Sundareswarar, Tiruvettakudi, Karaikal

Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:SundareswararAmbal / Thayar:Soundranayaki, Santhanayaki
Deity:SivaHistorical name:TIruveTTaikudi
Vriksham:PunnaiTeertham:Deva Teertham

Age (years):

Timing: to & to Parikaram:

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


Temple set:



City / town:TiruvettakudiDistrict:Karaikal
Maps from (click): Current location Nagapattinam (31 km)Mayiladuthurai (33 km)

Thiruvarur (41 km)Kumbakonam (61 km)


Tiruvettakudi is located 9km north of Karaikal and 16km south of Tirukadaiyur.

Sthala puranam and temple information

The puranam of this temple is connected to the episode of Kiratarjuneeyam in the Mahabharatam. During the Pandavas’ 13-year exile, Arjuna went separately to worship Lord Siva at Punnagavanam. One day when he was in penance, he saw a wild boar, and shot an arrow at it. When he went to retrieve his kill, he saw a hunter there, whose arrow had also hit the boar, who was claiming it as his kill. A fight ensued between the two claimants, which the hunter eventually won, and then revealed himself to be Lord Siva in disguise. He was also pleased with Arjuna’s valour, and granted him the Pasupatastram. However, Parvati felt Arjuna did not Arjuna did not deserve it, until Siva convinced her using the matsa-rekha in Arjuna’s palm. He also blessed Arjuna to be reborn as a hunter in a later birth – it is regarded that Arjuna’s rebirth was as Kannappa Nayanar. In historical times, this place was called Punnagavanam and is considered to be the place where the above incidents took place. At Arjuna’s request, Lord Siva stayed here in his handsome form, as Sundareswarar. Vettai in Tamil means hunting, which also gives the place its name.

When Siva came here, he brought Murugan along with him. So in the temple, Murugan is seen as a young hunter, holding a bow.

According to another legend, once Parvati told Lord Siva that He was powerless without her. Siva made Her be born as a fisherwoman on earth, and She undertook severe penance to be reunited with the Lord, who eventually came here as a fisherman and married here. These events are celebrated by the local fisherfolk, as Kadalaadu vizha, in which Siva is dressed as a hunter and goes to the sea nearby and takes a bath, before returning to the temple. This usually takes place during the Tamil month of Masi on the day of Magham nakshatram.

When Sambandar came here from the direction of the sea, he noticed that every grain of sand was becoming a Siva Lingam. So he did not walk any further, but sang his pathigam from a distance.

This is a very simple temple from the Chola period, but has been maintained well and has had Kumbhabhishekam performed in the recent past.

Other information for your visit

Tirukadaiyur and Karaikal have some budget and mid-level accommodation. Tharangambadi – 8km away – also has some luxury options. The Danish fort in Tharangambadi is a great place to visit. Located very close to the fort is also the Masilanathar temple – a seaside temple for Lord Siva in a beautiful setting.


Ramesh Gurukkal: 95852 28088

Sthala puranam by temple Sivacharyar

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