is one of the six famous abodes of Lord Subramanya known as
Aarupadai veedu and is the place where Lord Subramanya married
Thevayanai, the daughter of Indra, the king of Devas. The temple
offers a mystic beauty; is carved in rock and is monstrous in size
for such an architecture. 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'. This is a very ancient shrine. Nakeerar’s
Thirumurugatrupadai of the sangam period refers to this hill shrine.
The Tevaram hymns of the 7th century sing of the glory of Shiva
The 48 massive square pillars with beautiful carvings and
lotus-shaped medallions made during Nayaka period adorn the entrance
of this ancient cave temple. The most impressing feature of this
temple is the idol of main deity which is carved from a single rock.
The temple tower is of seven tiers and displays magnificent carvings
and sculptures. The Brahmi inscriptions found in the
Thiruparankundram Temple are of significant archeological and
historic value. The Sivathandavam scene made as a sculpture is a
piece of great artistic value that should not be missed.
Murugan graces in a sitting, wedding form with His consort Deivanai.
Maharshi Narada, Indira the king of Devas, Brahmma the Creator are
also around Him. Goddess of Wisdom Saraswathi without Her Veena, and
Savithri are by His side while Sun, Moon, Gandharvas a community in
the upper world skilled in the art of music, are above Him. The
other vehicles of Lord Muruga, the sheep and the elephant are below
Him. Only a scented paste called punugu is applied on the Lord as
this is a cave temple.
is performed only to the Vel weapon of Lord Muruga as this is a cave
temple. The Vel is taken to the Kasi Viswanatha shrine in the hill
on the last Saturday of Purattasi month (September-October). This is
the only temple where abishek is performed to Vel. More importance
is attached to Vel as the Lord came to this place victoriously after
defeating the demon Surpanma with the power of this weapon.
Recently, a golden car has been made for the temple. As a prayer
commitment to take Muruga in procession on this golden car, devotees
may register in advance.
There are several architectural features of interest, especially the
rock cut portions of this hill temple dating back to the Pandya
period and the life sized sculptures in the mandapams of the Nayakar
period. An Aasthaana Mandapam with several artistically carved
pillars lead one to the towering 150 feet (46 m) high Rajagopuram at
The Kambathadi Mandapam, Ardha Mandapam, and Mahamandapam are
situated at different levels. The main shrine is an early rock cut
temple which has cells that house the sanctums of Subramanya, Durga,
Vinayakar, Shiva and Vishnu. All the statues are carved on the wall
of the parankundram rock. The presiding deity lord shiva is known
Parangirinathar and the female deity his consort mother Parvathy is
known as Aavudai Nayaki. Panels depicting Shiva's dance of bliss are
seen outside the sanctum. These magnificent works of art date back
to the Pandya period.
A curious feature of this temple is that the Gods Shiva and Vishnu
face each other in the main shrine, and this is a rare thing in
ancient Hindu temples. This is because Hinduism always held two
distinct worshipping groups - Shaivites (worshippers of Lord Shiva)
and Vaishnavites (worshippers of Lord Vishnu). Outside the temple
there is a beautiful pond where, according to Temple tradition, the
fishes are served with salt and rice flakes by the devotees. There
is also a Vedic school adjacent to the banks of the temple pond.
This temple was built by carving the hill.
In front of the Dwajasthambam or the Kodi Maram, one gets the
magnificently carved Nandi, Mayil and the Mouse ( the vehicle of
Lord Ganesha). This is a specialty of this Murugan shrine.Going
inside, one can see the sannidhis of various Hindu Gods and Hindu
Goddesses. Of special mention is the sannidhi of Saneeswaran without
the other eight Grahas. Climbing a flight of six steps called the "Shadashara
Padigal", one reaches the Ardha Mandapam. One gets to see the rock
carvings of Mahisshasura Mardini, Karpaga Vinayagar, Andarabaranar
There is also a rock carved sannidhi for Lord Vishnu and Goddess
Lakshmi. Shiva in the form Sivalingam and Sathiyagireeshwarar
sannidh is located here cannot miss the attention of the Muruga
Bakthas visiting this Murugan shrine.
There are five Theerthams, or divine water sources, in and around
the temple, Saravana Poigai, Lakshmi Theertham, Saniyasi Kinaru
(well), Kasi Sunai, and Sathiya Koopam.
Temple of Marriage
there have happened such important events, Murugan Temple in
Thiruparankundram became one of the most revered shrines in Tamil
Nadu. Up to this day Tamil people readily marry here. Especially
many pairs get married in festival of marriage - Pankuni Uttiram -
in late March.
Temple leads very active religious life with numerous festivities
and Thiruparankundram for most part of the year is teeming with
As if there is not enough importance and reverance, on the top of
hill there is also a Muslim shrine devoted to Sekunder - Alexander
the Great! Local Muslims consider that Alexander the Great was the
friend of King Murugan. Thus Thiruparankundram is a place where both
Hindu and Muslims go well along.
We know peacocks in their natural colours only. White peacocks can
be seen in Tiruparankundram. According to tradition, the Devas are
here in the form of white peacocks to worship Lord Muruga.
Rudrabishekam to Lord Dakshinamurthy:-
Lord Dakshinamurthy graces with His left hand on a snake under His
feet. Those afflicted with bad effects in their horoscopes, those
suffering from prolonged illness offer Rudrabisheka worship in the
shrine. They personify Lord Dakshinamurthy in a silver pot and
engage Vedic scholars to chant the powerful and effective Rudra,
Chamaha mantras for relief. The worship yields huge benefits to the
Goddess Devanai Sannidhi:-
In the Thiruparamkundram Temple, there is a Goddess Devanai Sannidhi
in the northwest corner. 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.
While Lord Shiva was teaching the Pranava Mantra to Mother Parvathi,
Muruga sitting on the lap of Mother also was also listening. Any
lesson should be learnt from the Guru in a proper way. To make
amends for the mistake, Lord Muruga performed penance here. Lord
gave darshan to His beloved Son on a Thaipoosam day. This Shiva
shrine is in a separate shrine in the name of Aadhi Sokkanathar.
Those visiting Tiruparankundran should worship this Shiva first
according to tradition. But as the temple is the first army camp
temple of Lord Muruga, traditions changed in later days.
Demon Mahishasura was harassing the Devas in many ways. Mother
Ambica took the form of Navanayakis, fought with him and destroyed
him on the nineth day. The killing of the demon brought her the
Brahmmahati dosha. She worshipped Lord Shiva for release from the
sin. Lord advised Her to worship Him from here for result. Ambica
followed Lord’s advice and worshipped installing a Linga on the
mount which itself was but a Linga. Shiva granted darshan to Durga
and relieved her of the dosha.
Today too, the presiding deity is Lord Shiva only in the temple. He
graces from a Kundru –Mount, and is praised as Parankundranathar and
the place Parankundram. He is also praised as Sathyagiriswarar. As
it is here that Lord Muruga married Deivanai, importance is more
attached to Lord Muruga and the temple became Muruga Temple in the
days that followed. On the full moon day – poornima in Aani month
(June-July) three fruits – mango, plantain and jack – are offered to
the Lord with special pujas.
with His consort:-
Nandi, the bull vehicle of Lord Shiva graces with His consort
Kalakandi in the Maha Mandap of the temple. There are twin Vinayakas
by His side. While there will be prakaras-corridors in the temples
with other deities, Tiruparankundram temple is different without
these formalities. As the Mount itself is in the form of a Linga,
only Girivalam is possible. In Pillayarpatti, though the temple is
the cave type, there are prakaras within the temple.
Correcting the mistake:-
When Lord Shiva was teaching Pranava Mantra to Mother Parvathi,
Muruga being there, also listened and learnt the Mantra. As it was
against the rules, Muruga wished to correct Himself of the mistake,
performed penance here seeking Lord’s pardon. Lord Shiva graced His
darshan to the Beloved Son on a Thaipoosam day. He graces as Aadhi
Sokkanatha from a shrine opposite to the Subramaniar temple.
According to tradition, those visiting Tiruparankundram should
worship here first before proceeding to the present main temple.
Son in place of Father:-
During the festivals, flag hoisting is performed for Lord Shiva only
while Lord Muruga is taken in procession. As Muruga is not different
from Shiva, this procedure is followed. Muruga also bears the name
Somasubramaniar representing both Shiva and Muruga.
While Durga is a sub-deity in other temple, She has Her own
Kodimaram (Flag Post) and a Main Tower-Rajagopuram in this temple.
After killing Mahishasura, Mother Durga worshipped Shiva installing
a Linga also here. Lord Shiva graced Her with His darshan and asked
Her to stay in Tiruparankundram itself. Hence, more importance is
attached to Mother Durga.
Panguni Uthiram-It is celebrated
in the month of March.
Vaikasi Visakam-Clebrated in the
month of Vaigaasi. Visakam is Lord Muruga’s birthday star.
Kandha Sashti-Kanta Shasti
Viratham is observed once a year in the month of ‘Aippasi’
(October–November) starting from the ‘piratamai’ the 1st phase
of the brightening moon.
Aadi Krithigai-This is celebrated
in the month of May/June.
Thai Poosam-It is celebrated on
the full moon in the month of Thai.
Eight-Kala Pooja is performed at this temple.
1. Thiruvananthal - 05.30 A.M
2. Vila pooja - 07.30 A.M
3. Kaalasanthi - 08.00 A.M
4. Thirukaalasanthi - 10.30 A.M
5. Uchikkaalam - 12.30 A.M
6. Saayarathcai - 05.30 P.M
7. Arthajaamam - 08.45 P.M
8. Palliarai - 09.00 P.M
Moolavar : Subramaniaswami
Urchavar : Shanmugha
Amman / Thayar : Deivanai
Thala Virutcham : Kallathi
Theertham : 11 theerthas including Lakshi
theertham, Saravana Poigai
Agamam / Pooja : Kaamika and Karana
Old year : 1000-2000 years old
Historical Name : Then Parangundram
City : Tiruparankundram
District : Madurai
State : Tamil Nadu
From 05.30 A.M – 1.00 P.M
From 04.00 P.M – 09.00 P.M.
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
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 (yanai 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.