Palanai (Tamil Nadu)
Palani is located in Tamil Nadu. Being considered as one the six most pious abodes of Lord Murugan, Palani is an important and beautiful pilgrim centre in South India. The temple built atop a 140 metre high hill can be reached either by climbing 697 well cut stone steps or by using the electrically operated haulage winch which can take 32 pilgrims at a time, each trip taking only eight minutes.
The presiding deity in the shrine is called as Balasubramanya or Dandayudhapani. It is believed that the idol of the deity was made by the great Siddha Rishi Bogar, a contemporary of Sage Agastya, with an amalgam of nine medicinal minerals called Navapashanam. This amalgam is prepared on the basis of a rare formula which would make the idol as hard as a rock. Lord Murugan is worshipped here in the infant aspect of Subramanya representing the fruit of knowledge or Gyana Pazham. The daily Abhisheka (sacred bath) for the deity consists of water mixed with sandal paste, milk, honey, sugar candy and sacred ash. This combination is called as Panchamritham which is highly venerated as it is said to contain miraculous curative effects. The sandal paste with which the deity is decorated is known as Ra Kala Chandanam which is said to be a panacea for many incurable ailments.
Palani in Tamil means Pazham Nee- Fruit Thou art- the fruit of all wisdom and knowledge. The worship form or practice is peculiar to this temple as the bearing of Kavadi slung on shoulders by the devotee up to the Altar.
How to reach Palani
Palani is 56 kms from Dindigul, 119 kms from Madurai and 109 kms from Coimbatore. Palani is connected by rail and road with most of the places in South India. Exellent bus system operates to this town throughout the day and night. Very good lodgings, choultries and rest houses are available in the town. Taxis and auto-rickshaws are also available for local sightseeing.