Aaru Padai Veedu - Lord Murugan

Discussion in 'Religious places & Spiritual people' started by anurar20, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Arupadaiveedu
    This terms refer to the six sacred temples of Hindu God Lord Karthikeya - also known as Lord Muruga, Shanmuga, Guhan, Skanda, Subramanya and Kumara.

    All these temples are located in South India - in the state of Tamil Nadu.Though there are thousands of temples for the Hindu god Lord Muruga - around the globe, these six specific temples enjoy unparalled sanctity and populaity among the devotees of Muruga or Balasubramanya - and deserve a very special mention.

    These six temples that constitute the Arupadai veedu group of shrines are :

    1.Thiruparamkunram Subramanya Swami Temple
    2.Tiruchendur Sendhil Andavar Temple
    3.Swamimalai Swaminatha Swami Temple
    4.Palani Dandayudhapani Swamy Temple
    5.Tiruthani Subramanya Swamy Temple and
    6.Palamudhircholai Subramanya Swamy Temple

    The origins of these temples go back by more than 2000 years. We find references to these temples in many of the ancient tamil language literatures like Silapathikaram.

    These six places are considered to be the battle camps of Lord Muruga (Skandha). The term padai veedu - in Tamil- means Battle camp. Aru padai veedu means six battle camps. The six places are believed to be six different battle camps of Lord Muruga. We find that interesting legends and puranas are associated with each of these temples of Kumara (Lord Muruga).

    Ancient tamil work Thirumurugatupadai - sung by tamil saint poet Nakkerar in 1st century AD, hails each of these six places with prominance and importance. The poems also reveal that all of these temples were well established even during the sangam age (1st to 3rd century AD) - which only pushes the origins of these temples to periods before christ (BC).

    Legend has it that Nakkerar, a famous tamil poet in the Pandiya empire was imprisoned by a ghost in Thiruparamkundram, a mountanous region near Madurai in tamilnadu. Nakeerar, who was an ardent devotee of Lord Karthikeya, sang the songs in Thirumurugatrupadai - in praise of the Lord - while in prison. As he completed his poetry, the Lord appeared, demolished the Ghost and blessed Nakkerar.
     
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  2. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Almost all important events in the life of Lord Muruga or arumuga, are supposed to have take place in these six places.

    In Thiruparamkundram, the Lord wedded Deivayani or Devasena, daughter of Indra
    In Thiruchendur, the Lord killed Soorapadhman, a daemon king of asuras
    In Pazhani, the Lord renounced the world, and set himself apart from the family
    In Swamimalai, Lord Kumara became a Guru to his own father, Lord shiva
    In Thiruthani, the Lord wedded Valli, daughter of a forest king
    In Pazhamudircholai, the Lord blessed avvaiyar, another famous tamil poet.

    Apart from nakeerar, many other devotees of Lord Muruga - from time to time, in different centuries - visited these temples and sung in praise of the Lord of these temples.

    Prominent among them are :


    Ø Arunagiri nathar - a saint poet
    Ø Avvaiyar - a female saint poet
    Ø Kumara Guruparar - a hindu saint
    Ø Vallalar - another hindu saint and
    Ø Muthuswamy Deekshidar - one of the three gurus of carnatic music.

    Though not mentioned in Thirumurugatrupadai, there are many other ancient and prominent places in Tamilnadu - associated with Lord Muruga or Skandha.
    These include :


    Ø Marudamalai - where pambatti siddhar lived
    Ø Vayalur - where saint arunagiri nathar was blessed
    Ø Ettukudi
    Ø Enn Kann
    Ø Viralimalai
    Ø Kadirkaamam (Sri lanka)
    Ø Nallur (Sri lanka)

    As the tamil population spread throughout the world, many other temples dedicated to Lord Muruga emerged across the globe.
     
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  3. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Tirupparankundram

    a hill five miles southwest of Madurai. A cave temple dedicated to the element of earth and mentioned in various classical Tamil texts as the 'Southern Himalaya' where the gods assemble, Tirupparankunram is also mentioned in legend as 'the place where the sun and moon abide'. Murugan was married to Devasena upon the hill and for many centuries the Tamil people have considered it the most auspicious place for their own marriages, especially during the time of the Pankuni Uttiram, the festival of marriage held in late March. Besides the fantastic temple to Murugan on the hill, there is also a Muslim shrine dedicated to 'Sekunder' (al-Sikandar or Alexander the Great) who is associated with Murukan by the Muslim pilgrims. "Sikandar was a friend of Murugan at the time when Murugan was King here," they say.

    [​IMG]
    Tirupparankundram is situated three miles southeast of Madurai on the main railway line. It is one of the Aru Padai Veedugal or six sacred places selected by Lord Subrahmanya for his abode. The importance of this temple is that here was celebrated the marriage of Lord Subrahmanya with the daughter of Indra, Devayanai.

    Long, long ago, when Lord Subrahmanya was staying at Kanda Verpu, the two daughters of Lord Maha Vishnu, Amrita Valli and Sundara Valli, cherished the desire of becoming the consorts of Subrahmanya. With this aim in mind they both went to Saravana Poigai and commenced austere penance to fulfil their desires.

    Pleased with their prayer and worship, Lord Subrahmanya appeared before them and told Amrita Valli, "You will be brought up by Indra as his daughter and I shall marry you in due course." Her younger sister Sundara Valli was also graced with a similar blessing. She was born to sage Sivamuni and brought up by Nambi, the headman of Veddas.


    Amrita Valli took the form of a female child and went to Mount Meru, the abode of Indra, and told him, "I am the daughter of Maha Vishnu and the responsibility of looking after me has been entrusted to you." On hearing this, Indra became very happy and directed Airavatam, his white elephant, to take care of the child.
    [​IMG]

    The elephant with all love brought her up and affection and she attained the age of marriage in course of time. Hence she came to be known as Devayanai, one who was brought up by the heavenly elephant of Indra (yānai in Tamil means elephant).

    The six sons of sage Parasara were cursed to become fishes in the Saravana Poigai. On request for redemption, these six boys were ordered to pray to Lord Subrahmanya.

    When they got his darshan, they could get redemption. It was also made known to them that Lord Subrahmanya would come to Tirupparankunram after vanquishing the demon Surapadma. Anxiously they waited for the arrival of Subrahmanya.

    When the mission of Subrahmanya to vanquish Surapadma was over at Tiruchendur, on his way, he came to this spot followed by all the devas and heavenly beings whom he had released from the untold miseries caused by Surapadma.

    On his arrival at Tirupparankunram, the sons of Parasara received Subrahmanya and, at their request, he consented to stay there. He at once ordered Viswakarma to construct a beautiful abode for himself, for the devas and for others.
    [​IMG]

    He also suggested to the heavenly architect to build roads and erect a city around them. Indra, the king of the angels, desired to get his daughter Devayanai married to Subrahmanya, as a mark of his gratitude for relieving him and the devas from the depredations of the demon Surapadma.
    He expressed his desire to Brahma and Vishnu who were present there. They were only too glad to hear the proposal. When they communicated the desire of Indra to Lord Subrahmanya he readily agreed to it and said: "Devayanai has been praying at Saravana Poigai in the Himalayas for this happy marriage. Now the time has come for its being solemnised." As Subrahmanya agreed to this marriage, Indra sent a messenger to bring his wife Indrani and daughter Devayanai from Mout Meru.

    [​IMG]





    The marriage took place at Tirupparankunram, after the victory of Subrahmanya over Surapadma. All arrangements for marriage were made and the marriage was performed at the Tirupparankunram Temple. All the devas, Siva and Parvati attended the marriage and blessed Subrahmanya and Devayanai. Since then, the temple has become a very famous abode of Subrahmanya.
     
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  4. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Tiruchendur

    One of the six places of worship dedicated to Lord Muruga, the shore temple of Arulmigu Subramanya Swami at Tiruchendur has a unique significance as the culmination of the concept of Muruga. With its lofty tower of about 140 feet, it has a holy past dating back to 2,000 years, if not earlier. References are available in such texts as Purananooru, Silappadikaram, Tirumurugatrupadai, Adi Sankarar Sri Subramanya Bhjangam, Kanda Puranam, Tiruppukazh, Tiruchendur Pillai Tamil, etc.


    [​IMG] As one of the foremost spiritual centres, the temple has been an attraction for Hindus for ages. In the Tirumurugatrupadai, a classic of the third century AD, six chosen spots in The Tamil soil were referred to by Nakkirar as of more than ordinary sanctity fo the worshipo of Lord Muruga, among which Tiruchendur is number two. This was the only temple of Lord Muruga located on the seashore. His shrines are always situated amid mountains and forests, for these regions are considered dear to Lord Murugan. The variance here is possibly due to Muruga's divine mission to free the devas, and the vanquishing of evil in the form of Surapadma and his mighty hosts in Veera Mahendram, their mid-ocean fortress. The Tamils have ever since been celbrating the event as an annual festival during Skanda Sashti.


    [​IMG]At this spot, Lord Muruga was said to have emcamped before and after vanquishing the asuras and worshipped Siva at the shrine Mayan had built for Him. The Kanda Madana Parvata, the red sandstone rock of this coast received its foundations. A lofty gopuram also rose beside it. A part of the cliff was bored into to form the holy sanctum of Subramaniam. [​IMG] The red sandy rock round about was further carved into, and the rolling hills of sand moved away to gain more space. The second and thrid praharas were then desinged and brought into being. The Pandya and the Chera, their vassals, improved the temple. Maharaja Marthandavarma of Travancore Samasthanam endowed the very first Udaya Marthanda Kattalai of each morning and others followed in the nine aradhanas of the day.





    As time rolled on, the effect of the sea and its salt-laden air begain to tell upon the inferior sandstones used in the original construction. A noble sannyasin, Mauna Swami, immediately took up the renovation and was followed by two others, Kasi Swami and Arumuga Swami. The work continued during the course of 72 years. The sannyasins were wedded to poerty, but nevertheless funds poured in for the construction of a worthy temple to stand for all times. The temple was constructed anew in all its details and kumbhabhishekam was performed in 1941. The temple and its gopurams of nine floors are a landmark visible at sea for twelve miles.

    [​IMG]Lord Muruga's association with Tiruchendur is significant. Tiruchendur, a sacred and prosperous town of victory, was also known as Tiruchen-Chendiloor in the Tamil classics. The Vasanta Mandapam is a recent noble edifice standing on 120 columns and with a central porch. The Ananda Vilas Mandapam stands on a raised sandy promontory majestically overlooking the sea. It is a mandapam of 16 pillars worked in black granite. The Shanmukha Vilasam, a magnificent mandapam of intricate stone plinths and columns, is the frontal adjunct to the main temple. It houses an ornate mandapam of four pillars in the centre, and this touches the ceiling through its elaborately carved and majestic pillars and supports the entire Shanmukha Vilasam.


    [​IMG]The main entrance of this temple opens into the first temple prahara known as Sivili Mandapam. It is a series of four long corridors running round the inner second prahara flanked on either side by familiar rows of columns of yalis. The Sivili Mandapam produces a fine effect of symmetry and randeur. There is a Vishnu shrine of Lord Venkatesa on the norther prahara. Shrines to Vishnu withing ancient Saivite temples are common in South India as in Chidambaram, Rameswaram, Perur, Tiruchengode, Sikkil, etc. This Vishnu shrine is hollowed out of the rock itself.

    The principal sanctum of this great temple is Subramaniam, the Lord of Senthil. The figure is seen in a standing posture. The principal sanctum has all the full complement of mandapas. The temple Mela Gopuram, a massive structure of nine storeys, is a striking landmark. The stupas at the top are nine in number in consonance with thenumber of storeys as a general rule with such temples. This gopuram is said to have been constructed 350 years ago by Desikamoorthy Swami of the Tiruvaduthurai Math. It is remarkable that from the sixth storey upwards to the ninth, the plaster on the walls is preserved and is beautified with fresco paintings.

    According to Mr. C. Subramaniam, an art lover and managing trustee of Muthu Vadivammal Trust, there are four lithic inscriptions of the Pandya times collected together and planted in a line. Two of them belong to Pandya Varaguna Maran of about 875 AD, the third of Pandya Mara Varman of about 1282 AD and the fourth of Vikrama Pandya Deva. The inscriptions of Varaguna speak of his grant of 1,400 gold coins to the temple. There is a mention of a shrine to Nakkira Deva, which speaks highly of the literary advancement of the period.

    A little removed from the main shrine and on the northern seashore under a cliff of overhanging hardened sandstone there is a picturesque cave carved out of it, which is famous as Valli's Cave. Two images are installed there, one dedicated to Valli and another to Dattatreya. The king of a clan of hunters and his men had followed the flight of Valli with Muruga, and here they were confronted by the divine consorts who showered their grace upon the pursuers. The frontal shrine has been embellished by a stone mandapam, the walls of which have paintings of Nambi Rajan.

    [​IMG]Almost embedded in a rolling high sand dune on the beach lies a remarkable spring known as Skanda Pushparani -- the Nazhik Kinaru. It is a natural phenomenon and is said to have sprung up as Lord Shanmukha planted His lance -- the Vel -- on the spot.

    There is a remarkable spring of fresh crystal water in a stone receptacle known as Nazhik Kinaru. It is a foot square and inset with the larger well. Another water source is one of saltish and highly sulphurous smelling and muddy-looking water. This swells up during the day and is pumped out daily so as not to allow it to overflow into the smaller one. A bath in the sea and in this well is considered to be of much spiritual merit.

    Except for the sanctum and mahamandapam, the entire temple structure is of recent origin according to researchers.
    <!--[​IMG]-->
    The utsavar idols of Lord Muruga, with consorts worshipped by Kattabomman are kept at the first prahara in the northern side, which is characteristic of temple iconography of the 19th century. It is said that Kattabomman used to hear the bell sound after the puja was over at the temple by way of a chain of mandapams built along a distance of about 50 miles to his royal seat at Panchalankurichi.

    The kumbhabhishekam of the temple, performed once in twelve years, is slated for 5 July 1995 and the temple is being given a facelift. According to Mr. Uvari A. Kirubanidhi, Chairman of the Trustees' Board of the Temple, renovation work costing more than Rs. one crore are under progress. He said that a new dhyana mandapam has been constructed with an outlay of Rs.10 lakkhs adjacent to Valli's Cave. Mr. Kirubanidhi said the temple management has set up a power station to augment the power supply in the town by spending Rs.25 lakh. The beach will be illuminated by installing neon lights and it has been proposed to construct a big choultry in a three-phased manner at an outlay of Rs. 84 lakhs to accommodate the devotees free of cost. Every day 30,000 devotees visit the temple.
     
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  5. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Palani Hill Temple and the Idol

    Palani (Tiru Avinankudi) is the third Padai Veedu. The temple at Palani is an ancient one. It is on an elevation of 1500 feet above sea level. The deity is called Dandayudhapani Swami, the Lord having the staff in his hand. The deity at the sanctum sanctorum is made out of an amalgam of nine minerals popularly called Navabashana. The deity is in a standing position with a baton in his hand. He has the look of a person who has renounced all worldly pomp. He has just a loincloth besides the baton. He is a mute messenger of the great precept 'Renounce all to reach Me'. The icon is unique in the whole world. It was made by Siddha Bhogar by combining nine poisonous substances (navabashana). Murugan signifies beauty and Lord Murugan of Kurinji land is the god of Beauty and Youth.

    The Legendary, Historical and Spiritual Significance of the Hill Temple

    There is a legend how Lord Murugan came to this sacred spot. Narada Muni, a sage, brought a golden mango to the divine court of Lord Siva when Lord Siva was seated with his consort Parvati and His children Lord Vinayakar and Lord Subrahmanya. Narada gave the fruit to Lord Siva and implored Him to eat since it was a rare, miraculous Jñanapalam, the fruit of wisdom. As a loving husband, Lord Siva gave it to Parvati and requested her to eat. As a loving mother, she wanted to give the fruit to her children. As there was only one fruit and it should not be cut, they announced a contest and said that the winner would be given the fruit. Whoever completes one round of the globe first will be given the fruit.

    [​IMG]
    Lord Subrahmanya mounted His peacock to go around the world. Lord Vinayakar circumambulated around His parents, symbolising the world, and got the fruit. On return, Lord Subrahmanya found that He was cheated. In anger, He renounced His family and came to this spot to settle forever. Lord Siva and Parvati came to pacify Him. They said, "Pazham Nee" ('You are the Fruit'). Hence the name Palani is a popular syncopation of the two words mentioned.

    The presiding deity, Lord Dandayudhapani Swami, is the son of Lord Siva and son-in-law of Vishnu. He has other names such as Kulandaivelan, Balasubrahmanyan, Shanmukhan, Devasenapati, Swaminathan, Vallimanalan, Devayanaimanalan, Palaniandavar, Kuriñjiandavar, Arumugan, Jñana Pandita, Saravanan, Sevar Kodiyon, etc. Tamils, Keralites, Bengalis, Sri Lankans, Malaysians, Fijians, Africans, Australians and Americans to name a few come here to worship Lord Muruga. Thus Murugan worship cuts across provincial boundaries and national frontiers.

    Cheaman Perumal, a ruler of Kerala, built the main temple perhaps in the 7th Century AD. The Nayaks built the Navaranga Mandapam which is a fascinating stone structure incorporated by four pillars and endowed with nine bays. The other portions of the temple have been built by the Pandiya kings, besides a number of local heads, religious groups and individual devotees.

    Pujas
    There are six pujas every day. At 5 am the Lord gives Visvarupa Darshana. The first puja is Vizhapuja at 7:15 am followed by Kala sandhi at 8am, Uchikalam at 12 noon, Sayaraksha at 6 pm and Rakkalam at 8 pm.


    [​IMG]
    Golden Chariot
    The Golden Chariot goes round the praharam on the top of the hill in a ceremonious procession along with nadaswaram, Tiruppukazh music and other temple paraphenalia at 7 pm on all Karttikai days and as per the request of the devotees. The illuminated Golden Car is a veritable fairyland.


    Festivals
    Panguniuttiram, Thai Pucam, Kanda Sasthi, Agni Nakshatram are the major festivals. Vaikasi Vishakam, Tirukkarttikai and other festivals are also celebrated.








    [​IMG]
    Kavadi & Pada Yatra
    Devotees from various places bring different types of kavadis and offerings to the Lord by pada yatra or foot pilgrimage, the most popular time being Thai Pucam.



    Bhogar Shrine
    The Bhogar Shrine is in the southwestern corridor of the hill temple. Siddhar Bhogar created the icon (the amalgam of nine minerals) and did daily services. He lived long ago, perhaps 3000 BC. A medical prodigy as he was, he could prepare the amalgam on nine medicinal minerals in proper proportion. In this shrine, pujas are offered to Navadurga, Bhuvaneswari and Maragatha Lingam that were worshipped by Bhogar. It is said that there is a subterranean tunnel linking the shrine with the sanctum sanctorum through which Bhogar is said to go to the main idol and perform daily pujas as he is said to be only in nirvikalpa samadhi.

    Pañchamirtam & Rakkala Sandanam
    Lord Muruga is Abhisekapriya (fond of anointment), especially Pañchamirta (fruit jam having medicinal properties). The Devasthanam prepares pañchamirta, vibhuti and other items which are sold for reasonable price. Like Pañchamirta, the Rakkala Sandanam (sandal paste placed on the deity during the night) has special significance and sanctity.

    [​IMG]
    Haulage Winch
    To climb the hill, there are also winch trolleys in addition to the traditional route of 697 steps.

    The Hundial
    The Hundial is the cash collection box. It is the backbone of the economy of the temple. Palani Dandayudhapani Swami Devasthanam has the honour of being the temple of highest income in Tamil Nadu and second only in all India after Tirupati.

    Annadanam (Offering meals to poor pilgrims)
    Giving annadanam at the hill temple at 12:30 pm is a useful scheme for the benefit of the devotees. If a donor deposits Rs 25,000, the interest of it will be utilised for annadanam on a particular day as per the request of the donor.

    Tonsure Ceremony
    Tonsure ceremony is a special feature of Palani. Many devotees of all ages perform tonsure ceremony at Palani.

    Constituent Temples
    Tiruvavinankudi, Periyanagaki Amman temple, Shanmuganadhi group of temples, Idumban Hills, Vishnu temple, Pada Vinayagar temple, 108 Vinayagar shrines around the hill temple, the Kuriñjiandawar temple (Kodaikkanal), the Velappar temple aat Poomparai (Kodaikkanal) are the important constituent temples adminstered by Palani Dandayudhapani Swami Devasthanam.

    Management
    This temple is under the control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu. There is a Joint Commissioner/Executive Officer to look after the day-to-day administration of Palani temples. He works in close association with the Chairman, Board of Trustees and other members.


    [​IMG]
    Accommodation
    The Devasthanam has constructed pilgrims' resthouses, single, double, deluxe and air-conditioned rooms as well as cottages. Reasonable rates are collected from the devotees.


    Transportation
    Palani is reached by just three hours drive from any of the nearest airports: Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchy. It is an important railway station on the Dindugal-Coimbatore line. The nearest tourist information office is at Madurai. There is a Palani Devasthanam Information Centre at the Palani bus stand.


    Shopping
    Panchamirtam, Vibhuti, souvenirs of Murugan, toys, handicrafts, pictures of the Lord and publications of the Devasthanam are among the souvenirs one can bring home from Palani.


    Daily Worship:
    Seven worship services are carried out each day here. The day commences with the Viswaroopa darisanam in the morning. The concluding worhsip service involves a procession of the deity in a golden palanquin in the temple and the palliyarai sevai.

    Panguni Uttram is celebrated for 10 days as the annual Bhramotsavam. This festival is celebrated only at Tiruvavinankudi in the foothills to Muthukumarar the festival deity here.The Ther Thiruvizha is held on the last day of this festival. Offerings of Kaveri water brought from Kodumudi by thousands of devotees in kaavadis are made to the deity.

    Agni Nakshathram is celebrated in the month of Chittirai and Vaikaasi.During this time, thousands of pilgrims circumambulate the hill. Vaikaasi Visaakam is celebrated for 10 days.

    Skanda sashti is celebrated for 7 days. Soorasamharam is enacted on the last day of this festival in which both Chinna Kumarar the festival image of the hill temple and Muthukumaraswami of Thiruvavinankudu participate.
    Kaartikai Deepam is celebrated for 10 days. In addition Kaartikai asterism in each month is celebrated with a procession of a golden chariot in the hill temple. Thai poosam is also celebrated for 10 days here.
     
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  6. ssm014

    ssm014 Platinum IL'ite

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    thanks Anu for the write up....

    I had been to the Tiruchendr temple 3-4 years back. sorry to say that it was kept very shabbily..There were filth outside in the passageways....and was not swept at all..We ventured out ito beach only to see human excrement.....

    Inside the temple, the priests were only after money...

    I have heard lot of ancient stories and mythology about this historic teample...feel although these temple have withstood mughal invasion, they have not escaped current apathy and carelessness....sigh.....:rant
     
  7. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Swamimalai

    it is a sylvan village, situated about five kilometers west of Kumbakonam on the banks of a tributary of river Cauvery. The temple is situated very close to the bus stand and the railway station is about two kilometers away. It is well connected to and surrounded by important places like Kumbakonam, Tiruvidaimarutur, Mayiladuthurai, Papanasam, Tanjavur etc.

    Mythology and History
    Swamimalai is fourth among the six padai veedu or sacred shrines dedicated to Lord Muruga. The presiding deity here expounded the meaning of the Pranava mantra OM to his own Father Lord Siva Himself.

    Mythology says that saint Bhrugu before commencing an arduous tavam or penance, got the boon that anybody disturbing his mediation will forget all his knowledge. Such was the power of the penance that the sacred fire emanating from the head of the saint reached up to the heavens, and the frightened devas surrendered to Lord Siva praying for his grace. The Lord extinguished the sacred fire by covering the saint's head by hand. With the saint's penance thus disturbed the Lord became oblivious of all his knowledge and is said to have regained them by learning the Pranava mantra from Lord Muruga at this shrine.

    [​IMG]
    Once when Brahma, the lord of all creations was proceeding to Kailasa, the ever-playful child Lord Muruga asked him for the meaning of the Pranava OM. When Brahma admitted his ignorance, the Lord imprisoned him. With Brahma imprisoned, all creations came to a standstill and the devas prayed to Lord Siva to get Brahma released. When Muruga insisted that the imprisonment was a just punishment for the ignorance of Brahma, Lord Siva asked him whether he himself knew the meaning of the primordial Pranava OM. Lord Muruga said that he knew the meaning of OM and can expound it to the latter only if he can accept him as guru and listen to the exposition as a devoted disciple. As Lord Siva acceded to the request of Lord Muruga and heard the exposition of OM as a disciple, the place came to be known as Swamimalai and the presiding deity as Swaminathan.

    The temple is built on an artificial hillock of about sixty feet height with sixty beautifully laid stone steps representing the Hindu cycle of sixty years - leading to the Lord . In the ground floor there are temples dedicated to Lord Sundareswarer and Goddesss Meenakshi.
    Hymns in praise of the presiding deity have been sung by saint Nakkeerar in Tirumurukatrupadaiand by Saint Arunagirnathar in Tiruppukazh.


    Pujas and Festivals
    Daily pujas to the deities are performed six times a day (six kalams). Usha Kalam, Kalasandhi and Uchikala poojas are performed in the forenoon and the afternoon poojas commencing from Sayaratchai and Rendam kalam are concluded with Arthajama pooja in the night.

    The important festivals conducted in the temple are:
    1. Monthly Kirutikai festival;
    2. Temple Car festival in April;
    3. Visakam festival in May;
    4. Navaratri festival in May;
    5. Skanda Shashti festival in October;
    6. Tiru Karthikai festival in Nov/December;
    7. Taippūcam festival in January; and
    8. Pankuni Uttiram festival in March.

    [​IMG]
    Golden Chariot
    The temple has an imposing golden chariot made of seven kilos of gold, 85 kilos of silver and other metals like copper, beautifully illuminated with electric bulbs.


    Sub-temples
    Among the sub-temples under the administration of the Swamimalai temple, the Sveta Vinayagar temple at Tiruvalanchuli is an important one. The presiding deity Lord Sadaimudinathar and Goddess Perianayaki have been sung by Tirugnanasambandar and Tirunavukkarasar in Tevaram. A unique feature of this temple is the Sveta Vinayagar or White Pillaiyar made of the sea foam formed at the time of churning of the Milky Ocean by the devas and asuras to get the nectar. The sacred Cauvery River flowing nearby herself has turned around in a right semicircle around this shrine and hence the name Valanchuli or right twist.

    Another architecturally beautiful temple at Kilpazhayarai dedicated to Lord Somanathaswami. It is worth mentioning that this shring is the birthplace of Saint Managaiyarkarasi, one among the 63 Nayanmars. Hymns in praise of the presiding deity have been sung by Tirunavukkarasar.



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    Other sub-temples mentioned below under the administrative control of Swamimalai temple are
    1. Dharmapureeswarar Temple, Vallalarkoil;
    2. Chakravageeswarar Temple, Chakkrapalli;
    3. Ezhutharinathar Temple, Innambur;
    4. Skandanathar Temple, Tiruerakaram; and
    5. Thirupandeeswarar Temple, Adanur.
     
  8. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Tiruttani - Thanigai Malai

    The beautiful temple of Lord Muruga at Tiruttani crowns a single rock 700 feet above sea level. It is situated amidst a range of hills with a dramatic panoramic view. This sacred place is on the Madras-Bombay route, 13 kilomters from Arkonam and 84 kilometers from Madras.

    Around this town are famous religious places such as Kancheepuram (Banares of the South) on the South, Sholingar and Vallimalai on the West, the popular and renowned pilgrimage centre, Tirupati (otherwise called Balaji) and Kalahasti (with its Vayu Lingam) on the North and Tiruvalangadu (of puranic fame) with Lord Nataraja on the East.

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    Greatness of Tirutanikai
    Puranic Importance Of Lord Murugan's six Padaiveedus, Tirutanikai ranks prominent as the crown jewel of our Lord. As its very name indicates, when we propitiate our Lord in this holy shrine, He blesses us with mental peace and bodily happiness. His righteous indignation towards the asuras for their cruelty is said to have been quelled and cooled at this place which is, therefore, known as Shantipuri (Abode of Peace). As the prayers and desires of the devotees who worship our Lord Tanikesan on this hill with unserving faith and intense devotion are fulfilled in no time, this hill is also called Chanikasalam.

    When our Lord came to this hill after wedding Goddess Valli at Vallimalai, She implored Him to enlighten Her on the importance and greatness of this hill. In reply, our Lord said that if one worshipped Him with heart and soul for five consecutive days in this hill temple, that person would be blessed with all that is best in this life and hereafter.




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    In Treta Yuga, Lord Rama, after putting an end to Ravana, worshipped Lord Siva at Rameswaram, at whose request Rama came to Tiruttani and found perfect peace of mind by worshipping our Lord Subrahmanya here. In Dwapara Yuga, Arjuna got the blessings of our Lord here by offering prayers to Him on his way to the South for Teertha Yatra (pilgrimage to take sacred immersion). Lord Vishnu prayed to our Lord at this place and got back His powerful Cakra (sacred wheel), Shanku (sacred conch), which were forcibly seized from Him by Tarakasura, brother of Soorapadma.




    Lord Brahma propitiated our Lord here at the holy spring (by the sides of the steps to the shrine) known as Brahmasonai after his imprisonment by our Lord for his failure to explain the Pranava ('Om' mantra) and got back his creative function of which he was deprived by our Lord due to his egotistic impudence in neglecting to worship Lord Subrahmanya on his way to Mount Kailasa to worship Lord Siva.

    Lord Indra planted and reared in the pool known as Indrasonai adjoining this hill temple the rare plant known as Karunkuvalai, which gave three flowers a day and worshipped our Lord thrice daily with these flowers and , thus, got back the precious wealth of Deva Loka such as Sanghaneeti, Padmaneeti, Chintamani, etc seized by the asura titan.

    Nanda Devi worshipped our Lord here on the bank of the Nandi River and got His peerless initiation to realize the unique relationship between the soul (jeevatma) and God (Paramatma), which is the quintessence of Saiva Siddhanta philosophy, the choicest product of the Dravidian intellect according the pioneering dravidologist Dr. G.V. Pope.


    On worshipping our Lord at Thanikai, the king of snakes Vasuki got his bodily wounds healed, which had been caused during the churning process in the Milky Ocean to secure the Amrita (nectar of immortality) by the devas and asuras when the Mantotra Mountain was used as the churning base and the snake king Vasuki as the rope. Sage Agasthyar Muni (of Potikai Hill) worshipped our Lord at Tanikai when he was blessed with the rare divine gift of the ever-sweet peerless Tamil language, the beauty of which has been extolled by all the great saints and poets of Tamil Nadu.
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    Literary Importance
    Apart from the puranic greatness of Tirutanikai, Saint Arunagirinathar, the illustrious devotee of Lord Muruga who lived 600 years ago, praised this hill as the chosen place for worship by devas and the favorite abode of saints performing prolonged tapas (austerities). He also compared this hill to Sivaloka (Bhuloka) and as the very soul of the world. Saint Ramalinga Swamigal (Arutprakasa Vallalar), who lived 150 years ago, was invited to come here by our Lord of Tanikai (seated on this hill) Who appeared before our saint in the mirror of his puja room at Madras after which the sour-stirring arutpa songs flowed from his lips in chaste Tamil like a torrential stream.

    Sri Muttuswami Deek****ar, who lived 200 years ago (one of the trinity of Karnatic music) had his inspiration in Tiruttani when our Lord (in the guise of an old man) met him on the steps and sweetened his tongue with the prasadam of this temple, which impelled him to sing his first song -- of course -- on Lord Murugan of Tanikai. Many a miraculous event takes place at this shrine from time to time by the grace of our Lord. Oh, how grand and glorious is our Lord Tanigesan on this sacred hill of ancient fame and name!

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    Specialities of Tiruttani
    Saravana Poikai
    The sacred tanks of the shrines of our Lord are all known as Saravanapoikai ('sacred pond of the reedy marsh' where Lord Karttikeya was born). The tank at Tiruttani, which (unlike in other places) is at the very foot of the hill, is particularly renowned for its sacred water (teertham) having curative effect for ailments both bodily and mental, as it is rich in minerals such as sulfur, iron, etc. A bath in this holy tank refreshes the devotee and makes him hale and healthy to propitiate our Lord with faith and devotion.

    Sapta Rishi Teertham
    At the lovely garden on the south side of this sacred hill amidst a thick cluster of shady trees and seven cool sprints, the Seven Rishis (who today form the Great Bear stellar constellation) are said to have worshipped Lord Muruga and the Sapta Kannikas (Seven Virgins) enshrined at this place in a tiny temple.

    On the outskirts of the Tiruttani town, on both sides of the Nandi River, are the ancient temples of Lord Vijayaragama Swami, Arumuga Swami and Veerateeswarar, the latter two of which are more than a thousand years old. In the temple of Arumuga Swami, there is soorya puja every year for three days in March when the rising sun is said to worship our Lord by casting its rays upon the holy Feet of the deity on the first day, Breast on the second day and Head on the third day through a hold in the wall, which reveals the marvellous intellect of the architects of ancient days.

    Festivals
    Besides the monthly Krittikais which attract a large number of devotees to this shrine, the two outstanding annual festivals are the Aadi Krittikai and the 31st of December New Year Step Festival.

    Aadi Krittikai
    Aadi Krittikai festival (in July-August) lasts for three days with Float Festival when lakhs and lakhs of devotees come to this holy place from far and near. The streets are thronged to the full. About one lakh and fifty thousand flower kavadis (which increase with each year) are offered to the deity. The sight of the devotees who carry them, uttering the sacred and inspiring "Haro Hara!" (Hallelujah) as they march and dance in long rows touches the very core of our hearts and makes us spellbound. One should see it to believe it.


    December 31st Step Festival
    When the old (Gregorian) year is rung out and the New Year sets in (ie at the stroke of midnight on December 31st each year), lakhs of devotees are present on the sacred Tanikai hill to have the darshan of their Lord. They come to Tiruttani to offer their heart-felt prayers to our Lord on that day and night to be blessed with peace and plenty during the New Year.


    This festival came into vogue during the British Raj when the famous Vallimalai Swamigal persuaded his followers to offer their homage first to Lord Tanigesan, the giver of all good, and only then to their official bosses. On this day, numerous bhajana parties gather and ascend the hill, singing the melodious Tiruppugazh songs and burning camphor on each of the hill's 365 steps, one for each day of the New Year.

    The entire atmosphere is filled with the music of these devotional songs, which is a feast to the eyes and ears. The sight of the Vel Kavadi taken to the shrine by some devotees on this day with the thin, sharp ends pricked and pierced all over the body above the hip (in spite of which they carry it with ease and grace) inspires and elevates our thoughts to adore our Lord for His mighty, marvellous and miraculous powers.

    Devasthanam Amenities

    The following amenities have been provided by Tiruttani Devasthanam for the benefit and convenience of the public:
    • Ghat Road for easy and speedy access to the temple with Devasthanam buses and vans plying the route;
    • Self-contained, well-furnished Devasthanam cottages and rooms within easy reach of the temple;
    • Kalyana Mandapams for performance of marriages;
    • Kalyana Utsavam (wedding ceremony) may be performed for a nominal fee;
    • A Golden Car (Thanga Ther) 18 feet in height guilded with nine kilos of gold and crafted with exquisite craftmanship may be taken out and pulled in procession around the temple upon payment;
    • Pure cow's milk (for abhishekam) and other puja articles are sold at the Fair Price Shop;
    • Publications, calendars, rosaries and souvenir momentos are availble for sale;
    • Palliyarai Puja (to obtain His Grace in divine slumber) may be performed. On payment of a lump sum, the puja will be performed in perpetuity for one day each year from the accrued interest.
    • Orphanage and Karunai Illam for poor, parentless boys who are given free meals, lodging, clothing, public education and other facilities;
    • Sri Subramanya Swami Government Arts College at Tiruttani supported by Devasthanam donations;
    • Siddha Vaidya Dispensary; and
    • Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Library on the site of his birth in Tiruttani town.
    Nattukotta Chetty Chattiram
    Muruga bhaktars who wish to stay in a traditional chattiram (pilgrim's rest) may stay at Nattukotta Chetty Chattiram (just above the Tiru Kulam). Accommodations are basic however; bring your own bedding. Ask for Mr. Muniyappa -- and consider making a modest donation when you leave. Nattukotta Chetty Chattiram is closely associated with Valli Malai Tiruppukazh Asramam and the Vallimalai Satchidananda Swamigal Tiruppukazh Sabha
     
  9. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Pazhamutircolai

    it is situated 19 kilometres from the temple town of Madurai. The place is full of natural beauty and sylvan surroundings. This hill is also known as Vrishabhadri or Idabagiri. At the foot of the hill is situated Azhakar Kovil, which is one among the 108 divyadesams sanctified by the hymns of Azhwars sung in praise of the Vishnu enshrined in this temple. Atop the hill Lord Muruga stands majestically in the temple as the Lord of the Hills popularly known as Kurinji Nilakkizhavan in Tamil. The temple of Pazhamutircolai can be reached by a motorable road leading to the hill.

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    Pazhamutircholai is mentioned as the sixth of Lord Murugan's Aaru Patai Vidukal, the six holiest Murugan shrines described by Cankam poet Nakkirar in his poem Tirumurukarruppatai. Regarding the identity of the sixth major site, there is no consensus among scholars and many local temples are ascribed the distinction. Most scholars, priests and devotees identify Pazhamutircholai with the shrine of Palamutircolai, twelve miles north of Madurai in the Alagar Hills, above the Alagarcoil Vishnu temple. While this temple is not as large or bustling as the other five recognized shrines, it is just as incredible to visit.

    This shrine is located on the northern outskirts of Madurai in a pleasant wooded hill not far from Alagar Visnu Kovil, a fortified temple complex revered as one of the 108 abodes of Vishnu glorified by the hymns of the Alwars. At the top of the hill, is Noopura Ganga, a perennial waterfall with a temple dedicated to Rakkayi Amman. The Nûpura Ganga atop the hill is said to originated from the anklet of Tirumal or Visnu and hence the name of the spring. It is said that sitting in the madavi mandapa near the spring Ilangovadigal wrote one of the five mahakavyas in Tamil, viz., Cilappatikaram. Even today the place is very fertile with many trees and different flora and fauna, a standing testimony to the vivid description of the place's natural beauty as found in Tirumurugattruppadaiof Nakkeerar.

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    Though the sthala is of ancient origin, the temple as in existence today was constructed only recently. From days of yore Vel has been worshipped as the moolavar or main deity. The idol of Lord Muruga in a standing posture has a single face and four hands with Valli and Teyvayanai on both sides. The Vel made up of stone is of special significance and is worshipped with a great veneration by devotees.


    The sthala vriksha is a rose apple tree. The fruits of this tree ripen during Skanda Sashti festival. The temple that was in existence during Sangam period no longer existed in Arunagirinatha's time. The recently constructed temple is considered as Pazhamutircolai and worshipped by the devotees. It is needless to say that it is one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga very extensively praised and described by Nakkeerar in Tirumurugatruppadai.
    Arunagirinathar also reveres this shrine in his Tiruppukal. Arunagirinatha sang 16 Tiruppugzh psalms to Pazhamutircolai Muruga. Though one might be in possession of all types of wealth, if he wants to lead a healthy life bereft of any disease he should necessarily visit Pazhamutircolai. Arunagirinatha very emphatically says in the most unequivocal terms that Lord Muruga should come before him running to bless each and everyone with health and wealth as has been very clearly described in the Tiruppugazh psalm.
     
  10. anurar20

    anurar20 IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you very much for your feedback dear.....

    I had been to Tiruchendur recently now its ok but what to do people coming from all the other places make very shabby when i had been they were cleaning and anouncing not to make dirt.

    Priests are same as u told only after money Government has to take care of this.

     

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