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183. Tirupparankunram


Location: Tirupparankunram near Madurai .
(Pandya Naadu)
Shiva: Parangirinathar
Ambal: Aavudai Nayaki
Theertham: Saravana Poikai
Patikam : Sambandar, Sundarar
Travel Base: Madurai
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Description: The  most important of the 6 Padai Veedu temples of Murugan where he dwelled before vanquishing the demon Soorapadman is Tirupparankunram (near Madurai) - a grand hill temple, visited by thousands throughout the year. Nakkeerar of the Sangam Period is associated with Tirumurugatruppadai and this shrine. Tiruppugazh, Kandapuranam & other works speak of the glory of this shrine.  This shrine  is regarded as the 3rd of the Tevara Stalams in the Pandya region of Tamilnadu.

Legends: Subramanyar is said to have married Devasena (Devanai) here, and is said to have worshipped Shiva - Parangirinatheswarar.  

The Temple: There are several architectural features of interest, especially the rock cut portions of this hill temple and the life sized sculptures in the mandapams dating back to the Nayak period.

The main shrine is an early rock cut temple while the other structures date to the Nayak period. An Aasthaana Mandapam with several artistically carved pillars lead one to the towering 150 feet high Rajagopuram. at the entrance. The Kambathadi Mandapam, Ardha Mandapam and Mahamandapam are situated at different levels. Cells in the main wall house the sanctums of Subramanya, Durga, Vinayakar, Shiva and Vishnu.Panels depicting Shiva's dance of bliss are seen outside the sanctum. These magnificient works of art date back to the Pandya period.

The mandapams and the carvings within the temple and the Saravanapoigai tank are but some of the features of interest apart from the historical and religious significance of this temple.

Festivals: Bhrammotsavam here falls in the month of Panguni. Vishnu is taken in procession to Madurai to celebrate Meenakshi's wedding (Chittirai) when all of Madurai wears a festive look. Nakkirar's association with this temple is also celebrated as a festival. Skanda Sashti, the 10 day Kartikai festival, Vaikasi Visakam, & the float festival in Thai are other celebrations  here.

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