Name of the Temple
Sri Palani Dandayuthapani Temple
Period of origin
Before 2000 years
Name of deity
Sthala Theertham: Shanmugha theertham
Sthala Virksham: Gooseberry
As per legends, story goes with a mango fruit brought by Maharshi Narada. Child Muruga left His parents and came to this place as He could not get the mango for not fulfilling the condition to get the fruit. Lord Shiva followed Him. Lord Muruga halted at this place. Mother Parvathi did Her best for a compromise. But the Son was unrelenting and expressed His desire to stay here itself. A temple came into being for Kuzhandai Velayuthar as He was a child (kuzhandhai) then. Pazham in Tamil means fruit and also ripe knowledge.
Shivagiri has Lord Shiva attributes and Shaktigiri has that of Mother Parvathi. Idumban placed these mounts down here as he could not bear the weight. Lord Muruga stood on Shaktigiri and refused to come down despite Idumban’s repated demands. When Idumban decided to fight against the Lord, He showered His grace on him and kept with Him. As Muruga was holding a Danda-staff, the Lord came to be known as Dandayuthapani. Siddha Bogar who was here, made an idol of Navapashana (nine herbals) and installed in the temple. He became the presiding deity of the hill temple and became popular among the devotees. Lord Muruga graces here as a teacher explaining the uncertainties of life. As a teacher, He holds the Danda to correct erring pupils. In His ascetic form, Lord Muruga also teach people to shed the natural evils of greed, lust etc. in their mind and be free from passions leading to misery. He was assisted by his disciple Pulipani. All devotees are indebted to Bogar for gifting us Lord Himself. His monument is within the temple.
All of us know there is parrot in the hands of Mother Meenakshi. There was a wicket poet Sambandandan jealous of saint poet Arunagiriar and thought of a revenge plan to eliminate him. He used his influence on King Prapuda Deva Raya requesting him to ask the saint poet to get the Parijatha flower from heaven to prove his supremacy. Arunagiriar flew into the sky in a parrot form leaving his human form in the Tiruvannamalai tower. This is an exercise called Koodu Vittu Koodu Paithal – leaving the original body form in a safe place and enter into the body of another – for noble purposes. After completing the mission, the performer leaves the adopted body and re-enter into his own.
When Arunagiriar was shocked to see his body burnt, Lord Muruga blessed him by having his parrot form in His staff. Yet, He had a doubt. Vinayaka won the Mango race which hurt Muruga and may still harbour that anger against him. So Lord Vinayaka took the form of a serpent and began to fight with Idumban. This Vinayaka is on the hill path near Idumban shrine with His leg on a serpent. He is praised as Pada Vinayaka. Padam means foot. Before proceeding on the hill, the devotee should worship Vinayaka here. The footprints of Lord Muruga also are behind Vinayaka.
As He was a child then, Valli and Deivanai are not with Him here. As Muruga has all Shiva attributes, there are shrines for Lord Dakshinamurthy, Chandikeswara and Bhairava on the prakara walls of the sanctum sanctorum. Their idols are in the inner corridor of the temple. The saint has mentioned this in his songs.
On its bank, Lord Shiva with Mother Parvathi, Lord Vishnu on His Garuda vehicle and Lord Brahmma on His Swan vehicle appear and grace the devotees. All three Lords are facing west which has its special significance religiously. Worshipping them together ensures total relief from sins, it is believed.
Women devotees pray here with the yellow thread (mangal Sutra). Mother Valli also graces sitting alone under the Vilwa tree nearby. Abishek is performed to Nagar (serpent deity) in the Valli Chunai. 1) The Lord grants darshan in a wedding form with Valli and Deivanai without the peacock vehicle in Periyanayaki temple, 2) as a child on the peacock in Tiru Aavinan Kudi temple and 3) with His Danda-staff in the hill temple. It is indeed a very rare fortune for the devotees to worship the Lord in three forms in a single place. This is done on the Jeshta star day in the month of Aani at the midday pujas in the hill temple and on the Moola star day in the same month at the Tiru Aavinankudi Kuzhanthai Velayuthar temple during the evening pujas. The Annabishekam is performed to Lord Shiva on the Uthrada star day in the Periyavudayar temple.
Abishek to Idumban is performed at 3.00 a.m. followed by Puja at 5.00 p.m. Pujas to Muruga follows in the hill temple only afterwards. There is a shrine to Idumba on the hill path, appearing with the two hills on his shoulders. There is also a Nandhi before the shrine with his foot prints and of Kadamban. As the sage also is in the shrine, water Prasad is offered to the devotees from his kamandala, a bowl with a handle used by the Rishis. It is believed that Agasthya himself is offering the Prasad himself that contains rich medicinal properties.
Of the three parts of Sangam literature edited as 1) Pathu Pattu, 2) Ettu Thogai and 3) Pathinen Keezh Kanakku, the first part begins with Tirumurugu Attrupadai authored by gifted poet Nakkeerar singing the glory of Lord Muruga. Muruga is the Lord of the Tamil language. This is a place where ancient Chera and Pandya kings had the Lord in their very hearts. Those who think of the Lord are blessed with eternal bliss. Every literature in Tamil has a place of reverence to Lord Muruga.The preparation cell is completely modernized with advanced machines. The temple has a golden peacock, the vehicle of Lord Muruga and also a golden car-rath.
The land has the reputation of having great and divine Siddhas as its inhabitants whose heirs are believed to be still living in the places around the temple region. It is also noteworthy, that this is the first temple in Tamilnadu, bringing heaps of revenue to the Government. Now a winch facility is also made available for the convenience of the aged. Renovations were carried out during the period of Tirumalai Naicker. The temple is lavishly praised in ancient scriptures and Tamil epics.
Thai Poosam: Lord Nataraja performed His Ananda Thandava on the Margazhi (December-January) Tiruvadhirai day which Mother Uma enjoyed sitting close to the stage. She desired that She too perform one similar to Lord’s. Sages Vyakrapada, Patanjali and others came to see Mother’s dance which took place on the Poosa star day in Thai month –January-February. This is Thai Poosam festival. The day thus belongs to Mother Uma. But it is celebrated in Palani greatly, the place of Lord Muruga importance. Lord Muruga temple is in between the shrines. The main tower and the flag post Kodimaram are before the Muruga shrine. Those who enter the temple began worshipping Muruga first. The flag hoisting ceremony begins from here only and thus came to be associated with Muruga tradition. Thai Poosam festival is even now celebrated at the Ambica shrine only. Procession deity Muthukumaraswami is taken through the streets each day. The car festival takes place on the seventh day.
Vaikasi Visakam in May-June, Aipasi Skanda Sashti in October-November, Tirukarthikai in November-December, Thaipoosam in January-February and Panguni Uthiram in March-April are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
Palani is 56 km far from Dindigul, 120 km from Madurai and 115 km from Coimbatore. Bus facilities are available from all parts of Tamilnadu.
6.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m.
Temple Telephone Number:
+91-4545 – 242 293, 242 236, 242 493.
Sri Palani Dandayuthapani Temple,
Palani- 624 601,