|Velimalai Murugan temple, Kanyakumari. TN, facebook com.|
|Velimalai Murugan temple, Kanyakumari. TN tamilnadu-favtourism.blogspot.com|
Kumarakovil also known as Kumara Kshetram and Subrahmanya Sthala in Malayalam that has a massive monolithic idol of the deity, has found mention in the Tamil literature work Silappatikkaram by Elangovadikal and is called the Chera Nattu Aeragam. Believed to be pretty old as far back as the period of Buddhism 650-850 CE in Kerala, Kumarakovil, according to stone inscriptions, has been around since 18th century CE . This is said to be the birth place of Valli, consort of lord Kathikaya.
In this temple that can be reached through a flight of forty steep steps, the consort of Lord Murugan is Valli, a woman from the hill tribal community) in the same sanctum (srikovil) and her stone idol is a tall one - six and a half feet. The main deity is set in such a way as to facing east direction where the Sthanumalayan (Lord Siva) of Suchindram is located. The big idol of Lord Murugan made from single stone is eight feet and eight inches tall. Perhaps, Murugan stone idol in the Vallikandpuram temple close to Perambalur town, TN (this Chola temple is older than the Thanjavur big temple) is yet another Hindu temple with a tall stone idol of Muruga. In this temple lord's image has long ears suggestive of influence of Buddhism. It is believed there are foot prints of of Nandi and Murugan atop the hill often referred to as Nandipadam and Murugan Padam.An interesting feature of this temple is the presence of a shrine for Daksha, the maternal grandfather of Lord Murugan. There is a shrine for Ganapati on the right side of the entrance to the inner Prakara (Prthakshanapath). He is called Kalyana Vinayakar, because he helped Lord Muruga to seek the hands of Valli. On the west prakara one may find many shrines - for Kasi Lingam,etc and on the south side Mahadevan, Sivakami and Chadikeswarar. Arumuga Nayinar - Lord Murugan with his two consorts, Valli and Deivayanai. This temple is associated with the legends of Valli’s marriage with Murugan. This is said to be the birth place of Valli.
The Tamil month of Panguni (March-April) the temple comes alive and it is a period of celebration. Yes, the divine wedding of Valli (a tribal woman) and Murugan is held with religious fervor and bhakti and devotees in thousands attend this grand festival. The reenactment of Kuravar (hill tribes) Patukalam, the war waged by Valli’s relatives against Murugan, is a colourful event, interesting to watch it; an unbroken tradition that continues for a long time. When the wedded divine couple reaches the rear entrance of the temple, Kuravas surrender to Lord Murugan and happily give consent to the marriage. Then after abhishekam and deepa aradhana, a formal wedding is celebrated at night in the well decorated temple mandapam with flowers of various hues. During the marriage, Valli colai, Vatta colai, Kizavan colai...... etc., are given as gifts to Lord Murugan from the bride’s side. The seven-day festival begins in the star of Anuradha in the month of Panguni. On the day of the wedding Manavala kumaran (processional deity) in a palanquin is carried to Thiru Kalyana Mandapam, 2 km from here. After the celestial wedding, the deities are taken reverentially with pomp in a procession back to the original temple.
|Kumaracoil Subramania Swamy Temple Kavadi Kettu Festivalhttp://murugan.org|
The old tradition has been that during Navarathri festival Velimalai Kumaran, on a decorated silver horse (vahanam), is taken all the way to Tiruvananthapuram along with Padmanabapuram Saraswati and Suchindram Munnoottinanka (Goddess Shakti). After Navaratri the idols are taken back to the temple.Soora samharam is yet another festival held here, but it is not as grand as that of Thiruchendur temple, TN. Devotees make all kinds of commitments to have their wish fulfilled such physical ailment, wedding of their daughter, etc . The offerings include besides Kavadi, milk abishekam, Santhana Kappuu (sandal kaappu) and tonsuring. Many parents bring their new kid for the first tonsure at this temple. This is done for the kid's welfare longevity and good health. Another attraction is Valli guhai(cave) atop the hill about 2 km off the main temple. Valli sunai is a pond where it is believed that Valli used to take bath and Murugan came in the disguise of an old man to woo Valli. The protocol of worship offered here on the last Friday of every Tamil month. The Kanji (a sort of porridge)
Kerala Tantram is a protocol of worship offered in this temple along the lines of most other temples in Kanyakumari district. Fridays, especially the last fridays of every Tamil month are considered to be very sacred here. The Kanji which is distributed as prasadam that is said to have miraculous healing properties.
Pushpabishekam is done on the last Friday in the month of aavani an the idol of Kumaran is completely covered with hundreds of baskets of flowers offered by the devotees.