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Thiruparamkundram - Sri Subramanya Swamy Temple
Thiruparamkundram or Paramkundru, a hill near Madurai, in Tamilnadu - South India, is the first and foremost temple of Lord Muruga in India and is the first Aarupadai Veedu as well. Saint poet Nakkerar, in his songs in praise of Lord Senthil Andavar, places Thiruparamkundram in the first 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.Tiruchendur Sendhil Andavar Temple
2.Swamimalai Swaminatha Swami 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 Subramanya and Subramanya Swamy.
Legends/Puranas and Mythology
Nakeerar, in his Tamil writings compilation called Thirumurugatruppadai, more than 2000 years ago, and saint Poet Arunagirinaathar, who has composed Thirupugazh verses on Murugan, have both sung in great praise of Lord Subramanya of Thiruparamkundram. This place is considered to be the holy spot where Lord Muruga's celestial marriage took place.Saint Poet Nakkeerar composed his great literary work Thirumurugatrupadai in this divine place. The story goes that he was imprisoned in a cellar by a demon and Lord Muruga came to the rescue of the poet Nakkerar, on hearing the songs composed.
Lord Muruga is said to have married Indiran's daughter Deivayanai , in this holy place. Deivaynai, the daughter of Indira, as mythology goes, was brought by Iravatham in the Devalokam. Also, it was predestined that Murugan would marry Deivayanai ( Devanai or Deivayani) at this sacred place. The marriage was witnessed by Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvathi, Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and many other Hindu Gods and Hindu Goddesses
The marriage took place after Lord Subrahmanya vanquished the arrogant demon Soorapadman in the battle at Tiruchendur.
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
The temple is situated just five kilometers in the South-east direction of Madurai, abutting the main railway line. See below for associated websites and other links on where to stay and details on the tour operators who package Madurai in their itinerary.
The temple is located in the northern side of the hill. Before the gopuram, Sundara Pandiya Mandapam and Asthana Mandapam are located. The idols depicting the marriage of Lord Muruga with Deivayanai is gratifying. The sculptors bring the idols to real life with their exquisite carvings. The temple hall houses idols depicting the excellent sculpturing skills include those of Elephants, tigers, tiger hunting etc. Twenty pillars made of stone, each 48 feet in height add a touch of class to this temple. The Rajagopuram and the Kalyana mandapam are just ahead of this hall. On the western side, one can identify the Lakshmi Theertham and on the western side is the Brahma Koopam ( also called Saniyasi Kinaru). Water from the Brahma Koopam is used for the Abhishekam of Lord Subrahmanya Swamy.
In front of the Dwajasthambam or the Kodi Maram, one gets the magnificiently carved Nandi, Mayil and the Mouse ( the vehicle of Lord Ganesha). This is a specialty of this Murugan shrine.Going inside, one can see the sannidhis of various Hindu Gods and Hindu Goddesses. Of special mention is the sannidhi of Saneeswaran without the other eight Grahas. Climbing a flight of six steps called the "Shadashara Padigal", one reaches the Artha Mandapam. One gets to see the rock carvings of Mahisshasura Mardini, Karpaga Vinayagar, Andarabaranar and Uggirar.
There is also a rock carved sannidhi for Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. Shiva in the form Sivalingam and Sathiyagireeshwarar sannidhis located here cannot miss the attention of the Muruga Bakthas visiting this Murugan shrine.
Sage Narada is believed to have received the blessing of the Lord here.
The Moolavar deity is also sculptured from a rock. Abhishekams for the presiding deity is done to the Murugan's Vel only.
There are five Theerthams or divine water sources, in and around the temple.
They are :
· Saravana Poigai,
· Lakshmi Theertham
· Saniyasi Kinaru( well)
· Kasi Sunai and
· Sathiya Koopam
The Saravanai Poigai, located at the foot of the hill is believed to have been created by Lord Subrahmanya himself using his Vel. A glimpse of the Saravana Poigai 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
About 1200 years before, the Pandiya Kings constructed a great part of the temple precincts and temple walls. The Madurai Nayakar King Veerappar, Raja Thirumalai and Queen Mangammal are known to have patronized this temple and generously contributed towards temple maintenance.
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.
Annual festivals include
· Monthly Kirutikai festival
· Temple Chariot festival in April
· Visakam festival in May
· Skanda Shashti festival in October
Madurai and Pazhamudircholai are the nearby tourist locations.
Links to Tour & Travel Agencies
Tours on Aarupadai Veedu
Links to sites with details of Madurai Hotels and Lodges
Madura Park Inn
Other important links on Thiruparamkundram
Tirupparamkunram - General Info1
Murugan.Org - Thiruparamkundram
Tirupparamkunram - General Info2
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