Swamimalai Murugan Temple is a Hindu temple located in Swamimalai, 5 km from Kumbakonam on the banks of a tributary of river Cauvery.The temple is one of the six holy shrines of Murugan called Arupadaiveedu.
The shrine of the presiding deity, Swaminathaswamy is located a top a 60 ft (18 m) hillock and the shrine of his mother Meenakshi (Parvathi) and father Shiva (Sundareswarar) is located downhill.
The temple has three gopuram (gateway towers), three precincts and sixty steps and each one is named after the sixty Tamil years. The temple has six daily rituals at various times from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and three yearly festivals on its calendar. The annual Vaikasi Visagam festival is attended by thousands of devotees.
As per Hindu legend, Muruga, the son of Shiva, extolled the meaning of the Pranava Mantra (Hindi: ॐ AUM) to his father at this place and hence attained the name Swaminathaswamy.
The arrangement of the Praharam (also spelt as Prahar) is peculiar in this temple. The first Praharam is at the base of the hill, the second halfway up the hill and the third at the top surrounding the sanctum.
Once you pass the Raja Gopuram' and the KalyanaMandapam' you reach the shrine dedicated to Goddess Sakti at the base. In addition to this there are other shrines for various other deities and the well with vajra Teertha'. swamimalai murugan temple Steps lead from here upwards towards the top of the hill.
When you reach half way up the hill there is a small area where beautiful statues depicting the legend associated with this temple have been created. Further above is the second Praharam. You climb further to reach the level where the shrine for Lord Swaminathan is built. There are various shrines to other deities on the first Praharam.
Swamimalai is the 4th Padiaveedu (army camp) of Lord Muruga. This is where He taught His Father Himself-Lord Shiva. Six feet tall Lord Muruga graces with His tuft, sacred thread on the chest and a staff in the right hand and the left on the lap.
It is His Vel weapon that created the Nethra theertha in the temple. He graces in meditation style as a Guru.He graces with the Vajra Vel representing three divine powers Itcha Shakti, Gnana Shakti and Kriya Shakti.
Brahmma, Bhoomadevi, Indira worshipped the Lord in this temple. As the Lord was a Guru to His own Father Lord Shiva, the place is revered as Gurumalai, Gurugiri.
The temple of Swaminatha is very ancient one and it is known to have existed even in the 2nd century BC. It is said that Parantaka Chola I built the temple.
The temple was damaged to a great extent and the Gopurams were demolished and razed to ground in the year 1740 when the Anglo-French War was waged later when war broke out between Hyder Ali and the British. Swamimalai is fourth among the six padai veedu or sacred shrines dedicated to Lord Muruga.
The presiding deity here expounded the meaning of the Pranava mantra OM to his own Father Lord Siva Himself.Mythology says that saint Bhrugu before commencing an arduous tavam or penance, got the boon that anybody disturbing his mediation will forget all his knowledge.
Such was the power of the penance that the sacred fire emanating from the head of the saint reached up to the heavens, and the frightened devas surrendered to Lord Siva praying for his grace.
The Lord extinguished the sacred fire by covering the saint's head by hand. With the saint's penance thus disturbed the Lord became oblivious of all his knowledge and is said to have regained them by learning the Pranava mantra from Lord Muruga at this shrine.
Lord Muruga is the destination for solution of all problems in human life. People appeal to the Lord for happy wedding life, child boon, family prosperity, longevity, education, wisdom, higher education, job opportunities, promotion in jobs and for removal of obstacles in their various endeavors.