The most fundamental of Hindu deities, is the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva - popular deities include Ganesha, Krishna, Hanuman and goddesses like Lakshmi, Durga,Saraswati.
Thiruparang kundram temple
This is considered the first one of all the six holy abodes. This is situated nearly four to five miles south west of Madurai. This mountain itself is in the form of Shiva lingam. Saint Thirugnanasambanthar said that if one thinks the mountain itself as Lord Shiva and prays, then his entire destiny will be destroyed.
Saint Nakeerar, along with thousands of poets, was kept in prison in a cave on top of this mountain by a demon. Saint Nakeerar sang a beautiful song ‘Thirumurugatruppadai' on Lord Muruga. The Lord was very much pleased by this and with His spear, split the cave and saved them all.
It is said in the ‘Kanthapuranam' that after destroying Soorapadman, Lord Muruga married Lord Indra's daughter, Devayanai, at this place.
One lady who was a great devotes of Lord Muruga lived in this holy place. She always had the habit of chanting* the Lord's Name. Her husband, who was against this, told her not to chant. She still continued chanting. Her husband got angry and cut her fingers. This did not stop her from chanting the Lord's Name. By God's grace the fingers started growing.
This is a coastal pilgrimage center situated 40 miles south of Thirunelveli. This is also known as Thirucheeralaivai. Before going to war, Lord Muruga stayed with his army at this place. He worshipped Lord Shiva here. For worship of Lord Shiva, Lord Muruga made the spring with holy water named Skandabooskarani with His spear. This is now known as ‘Naazhikinaru'. Thousands of devotees come here and take the water from this spring and bathe, but still the level of water has not reduced. It is always the same. By bathing here, all kind of diseases are also destroyed. Such is the greatness of this sacred water.
Saint Kumaragurubar could not speak till the age of five. Lord Muruga wrote on his tongue with His spear and made him speak. He not only spoke, but also sang the famous ‘Kandar Kalivenpa'.
Saint Pakazhikoothar had severe stomachache, which could not be cured by any medicine. When he worshipped Lord Muruga and was totally cured, he sang ‘Pillai thamizh', which is about Lord Muruga.
Adi Sankara has written ‘Subramania Bhujangam' in honor of Lord Muruga. In it, it is mentioned that the vibhuti (holy ash) made from the rose water leaf is a rare medicine which will cure all diseases. By going and worshipping Him, all our diseases will be cured and all our enemies will be destroyed.
This is also known as ‘Palani'. This is situated 35 miles from the railway path of Dindukal -Coimbatore. Goddess Lakshmi, Kamadhenu (sacred wish-fulfilling cow), Suryadev (God ofteh Sun), Bhoomidevi (God of the earth) and Agnidev (God of fire) have worshipped Lord Muruga at this place. Devotees carrying ‘Kavadi' is famous here.
Once in Thirukailayam, Saint Narada brought a mango fruit to Lord Shiva. It was a very rare mango so there was a fight between Lord Ganapati and Lord Muruga to get the fruit. Lord Shiva said that the one who can first go around the world would get the fruit. Lord Muruga immediately took his vehicle peacock and flew around the world. Lord Ganapati went around Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati (Shakti) and said that they are the world and won the game and took the fruit. When Lord Muruga came he saw the fruit in Lord Ganapati's hand, He got angry and went and stood on top of this mountain in Thiruaaavinankudi.. He was wearing only a loincloth. In this form, He actually shows the importance of detachment. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati came in search of Him and said "you yourself are the fruit [of knowledge]. Why do you need another fruit". This name ‘pazham nee' (‘pazham' means ‘fruit', ‘nee' means ‘you') has later become Palani.
Lord Ganapati going around Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti and Lord Muruga going around the world has an implied meaning. This is to show that in Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti the entire world resides and also in the entire world Shiva and Shakti are present. The idol in this temple is not made out of a stone but is made out of Navabashanam (nine types of herbal medicinal plants) by a saint named Bhoghar. Hence the offerings made to this idol cures all kind of incurable diseases. By worshipping Him, many miracles have happened in devotees' lives.
This is also known as Swamimalai. It is situated about five miles west of Kumbakonam.
Once in Kailash, Bala (‘child') Murugan was playing. Lord Brahma came to visit Lord Shiva, but he did not bother to bow before Lord Muruga, thinking that He was just a child. Lord Muruga called Him and asked why He did not give the due respect. Brahma said, He is the creator and need not give respect to all. Lord Muruga asked Him to recite the Vedas, when Lord Brahma started ‘Om', Lord Muruga asked Him the meaning of ‘Om', Lord Brahma was unable to answer, so He was put in a jail. The Creation work was then taken over by Lord Muruga. Lord Shiva hearing this went to Lord Muruga and asked whether He knew the meaning of ‘Om'. Lord Muruga said that "if You listen like a disciple, then I will tell like a Guru." So Lord Shiva kneeled down and Lord Muruga explained the meaning of ‘Om' to Lord Shiva. As a result of this incident, He was named Swaminathan, Gurunathan and Thagapan Swami. Since Lord Shiva himself received knowledge from Lord Muruga at this location, this place is famous for bestowing Knowledge to the devotees.
Where ever there are hills, Lord Muruga resides there. Some of the famous hills are Vallimalai, Mailam, Viralimalai, Kundrakudi, Kathir Kamam, Surilimalai, Ilanzhi, Vayalur etc. Among all Thiruthani is the most famous.
After destroying the demon Soorapadman, Lord Muruga came here and stood. His anger subsided in this place. It was known as Cherukani (anger subsided), and now it is known as Thiruthani. Just getting a vision of the hill from far away or just saying the name of the hill also will destroy all the sins one has done in his previous births.
Pazhamuthir cholai temple
This place is situated twelve miles from Madurai railway station.
Once Saint Avaiyaar was traveling by foot she got tired and sat under a java plum (naaval) tree. She had written a lot of poems and had developed a big ego. Lord Muruga wanted to remove this. He appeared like a shepherd. He was sitting on top of the tree. He asked Avaiyaar, "Grandma, you look so tired; do you want some naaval fruits?" When she answered yes, He asked, "Do you want Sutta pazham or Sudatha pazham?" (Sutta has two meanings: one cooked and the other hot.) She laughed and thought this boy is kidding. How can a fruit on the tree be cooked? So she just said give me cooked fruit, i.e., Sutta pazham. When the boy shook the tree, the fruits fell all over the ground. Avaiyaar picked the fruits and started blowing off the sand that was stuck to the fruit. Immediately the boy asked, "What grandma, are the fruits very hot?" She was shocked to hear this. She came to know that he was not an ordinary boy. She bowed before Him and Lord Muruga took His form and blessed her. The implied meaning of this story is as follows: When an embodies soul takes birth in this world, like sand, worldly bondage gets stuck to it. To remove this bondage, just worldly education (knowledge) will not be enough. Knowing the real thing, i.e., God realization, only will be able to remove this bondage.
Kuke Subramanya Temple Karnataka -In the Skanda Purana it is stated that Lord Subramanya washed the blade of his weapon 'Shakti' in the Dhara (Kumaradhara) River here after killing the demon Tarakasura and his brothers. It is said in the Skanda Purana that Samba, the son of Sri Krishna, was cured of leprosy in Subramanya.
There is a major Subramanya Temple here. In the main shrine of this temple are the deities of Subramanya, Vasuki, and Sesa. There are also many other deities in this temple. In the southeast part of this temple there is a Narasimha Deity and a Narasimha shalagram, called Vedavyasa Samputa Narasimha Devaru, which were worshiped personally by Madhvacarya. This Deity is said to have been given to him by Vedavyasa.
The Adi-Subramanya Temple is about 250m north of the outer wall of the Subramanya Temple. It is believed that you have to visit this temple to get the benefit of pilgrimage to Subramanya.