Thursday, December 3, 2015

Palani Murugan Temple

Arulmigu Dandayudhapani Temple at Palani (Palani Murugan Temple)  in Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu is a well famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Subramanya Swamy.The younger son 'Lord Muruga' of God Mahadeva (Lord Shiva) and Goddess Parvathi Devi is highly revered in Tamil Nadu State and the Six most important Subramanya Swamy Shrines known as 'Aaru Padai Veedu' are situated in this state.Palani Murugan Temple is the third one of the 'Aru Padai Veedu' temples and visited by millions of devotees every year.
The place name is 'Pazhani' and mostly called as Palani.It is situated 60 km from Dindigul City and  is 119 km from Madurai City. Pazhani is approximately 100 km from Coimbatore.
Once Sage Narada brought a divine mango fruit at Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva and gave it as an offering  to Lord Shiva and Parvathi Devi  telling that it was  a fruit of 'wisdom and knowledge'('Gnana Pazham' in Tamil).At that time their children 'Ganesha' and 'Muruga' were there.Lord Shiva and Parvathi decreed that the fruit would be given to the one who comes back first after  revolving round the Universe.Immediately Lord Muruga set off on his celestial 'Vahana', the peacock to revolve round the Universe.The elder son Lord Ganesha revolved round his parents Lord Shiva and Parvathy who are the creators of the Universe itself.More over for a child the position of his parents must be much more than the whole universe itself  in his mind.By these logic when Lord Ganesha after circling round his parents demanded for the fruit, they gave it to him.When Lord Muruga returned he became angry about this incident and set out on his peacock and reached Pazhani hills where he

performed 'tapas'.Parvathi Devi arrived there to pacify him.She consoled him by saying the truth that he himself  would be  the 'fruit of wisdom and knowledge'.'Pazham' means fruit in Tamil and Malayalam.''Nee" means 'You'.Parvathi Devi said to Subramamanya that 'Pazham Nee'.People believes that the place name 'Pazhani' derived because of this incident.
Another legend is as follows.Sage Agasthya who was the founder of 'Ayurvedic Sidha Medicine' had an Asura assistant who had tremendous physical power known as 'Idumban'.Idumban was once sent by his master to bring certain medicinal shrubs from the Himalayas but he could not distinguish some of them properly.He detached two hills called as 'Siva Diri' and 'Shakthi Giri'  in whole from the place, tied them on the two ends of a big wood, placed the wood on his shoulders and started back his journey to his master.On the way he  took rest at Pazhani by placing the hills aside.On one of that hills Lord Subramanya who was an young boy at that period was playing but Idumban was not knowing about that.Lord Subramanya immobilized the hills at Pazhani and Idumban could not move it to  carry them to Sage Agasthya.When Idumban saw Lord Murugan on one of the hills  he understood that he could not move the hills because of the trick made  by Murugan  and they had a dispute.Meanwhile Sage Agasthya reached there and he calmed both of them.Lord Muruga was impressed by the love and loyalty of Idumba towards his master.He also loved the place Pazhani and determined to make it his abode.He Appointed Idumban as his guard by the consent of Sage Agasthya.Holding 'Kavadi' as  an important means  of worship to Lord Muruga was started  after this incident.The wooden trunk carried by Idumban was the first 'Kavadi' in this respect.   
Pazhani temple dates back to about 5000 years.It is believed that a Saint 'Bhoga Sidhar' made the idol of the deity from a mixture of nine poisonous materials known as 'Nava Pashanam' but when mixed a particular proportion the final product of amalgamation  would acquire some good medicinal properties.Thus therefore the  materials which are used at this temple for 'abhishekam' (Unction) works as a medicine when consumed by the devotees  which heals several mild ailments. 'Milk', 'Panchamritham' , 'Water', 'Honey' whatever be it, they all becomes medicated by performing the 'abhishekam'(pouring on the idol) and when combines with the blessings of the Lord, it relieves several ailments and increases the health and vitality of the devotee.
Pazhani temple is situated atop a hill which is 500 feet high.One has to climb 689 steps to reach the abode of Lord Murugan at this temple.The hill is very beautiful which grows many varieties of plants, medicinal shrubs,trees like Sandalwood,Kadamba and so on.The idol of the temple is in standing posture and is supposed as the  young boyhood form of the Lord.He is  in an 'ascetic form'  detached from worldly pleasures.He holds a 'Vel' which is a spear called as 'Danda' and so Lord Subramanya has the  name as 'Dandayudha Pani,Velayudhan,Vadivelan,Vel Murugan and so on which all  means  'One who holds the Danda' or Spear.He has also several other names such as 'Karthikeyan,Kumaran,Devasenapathi,Mayilvahanan,Skanthan,Arumukhan,Saravanan,Guhan,Shanmukhan,Velan ' and so on.The temple is very beautiful and the inner sanctum is covered by 'Golden Vimanam'.There are shrines of 'Nava Durga' (Bhuvaneswari),Saptamathas,Kailasanathar,Chandeswar etc in this temple.There is also a shrine for 'Bhoga Sidhar' who made the idol of the Lord.
There are beautiful golden Chariot and Golden peacock in the temple which are used for processions.There is a 'Meenakshi Sundareswar temple' and a 'Vinayakar' temple at the foothill.There is another temple at the foot hill for Subramanya Swamy in childhood form known as 'Thiruvavinankudi Temple' and the temple pond known as 'Saravanapoigai' which are  also visited by the devotees.
There is a passage around the Pazhani temple hill known as 'Giri Veedhi' which is utilized for circling round the whole temple and hill  in devotion by the devotees and conducts processions.
The annual main festival is known as 'Brahmolsavam' and also   'Painguni Uthram festival' which is celebrated for 10 days.
'Vaikasi Visakham' is another annual festival celebrated for ten days.
Thaipooyam,Skantha Shashti etc are also celebrated in a grand manner.Skantha Shashti is celebrated for seven days.
There are major railway stations at Madurai and Dindigul.Buses are available to Palani from Chennai,Coimbatore,Madurai,Dindigul and many other cities of Tamil Nadu State.Madurai is the nearest Airport.International Airports are at Thiruvananthapuram and at Chennai.
The temple is open on all days from the early morning to 8 p.m.