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........ PALANI VINAYAGAR TEMPLES

PATHA VINAYAGAR TEMPLE - GIRI STREET

Come to entrance in the base of the hill and you can see a north facing temple. Here three Vinayagars are housed instead of one. They have to be worshipped before three acts. One is going round the hill, the second is going up the hills and having darshan of Dandayudapani, and the third is fulfillment of various vows undertaken by a devotee. For the above three Vinayagars came to be called Patha Vinayagars. Let us bow before all the three Vinayagars to have the grace of all.

Since Vinayagar is at the base of tyhe hill, there is always a huge crowd. Flowers and garlands are sold in plenly. How to describe the fame of this Vinayagar? He is receiving our attention long before his brother. The number of Vinayagar temples in Palani is the greatest than in any other place. Somaley has reported that ther are 108 Vinayaga temples in Palani. Perhaps Vinayaga in grreat numbers have assembled here to shower grace on devotees who come to worship his brother.

Further there are many varieties of Vinayagars too here. They built a new Vinayaga shrine in Shanmugapuram colony. The Tamil Literary Society is looking after that. He has been bestowing grace on all, who come to him. The roof of the Patha Vinayagar temple is very low. In a way it does not affect any devotee, as bowing with head bent is common in all Vinayaga Temples.

The Vinayagar sports in his upper hands Ankusa in the right and Pasa (noose) in the left. Ankusa is an instrument used tocontrol an elephant. Why this elephant is wielding that weapon? He has to control himself as nobody else can control him. The object of bowing down and thumbing our forehead ourselves is indicative of the truth that one should control himself; instead of offering ourselves to be controlled by others.

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HARAMBA VINAYAGAR TEMPLE

Let us first enter the temple near the bathing ghats. Here all rooms have become shrines. Wherever Gods reside, do they not become shrines. Gods do not need doors.

In the center if the temple a Vinayaga with a single face can be sin. To his left, at a little distance is Eramba Vinayagar (five faced Panchmuka Vinayaga) with Dakshinamoorthi to the left, facing the river. On the wall is Dandayudapani. Eramba Vinayaga is a very famous one. Though he is five faced only threee faces are visible to us. Two faces face the rear. Two hands Abaya and Varada are seen in feint. On the sides are 8 hands. Dakshinamurthi is very beautiful. Naga sculptures abound.

In the next shrine also, Vinayaga is central deity. Here too in the outside is Eramba Vinayagar and Naga stoned. The adjacent temple shelters a tall standing Hanuman. Next is the nine planets on a dais. The one who bestows vigor, the one who assures they will not interfere with our destiny, some who stand witness to all these-the entire thing resemble his mighty body. In a place where Ganesas abound, it is a proper that an elephant is seen.

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PATTATHU VINAYAGAR TEMPLE

This Vinayaga housed amidst the noisy and busy markets worshipped by many, is to the north-west of the Palani hill. This temple is in a narrow opening and faces north.

The temple structure is not only new but also prosperous. Fenced by a wall of iron bars, it has three quarters and we enter by the middle quarter. Devotees can come in large numbers, worship, sit, relax and then depart.

One of the later Zamindars, who ruled Palani worshipped this deity to be graced with an issue. To rival his brother's fame, this Vinayaga blessed him with a son. The highly pleased Zamindar built this temple in gratitude.

In the entrance is a palm-leaf mandapa. When we turn east for circumambulation we see a neem and papal tree in luxuriant growth, under which is a Dandayudapani. A board proclaims him as Kamadenu Murugan. Kamadenu is the cow which gives whatever we desire. As Murugan too fulfills all our wishes, they have named him like this. In the western corridor, a Lingam and a Nandi are seen without any roof .Devotees place coins on the Lingam and worship. Nearby is the nayagraha on a dais fenced by walls fixed with bars.

We now move to the sanctum of the Vinayagar. The consecration was performed in 1961 and hence this place looks grand. In the Ardha Mandapa are several pictures, depicting Divinities.

The Moolavar appears to be rich. The merchants of the neighborhood donate liberally and that may be the reason.

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THALAI VALI THEERKKUM VINAYAGAR TEMPLE - GIRI STREER

Near the Idumban hill is the farm of Forest Department Going a little farther we come to a Valampuri Vinayagar who cures even serious headaches. A board with the words "Head cure Vallaba Vinayagar" is seen. It is to attract people of other states. Three steps and a niche. People knock their head against the steps. Headaches of people will vanish Further it guards against head-aches.

Muruga himself is a physician. His very body is a medicine. Moreover to go round the hills is a tonic. The various herbal plants grown by the Siddars are still there. The air coming over them cures ills. It is the same in Kodai hills also.

People go round the hills in all times and in all seasons. During festivals the number will swell. Generally the best time go round the hills is early morning. The air called Ozone will rise in dawn and disappear at sunrise. This air is very beneficial to us. During the hot Agni Nakshatram days, devotes will go round from 1 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.. This is the period when Kadamba and kora, favourite trees of Muruga will blossom and waft their fragrance. These trees too have curative properties. Some devotees even roll round the hill (Angapradakshinam).

The Kora tree is the holy tree in Thiruvidaikazhi, a Muruga Sthala. This place should be approached from Thirukadavur near Mayuram. In Thiruvannamalai, it is difficult to go round the hills. In palani too, it was so once. But nowdays it is not so. To go 2km is very easy. Forgetting everything, going round the hills on the cement road, enjoying the Palani and distant Kodai hills is fascinating.

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RAKKALA MADA VIANAYAGAR TEMPLE

In the temple of Sadhu Swamigal, real peacocks strut and dance. Observing it we pass on to find a roofless Vinayagar. The Sadhu Swamigal's Annadana Samaja Madam comes next. Then a Vinayaga temple. The Haulage winch is opposite.

The first railroad was commenced in 1966 and the second in 1981. In two box carriage weighting 22 tons, 32 person can travel. It works from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. During festivals the Winch starts at 4 a.m. itself. The hauling ropes checked once in three months.

The length of the wire rope is 450 meters, but the workinf length is only 290 meters. The rope's speed is 33 meters per minute. Even patients with blood pressure and failing spellls can travel safely in it. Tickets are sold at the base, and there are rest houses to wait. For some persons it will appear as if their knees knock at the front, nut the flaw is not in the winch. The knees are linger . In such cont ricances such disconforts should not be minded much.

Nearby is Rakkala Vinyagar. A look at him will convince that he is a rich deity. The tusks are shekhed. A silver coat. Silvetr bars and lock. He is cared by Nagarattar's charity mutt. Like the mutt, the temple also is cery prosperous. A brass arch, two a\small festival idols and a Mooshika of the size of a real Mooshika are all seen here. There is a mandapa for tonsure ceremony.

Opposite to him is the sixth peacock mandapa. Those who entrain in the winch worship him before they srart, Rakkala Vinayagar gives protectition at night also.

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MARAGATHA VINAYAGAR TEMPLE - GIRI STREET

Now we come to the fourth Peacock Mandapa. Next to it in a garden called Marutha Pillai Thottam is Maragatha Vinayagar renovated in 1979. At the corner of the garden there is a channel flowing from the pashana portion of the hill. Pashana is a type of stone. Why was he named Maragatha Vinayaga? Look at the Kodaikanal hills.

ItsColour is emerald tinge. Hence this Vinayagar got this name. The colour emerald green colour of paddy fields, coconut palm sand dense foliage is very soothing to the eyes. Atleast for this soothing effect one should come round the hills. From the north-east to south-west the Kodai hills spreads its contours in bold blue.

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PATHIRI VINAYAGAT TEMPLE

If we come to Palani, we will never like to stay in other places. Murugan too, having come here has settled eternally not desiring to go any other place. Here Muruga is also known as Vyapuri dorai.

Vyapuri is the tank that stretches west to north of the hill and one should bathe first only in this tank. But in which part of the tank should we bathe? In the place where Pathiri Vinayagar has stationed himself. Then we should proceed to the ShanmugaNadhi. This river springs from a beautiful valley Pooparai, in the slops of the Kodaikanal Mountain. It is believed that Shanmuga himself comes in the from of this river. Hero too we search for the proper place to bathe. Going in the road leading to Kovai for 2 kms we reach the south bank of the river Shanmuga. On iys banks numerous temples are found. If we dwsire to see all if them, we should walk along the river bank. In our hectic life we have no time to leisurely visit all the temples.

 
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