Monday Jun 17, 2024

Ratnagiri BalaMurugan Temple, Vellore

Address

Ratnagiri BalaMurugan Temple, Ratnagiri Kilminnal, Vellore District, Tamil Nadu 632517

Diety

Balamurugan Amman: Valli and Devasena.

Introduction

Balamurugan Temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan located at Rathnagiri Village atop Thirumanikundram Hill in Vellore District of Tamilnadu. The Temple is believed to be built around the 14th century. It is situated on top of a hill. There are 130 steps to the hillock top. Ancient scriptures say where there is a hill, there is Lord Murugan. Over the passage of time an ordinary sand structure was converted into a stone shrine. Ratnagiri is a small village near Vellore on the way from Chennai to Bangalore in South India. Saint Arunagirinathar had sung Thiruppugazh on this temple. Of these Tiruchendur, Tiruparankundram, Tiruvavinankudi, Tiruveragam and Palamuthircholai are famous shrines, collectively called ‘Kundruthoradal’.The holy shrine at Rathinagiri also features in this category.

Puranic Significance

As the 14th century saint Arunagiri Nathar has sung about Ratnagiri Bala Murugan temple, this temple should be at least 1000 years old. However, it was not in a good shape. A devotee visited this temple in 1968 and after looking at the bad state of the temple; he became a saint and started living in this small hill. It was due to his devoted work and sacrifice, this temple was reconstructed and standing as a great structure today. The name of the saint who sacrificed his whole life just for the upliftment of this temple is Bala Murugan Adimai. Swami Balamurugan Adimai: Bala Murugan Adimai Ratnagiri Swamigal, aged about 69 years, also has been living nearby for the past 50 years. He has many disciples. Born on the 24th of January 1941 (in the Vikrama year of the Tamil calendar on the 11th day of the month of Thai) in the small village of Kilminnal adjacent to Rathinagiri, he was the fourth child born to Kandasamy Mudaliar and Singarammal. He was named Dakshinamurthy and Sachidanandam, both being names of Lord Shiva. On completion of his schooling he entered the services of the Electricity Department. Soon after, he entered into holy matrimony with Sivakami and was blessed with two daughters and a son. One day in his 27th year, on his way to work, he climbed the hill to offer his prayers. There was neither camphor nor incense available at the temple. He walked around the shrine with a heavy heart and was suddenly overcome with divine awakening. He fell in a faint to the ground and on waking up was unable to remember his own self. He dressed himself in a loincloth. He took a sacred vow not to leave until the temple was restored to its former glory. This memorable event of Swami’s spiritual awakening took place on 20th March 1968. Ever since then Swami’s spiritual wellbeing of his devotees has continued unabated.

Special Features

The sanctum enshrines Bala Murugan along with his consorts Valli and Devasena. The idol of the presiding deity Bala Murugan is very beautiful. The wall surrounding the shrine has the small niche images of Ganesha, Dhakshinamoorthi, Murugan, Brahma and Durga. Chandikeswara is found near Brahma. Separate pathways were laid to ascend and descend the hill. A chariot made of granite was made and the main deity was installed there to facilitate renovation of the sanctum sanctorum. Two temples for Lord Ganesha were built at the foothill and uphill. A golden chariot was made for the Lord Murugan to circumambulate the shrine. Ornaments of gold, silver and precious stones were made to decorate the idol. The entire Temple is covered by 3 storey high ceilings with Hugh pillars which ensure that pilgrims are protected from the heat\Sun and at the same time have sufficient air circulation. The sannidhis are well spaced out and should accommodate a decent enough crowd. The granite floors ensure a soothing walking surface. The temple is also maintained clean and spotless. One of the special feature of this temple is that the prayers and archanai or holy verses are recited in the local language Tamil. It is believed that the divine power in the temple manifests its blessings in three forms 1. In the form of the Lord Murugan idol in the shrine 2. In the form of the guru Swami Balamurugan Adimai 3. In the form of the devotee

Festivals

Skanda Shasthi is the most important and auspicious festival of the temple when thousands of people gather to pay their respect and devotion to Lord Murugan. In the month of July-August, Aadi Kruthukai is also celebrated with joy and enthusiasm.

Century/Period/Age

14th century.

Managed By

Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department (HRCE)

Nearest Bus Station

Ranipet

Nearest Railway Station

Vellore

Nearest Airport

Chennai

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