Location: Palani (Dindigul district), Tamil Nadu
Altitude: 150 meters above the sea level
The Palani hill is an offshoot of the Western Ghats. The main deity here is Lord Dandayudapaani (manifestation of Lord Muruga), whose shrine stands on top of the hill consisting of 660 steps. It is one of the Aaru padai veedu or six holy shrines associated with Lord Muruga.
Religion and Mythology
Once Narada acquired a rare and precious mango fruit (Gnana pazham) and offered it to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Lord Shiva wanted his children – Ganesha and Muruga, to enjoy it, but was unable to decide as to who should get the fruit. He set a contest to decide this and said that the fruit would be given to the one who returns to Him first after going around the entire universe. Lord Kartikeyya without wasting any time got on his mount, the peacock and flew away at lighting speed. Lord Ganesha thought for a minute and then, went around his parents three times, thus declaring that they represent the entire universe. His delighted parents gave him the fruit.
Lord Kartikeyya on his return found that he had been outwitted by his brother. He felt cheated and got enraged. He renounced his family and all his possessions including his ornaments and his clothes. He left Mt. Kailasa and came down to a place called Thiru Avinankudi. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati followed and persuaded their son to return to Mt. Kailasa. Lord Muruga refused and settled in a nearby hill in peace and solitude. While persuading Muruga, Lord Shiva described him as the ‘very fruit of wisdom’. This phrase in Tamil ‘Pazham nee’, gave the place its name Palani.
The idol of the deity is made up of a special substance, which is believed to be an amalgam of nine minerals (nava pashana) – Veeram, Pooram, Rasam, Jathilingam, Kandagam(Sulphur), Gauri Pasanam, Vellai Pasanam, Mridharsingh and Silasat