Tiruvarur Places of Interest

Thiyagaraja Temple

  1. 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.

  2. The vast temple complex today is truly a standing monument to centuries of history and tradition.

  3. The temple of Thiyagaraja became all the more famous by the visit of a galaxy of Gods and Angels from heaven, like Brahma, Dasharatha, Rama, Arjuna, Dharmaputra, Kings Nala and Harichandra, and Maharishis like Vashishtha and Vishwamitra.

  4. A big temple was constructed at Thiruvarur by Viswakarma. Then the King installed a Siva Lingam in a portion of the temple and worshipped it for many years.

  5. The peculiar feature about this Lingam is that its shadow can be seen only in the eastern direction and it is also said that this shadow will not be visible to a man who is going to die within a period of six months.

  6. Every year the Panguni Uttara peruvizha ends with Thepporchavam, which is celebrated in Kamalalaya Kulam infront of the temple.

  7.  At the time of Theppa viza hundreds of people will get into the theppam with god then the theppam will go continously round the kamalalaya kulam for 3 days.

  8. Ph : 04366 - 242343, 2501037.

Jambavanodai Dargha :

53 Kms from Tiruvarur and 25 Kms from Tiruthuraipoondi. It is a very old Darga, located near Muthupet. Jambavanodai Dargha in Tiruthuraipoondi Taluk. It is also called as Hakkim Sheiku Dawood Kamil Oliyullah Dargah. Built in Marata architecture style the main Samadi is 40 ft long.

Koothanur Sri Saraswathi Temple :

22 Kms from Tiruvarur. The ancient Saraswati Ambal temple at Koothanur is a one of its kind temple dedicated exclusively to the Goddess of Learning Saraswati. Although there are shrines to Saraswati in most Saivite temples as well as niche shrines to Bhrahma, temples dedicated exclusively to Bhrahma or Saraswati are very rare. Koothanur is located near Poonthottam on the railway line between Mayiladuturai and Tiruvarur. Vijaya Dasami, the day following the 9 day Navaratri festival in the tamil month of Purattasi here. Several stone inscriptions, validating the antiquity of the temple are seen here. Ph : 04366-239909.

Dakshnamoorthy Temple

Gothandarama TempleMuthupet Alaiyathi forests :

The Lagoon forests situated in Muthupet attracts ample of tourists. The 120 Sq.Km. area Lagoon having Alaiyathi trees. 73 kinds of fish lives in this Lagoon. Different varieties of birds migrates in Nov-Dec from all over the world here for breeding.

Gothandarama Temple :

 It is located in Thillaivilagam. 6 kms from Muthupet. More than 2000 years old temple.

Sri Murugan Temple

Sri Murugan Temple is situated in Engan. Engan is 13 Kms from Tiruvarur.

Sri Rajagopalaswamy Temple :

This temple is situated in Mannargudi. The nearest railway station is Nidamangalam which is at a distance of 12 kilometers and Tanjavur is at a distance of 34 kilometers from here. The boarding and lodging facilities are available here. Mannargudi situated at a distance of 56 Kms from Nagappattinam is famous for its Vaishnava temple Rajagopalaswamy temple. After the period of Rajathi Raja Cholan, this temple was renovated by his successor, Kulothunga Cholan during the period of 1074-1125 A.D. and because of this, later this sthalam is called with the other name “Kulothunga Chola Vinnagaram”. After the Chola empire, the Nayakar kings of Thanjavur, renovated the temple in a grand way. After a long break, the Samprokshanam was performed. Ph : 04366-222276.

‘Aazhi Ther’

Aazhi Ther

  1. The unique, majestic car of this temple is called ‘Aazhi Ther’ and the tank as big as the temple (six hectares each) is called ‘Kamalalayam.’ Thirunavukkarasar in one of his verses dedicated to Sri Tyagarajaswamy sings, “Aazhi Ther Vithagarai Yam Kandu Aroorae.”

  2. The structural design of the car has four segments - the first from the ground is six metres high, the second 1.2 metres high, the third and the fourth, where Lord Tyagarajaswamy is seated, are 1.8 metres high each.

  3.  In 1969, the then Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi, who hails from Tiruvarur, made arrangements for revival of the car festival.

  4. The car was fitted with giant wheels with iron rims having a diameter of 2.59 metres, and hydraulic brakes by the Bharath Heavy Electricals Ltd., Tiruchi. The car, without decoration, weighs 260 tonnes.

  5. The decorations are done with palmyra posts, bamboo sticks, 3,000 meters of ‘Ther Cheelai’ (decorative clothes), thombais, papier mache charioteer Bramha, four dummy horses with a snake rearing its hood in their midst.

  6. The car weighs 300 tonnes after decoration and the height becomes 30 metres. Four long ropes are provided in the front for people to pull. It used to take even six months for the car to reach the destination (Nilai/starting point) as the car was pulled only by people.

  7. Now the devotees are encouraged to have the support of bulldozers for pushing the car from behind. The old system of providing muttukkattai (wooden blocks) is still used. BHEL engineers are deputed to monitor the manoeuvrability.

Thirukkolili :

Description: Tirukkolili is one of the 7 Saptavitanka shrines of Tyagarajar, enshrining Avanivitankar; the natanam here is  Bhringa Natanam. The seven Vitankastalams are Tiruvarur, Tirukkolili, Tirukkaaraivaasal, Tirumaraikkaadu, Tiru Naagai, Tirunallaaru and Tiruvanmiyur.  This shrine is regarded as the 123rd in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola Region south of the river Kaveri. Ettikkudi, a shrine dedicated to Subramanya is located nearby. Kundaiyur is a shrine located nearby, on the other shore of the Chandra Nadhi river.

Vaduvoor Lake Bird Sanctuary :

Located 25 kms from Thanjavur. Created in July 1999, the Sanctuary attracts more than 40 species of water birds like Ibis, Painted stork, Grey pelican, Pintail, Cormorant, Teals, Herons etc.. The sanctuary is a favourite flyaway spot for migratory birds and has recorded congregation upto 20000 birds in Nov. to Dec. The sanctuary has basic facilities for overnight halt for a limited number of visitors. There are two watch towers inside the sanctuary for bird watching. Entry is free for visitors. The best time to visit the sanctuary is during Nov. to Dec. The sanctuary is open to visitors throughout the year. Contact: Wildlife Warden, Point Calimere WLS, Collectorate, Nagapattinam-611002, Ph : 04365-253092.

Samadhi of Anjugam :

 Anjugam Ammaiyar is the mother of our Chief Minister Kalaigner Karuna Nidhi. Here Samadhi has been located is Kattur near Thiruvarur.

Vaduvoor Lake Bird Sanctuary


  1. Lord Siva consumed the deadly poison (Ala Kala Visham) , thus giving rise to the name Alangudi to this sthalam and the Lord came to be called as Aabathsagayar.

  2. Lord Ganesa subdued Gajamuhasuran who gave the Devas a horrid time and they are worshipped in this sthalam as ‘Kalangaamal kaatha Vinayagar’. Ambal undertook severe penance and married Lord Siva and hence this place is hailed as Thirumana Mangalam. This sthalam is the Parivara sthalam for Madhyarjuna Mahalinga Peruma.

  3.  Diviness of the Temple : Fame, wealth, siblings are the beneficial aspects of Guru. Guru is the Lord of Dhanusu and Meena Rasi and he faces South direction.

  4. Going around about Sri Dakshinamoorthy (Guru Bagavan) twenty four times and litting twenty four Ghee Deepams while worshiping is believed to absolve all guru dhoshams and bring prosperity to one’s life.

  5.  Poojas to be performed for : It is believed that performing Sahasranama Archana , Sri Guru Homam and Milk Abishegam will bring prosperity and fame in arts, it will ward of all dhoshams .

  6. Pooja Offerings : Budan Bagavan is attired in green, offering him with full green moong dhal, white kanthal flower and green cloth is believed to bring Sasthra Gnanam to devotees.

  7.  Pooja Types and Tariff : Sri Guru Bagavan, who is attired in yellow, is offered with White Mullai flowers, yellow clothes and Bengal gram, for pooja. Sweet Pongal is also offered to the deity.

  8. Ph : 04366-269407.


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.

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.

Architecture of Thiyagaraja Temple 

Thiruvarur is very famous for the shrine of Thiyagaraja. The temple is gigantic in structure. From a distance of miles the gopurams are visible. There are four gopurams on four sides. The tower on the west is particularly noteworthy for the fine sculpture in brick and mortar. The colossal structure of the temple could be well imagined from its length of 846 feet with breadth of 666 feet.There are several tanks attached as an adjunct to the temple wherein devout pilgrims take their bath before entering into the precincts of the temple. On the western side of the temple there is a famous tank known as Kamalalayam where Goddess Kamala (Lakshmi) took her birth.

Saint Thyagaraja

Saint Thyagaraja

“To die in Thiruvaiyaru is to attain certain moksha,” goes the saying, elevating this sleepy little town on the banks of the Kaveri to the same status as Varanasi. Consequently, many Hindus immerse the ashes of their dead relatives in the river here. Elderly Hindus often come to dwell in this town on the hope that they will die there and thereby attain salvation.

Yet, Thiruvaiyaru, is best known today for the memory of the devout 18th century saint-composer, Thyagaraja, who lived and died here. The composer, the best known exponent of Carnatic music, descended from one of the many Telugu families who settled in Thanjavur when the Telugu Nayaks ruled over it.

Thyagaraja himself lived during the rule of Raja Sarabhoji, the Maratha king. Thyagaraja composed most of his songs on Lord Rama, his revered deity. Despite leading a Spartan life, Thyagaraja neither sought the patronage of the king nor accepted it when it was offered. “Of what use is wealth and fame, when compared to the love of my Rama?” he sang instead. It is this quality of total surrender to god that qualifies his Kirthanas-compositions. It can melt the hearts of even the musically uninclined, by the simple fervour of their words and the aptness of the ragas they are set in.

Ever since his death, the anniversary of this event has been observed by a gathering of musicians at his Samadhi. All day long they sing his kirthanas. In recent times, this has evolved into a major, annual Carnatic music event, thronged by musicians and rasikas from all over the South. Vidwans rub shoulders with amateurs and all sing Tyagaraja’s compositions in one voice The festival, known as Aradhana, now spans several days, with concerts being performed by major musicians. Both the house and the Samadhi of the saint are well worth a visit for the musically inclined.

Saint Thyagaraja's Birth Place


The Great Music Trinities
Syama Sastri 
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.


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