HISTORY OF THIRUPARANKUNDRAM TEMPLE:
- Thiruparankundram is the first abode of Murugan among his six abodes, which is built by Pandyas during the 6th century.
- There lived a demon king in Veera Mahendrapuri whose name was Surapadman. He was also a great scholar and a devotee of Shiva for many years.
- Once he commenced a Tapas to get Shiva’s attention and finally he gained it. Lord Shiva was impressed by surapadma’s devotion towards him, so Lord Shiva gave him the boons which he asked for, Surapadman became more powerful and started doing immortality.
- Surapadman started targeting the world, he wants to occupy all three worlds. He even imprisoned Indra, the king of Devas. Indra then prays to Murugan, who finally killed the demon king surapadman in a long battle.
ORIGIN OF THIRUPARANKUNDRAM:
After Murugan had defeated the demon king, he successfully released the devas. Then the marriage of Murugan and Deivanai takes place in Thiruvaparankundram, which was attended by the sun and moon after that lord Murugan gets blessings from his parents Shiva and Parvati.
It is believed that Murugan worshipped Lord shiva here as Parangirinathar. Here is the only shrine where you can Lord Murugan with his senior consort Deivanai.
FESTIVAL OF THE TEMPLE:
The most important festival of the temple is the Skanda Sashti festival, which is celebrated during the Tamil month of Aippasi (October – November).
Brahmotsavam falls here during the Tamil month of panguni. Karthikai deepam is also celebrated here during the Tamil month of Karthigai by lighting a lamp on top of the hill.
Vaikasi Visagam and also the float festival in Thai. are the other festivals celebrated in Thiruparankkundram
1) Tamil New Year – April month
2) Ani Muppzha Pooja – July
3) Skanda Sashti – October to November
4) Saraswathi Pooja – October to November
5) Ani Muppzha Pooja – July
6) Marghazhi Pooja – December to January
7) Theppam Festival – January to February
8) Karthigai Somavaram – November to December
9) Masi Maha Shivaratri – January to February
10) Theppam Festival – January to February
SPECIALITY OF THE TEMPLE:
- Thiruparankukndram is also called as skandamalai. The temple and its landmark contain the earliest cave temples of Shaivism.
- The early Shaivism traditional cave temple at the northern foot of the hill was expanded with mandapas and additional shrines over the 7th to 15th century, including a feeding house, Vedic school, and traditional art performances.
- But now this is the major temple known as Thirupparankundram Murugan Temple. It is a major pilgrimage.
- It is also the place in Madurai, next only to Meenakshi Amman Temple.
OTHER SHRINES IN THE TEMPLE:
- The temple has a separate shrine for Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Goddess Durga, Lord Vinayaka, and other prominent Hindu deities.
- In this temple Shrines of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu face each other, which is a unique aspect of a Hindu temple.
- From here sun and moon can be seen together, which is a major attraction among devotees. The parankundram rock on the wall is carved for all Statues.
- Lord Shiva is worshipped here as Parangirinathar and his wife Goddess Parvati as Aavudai Nayaki.
- The temple attracts more the also for its architectural beauty. The temple is built with rock-cut architecture dating back to the period of Pandya by the 6th century.
- The life-sized sculptures in the mandapas of the Nayak period. There is an Aasthaana mandapa finished with several artistically carved pillars.
- One of the towers 150 feet (46m) high seven-tiered Rajapouram at the entrance. The inner rock cut images are made of a single stone. The three leading sanctums Kambathadi Mandapam, Ardha Mandapam, and Maha mandapam are situated at varying elevations.
- In front of the Dwajasthambam, a carved Nandi is situated, Mayil and the mouse, which are the vahanas of Lord shiva, Murugan, and Vinayaka.
- There is rock carving of Mahisshasura Mardini (Durga), Karpaga Vinayagar, Andarabaranar, and Uggirar can be seen.
- There is also a water tank outside the temple, where the devotees served the fish with salt and rice. The five water bodies are called, Saravana poigai, Lakshmi Theertham, Saniyasi kinara, Kasi Sunai, and Sathiya Koopam.
- Usha puja,
- Pantheeradi Puja,
- Ucha puja,
- Thirinju pantheeradi puja,
- Athazha puja (After sunset).
SPECIAL MANGALYA POOJA:
On Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays Mangalya pooja will be performed there for Marriages and perfect alliances.
After every puja kumkum and holy ash were given to all the devotees. They were also blessed with a Theertham, which is a holy water.
STEPS IN THE TEMPLE:
The flight of six steps is called the “Shadshara Padiga”. Before the Ardha Mandapam, To visit the sanctum sanctorum we need to climb a few steps about 50 approximately.
FAMOUS PLACES IN THIRUPARANKUNDRAM
Meenakshi Amman Temple
- Thirumalai Nayakkar Mahal
- Sri Subramanya Swamy Temple
- Pazhamudir Solai
- Alagar Koyil
- Gandhi Museum
- Iskcon Radha Mathurapati
- Mariamman Teppakulam
TIMINGS OF THIRUPARANKUNDRAM TEMPLE:
The temple opens from morning 5 AM to 1 PM. It opens again in the evening from 4 PM to 9 PM. The temple is open all days of the week.
The best to visit the temple is during the month of March and April when a 14 days festival is celebrated in the temple. The victory of Lord Murugan, where he defeated the demon Surapadman, and his divine marriage with Deivanai were celebrated during this festival.
FEES FOR VISITING THE TEMPLE:
There is no fee for visiting the temple, If devotees want to do some special kind of puja, then they may get charged as per the rules of Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple Administration.
The temple is located near a distance of 10 km from Madurai city. Many buses are available from Madurai to the temple at regular intervals.
CHENNAI TO THIRUPARANKUNDRAM:
There is a distance of 470 Km is from Chennai to Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple and takes approximately 8h 21m to reach the temple.
COIMBATORE TO THIRUPARANKUNDRAM TEMPLE:
There is a dance of 218 Km is from Coimbatore to Thiruparankundram, and it takes approximately 4h 16m to reach the temple.
TRICHY TO THIRUPARANKUNDRAM TEMPLE:
There is a distance of 182.9 Km from Tiruppur to Thiruparankundram, and it takes 3hr 13m to reach the temple.
THIRUPARANKUNDRAM TO THIRUCHENDUR:
The distance between thiruparankundram to Thiruchendur is 155 km and it takes 3.55 hrs to reach.