Lord Karthikeya, also called Lord Muruga, is the reigning deity of Tamilnadu, India. He is also a favorite deity of devotees across India, Mauritius, Indonesia, Singapore Philippines and Malaysia. Most of the temples dedicated to him are situated on hills or hill ranges.
Lord Karthikeya is also addressed as Skanda, Vadivela, and Kuzhundai Velaayudaswami. There are six famous abodes of Lord Karthikeya in Tamil Nadu called Arupadaiveedu. Each temple highlights the different stages in the life of this son of Mother Parvathi.
The Six abodes of Lord Karthikeya/Muruga
Palani Murugan Temple
The first abode is the Palani Murugan temple. The story goes that Lord Ganesh won a race against his younger brother Karthikeyan. The Lord got so angry that he renowned the world and came to Palani Hill. The temple is at a height of 150 feet above sea level, at Palani hills in Dindugal. The Lord here is called Dandayudhapani.
Photos by abbourne,
The devout climb the numerous steps, trek the elephant walkway route or use the Winch facility available to reach the shrine. The shrine itself was made from nine minerals called Navabashanam by Sage Bogar, who was one of the million Siddars or wise men who have/had made this temple their home. The next few temples lie in other parts of Tamil Nadu.
Swamimalai Murugan Temple
The Second abode of Lord Karthikeya is Swamimalai, situated 8kms west of Kumbakonam. The temple was built sometime in the 2nd century.
Photos by KishoreK Photography,
Here the Lord is said to have taught his father, Lord Shiva the meaning of “OM”. Hence he was given the title Swaminatha or the Lord of Lords. The Lord’ shrine is at an elevation of 60ft while the shrines of his parents Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi are located downhill.
Thiruchendur Murugan Temple
Lord Muruga is a war lord. After his spiritual discourse, he went to war against the evil forces that caused harm to the Devas or celestial beings. The third abode lies on the shores of the Bay of Bengal at Tuticorin District of TamilNadu. It is here that theLord Karthikeya fought the evil demon Surapadman and freed many Devas(celestial beings) from his clutches.
The shrine in the sanctum sanatorium is in the praying posture seeking Lord Shiva, his father’s blessings
Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple
This temple is located on the outskirts of Madurai. Here the Lord married Devayani, the daughter of Lord Indra.
Hence, this temple is considered sacred for marriages. The next abode is also a marriage avenue of Lord Muruga.
Thiruthani Murugan Temple
The second marriage avenue Lord Murugan is located near Kanchipuram on the Thiruthani hills at a height 700 feet. There are 365 steps leading to the temple and represent the 365 number of days in a year.
The Lord is said to have stayed here for a few days after defeating Surapadman. It is also said that he married his second consort Valli at Thirutani.
Pazhamudhircholai Murugan Temple
The last abode of Lord Muruga is 19kms away from Madurai. The holy stream present here is called Nupura Gangai. Here, the Lord blesses his devotees along with both his consorts Valli and Devayani. It is here that the great Tamil Poet Avvyar was tested by Lord Muruga for her knowledge and language skills.
Traditions and Festivals
Devotees follow age-old traditions like head tonsuring and carrying the Kavadi. Festivals are celebrated and special pujas are carried out in all these temples on special days. The occasions are Aadi Krithikai, Thai Poosam, Panguni Uthiram, Chitra Pouranami, Vaikashi Vikasham and Kanda Shasti that are spread through the year.
These temples are well-connected to big metropolitan cities by Road and Rail. The nearest common airport is the Chennai airport.
Attain the grace of Lord Karthikeya along with the millions of devotees who undertake a pilgrimage tour to these temples on all holy occasions.