The Swamimalai Temple is the 4th of the Aarupadai Veedu – the 6 temples – dedicated to the tamil deity Murugan. Swamimalai is located 5 km from Kumbakonam, and we went to this temple right after our visit to Thanjavur.
Swamimalai Temple is located on a hill with only 60 steps, each step representing the Tamil Years, as we have a cyclus of 60 years that are astronomically calculated. This temple is very important in the history of lord Murugan, as this is the place where he explained the essence of the Pranava Mantra “Om” to his father, Lord Shiva. As Murugan was a Guru to his father, the place is also referred as “Gurumalai”, and is therefore considered to be the most sacred place among all Murugan Temples. The deity is worshipped as “Swaminathan”, the lord of words.
The temple is very old, it was built in 2nd century BC by the king Parantaka Chola I. The legend behind the story of Murugan teaching his father about the essence of the Pranava Mantra is very funny, but also very interesting 😉