Thirukkalukundram (Pakshitheertham) - History, Timings & Entry Fee


Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Mahabalipuram): 14 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 1 Hour

Transportation Options: Cab / Auto

Travel Tips: None

At a distance of 14 km from Mahabalipuram, Thirukkalukundram or Tirukalukundram is a temple town situated near Mahabalipuram. It is one of the popular places to visit near Chennai, and among the must-visit places as part of Mahabalipuram packages.

Thirukkalukundram is famous for the Vedagiriswarar temple, a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The word Thirukazhukundram comes from the Tamil words Thiru (Respectful), Kazhugu (Vulture/Eagle), Kundram (mount). The town is also known as Pakshi Theertham (Bird's Holy Lake) because of a pair of birds -Most likely Egyptian vultures- that are believed to have visited the site for centuries. These birds are traditionally fed by the temple priests and arrive before noon to feed on offerings made from rice, wheat, ghee and sugar. Legend has it the vultures represent eight sages who were punished by Shiva with two of them leaving in each of a series of epochs.

Popularly known as Kazhugu Koil or Eagle temple, this temple consists of two structures, one at the foot-hill and the other at the top of the hill. The temple atop the hill houses the deity of Shiva, known as Vedagiriswarar while the temple at the foot-hills is dedicated to his consort Parvati, known here as Thiripurasundari Amman. The temple at the foothills has four towers (gopurams) closely resembling the architecture of the Annamalaiyar Temple. It is one of the popular pilgrimage places to visit in Mahabalipuram.

Timings: 6 AM - 1 PM & 4 PM - 9 PM