Significance: The Kongu
country of Tamilnadu in the Coimbatore - Erode area has three hill shrines to Murugan
associated with the Siddhars or the enlightened souls. Sivanmalai is
associated with Sivavakyar, Marudamalai
with Pambatti Siddhar and Chennimalai
with Pinnakku Siddhar.
It should also be mentioned that Palani, one
of the Aarupadai Veedu shrines of Murugan is associated with Bhoga
Siddhar. It is believed that there is a secret passage between the Bhogar cave in Palani
and the Pinnakku Siddhar cave in Chennimalai.
Sivanmalai is located 5 km away from
Kangeyam and 40km north of Daarapuram nearCoimbatore.
Arunagirinathar, the saint poet of Tiruvannamalai has sung of Sivanmalai in his
Tiruppugazh, where he refers to this shrine as Pattiyalur.
Legend has it that Murugan married Valli against the wishes of her
kinsmen who pursued the couple to Sivanmalai; all of the tribal huntsmen who fought with
the couple were slain. An ahast Valli requested Murugan to restore to life, a long list of
her kinsmen and Murugan obliged and restored all the Vedars to life.
The hill: It is believed that
this hill is a piece of the Sanjeevani hill carried by Hanuman from the Himalayas to restore Lakshmana to life, with
the medicinal herbs that grew on it. Another hill nearby associated with the same legend
is Udiyurmalai and both these hills are believed to have rare medicinal herbs.
Precious and semi-precious stones have also been mined out of
this hill. Sivanmalai was ruled by the Kongu Chieftains
until the 13th century, and then by the Vijayanagar monarchs and then the
Nayaka rulers of Madurai.
The temple: The temple is built on a hillock
and is accessed through a flight of 200 steps. The main shrine enshrines Subramanyar and
Festivals: Kartikai asterism and new moon days in each month are
considered to be of significance at Sivanmalai. Skandasashti is celebrated in great
splendour as in other Murugan temples. Other festivals here include Thai Poosam, Aadi
Kritikai andPankuni Uthiram.