శ్రీ సుబ్రమణ్య స్వామి, పజ్హముతిర్కలై

Pazhamutircolai is situated 19 kilometres from the temple town of Madurai. The place is full of natural beauty and sylvan surroundings. This hill is also known as Vrishabhadri or Idabagiri. At the foot of the hill is situated Azhakar Kovil, which is one among the 108 divyadesams sanctified by the hymns of Azhwars sung in praise of the Vishnu enshrined in this temple. Atop the hill Lord Muruga stands majestically in the temple as the Lord of the Hills popularly known as Kurinji Nilakkizhavan in Tamil. The temple of Pazhamutircolai can be reached by a motorable road leading to the hill.

Pazhamutircōlai is mentioned as the sixth of Lord Murugan’s Āru Patai Vīdukal, the six holiest Murugan shrines described by Cankam poet Nakkīrar in his poem Tirumurukārruppatai. Regarding the identity of the sixth major site, there is no consensus among scholars and many local temples are ascribed the distinction. Most scholars, priests and devotees identify Palamutircōlai with the shrine of Palamutircolai, twelve miles north of Madurai in the Alagar Hills, above the Alagarcoil Vishnu temple. While this temple is not as large or bustling as the other five recognized shrines, it is just as incredible to visit.

HISTORY OF TEMPLE :

This shrine is located on the northern outskirts of Madurai in a pleasant wooded hill not far from Alagar Visnu Kovil, a fortified temple complex revered as one of the 108 abodes of Vishnu glorified by the hymns of the Alwars. At the top of the hill, is Noopura Ganga, a perennial waterfall with a temple dedicated to Rākkayi Amman. The Nûpura Ganga atop the hill is said to originated from the anklet of Tirumal or Visnu and hence the name of the spring. It is said that sitting in the madavi mandapa near the spring Ilangovadigal wrote one of the five mahakavyas in Tamil, viz., Cilappatikaram. Even today the place is very fertile with many trees and different flora and fauna, a standing testimony to the vivid description of the place’s natural beauty as found in Tirumurugattruppadai of Nakkeerar.

Though the sthala is of ancient origin, the temple as in existence today was constructed only recently. From days of yore Vel has been worshipped as the moolavar or main deity. The idol of Lord Muruga in a standing posture has a single face and four hands with Valli and Teyvayanai on both sides. The Vel made up of stone is of special significance and is worshipped with a great veneration by devotees.

TEMPLE STRUCTURE :

The sthala vriksha is a rose apple tree. The fruits of this tree ripen during Skanda Sashti festival. The temple that was in existence during Sangam period no longer existed in Arunagirinatha’s time. The recently constructed temple is considered as Pazhamutircolai and worshipped by the devotees. It is needless to say that it is one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga very extensively praised and described by Nakkeerar in Tirumurugatruppadai.

Arunagirināthar also reveres this shrine in his Tiruppukal. Arunagirinatha sang 16 Tiruppugzh psalms to Pazhamutircolai Muruga. Though one might be in possession of all types of wealth, if he wants to lead a healthy life bereft of any disease he should necessarily visit Pazhamutircolai. Arunagirinatha very emphatically says in the most unequivocal terms that Lord Muruga should come before him running to bless each and everyone with health and wealth as has been very clearly described in the Tiruppugazh psalm.

శ్రీ సుబ్రమణ్య స్వామి, తిరుత్తని


Tiruttani constitutes one of the 6-padai veedu shrines of Skanda (Lord Subramanya), and it represents the site where Subramanya stayed after destroying the demon Surapadman. Tiruttani is said to be the place where the Lord Subramanya married Valli - one of his two consorts. This sacred place is on the Chennai-Mumbai route, 13 kilometers from Arkonam and 84 kilometers from Chennai. The beautiful temple of Lord Muruga at Tiruttani crowns a single rock 700 feet above sea level. It is situated amidst a range of hills with a dramatic panoramic view. The hill temple (the hill is called Tanikai hill) here is reached by a motorable road, and is also accessed through a flight of 365 steps. It has 4 Prakarams and a series of towers. There is a shrine to Aabat Sahaaya Vinayakar who is said to have come to the aid of Skanda in winning Valli's hand in marriage. The processional image of Skanda is housed in a Rudraksha Vimanam with his consorts. The "Shadkona Padakkam" or the hexagonal medallion adorning the image of Skanda is decorated with green stones and is of great beauty. Also of significance here is a golden Vilva garland.

SPECIALITIES OF TIRUTTANI
Saravana Poikai:
The sacred tanks of the shrines of the Lord are all known as "Saravanapoikai" (sacred pond of the reedy marsh where Lord Kartikeya was born). The tank at Tiruttani, which (unlike in other places) is at the very foot of the hill, is particularly renowned for its sacred water (Teertham) having curative effect for ailments both bodily and mental, as it is rich in minerals such as sulfur, iron, etc. A bath in this holy tank refreshes the devotee and makes him hale and healthy.



Sapta Rishi Teertham:
At the lovely garden on the south side of this sacred hill amidst a thick cluster of shady trees and seven cool sprints, the Seven Rishis (who today form the Great Bear stellar constellation) are said to have worshipped Lord Muruga (Lord Subramanya) and the Sapta Kannikas (Seven Virgins) enshrined at this place in a tiny temple. On the outskirts of the Tiruttani town, on both sides of the Nandi River, are the ancient temples of Lord Vijayaragama Swami, Arumuga Swami and Veerateeswarar, the latter two of which are more than a thousand years old. In the temple of Arumuga Swami, there is Surya puja every year for three days in March when the rising sun is said to worship Lord Subramanya by casting its rays upon the holy Feet of the deity on the first day, Breast on the second day and Head on the third day through a hole in the wall, which reveals the marvelous intellect of the architects of ancient days.



History Of The Temple:
The origins of this temple are buried in antiquity. Nakkeerar has mentioned Tiruttani in the Sangam period work Tirumurugaatruppadai composed. The Vijayanagar rulers and local chieftains and Zamindars have patronized it.

Legends Connected With The Temple:
Legend has it that Subramanya married Valli who hailed from the Vallimalai hills nearby. The same legend is associated with Velimalai in Kanyakumari district. Legend also has it that Indra the king of the Gods gave his daughter Deivayanai in marriage to Skanda, and along with her presented his elephant Airavatam as part of his dowry offering. Upon Airavatam's departure Indra found his wealth waning. Subramanya is said to have offered to return the white elephant, however Indra bound by protocol refused to accept a gift that he had made, and insisted that the elephant face his direction, hence the image of the elephant in this temple also faces the east. Another legend has it that Indra presented a sandal stone as a part of his daughter's dowry. The sandal paste made on this stone is applied to the image of Subramanya and the applied paste is said to acquire medicinal value. Legend also has it that Skanda bore the discus thrown by the demon Tarakasuran on his chest, and hence there is a hollow in the chest region of the image of Subramanya in this temple. Legend also has it that Skanda gifted the discus to Vishnu. Legend also has it that Skanda imparted knowledge of Tamil to the sage Agasthyar and he is regarded as Veeramurthy, Gnanamurthy and Acharyamurthy in this shrine.

Puranic Importance of Tiruttani:
Of Lord Murugan's six padai veedus, Tiruttani ranks prominent as the crown jewel of the Lord. As its very name indicates, when we propitiate the Lord in this holy shrine, He blesses us with mental peace and bodily happiness. His righteous indignation towards the Asuras for their cruelty is said to have been quelled and cooled at this place and is therefore known as "Shantipuri" (Abode of Peace). As the prayers and desires of the devotees who worship Lord Subramanya on this hill with faith and intense devotion are fulfilled in no time, this hill is also called "Chanikasalam". When the Lord came to this hill after wedding Goddess Valli at Vallimalai, She implored Him to enlighten Her on the importance and greatness of this hill. In reply, the Lord said that if one worshipped Him with heart and soul for five consecutive days in this hill temple, that person would be blessed with all that is best in this life and hereafter. In Treta Yuga, Lord Rama, after putting an end to Ravana, worshipped Lord Shiva at Rameshwaram, at whose request Rama came to Tiruttani and found perfect peace of mind by worshipping Lord Subrahmanya here. In Dwapara Yuga, Arjuna got the blessings of the Lord here by offering prayers to Him on his way to the South for Teertha Yatra (pilgrimage to take sacred immersion). Lord Vishnu prayed to the Lord at this place and got back His powerful Chakra (sacred wheel), Shanku (sacred conch), which were forcibly seized from Him by Tarakasura, brother of Soorapadma. Lord Brahma propitiated the Lord here at the holy spring (by the sides of the steps to the shrine) known as "Brahmasonai" after his imprisonment by the Lord for his failure to explain the Pranava ('Om' mantra) and got back his creative function of which he was deprived by the Lord due to his egotistic impudence in neglecting to worship Lord Subrahmanya on his way to Mount Kailasa to worship Lord Shiva. Lord Indra planted and reared in the pool known as "Indrasonai" adjoining this hill temple the rare plant known as "Karunkuvalai", which gave three flowers a day and worshipped the Lord thrice daily with these flowers and, thus, got back the precious wealth of Deva Loka such as Sanghaneeti, Padmaneeti, Chintamani etc seized by the Asura Titan.

Literary Importance of Tiruttani:
Apart from the puranic greatness of Tiruttani, Saint Arunagirinathar, the illustrious devotee of Lord Muruga who lived 600 years ago, praised this hill as the chosen place for worship by devas and the favorite abode of saints performing prolonged tapas (austerities). He also compared this hill to Shivaloka (Bhuloka) and as the very soul of the world. Saint Ramalinga Swamigal (Arutprakasa Vallalar), who lived 150 years ago, was invited to come here by the Lord, Who appeared before the saint in the mirror of his puja room at Chennai after which the sour-stirring arutpa songs flowed from his lips in chaste Tamil like a torrential stream. Sri Muttuswami Deekshitar, who lived 200 years ago (one of the trinity of Karnatic music) had his inspiration in Tiruttani when the Lord (in the guise of an old man) met him on the steps and sweetened his tongue with the prasadam of this temple, which impelled him to sing his first song on the Lord. Many a miraculous event takes place at this shrine from time to time by the grace of the Lord.

Festival Celebrated:
Four worship services are offered each day here. Besides the monthly Krittikais, which attract a large number of devotees to this shrine, the two outstanding annual festivals are the Aadi Krittikai and the 31st of December New Year Step Festival. Other festivals celebrated are the Bhramotsavam in the month of Maasi, during which Valli Kalyanam is celebrated on the 8th day, and the Skanda Sashti is celebrated in the Tamil month of Aippasi. The gold and silver peacock Vahanams (also spelt as Vahanas) are of great beauty here.

Aadi Krittikai:
Aadi Krittikai festival (in July-August) lasts for three days with Float Festival when lakhs and lakhs of devotees come to this holy place from far and near. The streets are thronged to the full. About one lakh and fifty thousand flower Kavadis (which increase with each year) are offered to the deity. The sight of the devotees who carry them, uttering the sacred and inspiring "Haro Hara!" (Hallelujah) as they march and dance in long row touches the very core of our hearts and makes us spellbound. One should see it to believe it.

December 31st Step Festival:
When the old (Gregorian) year is rung out and the New Year sets in (i.e. at the stroke of midnight on December 31st each year), lakhs of devotees are present on the sacred Tanikai hill to have the Darshan of there Lord. They come to Tiruttani to offer their heart-felt prayers to the Lord on that day and night to be blessed with peace and plenty during the New Year.

Nearby Attractions:
Around Tiruttani is famous religious places such as Kanchipuram (Banares of the South) on the South, Sholingar and Vallimalai on the West, the popular and renowned pilgrimage center, Tirupati (otherwise called Balaji) and Kalahasti (with its Vayu Lingam) on the North and Tiruvalangadu (of puranic fame) with Lord Nataraja on the East.

HOW TO GET THERE:
Tiruttani temple is located on Chennai – Mumbai Railway route. It is about 13 Kms North from Arokkanam Railway Junction; 43 Kms North from Kancheepuram and 84 Kms West from Chennai (Via Thiruvallur). Tirupathi is about 66 Kms, North from Tiruttani. Convenient and good transport facilities by road and rail are available from Tiruttani to all parts of the nation.

శ్రీ సుబ్రమణ్య స్వామి, పాలని

Lord Muruga is the deity of the Tamil Land. The temple at Palani is an ancient one, situated at an elevation of 1500 feet above sea level. The deity of Palani Murugan is known as Dandayudhapani Swami, the Lord having the Staff in his Hand.

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.


HISTORY OF THE TEMPLE

There is a legend how Lord Murugan came to this sacred spot. Narada Muni, a sage, brought a golden mango to the divine court of Lord Siva when Lord Siva was seated with his consort Parvati and His children Lord Vinayakar and Lord Subrahmanya. Narada gave the fruit to Lord Siva and implored Him to eat since it was a rare, miraculous Jñanapalam, the fruit of wisdom. As a loving husband, Lord Siva gave it to Parvati and requested her to eat. As a loving mother, she wanted to give the fruit to her children. As there was only one fruit and it should not be cut, they announced a contest and said that the winner would be given the fruit. Whoever completes one round of the globe first will be given the fruit.

Lord Subrahmanya mounted His peacock to go around the world. Lord Vinayakar circumambulated around His parents, symbolising the world, and got the fruit. On return, Lord Subrahmanya found that He was cheated. In anger, He renounced His family and came to this spot to settle forever. Lord Siva and Parvati came to pacify Him. They said, “Pazham Nee” (’You are the Fruit’). Hence the name Palani is a popular syncopation of the two words mentioned.

Kavadi :

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.

Kings Contribution :

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 Cheran 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 Murugan.

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.

Lord Muruga Names :

The presiding deity, Lord Dandayudhapani Swami, is the son of Lord Siva and son-in-law of Vishnu. He has other names such as Kulandaivelan, Balasubrahmanyan, Shanmukhan, Devasenapati, Swaminathan, Vallimanalan, Devayanaimanalan, Palaniandavar, Kuriñjiandavar, Arumugan, Jñana Pandita, Saravanan, Sevar Kodiyon, etc.

Golden Chariot :

The Golden Chariot Festival (A very famous occasion in which golden image of the Lord goes around the temple in Gold Plated Chariot)

The Golden Chariot goes round the praharam on the top of the hill in a ceremonious procession along with nadaswaram, Tiruppukazh music and other temple paraphenalia at 7 pm on all Karttikai days and as per the request of the devotees. The illuminated Golden Car is a veritable fairyland.

Festivals :

Panguniuttiram, Thai Pucam, Kanda Sasthi, Agni Nakshatram are the major festivals. Vaikasi Vishakam, Tirukkarttikai and other festivals are also celebrated

DAILY WORSHIP :

Seven worship services are carried out each day here.

Viswaroopa darisanam :

The day commences with the Viswaroopa darisanam in the morning. The concluding worship service involves a procession of the deity in a golden palanquin in the temple and the palliyarai sevai.

Panguni Uttram :

Panguni Uttram is celebrated for 10 days as the annual Bhramotsavam. This festival is celebrated only at Tiruvavinankudi in the foothills to Muthukumarar the festival deity here.The There Thiruvizha is held on the last day of this festival. Offerings of Kaveri water brought from Kodumudi by thousands of devotees in kavadis are made to the deity.

Agni Nakshathram :

Agni Nakshathram is celebrated in the month of Chittirai and Vaikaasi.During this time, thousands of pilgrims circumambulate the hill.

Vaikaasi Visaakam :

Vaikaasi Visaakam is celebrated for 10 days.

Skanda sashti :

Skanda sashti is celebrated for 7 days. Soorasamharam is enacted on the last day of this festival in which both Chinna Kumarar the festival image of the hill temple and Muthukumaraswami of Thiruvavinankudu participate.

Kaartikai Deepam :

Kaartikai Deepam is celebrated for 10 days. In addition Kaartikai asterism in each month is celebrated with a procession of a golden chariot in the hill temple.

Poosam :

Thai poosam is celebrated for 10 days here in the month of Thai.

Palani Murugan Pujas :

There are six pujas every day. At 5 am the Lord gives Visvarupa Darshana. The first puja is Vizhapuja at 7:15 am followed by Kala sandhi at 8am, Uchikalam at 12 noon, Sayaraksha at 6 pm and Rakkalam at 8 pm.

Giri valam:

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.

Tonsure ceremony is a special feature of Palani. Many devotees of all ages perform tonsure ceremony at Palani.

DEVASTHANAM:

The Devasthanam has constructed pilgrims’ rest houses, single, double, deluxe and air-conditioned rooms as well as cottages. Reasonable rates are collected from the devotees.

Annadanam:

Giving annadanam at the hill temple at 12:30 pm is a useful scheme for the benefit of the devotees. If a donor deposits Rs 25,000, the interest of it will be utilised for annadanam on a particular day as per the request of the donor
Palani Dandayudhapani Swami Devasthanam has the honour of being the temple of highest income in Tamil Nadu and second only in all India after Tirupati.

TRANSPORTATION :

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 journey from any of the nearest airports: Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchy.

The nearest tourist information office is at Madurai. Information is also available from the office of the Devasthanam Information Centre at the Palani bus stand.

Two winch rope cars operated electrically come in as great relief to those ailing and aged, who may not be able to climb the traditional route of 697 steps.

Tamils, Keralites, Bengalis, Sri Lankans, Malaysians, Fijians, Africans, Australians and Americans to name a few come here to worship Lord Muruga. Thus, Murugan worship cuts across provincial boundaries and national frontiers.

Temple contact's:

The Joint Commissioner/Executive Officer
Arulmigu Dandayudhapani Swami Devasthanam Office
Adivaram Palani - 624 601 India
Tel. (91) 04545-41417 or 42236
Fax: (91) 04545-41417


శ్రీ సుబ్రమణ్య స్వామి, స్వామిమలై


Swamimalai is a sylvan village, situated about five kilometers west of Kumbakonam on the banks of a tributary of river Cauvery. The temple is situated very close to the bus stand and the railway station is about two kilometers away. It is well connected to and surrounded by important places like Kumbakonam, Tiruvidaimarutur, Mayiladuthurai, Papanasam, Tanjavur etc.

HISTORY OF TEMPLE :
Mythology and History Swamimalai is fourth among the six padai veedu or sacred shrines dedicated to Lord Muruga. The presiding deity here expounded the meaning of the Pranava mantra OM to his own Father Lord Siva Himself. Mythology says that saint Bhrugu before commencing an arduous tavam or penance, got the boon that anybody disturbing his mediation will forget all his knowledge. Such was the power of the penance that the sacred fire emanating from the head of the saint reached up to the heavens, and the frightened devas surrendered to Lord Siva praying for his grace. The Lord extinguished the sacred fire by covering the saint’s head by hand. With the saint’s penance thus disturbed the Lord became oblivious of all his knowledge and is said to have regained them by learning the Pranava mantra from Lord Muruga at this shrine.



Once when Brahma, the lord of all creations was proceeding to Kailasa, the ever-playful child Lord Muruga asked him for the meaning of the Pranava OM. When Brahma admitted his ignorance, the Lord imprisoned him. With Brahma imprisoned, all creations came to a standstill and the devas prayed to Lord Siva to get Brahma released. When Muruga insisted that the imprisonment was a just punishment for the ignorance of Brahma, Lord Siva asked him whether he himself knew the meaning of the primordial Pranava OM. Lord Muruga said that he knew the meaning of OM and can expound it to the latter only if he can accept him as guru and listen to the exposition as a devoted disciple. As Lord Siva acceded to the request of Lord Muruga and heard the exposition of OM as a disciple, the place came to be known as Swamimalai and the presiding deity as Swaminathan.

The temple is built on an artificial hillock of about sixty feet height with sixty beautifully laid stone steps representing the Hindu cycle of sixty years – leading to the Lord . In the ground floor there are temples dedicated to Lord Sundareswarer and Goddesss Meenakshi. Hymns in praise of the presiding deity have been sung by saint Nakkeerar in Tirumurukatrupadaiand by Saint Arunagirnathar in Tiruppukazh. Pujas and Festivals Daily pujas to the deities are performed six times a day (six kalams). Usha Kalam, KalasandhiUchikala poojas are performed in the forenoon and the afternoon poojas commencing from Sayaratchai and Rendam kalam are concluded with Arthajama pooja in the night. and The important festivals conducted in the temple are:

SWAMIMALAI MURUGAN FESTIVAL :
Monthly Kirutikai festival; Temple Car festival in April; Visakam festival in May; Navaratri festival in May; Skanda Shashti festival in October; Tiru Karthikai festival in Nov/December; Taippūcam festival in January; and Pankuni Uttiram festival in March.

GOLDEN CHARIOT THE TEMPLE :
Golden Chariot The temple has an imposing golden chariot made of seven kilos of gold, 85 kilos of silver and other metals like copper, beautifully illuminated with electric bulbs. Devotees on payment of Rs. 1001 can take the deity in a procession in the golden charriot around the outer corridor. Devotees are offered a shawl, eversilver pot and a small box with the Lord’s prasadam. Facilities For the convenience of the pilgrims and devotees, 11 rooms, four cottages, two VIP cottages, one donor cottages, three marriage halls and one dining hall have been constructed and are let out at nominal rent ranging from Rs. 20/- to Rs. 100/- per day only. Sub-temples Among the sub-temples under the administration of the Swamimalai temple, the Sveta Vinayagar temple at Tiruvalanchuli is an important one.

The presiding deity Lord Sadaimudinathar and Goddess Perianayaki have been sung by Tirugnanasambandar and Tirunavukkarasar in Tevaram. A unique feature of this temple is the Sveta Vinayagar or White Pillaiyar made of the sea foam formed at the time of churning of the Milky Ocean by the devas and asuras to get the nectar. The sacred Cauvery River flowing nearby herself has turned around in a right semicircle around this shrine and hence the name Valanchuli or right twist. Renovation of this temple at a cost of Rs. 50 Lakhs is progressing. Another architecturally beautiful temple at Kilpazhayarai dedicated to Lord Somanathaswami is also under renovtion. It is worth mentioning that this shring is the birthplace of Saint Managaiyarkarasi, one among the 63 Nayanmars. Hymns in praise of the presiding deity have been sung by Tirunavukkarasar.

Facilities
For the convenience of the pilgrims and devotees, 11 rooms, four cottages, two VIP cottages, one donor cottages, three marriage halls and one dining hall have been constructed and are let out at nominal rent ranging from Rs. 20/- to Rs. 100/- per day only.

How to Reach Swamimalai Temple:
By Air:
Trichy international airport 58 km away from Thanjavur is the nearest airport. Trichy is connected to Chennai by regular flights. Chennai (345 km) and Bangalore (390 km) are other major airports nearby. These airports are well connected with most of the cities in India and many cities abroad. Taxis are available and cost is about Rs 1000 from Trichy railway station to Thanjavur.

By Train:
Trichy Junction is the nearest rail head, which is at a distance of 58 km Thanjavur. Tiruchy Junction is an important railway station in Trivandrum – Chennai route via Madurai. Regular train facilities are there from Tiruchy to Madurai and Chennai.

By Road:
Tamil Nadu road transport corporation buses connect Thanjavur with other major cities in the state. Regular bus services are available from Tiruchy and Madurai to Thanjavur. It is well linked with other cities by private tourist buses as well. It is connected to Trivandrum, Kanyakumari, Madurai, Chennai and Bangalore.

శ్రీ సుబ్రమణ్య స్వామి , తిరుచెందూర్


Thiruchendur Murugan Temple or Tiruchendur Senthilandavan Koil is one of the most famous Lord Muruga Temples in Tamil Nadu, situated at Thiruchendur, 55 km south east of Tirunelveli, in Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) district, Tamilnadu. Also known as Sri Senthil Andavar Temple and Thiruchendur is said to be second among his six abodes (Arupadaiveedu). The other five Muruga temples in the Aarupadai Veedu are Palani Temple, Swamimalai Temple, Thiruthani Murugan Temple, Pazhamudircholai Muruga Temple, and Thiruparamkunram Temple. Lord Subramanya deity is worshipped at Thiruchendur temple as Senthilandavan, Senthilkumaran. Situated near the sea, Thiruchendur Muruga Temple, sometimes referred as Tiruchendur Seashore Temple, is splashed by the waves from the Gulf of Mannar at its eastern perimeter wall.


Temple Structure
Built about 300 years ago by Thesigamoorthy Swamigal of Thiruvaduthurai Adeenam, this Subrahmanya Swami Devasthanam is located near Vira Magendragiri Hills. Usually, the Raja Gopuram is seen in the eastern side of the temples in Tamilnadu. But in Arulmigu Subramaniaswamy Temple, Tiruchendur, it is seen in the western side. Western tower called as Mela Gopuram is 130 ft high and has nine storeys with nine Kalasams at the top of the Gopuram, representing the 9 tiers. The main entrance to the temple is facing south. The Shanmugha Vilasa Mandapam is in the front of the main temple.



Siddhi Vinayaga Peruman, 108 Mahadevars and Lord Ranganathar
A small temple for Lord Vinayaga called Tundugai Vinayagar Temple is located near the Murugan temple. It is the usual practice of the devotees to first worship this Vinayagar and then Lord Murugan. There are three prakarams (corridors which surround the sanctum sanctorum) in the temple. Siddhi Vinayaga Peruman Temple is found in the first prakaram. Moving towards west one can see 108 SivaLingas which are called 108 Mahadevars. There is also a shrine dedicated to the author of Tiruppugazh, Arunagirinathar. On turning to north, a tall sized Vallapa Vinayagar facing west is seen. Going to the north end, on the east is the Perumal Sannidhi. There is also a Santhanasala rock where devotees can worship Lord Ranganathar in a lying posture and Goddess Gajalakshmi (one of the 8 forms of Goddess Lakshmi) by his side. The copper Kodi Maram (Holy Flag mast) and Kalyana Vinayagar shrine are found at the southern side.



Second Prakaram
Vira Marthandar and Virakesari idols are seen at the entrance of second prakaram on both sides. The Kumaravidanga Peruman deity faces east at the entrance. Moving towards the west is the Lord Dakshina Murti temple and southwest corner is the sannidhi of Goddess Valliammai. The divine bedroom called Palli arai is found in that sannidhi. The Yaga Salai Mandapam is next to it where Yaga Pujas are done during the Skanda Shasti Festival. Lord Balasubramanian, a replica of Lord Murugan of the sanctum sanctorum, is seen facing the Yaga Salai.

Goddess Deivanai Sannidhi
In the northwest corner there is a sannidhi for Goddess Deivanai. Other shrines found in this prakaram are Lord Sankara Narayanar, Lord Kasi Viswanathar, Vadhapuriswarar, Vedhapuriswarar, Ekambara Nathar, Mayuranathar who is facing north and Lord Chandeswarar facing south. There are also sannidhis for Lord Nataraja and Lord Baihravar. Lord Saneeswara is found facing south. Golden Kodi Maram is seen on the south.

Maha Mandabam
On coming to the inner chamber (Maha Mandabam), the statues of Parvathi Devi and Kariya Manickavinayagar are found facing east. Lord Virabahu and Vira Mahendrar are found at the entrance of sanctum sanctorum on both sides. It is said that after defeating the demon, Soorapadma, Lord Murugan worshipped the Pancha Lingas (Five Sivalingas) with flowers at this spot and looked at the Devas.

Lord Muruga is seen in this divine posture in the sanctum sanctorum. He is carved in black granite. The Pancha Lingas that Lord Muruga worshipped are seen behind him. On moving towards east is Lord Jayanti Nathar and the Shanmugar is seen facing south.

Temple Timings and Daily Poojas
Thiruchendur Murugan Temple is opened for pilgrims from 5:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 5.15 pm to 9.00 pm. Nine Kalams of pooja are performed daily to the deity.

Offerings
Devotees endure severe fast and take Kavadi, Palkudam and offer Abishekam to fulfill their vows. Besides, Golden Chariot procession, Chandana Labanam, Dharabhishegam and Dharahomam are also performed by the worshippers.

Temple Festivals
Vaikasi Visagam (May - June), Avani festival (August – September), Skanda Sasti Festival - 7 days (October - November) and Masi festival – 12 days (February – March) are the important festival celebrated at Thiruchendur Murugan Temple. Of these, Skanda Sashti is celebrated in a large scale with a unique ritual called Soorasamharam.

Thiruchendur Muruga Temple History
Soorapadma, a powerful demon, was harassing Devas and mankind. The helpless Devas pleased Lord Shiva to relieve them from the demon. As a result, Lord Shiva produced six powerful sparks of fire from His third eye called Netrikkan. This was carried by Lord Vayu (God of Air) and Lord Agni (God of Fire) to river Ganges who in turn took to Saravana Poygai, a holy pond. These sparks became six divine small male babies who were nursed by six Karthigai pengal. Goddess Parvati hugged the kids and made them into a single child with six faces and twelve hands (the reason why Lord Murugan is also called Arumugan). Nine shaktis appeared from Goddess Parvati’s anklets from where Veerabahu and lakhs of soldiers emerged. They became the warriors of Lord Murugan. Lord Shiva granted Lord Murugan a vel (spear) called Vetrivel and also gifted him with eleven Rudras which were changed into eleven arms.

Lord Murugan came to Thiruchendur with group and pursued war against Soorapadman which lasted for ten days. On defeating the demon, the Lord converted Soorapadma into a peacock and a cock. The peacock or Mayil became the vehicle of Lord Murugan and therefore He is also called Mayilvahanan. Seval or cock adorned his flag. As a result of the victory, Lord Brahaspati, Lord Indra, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and all the Devas worshipped him nine times (Nava Kala Pooja). Lord Murugan in turn worshipped Lord Shiva in the form Sivalinga.

Tiruchendur is also known by different names such as Thirubhuvana Maadevi, Thirucheeralaivai, Chathurvedi Mangalam, and Jayanthipuram.

Accommodations :
The Devasthanam maintains a large number of rooms and cottages for the convenience of pilgrims who wish to put up close by to Sri Subrahmanya Swami Tirukkovil in order to have darshan and fulfill their vows. Most rooms and cottages are family-sized.

All rooms and cottages provide basic facilities, viz. electricity and running water only. Cottages also offer limited parking facility. During festival times these accommodations tend to fill up quickly, so the pilgrims are advised to book in advance.

For reservations of these rooms, contact the Devasthanam Information Centre. For further details call (04639) 442271.

How to reach Thiruchendur Murugan Temple
By Road
Arulmigu Subramaniaswamy Temple, Thiruchendur is located about 60 km from Tirunelveli (Thirunelveli), 40 km from Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) and 80 km from Kanyakumari. Tiruchendur Bus Station, operated by Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC), is the nearest main bus station and is well connected to other major cities & towns including Chennai, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Trivandrum and Kanyakumari.

Railway Station
Thiruchendur has its own railhead Tiruchendur Railway Station managed by the Southern Railways. Tiruchendur Chennai Egmore Weekly Express and Tirunelveli - Tiruchendur Passenger passes through Thiruchendur Railway Station.

Airport
Tuticorin Airport, located 10 km from Thoothukudi (Tuticorin), is the nearest airport. Trivandrum International Airport, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala is the nearest international airport.

Temple Contact's:
The Joint Commissioner / Executive Officer
Arulmigu Subrahmanya Swami Temple
Tiruchendur - 628 215 Tamil Nadu INDIA
Phone: (+91) 04639-242221, 04639-242270, 04639-242271

శ్రీ సుబ్రమణ్య స్వామి , తిరుప్పరంకుండ్రం



Tirupparankundram, a hill five miles southwest of Madurai, is the fourth pilgrimage site of Muruga. A cave temple dedicated to the element of earth and mentioned in various classical Tamil texts as the 'Southern Himalaya' where the gods assemble, Tirupparankunram is also mentioned in legend as 'the place where the sun and moon abide'. Murugan was married to Devasena upon the hill and for many centuries the Tamil people have considered it the most auspicious place for their own marriages, especially during the time of the Pankuni Uttiram, the festival of marriage held in late March. Besides the fantastic temple to Murugan on the hill, there is also a Muslim shrine dedicated to 'Sekunder' (al-Sikandar or Alexander the Great) who is associated with Murukan by the Muslim pilgrims. "Sikandar was a friend of Murugan at the time when Murugan was King here," they say.

Tirupparankundram is situated three miles southeast of Madurai on the main railway line. It is one of the Aru Padai Veedugal or six sacred places selected by Lord Subrahmanya for his abode. The importance of this temple is that here was celebrated the marriage of Lord Subrahmanya with the daughter of Indra, Devayanai.

Long, long ago, when Lord Subrahmanya was staying at Kanda Verpu, the two daughters of Lord Maha Vishnu, Amrita Valli and Sundara Valli, cherished the desire of becoming the consorts of Subrahmanya. With this aim in mind they both went to Saravana Poigai and commenced austere penance to fulfil their desires.

Pleased with their prayer and worship, Lord Subrahmanya appeared before them and told Amrita Valli, "You will be brought up by Indra as his daughter and I shall marry you in due course." Her younger sister Sundara Valli was also graced with a similar blessing. She was born to sage Sivamuni and brought up by Nambi, the headman of Veddas.

Amrita Valli took the form of a female child and went to Mount Meru, the abode of Indra, and told him, "I am the daughter of Maha Vishnu and the responsibility of looking after me has been entrusted to you." On hearing this, Indra became very happy and directed Airavatam, his white elephant, to take care of the child.

The elephant with all love brought her up and affection and she attained the age of marriage in course of time. Hence she came to be known as Devayanai, one who was brought up by the heavenly elephant of Indra (yānai in Tamil means elephant).

The six sons of sage Parasara were cursed to become fishes in the Saravana Poigai. On request for redemption, these six boys were ordered to pray to Lord Subrahmanya.

When they got his darshan, they could get redemption. It was also made known to them that Lord Subrahmanya would come to Tirupparankunram after vanquishing the demon Surapadma. Anxiously they waited for the arrival of Subrahmanya.

When the mission of Subrahmanva to vanquish Surapadma was over at Tiruchendur, on his way, he came to this spot followed by all the devas and heavenly beings whom he had released from the untold miseries caused by Surapadma.

On his arrival at Tirupparankunram, the sons of Parasara received Subrahmanya and, at their request, he consented to stay there. He at once ordered Viswakarma to construct a beautiful abode for himself, for the devas and for others.

He also suggested to the heavenly architect to build roads and erect a city around them. Indra, the king of the angels, desired to get his daughter Devayanai married to Subrahmanya, as a mark of his gratitude for relieving him and the devas from the depredations of the demon Surapadma.

He expressed his desire to Brahma and Vishnu who were present there. They were only too glad to hear the proposal. When they communicated the desire of Indra to Lord Subrahmanya he readily agreed to it and said: "Devayanai has been praying at Saravana Poigai in the Himalayas for this happy marriage. Now the time has come for its being solemnised." As Subrahmanya agreed to this marriage, Indra sent a messenger to bring his wife Indrani and daughter Devayanai from Mout Meru.

The marriage took place at Tirupparankunram, after the victory of Subrahmanya over Surapadma. All arrangements for marriage were made and the marriage was performed at the Tirupparankunram Temple. All the devas, Siva and Parvati attended the marriage and blessed Subrahmanya and Devayanai. Since then, the temple has become a very famous abode of Subrahmanya.



HISTORY OF THE TEMPLE :
Tiruparankundram temple is the sixth century rock-cut temple, which is dedicated to Lord Subramanya. It is one of the six abodes(Arupadai Veedu) of the Lord.Here, Subramanya married Deivayanai, the daughter of Indra, after the victory over Surapadman. Subramanya with his consort is said to have worshipped His parents Lord Parangirinathar and Avudainayaki at this shrine. The main shrine is an early cave temple situated at a height of 1050 feet.



A famous Islamic Durgah (Shrine) is located at the top of the hill, where the grave of an Islamic saint Hazrat Sulthan Sikandhar Badushah, who came from Jeddah during the mid 9th century, is found. Irrespective of religion people from all parts of Tamil Nadu and from Kerala visit this durgah \u2014 particularly, people who visit Ervadi Durgah in Ramnad district are supposed to visit this durgah. Many poems were written in praise of Hazrat Sultan Sikandhar Badhusha, by Syed Abdussalam Ibrahim Saalim Hazrat, the third in the list of Madurai Hazrats. It is believed that people who come here with a wish see it answered in a very short time, and so he is also called Mustajab ad Du\u2019aa Sikandhar Badhushah.

DIVINESS OF THE TEMPLE:
At the entrance to this shrine, there are 48 pillars with artistic carvings. A seven tier gopuram above the Kalyana Mandapam is sculpturally beautiful. In the sanctum, there are five cells, each enshrining a deity. In the central shrines, we worship Murga, Durga and Vinayaka. Brahma, Indra, Surya and Chandra are depicted above these images. In the two cells facing each other, there are images of Vishnu with Sridevi and Bhoodevi and a Lingam respectively.



At the top of the hill, there is a shrine dedicated to Kasi Viswanatha. An image of Nakkeerar, the Tamil poet, is seen here standing in reverence. Antiquity of this temple has been sung even in the Sangam Literature dating back to 200 BC. Tamil Bhrami inscriptions in the temple also date back to this period. The current structure dates back to the Pandya kings of the 8th century AD. The Saivite Saint poets Sundarar and Sambandar have sung the glories of this temple and so has Arunagirinathar.

AUSPICIOUS DAYS :
Daily poojas are performed, Thai Poosam(January-February),Panguni Uthiram(April-May),Skanda Shashti & Karthigai(November-December) are very famous festivals in this temple.

HOW TO GET THERE
Air: The nearest airport is at Madurai.
Rail: The nearest railway station is at Madurai, which is an important railway junction on southern railways.
Road: Tourists can access Thiruparankunram from Madurai, which is well served by Tamil Nadu government and private bus operators.

WHERE TO STAY
Accommodation is available at the star and economy class hotels, lodges, hostels, devasthanam cottages and choultries in Madurai.

శ్రీ సుబ్రమణ్య స్వామి దేవాలయాలు (Six holy abodes of murgan/Aru padai veedu)



Aru padai veedu or Aarupadai veedu or Arupadaiveedu - all these terms refer to the six sacred temples of Hindu God Lord Karthikeya - also known as Lord Muruga, Shanmuga, Guhan, Skanda, Subramanya and Kumara.

All these temples are located in South India - in the state of Tamil Nadu. Though there are thousands of temples for the Hindu god Lord Muruga - around the globe, these six specific temples enjoy unparalled sanctity and populaity among the devotees of Muruga or Balasubramanya - and deserve a very special mention.

These six temples that constitute the Arupadai veedu group of shrines are :

1. Thiruparamkunram Subramanya Swami Temple
2. Tiruchendur Sendhil Andavar Temple
3. Swamimalai Swaminatha Swami Temple
4. Palani Dandayudhapani Swamy Temple
5. Tiruthani Subramanya Swamy Temple and
6. Palamudhircholai Subramanya Swamy Temple

The origins of these temples go back by more than 2000 years. We find references to these temples in many of the ancient tamil language literatures like Silapathikaram.

These six places are considered to be the battle camps of Lord Muruga (Skandha). The term padai veedu - in Tamil- means Battle camp. Aru padai veedu means six battle camps. The six places are believed to be six different battle camps of Lord Muruga. We find that interesting legends and puranas are associated with each of these temples of Kumara (Lord Muruga).

Ancient tamil work Thirumurugatupadai - sung by tamil saint poet Nakkerar in 1st century AD, hails each of these six places with prominance and importance. The poems also reveal that all of these temples were well established even during the sangam age (1st to 3rd century AD) - which only pushes the origins of these temples to periods before christ (BC).

Legend associated with Thirumurugatruppadai
Legend has it that Nakkerar, a famous tamil poet in the Pandiya empire was imprisoned by a ghost in Thiruparamkundram, a mountanous region near Madurai in tamilnadu. Nakeerar, who was an ardent devotee of Lord Karthikeya, sang the songs in Thirumurugatrupadai - in praise of the Lord - while in prison. As he completed his poetry, the Lord appeared, demolished the Ghost and blessed Nakkerar.

Legend associated with arupadaiveedu temples
Almost all important events in the life of Lord Muruga or arumuga, are supposed to have take place in these six places.
In Thiruparamkundram, the Lord wedded Deivayani or Devasena, daughter of Indra
In Thiruchendur, the Lord killed Soorapadhman, a daemon king of asuras
In Pazhani, the Lord renounced the world, and set himself apart from the family
In Swamimalai, Lord Kumara became a Guru to his own father, Lord shiva
In Thiruthani, the Lord wedded Valli, daughter of a forest king
In Pazhamudircholai, the Lord blessed avvaiyar, another famous tamil poet.

Apart from nakeerar, many other devotees of Lord Muruga - from time to time, in different centuries - visited these temples and sung in praise of the Lord of these temples.
Prominent among them are :
Arunagiri nathar - a saint poet
Avvaiyar - a female saint poet
Kumara Guruparar - a hindu saint
Vallalar - another hindu saint and
Muthuswamy Deekshidar - one of the three gurus of carnatic music.

Other famous temples
Though not mentioned in Thirumurugatrupadai, there are many other ancient and prominent places in Tamilnadu - associated with Lord Muruga or Skandha.
These include :
Marudamalai - where pambatti siddhar lived
Vayalur - where saint arunagiri nathar was blessed
Ettukudi
Enn Kann
Viralimalai
Kadirkaamam (Sri lanka)
Nallur (Sri lanka)

శ్రీ గర్బరక్షంబిగై , తిరుక్కరుగావూర్ (తంజావూర్) - Temple that blesses for babies

Thirukkarugavoor is the notary place for the ladies who prays for a child
It is evident in many cases, as succeeded after praying here for a child.

Thirukarugavur is to be found in Thanjavur district, Papanasam panchayat. Cauvery's tributary Vettar flows by, adding to the natural beauty of the place.
The temple lies 20 km east of Thanjavur and 20 km west of Kumbakonam.

A padal petra sthalam, Thirugnana Sambandar and Thirunavukarasar have sung the glory of this temple. It is being well maintained by the Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department.

Lord Shiva is known as Mullaivananathar and the goddess, Karukatha Nayagi (Sri Garbarakshambigai) in this temple.
The place was earlier known as Mullaivanam and sages Gauthamar amd Kargeyar were performing penance there. Nithuruvar and his wife Vedigai stayed in the ashram and served the sages. They told the sages that they were childless and wanted children. The two sages advised that they worship Mullaivananathar and Karukatha Nayagi to have their wish fulfilled.

After they prayed to the Lord and His consort, Vedigai became pregnant. Once when Nithuruvar was not around and Vedigai was in a swoon during to her pregnancy, sage Oordhuva Padar came to the ashram seeking alms. As Vedigai was unconscious and Nithuruvar was not there, they could not give him alms. Angered by the indifference, the sage cursed Vedigai and her foetus got aborted.

Shaken by these happenings, Vedigai appealed to the Goddess who appeared as Garbarakshambigai in front of her. She put the aborted foetus in a 'kudam' and safeguarded it till it attained its full growth. She handed over baby Nanduruvan to Vedigai.

Thrilled at the Goddess' kindness, Vedigai prayed to Her that She should stay in the same place in the form of Garbarakshambigai and help save pregnant women and foetuses. The Ambal also agreed and from that day on the place came to be known as Thirukarugavur and the Goddess as Sri Garbarakshambigai.
Since Vedigai could not breastfeed Nanduruvan, the Goddess sent Kamadhenu to feed the baby. Kamadhenu scratched the surface of the ground with its hoof and a milk tank appeared. The tank found opposite the temple is still known as ksheerakundam (milk tank).

It is believed that the childless and those who are not able to sustain a pregnancy would be blessed with a child if they prayed to the Ambal here. And for those who are already pregnant, the oil sold in the temple would act as an armour and help them have an easy delivery.

Mullaivananathar is a swayambulingam. It is made of an anthill (putru manal) and there are marks on the Lingam of a mullai (jasmine) creeper that is believed to have wrapped itself around it. Those who suffer from incurable diseases, do punugu (a kind of perfumed substance obtained from the civet cat) abhishekam to get cured

GODDESS GARBHARAKSHAMBIKA SAMETA SHRI MULLAIVANA NATHAR
Thirukarugavur is the abode of Goddess Garbharakshambika and Lord Mullaivana nathar Garbharakshambika means “The Mother Who Protects the Womb”. The name of the place itself brings out the significance of the temple. A remarkable feature of the temple which distinguishes this temple from the innumerable other shrines of our land is that the Goddess Sri Garbharakshambika not only protects the unborn child, but also blesses people who long for a child, people who have pregnancy related problems and pregnant women who come to the temple praying for an easy delivery.

The other presiding deity is Lord Mullaivana Nathar (Lord of the Jasmine Garden) and worshipping this God will cure all kinds of skin diseases. People who are afflicted with incurable diseases come to this temple.





LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE
The temple is situated in Thirukarugavur which is a small village situated in Papanasam Taluka, in Tanjore District. Tiruk- karugavur itself means -"The town where the foetus was protected".
The temple is located in a serene atmosphere along the banks of the river Vettaar, which is a branch of the sacred river Cauvery


HOW TO REACH THE TEMPLE
Thirukarugavur is in Papanasam taluka which is located on Thanjavur (Tanjore) - Kumbakonam road.
It can be reached from both Thanjavur (Tanjore)and Kumbakonam. Town buses are available from both places to take you to the temple.
Papanasam is about 20 kilometers east of Thanjavur Town and at 20 kilometers South west of Kumbakonam, so the distance is almost the same.
If you are traveling from Chennai, you have to take a train or bus to Kumbakonam and from Kumbakonam, there are buses going straight to Thirukarugavur where the temple is situated.
You can also rent a car locally for transport.




PRESIDING DIETIES
Among the numerous shrines in Tanjore District the temple at Thirukarugavur is a unique one. The presiding deities of the temple are Lord Mullaivananathar and Goddess Garbharakshambika. Lord Mullaivananathar is Lord Shiva himself and Goddess Garbharakshambika is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. Goddess Parvati is the embodiment of Shakti (Power). She has the power to give or empower and she is perhaps the most loved and undoubtedly the most giving of her love. In her we have the true celebration of Hindu womanhood.

THE TEMPLE
The Shri Garbharakshambika Sameta Shri Mullaivana Nathar temple is spread over a wide expanse with huge towering Gopurams and a beautiful water tank in front of it. The temple is surrounded by tall coconut - palms, the whole atmosphere is very calming and serene and lends the place sanctity.
Once you walk past the temple tank, you reach into the temple complex of Shri Garbharakshambika Sameta Shri Mullaivana Nathar. There is a main Raja gopuram on the east and the temple has also got an entrance on the south side.

Both the shrines of Lord Mullaivana Nathar and Goddess Garbharakshambika are situated in the outer Prakaram, which is the main Prakaram facing the east direction.

The main sanctum of this temple has the Shiva lingam and Goddess Garbharakshambika is situated to the left of the Shiva temple. It is believed that the Nandi *at this temple is in Swayambhu vigraham (Self manifested) and so is the Karpaga Vinayagar inside the temple which is also a Swayambhu (self manifested) and as such commands unique devotion from the worshippers. There is also a shrine for Lord Subramanian.
(*The sacred bull on which Lord Shiva rides)
Devotees pay their respects to the presiding deity, Shri Mullaivana nathar ( Lord Shiva) first, as is the custom that is followed in Shiva temples anywhere in TN and then to Goddess Garbharakshambika.

Garbarakshambigai Mantra
Aum Garbarakshambigaayai cha vidhmahe
Mangala dhevadhaayai cha dheemahee
thanno devi prachodhayaath

Garbarakshambika sloka for Marriage and To beget children
Aum devendhiraani namosthubyam
Dhevendhira piriya baamini
Vivaaha baakyam aarokyam
puthra laabam sadhehime
Padhim dhehi sudham dhehi
Soubaakyam dhehime subhe
Soumaangalyam subam Gnayanam
Dhehime Garbarakshake
Kaathyaayini mahaamaaye
Maha yoginya dhisvari
Nandhagoba seedham dhevam
Padhim Megurudhe Namah

Garbarakshambigai Sloka for Safe Pregnancy and Delivery of baby
Hey sangara Shamarahara PramadhaadhiNaadhari Mannaadha shaamba sasisuda
HarithiriSulin sambo sugaprasava kiruthbavame dhayaalo
HeyMaadhaviVanesa Paalayamaam Namasthe

Blessings of Garbarakshambigai for safe delivery of baby
Hamavath yuthare Paarchve shuradhaa naama yakshini
Dhasyaa Shmarana Maathrena visalyaa Garbinibavedhu

BEAUTY OF THE GODDESS
Goddess Garbharakshambika is the supreme personality of Motherhood and the sanctum sanctorum (Garba Graha) of her temple is filled with the presence of her beautiful idol of, which is about 7 feet tall and decked in beautiful kanjeevaram sarees and exquisite jewellery. She is adorned with the most beautiful flowers which are offered in abundance to the Goddess increasing her beauty. The Goddess has the most radiant smile on her face depicting positivity and a ray of hope. For the thousands who throng her abode she isn’t an idol, she is their only remaining hope.
Even a casual visitor cannot fail to be thrilled by the motherly grace and the imposing look of the Goddess here.

HISTORICAL EVIDENCE TO THE SHRINE
The Gopuram and the huge compound walls tell the story of more than a thousand years.
The Sthalapuranas* which are in Sanskrit and Tamil are preserved in manuscript forms and show the antiquity of the temple. The Sthalapurana gives a detailed account of the origin of this Kshetram and the various persons who obtained Divine Grace at this place.
(*Sthalapuranas are scriptures which usually extoll the virtues of a temple. They narrate stories of the temple's creation and spiritual history.)
There are also ancient inscriptions of the walls inside.

Inscriptions from King Raja Raja Chola's periodwho ruled between 985 and 1014 CE*. as well as those from Parantaka Chola’s period (early 10th century) are seen inside the temple. There is evidence that Beema, Garkiyar, Gouthamar and a lot of ancient kings worshipped the God in this temple.
(* CE stands for Common Era)

Appar, Sundarar and Sambandar, the three famous Nayan-mars (Saints) have celebrated the glory of the God and this temple in soul-stirring verses (pathigams*) of rare beauty and charm.

(* Pathigams are verses, poems or songs in praise of the lord and the temple)
The three Nayan-mars visited these temples along with their followers in spite of the inconveniences they faced while travelling the nook and corner of Tamilnadu in search of these temples. There are instances when God Shiva himself had directed them and shown the way to some of the temples so that the above Nayan-mars could visit these temples and compose Pathigams. These Pathigaams composed in the classical Tamil language are of immense value to the Tamil literature.




STORY OF MULLAIVANA NATHAR
Lord Shiva is mainly worshiped in the form of a Shiva linga. The shiva lingam of the presiding deity, Lord Mullaivana nathar in the main sanctum of this temple is a Swayambu (self-manifested ) Lingam,
It is one out of the 64 in the world.

In the Shiva lingam one can see even today the impression of jasmine creepers which once covered the Shiva lingam. The place must have been a jasmine garden once upon a time. Hence the Shiva at this place is called as Mullaivana Nathar (Lord of the Jasmine Garden).
Mullai (Jasmine flower) also known as Madhvi or Vasanti in Sanskrit, is the favourite flower of this deity.
The Sthala Vriksham* in this temple is the Mullai creeper (Every South Indian temple has its own tree - the sthala vriksham. The names of each temple's tree are included in the agamas, descriptive texts)

The Lingam of Lord Mullaivana Nathar is made up of ant hill mud. Therefore there is no water abhisekam for this Lord. Instead, the Lingam is merely pasted with a kind of must called "Punuhu" in tamil.

It is told that worshiping the main deity Lord Mullaivana Nathar (God Shiva) will cure all kinds of skin diseases. People who are afflicted with incurable diseases come to this temple, offer "Punuhu Chattam" to the Lord and get themselves relieved of their diseases.

Special Feature Of This Temple
The special feature of this temple is that the moon's rays falls on the Siva lingam on the full moon day in the Tamil month of Panguni (March/April) every year. This is a divine sight to see.

STORY OF GARBHARAKSHAMBIKA
Here is the story of Goddess Garbharakshambika (an incarnation of Goddess Parvati) and why she is known as the protector of the womb.

Once there lived a Rishi called Nidhruva who lived with his beautiful wife Vedhika in an Ashram. He spent his life praying to the lord and performing holy rites.

They were very happy, except that they didn’t have a child, so they prayed fervently to the lord to be blessed with a child.

After many prayers Vedhika became pregnant. Everything was going on well and the couple were eagerly expecting their first born child.

One day Nidhruva left to visit Lord Varuna by travelling through the skies. The rishis in those days had many powers. Vedhika was in the third trimester of her pregnancy, When he was gone, Sage Urdhvapada visited the Ashram.

Vedhika was alone in the ashram and since she was in an advanced state of pregnancy and very tired after the daily household chores, she was lying down and taking rest. Vedhika didn't notice the Rishi or hear him, therefore, she failed to respond and unwittingly failed to offer, due hospitality to the guest.
Urdhvapada felt terribly insulted and unaware of her pregnancy got incensed at her conduct and cursed her for not paying due respects to him.

He cursed that she should suffer from a disease called “Rayatchu”, as a result of which poor Vedhika was struck with a foul disease, which began to eat into the very vitals of not only herself but also the child in her womb.

Vedhika realized the effect of the curse and that the baby in the womb had become disformed because of this curse.
The helpless Vedhika fervently prayed for relief to Goddess Parvati who in the plentitude of her mercy appeared before Vedhika, the Goddess offered protection to the embryo by keeping it in a divine pot till it bloomed into a full-fledged child.

The foetus that was saved by Goddess Parvathi develops into a beautiful healthy male child called Naidhruvan, who receives blessings from Lord Shiva (Mullaivana Nathar) and Goddess Parvati. The holy cow Kamadhenu gives its milk to the newborn baby thus blessing and nourishing the baby.
When sage Nidhruva returned and heard what had happened, he was overwhelmed by the grace of the Almighty. He prayed to Lord Shiva (MullaivanaNathar) and Goddess Parvati (Garbharakshambika) that they should shower their blessings to all devotees praying to them.

He fell at the feet of Goddess Parvati and prayed that she should take a permanent abode at the place and continue to offer protection to future generations of women also. Thus we find this prayer being fulfilled even to this day.

Since the Goddess Parvathi appeared in the form of a savior to protect Vedhika’s unborn child, she was known as Shri Garbharakshambika (The one who protects the unborn child or the one who protects the womb)

To this day, pregnant women visiting this temple at Tanjore and praying to Shri Garbharakshambika have a peaceful delivery and it is believed that the Devi takes care of them and vouches safety to women during pregnancy and childbirth, just as she took care of Vedhika.

POPULARITY OF THE TEMPLE
Goddess Garbharakshambika is one of the most popular form of shakti in Tamilnadu.
She is the lovely embodiment of womanhood and in this avatar as Garbharakshambika she has been ever gracious upon all womanhood to be the Goddess responsible to take care of women with uterus related disorders and pregnancy.
The fame of this temple rests largely upon the Goddess Shri Garbharakshambika (an avatar of Goddess Parvati) who offers protection to, the human embryo. And it is no wonder that this temple draws worshippers from all sects.
It is believed that childless people who worship here with devotion and faith are blessed with pregnancy and pregnant women with safe deliveries. Unmarried women also pray here for their marriages. Special prayers are conducted by people on behalf of their pregnant relatives or friends.
The uniform experience of the people of these parts bears unfailing testimony to the said characteristic attributed to the Deity. The inhabitants of the village speak to the fact, that within Irving memory, there has been no case of fatality to the mother or child during confinement. Pregnant women from elsewhere come here and pray to the God and Goddess for a safe child birth. No one in this place has ever had a miscarriage or pregnancy problem. It is at a place like this that one can understand what "Divine Presence" is.

POOJA AND PRASADAM
Couples who remain childless for a long time should offer ghee, which will be placed at the Feet of the Goddess charged with manthras and given to them. If the couples eat a little of this Ghee at night daily for 48 days the woman will certainly conceive soon and they will be blessed with children.

Pregnant women expecting deliveries should offer castor oil, which will be placed, at the Feet of Sri Garbharakshambikai, charged with mantras and offered to them. This castor oil has wonderful property. When the women gets the labour pains, this oil should be smeared on their abdomen. This will eliminate all complications, dangers and after effects of deliveries and make the deliveries quite easy.

Special pooja at Garbharakshambika temple
The special Pooja and Pushpanjali at the Garbharakshambika temple help to overcome problems related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Auspicious Times: All days are auspicious in this temple; Pradhoshams are very special in this temple, as in other Siva temples.

Pooja Offerings
For pooja coconut, banana, betel & Nut are offered, castor oil is offered which is kept in the feet of the goddess for mantra.

Charging of Castor Oil for Easy Deliveries.
Ghee is offered which is kept in the feet of the goddess for manthra.
Charged Ghee is believed to Bless the couple with Children.

CONTACT THE TEMPLE
THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Arulmigu Mullai Vananathar Thirukkoil Thirukkarugavur (P.O)
Papanasam Tk.
Thanjavur Dt. 614 302
Tamil Nadu
Phone : (04374) 273423

Below are the links to contact the temple
You can get the Puja done through pariharam.com. They will send you the prasadam. Below is their link
http://pariharam.com/Temple_Thirukkarugavur.aspx?TempleID=TMPL014
The amount details are available at the above link.

www.eprarthana.com offers pooja at this temple and sends you prasadam.
www.hindupurohit.com will perform the pooja and courier the prasadam to you.
Check these websites for more information.

SHLOKAS
The garbharakshambika sloka in tamil is as follows
"Hey Shankara smarahara Bramadhaa dha naadha Mannaadha saamba sasisooda hara thrisoolin Sambo suhaprasavagrudh bhava mey dhayaalo
Sri mathru boodha siva paalayamaam namaste! Himavathyuththarey paarsvey seeradha naama yakshinee Thasyaahaa smarana maathrenaa vichalya gharbinee bhavethu!! "

శ్రీ కొప్పులింగేశ్వర స్వామి, పలివెల (కోతపేట)

The temple is located at a distance of 90 km from Kaninada, 50 Km from Rajahmundry and 25 Km from Amalapuram. In the past this pilgrim center became famous as one among the pilgrim centres of Bhima Mandalam. This pilgrim center is at present in the village called Palivela in the Kothapeta Mandal of East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. The idol installation of the Lord was done by Maharshi Agastya. The Lord here is being called Sri Uma Koppulingeswara Swamy. This pilgrim center is in the route between Rajahmundry and Amalapuram near kothapeta.

Kalyana Mahotsavam of the Lord on Mahasivarathri

The kalyana Mahotsavam of the Lord Sri Uma Koppeswara Swamy takes place on the day of Mahasivarathri (Maga Bahula Ekadasi Day) every year in kalyana mandapam which was renovated by "Raja Raja Narendra" in 11th century. People from far and wide come to see the Kalyanotsavam, Radhotsavam (Chariot Festival) takes place on the day of Mahasivarathri. There used to be 7 Mantapams in the premises of the temple. One can see (1) Somavari Mantapam (2)Mangalavara Matapam (3) Vuyyala Mantapam (4) Nityastana Mantapam and (5) Chiluku Dwadasi Mandapam even to-day. Other Mantapams are in ruin.

The Original name of the village was palvalapuram. The rivulet kowntheyi (kowsiki) started at Surya Kundamu near Gowthami. The Lord is called Mandeswara there. The temple of Lord Sri Koppu Lingeswara is also situated on the bank of Kowsiki. The first name of the lord was Agasteswara. Later he was called as Koppulingesara. The rivers around the village Palivela disappeared in course of time. They are (1) Kowsiki on the East (2) Chandrabhanga on the West (3) Mandavu on the North (4) Kowntheyi and (5) Palvala on the South. The river Palvalamlu is flowing underground unseen. So, the village is called Palvalapuram.

History of the Lord of the Temple
In the past when Maharshi Agastya was performing Tapas on the bank of the river Kowsiki near Palvalapuram, the Kalyana Mahotsavam of Parvathi & Parameswara was taking place for the good of the world. Agastya wanted to witness the kalyana Mahotsavam. Before performing Daksha Yagna Daksha Gods like Indra who were on the mountain of Himavat were afraid that if Agastya came to witness the Kalyanotsavam, pralaya would take place. So they sent viswabrahma to persuade Agastya not to go to Himavat Parvatha.

Viswabrahma told Agastya that the Kalyanotsava of Parvathi & Parmeswara was over and he had seen it. Agastya was surprised and wanted to see the Kalyanotsava with his divyadrishti. Then Parvathi & Lord Parameswara appeared in the divyadrishti of Agastya in the traditional marriage (turmeric-coated) clothes.

Agastya prayed the Lord to appear before him. The Lord appeared before Agastya along with Parvathi. Agastya wanted Parvathi & Parmeswara to remain on one peetam in the pilgrim center of Palvalapuram. The Lord fulfilled the wish of Agastya. No where can the Lord Parameswara be seen on Ekapeetam with Parvathi as here. Later this pilgrim center became famous as Lolla Agasteswara Swamy pilgrim center. The Lord began to be called as Koppulingeswara because he wore hair around his head.

In the library of Sri Vidyananda at Pithapuram it was found that there was a lesson on the Talapatras. During the time of Srinadha at Palvalapuram the lord was called Agastewara. Srinadha wrote Sloka also.

During the time of Sri Pratapa Rudra (Salivahana Saka) repairs were made to the temple as declared by the Sasanas. In the past the Turks attacked many Hindu temples. They cut off the head of the beautiful Nandi. The head was later deftly installed in its place.



The History how Agasteswara became Koppulingeswara

In the past a Velanati priest was performing daily pujas to Lord Agasteswara installed by Maharshi Agasya with great devotion. The priest had a concubine. The people angered at this, complained to the king. At first the king ignored the complaint. As the complaints grew, the king one day came to inspect the temple at Palvalapuram. The priest was not in the temple at that time. On coming to know of the king's arrival, the priest hurried to the temple, to greet the king. As there were no garlands (Nirmalya) in the temple, the priest secretly brought the garland in the hair of his concubine and offered it to the king.


The King took the garland and found a long black hair in it. The King immediately questioned the priest about the hair.

The priest replied that the hair in the Nirmalya was that of Lord Agasteswara who wore hair around his head. The surprised King asked the priest to show him the hair around the Shivalinga. The priest then said as it was afternoon and the puja was over, the Lord was decorated with Nagabharana which couldn't be taken away till the next early morning and added that he would show the king the "Jhata Jhuta" of the Lord next day.

The King agreed to this and said that if the priest failed to show him the hair of the Linga, he would order the priest's head to be taken away. The King stayed there at Palvalapuram. The priest terrified at this, began to pray the Lord all the night. The priest wept before the Lord and confessed his sin. He begged the Lord to protect him by wearing hair around his head. He beat his head on the Linga of the Lord and fainted. Lord Shiva to fulfill the wish of the priest then wore hair around his head at the time of Lingodbhava. The fainted priest regained consciousness and saw the Lord with the hair. He was overjoyed. The next day he showed to the King the Linga of Lord Shiva with hair around.

But the people assembled there, didn't believe the words of the priest. They said something was fishy. Then the King ordered the priest to pluck a hair of the Lord and show him. The priest did so. The King could see blood on the plucked hair. Immediately the King lost his eyesight. He realised his mistake and prayed Lord to pardon him. The benevolent Lord immediately took pity on the King and restored his eyesight. The Nerjoyed King praised the Lord and immediately offered a village called Juthugapadu under his rule to the Lord as his manya. (At present Juthugapadu is in Ravulapalem Mandal, 1 Km from Podagatlapalli village). Even to-day one can see the magnificent Linga of the lord with hair around it in the sacred temple of Sri Uma Koppulingeswara at Palivela village, Kothapeta Mandal, East Godavari District of Andhra pradesh.

The state Archeological Department registered Five monuments (Rajagopuram, Swamivarimandapam, and some statues on pillars etc) the same was exhibited in front of entrance gate of the temple.

Festivals
* Ganapathi Navarathrulu
* Devi Navarathrulu
* Karteeka Masam
* Subrahmanyeswara Swamy kalyanam and Sasti
* Dhanurmasam
* Kalyana mahothsavam Lord Sri Uma Koppeswara Swamy Kalyanam.


Accommodation
Guest Houses available are :

1. Palivela Dharma Satram. Contact:Person-in-Management, Palivela Dharma satram, Palivela-533 229 kothapeta Mandal, East Godavari District.


Temple Authorities:

Executive Officer,
Sri Umakoppeswara Swamy Temple,
Palivela-533 229
Kothapeta Mandal,
East Godavari District,
Phone: 08855 - 243316.