At Tiruchendur Skanda Sashti is celebrated with a unique ritual called Soorasamharam.
Tiruchendur also known as Thiru-Cheer-Alaivai. It is famous as the second of the Arupadai Veedugal or Six Abodes of Lord Muruga. The magnificient temple over the course of nearly 1,000 years has grown from its original modest structure through many additions made by Pandya and Chera kings, and various benefactors.
‘Tiruchendur’ means a sacred and prosperous town of victory. Notably, the Gopuram or the temple tower is on the West instead of the East as is traditional due to the sea.
The massive structure is nine storey high and stands at 137 feet. The Gopuram was constructed roughly 300 years ago. The sculpture on the Gopuram chronicles interesting events. For instance, there are scenes from the life of Manikkavachakar. In the ninth storey, a huge bell was fixed by one Mr. Eden, probably the Collector of Tirunelveli from 1832 to 1839. The ringing of the bell indicated the hours of the day. The bell is now not in use because the mechanism is in disrepair.
In the 17th century AD, Tiruchendur temple was occupied by the Dutch for few years and they even looted some of the idols in the temple. Legend has it that the Arumuga Peruman idol was carried away in their ship. There was a sudden storm and the Dutch grew afraid and threw the idol into the sea. Vadamalaiyappa Pillai, an ardent devotee of Lord Muruga saw a vision of the idol’s position in his dream. Immediately, he and several other devotees rushed to the spot where as foretold in the dream a lemon was floating and Garuda was flying over the spot. They dove into the sea and recovered the statue.
The temple was originally constructed on the sandstone reefs of the beach, but due to corrosion by the sea the structure began to disintegrate. In early 1900s a sannyasin, Mouna Swami took up the renovation work. This was followed by others over a course of 72 years and the three pragarams were constructed anew in black granite stone.
Thaipusam Festival, Vaikasi Visagam (May – June), Avani festival (August � September), Skanda Sasti Festival – 7 days (October – November) and Masi festival – 12 days (February – March) are the important festival celebrated at Thiruchendur Murugan Temple. Of these, Skanda Sashti is celebrated in a large scale with a unique ritual called Soorasamharam.
OM Muruga Saranam..! OM Muruga Saranam..!!