Now here is where Hinduism thrives and survives in this most modern of worlds! Muruga was one of two sons of Shiva. In a contest with his brother he was slyly beaten by a trick. The contest was to see who could circumnambulate the world fastest. Muruga started out first. His brother Ganapathy simply ran around his mother and father, proclaiming that they were his world. As the looser Muruga was exiled to the peak overlooking Palani.|
Muruga is known as Lord Dandayuthapani due to a legend. A demon named Idumban carried the hills of Sivagiri and Sakthigiri, dangling them on a rod. When he reached Palani he set them down. Muruga scrambled up ....and made it his abode. A fierce battle ensued and the demon was slain by Lord Muruga's baton, (Dandautha). Before his death Idumban prayed that those who bear a kavadi and come to Palani should be blessed and that he himself should be allowed to be the sentinal at Palani.
Devotees come from hundreds of km away, walking barefoot all the way. Chanting happily, young men balancing cilindrical balls of clothing on their heads race up the 679 steps to the temple. Beads of fire sprout from the middle of each step, fed by small white pills placed by the pilgrims as they ascend. There is also a small cablecar to the top, but it would be a great loss not to enjoy the short climb.
A famous product made by the temple is called Palani Panchamruthan, a concoction of fruit, jaggery and rare herbs which promote good health. It is sold on the peak..