Wednesday Jun 19, 2024

Gnanamalai Muruga Temple, Ranipettai

Address

Gnanamalai Muruga Temple, Ranipettai

Gnanamalai, Mangalam,

Ranipettai District

Tamilnadu- 635812.

Moolavar

Murugan

Introduction

Murugan Gnanamalai temple is one of the 206 Thiripugazh temples sung by Arunagirinadar. The hill covers about 25 acres with a circumference of about 2 kilometers. About 150 steps lead up to the temple on top.         

Puranic Significance 

The idol of Lord Muruga is with one face, four arms, his posture here is said to be Brahma Sastha form – the one who punished Brahma himself for his ignorance of the Pranava Manthiram. A spring is present on one side of the hill. The hill itself is profuse with Veppalai (Kutchappalai) trees which are known to have medicinal properties. Murugan Gnanamalai temple on top is small with the Samadhi of Gnanavali Sidhdhar behind the temple. Gnanavali Sidhdhar lived here and provided medical advice and preached Gnana to the commoners. On top of this is a Shivalingam (Gnanagireeswarar). Behind this is the most important aspect of this temple – the footprints of Lord Muruga. The forest department has planted saplings on the hill and there is a garden (Nandavanam) at the base. The whole place is peaceful and ideal to spend a day meditating.

Arunagirinadar, the 15th Century CE Saint-Poet has visited and recited his Thirupugazh for the Muruga here at Murugan Gnanamalai. A stone inscription on top of the hill mentions the contribution to build steps by Sambuvarayar’s son Kalingarayan. The main deity of Muruga is said to date back to the Pallava period. The Temple is believed to be more than 1000 years old. Vallimalai, Murugan Gnanamalai and Thiruthani are in a triangle and it is believed that to visit and seek the blessings of the lord in all three places in one day is special. After Lord Muruga’s wedding to Valli both of them are believed to have spent time here at Murugan Gnanamalai frolicking and the footprints found here are said to have been made by them.

Beliefs

         Devotees pray for child boon, Marriage Ban.

Special Features

Gnanamalai and the small temple stand out for the fact that this is the place Arunagirinathar mentions in one of his Tiruppugazh verses, a place that had been elusive for many years.  In this hill temple, Muruga is in an unusual form. With Valli on his left lap and the right arm round her waist, the deity is seated on his mount, the peacock and hence the name, Kuramagal Thazhuviya Kumaran.

After marrying Valli at Vallimalai, Muruga passes Gnanamalai, where he chooses to spend quiet days with his wife. A huge depression on the rocky surface here is worshipped as the footprint of Subramanya. Arunagiri in the hymn beseeches to his favorite god to show His feet — the same feet, which saved his life at Tiruvannamalai.  At the foothill is Gnana Siddi Ganapati, facing west. He holds in his four arms axe, mango, cane and a bunch of flowers. The greenery makes the 150-step climb a pleasant experience.

The hill temple has space for Gnanaveli Siddar (Paalai Siddar, whose guru was Arunagirinathar) peetam. This is marked by the presence of Gnanagiriswarar in the form of a lingam. Gnana Poongothai, Gnana Ganapati, Gnana Subramanyar and a beautiful sculpture of Vishnudurga complete the constellation. Paditiruvizha, Adikritigai and Skandasashti are celebrated with great fanfare.

Festivals

Festivals like Thaipusam, Panguni Uttiram, Kandasashti and Vaikasi Visakam

Century/Period

1000 years old.

Managed By

Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department (HR&CE)

Nearest Bus Station

Chennai

Nearest Railway Station

Vellore

Nearest Airport

Chennai

Location on Map

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