Thyagaraja Temple Thiruvarur: Arulmigu Thiyaagaraaja Swaamy Temple

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Thyagaraja swamy Temple

அருள்மிகு தியாகராஜ சுவாமி திருக்கோவில், திருவாரூர்

Thyagaraja Temple is a Shiva temple, located in the town of Thiruvarur in Tamil Nadu, India. Shiva is worshiped as Puttridankondar, and is represented by the lingam.

Thyagaraja Temple Thiruvarur: Thyagaraja Temple, Tiruvarur: Sizable 9th-century temple devoted to Shiva featuring lavish entrance towers, gardens & a pond. The Thyagaraja Temple, lies in Tiruvarur town in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The temple is dedicated to the worship of Shiva.

The main shrine of the temple is split into two, one dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva as Vanmikinathar, while the other is dedicated to the worship of Thyagarajar. The shrine devoted to Vanmikinathar is purportedly ages older than the one dedicated to Thyagarajar.


Thiruvarur is the birthplace of Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri, popularly known as the Trinity of Carnatic music of the 18th century CE.

Paadal Petra Sthalam

The Paadal Petra Sthalam, also known as Thevara Sthalam, are 275 temples that are revered in the verses of Saiva Nayanars in the 6th-9th century CE and are amongst the greatest Shiva temples of the continent. Thiruvarur is one of them.

Ajapa natanam

The Thyagarajar Temple at Tiruvarur is famous for the ajapa natanam (dance without chanting), that is executed by the deity itself. According to legend, a Chola king named Mucukunta obtained a boon from Indra (a celestial deity) and wished to receive an image of Thyagaraja Swamy (presiding deity, Shiva in the temple) reposing on the chest of reclining Vishnu. Indra tried to misguide the king and had six other images made, but the king chose the right image at Tiruvarur.

Tower / Gopurams

The Thiruvarur temple complex covers 30 acres, and is one of the largest in India. It houses nine gateway towers known as gopurams.

TempleVidangar TempleDance poseMeaning
Thyagarajar Temple, TiruvarurVidhividangarAjaba NatanamDance without chanting, resembling the dance of Sri Thyagaraja resting on Vishnu‘s chest

Thiyagaraja swami Temple Profile

DeityVanmeega Nathar (Shiva) (moolavar)
Veethividangar (Shiva) (Utsavar)
StateTamil Nadu
Type Tamil architecture
CreatorTamil architecture

Thiruvarur Thyagaraja Temple Timings

Morning : 5.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m.
Evening : 4.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.

Pooja NamePooja TimePooja Session
Ushathkala Pooja05.30 A.MMorning
Kalasandhi Pooja09.00 A.MMorning
Uchikkalam Pooja12.00 P.MAfter noon
Sayaratchai Pooja06.00 P.MEvening
Irandamkala Pooja07.00 P.MEvening
Ardha Jama Pooja08.45 P.MNight

Thyagaraja Temple Abishekam

Abishekam is not performed to Lord Thiagaraja but to the Maragatha Linga (precious emerald Linga known as Veedhi Vidanga Linga believed to have been worshipped earlier by Indira) at 8.30 a.m., 11.00 a.m. and at 7.00 p.m. each day.

After the abishek is over, the Linga would be placed in a silver box with flowers and covered by a silver vessel. This will be then locked in the presence of officials and placed on the right side of Lord Thiagaraja.

Arulmigu Thyagaraja Temple Temple

Arulmigu Thiyagarajaswamy Temple
Thiruvarur – 610001
Phone Number: 04366-242343.

Thyagaraja Temple Accessibility

  • Wheelchair-accessible car park
  • Wheelchair-accessible entrance

Thiyagarajaswamy Temple Highlights

The Thiyagaraja temple at Thiruvarur is one of the ancient heritage sites of India and is a representation of the religio-socio-cultural history of the Tamil region for a period spanning over a millennium and a half. Little is known about this shrine to much of India.

Located near Thanjavur in Tamilnadu, Thiruvarur is an ancient shrine steeped in mysticism. It is rich in legend, history and tradition.

Thyagaraja Swamy Temple History

Trace the history of Thiruvarur through insights gained from the Tevaram hymns, temple inscriptions and other sources.

Thiruvarur Deities

Vanmikanathar represents the Moolavar while the shrine dedicated to Thiyagaraja is the better known shrine in the temple. The Vanmikanathar Legend relates to Shiva appearing within an anthill in response to prayers from the Gods.

Legend has it that the Thiyagaraja (Somaskanda) image at Thiruvarur was created and worshipped by Maha Vishnu. Somaskanda is symbolic of fertility, of royal lineage etc.

Somaskanda Iconography

Somaskanda refers to a manifestation of Shiva with Skanda and Uma by his side. Thiyagaraja represents the Somaskanda manifestation of Shiva at Thiruvarur and at a few other shrines. Thiyagarajar is referred to as Veedhi Vitankar in the Tevaram hymns.

The Thiyagaraja Shrine at Thiruvarur is steeped in mysticism. Thiyagaraja is associated with the Ajapaa Natanam.

Ajaba Natanam

Lord Thiyagaraja is said to have raisen from the navel of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu in his yoga stage breaths, and when Adisesha also breaths, there are waves found in the parkadal, the milky ocean at the vaikuntha, where Lord Vishnu resides.

Mucukunda Chola Legend

The valorous Chola king brought back from Indra 7 images of Somaskanda.

Sapta Vitanka Shrines refer to seven temples in the Chola kingdom enshrining images of Thiyagaraja brought to earth by Mucukunda Chakravarti.

Thyagaraja Temple Thiruvarur Layout

The vast temple complex at Thiruvarur with several shrines has many spacious mandapams and towering gopurams.

Thyagaraja Temple Thiruvarur Layout
Thyagaraja Temple Thiruvarur Layout

Nilothpalambal Inside the main temple there is another seperate shrine for Goddess Nilothpalambal. The Goddess,with two hands is Aadi Parasakti.Alongside the Goddess,an assistant is seen carrying on her shoulder Lord Muruga- an interesting feature-and the Goddess is shown touching the head of Lord Muruga.

one known as Chandikes-varar and the other called as Yama Chandikesvarar, with curles of hair and beard. It is said that all those born at Thiruvarur are Sivaganas and lord Yama does not have any work to do. He complains to Easwara and says he does not have any work.

Manuniti Chola

There was a Chola king who ruled Thiruvarur by name Manuniti Chola. Once his son, when riding the Chariot, accidentally killed a calf on the road. As per the rules of the kindom, a bell was kept outside the palace and any one wishing to have one’s grievance attended to should ring the bell. The cow mother of the calf, pulled the bell on seeing the dead calf. The king, the just ruller that he was, rode the chariot over his son. Pleased with the king’s sense of justice, the gods are set to have revived.

Music Trinities

  • In Carnatic music, Syama Sastri, Thiyagaraja and Muthusamy Deetchidar are known as music Trinities.
  • Syama Sastri (A. D 1762 – 1827) He excelled in composing songs in Anandha Bairavi ragam. Rare ragas like Chinthamani, Manjee are identified in his some of 300 Kiruthis (a musical form of short lyrics with excellent ornamentation). “Viloma Sappu” a kind of tala, was introduced by him. All his songs are in Sanskrit and Telugu.
  • SYAMA SASTRI was born to Visvanatha Iyer and Vengalakshmi on April 26, 1762. He was a Tamil – speaking brahmin known as auttara vadama. Visvanatha Iyer and his forefathers were archakas in the temple of Goddess Bangaru Kamakshi.
  • Syama Sastri’s actual name was Venkata Subrahmanya. But he was affectionately called Syama Sastri. At the age of seven, his Upanayanam was performed. He was taught devotional songs, given sound education in Sanskrit and Telugu. He used to accompany his father to the temple. Gradually his faith in the Goddess grew. Finding his aptitude for music, his mother requested her cousins to teach him the fundamentals of music. Within a short period, the boy became proficient in it.
  • When Syama Sastri was 18, his father settled down at Thanjavur. A sanyasi, Sangita Svami, an Andhra brahmin, came to their house from Banares. He was pleased with the talents of Syama Sastri and offered to be his guru. After teaching him the mysteries underlying the raga and tala prastaras, he directed Syama Sastri to go to Paccimiriyam Adiyappayya.
  • Once, Kesavayya, a great musician from Bobbili, came to Thanjavur and challenged the court musicians in handling intricate talas. Syama Sastri had to face him. He entered the temple and stood in deep meditation.
  • He sang “Devi brova samayamide’ meaning “Devi! now it is the time for you to protect me”. Later he gained confidence and went to the court to face the contest and defeated the challenger.
  • Muthuuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri were good friends. They often met and spent hours together singing. Syama Sastri had deep regard for Thiyagaraja.
  • Once Syama Sastri was singing Brhadamba in Pudukottai, an elderly saint was pleased and directed him to go to Madurai and sing in praise of Meenaksi Amman and receive her blessings. Syama Sastri decided to do so and composed “navaratnamalika’ (nine kritis)
  • Thiyagaraja(A.D 1767-1847)Standardization of Sangathis(singing a lyrical structure in different styles) in kirthanas is reported to be his main contribution. Incorporation of folk and western into karnatic is a notable contribution as revealed by one of his biographers. His “Pancharathna Kirthana” (song consisting of 5 Ragas) is a great masterpiece. Rare ragas like “Navarasa Kanada”,”Vijaya Shree” and “Bhahudari” were brilliantly handled by him.
  • The life and work of Thiyagaraja, the bard of Tiruvayyaru, is a miracle of miracles.
  • The life and work of Thiyagaraja, the bard of Tiruvayyaru, is a miracle of miracles. For no musician, with exception of Purandaradasa, revolutionized and gave direction to Indian music as he did. So creative a musician and saint was he that he has come to be known as Sri Tyaga Brahmam, which is a reference not only to his creativity but carries with it a part of his father’s name, Ramabrahmam.
  • The bulwark of a great culture, the Vijayanagara Empire, with all its glory, fell at the end of the 16th century. The invasion from the North brought in its wake new, though not always commendable, trends in living. Quite a few Hindu families had to flee to Southern areas which were still peaceful.
  • Many found shelter under the benign rule of the Nayakas and the Maratha kings of Tamilnadu. Particularly, a number of Telugu families went South and formed nuclei of art and culture and Tyagaraja’s ancestors belonged to one such stock, as he describes himself as descending from the Kakarla family (Kakarla is a village in the Kurnool District of Andhra).
  • Tiruvarur in the Tanjavur district of South India is a small hamlet; it is small in size, but has great sanctity hallowed by the memory of the three composers, the Trimoorty, of Karnatak music.
  • Muthusamy Deekshidar (A.D 1776-1835) He followed his own unique 72 melakartha system, and composed his kirthana in 35 Tala system. He is famous for his social kirthanas. He introduced new rich aesthetic components into Carnatic music. His compositions were in Telugu, Sanskrit and Tamil.
  • Dikshitar’s songs bring in a mood of meditative devotion of sublime nature which transcends words and feelings.
  • Dikshitar was probably the most complete classical composer and one of the most versatile men world has ever seen.

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