How to reach:
The temple is in the middle of the town Vedaranyam can be reached from Velankanni about 30 kms or from Thiruthiraipoondi about 35 kms.Point Calimere national park is about 15kms away
Legends of the temple:
The 7th century Thevaram by by Appar and Tirugnanasambandar mentions the place as "Tirumaraikadu". The four Vedas worshipped Shiva in this place, giving the name "Vedaranyam" there are huge bronze deities of the Vedas inside the temple Rama, visited the temple to absolve himself from sins committed in the war against the demon king Ravana The footprints of Rama is preserved in a place called Ramar Padam near Vedaranyam . According to a Tamil legend, the Vedas locked the gates of the temple after worshipping Shiva. Appar and Tirugnanasambandar could not enter the locked temple. on Tirugnanasambandar's request, Appar sang devotional hymns praising Shiva, after which the gates opened. Tirugnanasambandar's devotional hymns locked the gates again.
The present temple has records of being built by Aditya Chola (871–907 CE), Rajaraja Chola I (985–1014 CE), Rajendra Chola I (1012–1044 CE) and Kulothunga Chola I (1070–1120 CE) indicating various grants to the temple Paranjothi Munivar, a 13th-century saint, who wrote the book Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam, was born at Vedaranyam. An inscription dating back to Parantaka Chola mentions the gift of 90 sheep by a merchant to the temple for the maintenance of a perpetual lamp
The temple has three praharams and 15 foot walls
The outer praharam has the Ambal sannidhi as well as the famous Manikarnika pond
The ambal sannidhi has a seperate Gopuram and a Dwajasthambam
The Nandi's in front of the ambal sannidhi.The Goddess is also known as veena Vaada Vidhushini,Vedanayagi. It is a shakthi peetam also
The main shrine houses two templesdoor that was shut by the Vedas was opened by the nayanmars is below
A view from inside the door
The inner praharam houses the sannidhis of Thyagaraja on the left and Vedaranyeshwarar on the right.The Thyagarajah is in full resplendence with Uma and Skanda.The Nandi is seen standing as in the pic above.
The main Vedaranyeshwar is a sand built Lingam which is majestic. the area behind in the main Garbhagruham houses the images of Shiva marrying Parvathi a scene shown to Agasthya rishi
The Kosta vigrahas are Ganesha, Dakshinamurthy, A huge Durgai and a huge saraswathi along with Mahalakshmi.There are also are paintings on the walls