Saturday , 19 August 2017

Swamimalai Murugan Temple

swamimali murugan
swamimali murugan


About Temple

Swamimalai Murugan Temple is a Hindu temple located in Swamimalai, 5 km from Kumbakonam on the banks of a tributary of river Cauvery, 250 km fromChennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, India.

The temple is one of the six holy shrines of Murugan called Arupadaiveedu. The shrine of the presiding deity, Swaminathaswamy is located atop a 60 ft (18 m) hillock and the shrine of his mother Meenakshi (Parvathi) and father Shiva (Sundareswarar) is located downhill. The temple has three gopuram (gateway towers), three precincts and sixty steps and each one is named after the sixty Tamil years. The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and three yearly festivals on its calendar. The annual Vaikasi Visagam festival is attended by thousands of devotees from far and near.
The temple has three ‘Gopurams’ with three ‘Praharams’. The ‘Gopuram’ on the south side of the temple is decorated with statues and contains five storeys while the other two entrances have no towers above them.
As per Hindu legend, Muruga, the son of Shiva, extolled the meaning of the Pranava Mantra (Hindi: ? AUM) to his father at this place and hence attained the name Swaminathaswamy. The temple is believed to be in existence from the Sangam period from 2nd century BC and was believed to have been modified by Parantaka Chola I. The temple was greatly damaged during the Anglo-French war between Hyder Ali and British in 1740. The temple, in modern times, is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadumurugan siva


Swamimailai is fourth among the Sixpadi veedu or sacred shrines dedicated to Lord Muruga. The presiding deity here expounded the meaning of the Pranava mantra OM to his own Father Lord Siva Himself.

As per Hindu legend, Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, disrespected Muruga at the time of visiting Mount Kailasj, the abode of Shiva. The child Muruga got angry with Brahma and asked him how he was creating living beings. Brahma said that he was creating living beings with the help of the Vedas—Hindu Scriptures. On hearing the reply, Muruga asked Pranav Mantra, “OM”. At that time Muruga stopped Brahma and asked him to explain the meaning of the Pranava Mantra. Brahma could not reply and hence Muruga knocked Brahma on his forehead with his clenched fists and punished him with imprisonment. Muruga took up the role of the creator. The Devas were surprised by the absence of Brahma and they requested Vishnu to negotiate with Muruga to release Brahma. Vishnu could not help and as the last resort, Shiva went to the rescue of Brahma.

Shiva came to Muruga and asked him to release Brahma from imprisonment. Muruga refused to release him stating Brahma was unaware of the meaning of the Pranav Mantra (OM). Shive asked Muruga to explain the meaning and Muruga extolled to Shiva the meaning of the Pranava Mantra. Shiva behaved like a student to a teacher, listening with rapt attention from his son, giving Muruga the name “Swaminatha Swami”. The meaning of this name is “The Teacher of Shiva”. Following the legend, the shrine of the son Muruga is atop the hillock, while the father Shiva’s shrine is located at the basement.

The temple is built on an artificial hillock of about sixty feet height with sixty beautifully laid stone steps representing the Hindu cycle of sixty years – leading to the Lord . In the ground floor there are temples dedicated to Lord Sundareswarer and Goddesss Meenakshi.


Specialty of the Temple

In Swamimalai, Muruga is known as “Balamurugan” and “Swaminatha Swami”. The temple is built on an artificial hill. In Tamil language, such an artificial hill is called “Kattu Malai”. Another name for this place is “Thiruveragam”. The temple has three gopuram(gateway towers) and three precincts. Out of the three precincts, one is located in the basement, the second at midway to the top of the hillock and the third on the hillock, around the sanctum of the Swaminathaswamy shrine. There are sixty steps and each one is named after the sixty Tamil years. The first thirty steps lead to the second precinct of the temple. The image of Swaminathaswamy is 6 ft (1.8 m) tall. There are golden armours, golden crowns and a diamond lance for Swaminathaswamy. There is a shrine of Vinayagar outside the first precinct. The central shrine houses the granite image of Swaminathaswamy. The first precinct has the images of Dakshinamurthy, Durga, Chandikeswarar and the festival image of Swaminathaswamy. The images of Sundaresawar as lingam (Shiva) and Meenakshi (Parvathi) are located down hill and the first precinct around their shrines have the images of Dakshinamurthy,Durga, Chandikeswarar and Navagrahas. The second precinct and the largest one of the temple houses a marriage hall and the chariot of the temple. The temple is one of the most visited temples in the district.temple


Religious importance

Swamimalai is one of the Arupadaiveedu, believed to be the six main abodes of Muruga, that mark the different phases of his life. According to Hindu belief, Swamimalai is where Muruga preached what as called as “Pranava mantra” to his own father, Shiva, at a young age, after arresting Brahma for not answering his question about Pranava Mantra. The teaching capabilities of Murugan is found as one of his identifying features. The cult of Murugan is of pride to the Tamil people who identify six with Murugan connating six directions and six chakras in human anatomy.golden chariot

Golden Chariot

The temple has an imposing golden chariot made of seven kilos of gold, 85 kilos of silver and other metals like copper, beautifully illuminated with electric bulbs.

Devotees on payment of Rs. 1001 can take the deity in a procession in the golden charriot around the outer corridor. Devotees are offered a shawl, eversilver pot and a small box with the Lord’s prasadam.

temple steps


For the convenience of the pilgrims and devotees, 11 rooms, four cottages, two VIP cottages, one donor cottages, three marriage halls and one dining hall have been constructed and are let out at nominal rent ranging from Rs. 20/- to Rs. 100/- per day only.

The important festivals conducted in the temple are:

  • Monthly Kirutikai festival;
  • Temple Car festival in April;
  • Visakam festival in May;
  • Navaratri festival in May;
  • Skanda Shashti festival in October;
  • Tiru Karthikai festival in Nov/December;
  • Taipp?cam festival in January; and
  • Pankuni Uttiram festival in March.

sub temples


Sveta Vianyaga Temple

The Sveta Vinayagar temple at Tiruvalanchuli is an important one. The presiding deity Lord Sadaimudinathar and Goddess Perianayaki have been sung by Tirugnanasambandar and Tirunavukkarasar in T?v?ram. A unique feature of this temple is the Sveta Vinayagar or White Pillaiyar made of the sea foam formed at the time of churning of the Milky Ocean by the devas and asuras to get the nectar. The sacred Cauvery River flowing nearby herself has turned around in a right semicircle around this shrine and hence the nameValanchuli or right twist. Renovation of this temple at a cost of Rs. 50 lakhs is progressing.

Lord Somanathaswami temple

Another architecturally beautiful temple at Kilpazhayarai dedicated to Lord Somanathaswami is also under renovtion at an estimated cost of Rs. 50 Lakhs. It is worth mentioning that this shring is the birthplace of Saint Managaiyarkarasi, one among the 63 Nayanmars. Hymns in praise of the presiding deity have been sung by Tirunavukkarasar.

Other sub-temples mentioned below under the administrative control of Swamimalai temple are also to be renovated at a modest cost of about Rs. 5 lakhs each.

  • Dharmapureeswarar Temple, Vallalarkoil;
  • Chakravageeswarar Temple, Chakkrapalli;
  • Ezhutharinathar Temple, Innambur;
  • Skandanathar Temple, Tiruerakaram; and
  • Thirupandeeswarar Temple, Adanur.


Daily pujas to the deities are performed six times a day (six kalams). Usha Kalam, Kalasandhi and Uchikala poojas are performed in the forenoon and the afternoon poojas commencing from Sayaratchai and Rendam kalam are concluded with Arthajama pooja in the night.

Pooja   Time

Usha Kalam    6.00 A.M

Kalasandhi      9.00 A.M

Uchikala Poojas          12.00 P.M

Sayaratchai      05.30 P.M

Rendam kalam            08.00 P.M

Arthajama pooja          10.00 P.M


Special Poojas Offered/Timings

Viswaroopa darshan   05.30 AM

Udhaya Maarthandam            06.00 AM

Mudhal Kaala Sandhi, Siru Kaala Sandhi and Periya Kaala Sandhi  From 08.00 AM

Uchikaalam     12.30 PM

Saayaratchai    17.00 PM

Ardhajaamam  21.15 PM




The temple possesses gold, jewels, diamonds, and rubies, silver vessel and other costly articles worth many lakhs of rupees. Every Thursday, Lord Swaminathan is decorated with Diamond Vel. The day of Krittika is very important and thousands of people worship the Lord every month on this day. The main festivals are the Brahma Utsavam, Skanda Shashti and the festival of Subrahmanya’s marriage with Valli.

A popular event performed a few years ago is the Sri Subrahmanya Sahasranama (1008 names of Subrahmanya) Archana. A Sahasra namamala, a garland of gold coins on each of which one of the 1,008 names of the Lord was inscribed, was made and offered to the deity. Devotees from far and near in large numbers participated in this holy and pious act.

Here also pilgrims carry Kavadis to the shrine and abhishekams are performed to the idol on behalf of the devotees. Bathing of the deity in holy ashes, known as “Vibhuti Abhishekam” is a feature here as in palani temple, and in that Abhishekam the idol has a very captivating and awe-inspiring aspect.

The important festivals conducted in the temple are:

  1. Monthly Kirutikai festival;
  2. Temple Car festival in April;
  3. Visakam festival in May;
  4. Navaratri festival in May;
  5. Skanda Shashti festival in October;
  6. Tiru Karthikai festival in Nov/December;
  7. Taippucam festival in January; and
  8. Pankuni Uttiram festival in March.


Nearest Major Town/City

  • Tanjore – 35 km from Tanjore to Swamimalai.

How to Reach

  • By Air:

The nearest airport to Swamimalai is in Trichy, and it is situated at a distance of ninety kilometers away.

  • By Train:

Swamimalai does not have a train station, and the nearest station is Kumbakonam, at a distance of 5 kms from Swamimalai.

  • By Road:

The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation has buses that connect Swamimalai to almost all the major cities of the state. One can avail of regular buses to Swamimalai from Kumbakonam, Trichy, Chidambaram and Chennai.

Nearby Temples



It is located 4 km(2.5 Miles) west of Kumbakonam, was built by the Chola King, Rajaraja II. This temple is dedicated to Shiva, who is Airavateshvara, the “Lord of Airavata”. Legend claims that after Airavata, the white elephant of Indhra, the God of the Heavens, regained his lost colour, he worshipped Shiva at this spot.


The four-tiered temple has a Sanctum and three halls, of which the finest is the Raja-Gambira Mandapa conceived as a stone chariot drawn by caparisoned horses with Brahma as its driver. The outer walls have fine friezes and carvings of musicians, dancers and acrobats as well as depictions from the Periya Puranam, a Tamil treatise on 63 Shaivite poet-saints, the Nayannars.




It is located 8 km (5 miles) Northeast of Kumbakonam, is dedicated to Kumbheswara, the “God who removes Fear”. This is also an old silk weaving centre. Kambaharesvarar Temple was built by the King Kulothunga III (1179 AD – 1216 AD). There are two Gopurams and two Praharams,the Karpagraham, Artha Mandapam, Maha Mandapam, Muha Mandapam and Somaskandar Mandapam.


The Karpagraham is in the shape of square. It’s both sides are having Karnathuvara steps. Dhakshinamoorthy, Lingothbhavar and Bramma reside on the wall of Sri Vimana.


There are six base of Srivimana. One can see sculptures of the scenes of Puranas on the wall of Srivimana. Some of other shrines are in the temple. It is the 13th century Chola temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.


Gangaikonda Cholapuram:


It is one of the very ancient temples of Tamil Nadu, built in the Chola style. Gangai Konda Chola Puram, “The City of the Chola who took the Ganges”, was the capital of powerful Chola dynasty during the reign of Rajendra I.


Rajendra I, was the first Tamil ruler to venture Northwards and a great military commander like his father Rajaraja I. He built this city to commemorate his successful campaign across the Ganges.


According to an inscription, he then ordered the defeated rulers to carry back pots of sacred Ganges water on their heads to fill the Chola-Ganga tank, a victory memorial.


Brihadishwara Temple:


It is 35 km North of Kumbakonam. It was built by the Chola emperor Rajendra I. Later additions were made in the 15th century by the Nayaks. It was built as a replica of Thanjavur’s Brihadishvara temple by his father Rajaraja I, the towered sanctum of this granite Shiva temple is shorter than the one at Thanjavur. It is indeed a great feat of engineering. All the more as the construction, was done in such a way that the shadow of the cupola never falls on the ground.


The sanctum sanctorum has a four meter high lingam with a circumference of 7 meters. The inner walls of the temple have the many mudras (poses) of Bharatnatyam (classical Indian dance) portrayed by dancing damsels. Perhaps the sculptors did this as Shiva, the presiding deity is also the God of Dance (Natraja).


For the convenience of the pilgrims and devotees, 11 rooms, four cottages, two VIP cottages, one donor cottages, three marriage halls and one dining hall have been constructed and are let out at nominal rent ranging from Rs. 20/- to Rs. 100/- per day only.


Contact Details

Arulmigu Swaminatha Swami Temple,

Thirumanjana Veedhi,


Thanjavur – 612302

Phone – 0435-2454421, 0435-2454358

Mail –

Website –

visit this devine temple and get the blessings of Lord to fulfil all your wishes.  Haro Harah!!!!

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