Swamy natha swamy temple - Swamimalai – Tanjore
Location – 25 kms from Tanjore and 5 kms from Kumbakonam
This is where he taught his father himself-Lord Shiva. Six feet tall Lord Muruga graces with His tuft, sacred thread on the chest and a staff in the right hand and the left on the lap. It is his Vel weapon that created the Nethra theertha in the temple. He graces in meditation style as a Guru. There are no hills in Thanjavur district except these Swamimalai hills. There are 60 steps to reach the hill temple, which represent the 60 Tamil Years. These are considered as important as the 18 steps in Sabarimala. The deities of the Tamil years are praying to Lord Muruga in the form of steps. Hence, the Padi Puja (puja for the steps) is conducted on Tamil and English New Year days with coconuts, fruits and singing hymns.
- 10 day Tirukarthikai festival in November-December is the important festival of the temple drawing crowd in lakhs.
- 10 day Chithirai Brahammotsavam in April-May
- Vaikasi Visagam in May-June
- Aavani Pavithrotsavam in August-September
- 10 day Navarathri in September-October
- Aipasi Skanda Sashti in October-November
- 10 day Margazhi Tiruvadirai in December-January
- Thai Poosam in January-February, Panguni Valli Kalyanam in March-April
Out of these, the festivals falling in Chithirai, Karthikai and Thai Tamil months are inaugurated with flag hoisting. Thiruppadi festival for the steps is celebrated on the English New Year day. Also, monthly Krithika star days, Monthly Tamil new days, New moon and full moon days, Sashti days, Visakam star days, Tamil and English New Year days, Deepavali and Pongal are devotionally celebrated in the temple.
The crowd in the temple is huge on all Tuesdays and all festival days.
- Lord Muruga graces devotees in his best attire. He looks with a ripe, wise and philosophical look during the Vibuthi (sacred ash) abishek, a majestic balasubramania in Sandal abishek.
- If one closely observes the sanctum sanctorum, the peeta – stage- on which the Lord stands looks like the Shivlinga Avudayar and the Lord as Shivalinga itself. This represents the philosophy that Lord Shiva and Lord Muruga are but one and not different from each other.
- In the place of peacock as the Vahan, an elephant is before the sanctum. It is said that an elephant Harikesan by name, earlier a demon, worshipped Lord Muruga. This is the elephant, the famous Iravadham gifted to Lord Muruga, according to Puranas.
Lord Muruga is the destination for solution of all problems in human life. People appeal to the Lord for happy wedding life, child boon, family prosperity, longevity, education, wisdom, higher education, job opportunities, promotion in jobs and for removal of obstacles in their various endeavours.
- Tonsuring in the temple, abishek with sandal, panchamirtha ( a mixture of five ingredients), milk are performed by devotees.
- Feeding is undertaken by some. Devotees light ghee lamps. Carry milk pots and Kavadi and arrange pujas. Those facing enemy troubles perform Thirisada archana. The rich offer liberal contributions for the maintenance and renovation of the temple.
From 5.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.