Odhimalai Andavar Temple is situated at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. This temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga.
About The Temple
The temple, which is known as Odhimalai Andavar Temple, is perched atop a hill. There are around 1,880 steps to reach the temple situated on the hill. Vehicles cannot go up to the temple. There is a shrine for Lord Shiva at the foot of the hill. Along the way is a sannadhi for Lord Ganesha. This hill temple is constructed with Kasiviswanatha on the right of Lord Muruga and Mother Visalakshi in the left, a form known as Somaskanda form. There are also separate sannadhis for Brahmma, Naagar, Idumban, Viswanathar, Rajarajeswari, Sapthamathas. The Theertham of the temple is Sunai theertham and the Thala Virutcham is Odhi tree.
About The Deity
The presiding deity is Lord Muruga named as Odhimalai Andavar. Lord Muruga gives darshan in standing posture with 5 faces and 8 arms facing east. Since Muruga of this temple is a young lad before the Soorasamharam, the vahanam behind the idol is considered to be Indran in the form of the peacock. (After the Soorasamharam, Lord Muruga transformed a portion of Suran into his vahanam, the peacock and another portion into the cock on his flag.) He has one foot forward, as if he is ready to rush to assist his devotees. The right lower arm is in abhaya mudra and the left lower arm is in varada mudra. In his right upper arms he holds the sword, arrow and vajram. In this left upper arms he holds the shield, bow and paasam.
Legend and Stories
Although Lord Muruga is believed to have disclosed the meaning of Pranavam ‘Om’ to His father Lord Shiva at Swamimalai, Odhimalai Temple follows the same legend. The temple is called Odhimalai because Lord Muruga recited (‘odhuthal’ in Tamil means ‘recital’) the meaning of pranavam to Lord Shiva. Another belief is that in Irumbarai, Muruga taught the Agamas of the Vedas. ‘Odhal’ in Tamil means ‘learning’ and ‘malai’ means ‘hill’. Since Lord Shiva learnt these philosophies from His son Muruga over here, the place came to be known as Odhimalai. Muruga is also known as Odhimalai Andavar.
As per legend, a long time ago Lord Brahma had no respect for others believing that, as the God of creation, he was the best. Lord Muruga, wanted to teach him a lesson and asked him the meaning of pranavam which Brahma could not elucidate. As a result, Lord Muruga imprisoned Lord Brahma in an iron room at Irumbarai (in Tamil, ‘irumbu’ means ‘iron’ and ‘arai’ means ‘room’), about 3 kms from Odhimalai. Lord Shiva pacified Murugan and released Brahma from the prison.
9 day Brammotsavam in Thaipoosam (January-February), Chithirai new year day (April 14 or 15) Vaikasi Visakam (May-June) Adi Perukku (August), Skanda Sashi (October-November) and Panguni Uthiram (March-April) are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
As a prayer commitment, devotees perform abishek with milk and sandal, offer vastras-clothing to the Lord.
Even today, the sand at the spot where Bhogar is believed to have performed his yagna is white. On festival days, this sand is offered as prasad to devotees. When the Lord Shiva met Muruga, in Odhimalai, He came alone not accompanied by His Consort-Ambika. Hence, there is no shrine for the Goddess.
Before undertaking any new endeavours, devotees seek the approval from Lord Muruga with two flowers choosing one to know his opinion. This is called Varam Kettal – Seeking a Boon. People also pray for knowledge, wisdom and distinction in Education.
How to Reach Irumbarai
The nearest airport is Coimbatore Airport. The nearest railway station is at Mettupalayam.Devotees have to reach Puliampatti 48 km from Coimbatore on the Satymangalam Road. Irumbarai is 10 km from Puliampatti. Buses are available only at specific hours. Cabs can be hired from here to visit the temple.
Odhimalai Andavar Temple,
Irumbarai, Coimbatore District,
Tamil Nadu, India, Pincode – 641302.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- To seek boons (Varam Kettal)
- For knowledge and wisdom
- For good education
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 for 3 days (Monday afternoon, Tuesday and Friday), in a week during ordinary days and will also kept open of No moon day, Kiruthikai and shasti days.