Sri Subrahmanya Swami Devasthanam, Tiruchendur, South India

Tiruchendur town

Temple passageway from Tiruchendur town
Temple passageway from Tiruchendur town

Tiruchendur means a sacred and prosperous town of victory. Formerly the capital of the Panchamahal taluk till 1860, the place has been known variously as Tiru-cÓralaivai, Tirucchentil and Tirucchendilūr in the Tamil classics; Ceyandipuram and Sindhupuram in Sanskrit texts, Tiri-bhuvana-madhevi Chadurvedhi-mangalam in the later Pandya inscriptions, and Tiruchendur from the 15th century as popularly mentioned by Saint Arunagiri in Tiruppugazh. It is now the headquarters of a newly formed taluk of the name from 1911.

As a flourishing pilgrim centre, it was connected in 1923 by a branch line of the South Indian Railway, 38 miles southeast of Tirunelveli, the southern most extremity of the district and 443 miles from Madras. The line terminates at Tiruchendur on the outskirts of the town. Tiruchendur is a major Panchayat Union from the year 1884. Its present (ie 1947) population is said to be about 15,500 and 12,221 as per census of 1941. It is the seat of a Tahsildar, a Sub-Magistrate and a Sub-Registrar, with a Police Station, a Local Fund Dispensary and a District Board High School.

A small District Board Travelers' Bungalow, near enough to the temple and facing the sea-beach is well located. A number of chatrams or rest houses are maintained individually by nearly all the different communities of the Hindu fold for their respective convenience; three larger ones by the Nagarathars of Chettinadu, and six madams by the Tiruvavaduthurai Mutt.

The seacoast of the district, about 85 miles in length extends along the Gulf of Mannar. Rolling dunes of white sea sand are thrown up at many points along this coast by the continued action of the surf and the prevailing southwest wind. And this is most marked at Manapad Point and up to Tiruchendur where the coast comes under the influence of both the monsoons. The country around is one of sharp contrasts ranging between rich rice fields and wildernesses of sand yielding little besides forests of palmyrahs, acacias and scrub jungle. The rainfall for a long series of years was below the average for the district. Notwithstanding, Tiruchendur enjoys sea breeze almost the whole year round, and affords during the hot months of April and May a delightful holiday resort.