Palani Murugan Temple, also named as ‘Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple’ is dedicated to Lord Murugan, younger son of Lord Shiva and also known as ‘God of Tamil Language’. Here, He is named as ‘Lord Dhandayuthapani’. Palani Murugan Temple is one of the six abodes of Lord Murugan which are grouped as ‘Arupadai Veedu Temples’ and also a most important pilgrimage spot for devotees of Lord Murugan. This Temple is situated in the town of Palani in Dindugal district of Tamilnadu. This temple was constructed by the king Cheraman Peruman in the 9th century.
In Tamil literature the name Palani has been mentioned as ‘Podhini’, which later came to be called by the name Palani. This place is also called as Vaiyapuri Nadu, as this place was ruled by the King Vaiyapuri Kopperumbaegan earlier. The mythology is that Lord Maharishi Naradar visited Lord Shiva in Kailash and presented a fruit which is called ‘Gnaana Pazham’ (a divine fruit). Lord Shiva decided to conduct a competition stating that the fruit will be gifted to whichever of His two Sons circles the world and reaches first.
Accepting the challenge, His younger son Lord Murugan took His Vahan (Vehicle) peacock and started His journey around the world, whereas His elder son Lord Ganesh guessed that this world was His parents Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti and circumambulate them. By seeing the enlightenment of Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva awarded the fruit to Him. When Lord Murugan returned, He was disappointed that all His efforts had been in vain and left Kailash and stands atop the Palani hill. Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakthi visited Palani hill to placate Lord Murugan telling that, “You are Yourself a divine fruit, then why do U need a fruit? “.
Since then Lord Murugan was addressed as ‘Pazham nee’ and the place came to be called as Palani. Palani Murugan temple is the third temple among the six adobes (Arupadai Veedu Temples) of Lord Murugan. The six Arupadai Veedu temples are:-
- Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple
- Thiruchendur Murugan Temple
- Palani Murugan Temple
- Swamimalai Murugan Temple
- Thiruthani Murugan Temple
- Pazhamudhircholai Murugan Temple
The primary deity of Palani Murugan Temple is named as ‘Lord Dandayudhapani’ (Lord Murugan’s another name), having the staff in His hand. The idol of Lord Murugan is said to be made of amalgam of Navapashanam (nine poisonous substances) by the saint ‘Siddhar Bhogar’, when mixed in a certain ratio it can produce eternal medicine. Navapashanam had been mentioned in Siddha Medicine is a combination of Veeram, Pooram, Rasam, Jathilingam, Kandagam, Gauri Pasanam, Vellai Pasanam, Mridharsingh, and Silasat.
After the installation of Lord Murugan’s Navapashana idol in the Palani temple, the Siddhar Bhogar used to worship the idol with Two Abishegams (Holy Bath to Deity) that is Milk Abishekam and Panchamirtha Abishegam which is followed even today. Traditionally ‘Chandhanam’ (sandalwood paste) was applying to this idol prior to the temple being closed everyday. The paste, upon being allowed to stay overnight, is said to acquire medicinal properties,it would be distributed to devotees, as ‘Rakkaala Chandaṇam’.
One of the chief traditions of the temple is the tonsuring of devotees, who vow to discard their hair as an imitation to Lord Murugan. The famous ‘Panchamirtham’ (mixture of five) is traditionally offered as a ‘Prasad’ to the devotees in this temple. The five components of panchamirtham are honey, dates, banana, raisins and jiggery. This panchamirtham is believed to be a divine mixture prepared by Lord Ganesh for His brother Lord Murugan at the end of the divine encounter.
There are two minor shrines for Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakthi in the first inner Praharam (passageway). There is a separate shrine for Lord Ganesh in the second Praharam, besides the golden chariot of Lord Murugan. At the top of the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Murugan in this temple there is a Gopuram (Tower), made of gold with numerous idols which is known as ‘Golden Tower’. The Mandapam (Hall) of this temple contains many beautiful sculptures like penance of Siddhas, peacock, parrot, deer, Karpaka Vriksha (the divine tree) and more.
The sanctum sanctorum of Siddhar Bhogar is located inside the Palani Murugan temple. Lord Murugan signifies ‘Beauty’ and He is a mute messenger of the great principal “Renounce all to reach me”. ‘Thai Poosam’ festival is the most important festval celebrated here once in a year in the Tamil month of Thai (January – Febraury). During this festival devotees taken a strict vow of abstinence, come barefoot, by walk, from distant towns and villages. Many devotees also bring a palanquin made by wood,named by ‘Kaavadi’, borne on their shoulders.
- Thai Poosam – January to February
- Panguni Uthiram – March
- Chitra Pournnami – April to May
- Agni Natchathiram – April
- Vaikasi Visakam – May to June
- Aani Annabhishekam – June to July
- Aadi Festival – July to August
- Aadi Amavasai – July to August
- Aadi Laksharchana – July to August
- Kandha Sashti – October to November
- Thiru karthigai – November to December
- Margazhi Pooja – December to January
- Vizhapuja Pooja – 06:45 am
- Kalasandhi Pooja – 08:00 am
- Sirukala Sandhi Pooja – 09:00 am
- Uchikkalam Pooja – 12:00 Mid-day
- Sayaraksha Pooja – 05:30 pm
- Rakkalam Pooja – 08:00 pm
- Golden car Darshan – 6.30 pm
The state transport corporation and a lot of private buses are available from Palani to major cities in Tamil Nadu like Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tuticorin and so on.
Trains to Palani are available from Coimbatore, Palakkad and Dindigul. The Murugan Temple is about 2 km from the railway station.
Palani is reached by just 3 hours’ drive from any of the nearest airports Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchy.
- Arulmigu Masani Amman Temple
- Thirumoorthy Temple
- Arulmigu Mariamman Temple
- Arulmigu Gobinathaswamy Temple
- Arulmigu Soundarraja Perumal Temple
- Arulmigu Srinivasaperumal Temple