14 November 2016

Vairakal Murugan Temple, Arunachala Spur

There is a very nice Murugan Shrine situated on top of a spur of Arunachala Hill. The Vairakal Murugan Temple is known to locals in the area and is becoming increasingly popular with visiting devotees during Poornima and festivals. Currently several times a year evening functions with singing are conducted at the Shrine, which is brightly lit up for these occasions. So much so that from my house I can easily see the lights on those evenings coming from the Arunachala Hill spur. Lights on the Hill are put up for the night of Mahadeepam, Chitra Poornima and Panguini Utthirham. The Temple is expecting devotees to come for puja and watch the lighting of the Arunachala Mahadeepam from the Hillock. 

Around one year back, the Murugan statue which had been on the top of the Hillock for over 30 years was damaged. When this became known, many local villagers gave donations to pay for the creation of a new statue of Lord Murugan and to help finance the construction of a larger Shrine. Until the Shrine is complete, the new statue of Lord Murugan will remain in an adjacent shed (see below photographs). Kumara Swami who lives on the Hillock, is maintaining the performance of regular puja for both the Murugan Statue and Shiva Lingam. Special pujas are being performed on Tuesdays, Fridays and Poornimas. A beautiful function on the evening of December 12, 2016, the night of Mahadeepam is planned. 

To assist in bringing material up to the top of the Hillock, the excellent Shantimalai Trust helped the Shrine finance the creation of a pathway for construction vehicles, the digging of a water borewell and is currently also active in supporting the development of the Lord Murugan Shrine. 

There was no thought other than creating a Shrine to house the new Murugan Statue, however a devotee felt a strong impulse to give money for the creation of Shiva Lingam to be housed in a cave situated in a rocky cluster at the top of the Hillock. It is planned that after the Lord Murugan Shrine is complete, a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva will be created inside a nearby cave in which devotees will be allowed to meditate.

Circle shows location of Vairakal Murugan Temple. Arunachala background

The photograph above indicates how to get on the pathway leading to top of spur. The pathway to top of Hillock is located at back of Cow Sheds

Arunachala darshan from the location of the Vairakal Murugan Temple on Hillock

Easy walk up Hillock to the Murugan Shrine

Way to the top

Murugan Shrine at top of Hillock

Stone known as Anjaneya Rock, next to the Shrine

Villagers believe that the spirit of Lord Anjaneya resides at the top of the Hillock in the form of this guardian rock

This is the old Murugan Shrine which is being replaced by a larger Shrine that is nearly complete

Larger Vairakal Murugan Temple nearly complete

As construction is underway completing the Shrine, statue of Murugan is being kept in adjacent white shed. Puja is being regularly performed.

Lingam has been specially created. Will be later moved to its new home

Cave located in rock cluster on top of Hillock

There had been no intention to create a Shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva on the top of the Hillock. However when a person visited the Shrine and unexpectedly gave a large donation for the creation of a Shiva Lingam, it was decided that after completion of the Murugan Shrine, a Shrine will be created for Lord Shiva and located in a cave situated in a rock cluster (above photograph) at the top of the Hillock. 

Shrine for Lord Murugan with adjacent shed housing new statue. Lingam in front of Shrine

On top of Hillock

Kumara Swami has been living at top of Hillock for the past year, conducting regular pujas to the new Lord Murugan statue and Shiva Lingam

One view from the Hillock overs the 750 acre Samudram Eri (lake) which fills with water during the Monsoon season

View from top of Hillock

Beautiful views and darshan from top of Hillock


Divya said...

Love the pics and descriptions; I feel like I have just walked to the shrine with you! Maybe someday it will happen in person. (Love the cameo of the little puppy, also!)

Meenakshi Ammal said...

I was very aware of the little puppy in the photo. Thought he looked very adorable. I used to live close to this Shrine and visited it with my own doggies (climbing the hillock) many times. Then the area surrounding the hillock was very undeveloped. But even now with lots of new buildings stretching all the way eastwards to town, lovely uninterrupted darshan of Arunachala and also very nice views of vistas stretching out to the west and south.

Yes Divya wonder if you will make it back. You will see lots of changes from 1986 and the last time you were here. But thats just the non-essentials. The only essential -- Arunachala -- is exactly as you remember it albeit probably somehwat greener.

Divya said...

Sounds like you get tons of exercise hiking around the area - very healthy! Love hearing about the greener environs. So happy some people there are concerned about retaining nature and replacing the trees, etc.

Ramesh said...

Can you please help me locate the Cow Shed on the Giri Valam path? Thanks

Meenakshi Ammal said...

There is a direct route from the Girivalam Roadway which has been created as a result of making a temporary construction route for building material going to the top of the Hillock. Will post some photos showing the second route in the next day or so.

Yog vivek said...

We are the devotees from Surat and maharashtra.we have been coming to tiruvannamalai karthigai deepam from the last 10 years.IT WILL BE OUR PLEASURE TO ATTEND THE FUNCTION TO OFFER GHEE LAMPS ON KARTHIGAI DEEPAM EVENING.Is it possible to come directly?Or may be not permitted by forest people.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

As the Arunachala hillock, on the top of which is the Vairakal Shrine is on the left side of the Girivalam Roadway not the right side -- the forest people will not interfere with you in anyway.

The Murugan Shrine will be a wonderful place for you to attend on Karthigai Deepam as it is one of the best places for Arunachala Darshan.