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This ancient temple’s origins date back to the 9th century CE. It is a National Heritage Monument, and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is in charge of its maintenance. The temple is the second Shiva Sthalam in Kongu Nadu and also one among the 276 Thevara Paadal Petra Sthalams. In this temple, Lord Shiva graces as Swayambhumoorthi (self-manifested). It is a west-facing temple, which has no Rajagopuram or main tower. In front of the temple stands a large stone Sthupam or pillar, as is found in many Shiva temples in Kongu Nadu.
Some interesting legends are associated with the temple. It talks about how the demon king, Soorapadman, who had acquired great powers due to his rigorous penance, tormented the Devas (Gods) in heaven and imprisoned many of them. In mortal fear, the Gods went to Shiva and asked for his help. Shiva then sent his young son, Murugan, with a large contingent of soldiers led by his lieutenant, Veerabhahu to kill Soorapadman and his army of demons. A fierce battle ensued, and finally, Lord Murugan killed Soorapadman and brought relief to the Devas.
According to the legend, Murugan acquired Brahmahathi Dosham because he killed the demon king as well as others in the fight. This battle is called “Soorasamharam”. To get relief from this dosham, Murugan decided to install a lingam here and began to worship it. As the lingam was installed by Lord Murugan, it was called “Thirumuruganathaswamy”.
The story goes that when he came here to worship Shiva, Murugan left his Vel (divine spear) and his vahan, the peacock, outside the temple. It is on account of this that the idol of Lord Murugan inside the shrine is found without the Vel and the peacock. People believe that a square stone found beneath a neem tree near this temple is actually the Brahmahathi (the sin of killing a Brahmin) that left Murugan.
There is another legend related to the temple. It involves Sundarar, a very renowned Shaivite saint who was given many valuable gifts by King Cheraman Perumal for his excellent poetry. The poet was passing this place, carrying the gifts, when Lord shiva felt that he wanted to listen to his poetry. Wishing to play a prank on the saint, Shiva sent his army of Boodhganas, disguised as hunters, to rob the saint and take away all his valuables.
The Boodhganas robbed the saint and left the place. Sundarar offered prayers to a Vinayakar nearby and asked him to help him in getting the gifts back. Lord Vinayakar told him to visit this Shiva temple. So Sundarar made his way to the temple and rendered a Pathigam. In it, he blamed Shiva for not protecting him from the robbers. His song expressed the notion that Shiva’s divine presence was of no avail in such a notorious place. He also demanded that Lord Shiva take immediate action to help him recover his valuable gifts.
Having enjoyed Sundarar’s composition, Shiva gave him back the stolen goods. A festival called ‘Vedupari’ celebrates this incident. A separate place can be seen in this temple, where the Lord is believed to have returned the valuables to Sundarar. It is called ‘Pon maraithu vaitha idam’
An interesting fact is that King Cheraman Perumal who brought Sundarar to this place, went on to become a great Shiva devotee and had a place among the 63 celebrated Shaivite saints called Nayanmars.
Goddess Ambal is housed in a separate temple. This is near Moolavar’s shrine.
There are shrines for the Navagrahas, Saneeswarar, Bairavar, Suryan, Pancha Lingams, Sandikeswarar, Bhavaneeswarar, and Dhakshinamoorthy. The 63 Nayanmars, Lingothbavar, and Durga, are in the corridors.
Two Sundarar idols can be seen at the entrance of Shiva’s shrine - one appears sad and the other joyous. They reveal the state of his mind when he lost his valuables and after they were returned to him. Lord Shiva’s idol can also be seen there in the form of a hunter.
It is believed that the Lord here was worshipped by the sages, Agasthyar, Durvasa, and Markendeya. The Sthala Vriksham here is the Mullai tree, and Sage Durvasa is the one who supposedly brought it from Karpaka Lokam (Heaven).
The hall called Prakaram, in the outer corridor, called Adalvallan Sabha, is where the Lord is said to have performed the dance called the “Brahma Tandava”.
The three springs in the temple are called Shanmuga Theertham, Brahma Theertham, and Gnana Theertham.
In his much-acclaimed Thirupugazh, Saint Arunagirinadhar also sang the praises of Lord Murugan, whose idol is seen in this temple.
The idol of Lord Murugan found inside the sanctum sanctorum has six faces, and the unique aspect about it is that only a single stone has been used to carve it. A shallow well can be seen opposite the Lord Vinayagars temple. According to local belief, water gushes out of it once in every 12 years.
Across the road, one can find another Shiva temple. This temple houses the idols of Sri Madhavaneswarar and Goddess Mangalambika. It is this temple that is believed to be the original Thirumuruganpoondy temple.
Worshipping the deity of this temple is believed to bring relief from mental ailments. One can also be relieved of the evil effects of curses at this temple.
Another notable feature of the temple is that it is a famous Parihara Sthalam for doshams like Ketu Dosham and Brahmahathi Dosham.
Many devotees believe that reciting the Pathigam about this temple, rendered by Sundarar, can help them recover items they have lost.
A lot of childless couples visit the temple and take a dip in the Shanmuga Theertham here. They believe that this will bestow on them the boon of progeny. Local folklore has it that the Pandya king , Maharadhan, was blessed with twins after performing pooja at this temple.
In the Tamil month of Thai (mid-Jan – mid-Feb), the “Vedupari Urchavam” is held here, and it is very famous. In the Tamil month of Maasi (mid-Feb-mid- March), the annual Brahmotsavam festival is celebrated in a grand manner
Other significant festivals that are celebrated here are Thai Poosam, Soora Samhaaram, Pankuni Uthiram, and Skanda Shashti.
The temple is 45 kms from Coimbatore. It is 5 kms from Tirupur and Avinashi. Coimbatore airport is the nearest airport.
Sri Thirumuruganathaswamy Temple,
Pin: 641 652.
Tel: +91- 4296- 273 507.
|S No||Temple Pooja Timing||Timings|
|1||Morning||05:30 AM to 12:45 PM|
|2||Evening||03:30 PM to 08:15 PM.|
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