Palani has been mentioned in the Tamil Sangam Literature as Podhini, which came to be called as Palani later, according to the historions. In Thirumurukatruppadai ( a Sangam Literature ) Palani has been mentioned as the 3rd PadaiVeedu. This was the southern end of the Kongu Nadu and edicts refer to this place as Vaiyapuri Nadu , which was ruled by king Vaiyapuri Kopperumbaegan. Many Siddhas are said to have lived in this region. The idol of Palani Andavar is said to have been made of Navapashanam ( a combination of Veeram, Pooram, Rasam, Jathilingam, Kandagam, Gauri Pasanam, Vellai Pasanam, Mridharsingh, Silasat), by a siddhar called Bhogar. It is also claimed by many that the materials of abhishegam like milk, sandalpaste, etc., attain medicinal properties on being poured over Lord Palaniandavars idol and they have cured many diseases, when taken by the patients. It is a speciality of Palani.
The History of Palani written by Balasubramania Kavirayar speaks about the glory of this place. This contains 23 chapters in 987 verses, and was written in 1628AD. The Temple Office has released a new and revised book in 1998.
The story of Lord Muruga, why He left Kailasa and came to Palani, and how Palani got its name.Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathi are seated atop Mount Kailas. One day, Lord Narada comes and gifts them a celestial fruit. The two sons of Lord Siva, namely Ganapathy and Murugan, demand the entire fruit for each of them. Siva announces a competition and promises to give the fruit to the one who wins the test. The condition is they should go round the world and reach back first. Both agree to it and Ganapathy makes a circumambulation of His parents, reaches first, and wins the fruit. Murugan who goes on his peacock around the world reaches later and finds that Ganapathy has won the prize. He therefore gets disappointed and, renouncing the world, stands atop the Palani Hill. Siva and Parvathi come to Palani and pacifies Murugan telling him Muruga, you are yourself a divine fruit ; then why do you need a fruit? Fruit, in Tamil, is called Pazham. Hence this place came to be called as Palani, as Muruga was addressed as Palam Nee. Some say that Palani got its name from Pazhanam (meaning paddy fields )
Kavadi (How kavadi tradition came to palani?) :
Sage Agastya wanted to take two hills — Sivagiri and Sakthigiri to his abode in the South and commissioned his disciple Idumban to carry them. Idumban bore the hills slung across his shoulders, in the form of a kavadi one on either side. When he was fatigued, he placed the kavadi near Palani to take rest. At this stage, Subrahmanya or Muruga had been outwitted in a contest for going round the world. Ganapati had won the prized fruit (pomegranate or mango) by simply going round His parents. Long after, this, Subrahmanya came sweating on His peacock to find that the prize had already been given away. In anger, the frustrated child left the divine parents and came down to Tiru Avinankudi at the Adivaram (pronounced Adivâram. It means foot of the Sivagiri Hill). Siva pacified Him by saying that He (Subrahmanya) Himself was the fruit (pazham) of all wisdom and knowledge; neeyou. Hence the place was called 'Pazham Nee' or Palani.
Later, He withdrew to the hill and settled there as a recluse in peace and solitude. When Idumban resumed his journey, he could not lift the hill. Muruga had made it impossible for Idumban to make it. In the fierce battle that ensued, Idumban was killed but was later on restored to life. Idumban prayed that: whosoever carried on his shoulders the Kavadi, signifying the two hills and visited the temple on a vow, should be blessed and he should be given the privilege of standing sentinel at the entrance to the hill. Hence we have the Idumban shrine halfway up the hill where every pilgrim is expected to offer obeisance to Idumban before entering the temple of Dandâyudhapani. Since then, pilgrims to Palani bring their...
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