Devi's Corner - Temples in Tamilnadu - Marudhamalai Murugan Temple, Coimbatore
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Marudhamalai Murugan Temple, Coimbatore

     Maruthamalai Murugan temple is situated upon a scenic hill that is a part of the beautiful lush green Western Ghats and is about 15 km from the vibrant city of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. Marudamalai is one of the most popular abodes of Lord Muruga and in importance it is next only to the Arupadaiveedu, for Muruga devotees.

Marudhamalai Hills
     The Sanskrit word "achalam" denotes mountain. As the mountain here abounded in marudham trees, it came to be known as Marudhachalam. Marudhamalai is also called Marundhumalai, for it is overgrown with shrubs and bushes of medicinal properties. Hence, Marudhamalai is befittingly given the name Marudhamalai (Mountain of Medicines). This is referred to as Marudhamalvarai, Marudhavarai, Marudha Verpu, Marudha Kundru, Marudhavongal, Kamarpirangu, Marudhachalam, Velvarai in Perur Puranam.

     The holy shrine of Marudhamalai is believed to remove both physical and mental afflictions and attachments as the hill abounds in Medicinal herbs. The pleasant breeze and the peaceful environments bring harmony and quietness to the minds of devotees. The saints and holymen used to prefer this hill and came here in search of 'KayaKalpam' the Divine medicine for Salvation. The celestial cow 'Kamadhenu' is believed to have grazed in the pastures of this hillock and drunk from the springs under the Marudham tree as per Perur Puranam written by Kachiappa Munivar.

     Perur puranam lists the three neighboring hills, vellingiri, Nili and Marudhamalai as the very manifestations of Lord Siva, Parvati and Subramanya respectively and the three hills taken together as the very symbol of Somaskanda. A siddha, overcome by excessive tiredness and thirst, sought shelter under the shade of a Marudham tree and prayed for the mercy of Lord Muruga for a shower of water, which sprang at once, as though by a miracle from the tree. As water gushed out from the roots of the Marudham tree, the Siddha jumped in joy, glorifying Muruga as the Lord of Marudham and jalam (water). With the passage of time, Marudhajalapati became Marudhachalapati.

     According to Perur Puranam, Surapadma, the scourage of the gods aided by his mighty brothers, Singamukha and Taraka arrayed against them and struck terror in their already agitated minds by his sudden and surprising charges and depredations. Unable to bear the agony and anguish, the gods approached Lord Siva and sought His succour. Lord siva comforted the gods that Lord Muruga would come to their rescue, root out and destroy Surapadma and his retinue enmasse. The gods should hasten to the Marudhamalai Hills and await the advent of Lord Muruga, their Saviour!

     Perur Puranam also alludes to a king called kusathvajan, who it is said, was blessed with a male issue, only after worshipping Marudhamalai Murugan.

     The past history of the temple can be traced in such ancient works as Sage Kachiappar's Perur Puranam. The origin of the temple is rooted in legendary antiquity and dates back to the age of Surapadma, the demon destroyed by Lord Subramanya referred to in Skandapuranam. The inscriptions found in Tiru Muruganatha Swami Temple, Tiru Murugan Poondi places the origin of the temple in the 12 th century A.D. Kongu Nadu was divided into 24 regions in the early days. It is learnt that one such Arai Nadu in the west has its boundary in the Marudhamalai Hills. Perur Puranam and the inscriptions at Tiru Murugan Poondi speak of Marudhamalai as the very manifestations of Lord Muruga Himself and the Marudham tree as the symbolic representation of his spear (vel). Marudhamalai is celebrated by Saint Arunagirinathar in his celestial songs.

Thanthonri Vinayagar
     The 'Thanthonri Vinayagar' shrine is at the foothills. The deity is of spontaneous origin (Swayambu).

The Srine of Idumba
     The shrine of Idumba is located almost in the middle of the path of steps. The image of the deity is carved on a huge round rock in the posture of carrying a Kaavadi. Married couples having no issues worship the deity and offer toy cradles with the firm faith of being blessed with progeny by the Grace of god.

Kudirai Kulambu(hoof marks of the horse)
     It is believed that the horse of Lord Muruga caused the Marks, as He marched against the Demon Surapadma. Or the horse on which Lord Muruga rode and chased the robbers referred to earlier might have imprinted by them.

Pambatti Siddhar Cave
     The Pambatti Siddhar Cave is another shrine drawing our attention. It is located on the slopes towards the east and can be approached by a narrow path, protected by a stone hedge or parapet. Pambatti Siddhar used this cave as his abode for meditation on Lord Muruga and attained salvation here. One can notice a natural image of a snake on the rock.

     As the Siddhar used to animate dead snakes and dance with him, he was popularly known as Pambatti Siddhar. Once he transmigrated into the deadbody of a king and performed great miracles. He composed songs of enlightenment. 'Siddharudam' is a work, attributed to his prophetic genius. Lord Muruga took joy in teasing and tantalizing the Siddha with His spiritual pranks. Once as an enormous boulder came down, rolling gaining momentum, the siddha tried to halt it, Arrested its movement and averted a great havoc.

     Of the eighteen noted siddhas with such attributes, was one Pambatti Siddhar greatly revered in the Kongu region. He is credited with having lived in the company of snakes and made them dance to his tunes. He himself was delighted to dance with them. Once, in the course of his wanderings, he chanced to meet one, Sattai Muni Siddhar, a contemporary and counterpart who initiated him into the art of entering into trances - the Jeeva Samadhi Nilai.

     A snake comes to the cave everyday and feeds itself on the fruit and milk kept for it. There is an underground passage from the cave to the primal shrine through which the Pambati Siddhar wended his way everyday to worship Lord Subramanya in the Company of His consorts.

     There is a cluster of trees closely interwinding one another. Under this is installed an Idol of Lord Ganesha. Daily poojas are performed to this deity also. The breeze wafting along the foliage has an unfailing cure for all diseases of the people. A host of saints, invisible to the common man's eyes, are supposed to dwell here doing meditation. An aged Irula tribesman, 75 years old identified the entangled trees as Korakattai, Ichi, Banyan, Vakkanai and Ottu maram and added there was one tree in the group, Peepal in the days of yore, and it is extinct now. The tribesman also said that this tree existed in the same manner even during his childhood. This is a unique phenomenon attracting not only devotees but also botanists.

Uchipillayar Kovil
     Two kilometers north of the main shrine is situated 'Uchipilliayar Kovil' gracing the devotees. The idol has been installed recently. On every 'Chathurthi' the deity is bedewed, anointed and adorned and devotees throng the temple in great numbers to worship on that day. Right from foot hills to the temple on top we find elegantly built mandapams erected for devotees to take rest.

Temple Pooja Times
Ushakkalam 6.00 A.M.
Kalasandhi 9.00 A.M.
Uchikkalam 12.00 A.M
Tiru koil kappiduthal 1.00 to 2.00 P.M in day time
Sayaratchai 5.00 P.M.
Ardha Jama 8.30 P.M. (Rakkalam)

     There are several festivals celebrated glorifying Lord Marudhachalapathy like Karttikai, Adi Pathinettu, Padivizha, Tamil New year's Day, English New Year's Day, Karttikai Deepam, Thaipoosam - Brahmotsavam, Panguni Uttiram etc. The Thaipoosam Car Festival is a festival, most splendid and spectacular, attracting a large number of devotees.

     Marudhamalai Arulmigu Subramanyaswamy Temple is situated at a height of about 500 feet in a plateau on the Western Ghats, fifteen kilometers north west of Coimbatore.

Bus Service
     From Coimbatore bus stand many city buses ply to Marudhamalai. The Devasthanam has provided 3 buses from the foothill to reach the temple on top. A good motorable road has been laid upto the hilltop by the Temple Devasthanam.

Train Services
     Nearest Railway Station - Coimbatore.

Air Services
     Nearest Airport - Coimbatore.

Worship Time      The Sanctum of the deity is kept open from 6.00 A.M. to 8.00 P.M.

Contact Address
Deputy Commissioner / Executive Officer
Subramanya Swami Thiru Kovil, Marudhamalai, Coimbatore - 641 046
Phone : +91-422-2422490

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