Vanchinathaswamy Temple, SriVanchiyam

Vanchinathaswamy Temple, SriVanchiyam

Srivanchiyam is the last temple we visited on 1st January 2010.  Srivanchiyam, is a small Village in Tiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu, between Mudikondan and Puttar rivers.  The presiding deity here is Vanchinathan and His consort is Mangalambika. The Shivalingam is a Swayambhu (self manifested) and faces both West and East; hence puja is performed here in both the directions. There are two Nandhis in this temple, one on the East and one on the West. This lingam is supposed to have existed even before the pralaya (the Great Deluge) and was facing west when Suryan worshiped him. The Shivalingam here is considered to be the oldest among the 64 swayambhu lingams in the world.  Sandalwood is the sthala vriksham here and sandal leaves are used to perform the puja to the Lord. Usually vilva leaves are used in puja for Shiva.  Brahmandam, Skandam, Samboban and Agneya Puranas talk about this sacred place.


Nandi facing East in the Outermost Praharam behind Vanchinathaswamy's Shrine.

There is a separate shrine here for Yama Dharmaraja. He is given preference in daily worship. Legend has it that, Yama Dharmaraja was very worried and felt overwhelmed with all the sins accumulated in the course of performing his duty. He wanted a solution for this.  As per the advice of Brahma, Yama went to a place by the banks of the Cauvery, where he could find Gandharanyam (Sandal Forest), and propiate to Lord Shiva.  Lord Shiva was pleased with his devotion and instucted Yama to have a temple built Him at here.  He also wanted Yam to be His vehicle. Accordingly, Yama stayed at this temple which he built at SriVanchiyam. The Lord also granted Yama’s wish for a shrine for himself at SriVanchiyam. Usually, Vinayakar is the first deity to be worshiped in all Shiva temples, but here at Srivanchiyam, Yama is worshiped even before prayers are offered to Vinayakar.  The Sannidhi to Lord Yama is in the first Praharam (circumambulatory path). On entering the temple, the temple tank called the Gupta Ganga Temple Tank is situated on the right hand side. Yama’s Shrine can be found on your left hand side. This small shrine faces south.  Kubera can be seen standing next to Yama at this shrine.  Those who pray here are considered to be free from the sufferings preceding their death.

This is a Mukthikshetram (where you attain salvation). The holy tank (theertham) here is Gupta Ganga. Ganges was once very worried that people were taking bath in the Ganges to get rid of their sins and she was accumulating all their sins. She is supposed to have taken bath here at the Gupta Ganga as advised by Shiva to purify herself. A dip in the tank supposedly absolves you of all the sins and there is no rebirth.


Gupta Gangai, SriVanchiyam

Gupta Gangai, Sacred water that is holier than The Ganges

Tharpanam on the banks of Gupta Gangai

This photo is a late addition to the post. My friend Bharath performing tharpanam at Gupta Gangai.


Niches for Vinayaka and Bala Murugan can be found at the entrance to the inner praharam (circumambulatory path). In the inner praharam is the shrine for Goddess Sughandha Kundalaambigai. There is Vennai Pillayar in a pillar in the first praharam (circumambulatory path). People smear butter on His stomach to get cured of their stomach ailments.

Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu are believed to have prayed the Lord here to get united. Bhairavar is in a separate shrine in the inner praharam (circumambulatory path). He is in Yoga posture without his vahanam (Vehicle) – the dog. Pujas are performed to the Yoga Bhairavar using Vanni leaves.  Consumption of the powder made from the vanni leaves used in the puja is believed to cure all nervous ailments. One can to get rid of all evils directed towards them if they perform puja to Yoga Bhairavar.  The prayers of the childless are answered after they perform puja for 6 consecutive Krishnapaksha ashtami days (eighth day of the waning Moon).  One can succeed in all his endeavours and business if he makes an offering of Curd Rice, Coconut rice and Honey on Amavasya days (New Moon days). This is also parihara sthalam (place for remedial worship) for the malefic effects of Rahu & Kethu. Rahu and Ketu appear in the same niche here. This is next to Yoga Bhairavar.  Rahu Kala Puja on Sundays with offerings of vada made of lentils and ghee is believed to remove the obstacles in getting married. Like in Thirunageswaram, milk turns blue in colour during the rahukala abhishegam (ablution during rahukalam).

Opposite Yoga Bhairavar is the shrine for Mahishasuramardhini. Mahishasuramardhini here gets rid of all evil. Since this is a very ancient temple and has been in existence before the advent of Navagraha worship, there is no shrine for the Navagrahas here. However, Saneeswarar has a separate niche. Goddess Mahalakshmi has a separate shrine and her elephant has four tusks. I wonder if this was an ancient cousin of the present day elephant.

In almost all temples, if there is an unfortunate event like a death, the pujas are not conducted.  At SriVanchiyam it has no bearing on the conduct of daily pujas and rituals, they continue.

Shashtiabthipurthi & Sadhabhishekam can be celebrated either at Srivanchiyam where the temple is specifically meant for the safety of soul or at Thirukadaiyur where the temple is specially built for the safety of body.

Performing tharpanam (ritual to pay tribute to ones ancestors) on Amavasya (New Moon day) here is considered very special. Srivanchiyam is one of the 7 pithru kadan nivarthi (absolution of ancestral debts) sthalams.  The other six are Kasi, Rameswaram, Thiruvenkadu, Gaya, Thiriveni Sangamam & Thilatharpanapuri. Some consider Srivanchiyam to be holier than even Kasi.


Click here for the Map

Srivanchiyam is 25 kms from Kumbakonam and one km from Achuthamangalam on the Kumbakonam Nagapattinam route. It is 16kms from Tiruvarur on Tiruvarur Nannilam route.

Other Temples Nearby:






Boarding & Lodging:

There is a Brahmin household in the Sannidhi Street that runs a mess.  There is also a kalyana mandapam where you can stay.  If you prefer a more comfortable accommodation, Tiruvarur is the nearest town.

The temple timings are 6.00 Am to 12.00 Noon & 4.00 PM to 8.00 PM

Temple Address

Arulmigu Sri Vanchinathaswamy Kovil
Sri Vanchiyam 610110
Nannilam Taluk
Tiruvarur District

Temple Phone number is 04366-228305

Sri Raja Raja Gurukal’s phone numbers: 91-94424-03926, 91-9788-75933, 04366-354108

Vegetarian Mess

Sri Mangalambiga Vilas

No, 2 -17 Sannadhi Street

Sri Vanchiyam




  1. saravanan says:

    id visited the website from your temple premises. kindly send the details of pooja for life extension.Hence my father is a patient of liver diseases, he should survive more than 10 years.He is nopw in critical condition. Please help us.

    • K Narayanan says:

      Dear Mr. Saravanan

      The power of your prayers and the medical attention that you must be providing him, will give their desired results. I wish your father a speedy recovery.

      I will proceed to answer your question with a disclaimer that I am not an expert on these matters. I would suggest chanting of Mahamrutyunjaya stotram. It gives one a healthy and long life. Please follow this link for the details on the same

      You could also call the Srivanchiyam temple at the number provided in the blog and enquire if they perform any special poojas.




    could you kindly send me the address of srivanchiyam; I have to send some money for doing parihara pooja.

    This is urgent

  3. K Narayanan says:

    I have appended the blog with the requested details.

  4. Anand says:

    Dear Sir,
    After a quite long time i am visiting your blog. I had forwarded the same to my fathers friend which will be useful for him.

    I can see many diferences in the blog and the tremendous effort you had taken for the same. Its very useful to whom they want to have a visit or even just to know about the temples.

    The way you have presented the details and the other details like addresses, temple timings and the route map along with the temple pictures. Really you have spent a quite good time on searching and preparing this.

    Greetings for continuing the same work.Sorry i could not upload the photoes which we had went. Soon i will do the same.


  5. srikanth says:


    I have visited this blog it is very satisfactory… Thanks for the initative u have taken to know the details of temple

  6. K. Joshi says:

    How long does it take to drive from Chennai? Is this temple closed during Diwali time, by any chance?

  7. K. Joshi says:

    Thanks very much for your response.
    I am planning to fly in to Chennai on an early morning flight which gets me in Chennai at 7:30 am. Assuming there is a taxi waiting for me, I will be in the temple by 2-3 pm. Is it safe to drive back to Chennai starting at say 5-6 pm from the temple?

    Thanks again

    • K Narayanan says:

      Well, the question of safety depends on how fresh/skillful your driver will be. But let me tell you this, these state highways are not very broad and are without medians. I generally avoid driving too long after dark because the high beam from the traffic in the opposite direction blinds you. I would prefer to stay over at Kumbakonam, Mayiladuthurai or Tiruvarur and return the next day. Wish you a happy and safe journey. Have a nice darshan.

  8. K. Joshi says:

    Came back from SriVanchiyam last week. As you said, it took 6 to 6-1/2 hrs from Chennai. Amazing temple with a history of 2000+ years! some highlights
    – No Navagraha since the temple predates the time Navagraha puja started
    – one idol for Rahu & Ketu
    – Chitragupta’s idol is next to Yamaraja since he is the accountant of Paapa and Punya

    Again, Thanks for your blog

  9. prasan says:

    Very informative. I have visited this temple many years back. I was told that only people who are destined to visit this temple can visit this temple, and also only people of certains birth stars and rashis.

  10. A. Lakshmi says:

    I have tried the phone numbers…couldn’t spk to them…pl update the correct numbers. thanks.

    • K Narayanan says:

      Dear Ms Lakshmi

      Thank you for bringing it to my notice. I have updated the changed number in the blog. The priest’s number however remains the same. I have also added two more number given to me by the priest Sri Raja Raja Gurukal.

  11. G Kumar says:

    Hi Narayanan

    I would like to visit the temple either on 15th or 16th (Friday / saturday) April 2011 to do abhishikem for Yama Dharmaraja. Whom should I call to book it. Should I call the temple number or the Gurukal directly. Please also let me know whether the abhishekam for Yama is performed on all days or on any particular days of the week.

    For your info the second number of the Gurukal in the blog has only 9 digits.

    Thanks & regards


  12. K Narayanan says:

    Hi Kumar, Sri Rajaraja Gurukkal is the right person to guide you. thanks for letting me know about the missing digit in his mobile. I will talk to him and update.



  13. G Kumar says:

    Thanks Narayanan. Will speak to the Gurukkal and proceed.


    G Kumar

  14. Bharathi says:


    I want to know the list of temples we can visit during our stay for 3 days in Mayavaram. Please note that we will be travelling with 4 kids, 2 senior citizens.

    Thanks & regards,


    • K Narayanan says:

      Some of the famous temples around Mayavaram

      Mayuranathar Temple
      Parimala Renganathar Temple – Thiru Indalur
      Vaitheeswaran Koil
      Thirukadaiyur Amrithakadeswarar Koil
      Thirumangalakudi & Suryanar Koil
      Vana Durgai, Kathiramangalam
      Kalyanasundareswarar temple, Thirumanancheri
      Thiruvengadu, Budhan Temple
      Keezhaperumpallam Kethu Sthalam
      9 Divya Desam Temple at Thirunangur near Thiruvengadu
      4 Shiva temples at Kuthalam
      Kshetra Balapuram Kala Bhairavar Temple
      Lakshmipureeswarar at Thiruninriyur between Vaitheeswaran Koil & Mayavaram
      Vedhapureeswarar Temple -Therazhundur
      Devadhirajan Temple – Therazhundur
      Swarnapuriswarar Temple – Sembanar Koil

      Check out my maps
      Around Mayiladuthurai

      Around Sirkali

      Consolidated maps

  15. p.r.hariharan says:

    I am told that pithrus annual sradhams can be performed at Srivanchiyam,
    Can you kindly enlighten me on the facilities to perform sradham at that
    sacred place , If so kindly mail me the name and phone nos of the sashtrigal


    • K Narayanan says:

      Contact Sri Raja Raja Gurukkal and he will give you all the details
      Temple Phone number is 04366-228305

      Sri Raja Raja Gurukal’s phone numbers: 91-94424-03926, 91-9788-75933, 04366-354108

  16. balamurugan says:

    I am planning to visit temple on next month,we don’t have child forthat we are planning to do some pooja,

  17. K Narayanan says:

    Also visit Garbarakshambigai temple at Thirugkarugavur and Karuvalarcheri near Kumbakonam. Click on this link for the location of Karuvalarcheri May god bless fulfil your prayers soon.

  18. I wanted to perform Abhishekam in my relative’s name. I contacted Raja Raja Gurukkal on the mobile number/s given. I was informed that I had to send Rs.500/- to him for the Abhishegam. Taking his words, I did send M.O.for Rs.500/- on 09/09/2011 which was received on 12/09/2011. I also spoke to him many times.

    I am yet to receive the Abhishegam Prasadams till today. He is not responding to my calls now. I request your help in this regard.


    • K Narayanan says:

      I wish to state that this is just a site where I write about my visits to various temple. Incidentally, I also provide the contact details of the temple and the priests there. I am sorry I will not be able to help you in this regard.

  19. viswanath.S says:

    Kindly guide me how go to srivanchiyam from chithambaram…..presently i am in hyderabad… thank you

    • K Narayanan says:

      If you have your own mode of transport, then proceed on the Chidambaram – Mayavaram – Tiruvarur route. After Poonthottam near Nannilam railway station, take a right turn at a place called Sannanallur. At Sannanallur take a right turn. Srivanchiyam is approximately 9 kms from here. At Achuthamangalam you have to take a left turn again to reach Srivanchiyam. Most buses from Mayavaram to Tiruvarur pass through Sannanallur. Local buses are available from Sannnallur to Achuthamangalam. All buses going to Kumbakonam pass through Achuthamangalam. Share Autos are available from Achuthamangalam to Srivanchiyam which is just about 2 kms away.

  20. manoj says:

    dear sir,
    I am planning to visit temple .Kindly guide me how go to srivanchiyam from bangalore karnataka and I wanted to perform Abhishekam in my name .my rashi is simha.
    please give me train details to reach srivanchiyam(nearest railway station). i dont know tamil please help me in this regards.where to stay in srivanchiyam.

    • K Narayanan says:

      Dear Manoj

      There is a direct train from Bangalore to Kumbakonam. There are a few buses as well. You can stay at Kumbakonam and go to Srivanchiyam which is just about 30 Kms away. There are no lodges or hotels at Srivanchiyam. There is one Kalyana Mandapam where you can stay. During Amavasya you can find over a 100 people spending the night in this Kalyana Mandapam. So it may not be a convenient option.

      • manoj says:

        is there any hotel or lodge in nannilam or thiruvarur

      • K Narayanan says:

        Not in Nannilam. Tiruvarur is quite a big town and you have Lodges and Hotels to suit different budgets. Wherever you stay enquire whether you will get the fan facility at least. The Power situation is not very good in TamilNadu and there is power cut for more than 10 hours a day in these places. If you are not assured of even the fan, then staying at that Kalyanamandapam in Srivanchiyam can also be considered. They have about 4 rooms in the first floor and one in the ground floor.

  21. Renjit says:

    Hi Mr.Narayanan,
    Can I do Thilahomam as pithrudosha paigaram, at Thiruvanchiyam same way it is done in Rameshawaram?

  22. ராம.பாலசந்தர் says:

    திரு நாராயணன், அவர்களுக்கு
    வணக்கம் எனது தந்தைக்கு ஆயுள் சாந்தி ஹோமமம் செய்ய வேண்டும் எனக்கு உரிய நபரை காட்டி உதவிடுங்கள்,இக் கோவிலின் சிறப்பை தமிழில் தெரிந்து கொள்ள

  23. rambala says:

    dear narayanan pls give me raja raja gurukkal phone no 91-94424-03926(wrong number)
    , 91-9788-75933(only nine digit)
    04366-354108(switchd off) or any other gurukkal number pls

    • rajamala says:

      You could also get in touch with the temple authorities directly at the number provided. Those numbers excepting the nine digit one were working some time back. I called the temple and they have confirmed that Rajaraja Gurukkal’s number is 91-94424-03926. You can also get in touch with Kailasa Gurukkal on 91-94420-37827 or his residence number 91-4366-269743. You can call him after 9.30 pm on any of those numbers.

      A disclaimer. I am just providing the numbers for the convenience of my readers. It does not mean that I am recommending them. If you are sending money to them for puja etc you may do so at your discretion.

  24. vignesh says:

    Hi sir,

    i gone through this details related to srivanchiyam. i was so happy there are peoples like you using technology in a right way to guide people interested in preserving our sanathana dharmam. actually, srivanchiyam is neighbour village to my fathers native village myladi (a small village) . distance will be approx 3 kms. my grand father use to be the caterer for the chettiar’s chattiram. i have visited twice only since we all settled in chennai. this time interested in karthigai gyayiru utsav sir. so i request you to share the invitation copy as scanned one (if you can get) to all devotees. thanks in advance..!!!

  25. vignesh n says:

    hi sir

    could you pls share the invitation (if you can get) for 2013 karthigai gayyiru utsav ?

  26. Srirangam Swaminathan says:

    Can any one kindly give me the contact number of a Saastrigal (vaadhyaar) for performing Amavaasya tarpanam for my beloved father. Thanks

    – Srirangam Swaminathan

  27. chander 69 says:


    my forefathers were from sholinghur north arcot district ,i want to know my grama deivam,pls help me my email is


  28. rajasekar says:

    swami jee,
    I want fo abishagam to god of emadharmarajan in the name of brother in law . so kindly send formality facilities and pay fee details


    • K Narayanan says:

      Please get in touch with the temple authorities directly at the number provided. Those numbers excepting the nine digit one were working some time back. I called the temple and they have confirmed that Rajaraja Gurukkal’s number is 91-94424-03926. You can also get in touch with Kailasa Gurukkal on 91-94420-37827 or his residence number 91-4366269743. You can call him after 9.30 pm on any of those numbers.

      A disclaimer. I am just providing the numbers for the convenience of my readers. It does not mean that I am recommending them. If you are sending money to them for puja etc you may do so solely at your discretion.

  29. […] is one of the six places considered to be equivalent to Kasi.  The other five are  Rameswaram, Srivanchiyam, Gaya, Thiriveni Sangamam & […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s