Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Bhuvaraha Perumal||Ambal / Thayar:||Ambujavalli Thayar|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 4 to 8.30||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Abhimana sthalam||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Srimushnam||District:||Cuddalore|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Mayiladuthurai (52 km)||Ariyalur (58 km)|
|Kumbakonam (62 km)||Cuddalore (67 km)|
Srimushnam is located 20km southeast of Vriddhachalam.
Sthala puranam and temple information
This temple is a Swayam Vyakta Kshetram, and Perumal murti here is made of of salagramam, as is the case with Srirangam, Tirupati, Nanguneri, Salagramam, Pushkaram, Naimisaranyam and Badarikashramam. Perumal faces west at this temple, which is located close to the banks of the Vellar river, and is seen with hands on his hips.
The Lord created the Aswathi tree (located near the Nityapushkarini) and Tulasi with his two eyes and the Nityapushkarani with his sweat.
This temple is associated with the Varaha avataram of Lord Vishnu. When the demon Hiranyakshan took Bhudevi and hid in the seas, Lord Vishnu took the shape of a ferocious powerful boar with horns and killed the demon. The Lord carried the earth between his horns and kept it on the head of Adiseshan for safe keeping. The Lord is seen here majestic with both his hands on his hips and worshipping the Lord in this form is supposed to lead to Salvation.
According to the legend of the Thanjai Mamani Koil (Thanjavur), in Krita Yuga, the demons Thanjakan, Thandakan and Tharakasuran did penance to Lord Siva. As a boon, they asked for immortality, but Siva referred them to Vishnu, since as the preserver of the world, only He could offer such a boon. Siva also assured them that they would not come to any harm on his account. Thereafter, the three asuras started troubling the entire universe, and also harassed the devas and rishis. During that time there was a severe drought and famine, and the only place with enough food and water and that the hermitage of Parasara rishi. All the asuras went there and assaulted Parasara, who called out to Siva for assistance. As Siva could had given them the boon, he could not help and so he deputed the task to Mahakali. However, every time the asuras were killed, they drank the water from the nearby Manimuthar river, and came back to life. With no option left, Parasara called out to Vishnu for help. Thanjakan took the form of an elephant (thereby becoming Gajamukhan) and fought with Lord, who then took the form of Narasimha and killed Thanjakan (the place is today known as Thanjai Yali Koil – Yali meaning elephant). Thandakan went down to patala loka to escape. Vishnu took the form of Varaham (boar), and plunging into patala loka, killed Thandakan. That place, where Thandakan was killed, came to be known as Thandagaranyam, and is today referred to as Srimushnam, where the Lord is worshipped in his form as Bhuvaraha Perumal.
There was once a Muslim trader from Killai – a seaside town near Chidambaram – who had taken very ill, and was finally cured after he worshipped Perumal at this temple. As thanksgiving, he donated significant sums of money for the temple and welfare of those connected with it, and was called “Bhura sahib”. Over time, the temple’s annual festival in the month of Masi (February-March) has include one very interesting and unique sequence of events.
On the day of Magham nakshatram, the utsavar is taken to Killai where He is worshipped by Muslims, with offerings of rice, fruits and flowers. After this, Perumal goes to a Saurashtra community centre in Bhuvanagiri, where people of all faiths come to worship Him. It is believed that this sequence has evolved over many centuries, and was intended to promote communal harmony.
Other information for your visit
The Nitheeswarar Siva temple is located behind this temple, ie to the east. It is a fairly large temple in its own right. Also close by (just off the road from Vriddhachalam) is the Swetaranyeswarar temple at Rajendrapattinam (Erukathampuliyur).
Vriddhachalam has budget accommodation options. Chidambaram is 35km away and also has some decent budget and mid-range accommodation options.