History of the Palani Murugan Temple
The temple was believed to be constructed by Cheraman Perumal – A king of the chera dynasty. There is an interesting story about it. When the king was touring the Palani hills, Lord Murugan came and gave a darshan in his dream. He instructed the king to rebuild the hill temple. The Chera King went up the hill and really found the idol of Murugan. He with all devotion rebuilt the present temple.
Next came Cholas and Pandyas; they also expanded the small temple by adding mandapams and gopurams between 8th and 13th centuries. The Nayaka kings did their part by adding beautiful sculptures.
The edicts on the walls of the Temple stand as proof of the gifts for conducting poojas and constructions made by several kings.
The names found are – Jadavarma Sundara Pandian (1259 A.D), Sadayavarman sundarapandiyan, Sadayavarman veerapandian, Veera Nanjana wudaiyar, Mallikarjuna Devarayar II and others. Mallikarjuna Devaryar belonged to Nayaka Dynasty.
There is also mention about Palani temple in Sangam Literature where it is called as ‘Podhini’.The book is ‘Thirumurugattrupadai’.The poems refer Palani as the third Padai Veedu of Murugan in his fights against the Asuras.
Arunagirinathar makes mention about Palani and Murugan in his ‘Thiruppugazh’.
The story of ‘Pazham nee’, Idumban and Kavadi tradition are found in Sthalapuranam which explains the puranic references.
If one wants to know more about The Sthalpuranam-click here
Tamilnadu is famous for sculpture and paintings in temples. Palani temples, which were close to the hearts of various dynasties of Kings, have its own beautiful pieces.
At the entrance near the Rajagopuram one cannot miss the amazing pieces of two ladies: one standing with her child and another standing in front of her. In the front mandapam we can see deer, parrot, rishis in tapas and pillars with ‘Yalli’- an animal with the face of dragaon and body of a lion. The ‘Karpaga Vruksham’-A tree which gives everything one wants- is carved in the walls of the mandapam. In Thiru Aavinan Kudi and Periyanayaki Amman temple we can see similar beauties in pillars and walls. In the Navaranga Mandapam the dancing posture of Lord Siva and Goddess Kali attract everybody.
The paintings of Nayaka period: The paintings with postures of singers, artists and dancers are available in the walls of the Periyanayaki Amman temple.