Palani is home to many temples including one of the most sacred shrines of God Subramanyan, Palani Dhandayuthapani Temple. Thiruvaavinankudi temple, Idumban Temple, Pada Vinayakar Temple dedicated to God Ganapati, Periya Nayaki Amman Temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati, Periyan Avudaiyar temple devoted to Lord Shiva and Kannadi Perumal temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu are some of the famous temples in the region.
Periya Nayaki Amman Temple
The main temple going by the name of town temple, devoted to Mother Periya Nayaki Amman, the local name for Parvathimatha, the august goddess of that famous Son Muruga. The temple is quite big and builds in the south Indian architectural pattern. There are many small shrines for Saivate Gods, like Muthukumaraswamy, Nataraja, Vinayaka etc.
Kannadi Perumal Temple
The Kannadi Perumal Temple, dedicated to Vishnu, is a small temple positioned on a hillrock, a short distance from the highway to Kodaikanal. The name of the temple is derived from its tradition that the presiding god of the temple wards off the effects of dhrishti, a Sanskritic term which may be held to mean ‘casting an evil eye’. One of the practices of the devotees of the temple is to bring the first-born calves of their cows to the temple seeking the deity’s blessing, as the guardian of cattle. On account of its secluded location it is not resorted to by many.
The seated Mariamman is small in height. She is covered with a golden sheath, and on Fridays there will always be a crowd. This too is owned by the Devasthanam. In the extreme south at the end of this street, a Vinayaga of Chettiar Madam, a Mahakali, in old Dharapuram road, and Chowndamman are all worth seeing.The prosperity of this Devi incrased with the prosperity of the Palauakars. Palayakars were lords of small tracts, and Mariamman was their goddess of boundary. Naturally they propitiated her to get her grace.
The temple is dedicated to Peru Udayar or Brihadeesvarar a name that became a legend in the days of the great Raja Raja Cholo. The deity here is a swayambhu linga .that is naturally formed lingam and so, local belief is that it existed even before Bhogar. Only male gods are found in the temple. A majestic stature of Dakshinamurti, a rare Rudran and other gracious images in stone.
Peru-Udayar is by far the principal and deserves special mention. Located near the railway line on the banks of the shanmuga Nadi in sylvan setting, it is about four kilometres from the bus-stand reached by two stages, by buses going on the Old Dharapuram road for three kilometres and by walking one kilometre from the arch on that road.
Palani Hill Temple
The Palani Hill Temple, placed on Palani Hills, is devoted to Lord Murugan in the form of Dhandayuthapani. The temple is at a height of around 1500 ft above sea level and is easily reachable from Madurai and Trichy. The holy pool, Saravana Poigai, is located within the premises of the temple.
Tiru Avinankudi, a 2000-year-old temple, is situated on Palani Hills which has the idol of Dhandayuthapani. This idol is made using a mixture of nine poisons, known as Navapashana.
A special bacterium grows on this idol which preserves the food offered as abhisheka for years. Thaipusam (January), Panguni Uthiram (April), Agni Nakshatram (May), Visakham (June) and Skanda Shashti (November) are some of the prominent festivals celebrated in the temple.
Paadha Vinayagar Temple, Palani
It is the main tourist destination in Palani that lures a large number of travellers every year. On the steps to this temple, there is a famous temple of Lord Ganesha which is also known as Vinayagar. As, this Vinayagar is at the steps so it is also known as Paadha Vinayagar. After paying homage at Paadha Vinayagar, tourists start hiking the hill through various steps route. The steps route is a picturesque route and on the way, there is another famous small temple of Edumban. On the entrance of the steps route, there is a Giant Peacock stone idol that welcomes a large number of travellers from all across the country. There are precisely 697 steps.
Palani Murugan Temple
The Palani Murugan Temple is a main attraction of Palani which can be reached by climbing around 670 steps, on the hilltop. There is also a Haulage Winch or a small rope train along with a rope car for travelling to the top of the hill. The entire town of Palani is visible from the top of the hill, which is accessible from Madurai and Trichy.
It is believed that this temple was built by Cheraman Perumal of the Chera Dynasty. The temple was later expanded between the 8th and the 13th centuries by the Cholas and Pandyas, who added new mandapams and gopurams at the site. Some of the sculptures at the temple were added by the Nayaka kings who ruled the country for a brief period.
The Elephant path is built to allow Elephants climb the hill. The steps route is very small for elephants to climb so this path was constructed. During festival days in the town, elephants are seen at the Palani hill temple.
The Palani Hills cover a region of about 2,068 sq km in the Western Ghats. The hills have some of the rarest species of birds, plants, amphibians and butterflies. Coffee is cultivated on the lower slopes of the hills. Two streams, the Amaravathi and the Vaigai, flow from these hills.
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