Thiruparam Kundram

This is a holy place of Lord Sri Muruga. God Sri Muruga married GoddessTheivayanai in this place only. This holy place is situated at a distance of 8 km from Madurai. The name of this place goes after the name of this hill. This place is also called Thirupparangir, Sathyagiri and Kandamalai. This place is the first of the 6 Padai Houses of Lord Muruga. This place was a Saivite place in the beginning. But now it is celebrated as a holy place of Sri Muruga. The presiding deity is called Parangi Nathar who was worshipped by the greatmen like Nakkeerar, King Sibi, Bramman, St. Parasura's Son, etc. This was sung by the poets Sambandar and Sundarar in the Pathigam songs. However the sanctum sanctorum of Subramania Swamy carved in the cave was built during the 8th century A.D. of the Pandia King.s This messages are seen in the inscriptions on the stone walls of the sanctum sanctorum. It is revealed that the Pandia King Paranthaga Nedunchadayan's General called Sathan Ganapathy built this cave temple for Shiva. There are five Sannidhis in caves. One of these is the Sannidhi with Muruga's image. To the eastern side of this swamy sannidhi, there is a temple for Durga Devi called Anna Poorani, and a cave temple of Jaesta Devi. This temple was built by Nakkonrai, the wife of Sathan Ganapathy.

During the period of Naicker king the renovations were said to have been done in a grand manner. During 1572 A.D. to 1595 A.D. the king of Madurai called Veerappan is said to have constructed the tower over the Sannidhi and also the compounding walls in 1583 A.D. The Mandapam in front of the sannidhi was the work of king Thirumalai (1623 to 1659 A.D.). The Aasthana Mandapam near the entrance was constructed by the Queen Mangamma of Madurai Naickers.

Immediately after entering the temple we can see a Mandapam in which there are, one each in left and right, two horse warriors, two yalis and one chariot man. These are carved in single stones. This Mandapam with ten pillars is very beautiful to see. This incorporates the sculptural workmanships the Naicker days. Next to this Mandapam there are statues of certain deities on the stone pillars that are worth seeing. Among these there are sculptures of Muruga, Deivayanai's Marriage seene, Durga, Badra kaali, Narthana Vinayaka, Veerabhagu and Sathya Griswarar. There are statues of Queen Mangamma and Vijaya Renga Chochanathar carved on the stone pillars.

Passing this, we can see the entrance to the tower having an height of 46 meters. This was built by the Naicker King Veerappan.

In this holy place there is a flag staff carrying the there figures of peacock, Nandi and mouse. Opposite to this flag staff there are figures of the saints Padmanathi, Sunganathi, Parasalar, Vedaviyasar etc. The idols of Andaraparana and Ugramoorthy have been carved out in the hill rock on the way to the main Sannidhi. In the Mandapam of the main Sannidhi there are bronze idols of four great saivites and the poet Nakkeerar, the favourite of god Somasundar of Madurai, and also of other deities.

The presiding deity of this place, Lord Muruga, is called Subramania Swamy. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple has been carved out from the hill. There are 5 cave temple here. On both sides of the deity Subramania Swamy the sculptures of Sidha Vidyatharar, Naanmugan, Bramma, Devendran, Kalaimagal, Narada and Deivayanai are seen. On the west, the sculptures of Sun God, Moon God (Chandran) and Gaayathri and, on the east of sculptures, of goat, hen, elephant, peacock are seen. All of these are carved out from the hill rock.

The Sannidhi of Sri Durgai is situated on the west, facing the northern direction of the main sannidhi. On both sides of the goddess Ambikai are seen Magisaasuran, and guhamuni. On the western side the figures of the (female) companions and a deer and at the bottom a figure of a buffalo are seen.

Next to the Sannidhi of Sri Durgai, on the western side, facing the north is seen Karpaga Vinayaka in a cave temple. He is seen sitting on a lotus flower and surrounded by Sun, Moon, and Bhoothagana. Here Sri Hanuman is seen carrying the Sanjeevi Hill.

Next to this Vinayaka temple, facing east, is the Sannidhi of Lord Shiva. Here the deity is called Sathya Greeswarar. Here he is seen in the form of a Linga. On both side of this cave temple the statues of Dhwaara Baalakas are beautifully installed.

Straight opposit to this sannidhi, facing west, the cave temple of Sri Maha Vishnu is seen. Here Perumal is appearing as Pavalza Kanivaai. On both side of Perumal the figures of Sri Devi and Bhoodevi are seen along with Matanga Muni. Here also the statues of Dhwaara Baalakas are seen.

The southern part of Thirupparankundram is called Thenparankundram. On the way along the east from the temple there is a lake called Saravana Poigai. People take bath here and enjoy.

On the top of the hill there is a temple for Sri Kaasi Viswanathar. To reach the temple step-like arrangments have been made. At the starting place of these steps there is the Sannidhi of Sri Palani Aandavar. This temple belongs to the period of King Thirumalai Naicker. On the way to the temple of Kaasi Viswanathar, there is a Dhurga for Sikkandar. Here Muslim people come and worship. In the hill area near this Durga and near the Railway Station, there are caves and stone basins habituated by the Jains. Near the temple of Kasi Viswanathan there is a mountain spring. In this place there are the sculptures of the Jain deity Parsuvanathar the 23rd Theerthankarar and the sculpture of Bahubali. These are carved in a rock nearby. Another rock is seen with several sculptures.