it from Tiruvarur Temple Tank. Sundarar took the Gold coins from the tank in Thiruvaroor, which is a miracle. Sundarar wanted to test the quality of Gold taken out from the tank; Lord Vinayakar was witness for this. Here we see Mattru Uraitah Vinayakar in inner Prakaram of the temple. Mattru means touch, Uraitha means confirm.

KshetraKovai, Pazhamalai Nadhar Andhadhi, Periyanayaki Ammai Padhikam, Periyanayaki Ammai Vruthum, Bikshadana Navamani Malai, Pillai Tamizh, Guru Darshana Padhigam are few Hymns sang on Lord Siva And Goddess of this place.

Arunagiri Nadhar sang Thirupugazh on Lord Murugan here.

Kumara Devar, Sivaprakasar, and Vadalur Vallalar Ramalinga Adigalar  have praised Lord Siva and sang hymns.

Temple Charriot.

In this temple is we see everything connected to five numbers.

We find five Murthy- Lord Vinayaka, Murugan, Sakthi, Siva and Chandikeswarar.

Lord Siva is praised by five names, Vrudhagreeswarar, Pazhamalai Nadhar, Mudhu Kundreswarar, Vrudhachaleswarar and Vrudha giri.

We see five Vinayakar in the temple. Aazha Vinayakar, Matru Uraitha Vinaykar, Muppillayar, Dsabuja Ganapathy nd Vallabha Ganapathy.

Five Rishi’s who had darshan of Lord Siva are Romesar, Vibasiddhu, Kumaradevar, Nadha Sarma and Anavardhini.

There are five temple Gopurams. There are Gopuram to four sides of the temple and Kandaradithan tower as fifth. 

There are five Dwajasthambam seen with five Nandi, namely Indra Nandhi, Vedha Nandhi, Atma Nandhi, Maalvidai Nandhi and Dharma Nandhi.

 There are five inner Mandapams. Artha mandapam, Indrakshi, Thapana, Isai Mandapam and Maha Mandapam are the five.


The Outer five Mandapams are 20 Pillar Mandapam, 100 Pillar Mandapam, deeparadhana Mandapam, Vipachitu and Chitra Mandapam,

The five prakarams knownas Thiruchutru are Car-Rath, Kailaya, Vanniyadi, 63 Nayanmar chuttru and Panchavarna chutru.

Five time pooja is performed in the temple form early morning to night.Tiruvanandal, Kalasandhi, Uchikaala, Sayaraksha and Arthajama pooja.

There are five Rath in the temple for Lord Vinayakar, Murugan, Pazhamalai Nadhar, Goddess Perriya Nayaki Amman and Chandikeswarar.

The place is known by five Names. Tirumudhu Kundram, Vruddha Kasi, Vruddha Chalam, Nerkuppai and Mudhugiri are the names.

Thiru Gyana Sambandhar, ThiruNavukkarasar and Sandarar sang hymns on Lord Siva of this place.

Thiru Chopuram, Thiru Chopura Nadhar / Mangala pureeswarar Temple. Cuddlore  

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Thiru Chopuram:  Thiru Chopura Nadhar / Mangala pureeswarar Temple.

The place is about 20 kms from Cuddlore. The place is also known as Thyagavalli. The temple is on the shore of Bay of Bengal. This is one the Devara Sthalams of Nadu Naadu.

A Temple that was burried and recoverd from sand. 
Some thousands of years back the temple was buried into sand due to fury of the sea.
In the later years of 19th century the sand was cleared and temple was constructed once again.

Main Deity is Swayambu Lingam Arulmigu Thiru Chopura Nadhar/ Mangala pureeswarar and his consort Chopura Nayaki Amman / Sathyadakshi Amman...

Here Sivalingam is on square peetam as Avudai and the Lingam portion is made of Sand. Palm print of Agasthya muni is visible on the Lingam portion. There is a small ball like bulb which is considered as Ganga. Lord Vishnu and Brahma are seen worshipping at the back of sanctorum.

Something unique in this temple is Turmeric and Kumkum is used for worship of Lord Siva here. Hence the Lord is known as Mangala pureeswarar.

Unique factors

One can here sound of Saptha Swaram from Dakshina Murthy idol when it is tapped.
Here White Vastram is used for Dakshina Murthy instead of Yellow which is normal. Dakshina Murthy is seen with Nagam to left hand and Agni to right hand which is in reverse order.

Teertham is known as Chopura Teertham and Bay of Bengal.

Sthala Vruksham is Kondrai Tree.

Inside the inner prakaram we see Vinayakar, Lakshmi, Murugan, Verrateswarare, Kannappar, Navagraham, Lingothbavar, Dakshina Murthy, Bairavar, and Natarajar sanctums.

Sthala purana says once when a devotee came here to worship Lord Siva he did not see the temple but a little portion of Kalasa was visible from within the sand. The residence of the village helped in removing the sand and the temple was visble. 

During the marriage of Lord Siva and Parvthy the land tilted to one side, due to the weight of complete Mankind and Devas who gathered to see the function. So Lord Siva asked Agyasthya Muni to travel towards south to balance.

As the sage was traveling he installed Siva Lingam in many places for his worship. Once when he came to this place he had severe stomach ache and he prayed to Lord Siva. He tried to make a Lingam of sand which was available there. He was not able to do the Lingam.  He realised Lord was testing him. He finally used some herbs found near by and extracted juice from it and mixed them to sand and made a Lingam out of it. The Lingam has palm print of sage Agasthya when he installed it. He was relieved from stomach ache.

 Agasthiyar and Thyagavalli worshipped Lord Siva of this place.

Sambandhar sang Hymns on Lord Siva of this temple.  

Thillai Kali Temple, Chidambaram, Cuddlore District.  

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Thillai Kali:    The temple is in Chidambaram, Cuddlore District.

The temple is to the border of Chidambaram which is also known as Ellai Kali.
Thillai Kali is facing east and her appearance seems to be furious.

Thillai Amman is also praised as Chamundeeswari in standing posture facing east.

Sthala purana says once Goddess Parvathy and Lord Siva claimed themselves to be powerful. Goddess was furious and tried to establish her power to be superior. Lord Siva got angry and he cursed her to become Ugra Kali. Sakthi cooled down and asked for a remedy to this. Lord said, shortly Demons will do atrocities and trouble Devas and Mankind. At that point you will come down to the place Chidambaram and penance on "Him". At that time "He" (Lord Siva) will be in Chidambaram to grace Vyagyapadhar and Patanjali muni by his Aanandha Thandavam. You will be blessed and join me as Sivakami Ammai.

Once Kali Matha and Lord Siva had Dance contest. Lord Siva after dancing for long time equally with Kali, and finally "He" did Ugra Thandavam by raising his leg upward. Kali being a woman could not do this, and "She" was furious. Lord Brahma appeared there and praised her as Veda Nayaki and begged her to cool down. Kali here gave darshan to Lord Brahma with four faces, representing four Vedas and she is known as Brahma Chamundeeswari. There is an idol installed separately in this form in the temple

Mother Kali is seen in separate sanctum with four faces. As Lord Dakshina Murthy she is in feminine form and known as Kadambavana Dakshina Rupini. She blesses mankind in the form of Maha Saraswathy as Veena Vidyambica.

Thiru Kaannattam Puliur: Arulmigu Patanjali Nadhar Temple, Kattumannar Koil, Cuddlore District  

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Thiru Kaannattam Puliur: Arulmigu Patanjali Nadhar Temple.

The temple is one of the Siva Devara Sthalam of Nadu Nadu Temples. This is also one of the Pancha Puliur Kshetram.

This is main Raja gopuram of temple is of three tiers. There are two prakaram in the temple.

Main Deity in the temple is small Swayambu Lingam known as Arulmigu Pathanjali Nadhar and his consort known as Kanaar Kuzhali / Ambujakshi Amman. Urchavar is Soma Skandar.

Teertham is Soorya Teertham and River Kollidam.

Sthala Vruksham is Atthy (fig) tree and white Errukku plant

As we go around the inner prakaram we see Vinayakar, Viswanadhar, Visalakshi, Gaja Lakshmi, Murugan, Brahman, Thirumaal, Saneeswarar, Pathangali Muni and Sooryan sanctums.

Here in this temple Dakshina Murthy is seen sitting. Kallala Maram is missing, which is unusual. We also see Lord Krishna in-between two Nagam and Siva lingam in-between two Nagam.

Lord Nataraja is seen with his left leg is moved a little forward and his body bent slightly backward. Purana says Lord Siva danced here to grace Patanjali Muni. Here in the temple Patanjali Muni is seen with Naalwar. It is believed to be Naga Dosha parihara Sthalam. 

Patanjali Muni worshiped Lord Siva of this temple. Hence the name here for Lord Siva is Patanjaleeswarar. We see sculpture of Patanjali Muni in the temple.

Sthala Purana says Adisheshan in paarkadal disguise himself as Patanjali muni and worshiped Lord Siva here. Lord Siva graced him by performing Aanandha Thaandavam.  Patanjali requested him to bless him with his Aananda Thandavam and Lord Siva obliged and in some of the places Patanjali muni had darshan of Aananda Thandavam. Lord Siva was happy to add his devotee Patanjali's name, before his name. So he is known here as Pathanjaleeswarar.

Sundarar sang Hymns on Lord Siva of this place.

Omampuliur, Pranavapureeswarar Temple. Kattumannar koil taluk, Cuddlore District.  

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Omampuliur:   Pranavapureeswarar Temple.

The temple is about 6kms to south from Kaanattam puliur. This One of the Nadu Nadu Devara Sthalam. 

The temple was under renovation we went. Ygnasalai seen in temple for the kumbabishekam

The main Raja Gopuram is of three tiers facing east.

Gopuram View of main sanctum

Main Deity is Swayambu Lingam known as Arulmigu Pranava Vyaghya Pureeswarar, and his consort known as Poongkodi Nayaki Amman.

Teertham is river Kollidam 

 Sthala vruksham is Ilandhi tree

Vyagyapadhar worshiped Lord Siva here. Hence the name Vyagyapureeswarar for Lord Siva here in this temple.

Importance: of the temple: Guru is given importance in this temple. Guru Dakshina Moorthy preached about Pranava Mantra to Goddess Uma Devi. Guru is Swayambu Moorthy in this temple. The sanctum of Guru Dakshina Murthy is in-between Ambaal sanctum and Lord Siva, in Maha Mandapam. This place is considered as one of the Guru Sthalams. We do not find Navagrahas in the temple. We find Guru and Natarajar have exchanged their place in this temple unlike other temples.

Sthala Purana says Vygyapadhar worshipped Lord Siva here, before he left for Chidambaram to grace him Dance Darshan of Thillai Natarajar. Once Goddess requested Lord Siva to explain her meaning of Pranava Mantra OM. When Lord Siva was explaining to her she lost her concentration in listening to Him. Lord Siva punished Uma Devi to be born on earth. Goddess Uma Devi stayed in this place Omaampuliur and worshiped Lord Siva here. Lord Siva as Dakshina Moorthy gave upadesam of Pranava Mantra to Godddess Uma Devi here.

Thiru Gyana Sambandhar sang Hymns on Lord Siva of this temple.

Mel Kadambur / Kadambar: Arulmigu Amirtha kadeswarar temple. Kattumannar koil taluk, Cuddlore District.  

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Mel Kadambur / Kadambar:  Arulmigu Amirtha kadeswarar temple.

This temple is one of the Nadu Naadu Devara Sthalams. The temple is about 5 kms distance to SW from Kattumannaar Koil on the bank of River Kollidam.

The main Raja Gopuram is of three tiers.

Main Deity is Swayambu Lingam known as Arulmigu Amirtha kadeswarar facing east and his consort Vidhyujyothi Nayaki Amman in different sanctum. Sun rays falls on Siva Lingam on 3, 4, and 5, of Panguni Month (March and April). Moon rays falls on Siva Lingam in the Month of Iyppasi full- moon day.

The temple is constructed with stones. It is like a Chariot. We can see horses also to the chariot in the front sides.

Vinayakar in this temple is known as Aravara Vinayakar in separate sanctum. He looks serious leaning his head slightly to left.

Athithi, mother of Devas worshipped Lord Siva in this place which was not liked by Devendran. So Indra wanted to take away the Lord Amirthakadeswar to his place. He turned the temple as Chariot and pulled it. Vinayakar wanted to teach him a lesson by pressing the Chariot. So the left wheel is struck to earth.

Sthala Vruksham is Kadamba Vruksham

Teertham is Sakthi teertham

As we go around the prakaram, we see Kanni Vinayakar, Murugan, Ardhanareeswarar, Uma Maheswarar, Agyasthyar, Nalwar, Meenakshi, Lakshmi, Lingothbavar, Brahma, Chandekeswarar, Durgai, Navagraham and Chandikeswarar.

To the outer wall of the main sanctum we see beautiful sculptures.

Here we see Kanni Vinayakar, Agasthyar, Devandran and Ardhanareeswarar.

Durga Matha.

Alingana moorthy.


Lord Brahma, Parvatha Rajan and Chitraguptan to left of Brahma. Pathanjali muni and Gangadharar are seen to right of Lord Brahma.

Lord Dakshina Moorthy.

Here on top of Dakshina Moorthy we see a sculpture of Dakshina Moorthy with Veena in his hand and above that we see another Sculpture of Dakshina moorthy with flute in his hand.


Kala Bairavar.



Lord Murugan received his Bow to destroy Sooran, by worshipping Lord Siva in this temple. Sani Baghwan in the temple is seen with Eagle as his vahana. Purana says King Dasaradha gave crow to Sani Bhagawan who replaced it for eagle. The Moorthy is older to Ramayana period.

When Devas churned the Ocean, pot of nectar was given to Lord Indra. They tried to consume the Amirtam without worshipping Lord. Vinayakar angrily took away the nectar pot to teach them a lesson. When Vinayaka was passing through this place a drop of nectar fell down and this formed as Siva Lingam. Hence the Lord is known as Amirtakadeswarar.

The place was full of Kadamba Vruksham; hence the place is known also known as Kadambar

Sthala Purana says Devas and Indra, realized their mistake and worshipped Lord Siva in this place and received the nectar from Him. Lord Siva stayed back in this place as Amirthakadeswarar. When Indra was not able to lift the chariot temple from this place he worshipped Lord Vinayaka to help him. Lord Vinayaka agreed and asked Indra to install one Crore Lingam and he accepted the challenge. Due to his pride he failed in his attempt. Indra worshipped Lord Siva who asked him to make a Siva Lingam chanting his name thousand times. Indra made Rudrakoteeswara and worshipped him.
Lord Amirthakadeswarar appeared before him and he said he wished to stay back in this place. It is believed that Indra worships Lord Siva of this temple daily.

Importance of the temple is there is Urchava idol of Rishba Thandava Moorthy with 10 hands. Special Pooja is performed on pradosha days of New, Full Moon. Here we see Goddess Parvathy, Lord Vishnu, Lord Vinayaka, Bairava, and Veerabadrar, Maharishis like Narada, Brungi, Mruganda, Nandi Devar, Gandrava and Boodha Ganas watching the Thandavam.   

Goddess Vidhyujyothi Nayaki Amman is considered to posses the Sakthi of Goddess Saraswathy, Goddess Maha Lakshmi and Goddess Durga matha. In the morning she graces as Goddess Saraswathy with Veena, in the midday with Elephant as Goddess Maha Lakshmi, and in the evening as Goddess Durga Matha with Tridend. Hence the name Vidyajyothi Nayaki

Navagraha worship Lord Siva here. So Lord Siva is dreesed with cloth of respective colors. The temple is regarded as Navagraha Parihara Sthalam

Thiru Navukkarasar, Thiru Gyana Sambandhar, Mannikkavachakar and Sundarar have worshiped and sang Hymns praising the Lord Siva. Arunagiri Nadhar sang Thirupugazh on Lord Murugan.

Thiru Narayur, Thiru Sounderyeswarar temple. Kattumannar koil taluk, Cuddlore District  

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Thiru Narayur:  Thiru Sounderyeswarar temple.

This temple is one of the Devara Sthalam in Nadu Nadu temples. The temple is about 6 kms to NE from Kattumannar koil.

The main Raja Gopuram is of three tiers.

Main Deity is Swayambu Lingam known as Arulmigu Soundaryesar and his consort known as Thirupura Sundari Amman.

Sthala Vruksham is Punnai.

Teertham of the temple is known as Karunya Teertham.

As we go around we see a separate sanctum for Polla Pillayaar. It is a Swayambu Moorthy.
Murugan, Thirumoola Nadhar, Navagraham, Natarajar, Bairavar, Nalvar, Sekizhar sanctums are there. 

We see painting of Polla Pillayaar when we go around the prakaram

Durvasa muni was performing penance here to get darshan of Lord Siva. His penance was disturbed by a Gandhrava. Durvasa Muni cursed him to become a Crane (Naarai) for his act and refused to forgive him. Gandarva prayed to Lord Siva, to suggest way to get relief. Lord Siva asked
to perform abishekam to Him, daily with Ganga water to get out of the curse.

Being a bird it took Ganga water from Varnasi and performed abishekam to Lord Siva here. It got salvation and hence the place is known as Narayur 

Sthala Purana:

Nambi Andar Nambi as a young boy used to watch his father performing pooja to Pollaa Pillayaar and finally offering nivedana (neyvedyam). Once it happened so, the boy had to perform the pooja in absence of his father. When he offered nivedhanam, Pillyaar did not eat. He was worried why Pillayaar is not eating the offering. He started weeping and punishing himself by dashing his head.
Pillayaar was touched with the sincere Bakthi of the child and consumed the offering.

When everyone was talking about this King Rajaraja Cholan came to know about the miracle and he refused to believe. King came with nivedhana and asked Nambi to offer it to Pillayaar. Now the pillayaar was keeping silent. Nambi was worried and sang the Iratai Mani Malai hymns which moved Pillayaar and he consumed the offering in presence of the gathering.

It was Nambi Andar Nambi who gathered Thevaram sung by Moovar which was damaged by pests. Idol of Nambi and King Rajaraja cholan is seen in the temple.

There is a Small sanctum for Nambi Andar Nambi who is seen holding kalasam in his hand.

Thiru Navukkuarasar and Thiru Gyana Sambandhar sang Hymns on Lord Siva of this temple.

Thiru Vetkalam, Sri Pasupatheeswarar temple. Chidambaram taluk, Cuddlore District.  

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Thiru Vetkalam:  Sri Pasupatheeswarar temple.

The temple is about 3kms east of Chidambaram. Now the place is known as Annamalai Nagar.
This is one of the Devara Sthalam of Nadu Nadu Temples.

The main Raja Gopuram of the temple is of three tiers facing east.

Main Deity is Swayambu Lingam known as Arulmigu Pasupatheeswarar and his consort known as
Sri Sargunambaal / Nalla Nayaki. There is a mark on Siva Lingam.

Teertham of this temple is Krupa Kataaksha Teertham.

Sthala Vruksham of the Temple is Bamboo.

We see pillars with sculpture related to Sthala puranam of this temple in front of Goddess sanctum.

Arjuna is hiding his weapons.

As we go around the prakaram we see Siddhi Vinayakar, Murugan, Lakshmi, Meenakshi, Chokka Nadhar, Nalvar, Navagraham, Natarajar, Sooryan and Chandran.
Nardhana Vinayakar and Anugraha Dakshina Moorthy are seen as koshta Deivam. Here Muyalagan near Dakshina Moorthy is facing towards left side which is different from usual posture.

Lord Indra.

Sthala purana says Arjuna wanted to acquire Pasupathasthram to win the battle against Kauravas. Arjuna got all Asthras (weapons) from his father Indra. Krishna told Arjuna, Pasupathasthram can be acquired from Lord Siva only with permission from Indra...  

Arjuna penancing is seen with his one leg, to be blessed by Lord Siva with Pasupathasthram.

Arjuna penanced in this place which was full of Bamboo. Duruyodhana sent Mookasura in the form of pig to spoil the penance of Arjuna. Lord Siva wanted to test Arjuna so He disguised himself as hunter.

Lord Siva with Parvathy appeared as hunter and killed the pig. Four Vedas followed Him as Dogs. Arjuna also aimed at the pig. Before granting Pasupathastharam, Lord Siva wanted to test the ability of Arjuna.

Lord Siva as a hunter is seen fighting with Arjuna.

The hunter (Lord Siva) and Arjuna claimed themselves for the death of pig. From discussion it went to fight and Arjuna's bow broke. Arjuna in anger hit hunter (Lord Siva). The blow was felt by all the living being on earth. Parvathy got angry by Arjuna's act. Lord Siva told Parvathy her anger is not good and it would affect the whole universe. He asked her to cool down move to side.

Lord Siva lifted Arjuna with his leg and threw him Krupa Kataksham. Once Lord Siva’s Leg touched Arjuna, he was blessed.

Lord Siva and Parvathy appeared in front of him. Lord Siva gave Pasupathasthram to Arjuna.

Thiru Gyana Sambandhar and Thiru Navukkuarasar sang Hymns on Lord Siva. Arunagirinadhar Sang Thirupugazh on Lord Murugan of this temple.