21803623560_1e5352f408_k, Soundaryeswarar Temple, Thirunaraiyur, Cuddalore
21803623560_1e5352f408_k, Soundaryeswarar Temple, Thirunaraiyur, Cuddalore

Soundaryeswarar Temple, Thirunaraiyur, Cuddalore

Date built:
Architectural style:Dravidian architecture
Major festivals
Address:Soundaryeswarar TempleTirunaraiyur Post, Via Lalpet
Kattumannarkoil TalukCuddalore District – 608303
Phone+91 94425 71039 / 94439 06219
 Soundaryeswarar Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at Thirunaraiyur in Cuddalore District of Tamilnadu. The presiding deity is called as Soundaryeswarar. His consort is known as Thiripurasundari. This shrine is associated with Pollaappillayar – who is connected with the legend regarding the recovery of the Thirumurais from the Chidambaram temple by Rajaraja Cholan and Nambiyandar Nambi. It is one of the shrines of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams – Shiva Sthalams glorified in the early medieval Thevaram poems by Tamil Saivite Nayanar Tirugnanasambandar and Appar. This is the 87th Devaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 33rd Sthalam on the north side of River Cauvery.

Temple Opening Time

The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 4.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.


Vaikasi Thiruvadirai in May-June, 13 day Rajarajan festival and Vinayaka Chaturthi are the festivals celebrated in the temple. The Nambiyandar Nambi (Vaikasi) festival, sponsored by the Thiruppanandal Matham witnesses the chanting of the Thirumurais. Other festivals include Navaratri and Skanda Sashti.


Lord grants all that the devotees wish. Devotees perform abishek to Lord and Mother offering new vastras.


Legend / Local stories

Polla Pillaiyar:

Nambi Andar Nambi, who collected and saved the sacred Thevaram hymns from pests and edited them, while young, was watching his father offering Nivedhanas to Polla Pillayar – Vinayaka. He wanted to know whether the Lord would accept only the nivedhana offered by his father and not his. The time came to Nambi to take charge of the priesthood of the temple. He offered Nivedhana to Pillayar and insisted him to consume the offer. But Pillayar was silent and Nambi began to weep. He dashed his head at the feet of Vinayaka and cried. Pleased with his Bhakti, Vinayaka accepted the Nivedhana of Nambi and consumed it.

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King Rajaraja Cholan did not believe this miracle and came with different Nivedhana and asked Nambi to offer it to Lord Vinayaka. Pillayar was smilingly silent. Nambi sang the Irattai Mani Malai hymns with a touching prayer. Polla Pillayar ate the Nivedhana in the presence of all. The indebtedness to Nambi by the Saivite devotees is endless as we would have lost the treasure of our Thevaram Bhakti literature to pests but for the painstaking efforts of Nambi. The idol of Nambi and king Rajaraja also are in the temple.


Sage Durvasa known for his temperament was on an intense penance to have the darshan of Lord Shiva. A Gandharva from the celestial world caused hindrance to Rishi’s penance. The Rishi cursed him to become a Narai-crane. He also refused to accept his apology and suggest a relief. The Gandharva appealed to Lord Shiva for relief. Lord said that he would be relieved of the curse if he performed abishek to him with Ganga water fetched each day from Kasi. As a bird, he flew to Kasi each day as fast as he could, fetched Ganga Water in his mouth, performed abishek and got the relief. As Narai the crane bird was granted salvation here, the place is named Narayur – Thirunaraiyur.

Nambiyandar Nambi:

This Shivasthalam is famous for the shrine of Polla Pillaiyar who blessed a small boy by name Nambiyandar Nambi with divine knowledge. According to legend, the Chola King First Rajarajan was informed by Polla Pillaiyar the whereabouts of Thevara Paadal. Even though Thirunavukkarasar, Sambandar and Sundarar composed the Thevara Pathigams during 7th to 9th Century AD, the inscriptions of the same were lying buried inside Chidambaram Temple. Chola King First Rajarajan with the help of the blessed boy Nambiyandar Nambi saw to it that the Thevara Paadal were recovered and preserved. Apart from what were destroyed by white ants, the remaining Thevara Paadal (Pathigams) were indexed and arranged in proper order and what we know today of Thevara Paadal were thus recovered from destruction by the blessings of Polla Pillaiyar, whose shrine inside Tirunaraiyur Shiva Temple is well known.

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The credit of compiling and classifying this colossal collection of Tamil Thirumurais. He compiled the works of the 3 saints into the 1st through 7th Thirumurais; Manikkavacakar’s Tiruvasagam & Thirukkovayar into the 8th. He included Thiruvisaippa and Tiruppallaandu in the 9th & Tirumular’s Thirumanthiram in the 10th. Tirumukhappaasurm and other works were included in the 11th Thirumurai. With the aid of a descendant of the musical Nilakanta Yaazhpaanar he assigned and fitted Panns to the Thevaram Hymns, (after worshipping Shiva at Erukkattampuliyur). Nambi is also credited with several other literary and devotional works.

People worshipped Lord Shiva here:

A Narai (stork), Surya and others are believed to have worshipped here.

Photo Gallery

How to Reach:

The Temple is located at about 4.5 Kms from Kumaratchi, 6.5 Kms from Lalpet, 8 Kms from Kattumannarkoil, 18 Kms from Chidambaram, 63 Kms from Cuddalore, 81 Kms from Puducherry and 156 Kms from Trichy. On the bus route Chidambaram to Kattumannar Koil via Kumaratchi, get down at Polla Pillayar temple Bus Stop and Thirunaraiyur is 1 Km. (Town Bus routes are 23, 28 from Chidambaram). Nearest Railway Station is located at Chidambaram. Nearest Airport is located at Trichy and Puducherry.

Contact Details

Soundaryeswarar Temple
Tirunaraiyur Post, Via Lalpet
Kattumannarkoil Taluk
Cuddalore District – 608303
Mobile: +91 94425 71039 / 94439 06219

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