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Arupadaiveedu - Temples of Lord Muruga in India
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Palani - Sri Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple

View of palani hill temple from muruga temple on the foot of the hill

       Palani or Pazhani , a holy place near Madurai, in Tamilnadu - South India, houses one of the most sacred temples of Lord Muruga and is the third Aarupadai Veedu . Saint poet Nakkerar, in his songs in praise of Lord Senthil Andavar, places Palani in the third place amongst the six battle places ( Arupadaiveedu ) that Lord Muruga has fought to win over evil.

       The Other five Temples in the Arupadai Veedu sung by Nakkeerar are:

      1.Tiruparamkundram Subramanya Swami Temple
      2.Thiruchendur Senthil Andavar Temple
      3.Swamimalai Swaminatha Swami Temple
      4.Tiruthani Subramanya Swamy Temple and
      5.Palamudhircholai Subramanya Swamy Temple

       A few Murugan devotees do consider that Marudamalai Murugan temple also deserves to be mentioned as one additional Padai Veedu.

       Palani Andavar is also worshipped by other names such as Dandayudhapani Swami, Kulandaivelan, Balasubrahmanyan, Shanmukhan, Devasenapati, Swaminathan, Vallimanalan, Devayanaimanalan, Kurijiandavar, Arumugan, Gnana Pandita, Saravanan, Sevar Kodiyon,etc.The temple is itself commonly known by several other names such as Tiru Avinangudi, Vayyapuri, Sithan Vazhvu, Pothini and Sivagiri.

Legends/Puranas and Mythology

       Nakeerar, in his Tamil writings compilation called Thirumurugatruppadai, more than 2000 years ago, and saint Poet Arunagirinaathar, who has composed 95 verses on Murugan, have both sung in great praise of Palani. Many of those, who have lesser knowledge on the Palani Murugan temples, mistakenly think that the temple referred in the Tamil works is located in the Palani mountain, while the fact is that the Thiruvavinankudi temple is actually located at the foot of the hills. The Thiruvavinankudi temple is commonly known as Kuzhandhai Velayudaswami temple after the child form of Lord Murugan.

       Mythology locates the origin of Palani to the fight of Lord Shiva's siblings. The story goes that Naradha, a great saint in the land of the Devas, offered a divine fruit to Shiva and informed the three eyed Neelakanteshwar, that it was the fruit of Wisdom. Lord Ganesha and Lord Murugan, the two sons of Lord Shiva and Parvaathi, wanted the fruit fully for himself, as the fruit was to be eaten wholly and not partly.

       In order to decide the rightful recipient for the fruit, it was decided that the one who first completes circumventing the Earth will win the fruit. Lord Murugan accepted the challenge and in a flash mounted on his Mayil vahanam or the peacock as his vehicle and buzzed off to go round the Earth. Elder brother of Murugan, not taking the literal meaning of world, offered to come round his divine parents Shiva and Parvathi, as the whole universe was considered to be embodied in them.

       He went round them thrice and won the challenge and got the divine fruit or fruit of Wisdom. On knowing the reason how his brother Lord Ganesh got the fruit, Lord Murugan was in temper and disowning everything around, he went to Palani. Moved by this, Lord Shiva and Sakthi went to Palani to convince their younger son that he needs no fruits as he himself was a fruit of wisdom ( Palam Ni ); since then the place were Lord Murugan stood is known as Palam Ni or Palani.

Arupadai veedu - a multimedia ecstasy

       For those who are interested in exploring these temples of Lord Muruga, Cybervalley Systems has come out with a comprehensive multimedia CD-ROM/ VCD titled Arupadai veedu - a multimedia ecstasy.

       With exclusive coverage on each temple reverred to as arupadai veedu, the CD-ROM/ VCD is a must buy for all those who wish to explore the temples, legends associated, holy waters associated with the temples, various festivals and other important details which may not be available elsewhere.

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Location and Temple Precincts

       Palani can boast of a railway station - just 2 Kms away from the foot of the Palani Malai. The Palani railway station is mid way between Dindigul and Coimbatore.

       Palani can be reached in about three to four hours drive from any of the nearest airports: Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchy. Information is also available from the office of the Devasthanam Information Centre at the Palani bus stand.

Sri Kuzhanthai Velayuthaswami (Or Child Muruga) Temple

       Lord Murugan presides by the name of "Kulandai Velayuthaswamy" at the Thiru Avinanguidi temple located at the foot of the hills at Palani. Climbing a flight of steps leads to the Palani hill temple which is approximately at a height of 450 feet over the ground level. Palani Aandavar awaits majestically at the hill top temple to bless the thousands of Murugan devotees who come to worship him. Two winch rope cars operated electrically, come in as great relief to those ailing and aged, who may not be able to climb the steep steps. Some devotees also go round the Palani hill before the ascent and in the "Giri valam"- get to pray at any of the sixty eight Vinayakar temples abutting the giri valam route. The Tamil months Chitrai and Vaikasi witness the maximum number of devotes performing the Giri Valam.

       One also gets to see the "Patha Vinayakar" temple and the Meenakshi Sundareshwarar temple enroute the hill top. There are two broad Praharams in the hill top temple. Idols of Vallabha Vinayakar, Subramanya Vinayakar, Nakkerar, Arunagirinathar can be seen in the second Praharam that houses the Nayakkar Mandapam. The Rajagopuram is composed of five tiers. Bypassing the Paravel Mandapam and Navaranga Mandapam, one can approach the sanctum sanctorium of Dhandayuthapani.

       There is a sannidhi for Bhogar who was a saint who dedicated himself to Lord Muruga and contributed immensely. The Vimanan which roofs the Garba Graham is made of Gold and offers a stunning and spectacular sight to the devotees.

Lord Muruga as Dhantayuthapani

       Lord Dhandayuthapani, true to his name, holds a staff in one hand and blesses his devotees with his other hand - beholding a compassionate look at his Bakthas.

       The Moolavar idol, installed by Bhogar Muni, is made up of a rare combination of nine minerals called the Navapashana and this substance is known to have very greatly medical powers.

History of the Temple

       Legend has it that Idumban, a disciple of Sage Agasthayar, while carrying two hillocks by the name Sivagiri and Sakthigiri, on his shoulders as Kavadi, wanted to rest for a while and placed these hillocks on the ground. Lord Muruga, mischievously immobilized these hillocks and Idumban could carry the Kavadi no further.

       Following this as a tradition, the Muruga Bakthas carry Kavadis of milk, Sandalwood, Flowers etc.

       Scriptures show that Cheaman Perumal, a ruler of Kerala, built the main temple sometime in the 7th Century AD. Kings Jadavarman and Krishnadevaraya are known to have generously donated for the temple construction. The Nayakars and Nagarathar community rulers were greatly involved in the construction of certain parts of the temple. The other portions of the temple was constructed in the period of Chera Kings during their rule of South Kongu Nadu. In the scriptures found in the sanctum sanctorium (Garbhagraham) dated 13th century it is known that Pandiyan Kings, Chola Kings also contributed greatly for the festivals of this temple and worshiped Lord Muruga.

Temple timings & Festivals

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

Golden car festival of Lord Muruga of Palani

       Thai pusam or Thai Poosam and Panguni Uthiram are celebrated with grandeur. Falling on the day of Poosam star, during the month of Thai - sometime during the end of January, Thai Pusam, is a Murugan festival celebrated all over the world. Devotees are known to reach the temple on foot even from cities as far as Chennai( Madras) or Tirunelveli. This by itself is evidence of the devout prayers and the Graceful Blessings of the Lord.

Important links

       Periyanayagi Amman Kovil, Idumban Kovil, Lakshminaryana Perumal Temple, Venugopalaswamy Temple, Mariamman Kovil, Pattathu Vinayagar Kovil are other temples not to be missed in Palani.

       Links to Tour & Travel Agencies
       chennaionline
       madura travel
       welcometoursandtravel

       Places to Stay
       The Superintendent - Dandayudhapani Nilaiyam
       Arulmigu Dandayudhapani Swami Tirukkovil
       Palani - 624601 TamilNadu,India Tel.(91-4545) 42235
       Or visit their website at :
       http://palani.org/accommodation.htm

       2. Tourist Bungalow Complex, West Veli Street
       Madurai. Phone Madurai 22957

       3. Tourist Information Centre, Railway Junction,
       Madurai, Phone (Madurai) 24535

       4. Hotel Ganpat Palani ,103 Poonga Road , Tel 42294
       or visit :
       http://www.namasthenri.com/hotels/palanicontent.htm

       Other important links on Palani
       templenet.com
       murugan.org
       tiruchendur.com
       tiruchenduronline.com
       kataragama.org
       hindubooks.org
       sivanandadlshq.org

       Links to other Murugan Temples in Arupadai Veedu:
       Tiruparamkundram
       Thiruchendur
       Swamimalai
       Tiruthani
       Pazhamudhircholai

Imbibe the spirit of devotion in your kids!

       Many of those who migrated away from India, be it the early settlers in South Africa or the tech-savvy migrants to US - the first generation who have Lord Murugan in their hearts find it difficult to pass on this spiritual shield to their children who grow up in alien lands.

       Cybervalley Systems has brought out a CD-ROM titled Arupadaiveedu - A Multimedia Ecstasy that can play on PCs and select VCD players - a multimedia title covering the six Murugan temples of Arupadaiveedu in south India.

       This CD exquisitely brings to life the pujas and certain utsavams of Lord Karthikeya - To illustrate a few shots...
      - the ther (Temple chariot) utsavam of Thiruparamkundram Murugan;
      - the Unjal ( Swing) sevai of Tirutchendur Murugan ;
      - the Abishekam of Palamuthircholai Murugan or
      - the golden chariot of Palani
      - are some such scenes that leave a permanent impression in one's mind.

Peace and tranquility are the possible benefits of viewing the CD contents - be it in a group during small functions or alone- in solitude in the background of darkness. For kids- it will be as much fun as watching the cartoons - if only the parents take time to explain the CD contents to their kids with some interest.

To know more about the CD ROM - Click Here

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