Visakam – Sri Muthukumaraswami temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Muthukumaraswami temple

Period of origin

Before 1500 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Muthukumaraswami

Ambal: Valli and Devayanai

Star : Visakam

Male:

You give very little importance to traditional values and beliefs even as young boy. You have clearly and individually developed views on life. You tend to be separated from members of your family. You are a clever communicator, efficient worker, and careful spender. You have all the tools to make you a successful individual. You do not act blindly and thoughtlessly, and your concern and understanding for others will definitely be noticed and appreciated. You enjoy pleasure and are keenly interested in sexual enjoyment. At times you may seem overly selfish in this regard. This may be a cause for problems in your family life.

Female:

You are well liked in your youth. You have an irritable temper and tend to get moody. You are careful about your money, but often wonder why you seem to run out of it as fast as you do. You enjoy the finer things in life. You also enjoy a good argument. You have a special talent for debates. You are capable of analyzing and criticizing the actions of others. You are a practical thinker. You would make a good administrator. Do not except too much from your mother. You may rebel against, or otherwise be removed from the control of your father. You are broad-minded, independent, sympathetic and reasonable women. You welcome new activities and endeavors. You will be intimately and emotionally close to your husband. Give your love to a man who can appreciate the depth of your love. You should careful not to do things just because you are put under a lot of pressure. You choose your words carefully and wisely.

Sthalapuranam:

Once there was only Vel – the weapon of Lord Muruga, in the temple.  The priest of the Temple, Poovan Pattar was performing pujas for the Vel. While he was relaxing under a tamarind tree after the puja one day, Lord Muruga appeared in his dream and said that the hill belonged to Him and that He was in the form of an idol at Kottaithiradu, a little away from the place.  Lord asked the priest to go to the place where ants would be moving in a line and that He was there.  The priest informed the king.  The idol was taken from the pit and installed.  The temple was built by the Pandala king.

It is believed that Pithrus (departed ancestors) live on the steps of the hill.  Hence, performing Tarpans to them at this place would greatly benefit the following generations.  The devotion of Sivakami Ammayar with steadfastness and determination carrying the stones for building the temple is a thrilling story.

Elephants were used to carry stone pillars and beams to the top of the hill while building the temple.  Those were the days when strong ropes were not available, they used ropes made of palm fibres and sometimes they gave in resulting in their rolling down.  When they were cut off and rolled down, it is said that an ascetic women, Sivakami Ammaiyar dared her life and stopped the stone with her head, crying Muruga, Muruga.

Till the stones were pulled above, she would be holding them by the head with the power granted to her by Lord Muruga.  She also carried bricks on plantain stem strips.  There is an idol of Sivakami Ammaiyar in the temple. Mookkan: Poovan Pattar, the priest of this temple went to a place called Kottai Thiradu and dug a place pointed by Lord Muruga.  While digging, the crow bar touched the nose of the idol and slightly damaged it which also added beauty to the idol.  Seeing this, the people of the place called the Lord Mookkan.  Mookku in Tamil means nose. The tradition of naming the children as Mookan, Mookkayee and Mookkammal arose from this name of the Lord in Tirumalai Murugan temple in Tirunelveli district.

Also, if children are born dead consecutively in a family, they take the vow to bore the nose the child and name it as Mookan so that the child would survive.  Even male children would be wearing nose ring here till the age of 15.  This ceremony is followed on the third child if the earlier two did not survive in delivery.

Generally, people believe that Aiyappan temple alone was built by the king of Pandala while he built this Tirumalai temple too at the border of Kerala.  Places known for Aiyappan worship as Ariangavu, Achankoil and Kulathupuzhai are around this place.

One Sivakami Ammal was living in this place with her husband Gangaimuthu Thevar.  They had no child.  Deciding to erect a stone mandap in the hill temple, the woman carried bricks and stones to the temple with such determination and faith seeking child boon.  Yet, she could not realize her wish.  One Varadar Masthan, a saint of the place advised her to adopt Lord Muruga Himself as her son. The lady readily accepted and willed all her assets to Lord Muruga.  She also sued against some in illegal possession of properties belonging to the Lord in Puliarai village in the Tiruvananthapuram court producing epigraphic evidences and recovered them.  The copies of these epigraphic evidences are still available.  As the lady spent all her life in the service of Lord Muruga, she was called Sivakami Pardesi.

There are 625 steps to reach the temple at the hill top.  This is also called Tirikoodamalai.  At the entrance of the hill, there is a shrine for Lord Vallabha Vinayaka.  There are two Padukas – Foot Symbol.  There is another Vinayaka shrine in the middle of the hill path followed by one to Idumban.

The sacred spring at the top of the hill is called Ashta Padmakulam.  It is presently called Poonjunai.  A flower called Kuvalai mentioned in Tamil literatures blossomed here.  Only one flower would blossom a day.  The seven virgins (Saptha Kannikas) worshipped Muruga.  While the idols of Saptha Kannikas are found only in Lord Shiva temple, they are installed on the banks of the spring in this temple too.  The seven powers of Mother Parvathi are called Saptha Kannikas.

Those born of Visaka star should visit this temple at least once in their life time.Three herbal plants grew in this hill named Odavalli and Nalamoolika representing the powers of the stars Visaka, Kruthika and Uthara related to Lord Muruga worship.  It is believed that the roots of these herbals were used and worshipped along with a Dhanakarshana Yantra for acquiring wealth.  Though these herbals could not be identified now, it is certain that a positive change in the life of those visiting this temple is evident.  The V in Visagam means supremacy and Sagam means light.  Visagam star has three lights in it called Vimala Sagam, Vibhava Sagam and Vipula Sagam.  As all these three lights exist in this hill temple, Siddhas had said that Viskam starrers should worship in this temple for great benefits.

There are 16 steps to Lord Vinayaka Temple praised as Shodasa Vinayaka.  Shodasa in Sanskrit means 16.  The number represents 16 wealth such as education, courage, success, material wealth etc.  On the first of each Tamil month, feeding is organized by a Devotee Association from 6.00 a.m. till night.

Step festival on the first of Chithirai falling mostly on April 14, Vaikasi Visakam in May-June, Skanda Sashti in October-November, Karthikai float festival in November-December and Thai Poosam in January-February are the festivals celebrated in the temple.

Route:

Sengottai is 155 km from Madurai. The temple at Tirumalai koil is 7 km from Sengottah that can be reached both by buses and vans.

Temple Timings:

6.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

04633- 237 131, 237 343, 237 122, 94435 08082, 94430 87005

Temple Address:

Sri Tirumalai Kumaraswami Temple,

Panmozhi – 627 807,

Sengottai,

Tirunelveli district.

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