Palani Murugan (Subramanya) temple and six holy abodes, Tamil Nadu

Palani Murugan

According to the Hindu mythology Lord Muruga is the god of mountainous region. Many of his temples are located on hill tops. He is known by different names such as Karthikeya, Skanda, Subramanya, Vadivela and Muruga at various temples. In Tamil literature, there are five types of lands : Kurinji -Mountainous region, Mullai (Forest region) - Vishnu, Marutham (Agricultural region) - Indra, Neithal (Coastal region) - Varuna and Paalai (Desert region) - Kali (Goddess).

Lord Subramaniyar(Murugan)

The six most sacred abodes of Murugan were mentioned in Tamil  Sangam literature, "Thirumurugatrupadai," written by well known Sangam poet Nakeerar and in "Thirupugaz," written by equally well-known   Arunagirinathar. These Murugan - Karthikaya temples  reflect some of the totality of the Murugan cult and ethos and at the same time each temple attests to its own sanctity. The divine visit of the God makes the place holy.

The six abodes of

Legend has it ( vide  Skanda Purana) on the request of Devas who were tortured by the demon Soorapadman, Lord Brahma and Vishnu  asked Kamadeva to awake Lord Shiva who was in a trance. Unable to wake him up, with the grace of Shiva Kamadeva gave birth to ''Karthikeya''endowed with special powers to tackle the demon. He fought with that demon Soorapadman in a fierce battle and finally killed him, thus saving the Devas from torture, mental agony and embarrassment.

Lord Karthikaya, commonly known as Muruga in Tamil Nadu, is an embodiment of love, affection and beauty. He is also depicted as a God of war and  valor.

Though there are many well known Murugan temples in Tamil Nadu such as Vayalur, near Trichy, Yettukudi and Sikkil near Nagapatnam, Maruthamalai near Coimbatore, Kundrakudi  near  Karaikudi town, the Kumarakottam temple  of Kanchipuram, etc, Lord Subramaniyar is associated with six famous shrines called Aarupadai Veedu. Except Tiruchendur all other abodes are on the hills. 

The six abodes (in local parlance Aarupadai veedu)

The six abodes of Karthikaya / Muruga  are Thirupparamkunram, Tiruchendur, Swamimalai,Thiruthani, Pazhamudircholai and Palani.

Lord Subramaniyar(Murugan)

Palani Temple near Dindukal and Coimbatore:

1. Palani Temple, Palani, Tamil Nadu dedicated to Lord Murugan. is one of the most visited temples in the south next to Tirupati. It is the third Padai veedu (abode) among the six. Every day, thousands of  devotees visit this wonderful temple atop the hill about 1500 feet above  sea level.

Palani Murugan(Subramaniyar)

Cheaman Perumal, a ruler of Kerala (7th centuryAD), Kings  Jadavarman and Krishnadevaraya, the Nayaks, Chera Kings and  Chola Kings built  part of the temples at various periods.
Winch to go up hill,  

According to the legend, two children, Lord Ganesha and Lord Subrahmanya of Lord Shiva were eager to have a share of the celestial mango fruit presented by  sage Narada to Shiva.  The divine parents - Shiva and Parvati kept a condition. It being a  fruit of knowledge (Gnana Pazham), they  told that the first to finish  going  around  the universe thrice would get the celestial fruit.  Lord Subramanya mounted his peacock and went around the universe, while Vinayakar went round his parents Shiva and Parvathi in the belief that they stood for the Universe and, ultimately,  got the coveted fruit of knowledge. Disappointed and angered as he was, Lord Subramanya, came to Palani and settled down on the hill as if he had renounced the world,  befitting  a monk dressed in no more than a loincloth and armed only with a staff, the dhandam. Hence the appellation Bala-dhandayudha-pani, meaning the young wielder of the staff-weapon.Boghar, a great Hindu saint and siddhar created the idol of Dhandayuthapani using navapashanam, an amalgam of nine  poisonous substances mixed with herbs in a certain ratio which constitutes an eternal medicine. It has medicinal and  curative powers for many ailments of the human body.  There is a shrine dedicated to Boghar close to the entrance in the inner pragaram and he is  the founder of this temple  and, it is believed, he lived more than 2000 years ago.

 One important feature worthy of mention is  here, the deity  faces west direction  rather than east, the traditional direction at most Hindu temples. This being due to the fact that the temple was re-consecrated by the Cheras, whose dominions lay to the west that is coastal areas of the west, and the guardian of whose eastern frontier was supposed to be the Lord Kartikeya of Palani.

 The members of the Gurukkal community of Palani, hold hereditary rights to handle and conduct poojas (prayer) to the deity enshrined in the garbhagriha (the sanctum sanctorum) of the temple. For the past several years poojas are performed only to the festival idol (Uchavar) not  the idol made of navabashanam that shows some damages because of frequent anointing and other rituals. Other devotees are permitted to come up to the sanctum The small tower-vimanam in the inner sanctum is gold plated. The sanctum has shrines for  Navaveera, Navadurga, the Saptamatas, Kailasanathar and Chandekeswarar. Navadurga (Bhuvaneswari) is worshiped here with a Maragatalingam.

 The main festivals  here are ''Panguni Uttram''(April) celebrated for ten days as the annual Brahmotsavam and ''Skanda Sashti'' (November) that will last for seven days and Soorasamharam is enacted on the last day of this festival. Palani can be reached from all parts of the country; nearest major railway junction is Dindukal about 30 km from here.

Tonsure ceremony is a special feature of Palani, just like Tiirupati. Thousands of devotees of all ages perform tonsure ceremony at Palani. They do it in fulfillment of their wish blessed by the god. Palani temple is  synonymous with Panchamirtam, a sweet mixture made of five ingredients, dates, banana, honey, jaggery (country sugar, etc.