Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple, Madurai

Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple or Subramanya Swami Temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan. He is the son of Lord Shiva and also known as Subramanya or Kartikeya. This temple is situated in Thiruparankundram village, Tamil Nadu state, which is near to Madurai. In the 6th century, this Hindu temple built by ‘Pandyas’ and is one of the Arupadaiveedu (6 abodes of Lord Murugan) across the Tamil Nadu. According to the myth and stories, it is the place where Lord Murugan defeated and slayed a demon king named Surpadman. And where he married Deivayanai. She is celestial daughter of Indra who is the king of heaven. The temple follows the Shaivite tradition.

Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple

History and Architecture

Thiruparankundram has its first mention in the book Skanda Puranam detailing the slaying of Surpadman, a demon king by Lord Murugan. As some inscriptional and historical evidence, the temple is carved out of the hill, and probably earlier was a Jain cave. There is also another theory, according to the rule of Pandya king Koon Pandiyan in 6th century, Murugan temple was converted by Jain monks into a Jain worship center. In later part of 8th century, under the guidance of Gajapathy who was a minister of future Pandya king, the Jain worship center is reconverted into the Hindu temple. There were several additions in the temple such as pillared halls known as Mandapas in 16th -17th century during the regime of Madurai Nayaks.

The temple is cut into rock dating back to 6th century. The main shrine has cells that house sanctums of Lord Subramanya, Vinayaka, Shiva, Vishnu and deity Durga. Other than this, an Aasthaana Mandapa having number of artistically carved pillars lead us to the seven-tiered tower called Rajagopuram. At the entrance, it is 150 feet (46 m) high. There is 1,050 ft tall granite hill at back side of the temple which is having shrine of Kashi Vishwanath at the top add beauty to the overall front view of the temple. There is also a water tank, or we may call it a small lake outside the temple. An ancient way of construction is something that attracts.

Not to Miss

•  Huge halls namely Mahamandapam, Kambathadi Mandapam and Ardha Mandapam, which are having beautiful pillars and rock carvings of deities Mahisshasura Mardini, Karpaga Vinayagar, Andarabaranar and Uggirar, showing us a cultural and artistic grandeur of ancient as well as the mid-era of India.
•  Outside the sanctum, panels are portraying Lord Shiva's dance.
•  In the main shrine, you will get a rare chance to see Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu fronting each other which is considered as a unique aspect in ancient Hindu holy places.
•  The beautiful rock carvings of Nandi (bull - a vehicle of Lord Shiva), Mayil (Peacock – the vehicle of Lord Murugan) and Mouse (vehicle of Lord Ganesh) in front of Dhwajstambha (a flagstaff) will stop you for a while.
•  One can get to know about various details, traditions and other information about this ancient temple and Hindu religious texts by visiting Vedic school which is next to the bank of temple ponds.  
•  One can feel fresh and energetic in this divine and calm environment.
•  Beautiful and glorious ancient temple having a typical south Indian style of construction will surely mesmerize you.

Visit Timings

1. You can visit Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple from 5 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm every day for devotees.
2. The best time to visit this temple is during festivals. The most celebrated festivals at Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple are,
•  Skanda Shashti – It is celebrated between October-November during Tamil month of Aippasi.
•  Brahmotsavam – It is celebrated according to Tamil calendar Phaguni.

Fees

There is no fee for just visiting a temple and take blessings from Lord Murugan. If you want to do some special kind of Pooja, then you may get charged as per rules of Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple administration.

Location

Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple is at a distance of 8km (5 miles) from South Madurai Junction. By road, it is approximately 10km (6.2mi) away, and one can reach there via Madura College Playground-Vasant Nagar-Thiyagarajar-Thiruparankundram.

How to Reach

The easiest way to reach Thiruparankundram is, to reach Madurai by following options given in a table and then go for Thirupurankundram. It is almost 10km (6.2 miles) away from Madurai. One can get a cab, TNSTC bus, train or any private mode of transport and reach there.

From
To
Mode of Transport
Distance (Miles)
Duration (Hours)
Fare (INR)
Madras Airport (MAA), Chennai
Madurai
Flight (90 flights per week)
-
0.55
2,400 - 8,304
Madurai Airport
Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple
Taxi
4.7
0.8
170 - 220
Chennai Egmore
Madurai Junction
Train (37 trains per week)
-
7.4
250 - 280
Madurai Junction
Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple
Train (every four hours)
-
0.12
65 - 75
Taxi
4.6
0.7
170 - 200


Must Visit Places Nearby

•  Meenakshi Amman Temple
•  Gandhi Memorial Museum
•  Shri Ramana Mandiram
•  Rajaji Park

Thiruparankundram Murugan Temple is the best place to know about Hindu beliefs and culture in south India. You can experience the best time here with spiritual motivation.  This temple is a heritage site and stands for a glorious history of India.