Abodes of lord Vishnu

41. Arulmigu Vaikundanayaki sameda Deivanayakan Temple - Thiruvaheendrapuram

Moolavar   Deivanayakan, Devanathan
Utsavar   Moovaragiya Oruvan (Devan)
Thayar   Vaikunda Nayaki, HemampujavalliThayar, Bhargavi
Theertham   Sesha Theertham
Pose & Direction   Standing pose facing East
Vimanam   Chandra Vimanam, Suthasthava Vimanam
Sthala Vruksham  
Paadiyavar   Thirumangai Alwar,Nammalwar
Travel Base   Cuddalore
Nearest Railway Station   Thirupathiripuliyur



This temple is located 5 kms from Cuddalore and 3 kms from Thirupathiripuliyur Railway Statiion on Cuddalore-Sankarapuram Road on the banks of Kedilam River. All buses from Cuddalore to Ulunthurpet are plying via Panruti will stop at Tiruvaheendrapuram stop and it is only a walk able distance to temple.



The temple finds mention in Brahmanda Purana, Naradiya Purana and Skanda Purana. According to the accounts, a group of sages wanted to have a sacred view of Vishnu and went all the way to Thiruparkadal, the Ocean of Milk. They could not view Vishnu there and went all the way to Vaikunta, the heavenly abode of Vishnu. The guardians there stated that they could meet Vishnu only in a place close to the seashore north of Kumbakonam, south of Tirupathi and west of Kanchipuram. When the sages reached there, they found sage Markandeya and his daughter Bhudevi was doing penance. They could view Mahavishnu in resplendent form with his weapons Sudarshana (wheel), Panchajanya (conch) and Komedaki gracing his arms. As per another legend, Vishnu handed the job of obtaining the pure water of Lake Vraja Theertha located in the nether world to Garuda, the eagle vehicle. Garuda reached the nether world and secretively obtained the water from the lake, without the knowledge of the sage, who established the lake. The sage came to know about it and cursed the water to turn impure. Garuda then pleaded with the sage indicating the orders of Vishnu. The elongated transaction delayed the proceedings and Vishnu established a tank with water from other sources. Garuda was highly aggrieved and felt for his guilt. Vishnu appeased him saying that he would establish a river, which is believed to be the Kedilam River. A ceremonial bath is celebrated annually to commemorate the event.



The temple in its current form is believed to have been built during the Medieval Cholas, with later expansion from Pandyas, Hoysala Empire and Vijayanagara Empire. The temple has fifty inscriptions from Kulothungan Chola I (10701120), Vikrama Chola (11181135), Rajaraja Chola III (12161256), Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan (12511268), Vikrama Pandya, Vira Pandya III, Vijayanagar king Achyuta Deva Raya (15291542 CE) and Kopperunjingan. A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines and bodies of water. The rajagopuram, the temple's gateway tower has five tiers and rises to a height of 60 ft (18 m). Though the presiding deity is Devanathaswamy, the temple is known for Hayagriva, the horse faced avatar of Vishnu. The temple is the only historical temple in South India to have a shrine of Hayagriva. The place was originally believed to have housed a Shiva temple. A Chola ruler, who was a Saiva fanatic, wanted to demolish the Vishnu temple in his province. Seeing the images of Vinayagar and Dakshinamurthy, which are otherwise found in Shiva temples, he was taken aback. It is believed Vishnu himself appeared before the king to acknowledge the oneness of almighty. Following the legend, the image of the presiding deity holds a lotus, the symbol of Brahma and has a third eye like Shiva, denoting the oneness. The region was called Tiruvaheendrapuram to honor Adisesha, who was originally called Vaheendran. Vaheendra is believed to have propitiated Indra, the king of celestial deities. Tiruvaheendrapuram became Thiruvanthipuram with the passage of time.

Arulmigu Vaikundanayaki sameda Deivanayakan Temple
Thiruvahindrapuram, Cuddalore - 607401
Phone: 04142-287515
Temple Timings : 6.00 am to 11.00 am , 4.30 pm to 8.00 pm