Tirucendūr is one of the six pilgrim centres with a beautiful temple of Lord Muruga or Subrahmaṇya. It is situated at a distance of 55 kms. (34 miles) from Tirunelveli, the district headquarters in Tamil Nadu.
Though all the temples of Subrahmaṇya are generally built on the top of hillocks, this one is an exception built on seashore.
As per the local legends, Subrah-maṇya the commander-in-chief of the gods, made this place his base camp to fight the dreaded demon Surapadman. After a fight which lasted for six days, he killed the demon on the sixth day. The victory was celebrated on the seventh day.
While camping here, since Subrah-maṇya was eager to worship his father Śiva, Maya the celestial architect, built this temple for him. This is the origin of this temple.
Considered as a very ancient temple it must have undergone several additions and alterations, over the last thousand years.
The temple is situated so close to the sea that waves from the Gulf of Mannar constantly strike the eastern wall of the temple.
The front adjunct to the temple known as Ṣaṇmugavilāsam has 124 columns spread over an area of 36 metres (120 feet) by 26 metres (86 feet).
The Rājagopuram (main tower) is on the west instead of the east. It is 42 metres (137 feet) high and 27 metres (90 feet) wide.
The bathing ghat is said to contain nine tīrthas (holy waters) which can purify the devotees who take bath in it.
A little away from the temple, on the seashore there is a small well inside another which has crystal clear water. It is reputed to have been specially created by Lord Muruga to appease the thirst of his soldiers.
The major festivals celebrated at the temple campus are:
|Vaikāsi Visagam||in May-June|
|Āvani festival||in August-September|
|Skanda festival||for seven days in October-November|
|and Māsi festival||for 12 days in February-March.|
There are ten sub-temples in the nearby areas, the Veṅkaṭācalapati temple at Arumigu being the more popular one.
The temple administration is running an orphanage with 125 children.
Out of the few inscriptions in the campus, the one of 9th century A. D. is the earliest.