Significance: Not to be
confused with Tirumalai Tirupati, Tirumalai is a hill temple dedicated to
Murugan (Subramanya-Kartikeya) located in Tirunelveli district in southern Tamilnadu, near
the village of Panpoli, near Tenkasi-Kutralam, on the fringes of the ghats, in picturesque
Senkottai is the nearest railhead, and Tenkasi is located 6
miles away from here. Arunagirinathar the author of Tiruppukazh is
believed to have visitied this shrine.
Other temples in the vicinity include those to Nagareswarar,
Karpaka Vinayakar and Sundararaja Perumaal.
The temple is located on the Tirumalai hill, accessed through a flight of
540 steps. Much of the construction today is the result of efforts of the 20th century,
although the original shrine is an ancient one. Saravana Poikai at the
foothils, Idumban Sunai and Kuvalai Poonchunai are the theerthams here. The Kuvalai
Poonchunai consists of the Soma, Surya and the Agni theerthams.
The presiding deity here is Balasubramanya swamy
also known as Tirumalaiandavar, Selvar and Kumaraswamy,
in a standing posture. There are also shrines to Shanmugar with his
consorts. There is also a shrine to Idumban.
Legend has it that Agastyar offered worship at this
shrine. Local legend has it that the Pandala mannan (king) who ruled over the neighboring
area, upon praying to Murugan was cured of a prolonged ailment, after the image of Murugan
(found under an anthill near the Hanumannadi) was installed on the
Tirumalai hill and worshipped.
Festivals: The annual festivals celebrated here include Skanda
Sashti, the 10 day Tai Poosam festival, Vaikasi Visaka and the 5 day Vasanta
Vizha in Chittirai.