Lord Murugan’s Abode at Palani

Lord Dhandayuthapani at Palani

Palani Hill in Dindigul district

The third Abode of Sri Murugan among the Arupadai Veedu is Palani.

Here people celebrate Sri Murugan as Dhandayuthapani.

Sri Murugan exists here as “Aandi Murugan” or Lord Murugan in the form of a recluse.

People consider Aandi Murugan as a powerful form of Karthikeya, capable of granting otherwise impossible boons!

Palani stands for the name of the hill as well as the town in which Lord Dhandayuthapani resides.

The whole district surrounding the hilly terrain goes by the name of Palani town, which happens to be in the Dindigul district.

Festival of Tai Pusam

Tamil people celebrate the festival of “Tai Pusam” with joy and gaiety in Palani.

Normally the festival occurs in the month of January.

 “Tai Pusam” finds special mention in the history of the state of Tamil Nadu.

But the place of Palani finds itself at the helm of things when it comes to celebrations of the “Tai Pusam” festival.

It sets the precedent in the celebration of this festival all over Tamil Nadu.

Tai-Pusam-Festival

The idol deity of Nava Pashanam

The Lord exists with just a simple loincloth inside the temple sanctum.

Palani surrounds itself with many mysterious things related to Lord Murugan’s pastimes.

The Archa Vigraha stands constructed, with the help of certain herbs and rare elements.

A Sidhhar by the name Bogar formulated the Sri Vigraha.

The ingredients are certain types of elixirs by the name “Nava Pashanam”. 

Nava Pashanam surrounds itself with many stories retold over generations through the great Puranas.

Face and body of Sri Dhandayuthapani

The Bogar spent more time in designing the face of the deity as compared to the rest of the Lord’s body.

The Puranas point to the fact that the rest of the body remains quite weak and fragile when compared to the face of the Archa Vigraha.

You can also read an interesting anecdote about the Archa Vigraha of Tirupati Balaji here.

Palani-Temple

Idol of Sri Murugan made of Herbs.

The Bogar took 9 years to design and finish the idol.

People believe that the Bogar carried out the task under the instructions of Ambal (Devi Shakti).

Lord Murugan as well as Sage Agastya commanded the Bogar to take up this stupendous task.

Nava Pashanam (A special material) consists of more than 4000 rare herbs.

Bogar took pains to look for each herb in and around the mountainous terrain.

He had 81 disciples and each of the Sidhhar disciples put their effort in formulating the idol, uttering the right mantras at the time of formulation of the idol.

Sri Bogar constrained himself to the Meikanda sidhhar Cave, a cave especially meant for occult activities while formulating the idol.

Bogar-Murugan

Installing Sri Murugan at Palani Hill

The Bogar decided to install the idol at Palani Hill.

This happened to be the most appropriate place for installation taking into account all considerations for Vaastu.

It so happened that the idol lay in stand-alone condition on top of Palani Hill, without a temple to support it.

Due to the passage of time, the idol went into oblivion and no one realized the presence of this idol of Lord Murugan.

Rediscovery of the Murugan idol at Palani

A king by the name Sera Mannan undertook a penance under the hilly region of Palani.

He had a dream of Lord Murugan advising him to locate this rare idol and get it reinstalled on the hill with full grandeur.

He succeeded in locating the idol and subsequently got the idol reinstalled with a grand temple to support it.

The idol here faces the east direction, unlike the other 5 main idols at the other main temples of Lord Murugan that face the North direction. 

Also, one shall find the ears of this idol especially longer, when compared to any of the other Murugan idols elsewhere.

Murugan Bhaktas have their own opinions about why the deity has longish ears.

Long-Ears-of-Murugan

Abhishekam (Bathing the idol) of the Sri Murugan deity

Priests at Palani conduct four types of Abhishekam on the deity of Lord Murugan.

The ingredients for Abhishekam include Sesame oil, Panchamritam, Sandalwood powder, Ash powder made out of cow dung.

They use Rose Water for Abhishekam only in the month of Margazhi (Tamil) which falls between December 15th and January 15th.

The astonishing thing about the deity is that the deity sweats during day time, considering the hot climate in Palani.

Abhishekam-Murugan

Sweat of Sri Murugan with Medicinal properties

The sweat of the Lord has many medicinal properties.

Therefore, to keep the body of the Lord cool, the priests usually cover the deity idol with Sandalwood powder.

This powder is then collected towards the end of the day and distributed among devotees.

The sweat drops also collect near the foot of the Lord.

Priests distribute the sweat drops ( Theertham Prasadam) of the Lord among devotees.

The water thus collected, carries the name of “Kaupina Theertham”.

The sweat water carries within itself, a divine fragrance and taste, not found in any other material article within this material universe.

Shiva Lingam near the Murugan deity

There also exists a small Shiva Lingam on the left side of the Murugan deity.

One standing on the right side of the deity, can have Darshanam of the Shiva Lingam provided, he holds a well-lit lamp in his hands.

Otherwise, one cannot sight the Lingam. 

Two Shiva Lingams exist at the temple.

One exists by the side of the main deity idol of Lord Murugan and the other exists at the Samadhi place of the Bogar.

Prasadam at Palani also has medicinal properties

The Prasadam or food offerings made at the temple, also carry many astonishing medicinal properties.

The temple Prasadam has the capacity to cure many diseases.

People suffering from diseases, with faith, flock to the temple at 4:00 AM from various corners of the country.

Faith runs the temple at Palani

There also exists a sanctum of Devi Parashakti within the temple premises.

Many people travel to the mountain top to have Darshanam of the deity by means of a winch train.

Although science has developed within the world, faith in God has also increased with passing times.

This, one can confirm, looking at the growing rush at the Palani temple with every passing year.

People start flocking at the temple as early as 3:00 AM.

People-At-Palani

Types of Pooja offerings at Palani

They have a “Vishwaroop Darshanam” at 5:40 AM.

Priests carry out a Pooja with the name “Vila Pooja” at 6:05 AM.

At 8:00 AM priests conduct the “Shanti Pooja”.

At 9:00 AM, they conduct another Shanti Pooja.

12:00 PM becomes the time for the “Uchiha Kala Pooja”.

At 5:00 PM priests conduct the “Sayarasha Pooja”.

The priests then conduct the final 8:00 PM “Rakala Pooja”.

After consummation of this Pooja at 8:00 PM, the sanctum doors are shut.

600 Steps to Palani Hill

At other times, people simply have a direct Darshanam of Lord Dhandayuthapani. 

There are 600 steps leading to the hill-top sanctum of Lord Dhandayuthapani.

People believe that Families coming together to climb these 600 steps shall ever remain happy and united.

One can have a complete view of the city of Palani from the top of Palani hill.

600-Stepas-at-Palani

The Pandian and Choza kings had devoted their entire lives, safeguarding and maintaining the temple of Palani.

The Pandian kings have generally played an important role in the Bhakti movement of Bharath.

Palani happens to be a part of that great movement relating to the Kaumara Sampradaya, one of the six major religious movements of India.

Thanks for reading!