Tirupparankunram Murugan Temple is a Hindu temple and one of the Six Abodes of Murugan, located at Tirupparankunram. this is the first temple. While Lord Muruga graces in a standing form in other five army camp temples, He graces in a sitting, wedding form with His consort Deivanai, the divine daughter of the king of heaven, Indra, and he is said to have worshipped Shiva here as Parangirinathar. The temple is built in rock-cut architecture and believed to have been built by the Pandyas during the 6th century. This is a 2000 years old hillock temple beaming with the pride of being the pioneer of other five army camps.
It is carved in rock and is monstrous in size for such an architecture. There are number of cubical pillars with lotus medallions at the entrance of temple. The temple has innumerable cave shrines that are small and approached through narrow dark passages. The inscriptions on the chamber walls are believed to date back to the early medieval period. There are 11 famous ponds around the temple, out of which, Saravanapoigai and Lakshmi Theertham are very famous. A cave temple dedicated to the element of earth and mentioned in various classical Tamil texts as the ‘Southern Himalaya’ where the gods assemble, Tiruparankundram is also mentioned in legend as ‘the place where the sun and moon abide’.
There are several architectural features of interest, especially the temple is built rock-cut architecture dating back to the Pandya period of 6th century and the life sized sculptures in the mandapas of the Nayaka period during the 16th century. An Aasthaana Mandapa with several artistically carved pillars lead one to the towering 150 feet (46 m) high seven-tiered rajagopuram at the entrance.The granite hill behind the temple is 1,050 ft (320 m) has a shrine of Kasi Viswanatha at the top. The image of Vinayaka in the temple in the temple is sported holding sugarcane and fruits. The main shrine is an early rock cut temple which has cells that house the sanctums of Subramanya, Durga, Vinayakar, Shiva and Vishnu. All the statues are carved on the wall of the parankundram rock. A notable feature of this temple is that the Shiva and Vishnu face each other in the main shrine, considered a rare thing in ancient Hindu temples. Outside the temple there is tank, where according to the temple tradition, the fishes are served with salt and rice flakes by the devotees. There are five Theerthams, or divine water sources, in and around the temple, Saravana Poigai, Lakshmi Theertham, Saniyasi Kinaru (well), Kasi Sunai, and Sathiya Koopam.
Skanda Shashti festival celebrated during the Tamil month of Panguni (October – November) is the most prominent festival of the temple. Muruga are taken in procession to Madurai to celebrate Minakshi’s wedding (Chittirai festival), with residents of Madurai dressed in festive clothing. Nakkirar’s association with this temple is also celebrated as a festival. Since the image of Vishnu is in the temple, Vaikunta Ekadashi is also celebrated.
Those facing obstacles in marriage alliances, risk to the welfare of children pray here. They also light lamps in the Durga shrine during the Rahu Kala time each day. The Temple time is open from 5.00 am to 1.00 pm And 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm.
How to reach:
By Air: The nearest airport is Madurai Airport(10 km), which is well connected to all major city of India.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is madurai railway(08 km), which is well connected to all major city of India by daily train.
By Road: Buses from Madurai Periyar and Thirumangalam bus stands will aid you to reach the temple. From the bus stand temple is at a walkable distance.
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