Swamimalai Murugan Temple
Swamimalai or Thiruveragam , a holy place near Kumbakonam, in Tamilnadu - South India, houses one of the most sacred temples of Lord Muruga and is the fourth Aarupadai Veedu.
This sacred and ancient temple of Swamimalai - is located on the banks of river cauvery - at a distance of 5 KM along the western side of Kumbakonam in Tamil nadu, India. The temple is located at a height of 60 feet - above an artificial hillock and is reached by a flight of 60 steps - which signify 60 years. This south Indian temple of Swaminatha Swami can be reached easily by motorable roads from Kumbakonam.
There are three prakarams and three entrances in this Murugan shrine. The southen entrance is the main entrance to the temple and the main temple tower (Raja gopuram) - with its 5 tiers - is located above this entrance.There is a temple dedicated to Meenakshi Sundareswarar ( depicting Lord Vishnu giving his sisters hand in marriage to Lord Shiva ) - this temple is known as Kizh Koil . The main temple that enshrines Lord Muruga as Swaminadha swami is known as Mel Koil.
The main lord of swami malai - affectionately called as Swaminadha - is 6 feet tall with broad shoulders holding sakthi vel and dhandam(staff). Instead of Mayil Vahanam or the peacock vehicle, Elephant is depicted as the vahana (divine vehicle) in front of the lord. This feature is very unique, not available in any other temples of Lord Muruga. The stala vriksham for Thiruchendur temple is the Amla tree( Nellimaram) . There are five Theerthams or divine water sources, in and around the temple. They are: Vajra Theertham,
Saravana Theertham, Netra Pushkarini( well)and ,Kumaratturai (Kaveri)
This temple is built at an elevation, on an artificially constructed mound, reached through a flight of steps. Although the shrine is of ancient origin, much of the structure seen now is of the 20th century.
The outermost prakaram of this temple is at the ground level. The second one is half way up the stairs, and the innermost prakaram is around the Swaminathan shrine.
At the lower level are shrines to Meenakshi and Sundareswarar (said to have been built by the Pandya ruler Varaguna Pandyan of Madurai who is also associated with the Mahalingaswamy temple at Tiruvidaimarudur) and the prakaram where the golden chariot is taken in procession on special occasions.
The Netra Vinayakar shrine is located adjacent to the flagstaff. The southern entrance of the temple has a 5 tiered rajagopuram. A flight of 60 steps representing the cycle of 60 years in the tamil (indian) system of beliefs leads to the Swaminathan shrine in the upper level. Facing the sanctum is an elephant and not a peacock. (See Kumarakottam at Chromepet near Chennai enshrining Swaminathan).
Subramaniar is enshrined with Valli alone in the shrine in the inner prakaram and he is known as Senapati. Also in the southern precincts of the inner prakaram is Subramanyar enshrined as Sabapathi again with Devasena, with his arms stretched as iseen in Natarajar images. Also enshrined is Shammukhar with his consorts Valli and Devasena.
There are also shrines to Mahalakshmi, Saraswathi, Veerabaagu, Arunagirinathar, Surya, Chandra, Idumban, and Dhandayutapani here.
The stala vriksham is the Nellimaram and this tree is said to be a manifestation of Bhudevi. The theerthams here are Vajra theertham, Saravana Theerhtam, Netra Pushkarini and Kumaratturai (Kaveri). Legend has it that a blind devotee was blessed with eyesight after a dip in the Netra Theertham as he arrived at the Netra Vinayakar
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