Chennimalai popularly known as the 'Handloom Town' is in Erode district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. This temple is situated at about 600 meters above sea level and this hill is noted for its natural flora and fauna. This hill also has rare medicinal herbs in its lush green forests. In Devanagiri this hill is called Siragiri and Chenniyangiri. In Tamil it is called Chennimalai. The city underneath the hill is also called Chennimalai.
This hill is also called Sigaragiri, Pushpagiri and Siragiri. The Lord of mountains 'Kuringi Andavar', Murugan is highly praised and sung with reference to this abode in Kundruthoradal. Chennimalai is one of them and abounds in natural beauty and splendor
About The Temple
The temple of Chennimalai is situated on the banks of Noyyal also called Kanchima Nadhi. The Sanctum Sanctorum faces the east. Just in front of the temple one finds the Puliyadi Vinayagar. Inside the temple to the right of Moolavar are the shrines of Markandeswarar and to the left Umayavalli. On the left side are the shrines of Kasi Viswanathar and Visalakshi.
The steps behind Moolavar Sannidhi lead to the Valli Teyvannai Temple. The two consorts enshrined in a separate temple constitute a unique phenomenon. The Pinnakau Siddhar cave with the front yard filled with Vel of different sizes and shapes is on top of the hill. This Siddhar is one of the popular 18 Siddhar known to the world for their Siddha yoga. Saravana Mamunivar's tomb is near the cave. There is also another very ancient cave near this temple.
The main deity Murugan is equated to the Sevvai graham or planet Mars and all the rest of the eight planets encircle the Lord in perfect harmony. If one circumambulates the main deity he is believed to get the benefit of circumambulating the navagrahas and worshipping them.
Legend and Stories
Once upon a time Anandan a.k.a Nagarjuna and Vayu Deva were contending that each of them to be superior and important. So there was a fight between them to prove their strength. When Anandan embraced Mahameru (Big hill) and held firmly, Vayu Deva responded by blowing strongly. As a result, head (Peak) of Mahameru was blown away and fell at Poondurai (Today’s Perundurai) town. This peak of Mahameru is known as Sira giri, Sigara giri, Pushpa giri, Makutagiri or Chennimalai(The head of hills).
History of Chennimalai Aandavar Vigraham (Idol)
About 3 miles from Chennimalai, on the banks of Noyyal River, there is a village named ‘Kodumanal’. It was once a flourishing ancient trade city known as Kodumanam, as inscribed in Patittrupathu of Sangam literature. The place is an important archaeological site, under the control of State Archaeological Department of Tamil Nadu. Archaeological Survey suggests that, once upon a time, this village used to be a big town and was ruled by a petty king. The research on this subject is still continuing to unearth more information.
Hundreds of years ago there lived a Land lord in this town who had hundreds of dairy cows in his farm, one among them was a Black Colour Cow (Karam Pasu). Every day the cowherd locks up all the cows in the evening after they have grazed the whole day. The cowherd noticed that there was no milk in the udder of the Karam Pasu for a few days and informed this to the Land Lord. The land lord also observed for some time that during the evening, when all the cows come back after grazing, this Karam Pasu used to separate from the rest and proceed to a particular spot and discharge the milk by itself. He decided to dig the spot where the cow flows its milk every day.
On digging about 5 to 6 ft a beautiful Statue of Lord Muruga was found. He was ecstatic on finding the idol. Further, he noticed that idol was beautifully sculpted upto the hip and the lower portion was rough. The best artisan was summoned to complete the job. Everyone was shocked to see that on the first chisel, the idol started to bleed. The land lord realized that this is God’s will to be the way it was. So he consecrated this idol of Lord Dandayudapani on a nearby hill, which is today known as Chennimalai hill. Even today one can see lower portion of the Moolavar Vigraham is still the same way.
The temple is dated approximately 3000 years back, constructed during the King ‘Sivalaya Chola’ period. It is said that this King, while on a pilgrimage to get rid of ‘Brahmahatti Dosha’, was taking bath in the river Noyyal, saw this hill, climbed the hill along with his troops and entered the temple. Lord Muruga appeared in the form of an ‘Archagar’ and performed Puja on himself and relieved King Sivalaya Chola of Brahmahatti Dosha. It is also said that King Sivalaya Chola, brought a Tirumaraiyaar by the name of ‘Deivasigamaniyaar’, from Tirukadavur to stay at Tiruvirundapuram (Pidariyur).
Poet Saint Saravana Munivar, born in a family of ‘Sivamaraiyaars’ and Disciple of ‘SathiyaGnani’, wanted to learn the history of Chennimalai and prayed God to help him. Then through a Divine Prompting Voice, Lord Muruga directed him to proceed to Kancheepuram and seek the information from the Maraiyavars. Thus, Saravana Munivar collected the history of Siragiri from the Copperplate inscriptions with the Maraiyavars and transcribed the contents and brought it to Chennimalai. He was wonder struck to note the depiction in the Sthalapuranam come alive when he reached Chennimalai. The Chennimalai Sthalapuranam has 207 verses including the invocation songs and is divided into six cantos. They are Chepêdu Kanda Mānmiyam, Siragiri Mānmiyam, Pushpagiri Mānmiyam, Kātchi Mānmiyam, Idumbanuku Vazhi Kātiya Mānmiyam, ālayam Kanda Mānmiyam. The author of this great work is the poet Saint Saravana Munivar. Lord Muruga appeared in front of him in two forms, with one face and six faces. The Samadhi of Saravana Munivar is at the hill temple.
When Paarvathy’s Marriage was to happen at Himalayas, all devotees were expected to congregate at the northern end and hence, the southern end would be raised. Lord Shiva directed ‘Agasthya Munivar’ to proceed to Podigai Hill in southern end. Agasthya asked whether he should not be watching the Marriage event, to which, Lord Shiva replied that since all would be moving towards the northern end, only if you proceed to the southern end will the earth balance. He also said that the marriage function will be shown to Agasthya at Podigai Hills.
Accordingly, while Agasthya was proceeding to the southern end, Idumbaasura (Leader of Asuraas like Soorapadhman), met him and requested to be accepted as a disciple. He also asked Agasthya as to what he can do for him to which Agasthya replied, ‘While coming south in a hurry, I have forgotten to get my ‘Sivapooja’ in the hills, you go there and get it for me’. Idumbaasura could not locate the ‘Sivapooja’, therefore, he carried the two hills (Sivagiri and Sathyagiri) in a ‘Kaavadi’ from there. He lost his way enroute and reached Chennimalai. Then, during ‘Dwapara Yuga’, Chennimalai was known as ‘Pushpagiri’. Lord Muruga appeared before Idumbaasura in the form of a ‘RajKumar’ and showed the way to Podigai Hills. The hills carried by Idumbaasura in a Kaavadi is today’s ‘Pazhaniyampaadi’.
Moolavar is manifested in the form of ‘Dandayudapani’. Contrary to regular practice, here Moolavar pooja and Nivedya precedes that of Lord Vinaya in the temple premises. It is Ancient Lore that since Lord Muruga was angry that Mango was not given to him and is seated in this hill, Nivedya and Pooja is performed first to Lord Muruga to pacify him.
15 day Thaipoosam festival (January-February) draws a crowd in lakhs while the 7 day Panguni Uthiram in March-April and 6 day Skanda Sashti in October-November draw crowds in thousands. Monthly Kruthika days and days related to Muruga worship, Tamil and English New Year days, Deepavali are days of festivals in the temple.
Gopuja is done at 5.30 A.M daily and the hill temple sannadi is opened for Swami Dharshan and Pooja from 6.00 A.M. to 8.00 P.M without any intermission. The temple is closed at 8.15 P.M after the Ardhajama pooja.
The daily puja is conducted as per the tradition of Kamika Agamam. The puja timings are as at right.
First Time Pooja
Utchi Kala Pooja
Saya Raksha Pooja
How To Reach Chennimalai Murugan Temple, Chennimalai
The Nearest Airport is Coimbatore. From Coimbatore, when proceeding towards Erode, turn south from Perundurai and travel for 13 Kms to reach Chennimalai.
Chennimali is located at 25 Kms from Erode Railway Station and approx. 8 kms from Ingur Railway Station.
From Erode to Perundurai Route, Chennimalai is located on the 30th Km.
Sri Subramaniaswami Temple,
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Forgiveness for past deeds
- Neutralize the malefic effects of Mars
- Good Health
Shadaananam Chandana Liptha Gathram Mahorasam Divya Mayoora Vaahanam Rudrasya Soonum Suraloka Naatham Brahmanya Devam Charanam Prapadye
Meaning -I always take refuge in the 6 faced Lord Guha, who has sandal paste smeared over his body, who is broad-chested, whose vehicle is the peacock, who is Lord Shiva's son and who leads the army of the Devas.
Heyswami Natha Karunakara Dheenabandho Shree Parvatheesha Mukha Pankaja Padmabandho Shree Saadhi Devagana Poojitha Padha Padma Vallesa Nadha Mama Dehi Karaavalambham
Meaning -O! Merciful Lord Swaminatha, who cares for the poor, who is the sun to Lord Shiva's lotus face, whose lotus feet are acknowledged by Lord Vishnu and the others, Valli's Lord, please uplift me by lending me your hand.
Ariru Thadanthozh Vazhga Arumugam Vazhga Veppai Kooru Sei Thanivel Vazhga Kukkudum Vazhga Sevvel Yeriya Magnai Vazhga Aanai Thun Anangu Vazhga Maarila Valli Vazhga Vazhga Seer Adiyar Yellam
Meaning -Oh Muruga, we hail your 12 strong shoulders for they protect us from our enemies, we hail your 6 faces, we hail the Vel, your weapon that broke apart the Krounja mountain to reveal the asura in it. We hail the bird, the cock, that is part of your symbol in the flag. We hail your peacock, that takes you all over the world, we hail your consort Devyani, who was brought up by Indra's white elephant, Airavadam, we hail your other consort, the flawless Valli. And we hail your Bhaktas who worship you as a prayer.
Uruvai Aruvai Uladhai Iladhai Maruvai Malarai Maniyai Oliyai Karuvai Uyirai Gadhiyai Vidhiyai Guruvai Varuvai Arulvai Guhaney
Meaning -O Lord Muruga, you have form and you are formless, you have everything and have nothing, you who exist in the smallest, in flowers, in a bell's ring, in the light. You are the embryo, the life, destiny and fate. Bestow your blessings on us as our guru.
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m