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Skanda Sashti, Kanda Sashti Vratam

Various names have been given to the sibling of Lord Ganesha, Lord Skanda being one of them. In Tamil Nadu, Hindu devotees believe God Shiva and Goddess Parvati to have two siblings, one Lord Ganesha and the younger brother, Lord Skanda. However, in North India, Lord Skanda is known to be as Ganesha’s elder brother. Devotees pray to Lord Skanda also by names of Murugan, Kartikeyan and Subramanya.

For Lord Skanda the Tithi for prayers and fasting is Sashti Tithi. The other name for Skanda Sashti is Kanda Sashti. Most suitable day for maintaining Sashti Vratam in honor of Lord Skanda would be when the two Tithis, Sashti Tithi and Panchami Tithi combine. The time when Panchami Tithi concludes and Sashti Tithi commences is said to be the day that has the combination of both Tithis. It is most suitable for Skanda Sashti fast and timing between the rising and setting of sun would be fine. Most Murugan temples existing in South India abide by this rule. Besides mention of this is also seen in Dharmasindhu and Nirnayasindhu. When the two Thithis of Panchami and Sashti conjugate then Soorasamharam day is maintained by devotees on the prior day.

Most significant among Sashti Tithis is the one falling during Shukla Paksha on Kartika day. Many devotees of Lord Skanda maintain a fasting regime lasting for six days that culminates on Soorasamharam day. This is then followed up with Tiru Kalyanam on the subsequent day. In the lunar month of Margashirsha, when the next Skanda Sashti comes up it is referred to as Subramanya Sashti or Kukke Subramanya Sashti.
Lord Murugan
Temples Dedicated to Lord Murugan / Sri Subramanaya Swamy:
Following six abodes, which are known as Arupadaiveedu, are the most important shrines for Murugan (Subramanaya) devotees in Tamilnadu.
1) Palani Murugan Temple
2) Swamimalai Murugan Temple
3) Thiruthani Murugan Temple
4) Pazhamudircholai Murugan Temple
5) Sri Subrahmanya Swami Temple, Tiruchendur
6) Thirupparamkunram Murugan Temple
7) Marudamalai Murugan Temple
Kukke Subramanya Temple, Karnataka. Kukke Subramanya Swamy Temple is a very famous Temple dedicated to Lord Muruga but it is not part of six Temples of Lord Muruga which are located in Tamil Nadu, India.

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