Thiruparamkundram Temple
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Madurai


Thiruparamkundram Temple
 

Thiruparamkundram TempleThiruparamkundram 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 here.

Thiruparamkundram TempleThe 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.

Lord 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.

 

Thiruparamkundram TempleAbishek 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 entrance.

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.

Thiruparamkundram TempleIn 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 and Uggirar.

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

Thiruparamkundram TempleSince 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 life.

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.

Facts:

White Peacocks:-

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 devotee.

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.

Devi Lingam:-

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.

Sathyagiriswarar:-

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.

Nandi 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.

The 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.

Special Days In Temple:-

  • 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.

Thiruparamkundram TempleThiruparamkundram Temple

Temple Pooja timings:-

Eight-Kala Pooja is performed at this temple.
 
Pooja                                     Schedule

 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

QUICK FACTS

 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
 
WORSHIP TIME
 From                              05.30 A.M – 1.00 P.M
 From                              04.00 P.M – 09.00 P.M.

HISTORY

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 (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.

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