Muthu Malai Murugan Temple is a Hindu temple located in the city of Salem in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan, who is considered one of the most important deities in the Hindu pantheon.
The temple is situated atop a small hill known as Muthu Malai, which adds to its serene and picturesque surroundings.
History of the Muthu Malai Murugan Temple
Legend has it that the temple is located on the spot where Lord Murugan, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, once appeared before a sage named Muthu, who was performing penance in the area.
Impressed by the sage’s devotion and dedication, Lord Murugan blessed him and promised to make the hill his abode. Thus, the temple came to be known as Muthu Malai Murugan Temple, or the temple of Lord Murugan on Muthu Malai.
During the 18th century, the temple underwent significant renovations under the patronage of the Marudhu Brothers, who were local chieftains and staunch devotees of Lord Murugan.
The brothers, who were known for their bravery and valour, were instrumental in defending the temple against invading armies and ensuring its safety.
In the 19th century, the temple came under the control of the British East India Company, who appointed a Hindu officer to manage its affairs.
During this period, the temple underwent further renovations, with several new structures being added to the complex. The temple remained under the control of the British until India gained independence in 1947.
However, the current structure is a result of several renovations and additions made over the years. The temple has undergone several significant renovations, with the latest one being completed in 2010. The temple is managed by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Tamil Nadu government.
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- Address: Muthu Malai Murugan, Muthu Malai Temple Rd, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 642109
- District: Coimbatore
- Affiliation: Hinduism
- Deity: Lord Kartikeya
- Entry Fee: Free
- Visit Duration: 1 to 2 hours
- Dress Code: decent outfit recommended
- Festivals: Skanda Sashti festival
- Best Time to Visit: October to March
Muthu Malai Murugan Temple follows a strict schedule of poojas (ritualistic prayers) throughout the day. The temple is open to devotees from 6 am to 8 pm every day. The following is a list of the pooja timings observed at the temple:
- Viswaroopa Darshanam – 6:00 am to 6:30 am This is the first pooja of the day and is considered an auspicious time to visit the temple. During this time, the main sanctum is opened, and devotees can have a darshan (viewing) of the deity.
- Vila Pooja – 7:00 am to 8:00 am This is a special pooja performed to sanctify the temple premises and invoke the blessings of the deity.
- Kala Sandhi Pooja – 9:00 am to 9:30 am This pooja is performed to offer prayers to the deity during the mid-morning hours.
- Uchikala Pooja – 12:00 pm to 12:30 pm This is a midday pooja performed to offer prayers and seek blessings from the deity.
- Sayaratchai Pooja – 5:00 pm to 5:30 pm This pooja is performed during the evening hours to seek the blessings of the deity.
- Artha Jaama Pooja – 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm This is the final pooja of the day and is performed to mark the end of the day’s prayers and seek the blessings of the deity.
Apart from these regular poojas, the temple also conducts several special poojas and festivals throughout the year, such as the Skanda Sashti festival and the Panguni Uthiram festival.
During these festivals, the temple follows a different schedule of poojas, which is announced beforehand. It is advisable to check with the temple authorities for the exact timings of these special poojas and festivals before planning a visit.
Architecture of Muthu Malai Murugan Temple
The temple’s architecture is a blend of Dravidian and Nayak styles. The temple has a rectangular entrance with a massive gateway that is 32 feet tall and 16 feet wide.
The main sanctum of the temple is located on the hill’s top and can be reached by climbing a flight of steps. The temple complex also houses several other shrines dedicated to various Hindu deities, including Lord Vinayaka, Goddess Durga, and Lord Shiva.
The temple’s main sanctum houses a six-foot-tall idol of Lord Murugan, made of black granite. The idol is adorned with jewels and a golden crown, and is believed to be over 300 years old. The temple’s outer walls are adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures depicting various mythological scenes and stories.
The World Famous 146 feet tall Muthumalai Murugan statue of Lord Murugan is located in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu and it is the tallest in the world.
The statue breaks the record of the Murugan statue which is near Batu caves in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, which was also built by the same sculptor.
Festivals and Celebrations
The temple celebrates several festivals throughout the year, with the most important one being the Skanda Sashti festival, which is celebrated during the Tamil month of Aippasi (October-November).
The festival marks the victory of Lord Murugan over the demon Surapadman. The temple is also famous for its annual Panguni Uthiram festival, which is celebrated during the Tamil month of Panguni (March-April). The festival is marked by a grand procession of Lord Murugan’s idol, which is taken around the temple on a chariot.
How To Reach Muthu Malai Murugan Temple?
- By Air: The nearest airport to Theni is Madurai International Airport, which is located around 82 km away from the temple. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the temple.
- By Train: The nearest railway station to Theni is the Bodinayakanur railway station, which is located around 15 km away from the temple. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the temple.
- By Bus: Theni is well-connected by bus to major cities in Tamil Nadu and neighboring states. The temple is located around 4 km away from Theni bus stand. You can hire an auto-rickshaw or take a bus from the bus stand to reach the temple.
- By Car: You can also reach the temple by car or taxi. The temple is located around 7 km away from Theni town, and the drive takes around 15 minutes.
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