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 the 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.
Chitra (1,2), Swaathi, Vishaakha (3,4)
Sri Subramaniaswami Temple, Tiruthanigai, Tiruvallur district.
Phone: +91-44 2788 5303.
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. continuously.
10 day Maasi 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. Tiruthani will be inundated by devotees on Ashwini, Bharani and Kruthika star days flowing from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Arcot. Kruthika, Tamil and English New Year days, Pongal and Tuesdays are festive days in the temple.
Nambirajan, the head of the Gypsy-Kuravas- community found a female child amidst the Valli plants, took her and brought her up. He named Her Valli after the plants.
Valli was the watch woman in the fields 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.
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. There are separate shrines for Valli and Deivanai.
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.
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.
Aadi Krithikai: 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.
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.