Tiruttani is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya and is situated in Tiruvallur district on a hillock. Three Hundred and Sixty five Steps lead to the shrine, each step representing a day of the year. Tiruttani is the Fifth Padai Veedu of Lord Muruga.
Lord Murugan fiercely fight with Surapadma at Tiruchendur, the anger of Muruga wanted to reduce his anger. He reached Tiruttani Hill to reduce his anger, that is why Tiruttani is called as Thanigai malai. Tiruttani is also known as Purnagiri, Kshanikachalam, Mooladri, Neelotpala.
Legend of Thiruthani Murugan:-
Lord Subramanya aka Murugan aka Skanda reached this site after winning over the demons in the battle and after marrying Valli in the nearby Vallimalai. It is said he rests here in a peaceful mood and this is his favourite hill.
Lord Rama visited the site after visiting Rameswaram. Arjuna of Mahabharatha sought the blessing of the Lord here. Lord Vishnu got back his conch and discus after worshipping the Lord in this site; he had lost them to Tarakasura, the brother of Surapadma, the demon.
Once Lord Brahma got imprisoned by the Lord as he could not explain the meaning of 'Pranava' mantra. He pleased the Lord by creating a holy spring near the temple.
Indra planted the rare plant called as 'Karunkuvalai' near the pool Indrasonai adjoining the temple. The plant used to give just three flowers a day; Indira used to perform pooja to the Lord thrice a day with these flowers. He got back his precious wealth which he had lost to the demons.
As per a legend, Indra gave his daughter Devasena in marriage to Subramanya; he presented his white elephant Airavat to the Lord. Upon the elephant's departure Indra's wealth started waning. The Lord offered to return back the elephant; however, Indra refused to accept it but insisted that the elephant face his direction. Hence, in this temple both Subramanya as well as the elephant face the same direction - east.
As per another legend, Indra presented a sandal stone to the Lord. The sandal paste made on this stone is even applied today to the image of the Lord; it is said to have medicinal value.
There is another legends which states that Lord Subramanya bore the discus thrown by the demon Tarakasura on his chest. Hence, there is a hollow in the chest region of the image in this temple.
Greatness of Tirutanikai - Puranic Importance of Tirutani:-
Of Lord Murugan's six Padaiveedus, Tirutanikai ranks prominent as the crown jewel of our Lord. As its very name indicates, when we propitiate our Lord in this holy shrine, He blesses us with mental peace and bodily happiness. His righteous indignation towards the asuras for their cruelty is said to have been quelled and cooled at this place which is, therefore, known as Shantipuri (Abode of Peace). As the prayers and desires of the devotees who worship our Lord Tanikesan on this hill with unserving faith and intense devotion are fulfilled in no time, this hill is also called Chanikasalam.
When Lord Murugan came to this hill after wedding Goddess Valli at Vallimalai, She implored Him to enlighten Her on the importance and greatness of this hill. In reply, our Lord said that if one worshipped Him with heart and soul for five consecutive days in this hill temple, that person would be blessed with all that is best in this life and hereafter.
In Treta Yuga, Lord Rama, after putting an end to Ravana, worshipped Lord Siva at Rameswaram, at whose request Rama came to Tiruttani and found perfect peace of mind by worshipping our Lord Subrahmanya here. In Dwapara Yuga, Arjuna got the blessings of Lord Murugan here by offering prayers to Him on his way to the South for Teertha Yatra (pilgrimage to take sacred immersion). Lord Vishnu prayed to our Lord at this place and got back His powerful Cakra (sacred wheel), Shanku (sacred conch), which were forcibly seized from Him by Tarakasura, brother of Soorapadma.
Lord Brahma propitiated Lord Murugan here at the holy spring (by the sides of the steps to the shrine) known as Brahmasonai after his imprisonment by Lord Murugan for his failure to explain the Pranava ('Om' mantra) and got back his creative function of which he was deprived by Lord Murugan due to his egotistic impudence in neglecting to worship Lord Subrahmanya on his way to Mount Kailasa to worship Lord Siva.
Lord Indra planted and reared in the pool known as Indrasonai adjoining this hill temple the rare plant known as Karunkuvalai, which gave three flowers a day and worshipped our Lord thrice daily with these flowers and , thus, got back the precious wealth of Deva Loka such as Sanghaneeti, Padmaneeti, Chintamani, etc seized by the asura titan.
Nanda Devi worshipped our Lord here on the bank of the Nandi River and got His peerless initiation to realize the unique relationship between the soul (jeevatma) and God (Paramatma).
On worshipping our Lord at Thanikai, the king of snakes Vasuki got his bodily wounds healed, which had been caused during the churning process in the Milky Ocean to secure the Amrita (nectar of immortality) by the devas and asuras when the Mantotra Mountain was used as the churning base and the snake king Vasuki as the rope. Sage Agasthyar Muni (of Potikai Hill) worshipped our Lord at Tanikai when he was blessed with the rare divine gift of the ever-sweet peerless Tamil language, the beauty of which has been extolled by all the great saints and poets of Tamil Nadu.
It is also believed that Skanda bore the discus thrown by the demon Tarakasuran on his chest and hence the image of Subramanya in this temple bears a hollow in the chest and also that Skanda gifted the discus to Vishnu. Skanda imparted knowledge of Tamil to the sage Agasthyar and hence he is regarded as Veeramurthy, Gnanamurthy and Acharyamurthy in this shrine.
Apart from the puranic greatness of Tirutanikai, Saint Arunagirinathar, the illustrious devotee of Lord Muruga who lived 600 years ago, praised this hill as the chosen place for worship by devas and the favorite abode of saints performing prolonged tapas (austerities). He also compared this hill to Sivaloka (Bhuloka) and as the very soul of the world. Saint Ramalinga Swamigal (Arutprakasa Vallalar), who lived 150 years ago, was invited to come here by our Lord of Tanikai (seated on this hill) Who appeared before our saint in the mirror of his puja room at Madras after which the sour-stirring arutpa songs flowed from his lips in chaste Tamil like a torrential stream.
Sri Muttuswami Deekshitar, who lived 200 years ago (one of the trinity of Karnatic music) had his inspiration in Tiruttani when our Lord (in the guise of an old man) met him on the steps and sweetened his tongue with the prasadam of this temple, which impelled him to sing his first song -- of course -- on Lord Murugan of Tanikai. Many a miraculous event takes place at this shrine from time to time by the grace of our Lord. Oh, how grand and glorious is our Lord Tanigesan on this sacred hill of ancient fame and name!
Considered as the 5th among six abodes (Aru Padai Veedu) of Lord Subramanya
Considered as the most favorite hill of Lord Subramanya
Located atop the hill - 700 feet above sea level
Lord Subramanya reached this site after the battle and hence is found in a peaceful mood
Arunagirinathar has sung about this site in his famous Tiruppugazh
Nakkeerar of Tamil Sangam age has sung about the site in Tirumurugattrup Padai
God - Subramanya
Goddess - Valli and Deivayanai (Devasena)
Teerth (holy water) - Saravana Poigai
Stala Vruksha (holy tree) - Maguda
Murugan Temple from the town, a long sheltered corridor leads pilgrims to the shore temple. At the beginning of this corridor, one worships Lord Ganesha, known as Thoondukai Vinayaka. A nine tiered sculptured Gopura with the emblem of Om and Vel adorns the eastern entrance. It was built by Sri Desikamoorthi Swami of Thiruvaaduthurai Adheenam more than 300 years ago. The main entrance to Murugan temple is through Shanmukha Vilasam, facing south. It is a fine specimen of architectural workmanship. There are 24 sacred Theerthas around the seashore. Significant among them are Vadanaarambha Theertha and Shanmukha Theertha or Naazhi Kinaru (in Tamil).
It is customary to enter the shrine after a holy dip in the sea followed by a ritual bath in Naazhi Kinaru. It.is a unique perennial fresh water fountain on the salty bed of the size of a naazhi (a small measuring container), believed to have been created by the Lord Himself with His Vel.
The Sanctum There are two Dwajasthambhas in each corridor. At the entrance to the sanctum, there are statues of two Dwarapalakas, known as Veeravaahu and Veeramahendra. Pilgrims first worship a huge Ganesha by name Kariamanicka Vinayaka and Devi Parvati. In the sanctum, a beautifully decorated image of Lord Subramanya holding a diamond-studded Vel stands facing east. Here He is represented as a Brahmachari. In one hand He holds a rosary of beads and in the other, flowers for Shiva puja. Abhishekas are performed with vibhooti (holy ash), sandal paste, milk and panneer (rose water) among other sacred items. Enshrined behind the sanctum are five Lingas.
The processional deities of Sri Shanmukha with His consorts Valli and Deivayanai are by the side of the sanctum. The 33 verses of Subramanya Bhujangam sung by Adi Shankara are inscribed on the walls. In an adjacent shrine, Lord Nataraja and the four Saivite saints Appar, Sundarar, Sambhandar and Manickavachagar are worshipped. On the outer corridor, there are shrines for Valli and Deivayanai with Palliyarai (Sayanagruha). Vishnu in Anantasayana posture and Gajalakshmi are enshrined in a rock cut niche.
Specialities of Tirutani:-
The sacred tanks of the shrines of the Lord are all known as "Saravanapoikai" (sacred pond of the reedy marsh where Lord Kartikeya was born). The tank at Tiruttani, which (unlike in other places) is at the very foot of the hill, is particularly renowned for its sacred water (Teertham) having curative effect for ailments both bodily and mental, as it is rich in minerals such as sulfur, iron, etc. A bath in this holy tank refreshes the devotee and makes him hale and healthy.
Sapta Rishi Teertham:-
At the lovely garden on the south side of this sacred hill amidst a thick cluster of shady trees and seven cool sprints, the Seven Rishis (who today form the Great Bear stellar constellation) are said to have worshipped Lord Muruga (Lord Subramanya) and the Sapta Kannikas (Seven Virgins) enshrined at this place in a tiny temple.
On the outskirts of the Tiruttani town, on both sides of the Nandi River, are the ancient temples of Lord Vijayaragama Swami, Arumuga Swami and Veerateeswarar, the latter two of which are more than a thousand years old. In the temple of Arumuga Swami, there is Surya puja every year for three days in March when the rising sun is said to worship Lord Subramanya by casting its rays upon the holy Feet of the deity on the first day, Breast on the second day and Head on the third day through a hole in the wall, which reveals the marvelous intellect of the architects of ancient days.
10 day Masi big festival the wedding celebration with Valli in February-March is celebrated in the temple in a grand manner when crowd of devotees would be in lakhs.
10 day Chithirai – April-May, Deivanai festival also is equally big and important drawing lakhs. The Kavadi numbers is estimated at 10 lakhs. It will be a sea of devotees.
Tiruthani will be inundated by devotees on Ashwini, Bharani and Kruthika star days flowing from Andhra, Karnataka and Arcot.
On the day of star Krithika, Tamil and English New Year days, Pongal and Tuesdays are festive days in the temple.
The Vel generally seen in other Muruga temples is not here.
Also, the Surasamharam festival (destroying the demon Sura) is not celebrated in this temple
After destroying demon Sura in Tiruchendur, Lord Muruga came to this place. His fury cooled and he became smiling and peaceful-Shanta Swarupi.
It is here that the King of Devas Indira gifted his white elephant as a wedding gift to Deivanai.
We can notice a scar on the chest of the Lord caused by his direct clash with the demon.
In the place of peacock, there is elephant in front of the sanctum sanctorum.
Lord Muruga holds a weapon on his right hand called Vajravel that would produce a thunderlike sound. His left hand is on the hip representing the Gnana Shakti (power of wisdom).
While the Vahanas (vehicle of the deities) face the Lord in the sanctum, the elephant vahan is facing the opposite side in this temple. The reason being, 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.
Sandal that cures:-
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.
Abishek 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 Kamandala (a small pot with a handle to carry water usually held by Gods and Sages) before his wedding with Valli.
In the month of Marghazhi (December-January) abishek 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.
Prayers and Thanks giving:
Devotees throng the temple seeking wedding, child boons, family welfare and prosperity and longevity. Tonsuring, offering coins equal to one’s weight (Tulabaram), offering Pongal-pudding, performing abishek with Panchamirtham made of five ingredients, milk, sandal paste, lighting lamps with ghee, carrying milk pots, and feeding the poor are the main prayer commitments followed by the devotees.
Rich people offer liberal contributions for the maintenance and renovation of the temple.
Bhramotsavam-Celebrated in the month of Maasi.
Kandha Sashti-It is celebrated in the Tamil month of Aippasi.
Aadi Krithigai-Aadi Krittikai festival (in July-August) lasts for three days with Float Festival when lakhs and lakhs of devotees come to this holy place from far and near.
31st of December New Year Step Festival-When the old (Gregorian) year is rung out and the New Year sets in (ie at the stroke of midnight on December 31st each year), lakhs of devotees are present on the sacred Tanikai hill to have the darshan of their Lord.
The temple is opened from 5.00 am to 9.00 pm.
Near by Temples and Pilgrimage Places:-
Thiruthani is surrounded by religious places such as Kancheepuram on the South, Sholingar and Vallimalai on the West, the famous pilgrimage centre, Tirupati and Kalahasti Shiva Temple on the North and Tiruvalangadu with Lord Nataraja on the East.
Madhur Arulmigu Mahishasuramardhini Temple, Nallatur Arulmigu Veera Anjaneya Temple, Arulmigu Arumugaswami Temple, Sholingar Narasimma Swamy Temple, Velanjeri Mangaleswar Sivan Temple are famous temples located near Thiruthani Murugan Temple.
Nearest Major Town/City:-
Chennai - 87 km from Chennai to Thiruthani
How to Reach:-
The nearest airport is Chennai & Tirupati.
Nearest major railheads to Thiruthani are Arakkonam junction and Chennai, which is well connected to all major railway stations in South India. The Chennai station is about 70 km away from Thiruthani.
Thiruthani is well connected by Tamil Nadu state transport corporation buses. It is connected to Tirupathi (56 km) and Chennai (70 km) with regular frequent bus service