Vasishteswarar, Thenkudithittai, Thanjavur

Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:VasishteswararAmbal / Thayar:Ulaganayaki, MangaLaambikai
Deity:SivaHistorical name:Thenkudithittai
Vriksham:SaNbagamTeertham:Soola Teertham

Age (years):

Timing:6 to 12 & 4 to 8Parikaram:

Temple group:Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)
Sung by:


Temple set:

Karanthattankudi Sapta Sthanam




City / town:ThenkudithittaiDistrict:Thanjavur
Maps from (click): Current location Thanjavur (9 km)Kumbakonam (34 km)

Ariyalur (43 km)Thiruvarur (62 km)


Sthala puranam and temple information

At the time of pralayam, Siva and Parvati rode a boat to find a place to stay on Bhulokam, and revive the human race. They came across a place that was dry because it was located on a mound (thittu, in Tamil) between the Vennar and Vettaru rivers. So they decided to stay here, and Siva became a swayambhu murti Lingam here. Later, Brahma and Vishnu also came searching for a place, and found this location. They both worshipped the Lingam here, and were blessed with the tasks of creation and protection of the human race, after pralayam.

The moolavar is named Vasishteswarar since sage Vasishta worshipped Siva here. For this reason, this temple is considered a Guru sthalam. This is one of only three temples where the moolavar Himself is worshipped as Guru, the other two being at Padi in Chennai, and Tiruchendur (which is primarily a Siva temple, and there is a moolavar Lingam behind the more famous Murugan). In all other cases (even in Guru sthalams like Alangudi), it is only Dakshinamurti who is regarded as Guru.

In addition, there is a separate south-facing shrine (as usual) for Dakshinamurti. This shrine has its own vimanam, and Dakshinamurti – as Raja Guru – can be seen standing (not seated, as with Dakshinamurti shrines generally), and with four arms, holding a book and weapons, and blessing devotees with the Abhaya hastam.

Another reason for this being a Guru sthalam is the specialty of Murugan here, who blesses devotees with the benefits of six chakras – Muladhara, Swadishtana, Manipuraka, Anahata, Vishuddhi and Ajna. Thittai is also said to mean wisdom, in Tamil, and it is believed that worshipping Murugan here grants enlightenment to the devotees through these chakras.

This temple is also a Sakti Peetham. A young woman named Sugandha Kunthala, who lost her husband, worshipped Ambal here and was able to revive the dead person. Due to this puranam, Ambal here is also called Sugandha Kunthalambikai. For this reason, this temple is a prarthana sthalam for women praying for the longevity of their husbands.

According to one account, the chariot of a king named Sumali got stuck in the sandy dunes here, and so in ancient times, the place went by the names of Therur and Rathapuram.

The structural temple is Chola from the 12th century, and is built completely of stone, with no plaster or other works. To the east of the temple is the Chakra Teertham, said to have been formed by Vishnu’s chakram. There are four Lingams installed in each of the cardinal directions, in addition to the moolavar Lingam. The main Nandi beside the bali peetham is made of brass, and not stone. The ceiling of the corridor outside Amman’s shrine, has a rasi-chakram depicting the 12 rasis.

There are two stones placed on the roof of the garbhagriham, called the Suryakantha and Chandrakantha (the latter is said to be Chandran’s demonstration of his thanksgiving to Siva for reliving him of a curse). These absorb convert the moisture from the air into water droplets that fall on the moolavar Lingam, every 24 minutes (one nazhigai), day and night. This is demonstrated by the yellow cloth that covers the moolavar (yellow because Siva here is worshipped as Guru – Dakshinamurti), which is always wet.

Other information for your visit

This temple is one of 7 temples that constitute the Karunthattaankudi Sapta Sthanam group of temples. These 7 temples are located at Karunthattaankudi, Vennatrankarai, Thittai, Kudalur, Kadakadappai, Mariamman Koil and Poomaalai.


Phone: 94435 86453

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