Palani Murugan temple or the Dhandayuthapani temple is placed at Palani in Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu. Palani Temple is very famous among the Hindu devotees. Around 6.5 million devotees visit this temple for worship every year. As the name suggests, this temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan, son of Goddess Parvathi and Lord Siva. Palani temple is known as one of the six homes of Lord Murugan. The temple is famous for its Panchamrutam Prasad among the devotees. Panchamrutam includes 5 sweet ingredients; Pancha meaning 5 and Amrutham meaning a drink that keeps you ageless and defies death. Renowned Hindu sage Bogar shaped and installed the sacred deity of Palani Murugan.
According to Hindu mythology, once Narada went to meet Lord Shiva at Kailasa and he had a ‘Gyana Palam’ with him. ‘Gyana palam’ means the Fruit of Knowledge and Narada gave it to Lord Shiva. Shiva wanted to cut this and give to his kids. But Narada, as usual, asked Shiva to give it to the kid who goes around the world thrice and reaches first. Shiva asked Kartikeya and Ganesha to do that. Karthikeyan started to travel the world on his peacock but Ganesha went around Shiva and Parvathi 3 times saying that his whole world was them only. Lord Ganesa won the game and got the fruit. Karthikeyan got angry at this and decided to leave his ornaments and assumed to become a saint. He went to Palani and settled there. That’s how Palani Murugan temple was established.
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There is another story too! Once all the gods and wise people went to meet Lord Shiva at Kailasa. Because of that Kailasa was crowded with all saints. Suddenly it was noticed that Earth started leaning to one side. Seeing this, Lord Shiva asked Agastya to shift to the Sothern side to balance. But Agastya deputed one of the devils called Ettumba to put two hills on the south part. Ettumba picked the hills and moved to the south but rested in between. Again when he tried to pick one of the hills but he failed. When he checked, he saw a young man and they both fought. The young man won. Then Agastya came to know that the young man was Karthikeyan and begged him to forgive. Karthikeyan pardoned Agastya but the hill, Palani, stays there.
The other hill which was picked by the devil was Swamimalai. This is another home of Karthikeyan.
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The Palani Murugan temple was made by Bogar. It is believed that the sculptor never had much time to make the idol of Murugan. He works hard on the face of the idol and was not able to commit that much effort on the body. You can see this difference when you visit the Palani Murugan temple. The face of Murugan is complete but the body looks a little rough. There is a holy place for Bogar at Palani, inside the Murugan temple. As per the myths, Bogar is still meditating with eight deities of Murugan.
Palani Murugan was celebrated and worshiped by many people for centuries. Later, the deity was deserted for a long time. This place was under the Chera Dynasty from the 2nd to 5th century. Once, the King Perumal was moving around the forest to catch animals and he reached near the hill. Since it was nearing night, he could not return and took shelter below the hill. At night, Lord Subramanian appeared in his dream and asked him to bring back the deity and revamp it. The King found the idol and constructed the temple.
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The main offering here is tonsuring as Lord Murugan is believed to have left everything and come to this hill to meditate. Devotees from all across the world visit the temple and offer their hair to Lord Murugan at the temple.
The Festivals of Palani Murugan Temple
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Thaipoosam is the main festival of Lord Murugan. Soora Samharam, Pankuni Uththiram and Vaikashi Vishakam are the other festivals celebrated here. There is options of step and rope way to reach the top of the hill to visit Palani Murugan temple.
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