Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thirusoolam Sri Thirusoolanaadhar

Thirusoolam is situated in Chennai, 1.5 km off GST Road, opposite to the present Airport.

Though Thirusoolam means the weapon (Thrishul) of the Goddess Parvathi, the temple legend has an interesting background attached to it. As Lord Brahma, the creator worshipped Lord Shiva here; it was called as Brahmapuri originally. According to the stone inscriptions found in the temple, the place was called as Vaanavan Maadevi Chathurvedhi Mangalam., which later turned to become Pallavapuram (today’s Pallavaram).

Presently, the place is known as Thirusoolam. The temple is situated amidst 4 hills surrounding it. In Thamizh, the place between the hills is called ‘Churam’ (சுரம்) and hence this place was called as ‘Thiru Churam’ (திருச்சுரம்) which had later become Thirusoolam.

The Lord too is known as Sri Thirusoolanaadhar and Goddess Sri Thiripurasundhari.

According to the legend, originally, Lord Brahma was 5 headed. As Lord Brahma was too proud of himself, Lord Shiva cut one of his heads off to bring down his ego. Later Brahma continued his duty of creation. He prayed Lord Shiva that he couldn’t concentrate on his duty because he was disturbed losing a head. Lord Shiva blessed him and granted peace of mind after which Lord Brahma continued his duties peacefully.

After this incident, as part of his duty, Lord Brahma created one of the most beautiful dancers of Devaloka, called Thilothama. After creating her, Lord Brahma himself fell in lust with her, because of her divine beauty. Lord Brahma went and spoke to her. Thilothama refused to accept him saying that as Brahma himself being her creator, he is in the position of her father and hence she can’t think of involving herself with him.

Knowing this, the Siva Ganas (Lord Shiva’s parivar) started chasing Lord Brahma, to punish him for the sin he committed. Lord Brahma hid himself, amidst the hills in this place and also realized his sin. To be relieved off the sin, Lord Brahma installed a Shiva Lingam here and started worshipping Lord Shiva.

Lord Shiva was pleased with his prayers apologized Lord Brahma as he realized and admitted his sin.

This very ancient temple is beautifully located amidst 4 hills at Thirusoolam. It is believed that these 4 hills denote 4 Vedas.

This temple is said to have been built during the reign of Kulothunga Chozha, about 1000 years ago. The Lord, Sri Thirusoolanaadhar is facing the east. Goddess Sri Thiripurasundhari is facing south, outside the sanctum. There is another idol for Goddess inside the main sanctum itself just in front of the Moolavar. It is said that, during some invasion, the original idol of the Goddess was damaged by intruders and a new idol was made and installed outside the sanctum. The then priest got a dream, in which he was directed by the God himself to place the damaged idol next to the main deity itself. So, the Goddess which was originally there, found a place just next to the main deity Himself.

The sanctum has been built in Gajabrishta or Thoongaanai Maadam (தூங்கானை மாடம்) shape. The inner Praakaaram has Lord Ganapathi facing the south. Here Lord Ganapathi is seen as ‘Naaga Yagnopaveetha Ganapathi’, as he is wearing the Naagam (snake) as his sacred thread.

Sri Dhakshinamurthy here is also very unique. He is called as Veerasana Dhakshinamurthy, as He is seen sitting in the ‘Veerasana’ Posture, with his left leg folded and his right leg on the Muyalaka Asura.

Other deities here are Sri Subramanyar, Sri Maha Vishnu, Sri Brahma, Sri Durgai, Sri Bhairavar and Naalvar inside the Praakaaram. The outer praakaram has shrines for Sri Ayyappan and Sri Aadhi Sankaracharya.

Pradhosham and Maha Shivarathri days are celebrated in a grand manner at this temple.

A small but wonderful temple secluded between the hills with great history behind it.


  1. Thiru Churam to Thirusoolam!.
    What a change time has brought on
    the originality.
    Will there be any conscious effort
    to bring back the original names
    of all these divya sthalams (most
    of them have changed over a period
    of time).
    Just like they did for Madras to
    Chennai, bombay to Mumbai,
    Calcutta to Kolkatta...etc.

    There is difference though among
    the two as to how the names were

    Varadaraj.K/ 11-Mar-08/ 03.35pm IST

  2. Also about this thilothama
    being created by Brahma, I
    have been pondering over
    goddess saraswathy too.
    It was Brahma who created her,
    and since she was most beautiful,
    he married her.

    I have been asking everyone
    how this is ok?.

    Varadaraj.K/ 11-Mar-08/ 03.45pm IST

  3. Saravanan - Thrirusoolam was sthalapuranam was good. Thanks for this.

    Reply to Varadaraj 2nd comment - What ever I heard/read, am giving here.
    Our Sages/Saints/Yogi saw the Almighty in human forms and assigned various Role to them, depending upon their Powers. This is an excellent concept of Decentralised Organisation.
    When Brahma asked Saraswati, she replied the same way - Since you created, you are like my father.
    Brahma replied that But ME too need a wife and Saraswati agreed.

    N Guruvelavan

  4. Saravana,

    Good Work. But U have got a debate here.

    Just on going through the comments of Mr.Guruvelan and Mr.Varadaraj i have a few clarifications.

    As per my little Knowledge Goddess Saraswati was not created by Brahma .All those three goddess(Lakshmi, saraswati and Parvati)are the divine powers influenced by the Brahmam(Different from Brahma).As the Brahmam cannot itself do everything during creation of the universe,here the concept of decentralisation arises and each power has been given different structures.Brahma is responsible for creation and so saraswati(responsible for knowledge)joint together. Vishnu responsible for well being of life, laksmi(responsible for wealth and Wisdom)joined together. Siva responsible for Brave, strength, attaining or reaching Brahamam goddess parvati(responsible for brave and strength) joined together.So, those three are powers joined with the three main deities and also those marriages between them are part of later stories. But the truth remains the same.

    Let me also study some more and clarify about this in detail in the near future.



  5. We are crossing Thirisoolam many times and we doesn't know anything about this Old temple... We know only about 'blue metal quarries', Airport & railway station.
    Saravanan... How you are getting hints about these temples... Really amazing.
    Hari.. nice explanation.

  6. Dear Saravanan Great informations.
    But please tell me what is the bus route to reach this temple from Thirisoolam railway station?

  7. Hi.super collection of info.Give shrine opening time and closing time.

  8. The temple is unique in many respects. One sshould never miss this temple in their life time.

    M.Ganesan chennai