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Swamimalai Sri Swaminatha Swami Temple
Swamimalai or Thiruveragam , a holy place near Kumbakonam, in Tamilnadu - South India, houses one of the most sacred temples of Lord Muruga and is the fourth 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 Sendhil Andavar Temple
3.Palani Dandayudhapani Swamy 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.
The various names of the presiding deity include Skanda, Swaminatha Swamy, Subrahmanya though the most used name is Thagappan Swami as Lord Muruga is seen as one who preached the Omkara Pranava Mantra to his father Lord Shiva.
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 Lord of Swamimalai.Literary references to the place are also available in many other ancient tamil scriptures and inscriptions.
It is believed that Lord Muruga teached the significfance of Pranava Mantra (the sacred OM) to Lord Shiva - his father - here and hence the name Swami malai for the place and Thagappan swami for the Lord.
This temple is of great spiritual importance to the devotees of Lord Skanda - also known as Kanda and Arumuga - as he became a guru to his own father who is considered as the Lord of the universe. It is worshipped by thousands of devotees throughout the year.
Arupadai veedu - a multimedia ecstasy
For those who are interested in exploring these temples of Lord Muruga,
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.
Location and Temple Precincts
This sacred and ancient temple of Swamimalai - is located on the banks of river cauvery - at a distance of 5 KM along the western side of Kumbakonam in Tamil nadu, India. The temple is located at a height of 60 feet - above an artificial hillock and is reached by a flight of 60 steps - which signify 60 years. This south Indian temple of Swaminatha Swami can be reached easily by motorable roads from Kumbakonam.
There are three prakarams and three entrances in this Murugan shrine. The southen entrance is the main entrance to the temple and the main temple tower (Raja gopuram) - with its 5 tiers - is located above this entrance.There is a temple dedicated to Meenakshi Sundareswarar ( depicting Lord Vishnu giving his sisters hand in marriage to Lord Shiva ) - this temple is known as Kizh Koil . The main temple that enshrines Lord Muruga as Swaminadha swami is known as Mel Koil.
There are several small temples around the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple. As we enter the 2nd Prakaram, there is a very beautiful structure that portrays the teaching of Omkara by Muruga to Lord shiva. These picturesque scenes from the temple have been videographed vividly in Arupadaiveedu - A Multimedia ecstasy a CD ROM / VCD on Muruga by Cybervalley Systems , India (http://www.cybervalleysystems.com).
Once we cross the 2nd prakaram we can see the temple of Netra Vinayagar (Lord Ganesh who blessed a devotee with eyesight) - along with statues of several other gods and goddesses including Karthaveeryarjuna, Idumban and subramanya swamy.
As we approach the sanctum sanctorum, we pass across worshipping Sabhabathi, Senapathi, Shanmuka with Valli and Devasena - all being various manifestations of Lord Kumara or Karthikeya. There is a beautiful statue of Nataraja or dancing Lord Shiva as well. Poet Saint Arunagirinathar - who sings about this temple in detail in this sacred Tamil hymn Thiruppugazh is also represented in the form of an idol here.
The main lord of swami malai - affectionately called as Swaminadha - is 6 feet tall with broad shoulders holding sakthi vel and dhandam(staff). Instead of Mayil Vahanam or the peacock vehicle, Elephant is depicted as the vahana (divine vehicle) in front of the lord. This feature is very unique, not available in any other temples of Lord Muruga.
The stala vriksham for Thiruchendur temple is the Amla tree( Nellimaram) .
There are five Theerthams
or divine water sources, in and around the temple. They are:
· Vajra Theertham,
· Saravana Theertham
· Netra Pushkarini( well)and
· Kumaratturai (Kaveri)
Legend has it that a blind devotee by name Sumathi lost his eyesight because of his sins. Sage Bharatwaja asked him to go and worship Netra vinayaga and take a dip in the Netra teertham to get over his sins and regain his sight. It is believed that the devotee took a dip in the sacred waters and regained his sight as he approached the Netera Vinayagar temple. A glimpse of the Netra Pushkarni is beautifully videographed in the multimedia CD Rom titled - Arupadaiveedu - A Multimedia ecstasy a CD ROM / VCD on Muruga by Cybervalley Systems , India. (http://www.cybervalleysystems.com)
History of the Temple
The Swaminatha Swamy temple has been patronized by many kings - some of whom includes the Chola King First Paranthaka and Varguna Pandiya, the Pandiyan empire ruler.
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.
· Monthly Kirutikai festival on the day of the thirunakshathiram Kirthigai
· Teppam festival in January
· Pankuni Uttiram festival in March
· Temple Car festival in April
· Visakam festival in May
· Navaratri festival in October
· Skanda Shashti festival in October
· Tiru Karthikai festival in Nov/December
The battle of Lord Muruga with Soorapadman is enacted to the fervor of the Muruga Bakthas in the Tamil month of Masi at Tiruchendur ending with the marriage of Lord Murugan with Deivayanai (Devanai).
Kumbakonam, Thanjavur and many other places nearby.
Links to Tour & Travel Agencies
Places to Stay in Kumbakonam
Hotels of India
Other important links on Swamimalai
good news india.com
Links to other Murugan Temples in Arupadai Veedu:
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