Many gods and goddesses are worshiped in India. Lord Murugan, also known as Lord Kartikeya, is worshiped in South India with great pomp. Just as Lord Shiva is worshiped with great respect, Lord Murugan, the first son of Lord Shiva, is also worshiped with such respect in south India. There are many temples of Lord Murugan in South India. Out of which, one temple is located in Palani, which we know as Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple. In this article, we will know about this temple in detail.
Palani Murugan Temple is dedicated to Lord Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva. Lord Kartikeya is also known as Murugan. This temple is located in Palani village of Dindigul district of South India on the foothills of Palani hills. Around 105 kilometers southeast of Coimbatore, 122 kilometers northwest of Madurai, and 67 kilometers from Kodaikanal, Palani is located. The Prasadam given in this temple is called Palani Panchamirtham, and Panchamirtham which means a mixture made of five things. This temple is also known as Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple. It is believed that Lord Murugan, also known as Lord Kartikeya, has six abodes, and this temple is believed to be the third abode of Lord Murugan out of six.
Palani Temple Mythology
Once Shri Narada or Sage Narada went to Mount Kailash to give or present the fruit of knowledge to Lord Shiva. Then Lord Shiva thought of distributing that fruit between his two sons, Ganesh and Kartikeya. Then Sage Narada said that the fruit can't be divided into two pieces; you can give this fruit to only one son. Then Sage Narada tells Lord Shiva that we should keep competition between Ganesh and Kartikeya, and whoever wins this competition you can give the fruit to him. Then the competition is held between Ganesh and Kartikeya and as said the one who comes first after circling three rounds of this universe would be given this fruit. As soon as the competition starts, Kartikeya rides on his vehicle peacock and goes out to circumambulate this world three times.
But instead of circumambulating the world three times, Ganesh started circumambulating his parents three times, i.e., Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. And said my whole world is my parents, so I circumambulated you three times. Seeing this, Lord Shiva was very pleased with Ganesh, and then Lord Shiva gave that fruit to Ganesh and when Kartikeya returned after completing three rounds of the universe, he saw that Lord Shiva has given the fruit to Ganesh, and this made him very angry. Then he came to Palani Hills and started meditating. Since then, this place also became an abode of Lord Kartikeya, and this is the story behind this temple. It is said that there was a sage named Bogar who is credited with creating and establishing the idol of Lord Murugan in Palani and this sage is one of the eighteen great Siddhas or Siddhaars of ancient Tamil culture or Hinduisms.
History of Palani Temple
It is said that between the 2nd and 5th centuries, this place was under the control of King Perumal of the Chera Dynasty. One day, Lord Subramanya (Lord Kartikeya is also called Subramanya) came in the dream of King Perumal, and he ordered the king to re-construct the idol to its previous condition. On getting orders from Lord Subramanya, King Perumal started searching for the idol, and after finding that idol, the king re-constructed the temple.
The architecture of this temple is a mixture of Chera and Pandya art. It is said that the idol of Lord Murugan of this temple is made from such nine poisonous objects, which, when mixed in the right proportion, becomes an effective medicine, and it is placed on a stone pedestal. There is a Vinayak temple at the entrance of this temple, and pilgrims offer their prayers here as well, and there is also Shiva Meenakshi temple just in front of Vinayak temple. This temple is located on the Palani Hills, which is slightly above the ground, if any person is not able to climb the stairs then the facility of the ropeway is also available.
How to Reach
This temple is located in the foothills of the Palani Hills, in the Palani city of the Dindigul district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu; earlier, this city was known as Thiruavinankudi. So, if you want to worship Lord Murugan in this temple, you have to come to Palani first. You can come to Palani by train, flight, or by car. If you want to come by train to Palani, the nearest railway station is Palani Railway Station, three kilometers from this temple. Dindigul and Coimbatore are the major railway stations near Palani.
If you want to come to Palani by flight, you have to come to Coimbatore or Madurai Airport because there is no airport in Palani city and from here you can come by taxi or bus to Palani. And the nearest airport is Coimbatore International Airport, about 110 kilometers away from Palani city. The third option is to reach Palani, by road. You can easily reach Palani by road because this city is well connected with all the major cities of Tamil Nadu. You can easily reach Palani by road with the help of a car, bus, taxi, or bike. Here, the facility of government buses is also available, whose fares are significantly lower than those of private buses.
There are many temples in Palani, and they have rich cultures and traditions. People from all parts of the country come to Palani to worship Lord Murugan. The panoramic view seen from the top of this mountain is amazing. Every day many tourists come here, due to which Palani has become a major trading center and if someone wants to come here, he does not face any problem staying here because the accommodation facility is available here at very affordable prices. Lord Murugan is worshiped in this temple with great pomp on special occasions. Vaikasi Visakam, Soorasamharam, Panguni Uthiram and Thaipusam are the major festivals celebrated at Palani Murugan Temple. Every year lakhs of people visit this temple to worship Lord Murugan. It would be best if you also visit this temple once in your life.