Idumban Temple is situated on Idumban Hill, 2 km from the Palani bus stand. The Idumban idol is 13 feet tall showing Idumban carrying the Kavadi. One has to climb 570 steps to reach the temple. This temple has been of great importance since the days of sage Agastya. It is believed that sage Agastya ordered his demonic assistant Idumban to bring Sivagiri and Shaktigiri hills to his abode in South India. Idumban was one of the few surviving demons from the war between Sura and Asura. Idumban later became a devotee of Lord Murugan.
Idumban carried the hills slung over his shoulders in the form of Kavadi, one on each side. When he reached Palani and felt tired, he descended the Kavadi to rest.
Palani, the timeless center of Murugan’s devotion when Idumban resumed his journey, found he could not lift the hill. Muruga had made it impossible for Idumban to carry it. At the top of the hill, the tall Asuran saw a small boy dressed only in kaupeenam and demanded that he leave immediately so that Idumban could continue his task. The boy, who was still in a fighting mood, refused. In the fierce battle that followed, Idumban was killed but later came back to life.
Idumban belatedly recognized the boy as none other than his ista Devata Murugan and begged him to:
- Whoever carries the Kavadi, i.e. signifying the two hills, on his shoulders and visits the temple with a wish, must be blessed.
- He must be given the privilege of the standing sentry at the entrance to the hill. Thus, we have the Idumban shrine halfway up the hill where every pilgrim must pay homage to Idumban before entering the temple of Dhandayuthapani Swami. Since then, Palani pilgrims carry their offerings on their shoulders in a Kavadi. The custom spread from Palani to all Muruga shrines.
Muruga, in his aspect of Lord Dhandayuthapani, represents tyaagam or renunciation. Avoiding all material possessions, the only garment he chose to keep is a loincloth called a kaupeenam. But his bhaktas never tire of offering him expensive clothes and enriching his wardrobe with luxurious royal garments which are used to adorn him when his devotees yearn to see the Lord in the robes of a king. Because verily his status is that of a sovereign Swami or Lord.
Idumban Temple Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM
The Greatness of Idumbar Hill Temple:
Those who chant Sashti Kavacham, a hymn dedicated to Lord Muruga, will also find a line praising Idumban, which proves that the deity was instrumental in the construction of the main Palani temple. Many devotees visiting Palani were unaware of this truth. By the grace of Lord Muruga, this temple in Idumban was built and consecrated in 2002 on the hill opposite the main temple of Palani Murugan.
The idol is 13 feet tall and shows Idumban wearing the Kavadi. There are also shrines for Sri Vinayaka and Lord Muruga. In order to get full benefits from their prayers to Lord Muruga at the main temple, devotees should note that they should pray at this temple first. There are 540 steps to reach the shrine. Visitors to Palani are advised not to stop worshiping Idumban before heading to Lord Muruga.
Palani Idumbar Temple Address:
Palani Temple Steps,
Tamil Nadu – 624601.