The Sikkal Singara Velan Temple is one of the renowned temples situated at the Nagapatinam district of Tamil Nadu. Sikkal is a village located about five kilometers from Nagapatinam on the Thiruvarur route. The temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga and is one of the prominent temples of the Lord after the famous Aru Padai Veedu (6 abodes of Lord Muruga) temples. The temple conventionally houses both Shiva and Vishnu in the same complex. It is also one among the 275 revered Shiva Kshetras as glorified in the “Tevaram” written by Sr Tirugnanasambandar (one among the four famous Nayanmar)
The temple is listed as the 200th Shiva sthalam praised in the holy script of Thevaram and is the 88th sthalam located on the southern side of River Cauvery in the Chozha Nadu. Despite being a Shiva temple, the shrine is well known for housing Lord Singaravelan (Lord Muruga) here.
About The Temple
The temple has a 7 tiered Rajagopuram in the entrance which is approximately 80 feet tall. The temple complex is quite large extending more than a couple of acres. Numerous inscriptions pertaining to the Chola period and the Vijayanagar period are found in this temple. The Karthikai Mandapam has several paintings showcasing tales associated with Lord Muruga. Lord Vinayaka here is known as ‘Sundara Ganapathi’. The images of Lord Muruga in the temples of Ettukkudi, Enkan and Sikkal look very much alike. Thus these three images are perceived to be sculpted by the same sculptor. A separate shrine for Sri Anjaneya Swamy is found on the north western side of the temple.
The sanctum of Sri Singaravelar faces the direction south at this Sikkal temple. The deity is seen adorning classy ornaments on festive days. The famous Tamil saint-poet Arunagirinathar had composed ‘Thirupugazh’ in praise of Sri Singaravelar here. The temple is built on an artificial mound (a Maadakkovil said to have been built by the king Kochengata Cholan). The sanctum of Lord Shiva here faces the east, while Ambal Velnedunkanni's shrines face south. The temple also holds the distinction of being one of the 64 Shakthi Peedams of Amman.
Separate shrines have also been built for deities like Sri Ganapati, Mahalakshmi, Lord Nataraja, the Aruvathi Moovar, Bhairava, Surya and Chandra within the temple complex. The sthala vriksha (sacred tree) here is jasmine. The temple complex consists of three holy tanks namely Ksheera (i.e. milk), Gaya and Lakshmi.
Images of Lord Dhakshinamoorthy, Lord Murugan, Natarajar, Thiyagarajar, Pathanjali, Viyakrapathar, and of Gajendra Motcham, the penancing Dhuruva Rishi are housed here. The Kalyana mandapam (hall) here has paintings depicting the marriage of Goddess Parvathi with Lord Shiva. Sri Vaikuntanathar graces here from the separate Perumal Sannidhi. The temple has two well-crafted cars (Ther), Kalyana chariot, Gold plated horse, peacock, goat and silver Rishaba vehicle for carrying deities on special days.
The Kalyana mandapam present in front of the temple is flooded with artistic works. This large mandapam measures approximately 300*60 feet. The mandapam which was constructed in the year 1932, can accommodate more than 4,000 people at a time. One another mandapam called the Karthikai Mandapam contains depictions from the Kandapuranam. A ceremonial ritual for Lord Singaravelar is performed in this Mandapam during the Karthikai festival.
Anjaneya Swamy is seen blessing the devotees from a separate Sannidhi situated at North Western corner of this temple. There is another Anjaneyar Swamy in the outer praharam, who is widely believed to grant all our wishes and desires. Lord Vishnu graces here as Kolavaamana Perumal. The deity is believed to be resting at this place before incarnating as Vamana. This shrine is found in the complex adjoining the main shrine.
There is a ceremony signifying Lord Muruga being gifted his mighty spear (vel) by his mother Gnanambikai. The Lord’s Thirumeni (idol) appears bright gold, due to effect of the sun’s rays falling over it. The idol is found sweating even after drying with the peacock feather, silk and rose petals. A person is said to attain his life purpose even if one drop of sweat found on the walls of Sannidhi sprinkles.
Legend and Stories
Kamadenu got rid of the Shiva Curse here
The divine cow Kamadenu was once cursed by lord Shiva for consuming meat. The cow later feeling apologetic of its actions is said to have got rid of its sin by taking bath in this holy temple tank. The cow is also believed to have worshiped the Lord here. After getting rid of its sins, Kamadenu offered its divine milk to the tank which later popularly got to be called the Parkulam (literal meaning the milk pond).
Thiru Vennai Nathar
The sacred tank Parkulam is also the place where Vashista Maharishi performed pooja to Lord Shiva by moulding a Shiva linga with the butter from the Parkulam. When the pooja got over, the Rishi had tried to move the lingam. But unfortunately the Linga got struck to the place without moving. Vashista Maharishi dint expect trouble in this form and thus regarded this place as “Sikkal” (trouble). Lord Shiva graces here as ‘Thiru Vennai Nathar’ (Vennai means butter). One other fascinating information is that there is a Vaishnava Dhivayadesam named Thirukkannankudi located near Sikkal which also boasts of legend narrating Rishi Vasishta offering worship to an image of Krishna made out of butter.
Lord Muruga got his Vel from his Mother here
Sikkal is the place where Lord Murugan was gifted his mighty Vel (weapon) by the divine mother Goddess Parvathi to kill Soorapadman. The Lord had performed Soora Samharam (literal meaning: killing Soorapadman) by setting up his base at Thiruchendur, one of the Aru Padai veedu of Lord Muruga.
The Chozha ruler named Muchukunda Cholan is said to have built this famous temple at Sikka.
The deity here is said to resolve the troubles of his devotees and subsequently the place got to be called Sikkal (Sikkal means problem in Tamil).
Lord Muruga received the mighty Vel from his mother the day before Doors Samhara and the following day, he is said to have killed the Asura Sooorabadman. Prior to “Sonora Samhara”, Singaravelar couldn’t manage the mighty powers of Vel and thus started sweating nervously. Singaravelan is said to sweat heavily even now, a day before the “Soora Samharam”. Despite wiping the sweat with silk cloth, the deity here continues to sweat. This is one divine occurrence which stands testimony to the sacredness of this place.
People worshipped Shiva here
Vishwamitra, Kaarthiyaayanar, Naradar, Muchukunda Chakravarthi have worshipped in this holy place.
Sathru Samhara Tiri Sathai
Devas worshipped Lord Muruga by offering him ‘tirisathai’ to protect them from the onslaught of Soorapadman. Hence, Lord Muruga put an end to Soorapadman and saved devas. The belief is that by offering the ‘Sathru samhara tiri sathai’ prayer to Lord Muruga, we will be relieved of enemies’ attack and reap benefits.
Devas has once sought the help of Lord Vishnu for finding a solution to the Asura King, Mahabali’s atrocities. So when Lord Vishnu decided to incarnate as the Vaamana, he is said to have visited this sacred place to worship Lord Siva here. Hence, Lord Vishnu of this place blesses the devotees with the sacred name ‘Kolavaamana Perumal’ from a separate sanctum.
Sculptor of Sikkal, Ettikkudi and Enkan
This temple is rich in history and legend. Sikkal is also closely associated with Ettikkudi and Enkan through the legend of a sculptor who carved the three Murugan idols of Sikkal, Engan and Ettukkudi are exquisite and carved by the same Shilpi. When he carved the idol with every detail of the 6 faces of the lord with separate ear ring holes, hands separate weapons and balanced on the single leg of the peacock with space below the claw. The king wanted to prevent any other replica so he obtained the thumbs of the Shilpi as a guarantee. Even with this lack of thumbs the Shilpi sculpted a replica at Ettukkudi for this the king removed the eyes of the sculptor. The Sculptor was directed by a divine voice to sculpt a more detailed Singaravelan at Engan when he received both his thumbs and vision.
Many marriages are performed in the Kalyana Mandapam. The annual Bhrammotsavam for Lord Shiva is celebrated in the month of Chittirai. The Skanda Sashti festival is the most prominent festival celebrated in this temple which spans for about 10 days. This grand festival usually falls in the Tamil month of Aippasi. On the fifth day of the festival, a bejeweled image of Skanda is gifted with a spear, in Velnedunkanni's shrine, and the image of Skanda is said to break out in sweat upon receipt of the spear. The Karthikai nakshatra is considered auspicious for Lord Muruga and hence this day from all months attracts huge crowd, especially when the Utsava Moorthi (processional image) of Swamy Singaravelar is placed in the Karthikai Mandapam for Pooja.
Aaru Kala pooja (6 times) is conducted daily in this temple, following Kaaranagama procedure.
|Second time pooja||8.00 P.M|
People worship the Lord here to get relieved of all the troubles and difficulties that they face in their respective lives. Devotees perform various rituals for the deity here and also offer vastras. On all the Amavsyas and Poornima, the moolavar is decorated with butter and is called Navaneetheswarar.
How to Reach
The nearest located Airport is the Chennai International Airport.
The nearest Railway Station is located at Sikkal.
The temple is located in Sikkal, a village in the Nagapatinam- Thiruvarur route. The temple is about 5 kilometers west of Nagapattinam and 18 kilometers east East of Thiruvarur.
Sikkal Singaravelan Temple / Arulmigu Navaneetheswarar Temple,
Sikkal, Nagapatnam District,
Pincode – 611 108.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Shadaananam Chandana Liptha Gathram Mahorasam Divya Mayoora Vaahanam Rudrasya Soonum Suraloka Naatham Brahmanya Devam Charanam Prapadye
Meaning -I always take refuge in the 6 faced Lord Guha, who has sandal paste smeared over his body, who is broad-chested, whose vehicle is the peacock, who is Lord Shiva's son and who leads the army of the Devas.
Heyswami Natha Karunakara Dheenabandho Shree Parvatheesha Mukha Pankaja Padmabandho Shree Saadhi Devagana Poojitha Padha Padma Vallesa Nadha Mama Dehi Karaavalambham
Meaning -O! Merciful Lord Swaminatha, who cares for the poor, who is the sun to Lord Shiva's lotus face, whose lotus feet are acknowledged by Lord Vishnu and the others, Valli's Lord, please uplift me by lending me your hand.
Ariru Thadanthozh Vazhga Arumugam Vazhga Veppai Kooru Sei Thanivel Vazhga Kukkudum Vazhga Sevvel Yeriya Magnai Vazhga Aanai Thun Anangu Vazhga Maarila Valli Vazhga Vazhga Seer Adiyar Yellam
Meaning -Oh Muruga, we hail your 12 strong shoulders for they protect us from our enemies, we hail your 6 faces, we hail the Vel, your weapon that broke apart the Krounja mountain to reveal the asura in it. We hail the bird, the cock, that is part of your symbol in the flag. We hail your peacock, that takes you all over the world, we hail your consort Devyani, who was brought up by Indra's white elephant, Airavadam, we hail your other consort, the flawless Valli. And we hail your Bhaktas who worship you as a prayer.
Uruvai Aruvai Uladhai Iladhai Maruvai Malarai Maniyai Oliyai Karuvai Uyirai Gadhiyai Vidhiyai Guruvai Varuvai Arulvai Guhaney
Meaning -O Lord Muruga, you have form and you are formless, you have everything and have nothing, you who exist in the smallest, in flowers, in a bell's ring, in the light. You are the embryo, the life, destiny and fate. Bestow your blessings on us as our guru.
The temple is open from 5.30 AM to 12.30 PM and from 4.30 PM to 9.00 PM