Arulmigu Subramaniya Swami Temple is a popular Hindu temple located in the town of Tiruttani in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, who is worshipped as the god of war and victory.
The temple is believed to have been built by the Pallava dynasty and was later expanded by the Chola and Vijayanagara dynasties. The temple is also known as the Sixth Abode of Lord Murugan, and is one of the six major pilgrimage sites dedicated to Lord Murugan (also known as Arupadai Veedu) in Tamil Nadu. The other five are Palani Murugan Temple, Swamimalai Murugan Temple, Thiruchendur Murugan Temple, Thiruparankundram and Pazhamudircholai Murugan Temple.
This temple has ancient origins and is mentioned in the Sangam period work Tirumurugaatruppadai. It was patronized by Vijayanagar rulers and local chieftains and zamindars. The original animal mount of Murugan at this temple is believed to have been an elephant, which is unique compared to the peacock, the most common mount. The iconography of the white elephant mount is maintained only at this temple and Tiruttani Murugan Temple.
There are several legends associated with the Tiruttani Murugan Temple. One legend states that Indra, the king of the Gods, gave his daughter Deivayanai in marriage to Skanda and presented his elephant Airavatam as a gift. Upon the elephant’s departure, Indra found his wealth waning. Subramanyar offered to return the white elephant, but Indra refused to accept a gift that he had made and insisted that the elephant face his direction, resulting in the image of the elephant in the temple facing east. Another legend involves Skanda bearing the discus thrown by the demon Tarakasuran on his chest, which created a hollow in the chest region of the image of Subramanya in the temple. Skanda is also believed to have imparted knowledge of Tamil to the sage Agasthyar and is regarded as Veeramurthy, Gnanamurthy, and Acharyamurthy in the shrine. Additionally, Indra is said to have presented a sandal stone as part of his daughter’s gift, and the sandal paste made on this stone is applied to the image of Subramanya and is believed to have medicinal value. According to one legend, Lord Murugan is said to have married Valli, a tribal girl, near the temple.
The temple is famous for its unique architecture and design, with a mix of Dravidian and Pallava styles. The main entrance of the temple is adorned with a five-tiered Rajagopuram, which is about 60 feet in height. The sanctum sanctorum houses the idol of Lord Subramanya, which is made of granite and is about 6 feet tall. It is situated on a hill at an elevation of about 700 feet, with 365 steps leading to the temple.
The temple is open for darshan from 5:45 AM to 8:45 pm, with special abhishekam and poojas conducted at specific timings throughout the day.
The temple has several festivals, including monthly Kiruthikais, Aadi Krittikai, Bhramotsavam, Skanda Sashti, and a New Year Step Festival on 31 December. Aadi Krittikai festival is celebrated for three days in July-August, and it includes a Float Festival and the offering of flower kavadis to the deity. This festival attracts a large number of devotees to the temple.
How to reach
The nearest airport is the Chennai International Airport, which is about 70 km from the temple. The temple is well connected by road and rail, with regular bus services and trains available from major cities in Tamil Nadu. Visitors can also take a cable car ride to the top of the hill for a panoramic view of the temple and the surrounding areas.