Its time for the grand celebration of Thaipoosam, one of the most famous religious festivals in Tamilnadu. Vibrant and colorful props are adorning every shrine of Lord Muruga and the ceaseless songs of his Thirupugazh are ringing in the air. Over millions of people gather every year at various temples nationwide to celebrate the Thaipusam festival.
In this blog, we have listed some of the most famous and top temples you should visit in Tamilnadu during the Thaipusam day and be a part of the grand celebration on this special occasion to get the blessings of Lord Muruga.
Lord Muruga, the most favourite god of Tamil people is known by many names, Karthikeyan, Murugan, Kanthan, Velayutham, Dhandayuthapani, Shanmugan, Kumaran, Kathirvelan, Malaiyandi, Balan, Singaram and Subramaniyan. This Tamil God has been in worship by our ancestors from time immemorial. Hills and hillocks are the favourite abodes of Lord Muruga and there is a famous phrase in Tamil “Kundrirukum idamellam kumaran irukum idam” (where there is a hill, there would definitely be the abode of Lord Muruga). The Six army camps of Lord Muruga are the prominent pilgrim sites in Tamilnadu for the Lord Muruga which is visited by thousands of devotees from across the globe.
Thaipusam/Thaipoosam is a ceremony of celebrating the victory of Lord Muruga over the vicious Soorapadman. The name itself is an amalgamation of two words Thai signifies the Tamil month of celebration which falls between mid of January and February and Poosam denotes the brightest star of the month. The legend has it that this is the very day when Goddess Parvati endow Lord Muruga with the incredible Spear (Vel) to annihilate the Soorapadman’s tyranny. Be it any legend, Thaipoosam is a day for Lord Muruga and the right day to see his arduous devotees from across the globe.
This year Thaipoosam is celebrated on 8th February 2020, with great pomp in all the shrines of Lord Muruga.
Plan a spiritual trip for this Thaipoosam and enjoy the fervour, passion and devotion of the devotees. Known for his benevolence, for this Thaipusam/Thaipoosam visit all of his holy shires and get immersed in Lord Muruga’s compassion.
To make your trip more organized and effective, we can assist you with the information on the best temples to visit in Tamilnadu on Thaipoosam.
Following are the laydown of the top temples. Pick your desired temples and take your family for a spiritual trip on this auspicious day.
Subramaniya Swamy temple, Thiruparankundram (First Army Camp)
The Legend has it that, this is the place where Lord Muruga entered into the wedlock with Lord Indran’s daughter Deivanai as a gratitude for the historic victory of Lord Muruga over the demon King Surapadman. This shrine is praised by great saints like Arunagirinathar and Nakeerar. Lord Shiva here is known by the name of Parangirinathar. The architecture of this temple is truly noteworthy, as it’s a rock-cut shrine with intricately carved pillars and beautifully painted ceilings.
Thaipoosam At Thiruparankundram:
Being one of the six army camps of Lord Muruga, and most famous Murugan shrine in Madurai, lots of devotees come here in Pathayathra (by walk), there would be milk pitcher procession and other devotional practices. There would be Annadhanam (food offering) in the temple all throughout the day. By evening Lord Muruga along with Deivanai is taken out in grandeur palanquin around the temple.
Subramaniya Swamy temple, Thiruchendur- (Second Army Camp of Lord Muruga)
Nestling along the seashore, the Thiruchendur Subramaniya Swamy temple is the only temple among the six army camps, situated near the seashore, while the rest are anchored on hillocks. Located in the eastern end of the town Thiruchendur in the district of Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu. This temple is situated at a distance of about 60 km south-east of Tirunelveli, 40 km from Tuticorin and 75 km north-east of Kanyakumari.
This holy place is the site where Lord Muruga crusaded with his army in the battle over the Demon King Soorapadman. The grand event of “Soorasamharam” takes place every year in the seashore of Thiruchendur. This temple comprises of Linga idols which symbolizing sun, moon, fire, water, Athama, space and Shantham.
Thaipoosam At Thiruchendoor:
People come to Pathayathira from a week prior to Thaipoosam. There would be Tonsuring, Milk pitcher procession, body piercing and Kavadiattam. Apart from this, special poojas are done to the moolavar (main deity) worshipped by thousands of devotees.
Palani Dhandayuthapani Temple (Third Armory House)
If it is Kashi for Lord Shiva and Thirupathi of Lord Venkateshwara, then obviously its Palani for Lord Muruga. Palani Dhandayuthapani Temple is one of the Six Abodes of Lord Murugan and the third armory house. Located in the city of Palani in Dindigul district which is 150kms southeast of Coimbatore and northwest of Madurai in Tamil Nadu. What makes this temple so familiar and peculiar is the statue of Lord Muruga which is believed to have been made by the ancient saint or Siddhar called Boghar. He made the statue with the rarest combination of the Nine elements called Navabhashanam bounded with lots of medicinal values and is considered to be one of the most precious idols of India.
This is the place where Lord Murugan resided after his feud with his family over a divine fruit. Palani temple is one of the highest revenue yielding temples, in South India next to Thirupathi. Located in the Dindugal district this place was formerly known as the “Thiruavinankudi” the presiding deity Dhandayuthapani is found in the form of an ascetic boy without any worldly adornings.
Get yourself soaked in the divinity of Lord Muruga and don’t forget to taste the yummy Panchamirtham, a signature sweet of this hill, offered as a divine Prasadham of God.
Thaipoosam At Palani:
In Palani Dhandayuthapani temple, a 10-day festival (Brahmotsavam) is held during Thaipusam. Thirukalyanam (Celestial Wedding) will be held on the day before Thaipusam and on Thaipusam day, the chariot festival will also be held. Lord Muthukumaraswamy will bless devotees in Thanga Guthirai Vahanam (Golden Horse), Periya Thanga Mayil Vahanam (Golden Peacock), Theppotsavam (Float Festival) during the 10-day festival.
Weeks ahead of the festival, the entire region in and around Palani wears a festive look flooded with devotees all around. Witnessing them carrying milk pots in their hands, bedecked wooden Kavadi’s in their shoulders and lances piercing into their bodies will be an enthralling experience. It is very common to see many of the devotees in the trance state, dancing for the hymns on Lord Muruga, the epitome of devotion on him. Thaipoosam is the mega event attended by millions of devotees coming from far away place barefooted, offering prayers to him, trusting in the eternal fact that good always wins the evil.
Swaminathaswamy Temple, Swamimalai, Kumbakonam – Fourth Armory House
Located at the distance of 5km from Kumbakonam, Swamy malai Murugan temple is anchored atop a man – made hill. There are 60 steps symbolizing the 60 Tamil years leading us to the sanctum. This abode of Lord Muruga is quite significant that He is believed to have taught his Father Lord Shiva on the essence of the ultimate mantra OM, acclaimed as Pranava Manthiram . As the Lord was a Guru to his father, this place is revered as Gurumalai and Swamimalai.
It is believed that the shrine was built by the King Parantaka Chola I in the 2nd century BC. Yet another remarkable feature of this temple is that, in contrary to the rest of Murugan shrines, the vehicle of Lord Muruga peacock is replaced with Elephant. This feature is very unique and the legend has it that this white elephant “ Airavatha” was gifted to Lord Muruga by the celestial God Indra honouring his proficiency.
Thaipoosam at Swamimalai:
Swamimalai temple celebrates the Thaipoosam festival in a remarkable way every year. There would be special poojas, and elaborate processions of deities in distinct palanquins, worshipping Him in the form of King is considered to be very auspicious on this day. The festival comes to a closure with the temple car procession.
Subramanya Swami Temple, Thiruthani (Fifth Armory House)
Thiruthani is the serene place where Lord Muruga chose for a penance immediately after vanquishing the demon Surapadman. Located at the distance of 75 km from Chennai, Thiruthanni is the fifth army camp of Lord Muruga. The 365 steps of this hill represent 365 days of a year. The legend also has it that, this is the love resort of Lord Muruga, where he met his beloved lady love Valli and married her.
Thaipoosam at Thiruthani:
Similar to rest of the Murugan shires, Thaipoosam is marked with festive vibe, josh and divine thirst. Ardent devotees take Milk pitchers, do tonsuring, and light camphor for all 365 steps. It is a belief here that lighting all the 365 steps of Thiruthani, will bring good fortune throughout the year.
Subramaniya Swamy Temple Pazhamuthircholai (Sixth Armory House)
Among the Arupadaiveedu (Six Abodes of Lord Murugan), Pazhamudircholai Murugan Temple is the last. Pazhamudircholai is a sweet sublime abode of Lord Muruga anchored atop the Alagar hills at the distance of 20 km from Madurai. The holy stream beside the temple named “Nupura Gangai” is rich with medicinal values.
Among the six armory camps, this is the only place where he graces along with his both consorts Goddess Valli and Goddess Deivanai. The legend of this place explains that this is the historical place where Lord Muruga disguised himself as a little boy and explained the great Tamil Poetess Auvaiyar about the famous “Sutta Pazham” or “Sudatha Pazham” and enlightened her with his blessings. Lord Muruga at Pazhamudircholai is praised in several works of old Tamil literature such as Silappathikaram, Ettuthokai and Pattupattu.
Thaipoosam At Pazhamuthircholai:
Pazhamuthircholai is thronged with devotees from all across the state and the nearby villages on the eve of Thaipoosam. Many devotees make a pilgrim walk from their desired destination to Pazhamuthircholai.
Subramaniya Swamy temple, Kundrathur, Chennai
Located in the suburbs of Chennai, Kundrathur Murugan temple is the rarest of all Murugan shrines where the Lord faces North direction. According to the lore, this sacred place is where Lord Muruga had a sojourn, after his victorious battle in Thiruporur and on his way back to Thiruthani.
Yet another remarkable feature of this temple is that, though the Lord Muruga is accompanied by both his consorts in the shrine, we can only see one of his consort from any position. To reach this scared aboard there are 84 steps to reach the temple.
Thaipoosam at Kundrathur:
Similar to any other Murugan temples Kundrathur temple also commemorates Thaipoosam grandly. Devotees from various regions make a spiritual trip to Kundrathur on the eve of Thaipoosam. There would be special processions, special makeups for the Lord and a lot more things to experience.
Marudhamalai Murugan Temple, Coimbatore
Marudhamalai Murugan Temple is one of the prominent temples and famous tourist attractions in Coimbatore. This hill temple is a great place for meditation. Like most other Murugan temples, the Marudhamalai Murugan Temple is situated upon a hillock, which is part of the Western Ghats and about 12 km west from the Coimbatore city.
The divine 3 feet statue of Lord Murugan is truly a work of art and this temple is considered to be the dwelling place of great sages who lived many thousand years ago. Comparing to other Murugan temples which are located on the hills, this Murugan temple is special since it is in East face on the hill. A 30 minutes travel will take you to the top of this nature friendly hillock. The top view from this temple is spectacular and is an apt place to enjoy nature’s beauty. Marudhamalai Murugan temple is one of the must to visit places in Coimbatore during the Thaipusam/Thaaipoosam festival.
Thaipoosam At Maruthamalai:
Maruthamalai Thaipoosam is marked with fervour, enthusiasm, and devotion. Blocks of Maruthamalai will be packed with devotees chanting the mantra “Arohara”. Many will indulge themselves in Pathayathra, tonsuring, milk pitcher processions and body piercing rituals.
Kalugasalamoorthy Temple or Kalugumalai Murugan Temple, Thoothukudi
Not many will know about Kalugumalai Murugan Temple(eagles’ hill), it is one among the serene offbeat destinations in Tamilnadu. Kalugumalai is a small hillock nestling in a calm village named Kovilpatti in Thoothukudi district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This is a sublime place, devoid of hustle-bustle, with stunning natural scenic locations, and hoary rock-cut temples as the backdrop.
The Kalugasalamoorthy graces from the shrine of Kalugumalai. The temple reflects the great rock-cut architecture of early Pandyas. The other portions of the temple houses the 8th-century Jain beds and Vettuvan Koil, an unfinished Shiva temple. As per the legend, after killing Tharakasuran, brother of Surapadman, Lord Muruga nestled at this hill and graces in the form of Kalugasalamoorthy. The architecture of this temple surely demands a second visit. Even these rock-cut carvings are held in par with the Ajanta Ellora caves.
The Kalugumalai Murugan temple is open from 5:30 am – 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm – 9 pm. Four daily rituals and many yearly festivals are held at the temple, of which the ten-day Vaikasi Visagam, 13-day Kanthasasti festival, ten-day Thaipoosam festival and the 13-day Panguni Uthiram festival are the most prominent festivals celebrated here.
Thaipoosam At Kalugumalai Murugan Temple:
On the eve of Thaipoosam Kalugasalamoorthy will be adorned in various looks and attires. He graces to the devotees in all royalty. Thaipoosam special prayers and services are done to the Moolavar (main deity). People from nearby places throng here to get the immense blessing of Lord Muruga.
Vadapalani Andavar Temple, Chennai
Vadapalani Andavar Temple is one of the most famous and prominent temples of Chennai. This famous temple is located in Central Chennai which is 5km from the Koyambedu bus stand. This century-old temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan and graces his devotees in the standing posture.
The most amazing fact of this temple is that the eastern tower of the temple is 40m high which bears the carving of all the 108 Mudras of Bharathanatiyam. And the upper ceiling of the temple pavilion has images depicting the incidents from Skanda Puranam. This temple had attained great publicity and fame in recent years.
Festivals like Skanda Sasti, Panguni Uthiram and Thaipusam are celebrated here in the Tamil month of Aippasi, Panguni and Thai.
Thaipusam at Vadapalani Andavar Temple :
Vada Palani Murugan temple celebrates Thaipoosam in a prominent manner. The whole temple gets a glittering look, with flowers and colorful lights. People make a short pilgrim journey by walk to this temple before the night of Thaipoosam. There would be special poojas and services on the day of Thaipoosam and without any doubt, the whole temple will be packed with devotees on the festival days.
Vayalur Murugan Temple, Trichy:
Vayalur Murugan Temple is a thousand years old temple and a prominent temple located on the outskirts of Trichy. This temple is praised and lot of songs have been composed by the staunch Murugan devotee and great poet Arunagirinathar. Lord Muruga blessed the saint-poet Arunagirinathar at Vayalur and initiated him to compose Tiruppugal. Arunagirināthar wrote 18 verses (910-927) on Vayalur in the famous Tiruppukal.
In Vayalur Murugan Temple, the Lord Muruga graces behind the shrine of Lord Shiva. According to the legend, the temple tank known as the Shakthi Theertham which was created by Lord Muruga himself with his lance (vel). Outside the temple, Lord Ayyanar graces majestically.
Thai Poosam during the Tamil month of Thai (January – February), Panguni Uthiram during the Tamil month of Panguni (March – April), Vaikasi Visakam the birth star of Murugan during the month of May – June, Thiru Karthikai during the Tamil month of KarthiKai (October – November) and Kanda Shasti festival during the month of November are some the most prominent festivals celebrated in this temple.
Thaipoosam At Vayalur:
On the eve of Thaipoosam, Lord Muruga along with his consorts are taken out for procession in gorgeous adorning. There would be special poojas on this day. People take sacred milk pitcher procession to the temple.
Ettukudi Murugan Temple, Nagapattinam
Ettukudi Murugan is known as God of Bravery and he is known to annihilate the fear in any child. The effigy was made by a great artisan who made three similar statues with six heads and seated on a Peacock. One is installed here and the other two are installed in Sikkal and Engan. The specialty of the statue is that it appears like a child, youth and an elderly person depending upon the beholder’s imagination. The lord Soundaranayakar and Mother Anandhavalli graces as the parents of Lord Muruga here.
Another specialty of this temple is, the great Vanmeegar/Vanmikar Siddhar attained his Samadhi in this place under the Vanni tree (Sthala Virutcham) of this temple.
Thaipoosam At Ettukudi:
Devotees throng here to savour the darshan of Lord Ettukudi Murugan on the eve of Thaipoosam. Taking a sacred bath is the divine tank of Saravanapoigai is considered to be very auspicious. People take their children here in order to get rid of their fear. On the eve of Thaipoosam, there would be special poojas and offerings
Sikkal Singaravelan Temple, Nagapattinam
Sikkal Singaravelan Temple is located on the premises of Sikkal Navaneetheswarar temple at Nagapattinam. This is one of the most famous Murugan temples in Tamilnadu and even it is unofficially known as the Ezham Padai Veedu ( Seventh Armory House). This is none such a rare temple that houses both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu inside the same temple complex.
The legend has it that this is the place where the sacred Kamadenu (holy cow) got relieved from her sins and was blessed by Lord Shiva. The Parkulam scared tank of the temple is considered to be very auspicious and taking a dip in it will restore us with all goodness. The Soorasamharam festive that happens every year is very famous and a spectacular event to behold.
Thaipoosam At Sikkal:
Similar to any other Murugan temples Sikkal Singaravelan temple also commemorates Thaipoosam grandly. Devotees from various regions make a spiritual trip to Sikkal on the eve of Thaipoosam. There would be special processions, special makeups for the Lord and a lot more things to experience on your visit to this temple in Nagapattinam.
Poombarai Kuzhanthai Velappar Temple, Kodaikanal:
Kulanthai Velappar temple, in Poombarai village, is about 21km from Kodaikanal. While the legendary Sage Bogar created the Palani Dhandayuthapani effigy with Navabasham (nine poisons), the same created the idol of Kulanthai Vellapar idol with Dhasabashanam (ten poisons). Here, Lord Muruga graces in the form of a child devoid of any worldly ornaments, but just with the sacred spear (Vel) in his hand.
The Poombarai Kulanthai Velappar Temple is located in a scenic location that is surrounded by beautiful hills and valleys. You can able to see the breathtaking view of this Poombarai village on your way from Kodaikanal to Mannavanur route.
Thaipoosam At Poombarai Kuzhanthai Velappar Temple:
Like other Murugan temples festivals like Thaipusam, Kandha Shashti, Thiru Karthigai are celebrated here in great pomp. Especially, the Chariot/Car Festival (Ther Thiruvizha) of this temple is commemorated pompously, every year during the Tamil month of Thai or Maasi which falls in Kettai Nakshatra(star) that comes after the Thai Poosam festival is a notable one. The ritual here to offer candies and sweets to God as he graces as a child here. Thaipoosam is marked by festivity, grandeur and devotion.
So far we have listed our best picks to cast a visit for this Thaipoosam. It is time for you to add your desired destinations to your bucket list.
Tamilnadu Tourism offers best pilgrim packages with tailor-made itineraries. Make a trip with Tamilnadu Tourism and get indulged in the frenetic harmony of the Devotees, as ceaseless the chants “Vel Vel Vel” throbs in the air.
Make this Thaipoosam more special by getting yourself indulged in the divine rush.
For tour details and bookings, visit www.tamilnadutourism.com