Lord Murugan’s Abode at Thirutanni


Family Deity Thiruttani Murugan

Lord Murugan’s Abode at Thiruttani represents the 5th Abode among the Arupadai Veedu.

Thiruttani falls in the district of Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu.

This place attains significance, because, here, Lord Murugan married the tribal woman Sri Valli Devi.

365 steps lead us into the temple sanctum.

The 365 steps represent the number of days in a year.

For many families in Tamil Nadu, Sri Murugan of Thiruttani qualifies as “Kula Daivam” or family deity.

Kula Daivam protects the entire family from the evils of the material world and takes responsibility for the welfare of the family.

Peaceful Murugan at Thiruttani

At this place, Sri Murugan won over his own anger. 

After slaying the Sooran Padma demon, Sri Murugan came down to the hill at Thiruttani in order to subdue anger, following the battle with the demon.

Vali appears near Kanchipuram District

In a hilly region near Kanchipuram district, a mountainous terrain by the name Valli hills is famous.

Tribes abound in that region.

Nambi, a tribal man headed that community, in the said region.

He only bore male children and yearned for female children.

Once, he left for the forest.

As he dug the grounds, he found a female child.

Happy, blessed with a female child, he christened the baby with the name Valli.

Diet of the Tribal Folk

The staple diet of the tribes in that hilly forest region includes honey, cereals, a root called “Valli Kazhangu”, Oats, etc.

Normally the tribes would mix oats or barley with honey and have it for their meals.

The tribes consider Sri Murugan as their Ishta Devata or family deity.

For that very reason, Sri Murugan becomes very happy when offered a mixture of honey and cereals.


Sage Narada advises Murugan about Marriage

Time went by and Sri Valli attained the age of twelve.

In accordance with those olden times, Valli attained marriageable age at twelve.

On one such day, Sri Devarishi Narada passed by that region.

Sri Narada approached Sri Murugan at Thiruttani and advised Him to marry Valli.

Even today “Theru Koota” is a popular folk dance in Tamil Nadu.

The divine marriage of Sri Valli and Murugan is often enacted through this dance form.

Sri Murugan decides to marry Sri Valli

Lord Murugan sought the help of His elder brother to help Him marry Sri Valli.

In the south of India, people consider Sri Ganesha as the elder brother contrary to the North Indian belief that Sri Ganesh is younger than Karthikeya.

At that time Lord Ganesha remained unmarried.

Happy with Lord Murugan, he assisted Sri Murugan towards attaining Valli as his second wife, after Devasena.

Lord Ganesha took the form of a gigantic elephant and scared Valli.

Lord Karthikeya took the form of an old sage and shooed the elephant away as he held Sri Valli in His arms.

Ganesha and Murugan

Sandalwood Prasadam at Thiruttani

Among the Six Abodes of Lord Murugan, the Gopuram (The crown of the Temple), is the highest.

Like Swami Malai, Sri Murugan rides an elephant here too.

The main Prasadam at Thiruttani is “Sandanam” or Sandalwood powder.

Like Lord Dhandayuthapani at Palani, Thiruttani Murugan deity has Nava Pashanam as its chief ingredient.

Here too, local people believe that the Sandanam Prasadam can cure many diseases.

Even if people consume Prasadam, it is said to have medicinal effects.

The Murugan deity here is in Shanti (Peace) mood.

So, usually, He exists here without the Lance (Vel).

Only during special decorations, on festivals, Thiruttani Murugan adorns the Vel.

Lord Murugan adorns an injury mark at Thiruttani

Kumara Tantra rituals form the mode of worship of Thiruttani Murugan.

During the war with Tarakasura, the demon unleashed a weapon known as Chakrayudha at Sri Murugan.

Sri Murugan received the weapon’s blow on his body and developed wound marks on the body.

Thiruttani Murugan deity reveals those marks even today.


The Aadi Kirthika festival

The king of heavens Indra worshipped Sri Murugan in the month of Aadi Karthik.

Even today, Thiruttani is famous for this festival.

Thousands flock to the Thiruttani temple on this auspicious day.

The festival finds expression for 3 consecutive days.

More than five hundred thousand people participate in this festival every year.

Malefic effects of Mars and Sri Murugan

According to Vedic Astrology, Sri Murugan is the presiding deity of the planet Mars (Chevvai in Tamil). 

People afflicted by Mars, falling in bad places on their Astrological charts, take to pleasing Lord Murugan.

They relieve themselves from the malefic effects of planet Mars, the red planet.

These pleasing gestures take the form of Pooja which people perform at the temple of Thiruttani in the month of Aadi Karthik.

People have found excellent results following the rituals at this Temple, especially those afflicted by planet Mars.


Thiruttani Balasubramaniam

Unlike Tiruchendur, Lord Murugan does not enact the pastimes of “Soora Samharam” (Killing of Demon Sooran).

Yet on the day when Sooran is slain, Sri Murugan is offered flowers that weigh over 1000 kilograms, every year, at Thiruttani.

At Thiruttani there exists another manifestation of Lord Murugan in the form of “Aadi Balasubramaniam”, well before his marriage with Valli and Devasena.

The Lord holds an Akshara Mala (A Mala made of non-destructive words, Usually the AUM) with a Kamandalu. 

On the occasion of Margazhi Thiruvadarai (December-January), the Lord receives a relaxing warm-water bath, which shall relax his limbs and mind.

The one who receives Darshanam of the Lord’s warm water bath is fortunate indeed.

 It is here that the sisters Valli and Devasena show their oneness in the form of Gajavalli at Thiruttani.

The great Sachidananda Swamigal festival

Another famous festival called “Thiruttani Padi Poojai Utsavam” finds expression at Thiruttani.

A lot of Murugan devotees remember the great Murugan devotee “Valli Malai Sri Sachidananda Swamigal”.

He qualified as a great renowned Murugan devotee.

His Guru Sri Seshadri Swamigal of Thiruvannamalai directed him to “Thirupugal”.

Thirupugal means, glorification of Lord Murugan as one’s life goal.

His every breath, the Swamigal dedicated to Thiruttani Murugan, for His glory and devotion alone.

Every 31st December on the eve of New Year, people celebrate the Padi Poojai Utsavam, remembering the Swamigal.


Swamigal irked by his disciples

An interesting story from the life of Sri Sachidananda Swamigal forms the basis of the Thiruttani Padi Pooja Utsavam.

Here, hundreds of thousands of people assemble to celebrate this unique festival.

At a point of time prior to 1917, Sri Swamigal resided at modern-day Chennai, then known by the name Madras.

He had some disciples, extremely devoted to him.

Some of them went to greet their English bosses (India at that time was under British rule) on New Year’s Day.

The Swamigal became extremely pained at this.

Why should anyone greet one’s so-called boss and that too a foreigner?

The boss of all bosses is Sri Murugan, he believed.

He immediately took action.

He assembled at Thiruttani and decided to conduct the Padi Pooja Utsavam every 31st of December from then on.

The Swamigal opined that the best will be to wish Lord Murugan a Happy New year.

He felt, greeting Sri Murugan has far greater value than trying to greet mere mortals who also happened to be the enemies of the nation, the British.

Celebrating the Padi Pooja Utsavam

From then on, he conducted the Pooja regularly at Thiruttani.

Thiruttani has 365 steps and each step represents one day of the year. 

He composed 365 devotional songs in praise of each step leading to the sanctum.

The Poojai festival started with 40 people participating in the ceremony.

Today on 31st December, more than five hundred thousand people celebrate this festival at Thiruttani.

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