Situated atop a hill, shouldering with mountains overlooking the village, the Balamurugan Temple in Thandikudi is devoted to Lord Murugan and it is believed that only from here that Lord Muruga cross jumped to reach Palani, while he was anger with his parents over the contest between the siblings, to who own the Gnanapalam (wisdom fruit) by coming around the world. It is also believed that Lord Muruga stayed at this hill for some time, defeated the monster Idumban to convert him as his devotee before make Palani (one of the two hillocks which Idumban carried as Kavadi from Kailash) as one of his abode.
The Balamurugan Temple is said to be 2,000 years old, but the temple that exists today is built on the belief that Lord Muruga appeared in the dreams of Sri La Sri Pandrimalai Swamigal (a Siddhar or saint) and ordered him to build a temple for him on the Thandikudi hill, from where he cross jump to Palani. He is also believed to show the exact place – where the temple is built – by lighting some torch on the hill, and the people who went there were surprise to see a footprint (which is believed to be Lord Muruga’s) on the rock and image of peacock gripping a snake on the adjacent. Thus believed that Lord Muruga has went to Palani only from Thandikudi and the benefit of visiting Palani is said to be fulfilled only if they appear at Balamurugan Temple.
The road to the temple, that begins at the Regional Coffee Research Station passes through coffee and cardamom plantations. The temple situated at a height of 500 feet above the Thandikudi village, has pretty good road to reach by car or take a leisure walk. The slightly showered weather was refreshing while we drew on the newly tar road. It was also exciting to know that we passed a prehistoric site where megaliths were found, which we actually unaware until someone explained at the village. But later at home checking the photos, I find that we have shot some pictures on the site that lay beside the road, without knowing what it was.
|Fabulous view from the temple|
The Balamurugan temple is also a wonderful panoramic viewpoint that overlooks the village of Thandikudi and surrounding mountains. The drizzling weather put me at hesitate, initially, whether to climb down or not the car to explore the place, but glad I did so and went around the pretty green and quite calm environment, despite the voices of boys playing cricket outside the temple premises. There’s a small Ganesha shrine in front of the temple and it is a four pillared hall with idol enclosed in gate. The prime temple is also a hall based structure which was extended by curved sheet roofing and a small temple tower adorn with colorful idols and Kalasam (bass pot).
The hilltop provides amazing photo opportunity to capture the village and cloud passing mounting from the side of temple, where the torch is believed to drag the attention of people to build the temple there. They have also built a room for the torch, which seems to light on special occasions and to give company to events, the temple has a gold coated chariot for procession. The rocks beside the temple said to have ever flowing natural spring, which revered as scared water. And sand found at a height of 75 feet from the temple is offered as Prasad to devotees. Just like Palani, devotees to Balamurugan temple also carry Kavadies during the festival of Panguni Uthiram.
Note on info:
Balamurugan Temple is situated at a height of 1500 meter in the Western Ghats of Palani Hills. Thandikudi is 40 km from Kodaikanal and Vathalagundu is 45 km and Palani about 92 km. The temple is open to public from morning to evening. ( click location below for Google map on the place)