Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple Information and Pooja Timing
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.
|Tirupparankundram Lord Subrahmanya Swami at centre with Teyvayânai Ammai at his left side and Sage Narada at his right side|
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.
Pooja Timing :
White peacoks: 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.
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.
During the festival times, flag hoisting is done only for Lord Shiva, but Lord Muruga is taken in procession. As Lord Muruga is no less than Lord Shiva, it is said that this procedure is followed. Lord Muruga is also known here as Somasubramaniar (Soma-Shiva, Subramaniar-Muruga). Lord Muruga graces as Somaskanda with Shiva and Parvathi in the sanctum sanctorum behind the Shivalinga. It is also said that Lord Shiva graced Durga granting Her relief from a curse.
As this Shivalinga was installed by Durgadevi, the Linga is known as Devi Lingam. As the Linga is treated with a paste called Shantakaram, no abishek is performed to Him except offering oil. Sages Veda Vyasa and Parasara had worshipped in this temple.
This is the temple graced by five deities, Shiva, Pavalakanivai Perumal (Vishnu),Karpaga Vinayaka, Subramaniar and Durga. Mother Durga is in north of the Main Tower-Rajagopuram- demon Mahishasura under Her feet. Left of Durga is Karpagavinayaka holding a sugarcane sitting on a lotus with sages around Him. Right of Durga is Lord Muruga in a wedding pose with Deivania facing north. Narada, Indira, Brahmma, Saraswithi without Her Veena and SAvithri are also here by Muruga’s side.
Lord Shiva in the sanctum sanctorum is facing east. Sage Madanga Mahrshi is by His side. Lord Vishnu is in the place of Nandhi the bull vehicle of Lord Shiva. Hence, the temple is known as Mal Vidai (Mal-Vishnu, Vidai-bull) temple and this is a very rare design. It is said that Lord Vishnu is serving His Brother-in-law.
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.
Nandi: The size of Nandi in Pragadeeswarar temple in Thanjavur and Gomukteeswarar temple in Tiruvavaduthurai are big in size corresponding to the size of Lord. As Shiva is in the form of a mount, the Nandi here too is big. He is gracing with His consort Kalakandi. There are twin Vinayakas by his side. As the mount itself is considered as Vimana, there is no such a structure above the sanctum sanctorum. Girivalam (going around the hill) is followed on Full Moon days – Poornima.
|The Devas appealed to Lord Shiva to protect them from the terror strikes of demon Surapanma. Lord created Muruga from six sparks from His forehead eye. Lord Muruga fought Surapanma, destroyed and made of him a peacock for his vehicle and a cock for his flag. This happened in Tiruchendur. Indira offered his daughter Deivaniai to Muruga in marriage. The marriage took place in Tiruparankundram attended by a huge number of Rishis, Devas and Gods. Lord Muruga graces here in the wedding form. He is named Subramanya.|
Thiruparankundram temple Pooja timings
Eight-kala pooja is performed at this temple.
|Worship Time *|
|From 05.30 A.M – 1.00 P.M
From 04.00 P.M – 09.00 P.M