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Jagannatha Perumal temple  – Thirumazhisai

Located 28kms from Madras on the Poonamallee – Thiruvallur-Thirupathi Highway is the Madhyama Jagannatha Perumal temple in Thirumazhisai, the birth place of Thirumazhisai Azhvaar, where Jagannatha Perumal is seen in a sitting posture along with Rukmini and Satyabhama. The temple is also referred to as the Thirumazhisai Azhvaar temple.

The temple that dates back to the Dwapara Yuga, finds reference in the Brahmanda Purana as ‘Mageesara Kshetram’. The temple’s prominence can be seen from the significant 1000year old inscriptions that one finds inside the temple.

Thirumazhisai- The sacred town

Once when the entire Bhoologam was placed on one side of the weighing machine and Thirumazhisai on the other, they found that Thirumazhisai was heavier by one gram indicating the greatness of this sacred town.

At around the same time, Brigu Maharishi and Markandeya Rishi were invoking the blessings of Vishnu to provide them with a darshan of Madhyama Jagannathan. They were asked to go and undertake penance at Thirumazhisai, a place that is said to be equivalent to visiting two Divya Desams.

Pleased with their prayers, Madhyama Jagannatha Perumal provided the two rishis with darshan here at Thirumazhisai. To mark this event, one finds both the rishis inside the sanctum.

Birth Place of Thirumazhisai Azhvaar

Born to Bhargava Rishi and Kanakangi in the Tamil Calendar month of Thai (Magam star), Thirumazhisai Azhvaar had a disfigured body at birth. Hence, his parents threw him into a Bamboo pit at Thirumazhisai (which is now a Mandapa to the west of the temple complex)

A childless couple – Thiruvaalan and Bangaya Selvi- picked him up and brought him up with love and care. The presence of Thirumazhisai Azhvaar brought back youth to the couple who then had a son by name Kanikannan.

Kanikannan became Thirumazhisai Azhvaar’s disciple and served under him. Thirumazhisai Azhvaar’s favourite lord was Sonna Vannam Seitha Perumal of Thiruvekka in Kanchipuram. For years, he stayed at Thiruvekka and undertook service there.

Thirumazhisai Azhvaar spent his final years at Thiru Kudanthai and attained moksham there.

Thirumazhisai Azhvaar – Display of the Third Eye at this temple

To the left of the Jagannatha Perumal Sannidhi is the Thirumazhisai Azhvaar Sannidhi facing South. A special feature of the moolavar deity is that he is seen with a third eye.

The story goes that Thirumazhisai Azhvaar was undertaking yogic penance at this place. Shiva and Parvathi, who were flying over this place were pleased with his penance and landed here at Thirumazhisai. When asked for a boon, Thirumazhisai Azhvaar asked for Mukthi only to be rejected as only Vishnu had the power to provide Moksham.

He then asked for small thread that could keep rolling into the needle that he was using to stitch his torn clothes. Fuming with anger at this request, Shiva opened his third eye. Thirumazhisai Azhvaar invoked the blessings of Lord Narayana and immediately a third eye emerged for Thirumazhisai as well from the toe of his right leg with water rolling out to cool the fire raging from Shiva’s third eye.

Pleased with the devotion of Thirumazhisai Azhvaar, Shiva presented him the title of ‘Bhakti Saaran’.


Inscriptions indicate there was extensive renovation at this temple between 12th and 15th Century AD during the rule of Kulothunga Chola and Kopperunsinga among other rulers.

This place was referred to as Thirumazhisai Chaturvedi Mangalam as per the 12th and 13th Century inscriptions,

In the 13th Century AD, this place was referred to as Thirumazhisai Agaram

Temple Tank
There is a huge temple tank on the Eastern side of the temple that is currently brimming with water.


10day Brahmotsavam in Aani
10 day Thirumazhisai Azhvaar Avatara Utsavam in Thai
3day Pavitrotsavam in Avani
3day Theppotsavam in Maasi

Quick Facts

Moolavar : Madhyama Jagannatha Perumal East Facing Sitting posture
Goddess : Thirumangai Valli ( separate sannidhi)
Thirumazhisai Azhvaar’s compositions: Naanmugan Thiruvanthaathi and Thiruchandha Viruththam
Temple Time : 730am-12noon and 430pm-830pm
Contact : Ananthu Bhattar @ 044 26810542 or 99402 71451

How to reach:

Thirumazhisai Jagannathan Perumal temple is located about 5kms from Poonamallee on the Thiruvallur-Tirupathi Highway.

Buses ply every 30minutes from Parrys ( 253,54B) /Koyambedu (153) /TNagar ( 597) /Tambaram (596)

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