Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Sokkanathar||Ambal / Thayar:||Meenakshi|
|Timing:||8 to 12 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Tiruparankundram||District:||Madurai|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Sivaganga (5 km)||Madurai (7 km)|
|Virudhunagar (43 km)||Dindigul (66 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Among the more famous temples in and around Madurai are the Meenakshi-Sundareswarar temple (Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple), as well as the Tiruparankundram Satya Gireeswarar temple and the Tiruparankundram Murugan Arupadai Veedu temple. However, located just 100 meters from the main entrance of the Tiruparankundram temples (and next to the 16-pillared mandapam of that temple), is a separate temple for Siva as Sokkanathar, together with Meenakshi Amman.
Once in Kailasam, Siva was explaining the Pranava Mantram to Parvati, and giving Her upadesam. Murugan, a small child then, was sitting on Parvati’s lap and therefore heard the upadesam. However, rules require that one needs to approach a qualified Guru in the proper way to learn it. Though a child, Murugan knew that his hearing the upadesam, unintended as it may have been, was improper. So as penance, he came to this place and performed penance, meditating upon His parents. Siva and Parvati then appeared here and taught him the Parikara Mantram, by which his sin would be cleansed. Thereafter, Siva and Parvati settled here as Sokkanathar and Meenakshi Amman.
The Soora Samharam festival of the Tiruparankundram Murugan temple (celebrating Murugan’s victory over Soorapadman) and related performances, are held in front of this temple.
This temple is regarded as extremely ancient, and said to be older than the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple, and perhaps even the Aadi Sokkanathar temple.
Despite being a small temple, it stays true to agamic principles, including a separate Nandi for Meenakshi Amman. The structural temple is from the Pandya period, and is therefore a repository of some very interesting and unique architecture and depictions. These include: Siva and Parvati on Rishbaha Vahanam, Vinayakar depicted standing in a fire-pit and worshipping His parents, Parvati on the Kalpaka Vriksham, Perumal praying to Siva, Vinayakar riding on a bunch of bootha-ganas as His vehicle, Veerabahu with a club instead of his sword, etc.
Pujas are conducted twice daily, and a month-long festival is conducted for Nellimarathu Pillaiyar here. There is a small garden to the rear of the temple, where some shrines are also installed, which is a peaceful place conducive for meditation. The temple is also a prarthana sthalam for those seeking childbirth.
Other information for your visit