Thirukalukundram is one of the most famous pilgrim centres in Tamilnadu, renowes for its Hill Temple ad Sangu Theertham. it isnamed after the sacred Eagles who visit every noon at the Hill Temple called Pakshi Theertham and the Kaliash of South India.
Sri Vedagiriswarar, the Lord of the Hill Temple, has been prasied in song and verse by the four great tamil Saints - Thirugnana Sambandhar, Thirunavukarasar, Sundaramurthi Swamigal and Manickavasakar. Other saints who have immortalised the magnanimity of the presiding deity in marvellous verse are Pattinathar, Sri Arunagirinathar, Sri Ramalinga Vallalar, Chidhambara Swamigal and Anthagakavi Veeraragava Mudaliar.
Lord Sri Vedagiriswarar resides at the top of Hills. The four Hills - nothing but a grouping of the Four Vedas - requested the Lord to be present on the top. This is the traditional description of the Lord of the hills. And so he is called Vedagiriswarar.
This Lord has been workshipped by Indra, Thilothamai, a dancer of Indra's court. Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu, Ashtavasus and many more Rudras.
A unique Phenomenon takes place at Thirukalukundram everyday. At noon, two eagles appear over the temple to workship the Lord. Then they come down to a rock where sweet rice is offered. To watch these eagles taking the food is a rare experience.
And thousands of people from all over the country visit this place to witness this miracle.
These sacred Eagles are belived to be sons of Lord Brahma, who for their sins were cursed by Lord Shiva to be born on Earth as Eagles.
To Attain "Moksha" and regain their original forms, they have to workship the deity of this temple till the end of Kailyuga. While these sacred Eagles were known as Sandan & Prasandan in Thretha Yuga, Sambathi & Jadayu in Krutha Yuga, Sambhukthan & Mukundan in Dhawapara Yuga, in Kali Yuga they are now known as Pusha & Vidhadha.
The annexe to the temple is called the Bakthavatchalaeswarar Temple. Situated in an area of ten acres, this temple is surrounded by many Theerthams. Four colossal gopurams adorn this temple. There is also a special shrine for Goddess Thirupursundari Amman.
Other praise worthy features are the exquisite sculpture and architecture of the temple. The magnificently sized compound wall and curved mandapams also lend personality to the peerless beauty of the temple.
It is believed that Indira is still worshipping Lord in this temple. As an evidence of this fact, thunder falls through a hole in the tower above the sanctum sanctorum (Vimana) and goes around the Shivalinga. Unbearable heat is experienced while opening the sanctum next day. This happens once in a few years. Scientists had proved that such an incident took place on the 10th November, 1930.
Kazhugu in Tamil means eagle and kundram the hill, hence the name of the place Tiru Kazhu Kundram. Even today two eagles visit the temple every day to accept the rice offered to them. This is the place where Saint Sundarar got gold from Lord. Vedas are in the form of this hill. Crores of Rudras and Siddhas performed penance and attained salvation here. The environment is so suitable for those to do meditation peacefully. The glory of the place and Lord of the temple are praised by saivite saints, Pattinathar and great poets. Lord granted darshan to Saivite Saint Manickavasagar in this place. Devotional poet Arunagiriar describes the place as the one equal to Amaravathi the capital of Indira. King Suraguru had Lord’s darshan. Sage Markandeya blessed by Lord of Kasi (now Varanasi) came to this place and performed abishek to Lord when a conch appeared in the abishek water. This theertha praised as Markandeya theertha produces a conch even now once in 12 years. There are 12 theerthas-sacred springs-around the hill named 1) Indira, 2) Shambu, 3) Rudra, 4) Vasishta, 5) Meignana-true wisdom. 6) Agasthya, 7) Markandeya, 8) Kausika, 9) Nandhi, 10) Varuna, 11) Akalika and 12) Pakshi theerthas.
Two sages Poosha and Vruddha performed penance on Lord Shiva seeking Sharoopa status. Lord modified their demand and granted the Sayujya status and promised elevation to Sharoopa later. The sages refused to accept the offer and were adamant on their demand. Angry Lord cursed them to become eagles. Since then they are in this hill known as Shambu and Aadhi and are worshipping Lord with the Pakshi Theertha they had created. It is believed that these eagles use to bathe in Rameswaram, eat in Kazhukundram and stay at Kasi each day. The feeding of the eagles is going on for thousands of years, it is believed. King Suraguru, to whom Lord granted darshan was instrumental for the creation of this sacred place, says the history.