Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Temple Trails Tamil Nadu : Marudhamalai

Marudhamalai Temple

This is the first part of a pilgrimage to Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Six of us from our family boarded a train to Coimbatore to go to Ranga’s aunt’s place on a Saturday. As usual I was fascinated by chitti’s garden and went straight there with my morning coffee!

I took many snaps of her plants, trees, the hill range and the paaku thoppu (betelnut plantation) nearby. I did miss the field which used to be there in yonder days as many new houses have come up in the area of Vadavalli. My brother-in-law Nagarajan Anna, being the organiser, was after us to get ready for our first visit to Marudhamalai Murugan Temple. Vadavalli is located just below the Marudhamalai hill range and it takes a very short time to reach the temple from Chitti’s home. Chitti arranged for a call taxi and we all left for the temple after breakfast.

Though this was my second visit to this temple, all looked new to me as there were many modifications while construction work was still going on.

Gopuram of the main sannidhi

Entrance to main sannidhi

construction work

mandapam on the lower level

The name of Sando Chinnappa Devar etched on many places leading to the temple mentioning his contributions, reminded me of the song “Marudhmalai Maamaniye Murugayya” sung by Madurai Somu in the movie Deivam!

As the taxi took us up to the temple, we had to climb only about 20-25 steps to the sannidhis. 
people climbing

more steps, dont miss the decoration for Thai poosam

First was Panchavriksha Vinayakar, a very cute Ganapathy under a tree. We tried to make out if there were actually five trees as the name suggests, but could see only one type of leaves! We lit a few ghee lamps there and proceeded to have a darshan of the main deity – Dhandayudhapaani. It was not much crowded and with special darshan tickets, we reached the sannidhi quite quickly. As his name means, Murugan was looking very handsome with a majestic turban on his head and holding the Dhandam. The Vel was also near the Dhandam We had a very good darshan and moved out from the left side itself via a side entrance. The Dhandayudhapaani sannidhi is flanked by the Lord’s parents – Patteeswarar and Maragathaambikai on either side – Saga Uma Skandar style. We had darshan of a quite small  Lingam – Patteeswarar and a very sweet looking Maragathaambikai in simple alangaram. We then proceeded towards the front to have darshan of the Navagraha. 
 I was happy to see a photograph of Arunagirinathar and Pamban Swamigal on either side of the main door leading to the sannidhi of Dhanayudhapaani and remembered by grand father, an ardent devotee of Murugan and follower of Pamban Swamigal. On the right side of the door was the small sannidhi of Varadaraja Perumal. We prayed there and sat down in the mandapam for a few minutes.

We saw markings with directions to the Paambaati Siddhar cave temple and steps leading down. All of us were keen to visit and climbed down another 20 stairs. There was a sannidhi with Shiva lingam and an idol of the Siddhar and a naturally formed shape of a snake. There was a milk in a bowl and we heard that snakes come to drink it. The sannidhi is built around a rocky structure with many natural hollows. The archakar there explained that there is a path to the garba graham of the temple from there which the Siddhar used to visitsthe sannidhi to offer his prayers to Dhandayudapaani. We could feel very good vibrations at this sannidhi and sat there for some time in prayer.

Pambaati siddhar sannidhi

view near the Siddhar sannidhi
On the way up is the Saptakanni sannidhi with seven idols of the Saptakannis covered with turmeric.

We came up the steps again to pray at the moolasthaanam of the temple. This has tiny idols of Murugan with Valli and Deivanai. 
Moolasthanam gopuram
We went back again in front of the main sannidhi and prostrated in front of the Dwajasthambam. 
Vel near Dwajasthambam
The special darshan queue was so long that we realised that we had just managed to escape the big crowd. We thanked the Lord for the same and climbed down the steps to go back home.

A view of the town from temple level


  1. Lak,
    the new blog design appears gorgeous. The write up and pics for Marudhamalai are just awesome. Thank you for this virtual journey.

  2. I had visited the temple once.Yours is a very descriptive post.I missed pambaatti siddhar's sannidhi.The pictures are very nice and bring memories of my visit.Thanks

  3. Simply excellent. Its like visiting the temple itself !!!!

    The photographs are simply superb. Keep up your great work.

  4. ippdi dhaan naan fotos pakanuma? :( :( :(
    I was expecting to get a complete set on flickr or picasa or somewhere :( :( :(

  5. Lovely blog post. A unique blend of divine intervention and architectural splendour, is what you are in store for at the Marudhamalai Temple in Coimbatore. Also, explore numerous wonderful places to visit in Coimbatore such as Aliyar Dam Reservoir Park, Bhavani Sagar Dam, and Palani.