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Adhi Vinayaka Temple: The Birthplace of Human-Headed Lord Ganesha

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Have you ever heard of a place where people worship Lord Ganesha in the form of a person? This intriguing temple, named Adhi Vinayaka, stands in Thiruvarur, Tamil Nadu. In Tamil Nadu, people worship Ganesha with a human face, not an elephant’s, at the Adhi Vinayaka Temple. The unique Adhi Vinayak Temple located near Thilatharpanpuri, Tamil Nadu houses a human-faced Ganesha. Who knows ‘Nar Mukh’ Vinayak. This form predates his famous elephant-faced form as Gajanana. In this article, we’ll find out about the Adhi Vinayak temple’s interesting history, what it stands for, and how to get to this holy place.

The Origin of Adhi Vinayak Temple:

The Adhi Vinayak Temple, also known as Narmukh Vinayak Temple, reminds us of how Lord Ganesha was born in a very special way. The story begins with Mother Parvati, who needs someone to guard her while she goes for a bath. In the absence of anyone else, she created a child-like figure from the sweat and dirt on her body. She then breathed life into this statue, giving birth to Ganapati.

Adhi Vinayaka Temple Unique Appearance:

When he was born, Lord Ganesha had a human head, not the famous elephant head. This Ganapati with a human head is the main god of the Adhi Vinayak Temple. The figure, crafted from basalt stone, exudes a unique charm. You can also find the Mukteshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shankar, near the temple.

Adhi Vinayaka Temple
Image Source: By WikiLinuz – Own work, By, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

The Tale of Transformation:

One day, while Mother Parvati was away, Lord Shiva arrived at the scene and tried to enter the premises. But, young Ganapati, unaware of Lord Shiva’s identity, blocked his way. This led to a fierce confrontation, and in a fit of rage, Lord Shiva beheaded Ganapati.

Upon her return, Mother Parvati was devastated to find her son’s lifeless body. In her grief, she set a condition for Lord Shiva to bring her son back to life. She decreed that the first living being whose head faced north would provide the replacement head for her son.

The Birth of Gajanan:

As destiny would have it, someone discovered an elephant sleeping with its head facing north. This head was then placed on Ganapati’s body, resurrecting him. Hence, people began to know Lord Ganesha as Gajanan, the one with the elephant head.

Read Too: Explore more fascinating temples in Delhi on our website. Check out our article on Chhatarpur Temple Delhi to uncover another spiritual gem in the city!

Beliefs and Rituals:

The Adi Vinayak Temple is important to those who worship there. People consider the temple holy because it saved Lord Rama’s ancestors. According to legend, Lord Rama initially faced difficulties in performing the last rites of his father King Dasharatha. Because the rice balls (pindam) offered by him had turned into worms. In search of a solution, he prayed to Lord Shiva, who directed him to that place. Which was known as Manthravanam at that time. There, after Shiva puja, the four pindas transformed into four lingas, which are now kept in the Muktishvara temple near the Adhi Vinayaka temple.

Even today people go to this temple to get relief from Pitra Dosh. The word Thilatharpanpuri comes from “thil”, meaning “ginger,” and “tharpana”, which means “to honor one’s ancestors” in Hinduism.

People go to the Adi Vinayaka Temple to get benefits and honor their ancestors so that they can find peace and happiness. A temple is a place where people connect with their spiritual side and show respect.

How to Reach Adhi Vinayaka Temple:

If you want to see this special temple, you can take a bus or train from Chennai to Tiruvarur. The trip takes about 6-7 hours. The Adi Vinayak Temple is easy to get to from Tiruvarur by cab or bus.

Video Credit: DHARM YATRA


At the Adhi Vinayaka Temple in Tiruvarur, Tamil Nadu, the story of how Lord Ganesha was born is told in a way that is both interesting and beautiful. This temple is a great example of Hindu folklore. Because it has a statue with a human head and there is an interesting story about it. People come here not only to see the strange figure of Lord Ganesha. But they also come to gain mental peace and honor their ancestors. It is a place where history, myth, and faith all come together. Which makes it a must-see for anyone interested in India’s spiritual past.


Can you take photographs inside the temple?

Inside the temple, people generally do not allow photography out of respect for its sanctity.

What is the Adi Vinayak Temple, and where is it located?

The Adi Vinayak Temple, also known as Narmukh Vinayak Temple, is a unique Hindu temple located in Tiruvarur, Tamil Nadu, India, dedicated to Lord Ganesha with a human face.

Why is it called ‘Nara Mukha Vinayaka’?

The name ‘Nara Mukha Vinayaka’ arises because it depicts Lord Ganesha with a human head, setting it apart from the usual elephant-headed form.

What is the origin story of the Adhi Vinayak Temple?

According to legend, Mother Parvati created Ganapati with a human head from her body’s sweat and dirt. Later, he transformed into the elephant-headed Ganesha.

Why is the Adhi Vinayak Temple significant?

The temple holds reverence for saving Lord Rama’s ancestors. People visit to seek relief from ancestral issues (Pitra Dosh) and pay homage to their ancestors.

How to reach the Adhi Vinayak Temple in Tiruvarur?

From Chennai, take a 6-7 hour bus or train ride to Tiruvarur. From there, you can easily reach the temple by cab or bus.

What does ‘Thilatharpanpuri’ mean in the context of the temple?

‘Thilatharpanpuri’ means a place where people come to honor their ancestors (Tharpana) and seek blessings.

Is there a specific time when the temple is crowded?

Crowds may be higher during Hindu festivals and auspicious days, but it’s generally open year-round.

Can non-Hindus visit the Adhi Vinayak Temple?

Yes, it’s open to people of all backgrounds who wish to explore its history and significance while respecting temple etiquette.

Manoj Kumar

I am Manoj Kumar, an experienced SEO expert and also a traveller. I have launched Trip Guru Go, a trusted website for accurate information about travel destinations. Visit this site www.tripgurugo.com, which is its URL. I have over 11 years of experience as an SEO Manager and have learned a lot thing new destinations over the years. I combine my knowledge with my love for travel to provide reliable information and insight. Through Trip Guru Go, I shares with you valuable information about various destinations around the world. Which helps readers plan their adventurous trips with confidence. Trip Guru Go can be your go-to source for information about places to visit. Follow me on social media and my blog to read my latest posts and get useful travel tips.

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