Tamil Nadu is famous for its temples and exotic temple architectures. It is interesting how each of these shrines have unique legends associated with them that makes them even more famous. Vedagiriswarar Temple is one such popular temples in Tamil Nadu that is most revered by the devotees.
Here Lord Shiva is the presiding deity who is called Vedagiriswarar. This hill top temple is worth visiting because of its history with Egyptian Eagles. Hence, Vedagiriswarar Temple in Thirukazhugukundram is famous as the Eagle Temple.
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History of Vedagiriswarar Temple
In the ancient times, the town was called Thirukazhugukundram. It later got the name Pakshi Theertham as two Egyptian Vultures used to visit the hillock near the temple regularly. They used to come at the same time every day to eat the food given by the temple priests.
According to a legend, these vultures or eagles are considered to be the sages who were punished by Lord Shiva. Hence, it became well known as the Eagle Temple. However, these eagles haven't been seen in the temple premises for many years.
An old photo of the priests feeding the vultures
PC: Edgar Thurston
Legend of Vedagiriswarar Temple
One legend says that Lord Shiva created three mountains signifying different vedas as a boon to fulfill Sage Bharadwaja's request. The sage wanted to live longer to learn all the vedas and performed a great penance. Thus, Lord Shiva created three huge mountains to explain to him that learning is infinite and as huge as these mountains. He also said that in Kaliyuga, people can reach salvation through deep devotion. It is believed that the hill where the temple is located is one of the mountains created by Lord Shiva. Hence, here Lord Shiva is known as the Lord of the Vedic Mountains.
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Vedagiriswarar Temple Complex
The main temple of Shiva (Vedagiriswarar) is located on a hill top while Thripurasundari Amman (his consort Parvati) Temple is situated at the foothills. There is also a temple tank at the foothills. The temple with its Dravidian style of architecture attracts many heritage lovers as well.
Location of Vedagiriswarar Temple
Vedagiriswarar Temple is located in Thirukazhukundram (Thirukalukundram) in Kanchipuram. It is around 72 km from Chennai and 16 km from Mahabalipuram.
Therefore, the Vedagiriswarar Temple complex with its amazing history and legends make it worth visiting. No doubt, it is also one of the top Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu.