Home » Tamilnadu Tourist Destinations » Palani
Palani is located in Dindigul district of Tamilnadu, India. Palani is pronounced using the special 'L' used in Tamil and is also spelt as "Pazhani" in English. Palani is located about 60 km from the city of Dindigul.
The Murugan Temple is an ancient temple situated 1500 feet above sea level on the hills of Sivagiri, about 110 km from Madurai and 150 km from Tiruchirapalli. Palani is a famous pilgrimage town and every year more than 7 million devotees visit the Palani Murugan Temple and offer their prayers to the Lord Muruga. This temple draws the largest number of devotees in Tamilnadu.
The deity of Palani is known as Dandayudhapani Swami, the Lord having the Staff in his hand. The deity at the sanctum sanctorum is made out of an amalgam of nine minerals popularly called Navabashana. The deity is in a standing position with a baton in his hand. He has the look of a person who has renounced all worldly pomp. He has just a loincloth besides the baton. He is a mute messenger of the great precept 'Renounce all to reach me'. The icon is unique in the whole world. It was made by siddha Bhogar by combining nine poisonous substances (Navabashana). Lord Murugan of Kurinji land is the god of Beauty and Youth.
There is a legend how Lord Murugan came to this sacred spot. Narada Muni, a sage, brought a golden mango to the divine court of Lord Siva when Lord Siva was seated with his consort Parvati and his children Lord Vinayaka and Lord Subrahmanya. Narada gave the fruit to Lord Siva and implored Him to eat since it was a rare, miraculous J˝anapalam, the fruit of wisdom. As a loving husband, Lord Siva gave it to Parvati and requested her to eat. As a loving mother, she wanted to give the fruit to her children. As there was only one fruit and it should not be cut, they announced a contest and said that the winner would be given the fruit. Whoever completes one round of the globe first will be given the fruit.
Lord Subrahmanya mounted his peacock to go around the world. Lord Vinayaka circumambulated around his parents, symbolizing the world, and got the fruit. On return, Lord Subrahmanya found that he was cheated. In anger, he renounced his family and came to this spot to settle forever. Lord Siva and Parvati came to pacify Subrahmanya. They said, "Pazham Nee" ('you are the Fruit'). Hence, the name Palani is a popular syncopation of the two words mentioned.
Besides this, at the foot of the Sivagiri there is a small shrine dedicated to the god Ganapathi, where he goes by the name Pada Vinayakar. It is common amongst the pilgrims to pay their obeisances at this shrine before commencing their ascent of the hill to worship the Lord Subrahmanyan. The particular offering here is the breaking of coconuts, by flinging them against an enclosed stone before the shrine, of which many hundreds are broken by the devotees in the course of a day.
There are six pujas every day. At 5 am the Lord gives Visvarupa Darshana. The first puja is Vizhapuja at 7:15 am followed by Kala sandhi at 8am, Uchikalam at 12 noon, Sayaraksha at 6 pm and Rakkalam at 8 pm.
There is a Golden Chariot which goes round the praharam on the top of the hill in a ceremonious procession along with nadaswaram, Tiruppukazh music and other temple paraphenalia at 7 pm on all Karttikai month.
Within the town is another temple dedicated to the Goddess Parvati as Periyanayaki Amman. It popularly goes by the name of the Oorkovil - as the town's chief temple. A particularly intriguing aspect of the temple is that, although it is referred to as the temple of Periyanayaki Amman, the central sanctum, the sanctum of supreme honour in Hindu temple architecture, is accorded to the Lord Subrahmanyan. The temple is large in expanse and displays an interesting blend of Pandya and Nayaka architecture.
A short distance from the town is a temple dedicated to Shiva as Periya Avudaiyar. This temple, located right on the banks of the Shanmugha Nadi, is situated in particularly peaceful environs far removed from the bustle of the town.
Near the Periya Nayaki Amman temple are two others - the Mariyamman Temple and the Perumal Temple. The former is particularly resorted to in times of epidemics, the goddess there being regarded as the protectress against illnesses.
Kannadiya Perumal Temple - The Kannadiya Perumal Temple alias kannadi perumal 9 km south of palani, at the foothills of kodikanal hills. The temple is small and situated on a hillock.
Accommodation is available at the Devasthanam, which has pilgrims' rest houses, single, double, deluxe and air-conditioned rooms as well as cottages. Reasonable rates are collected from the devotees.
How to get there?
Palani is connected by Road with all important towns. Regular bus services are available from Palani to Madurai, Kodaikanal, Dindigul, Tiruchirapalli, Kumuli, Bangalore, Coimbatore and Chennai.
A good number of direct buses are operated by SETC (Govt) and private transport agencies from Chennai to Palani, Palani Railway Station (Local) and Dindigul Railway Junction (60 km), 115 Km from Erode via Dharapuram. Erode is the Major Railway Junction which connects all Metros of India.
Nearest Airports are Coimbatore Airport 110 and Madurai 125 km.
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