Thiruthani Murugan Temple – Greatness of Temple
Lord Muruga is not holding the Vel weapon which is closely associated with him, but Vajra Hastam in his right hand that would produce a sound as thunder. His left hand is on the hip representing wisdom. Only during dressings (Alankara) Vel and Cock Flag are placed with him according to tradition. There are separate shrines for Valli and Deivanai. Pujas in the temple are performed in accordance with Kumara Tantra Agama order.
The festival Sura Samhara – destroying demon Sura in Thiruchendur being celebrated in all Murugan temples on Skanda Sashti day in October-November is not followed here, because the Lord is in pleasant mood without war plans. After destroying the demon, He came to Tiruthani with victorious and happy mood. Therefore, the war festival is not celebrated here. Instead, on this day, flowers weighing 1000 Kilograms are used to please the Lord.
In the place of peacock, the elephant is the vahana-vehicle for Muruga which also against tradition of facing the Lord’s shrine faces the opposite side. The story goes like this. As Indira had offered Iravadham the white elephant as the wedding gift to Deivanai, the prosperity of Deva world began to shrink. Indira prayed to Lord Muruga to allow the elephant in the shrine to turn the other side so that its aspect on Deva Loka would help the growth of prosperity in his kingdom. Lord Muruga gracefully obliged. Hence, the elephant faces the other side.
Daughters of Lord Vishnu, Amudavalli and Sundaravalli performed penance seeking Lord Muruga’s hands. Deivanai was under the care of Indira while Nambirajan took care of Valli. They realized their aim and became consorts of Lord Muruga. They wished to show that they were one and took the form of Gajavalli. Gajavalli holds the Lotus in her right hand attributed to Valli and the Neelothpala flower in the left representing Deivanai. She graces from her parrot vehicle.
Curative feature of Sandal Paste:
The sandal paste used in Muruga worship in Tiruthani has a divine significance. It is not ground on the stone we usually use but the one gifted by Devendra. Devotees do not put this sandal Prasad on their forehead but dissolve in water and consume it as it is believed that would cure them from any disease. This Prasad is offered only on festival days.
It is believed that Indira worshipped here on the Kruthika star day in the month of Aadi-July-August. This is a three day celebration in the temple. Lord Muruga comes in procession to the sacred spring Saravana Poigai at the foot of the hill. As Indira used the Kalhara flowers for his puja, the tradition of carrying Malar Kavadi – flower Kavadi is devotionally followed by the devotees in the temple.
Abishekam with hot water:
Sri Aadhi Balasubramania graces on the wall behind the sanctum sanctorum as a child. He was the Lord with Akshara Mala and a Kamandalam (a small pot with a handle to carry water usually held by Gods and Sages) before his wedding with Valli. In the month of Margazhi (December-January) abishekam is performed with hot water as this is the winter season. Devotees cannot see their Child Lord trembling with cold; hence bathe him in hot water.
Puja to steps on New Year day:
This is a temple with 365 steps representing the days of the year. During the British rule, people use to greet their white rulers on the New Year day. Using this custom to turn people to the spiritual side, Muruga devotee Sri Vallimalai Swamigal began Padi Puja (worshipping the steps) in the year 1917. On the previous night, each step would be washed and adored with turmeric and kumkum offering Arati with camphor singing a Thirupugazh hymn. After Puja to the steps, special pujas are performed to Lord Muruga at 12.00 midnight.
Bhairava with four dogs:
Lord Bhairava graces in temple with 4 dogs vehicle representing 4 Vedas. He is seen with two dogs in some temples. Here, Bhairava has four dogs representing the four Vedas, Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana. While one dog is behind Bhairava, other three are around the Peeta. Those aspiring to achieve academic excellence pray here. Deivanai wedding festival is celebrated during the Chithirai (April-May) Brahmotsavam and Valli wedding festival in Masi (February-March).
Lord gracing in different Vahanas:
During the final puja at night, Lord Muruga graces with Valli on a day and Deivanai the next day. As Lord Muruga wedded Valli in the guise of a hunter, He graces on a Tiger Vahana on the sixth day of Brahmotsavam and then on the Elephant Vahana.
Muslim playing Drum in the Temple Procession:
A Muslim gentleman had the luck of being graced by Lord Muruga in this temple. Remembering the event, during festival days, when the Lord comes in procession, a Muslim devotee plays the drum even today.