History of Arulmigu Palani Andavar Temple

This sacred place called Palani was known as Pothini and Pazhanam during the Sangam period. In Thirumurugatrupadai, it is referred to as Thiruvavinankudi, and in Akhananuru, there are notable references such as “Muzhuvuruzhi Thinitoneadu Velavi, Ponnudai Nedunagarpothini” (61), and “Muruganarpore Neduvelavi, Yarugotti Yanai Pothini Yankan” (1). In Silappadikaram, there is a mention of this place as “Velavikko Malikai Kaatti” (Silambu 28-198).

Nakkirar, in his Thirumurugatrupadai, mentions that the Devas, sages, Vishnu on Garuda, Uma and Shiva on the bull, and Indra with Indrani on Airavata gathered together to worship Murugan in Palani.

According to legend, when Lord Shiva intended to give Shivagiri and Shaktigiri, which were in Kailasa, to the sage Agastya, he instructed Idumbasuran to carry them to Pothigai. On his way, exhausted Idumbasuran, placed them down at the current location of Palani. Due to Murugan’s grace, the mountains remained there. Murugan appeared as a young boy under the Kura tree on Shivagiri, and a battle ensued between Idumban and the young Murugan. Idumban lost his life, but upon his wife’s plea, he was revived. Murugan ordained that Idumban should be the guardian of the hill and that devotees carrying a “kavadi” would be blessed by him, honoring Idumban’s devotion. This story is narrated in the Palani Thalapuranam.

Thiruvavinankudi was the original temple, praised by Nakkirar in Thirumurugatrupadai as the battle house. In ancient times, this hilly area was called Avinnankudi because it was ruled by Pegan, one of the last seven generous kings of the Chera dynasty.

The legend further states that when Uma and Lord Shiva lovingly called the young Murugan “Gnana Pazham Nee” (You are the fruit of wisdom), this hill and the place where Murugan resides came to be known as “Pazham Nee,” which later evolved into “Palani” in the Saivite tradition.

The Significance of the Hill
Palani Hill rises 450 feet above the surrounding terrain. The temple has 697 steps leading to the top. Surrounding Palani Hill is a hill-prakaram (circumambulatory path) that stretches for 3 kilometers. On both sides of the hill, there are lush and beautiful trees, including Kadamba trees. There are four peacock mandapams (halls) located in the four directions around the hill.

There are four paths to reach the hill temple: the steps path, the elephant path, the winch car and rope car. It is customary to first visit the “Paadha Vinayagar” Temple at the foothills, circumnavigate the hill, and then climb up.

When this temple was established, Palani Hill served as the abode of the Siddhar known as “Bogar.” It was known to be a place of great benefit due to his siddhis (spiritual powers).

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