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Madurai


Palamudircholai

PalamudircholaiThis 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 Rakkayi Amman. Pilgrims to the temple take a dip in this small, sacred spring which is said to have originated from the anklet of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that the devotees who worship at this shrine are blessed with wealth and health. The Silambar river flows near the temple.

PalamudircholaiThis shrine is very sacred to devotees of Lord Subramanya and is one of the six famous abodes of Lord Subramanya, collectively known as Aarupadai veedu. The term Azhahar and Azhahan denote both Lord Vishnu and Lord Murugan (another name for Lord Subramanya). The shrine at Pazhamuthir Cholai is small compared to other famous temples and the building is of recent origin but the temple predates it by hundreds of years. The area in which the temple is situated is surrounded by groves of trees and the river Silambar runs nearby giving an ambience of calmness and solitude. Atop the hill Lord Muruga stands majestically in the temple as the Lord of the Hills popularly known as Kurinji Nilakkizhavan in Tamil.

PalamudircholaiHere, Murugan is worshipped as Gnana Shakti and his tribal wife, Valli as Iccha Shakti and Devayani as Kriya Shakti. The icon is standing and shown with only one face and four hands. Muruga is also known as Shanmuga—the six faced one.Lord Vithaga Vinayaka is on the right of his younger brother.

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. The Temple, sthala vriksha is a rose apple tree. The fruits of this tree ripen during Skanda Sasti festival.

Unlike the other five temples, there is no grand edifice at Palamutircolai. However, this is a holy shrine venerated in the Skanda Puranam and by Nakkirar. Arunagirinathar also reveres this shrine in his Tiruppukal.

PalamudircholaiThis shrine is very sacred to devotees of Lord Subramanya and is one of the six famous abodes of Lord Subramanya, collectively known as Aarupadai veedu. The term Azhahar and Azhahan denote both Lord Vishnu and Lord Murugan (another name for Lord Subramanya). The shrine at Pazhamuthir Cholai is small compared to other famous temples and the building is of recent origin but the temple predates it by hundreds of years. The area in which the temple is situated is surrounded by groves of trees and the river Silambar runs nearby giving an ambience of calmness and solitude.


LEGENDS


Once Avvaiyar, the grand old lady of Tamil literature and an ardent devotee of Lord Subramanya, was on her way to Madurai. She was tired and thirsty having walked for several miles and she longed for some food and rest. She then saw a young shepherd boy sitting on the branch of a 'Naaval' tree (a tall tree bearing berry-like edible fruits). On seeing that the tree was in fruit she asked the boy to pluck some fruits for her. The boy then asked the old lady whether she wanted 'hot' fruits or 'cold' fruits. The old lady was perplexed by this question. PalamudircholaiHowever, in order to find out what the boy meant by hot fruit she replied that she wanted 'hot' fruit. The boy then shook the branch of the tree on which he was perched and some ripe fruits fell on the ground. Avvaiyar picked them up and finding that some grains of sand were stuck on the fruits blew on them to get rid of the sand. Seeing this the boy playfully asked whether the fruits were too hot to eat and advised her to blow a little harder. Avvaiyar was full of remorse when she realised that this illiterate shepherd boy had fooled her by his play on words. Then the boy transformed himself into his true form as Lord Subramanya and stood in front of Avvaiyar in all his glory. Avvaiyar then realised who had come to play with her. The questions then asked by Lord Subramanya in this encounter with Avvaiyar and the answers given by her in verse, form part of the rich folklore of the Tamils. Translating those verses, though would be revealing and interesting, is beyond the scope of this page. Not far from Palamutircolai south of Madurai is another of the Aru Patai Veedukal, Tirupparankunram.

TEMPLE TIMINGS

Daily pujas to the deities are performed six times a day (six kalams). Forenoon: Ushat Kalam, Kalasandhi and Uchikala poojas are performed and the afternoon poojas commencing from Sayaratchai and Rendam kalam are concluded with Arthajama pooja in the night. The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. continuously.

FESTIVALS

Palamudircholai The Tamil New Year’s Day that occurs on April 13th or 14th is an important day here. The Vaikasi Visakam (the day of the Visakam star in May-June), Aadi Krithika in July-August when Muruga’s star Krithigai reigns are famous festival days.

The annual abishekam (ablution) festival on Aavani Pooram (the day of the star Pooram in August-September) and Skanda Sashti in October-November are popular festivals. All Mondays in the month of Karthikai (November – December) and Tirukarthikai, the festival of lamps in November-December and Panguni Uthiram (the day of the star Uthiram in March- April) are the festivals celebrated in the temple.

QUICK FACTS

 
  Moolavar : Lord Muruga with His consorts
  Urchavar : -
  Amman / Thayar : -
  Thala Virutcham : Naaval – blackberry
  Theertham : Noopura Ganga
  Agamam / Pooja : -
  Old year : 1000-2000 years old
  Historical Name : -
  City : Solaimalai (Pazhamuthir cholai)
  District : Madurai
  State : Tamil Nadu

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