Swamimalai is one of the six famous abodes of Lord Subramanya.
The temple is built on an artificial hill and is reached by a
flight of steps.The deity is worshipped as Swaminathan.
Swamimalai is about 2 km from the railway station of the same
name and is about 8 km north of Kumbakonam .The temple is easily
accessible by road with frequent bus service from Kumbakonam.
The temple has three 'gopuram' with three
'praharam'. The 'gopuram' on the south side of
the temple is decorated with statues and contains five storeys
while the other two entrances have no towers above them.
The arrangement of the 'praharam' 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 'Kalyana mandapam' you reach the shrine dedicated
to Goddess Sakthi at the base. In addition to this there are
other shrines for various other deities and the well with
'Vajra theertham'. 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'
Story of Swamimalai in Sculpture Creative Hands at Work
Once the young Murugan was playing with his entourage in Mount
Kailash -the abode of Lord Shiva and his family. The Devas who
happened to pass by duly paid their respect by worshipping him.
Brahma ignored him as he thought that he did not need to worship
this young God. So Lord Murugan wanted to teach him a lesson. He
summoned Brahma to his presence and asked Brahma, the creator
himself, to recite the 'Vedas'. Brahma started reciting
with the first 'Vedhic' syllable, the 'Pranava
manthra' 'Om'. Lord Murugan stopped him at that and
asked him to explain the meaning of 'Om'. Brahma was
unable to explain the meaning of 'Om' to the God who is
the embodiment of the 'Manthra' 'Om'. As Brahma
was incapable of explaining the meaning of 'Om' Lord
Murugan took away the power of creation from him and imprisoned
him. Other Devas took pity on Brahma and pleaded with Lord Shiva
to get Brahma released. Lord Shiva then requested Lord Murugan to
release Brahma from imprisonment. Now Lord Shiva became curious
to know the meaning of 'Om'. So he asked Murugan to
explain to him the meaning of the Manthra 'Om'. He agreed
to teach him the meaning of the word only from a position of a
'guru'. Lord Shiva agreed to this and thus Lord Shiva the
supreme God assumed the position of a student, the
'sishya', while his son assumed the position of a
teacher, the 'Guru'.
This incident of being a guru to his father gave Murugan the
names, Gurunathan, Swaminathan, Thahappansamy (words meaning
'teacher to the Lord'). It is to depict this relationship
of a 'guru' and the 'sishya' that the temple of
Lord Murugan is in a higher position at the top and that the
shrine of Lord Shiva is in a lower position at the base of the
The important festivals are 'Thaipoosam', 'Valli
Kalyanam', 'Kanthasashdi,, and 'Karthigai
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