- May 9, 2021
🛕 Subramaniya Swami Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Murugan located in Mailam near Tindivanam in Villupuram District of Tamil Nadu. The Temple is located on small hillock at Mailam is a famous place for of pilgrimage. Though, this is a Shiva temple with Viswanathar and Visalakshi in the sanctum, but the importance is given to Subramanya Swamy. Arunagirinathar had praised Lord Murugan of this Temple in his Thirupugazh hymns. This Hindu temple is controlled by the Bommayarpalayam Mutt.
🛕 The legend of this place begins with the end of Surapadman atrocious rule and his tearful appeal to Lord to accept him as his mount. According to Sthalapuranam, Surapadman, though fought against Muruga, was routed in the end. When he was about be slain, he appealed to the Lord to accept him as his vehicle, and he would serve him with fidelity.
🛕 Moved by the tearful appeals, the Lord ordered him to do meditation taking the shape of peacock (Mayil in Tamil) on the bank of Varaha near Mayilamalai. Nodding, he continued his appeal to the Lord to dwell for ever on the same hill. It was granted. Thus, came into existence this Mayilamalai and the place called Mailam, for short.
🛕 There is another long legend associated with the life Sankhakannar, one of the Sivaganas of Kailash. Due to incurring displeasure to Lord Siva, he was cursed to be born as man in bhuloka and to get emancipation after due penance only. According to the Sthala Purana of Mailam, it was the duty of Sankhakannar, a gana in Siva’s following, to stand guard at the grove where Parvati was bathing. He failed in this task as he did not prevent Siva from entering and, because of this, he was cursed by Siva, who announced that he would have to fight with Murugan and teach the vedasaivagamas for many years.
🛕 Having been thus cursed, the gana, in the form of a young child named Balasiddha, descended to earth, to the village of Bomayapalaiyam. Knowing that he could be liberated only by Murugan, and following the advice of Narada, he went to Mailam, the hill whose name is linked to the peacock of the god (Mayil), for it was there that the Asura Surapadman assumed the form of a peacock so as to obtain liberation from Murugan. Despite the intervention of his consorts, Valli and Devasena, Murugan refused to relieve the curse upon Sankhakannar because it had come from Siva.
🛕 Angered by his refusal, Murugan’s consorts slipped away from him and became Siddha Kannis, taking refuge in their palace. Disguised as a hunter, Murugan attempted to enter the palace and confronted Sankhakannar. The guardian very soon recognized the god, who immediately rid him of the curse. He asked Murugan to always remain present at Mailam with his wives in the form of bridegroom (Kalyana Kolam).
🛕 It is said that Srilasri Sivagnana Palaya Swamigal was in yoga nishta for 100 years here drinking the milk of Kalli plant and merged with Lord Shiva.
🛕 The temple, situated on a small hill , is connected with a village on the Coromandel coast, Bomayapalaiyam, very near Pondicherry, where a Vera Saiva mutt is found. This Mutt is maintaining the Temple. According to the name, Bomma or Bomme, derived from Brahmana. This was a village donated to Brahmans, as is confirmed by the Sthala Purana in which Bomayapalaiyam is also named Brahmapuram.
🛕 The temple, situated on a small hill is connected with a village on the Coromandel Coast, Bomayapalaiyam, very near Pondicherry, where a Vera Saiva mutt is found According to the name, Bomma or Bomme, derived from Brahmana. This was a village donated to Brahmans, as is confirmed by the Sthala Purana in which Bomayapalaiyam is also named Brahmapuram. The temple atop the hill was built by Bomayapalaiyam Mutt. The Mutt established at the foot of the hill looks after the temple administration.
🛕 It is known from the private diary of Ananda Ranga Pillai, the dubash under Dupleix, that Dupleix visited, in 1744, the head of the mutt and offered him a few yards of cloth and bottles of rose water. In another passage, dating from 1746, Ananda Ranga Pillai mentions that the swami of the mutt cites three pontiffs during this twenty-four-year period. First, he states that a certain Turaiyar Pachai Kandappaiyur, who was leading an ascetic life in Palani, was installed as head of the mutt.
🛕 However, four days later, he corrects himself to say that Turaiyur Pachai Kandappaiyur, who had come to install the new pontiff of the mutt, desired to visit Pondicherry before returning to Turaiyur. This shows that Palani had control over the mutt. All the heads of the Bomayapalaiyam mutt are named Sivagnana Bala Siddha, which calls clearly to mind that Palani is a hill inhabited by siddhas and devoted to Murugan, or more specifically, to Murugan in his form of ascetic and young (Bala) god.
🛕 The Temple is located on a small hillock. The Temple is having 5 tier Rajagopuram. This small hill can be either climbed by steps or can drive up to the main Rajagopuram. The entrance is how ever through the south side via a small gopuram. The temple is fairly of recent origin with records from 1750’s. Though, this is a Shiva temple with Viswanathar and Visalakshi in the sanctum, but the importance is given to Subramanya Swamy. Lord Subramanya is present in the sanctum with four arms in a standing marriage posture with Valli & Deivanai facing East.
🛕 Majestic Vel and Peacock can be seen in front of the sanctum. There are three Utsava Idols in the Temple. Chief Utsava idol is Lord Bala Subramanya along with his consorts Valli & Deivanai. Others are Muthu Kumara Swamy along with his consorts Valli & Deivanai and Six faced Shanmuga Peruman. Utsava Idol of Veerabhagu can also be found. There is a Vinayagar shrine situated very near to the Murugan Shrine. Jeeva Samadhi of Bala Siddhar is situated between these two shrines. There is a separate Navagraha Shrine in the temple.
🛕 Theertham associated with this Temple is Varaha River. The temple tank, Bala Siddhar Agni Theertham Kulam, is situated one the way to the main temple nearby a small temple of Lord Ganesha. Nearby the tank, a separate place has been allocated for the devotees for undergoing Tonsure for the children or the elders. Sthala Vriksham is Punnai Tree.
🛕 The temple possesses two processional chariots, used for the Brahmotsavam in Panguni. They are decorated with sculpted panels representing diverse forms of Siva: Bikshadana, Gaja Samhara Murti, Kalantaka, Sarasvati, Manmathan, Krishna and other deities of the Hindu pantheon. The other panels, linked with local history, are of two types. First panels connected with both Murugan & the mutt and second panels relating solely to the mutt.
🛕 Two panels represent episodes of Sankhakannar fighting against Siva, and then against Murugan. In the first scene involving Siva, the representation deviates singularly from the story. Siva, bearded and wearing a turban, is in the process of copulating with his consort, while Sankhakannar, the guardian’s club in his hand, reaches up to save the latter and pulls her by her hair. The second scene is more allusive and the wives of Murugan do not appear: only Murugan seizes the guardian who joins issue, his arm raised as a sign of combat.
🛕 It is certainly because Sankhakannar is reincarnated as a young child that the birth of Murugan is represented. This is a rare scene, with the exception of Darasuram where amidst reeds; his place of birth, the baby god is taken by Siva, who returns him to Parvati. In the next scene, she is giving him her breast. In Mailam, the Krittika-s holds six small Murugan’s in their arms, seated on lotuses. On a third panel, between Parvati and Nandikeswara as worshippers, Siva is standing, bearded and armed with his trident, the kettle-drum and fire, and holds the child Murugan on his arm.
🛕 Another type of representation, also quite rare, is Murugan teaching, a form of the god related to his activities as well as those of the head of a mutt. One scene is on Ganapati chariot and another on that of Murugan. In one case, Murugan is seated on a pedestal with a book in his hand, giving a lesson to Siva, who is standing with joined hands. In the other, Subrahmanya, again on a pedestal, is making the gesture of teaching in front of Siva, who stands in respectful attitude of listening, one hand before his mouth.
🛕 A third representation is the illustration of a passage from the Tamil Skanda Purana recounting the incarceration of Brahma as a consequence of his inability to recite the Vedas. The prison is a frame spiked with thorns in which Brahma is held, kept watch over by a moustached guard, dagger in hand. Next to this, a walking Subrahmanya is in the process of imprisoning Brahma. Five panels bear Veera Saiva figures. On the first panel, the identity of one of them, who is wearing a tiara and seated on a throne beneath a canopy, is engraved in Tamil on a step of throne: Alamma Prabhu. The latter was a spiritual master from the twelfth century known for his ascetic rigour and was contemporaneous with Basava.
🛕 On the adjacent panel, three men standing with joined hands are certainly worshippers of Alamma Prabhu. The inscription, Prakasa Pravesa Valaya, must be the name of the central personage, who is larger than the two others. On the third panel, a sage is seated on a throne beneath a canopy. He has a beard and moustache and long hair scattered on his shoulders and wears around his neck a necklace of Rudraksha and a Linga. One hand is in abhaya-mudra and the other holds the Linga of the Veera Saivas. Beneath is an inscription: Bala Siddha Sankhakannar, confirming the assimilation of the two personages. It is dated to 4245 of the Kali era, i.e. 143 A.D, this is obviously a mythical date suitable for a founder.
🛕 On the fourth panel, a Siddha, flanked by two worshippers, is seated with crossed legs on a throne in the form of recumbent lion. He has the chignon of an ascetic, a moustache and beard and wears a Linga around his neck. The inscription gives his name: Pavala Swami and the date are 3245 of the Kali era, or 1143 AD, which is more or less the period of Basava and of Alamma Prabhu.
🛕 On the last panel, a figure is standing, dressed in a dhoti, shoulders covered by a large scarf. He has Rudrakshas and a Linga around his neck and is wearing the sandals of an ascetic. He is holding the staff of the pontiffs and near to him are offerings placed on a low table. The inscription indicates that it is matter of the installation (Makuta Abhisheka) of the eighteenth Balaya Swami. The date in Arabic numerals is 25.2.28, quite obviously 1928, as it is known from the documents of the mutt that he died in 1965 and that he was succeeded by the present pontiff, the nineteenth, who was installed in 1965.
🛕 The temple at top the hill was built by Bomayapalaiyam Madam and managed by a trustee known as ‘Mailam Sivagnana Balaya Swamigal’ whose house is situated just nearby the temple on the hill. The Mutt established at the foot of the hill is looking after the temple administration.
🛕 The Temple remains open from 06.00 AM to 12.30 PM and 04.00 PM to 08.30 PM
🛕 The Panguni Uthiram festival held in March – April fascinates a large crowd of devotes from all over Tamil Nadu. Karthigai days coming in the Tamil months of Adi, Karthikai, Thai and Panguni are considered more auspicious and on these days more devotees converge at the Mailam temple.
🛕 Arunagirinathar had praised Lord Murugan of this Temple in his Thirupugazh hymns.
🛕 The Temple is located at about 1 Km from Mailam Bus Stop, 5 Kms from Kootteripattu Junction, 6 Kms from Mailam Railway Station, 15 Kms from Vikravandi, 17 Kms from Tindivanam, 31 Kms from Villupuram, 32 Kms from Puducherry, 32 Kms from Puducherry Airport, 125 Kms from Chennai Airport and 146 Kms from Chennai.
🛕 The Temple is situated off the GST Road connecting Trichy and Chennai. When you travel on GST road from Chennai to Villupuram, after Tindivanam before Villupuram, take a left turn at Kootteripattu Junction. The Temple is located at about 5 Kms from this Junction. There are frequent bus services available to Various places in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Pondicherry states from Tindivanam. To reach the temple on the top of the hill we can climb by footsteps by bare foot (750 meters) or by the vehicle (1 Kms).
Adheenakarther, SSBS Thirumadam,
Mailam, Tamil Nadu 604304.