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| Last Updated:: 03/01/2015






The hill temple of Subramanyar at Chennimalai, Erode


It is a hoary shrine associated with colorful legends. Chennimalai is located 25 km south of Erode in Kongu Naadu and is known for its association with the Tamil Siddhas (Siddhargal). The Chennimalai Murugan temple is built on a hill accessed through a flight of 1000 steps, and through a motorable road. At the bottom of the hill is the Kailasanathar temple, which is the scene for the annual festival here.


This hill is associated with the same legend as the Tiruchengode hill nearby; a fierce tussle of strength between the wind God Vayu and the serpent king Adi Seshan resulted in the flying off of a few of the peaks of the Himalayas, one of which is Chennimalai. It is believed that Vishnu worshipped this sacred hill in Krita Yugam, when it was then known as Makutagiri, and that it was worshipped by Lakshmi in Treta Yugam when it was known as Kanakagiri and that it was worshipped by the Ashta Durgas in Dwapara Yugam when it was known as Pushpagiri. In the current aeon, it is known as Srigiri or Chennimalai and it has been worshipped by Siddhars. Pinnakku Siddhar, one of the 18 Tamil Siddhar is believed to have lived here;there is a shrine to him here. There is also a cave here on the hill, considered to be the abode of Pinnakku Siddhar and this cave is said to have an underground passage leading to the Bhoga Siddhar cave in Palani malai.

Legend also has it that two princesses Amritavalli and Sundaravalli performed penances to be reborn as Valli and Devasena the consorts of Subramanyar.

The temple

The main temple with a single prakaram has shrines to Subramanyar, Markandeswarar-Imayavalli and Viswanathar. At the entrance to the temple is a shrine to Vinayakar. In front of the Subramanyar's sanctum is the Ardhamandapam, and immediately in front if it is the Mahamandapam. The Mahamandapam enshrines a festival image of Subramanyar facing south. The sanctum faces east.

The sanctum to Markandeswarar enshrines Shiva facing east and Imayavalli facing south. The sanctum to Viswanathar enshrines Shiva, and the ardhamandapam in front of it enshrines his consort Visalakshi facing south Deities The presiding deity here is Subramaniyar, in the form of Dhandayutapani. The image is an unfinished one. Legend has it that Shanmukhar was enshrined here originally and that it was divinely ordained that Dhandayutapani should be installed and worshipped. An artiste was asked to complete his unfinished image of Dhandayutapani for this purpose; local legend has it that when he attempt to chisel at the image, blood gushed out of it and that he was forced to install the image as it was, unfinished below the waist.


Seven worship services are offered each day here. Kartikai asterism and new moon days in each month attract several here. The annual festival is celebrated at the Kailasanathar temple at the bottom of the hill in the month of Thai.