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Six Abodes of Lord Murugan

Updated on October 24, 2014

God Murugan


Lord Murugan is identified by various other names, consist of Arumugam (six faces), Kumaran, Velan, Senthil, Shanmugam, Swaminathan and Subramaniam etc. As Murugan is revered predominant in Tamil Nadu, several of his names are of Tamil source.

His six most prominent Temples are the Arupadai Veedu shrines, established in Tamil Nadu. All these abodes have old shrines honored by the Tamil literary work of "Tirumurugaatruppadai" of the Sangam age. And six abodes of Murugan are collectively called as "Arupadai Veedu" (six war barracks of the Lord Murugan).

Photo Credit: Flickr under creative commons license.

Lord Murugan

Tamil God Murugan
Tamil God Murugan

Photo Credit: Flickr under creative commons license.

Murugan is more familiar not only in Tamil Nadu also Tamils of Mauritius, Malaysia, Reunion Island Sri Lanka and Singapore. Even racial Chinese of Malaysia also venerates to God Murugan during the Thaipusam festival.

He is famously referred as Thamizh Kadavul and Tamil Murugan. Murugan was the matchless general of the Devas who protected the Devas and guided the army of the Devas to triumph against the Demons (Asuras).

The six places at which Murugan sojourned while commanding his troops against Surapadhman are Tiruthani, Swami Malai, Palani, Pazhamudir Cholai, Tiruparankundram and Tiruchendhur. According to Kaumaram Lord Murugan is the highest god, as stated in Kandapuranam.

He is recognized to be the son of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvathi - the Hindu God of demolition and the brother of Lord Vinayaga - the most illustrious elephant headed god of India.

Palani Murugan
Palani Murugan

Palani Murugan

Once Tamil God Murugan had been tricked in a competition for going round the world. His brother Vinayaga had swayed the award of fruit.

In hatred, the frustrated child Murugan departed the godly parents and reached down to Palani. Following, he switched to the hill and resided there as an ascetic in quiet and isolation.

Now Palani is a city in the district of Dindigul in Tamil Nadu, positioned about 60 km west of Dindigul. It is the place of the very famous shrine of the god Murugan, visited by nearly 7 million followers throughout a year.

A most inspiring back-drop to the township is shaped by the spectacular slopes of a division of the Western Ghats, the Palni Hills. Palani is abode to one of the most pious shrines of the God Subramanyam as respected in the Hindu cult of Koumaram.

The Dhandayudhapani shrine sanctified to God Lord Murugan, and considered one of Murugan's Arupadai Veedu (Six Battle Camps), is located here.

Photo Credit: Palanitemples.com

Thiruchendur Murugan

Tiruchendur being the secondary abode of the six familiar abodes of God Murugan. It is located 40 Kms south side of the Tuticorin city on the seashore of the Bay of Bengal.

The mount on which Lord Murugan is sanctified at Thiruchendur is named Chandhana Hill. The Sangam literature Kandapuranam honors this mount as "Kandha Madhana Parvatham".

An Asura by name Surapadman accomplished many asceticism begging Lord Siva and Lord Siva conferred him many blessings. Later he turned into domineering and seized three worlds and created the Heavenly immortals do humble jobs.

Devas were incapable to tolerate his cruelty and accused to Lord Siva. Lord Siva suggested his younger son Murugan to ransack Asuras and liberate Devas from their outrageous slavery.

Lord Murugan arrived at Tiruchendur with his large armed force and quartered, and fighting was commenced. The powerful battle lasted for a few days.

On the sixth day in the engagement between Lord Muruga and Surapadman, the weapon of Lord Murugan cut Surapadman (who got himself transfigured as a horrifying mango tree) and split it in twain. After "Surasamharam" demolition of Surapadma, Lord Muruga solicited to pray his father Lord Siva.

Therefore, Mayan, the celestial architect erected these shrines at Tiruchendur. Even these days Lord Subramaniyan is observed in the stance of offer prayers to Lord Siva, in the Sanctum Sanctorum.

Thiruchendur Murugan Temple - Vid

Thiruparankundram Murugan

Tirupuramkundram is one of the six chief pilgrimage sites located at a remoteness of about 8 km to the south direction of Madurai. The Thiruparankundram shrine is a rock cut structure that is sanctified to Lord Subramanya.

Corresponding to myth, after overthrowing Surapadma, he rescued Heaven by conquering the evil Asura Surapadma as well as visited Thiruparankundram Hill accompanied by all the liberated divinities. Muruga with his troops lounged here.

Lord Murugan wedded Lord Indra's daughter Deivayani in this spot. The oldness of Tirupuramkundram shrine can be assessed from the fact that it discovers specifying even in the Sangam Literature.

Presiding gods and goddess of the temple is Lord Muruga and Goddess Devasena. Other gods - Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Goddess Durga and Lord Ganapathy - are served, as well.

The saint lyric poets Sundharar and Sambandhar and Arunagiri Nathar have also presented a lot of commendation on this temple. Other remarkable features of the Thiruparankundram shrine are the Brahmi letter carvings.

The elegant sculptures of Sivathandavam in dancing pose, his heavenly servant battering a drum and his wife lounging to observe are all very eloquent.

Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple - Vid

Swamimalai Murugan

Swamimalai is a small village, situated near Kumbakonam on the banks of a branch of river Cauvery. It is also one of the six abodes sanctified to Lord Murugan.

In Swamimalai, Lord Muruga is called as "Balamurugan" also "Swaminatha Swami". The specialty of the shrine is that it has been constructed on an unnatural mount. The next significant highlight is the steps of this small man-made hill.

There are 60 steps and each one respectively is named after one Tamil year. There is a total 60 Tamil year and for this reason the 60 steps.

Thiruveragam is another name for this spot. As per myth once, as a result of saint Bhrigumuni's curse Lord Shiva forgot the "Pranava Mantra".

The little Lord Muruga is said to have taught the Pranava Mantra "OM" to his father, who on stood one's feet before his boyish guru (Subrahmanya) with vast respect and learnt the mantra.

As this occurrence took place in this divine spot, it came to be identified as "Swamimalai" and the idol as Swaminatha, symbolizing that the son was a cut above his father.

Swamimalai Murugan Temple - Vid

Thiruthani Murugan

Thiruthani, a sacred town is one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga and is located on the Chennai-Mumbai route 84 kilometers from Chennai. This house of worship is constructed on a hill approachable through 365 steps, stand for each day of a year.

After marrying Valli Lord Murugan came to this mount. Valli urged the Lord to inform her on the greatness and merit of this hill. In response, Lord Murugan declared that if one who offers prayers to him with heart and soul for five continuous days in this hill shrine, that human being would be bestowed with all the best in this life from thereafter.

Lord Rama, after Victory over Ravana, came to Tiruttani and noticed just right tranquility of mind by praying Lord Murugan here. Apart from the legendary prominence of Tirutanikai, Saint Arunagiri Nathar, one of the 18 Siddhas and adherent of Lord Muruga who existed 600 years ago glorified this hill as the preferred spot for religious rituals.

He also drew a comparison this hill to Sivalokam and as the very spirit of the world. Saint Ramalinga Swamigal (Vallalar), who inhabited 150 years ago, was extended an invitation to come to this spot by our Lord Murugan, who emerged before our Vallalar in the mirror of his puja chamber at Chennai after which the entire Arutpa poems pour out from his lips in literary Tamil like a torrential rain.

Thiruthani Murugan Temple - Vid

Pazhamuthir Cholai Murugan.

Sanctified to Lord Murugan (Vel Murugan), the lovely Pazhamuthir Cholai shrine is located about 18 kilometers from Madurai City. This house of worship, on the Solaimalai hill also is aware of by the nicknames Vrishabhadri in other words Idabagiri, is one of Lord Murugan's famous six abodes.

This is a very huge and appealing temple structure. Here, Murugan is sanctified along with his spouses Valli and Devayani. The effigy of God in the stand up position with an only face and four hands is held between the effigies of his wives.

The Vel of the lord shaped up of the stone is of peculiar importance and is revered with a great respect by believers. The old poets Nakkirar, Arunagiri Nathar, and Auvaiyar, are among the some Famous Tamil Poets and saints who have made citations to this shrine in their psalms and literary work.

Myth has it that Lord Muruga came into view before Auvaiyar in a funny form as an adolescent boy, to examine her. Siddha Arunagiri Nathar also venerates this shrine in his 16 Tiruppugazh psalms to Pazhamuthir Cholai Murugan.

Pazhamudhir Cholai - Vid

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I will probably never get to visit any of the 6 abodes and this is about as close as I'll get and enjoyed this well written and informative tribute to of Lord Murugan.

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      sukkran trichy 4 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      @Ahdilarum: comparing to other murugan temples, swamimalai is very calm place. i love the atmosphere here.

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      Ahdilarum 4 years ago

      Except Swamimalai, I have visited all the other places of Lord Muruga