Muruga is also known by various names, such as Karthikeya, Subramanya, Kumaran, Velavan, Kandan, Velan, Andiappan, Skanda etc.
The six most sacred abodes of the Hindu god Lord Murugan are called “Aarupadaiveedu”. which means the “six war houses of the Lord”. These six abodes attract thousands of followers from across the world, although there are countless temples dedicated to Lord Muruga, who is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvathi. These six temples are considered very important amongst the devotees of Tamil Nadu and hence, deserve a special mention.
The six shrines dedicated to Lord Muruga in the southern state of Tamil Nadu are
- Palani Murugan Temple / Sri Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple
- Sri Swaminatha Swamy Temple, Swamimalai
- Sri Subramaniya Swamy Temple, Tiruttani
- Sri Solaimalai Murugan Temple, Pazhamudircholai
- Sri Subramaniya Swamy Temple, Tiruchendur
- Murugan Temple or Subramanya Swamy Temple, Thiruparankundram
1) Subramanya Swamy Temple at Thiruparankunram:
Thiruparankunram Temple Timings: 5:00 AM to 11:30 AM and 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM.
Located on the outskirts of Madurai on a hillock where Lord Murugan married Indran’s daughter Deivanai. This is the first of the Arupadaiveedu (armory house). Of the 6 Padai Veedu temples, this is the only temple where abishekam is performed for Vel instead of Lord Murugan. The Lord is praised by Saints Nakkeerar and Arunagirinathar.
2) Subramanya Swamy Temple at Thiruchendur:
Thiruchendur Temple Timings: 5.00 am to 12.00 and 5.00 pm to 9.00 pm.
Out of the Six Padai Veedu of Lord Murugan, Thiruchendur alone is situated in the seashore and the rest are all situated in hills. Where the Head (Commander-in-chief) goes for battle and stays with his army is called “Padai Veedu”. Hence, Thiruchendur is the only place where Lord Murugan with his army stayed when he went to destroy Demon Soorapadman. The temple commemorates the event, “Soorasamharam” in a grand manner every year.
3) Dandayuthapani Swamy Temple at Palani:
Palani Temple Timings: 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Pazhani / Palani is situated in Dindigul District, on the Palani hill bottom (Malai Adivaram) called Thiruaavinankudi, where the temple deity is known as “Kuzhanthai Velayuthaswami”. Palani also has the scriptural name Pothigai.
The legend is that this lord was worshipped by Goddess Lakshmi (‘Thiru’ in Tamil), the sacred cow Kamadhenu (‘Aa’ in Tamil), the sun God Suryan (‘Inan’ in Tamil), the earth goddess (‘ku’ in Tamil), and the fire god Agni (‘Di’ in Tamil), hence the place called “Thiruaavinankudi”.
The hilltop temple has 690 steps where “Dhandayuthapani” is the main deity, in a meditating state, carrying a staff (‘danda’) as a
weapon (‘ayutha’) in his hands (‘pani’). Here, the main deity is made out of Navabashanam and was created and established by Siddhar Bhogar.
Great Tamil poet Avvaiyar, known not only for her poetic excellence but also for wisdom, called Murugan “Pazham Nee” so the place came to be known as Pazhani.
This is the place where Murugan resided after his feud with his family over a divine fruit.
4) Swaminatha Swamy Temple at Swamimalai:
Swamimalai Temple Timings: 5:00 AM to 12:00 AM and 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM :
The temple is built on an artificial hill. There are 60 steps to reach the hill temple representing the 60 Tamil Years. The temple commemorates the incident where Murugan explained the essence of the pranava mantram “Om” to his father Lord Shiva. Swamimalai is the 4th Padiaveedu of Lord Murugan. As the Lord was a Guru to his father Lord Shiva, the place is revered as Gurumalai and Swamimalai.
5) Subramanya Swamy Temple at Thiruthani:
Thiruthani Temple Timings: From Morning 5:45 AM to Night 8:45 PM.
Murugan reclaimed his inner peace after waging a war with the demon Soorapadman. The hill temple has 365 steps representing the days of a year Lord Murugan met Valli near to this place and married her in this place. The place was called Thiruthanigai earlier and the name now changed to Thiruthani.
6) Subramanya Swamy Temple at Pazhamudircholai:
Pazhamudircholai Temple Timings: 5:30 AM to 7:30 PM.
Located on Solaimalai hill with a holy stream nearby called “Nupura Gangai”. Out of the six Arupadai Veedu temples, this is the only place where he graces the devotees with his consorts Valli and Deivanai.
Also, this is the historical place where the Lord played with the great Tamil poetess Avvaiyar asking her what fruit she wished, cooked or uncooked – Sutta Pazham or Sudadha Pazham.