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Subramanya Swamy Temple
About Murugan  -  Murugan Image Gallery
Pooja Cost : US$ 9.00 Leadtime : 5 Days
Location : Thiruparankundram.
Main Deity : Subramanya Swamy.
Nearest Town : Thiruparankundram District : Madurai State : Tamil Nadu
In south India, Puranas declare that Murugan encamped at six places before embarking on expeditions, and those places are called Padaiveedu and the first of such Padaiveedus is Thiruparankunram.

The temple is on the slopes of a hill and is almost a rock cut shrine, with mandapas added later. After entering the town, on nearing temple, just at the fore is a beautiful pavilion at the junction of four streets and is known as Mayil mandapam. Proceeding further, we enter another mandapa a part of the temple and supported by 10 columns. In continuation is the Asthana Mandapa of 16 pillars in the centre with 50 pillars all around. These pillars carry works of Art. Farther on is the temple gopura rising in seven storeys, and 150 ft high. The sanctum has to be reached by several mandapas each a little higher than the other mounted by steps for the reason that the shrine itself is a part of the slope of a hill. The first Kalyana mandapa is like a chariot drawn by monolithic horses. Nearby is the tank, next is the Kambathadi mandapam leading to the Maha Mandapa and Ardha Mandapa.

In the Ardha mandapa are housed Karpaga Vinayaga, Satyagrisam Durga, Pavalakanivai and Perumal. Above the form of Muruga are the Sun, Moon, Vidyadaras, Brahma, Devendra, Saraswathi, Narada, and Deivayanai. Below are seen goat, cock, elephant and peacock all vehicles of Lord Muruga. Flanking the Vishnu are his consorts Sri, Bhudevis, and sage Matanga. Adjacent to the Goddess is Mahishasura to illustrate that in ancient times the Devis were Durgas. On the top, a celestial view with Ganas, Devas and Gandarvas playing music. Vinayaga is seated on a lotus. The Ankusa commonly found is not seen but he wields a fruit and sugar-cane.
Oblations are not performed for any of the Deities, only a coating of oil is smeared periodically, resulting in complete obliteration of the original Pandya craftsmanship. But fortunately the outer wall of the cell of Sivalinga has escaped the attention of devotees! We see Siva dancing in original purity and indeed this is a master-piece. In the same, it is the Chatura dance holding the Rishabadwaja, and trampling the demon Muyalaka. Viewed through the next panel, Parvathi, nandi and an attendant playing a Drum, probably Kudamuzha are seen. From above the Divine dance is witnessed by Brahma, Vishnu and Indra.

A mile farther off the main temple is another cave with carvings of Nataraja and Sivakami. Nandi with a bull’s head but a human form is also seen here. Muruga with his spouses also can be seen. On the outside are carved the Nayanmars Appar, Sambandar and Sundarar all evidently belonging to later periods.