The hill temple has 365 steps representing the days of a year. The shrine of the procession deity is in a mandap made of 1 lakh Rudrakshas. This is the fifth army camp – Padai Veedu of Lord Muruga. Saint Arunagiriar graces in a sitting form. After destroying demon Sura in Tiruchendur, Lord Muruga came to this place. His fury cooled and He became smiling and peaceful-Shanta Swarupi. It is here that the King of Devas Indira gifted his white elephant as a wedding gift to Deivanai. We can notice a scar on the chest of the Lord caused by his direct clash with the demon. In the place of peacock, there is elephant in front of the sanctum sanctorum. Lord Muruga holds a weapon on His right hand called Vajravel that would produce a thunderlike sound. His left hand is on the hip representing the Gnana Shakti (power of wisdom). The Vel generally seen in other Muruga temples is not here. Also, the Surasamharam festival (destroying the demon Sura) is not celebrated in this temple. While the Vahanas (vehicle of the deities) face the Lord in the sanctum, the elephant vahan is facing the opposite side in this temple.
REGARDING THE TEMPLE:
Tiruttani is one among the 6 padai veedu hallowed places of Skanda, and it speaks to the site where Subramanyar stayed in the wake of decimating the Asura Surapadman. It has been praised by the Tiruppugazh psalms of Arunagirinathar, Tirumurugatruppadai of the Sangam period, Tanikai puranam by Kachiappa munivar. Ramalinga Adigalaar is likewise connected with this sanctum. The hill temple here is come to by a motorable street, and is likewise gotten to through a flight of 365 steps. It has 4 prakarams and a progression of towers. There is a holy place to Aabat Sahaaya Vinayakar who is said to have come to aid Skanda in winning Valli’s hand in marriage. The processional picture of Skanda is housed in a Rudraksha vimanam with his consorts. The shadkona padakkam or the hexagonal emblem is embellishing the picture of Skanda is brightened with green stones and is of extraordinary excellence. Likewise of essentialness here is a brilliant vilva wreath.
Tiruttani is a well known temple committed to God Subrahmanya and is arranged 51 miles far from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The temple is arranged on a little slope, which is come to over a flight of 365 stone work stems. Tiruttani is one of the six respected holy places of God Skanda, Muruga or Karthikeya and speaks to the spot where Subramanyar rested subsequent to crushing the Asuran Surapadman. It has been prasied by Arunagirinathar in Tiruppugazh songs. Ramalinga Adigalaar is likewise connected with this hallowed place. Sage Ramalinga Swamigal (Arutprakasa Vallalar), 150 years back, was welcome to come here by the God of Tanikai (situated on this slope) Who showed up before the saint in the mirror of his puja room at Madras after which he composed the arutpa tunes, that flowed out of his lips in pure Tamil like a heavy stream. Sri Muttuswami Deekshitar, who experienced 200 years ago (one of the trinity of Karnatic music) had his motivation in Tiruttani when our God (in the appearance of an old man) met him on the strides and sweetened his tongue with the prasadam of this temple, which incited him to sing his first melody – obviously – on God Murugan of Tanikai.
The consecrated tanks of the hallowed places of our God are all known as Saravanapoikai (‘holy lake of the reedy bog’ where God Karttikeya was conceived). The tank at Tiruttani, which (not at all like in different spots) is at the very foot of the slope, is especially famous for its holy water (teertham) having remedial impact for infirmities both substantial and mental, as it is rich in minerals, for example, sulfur, iron, and so on. A shower in this blessed tank invigorates the enthusiast and makes him sound and beneficial to appease our God with confidence and dedication. At the exquisite patio nursery on the south side of this hallowed slope in the midst of a thick group of shady trees and seven cool sprints, the Seven Rishis (who today shape the Great Bear stellar star grouping) are said to have venerated God Muruga and the Sapta Kannikas (Seven Virgins) cherished at this spot in a modest temple. This temple has been belittled by the Vijayanagar rulers and neighborhood chieftains and zamindars and has additionally been said in the Tirumurugaatruppadai created by Nakkeerar.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TEMPLE:
Lord Muruga is not holding the Vel weapon which is closely associated with Him, but Vajra Hastam in his right hand that would produce a sound as thunder. His left hand is on the hip representing wisdom. Only during dressings (Alankara) Vel and Cock Flag are placed with Him according to tradition. There are separate shrines for Valli and Deivanai. Pujas in the temple are performed in accordance with Kumara Tantra Agama order.
The festival Sura Samhara – destroying demon Sura in Tiruchendur being celebrated in all Murugan temples on Skanda Sashti day in October-November is not followed here, because the Lord is in pleasant mood without war plans. After destroying the demon, He came to Tiruthani with victorious and happy mood. Therefore, the war festival is not celebrated here. Instead, on this day, flowers weighing 1000 Kilograms are used to please the Lord.
In the place of peacock, the elephant is the vahan-vehicle for Muruga which also against tradition of facing the Lord’s shrine, faces the opposite side. The story goes like this. As Indira had offered Iravadham the white elephant as the wedding gift to Deivanai, the prosperity of Deva world began to shrink. Indira prayed to Lord Muruga to allow the elephant in the shrine to turn the other side so that its aspect on Deva Loka would help the growth of prosperity in his kingdom. Lord Muruga gracefully obliged. Hence, the elephant faces the other side.
Daughters of Lord Vishnu, Amudavalli and Sundaravalli performed penance seeking Lord Muruga’s hands. Deivanai was under the care of Indira while Nambirajan took care of Valli. They realized their aim and became consorts of Lord Muruga. They wished to show that they were one and took the form of Gajavalli. Gajavalli holds the Lotus in the Her right hand attributed to Valli and the Neelotpala flower in the left representing Deivanai. She graces from Her parrot vehicle.
Sandal that cures:
The sandal paste used in Muruga worship in Tiruthani has a divine significance. It is not ground on the stone we usually use but the one gifted by Devendra. Devotees do not put this sandal Prasad on their forehead but dissolve in water and consume it as it is believed that would cure them from any disease. This Prasad is offered only on festival days.
It is believed that Indira worshipped here on the Kruthika star day in the month of Aadi-July-August. This is a three day celebration in the temple. Lord Muruga comes in procession to the sacred spring Saravana Poigai at the foot of the hill. As Indira used the Kalhara flowers for his puja, the tradition of carrying Malar Kavadi – flower Kavadi is devotionally followed by the devotees in the temple.
Abishekam with hot water:
Sri Aadhi Balasubramania graces on the wall behind the sanctum sanctorum as a child. He was the Lord with Akshara Mala and a Kamandala (a small pot with a handle to carry water usually held by Gods and Sages) before his wedding with Valli. In the month of Marghazhi (December-January) abishek is performed with hot water as this is the winter season. Devotees cannot see their Child Lord trembling with cold, hence bathe Him in hot water.
Puja to steps on New Year day:
This is a temple with 365 steps representing the days of the year. During the British rule, people use to greet their white rulers on the New Year day. Using this custom to turn people to the spiritual side, Muruga devotee Sri Vallimalai Swamigal began Padi Puja (worshipping the steps) in the year 1917. On the previous night, each step would be washed and adored with turmeric and kumkum offering Arti with camphor singing a Tirupugazh hymn. After Puja to the steps, special pujas are performed to Lord Muruga at 12.00 midnight.
Bhairava with four dogs:
Lord Bhairava graces in temple with 4 dogs vehicle representing 4 Vedas.He is seen with two dogs in some temples. Here, Bhairava has four dogs representing the four Vedas, Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana. While one dog is behind Bhairava, other three are around the Peeta. Those aspiring to achieve academic excellence pray here. Deivanai wedding festival is celebrated during the Chithirai (April-May) Brammotsava and Valli wedding festival in Masi (February-March).
During the final puja at night, Lord Muruga graces with Valli on a day and Deivanai the next day. As Lord Muruga wedded Valli in the guise of a hunter, He graces on a Tiger Vahan on the sixth day of Brammotsavam and then on the Elephant Vahan. A Muslim gentleman had the luck of being graced by Lord Muruga in this temple. Remembering the event, during festival days, when the Lord comes in procession, a Muslim devotee plays the drum even today. Tiruthani is the place where Lord Muruga shed His anger and fury after conquering and destroying demon Sura in Tiruchendur. It is said that there is a scar on Muruga caused by clash with the demon. Lord graces smilingly. Also, Tiruthani is the place where Devendra gifted Iravadham the white elephant to Deivani as wedding gift. Hence, the elephant before the sanctum sanctorum in the place of the peacock.
HISTORY & LEGENDS BEHIND THE TEMPLE :
The origins of this temple, like most Hindu temples, are buried in antiquity. This temple has been mentioned in the Sangam period work Tirumurugaatruppadai composed by Nakkeerar. It has been patronized by the Vijayanagar rulers and local chieftains and zamindars.
Head of the Gypsy-Kuravas community the Nambirajan found a female child amidst the Valli plants, took her and brought her up. He named Her Valli after the plants. Thinaipuam, the field where this grain is cultivated represents the material aspiration of people that it belongs only to them. The bird coming to pick the grain is the symbol of divinity telling that the grain belongs to them-Gods. We drive the birds. Valli was the watch woman in the field driving the birds. Lord Muruga, to enlighten her of this truth, came in the guise of an aged hunter and persuaded Her to marry Him. When She refused, He threatened her through an elephant. When Muruga embraced Her, the touch cleared Her illusions. This event is celebrated as Valli Kalyanam. The place is called Tiruthanigai where Lord Muruga shed his anger after defeating demon Sura in Tiruchendur. In the days followed, the name changed as Tiruthani.
Legend also has it that Indra the king of the Gods gave his daughter Deivayanai in marriage to Skanda, and along with her presented his elephant Airavatam as part of his dowry offering. Upon Airavatam’s departure Indra found his wealth waning. Subramanyar is said to have offered to return the white elephant, however Indra bound by protocol refused to accept a gift that he had made, and insisted that the elephant face his direction, hence the image of the elephant in this temple also faces the east.
Another legend has it that Indra presented a sandal stone as a part of his daughters dowry. The sandal paste made on this stone is applied to the image of Subramanya and the applied paste is said to acquire medicinal value. Legend also has it that Skanda bore the discus thrown by the demon Tarakasuran on his chest, and hence there is a hollow in the chest region of the image of Subramanya in this temple. Legend also has it that Skanda gifted the discus to Vishnu (Please also see Tiruveezhimizhalai and Tirumalper). Skanda is also believed to have imparted knowledge of Tamil to the sage Agasthyar and he is regarded as Veeramurthy, Gnanamurthy and Acharyamurthy in this shrine.
Lord Rama, after putting an end to Ravana, worshipped Lord Shiva at Rameswaram and then came to Tiruttani to find perfect peace of mind by worshipping Lord Subramanya here. In Dwapara Yuga, Arjuna got the blessings of our Lord here by offering prayers to Him on his way to the South for Teertha Yatra (pilgrimage to take sacred immersion). Lord Vishnu prayed to the Lord and got back His powerful Chakra (sacred wheel), Shanku (sacred conch), which were forcibly seized from Him by Tarakasura, brother of Soorapadma. Lord Brahma propitiated the Lord here at the holy spring known as Brahmasonai after his imprisonment by our Lord for his failure to explain the Pranava (‘Om’ mantra) and got back his creative function of which he was deprived by our Lord due to his egotistic impudence in neglecting to worship Lord Subramanya on his way to Mount Kailasa to worship Lord Shiva. The final steps to the eastern entrance.
POOJA & ABISHEGAM TIMINGS:
Tiruttani Murugan Temple visiting time is from 5:45 AM in the morning to 9:00 PM. On special day, the temple is open till midnight.
- Subrapadam – 5.10 am
- Viswaroopam Darshan – 5.30 am
- Dwajasthamba Namaskaram – 5.45 am
- Udaya Marthanda Abishegam – 6.15 am
- Udaya Marthanda Deeparadhanai – 7.00 am
- Kalasandhi Pooja – 8.00 to 8.30 am
- Kalasha Pooja – 10.00 am
- Uchikala Abishegam – 10.30 am
- Uchikala Deeparadhanai – 12.00 noon
- Sayaratchai Pooja – 5.00 pm
- Arthasama Abishegam – 7.15 pm
- Arthasama Pooja – 8.15 pm
- Ekanda Seva – 8.30 pm
- Ragasia Deeparadhanai, Palliarai Pooja – 8.45 pm
- Nadai Thirukappiduthal – 9.00 pm
10 day Masi big festival-wedding with Valli in February-March is celebrated in the temple in a grand manner when crowd of devotees would be in lakhs. 10 day Chithirai – April-May, Deivanai festival also is equally big and important drawing lakhs. The Kavadi numbers is estimated at 10 lakhs. It will be a sea of devotees. Tiruthani will be inundated by devotees on Ashwini, Bharani and Kruthika star days flowing from Andra, Karnataka and Arcot. Kruthika, Tamil and English New Year days, Pongal and Tuesdays are festive days in the temple.