"Muruga" redirects here. For the 2007 film, see Muruga (film).
For the 2014 film, see Karthikeya (film). For Given names see Karthikeyan, Karthik, Kartik or, see Karthika (disambiguation).

God of War and Victory
Commander of the Gods

Subramanya, Murugan

Kartikeya with his wives by Raja Ravi Varma
Tamil transliteration முருகன்
Affiliation Deva
Abode Arupadaiveedu (Six Abodes of Murugan), Skandaloka
  • oṃ śaravaṇa bhavāya namaḥ
  • Muruganukku Arohara
  • Vetrivel Veeravel
Weapon Vel, Bow and arrow
Consort Devasena and Valli
Parents Shiva and Parvati
Mount Peacock

Karthikeya (Kārttikēya; Murugan, Skanda and Subramaniyam) is the indigenous god of war. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the army of the devas. He is also the primary deity of the Kaumaram sect of Hinduism.

Murugan is worshiped primarily in areas of Tamil speaking population. In Tamil nadu in India, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Réunion. His six most important shrines in India are the Six Abodes of Murugan also known Arupadaiveedu அறுபடை வீடு literally meaning six warhouses, temples located in Tamil Nadu. Kataragamam temple (Sinhalese Katharagama; Tamil Katirkāmam) in Kataragama, Sri Lanka, is a temple complex dedicated to Kataragama deviyo (Murugan). It is one of the few religious sites in Sri Lanka that is venerated by the people Tamil Hindu Sri Lankan Tamils, Sri Lankan Moors and the Vedda people.[1] In Bengal, Odisha and Maharashtra, he is popularly known as Kartikeya. He is known as Subrahmanya, Muruga or Palani Andava in Tamil Nadu.[2]

Standing at 42.7 m (140 ft) high, the world's tallest statue of Murugan, a Hindu deity, is located outside Batu Caves, near the city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The statue, which cost approximately 24 million rupees, is made of 1550 cubic metres of concrete, 250 tonnes of steel bars and 300 litres of gold paint brought in from neighbouring Thailand.

Other names

The several names of Murugan of origin would include the following, Cheyon, Senthil, Vēlaṇ, Kumāran ("prince, child, young one"), Svaminatha ("ruler of the gods", from -natha king), Saravanan ("born amongs the reeds"), Arumugam or Shanmuga ("six-faced"),[3] Dandapani ("wielder of the mace", from -pani hand), Guhan or Guruguha ("cave-dweller"), Subrahmanya, Kadhirvelan, Kandhan, Kartikeya ("son of the Krittikas") and Skanda ("attacker").[4][5] He was also known as Mahasena and the Kadamba dynasty worshiped him by this name.[6] And the most famous name Kartikeya means son of krittikas, where the sanskrit word krittika means creativity[7]

Historical development

In Tamil literature

The Tolkāppiyam, one of the most ancient of the Tamil literature, mentions cēyōṉ "the red one", who is identified with Murugan, whose name is literally Murukaṉ "the youth"; the three other gods referred to in the Tolkāppiyam are Māyōṉ "the dark one" (identified with Vishnu), Vēntaṉ "the sovereign" (identified with Indra) and Koṟṟavai "the victorious" (identified with Kali). Extant Sangam literature works, dated between the third century BCE and the fifth century CE glorified Murugan, "the red god seated on the blue peacock, who is ever young and resplendent," as "the favoured god of the Tamils."[8] The Sangam poetry divided space and Tamil land into five allegorical areas (tiṇai) and, according to the Tirumurukāṟtruuppaṭai ( ca. 2nd century A.D.), attributed to the great Sangam poet Nakkirar, Murugan was the presiding deity of the kuṟiñci (hilly tracts). The Tirumurukāṟṟuppaṭai is a deeply devotional poem included in the Pattuppāṭṭu "ten idylls" of the age of the third Sangam. In the Tirumurukāṟtruuppaṭai, he is described as a god of eternal youth: "His face shines a myriad rays light and removes the darkness from this world".[9]

Other Sangam period works in Tamil that refer to Murugan in detail include the Paripāṭal, the Akananūru and the Purananuru.

Vedic and Puranic literature

The Atharvaveda calls Kumāra Agnibhūta because he is form of Agni, who held him in his hands when Kumāra was born. The Shatapatha Brahmana refers to him as the son of Rudra and the six faces of Rudra. The Taittiriya Aranyaka contains the Gayatri Mantra for Shanmukha. The Chandogya Upanishad refers to Skanda as the "way that leads to wisdom". Baudhāyana's Dharmasūtra calls Skanda Mahāsena "Having a Great Army" and Subrahmaṇya "beloved of Brahmins". The āraṇyaparvan (first section of the third book) of the Mahabharata relates the legend of Kartikeya Skanda in considerable detail. The Skanda Purana is devoted to the narrative of Kartikeya.[10] The Upanishads also constantly make a reference to a Supreme Being called Guha, the indweller.


Indra gives Devasena as wife to Kartikeya; scene from the Mahabharata.

The first elaborate account of Kartikeya's origin occurs in the Mahabharata. In a complicated story, he is said to have been born from Agni and Svaha, after the latter impersonated the six of the seven wives of the Saptarishi (Seven Sages). The actual wives then become the Pleiades.

The birth of Karthikeya is narrated in mythologies thus, that an asura named Suraabaathman a sincere devotee of Shiva. He performed severe penance to an extent that Lord Shiva pleased by his austerity and appeared before him. The Lord asked him what kind of boon he required. In reply he asked that no power in the whole universe should destroy him except, than the lord's power itself. Lord Shiva granted the boon to him. After succeeding in his penance Suraabaathman begin to torture the humans as well as the devas. He then conquered the Indraloka (abode of Indra deva) and made him captive.

One day upon losing her husband as a prisoner, Indraani (queen of Indra deva) prayed to Lord Shiva in earth to help her. Meanwhile, Ajaamukhi (sister of Suraabaathman) was in search of Indraani to produce her as a "prize" for her brother Suraabaathman as a result of victory of their war against the devas. Ajaamughi along with her servant finally found Indraani praying to Lord Shiva. She ordered Indraani to accompany along with her as a slave. Indraarani refused and sought help from the Lord. When Ajaamugki forced Indraani to come with her, one of Lord Shiva's Gurdian appeared before them and warned Ajaamughi to leave Indraani. After her refusal, the Guardian cut one of her arms.

Ajaamugkhi then with tears approached her brother Suraabaathmaan and narrated the incident that happened. Suraabaathman got furious and vowed to kill devas as a revenge. The rishis and other deities requested Lord Shiva's help.Then the Lord accepted their request and opened his third eye . The third eye of Lord Shiva's power was so intense that all other deities could not stand before. Then the divine spark appeared and settled in six lotuses in Saravana lake nearby Ganges river.

Later the six children in six lotuses was taken care and nurtured by the Kaarthigaas (angels of stars) by the order of Lord Agni. The name Kaarthigeya of Lord Muruga was kept after these Kaarthigaas to honour them by Agni. People in Sri lanka and India often celebrates Lord Skanda in Kaarthiga Nakshatra and especially in Tuesdays respectively.

After he grow into a young boy, the Kaarthigaas handed him over to Goddess Parvati. She reunited the six children as one and produced him before the Lord Shiva.

During his childhood Lord Muruga made several corrections in the form of worship and rules among sages and even Bramha (God of creation). On his way to worship Lord Shiva, Bramha didn't pay attention to Muruga or greeted him. Lord Skanda become furious and stopped bramha and questioned him on the Pranavaa-manthra "OM" (Universal creational hymn). Bramaha didn't knew the correct answer hence,he made Bramha as captive.The rishis and Goddess parvathi complained to Lord Shiva about Murugaa's act. Lord Shiva accompanied by others approached Muruga. Then the Lord Muruga made a play and challenged that even Lord Shiva does not know the right answer for the Pranavaa -Manthra "OM" (which is based on skeptical philosophy and had unrevealed secrets only known to Gods). Although Lord Shiva knew the answer, to make a play to test his child's knowledge, Lord shiva bowed to Skanda. Where Muruga is now the teacher (guru) Shiva is student. Lord Shiva listened to his philosophical teachings related to "OM". This kind of posture can be seen in temples in Tamil Nadu especially in Swamimalai Murugan temple (kumbakonam district).

Later during his teenage, Goddess Parvathi granted him his unique weapon sakthi Vel. With this weapon he slained the asura tarakasura, sighnamugasura (lion faced asura) who are the brothers of Suraabaathman. Lord Murga then killed Suraabaathman and turned two halves of his body to cock flag and a peacock. The slaying of asura is grantly celebrated in Tiruchendur as "surasamhaaram" in the Tamil month of "i-pasi" annually in Tamil Nadu.

Indra, who was captive was released. As an accolade, Indra gave his daughter Devasena in marriage to Muruga. The origin of this marriage lies probably in the punning of 'Deva-sena-pati'. It can mean either lord of Devasena or Lord of the army (sena) of Devas.[11] Later he married valli in "thiru -tanaigai-malai"(tirutani)in Tamil Nadu. Both wives are not to be considered as human forms they performed severe penance in their previous birth and reached the position of ichaasakthi(power that controls universe) and giriyaa sakthi (power that controls the life forms). In Tamil month of vaikasi the festival (VAIKASI-VISAKAM) VISHAKA Nakashtra of Muruga is celebrated as his birth day in a grand manner.

References to Murugan can be traced back to the first millennium BCE. There are references to Murugan in Kautilya's Arthashastra, in the works of Patanjali, in Kalidasa's epic poem the Kumārasambhava. The Kushan Empire, which governed from what is today Peshawar, and the Yaudheyas, a confederation in the Punjab region, struck coins bearing the image of Skanda. The deity was venerated also by the Ikshvakus, an Andhra dynasty, and the Gupta Empire.[10] The worship of Kumāra was one of the six principal sects of Hinduism at the time of Adi Shankara. The Shanmata system propagated by him included this sect. In many Shiva and Devi temples of Tamil Nadu, Murugan is installed on the left of the main deity.

The Ramayana version is closer to the stories told in the Puranas below.

The story and reason behind the birth of Murugan was explained by Sage Vishvamitra to Rama while they were crossing river Ganga on the way to reach king Janaka. The details are given in Balakanda sargas 35,36 and 37. The story is similar to that explained in puranas.


Kartikeya (right), Ganesha, Shiva, and Parvati.

Though slightly varying versions occur in the Puranas in Skanda purana, they broadly follow the same pattern. By this period, the identification of Shiva/Rudra that can be traced back to the Vedas and Brahmanas, had clearly made Kartikeya the son of Shiva.

narrates that Shiva first wed Dakshayani (also named Sati), the first incarnation of Adi Shakthi the granddaughter of Brahma, and the daughter of Daksha. Daksha was a Vishnu devotee . Daksha publicly insulted Shiva in a Yagna ceremony, and Dakshayani immolated herself. The Yagna was destroyed by Shiva's avatar Virabhadra. Virabhadra broke the sacrificial vessels, polluted the offerings, insulted the priests and finally cut off Daksha's head, trampled on Indra, broke the staff of Yama, scattered the gods on every side; then he returned to Kailash. Tarakasur an asura( although he is referred to as Suraabaathman's brother in Tamil Nadu) performed severe penance and lord shiva appeared before him what boon he required.Tarakasur wished for a boon that the lord's power can only destroy him.

The Devas manage to get shiva married to Dhakshaini by making Manmatha (also known as Kama), the God of love awaken him from his penance, but Manmatha incurred the Lord's wrath indicated by the opening his third eye – "Netri Kann", and being destroyed and resurrected. Shiva hands over his effulgence of the third eye used to destroy Manmatha to Agni, as he alone is capable of handling it until it becomes the desired offspring. But even Agni, tortured by its heat, hands it over to Ganga who in turn deposits it in a lake in a forest of reeds (sharavanam). The child is finally born in this forest (vana) with six faces: eesanam, Tathpurusham, vamadevam, agoram, sathyojatham and adhomugam. He is first spotted and cared for by six women representing the Pleiades — Kritika in Sanskrit. He thus gets named Kartikeya. As a young lad, he destroys Tarakasura. He is also called Kumara (Sanskrit for "youth").


Goddess Skandamata with son Skanda or Kartikeya on her lap, is worshipped as fifth form of Navadurga.

Given that legends related to Murugan are recounted separately in several Hindu epics, some differences between the various versions are observed. Some Sanskrit epics and puranas indicate that he was the elder son of Shiva. This is suggested by the legend connected to his birth; the wedding of Shiva and Parvati being necessary for the birth of a child who would vanquish the asura named Taraka. In South India, it is believed that he is the younger brother of the Ganesha. A Puranic story has Ganesha obtain a divine fruit of knowledge from Narada winning a contest with Murugan. While Murugan speeds around the world thrice to win the contest for the fruit, Ganesha circumambulates Shiva and Parvati thrice as an equivalent and is given the fruit. After winning it, he offers to give the fruit to his upset brother. But,Lord Muruga refuses in anger he settles in a mount known as Palani. Many of the major events in Murugan's life take place during his youth, and legends surrounding his birth are popular in Tamil Nadu. This has encouraged the worship of Murugan as a child-God, very similar to the worship of the child Krishna in north India. He is married to two wives, Valli and Devasena. This led to a very interesting name : Devasenapati viz. Pati (husband) of Devsena and/or Senapati (commander in chief) of Dev (gods).


Sculpture of the god Skanda, from Kannauj, North India, circa 8th century.

Kartikeya symbols are based on the weapons – Vel, the Divine Spear or Lance that he carries and his mount the peacock. He is sometimes depicted with many weapons including: a sword, a javelin, a mace, a discus and a bow although more usually he is depicted wielding a sakti or spear. This symbolizes his purification of human ills. His javelin is used to symbolize his far reaching protection, his discus symbolizes his knowledge of the truth, his mace represents his strength and his bow shows his ability to defeat all ills. His peacock mount symbolizes his destruction of the ego. His six heads represent the six siddhis bestowed upon yogis over the course of their spiritual development. This corresponds to his role as the bestower of siddhis.

Regions of worship

South India

Murugan represented as Aarumugam (sixfaced)

Murugan is often referred to as God of Asia and is worshiped primarily in areas with Tamil influences. Subramanya is also a major deity among the Hindus of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Rituals like nagaradhane are unique to Uttara Kannada region of Karnataka. Kataragama in sri lanka temple is considered as the most holy abode of Muruga by Asians.

In Sri Lanka and India, Murugan has continued to be popular with all classes of society right since the Sangam age. This has led to more elaborate accounts of his mythology in the Tamil language, culminating in the Tamil version of Skanda Purana, called Kandha Purānam, written by Kacchiappa Sivachariyar (1350–1420 AD.) of Kumara Kottam in the city of Kanchipuram. (He was a scholar in Tamil literature, and a votary of the Shaiva Siddhanta philosophy) Lord Muruga is married to two deities, Valli, a daughter of a tribal chief and Deivayanai (also called Devasena), the daughter of Indra. During His bachelorhood, Lord Murugan is also regarded as Kumaraswami (or Bachelor God), Kumara meaning a bachelor and Swami meaning God. Muruga rides a peacock and wields a bow in battle. The lance called Vel in Tamil is a weapon closely associated with him. The Vel was given to him by his mother, Parvati, and embodies her energy and power. His army's standard depicts a rooster. In the war, Surapadman was split into two, and each half was granted a boon by Murugan. The halves, thus turned into the peacock (his mount) and the rooster his flag, which also "refers to the sun".[12]

As Muruga is worshipped predominantly in South India, many of his names are of Tamil origin. These include Senthil, the red or formidable one; Arumugam, the six-faced one; Guhan and Maal-Marugan, the son-in-law of Vishnu. Murugan is venerated throughout the Tamil years and sanskrit. There is a six-day period of fast and prayer in the Tamil month of Aippasi known as the Skanda Shasti. He is worshipped at Thaipusam, celebrated by Tamil communities worldwide near the full moon of the Tamil month Thai. This commemorates the day he was given a Vel by his mother in order to vanquish the Asuras. Thirukarthigai or the full moon of the Tamil month of Karthigai signifies his birth. Each Tuesday of the Tamil month of Adi is also dedicated to the worship of Murugan. Tuesday in the Hindu tradition connotes Mangala, the god of planet Mars and war.

He is worshipped as highest god in Sri lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, ,Canada etc.

Batu Caves is a very famous temple of Lord Murugan in Kuala Lumpur

Bengal and Odisha

Kartikeya worshipped in Durga Puja in Kolkata

Kartikeya also known as Kartik, Kartika or Kartik Thakur, is also worshipped in West Bengal, and Bangladesh on the last day of the Hindu month of Kartik. He is the Lord of male-fertility and good harvest. He is portrayed as a handsome with bow and arrow in hand.Kartikeya is primarily worshipped among those who intend to have a son. In Bengal, traditionally, many people drop images of Kartik inside the boundaries of different households, who all are either newly married, or else, intend to get a son to carry on with their ancestry. Kartik is also associated to the Babu Culture prevailed in historic Kolkata, and hence, many traditional old Bengali paintings still show Kartik dressed in traditional Bengali style. Also, in some parts of West Bengal, Kartik is traditionally worshipped by the descendants of the past royal families too, as in the district of Malda. In Bansberia (Hooghly district) Kartik Puja festival is celebrated like Durga puja for consecutive four days. The festival starts on 17 November every year and on 16 November in case of Leap year.[13] Some of the must see Puja committees are Bansberia Kundugoli Nataraj, Khamarapara Milan Samity RadhaKrishna, Kishor Bahini, Mitali Sangha, Yuva Sangha, Bansberia Pratap Sangha and many more. In Durga Puja in Bengal, Kartikeya is considered to be a son of Durga (Parvati) and Shiva along with his brother Ganesha.[14]

Kartikeya in Kartik Puja, Odisha.

Kumara Purnima, which is celebrated on the full moon day after Vijayadashami, is one of the popular festival dedicated to Kartikeya in Odisha. It is believed that unmarried girls worship Kartikeya on this day to get grooms handsome as Kartikeya.[15] Kartikeya is worshiped during Durga Puja in Odisha as well as in various Shiva temples throughout the year. Kartik puja is celebrated in Cuttack along with various other parts of the state during the last phases of Hindu month of Kartik. Kartik purnima is celebrated with much joy and in a grand fashion in Cuttack, Jamadhar, Rekabibajar of Jajpur District and other parts in the state.

Other Parts

Kartikeya Swami or locally called the Devta "Kelang Wazir" is worshipped near parts of Bharmour as their main deity at Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. Situated at Kugti Village, which is 10–14 km from Bharmour is the major deity of the tribe Gaddi. The temple of Kartikeya Swami is visited every year by thousands of devotees when the trek is opened in the month of March–April.(Covered with snow in the winters)

Kartikeya mounted on a peacock. Indian painting from 1875

Historically, Kartikeya was immensely popular in the Indian subcontinent. One of the major Puranas, the Skanda Purana is dedicated to him. In the Bhagavad-Gita (Ch.10, Verse 24), Krishna, while explaining his omnipresence, names the most perfect being, mortal or divine, in each of several categories. While doing so, he says: "Among generals, I am Skanda, the lord of war."

Kartikeya's presence in the religious and cultural sphere can be seen at least from the Gupta age. Two of the Gupta kings, Kumaragupta and Skandagupta, were named after him. He is seen in the Gupta sculptures and in the temples of Ellora and Elephants. As the commander of the divine armies, he became the patron of the ruling classes. His youth, beauty and bravery was much celebrated in Sanskrit works like the Kathasaritsagara. Kalidasa made the birth of Kumara the subject of a lyrical epic, the Kumaarasambhavam. In ancient India, Kartikeya was also regarded as the patron deity of thieves, as may be inferred from the Mrichchakatikam, a Sanskrit play by Shudraka, and in the Vetala-panchvimshati, a medieval collection of tales. This association is linked to the fact that Kartikeya had dug through the Krauncha mountain to kill Taraka and his brothers (in the Mrichchakatikam, Sarivilaka prays to him before tunnelling into the hero's house).

However, Kartikeya's popularity in North India receded from the Middle Ages onwards, and his worship is today virtually unknown except in parts of Haryana. There is a very famous temple dedicated to Him in the town of Pehowa in Haryana and this temple is very well known in the adjoining areas, especially because women are not allowed anywhere close to it. Women stay away from this temple in Pehowa town of Haryana because this shrine celebrates the Brahmachari form of Kartikeya. Reminders of former devotions to him include a temple at Achaleshwar, near Batala in Punjab, and another temple of Skanda atop the Parvati hill in Pune, Maharashtra. There is also a popular temple of Kartikeya called Kartik Swami Mandir in the Panchavati region of Nashik, Maharashtra. In Maharashtra too, women don't visit Kartik swami temple.

Sri Lanka

The interior of the Kataragama temple, where a yantra is worshipped rather than an image of Murugan. The yantra is kept behind a curtain that figures Murugan with his two wives

Karthikeya is worshipped by Sri Lankan Tamils but also by the Sinhalese as Kataragama deviyo, a guardian diety of Sri Lanka. Numerous temples exist throughout the island. He is a favourite deity of the common folk everywhere and it is said he never hesitates to come to the aid of a devotee when called upon. In the deeply Sinhalese south of Sri Lanka, he is worshipped at the Kataragama temple, where he is known as Kathiravel or Kataragama deviyo. Local legend holds that Murugan alighted in Kataragama and was smitten by Valli, one of the local girls. After a courtship, they were married. This event is taken to signify that Murugan is accessible to all who worship and love him, regardless of their birth or heritage. The Nallur Kandaswamy temple, the Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple and the Sella Channithy Temple near Valvettiturai are the three foremost Murugan temples in Jaffna. The Chitravelayutha temple in Verukal on the border between Trincomalee and Batticaloa is also noteworthy as is the Mandur Kandaswamy temple in Batticaloa. The late medieval-era temple of the tooth in Kandy, dedicated to the tooth relic of the Buddha, has a Kataragama deiyo shrine adjacent to it dedicated to the veneration of Skanda in the Sinhalese tradition. Almost all Buddhist temples house a shrine room for Kataragama deviyo reflecting the significance of Murugan in Sinhala Buddhism.

By the 16th century, the Kataragama temple had become synonymous with Skanda-Kumara who was a guardian deity of Sinhala Buddhism.[16] The town was popular as a place of pilgrimage for Hindus from India and Sri Lanka by the 15th century. The popularity of the deity at the Kataragama temple was also recorded by the Pali chronicles of Thailand such as Jinkalmali in the 16th century. There are number of legends both Buddhist and Hindu that attribute supernatural events to the very locality.[16] Scholars such as Paul Younger and Heinz Bechert speculate that rituals practiced by the native priests of Kataragama temple betray Vedda ideals of propitiation. Hence they believe the area was of Vedda veneration that was taken over by the Buddhist and Hindus in the medieval period.[17]


Murugan is one of the most important deities worshipped by the Tamil Hindus in Malaysia and other South-East Asian countries such as Singapore and Indonesia. Thaipusam is one of the important festivals celebrated. Sri Subramanyar Temple at Batu Caves temple complex in Malaysia is dedicated to Murugan. Batu Caves in short also referred as 10th Caves or Hill for Lord Muruga as there are 6 important holy shrines in India and 4 more in Malaysia. The 3 others in Malaysia are


The main temples of Murugan are located in Tamil Nadu and other parts of south India. The Aru Padaiveedu (six abodes) (Tamil: Āṟupaṭai vīṭu) are six temples situated in the state of Tamil Nadu.[18] The god is known by different names such as Karthikeya, Skanda, Vadivela and Muruga at various temples.[19] The six most sacred abodes of Murugan was mentioned in Tamil sangam literature, "Thirumurugatrupadai", written by Nakkeerar[20] and in "Thirupugal", written by Arunagirinathar.[21]

Temple Location (North to South) Description
Swamimalai Murugan Temple Swamimalai, kumbakonam Located at 5 km from Kumbakonam, the temple is built on an artificial hill. The temple commemorates the incident where Muruga explained the essence of the pranava mantra "Om" to his father Shiva.
Palani Murugan Temple Pazhani, Dindigul district Located in Dindigul District, on the Palani hill bottom ( Malai Adivaram ) called 'Thiruaavinankudi', where the deity is known as 'Kuzhanthai Velayuthaswami' and was worshipped by Goddess Lakshmi ('Thiru' in Tamil), the sacred cow Kamadhenu ('Aa' in Tamil), the sun god Surya ('Inan' in both Tamil & Sanskrit), the earth goddess ('ku' in Tamil), and the fire god Agni ('Di' in Tamil), and has idols of all of them.

There is also a Murugan temple on the Palani hill top where 'Dhandayuthapani' is the main deity, in a meditating state, carrying a staff ('danda') as weapon ('ayutha') in his hands ('pani'). This is the place where Murugan resided after his feud with his family over a divine fruit. Here, the main deity is made out of an amalgam of nine minerals popularly called Navabashanam and was established by Saint Bhogar.

Thiruchendur Murugan Temple Thiruchendur, Toothukudi district Located on the sea-shore near Tuticorin amongst the remains of Gandhamadana Parvatam or Santhanamalai (Sandal Mountain). The temple commemorates the place where Murugan worshiped Shiva and won a decisive victory over demon Soorapadman.
Thirupparamkunram Murugan Temple Thiruparankunram, Madurai district Located on the outskirts of Madurai on a hillock where Kartikeyan married Indra's daughter Deivanai. Nakkeerar worshipped Murugan in this shrine and is said to have worshiped Lord Shiva here as Parangirinathar.
Thiruthani Murugan Temple Thiruthani, Thiruvallur district Located near Chennai, Murugan reclaimed his inner peace after waging a war with Asuras and married Valli here.
Pazhamudircholai Murugan Temple Pazhamudircholai, Madurai district Located on the outskirts of Madurai on a hillock with a holy stream nearby called "Nupura Gangai". Murugan is seen with both his consorts Deivanai and Valli.

Other important shrines like Mayilam, Sikkal, Marudamalai, Kundrathur, Vadapalani, Kandakottam, Thiruporur, Vallakottai, Viralimalai, Vayalur, Thirumalaikoil, Chennimalai, Sivanmalai, Pachaimalai, Thindal malai (Near Erode) and Pavalamalai near Gobichettipalayam.

There are many temples dedicated to Subramanya in Kerala. Amongst them are Atiyambur Sri Subramanya Temple in Kanhangad Kasaragod, Payyannur Subramanya Swamy temple in Payyanur, Panmana Subramanya Swamy temple in Panmana and the Subramanya temple in Haripad. There is a temple in Skandagiri, Secunderabad, one in Bikkavolu, East Godavari district and one in Mopidevi,Krishna district in the state of Andhra Pradesh. In Karnataka there is the Kukke Subramanya Temple where Murugan is worshipped as the Lord of the serpents. Malai Mandir, a prominent and popular temple complex in Delhi, is one of the few dedicated to Murugan in all of North India apart from the Pehowa temple in Haryana.

The key temples in Sri Lanka include the sylvan shrine in Kataragama / (Kadirgamam) or Kathirkamam in the deep south, the temple in Tirukovil in the east, the shrine in Embekke in the Kandyan region and the famed Nallur Kandaswamy temple in Jaffna. There are several temples dedicated to Murugan in Malaysia, the most famous being the Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur. There is a 42.7-m-high statue of Murugan at the entrance to the Batu Caves, which is the largest Lord Murugan statue in the world. Sri Thandayuthapani Temple in Tank Road, Singapore is a major Hindu temple where each year the Thaipusam festival takes place with devotees of Lord Muruga carrying Kavadis seeking penance and blessings of the Lord.

In the USA, Shiva Murugan Temple[22] in Concord, Northern California and Murugan Temple of North America[23] in Maryland, Washington DC region are popular. Thaipusam walk for Shiva Murugan Temple in Concord, USA is very popular and attracting many devotees from all over America. In Toronto, Canada, Canada Kanthasamy Temple is known amongst many Hindus in Canada. In Val-Morin, a suburb of the city of Montreal in Canada, there is a monumental temple of Murugan.

In the United Kingdom, Highgate Hill Murugan temple is one of the oldest and most famous. In London, Sri Murugan Temple in Manor park is a well-known temple. In Midlands, Leicester Shri Siva Murugan Temple[24] is gaining popularity recently. Skanda Vale[25] in West Wales was founded by Guruji, a Tamil devotee of Subramaniam, and its primary deity is Murugan. In Australia, Sydney Murugan temple in Parramatta (Mays Hill), Perth Bala Muruguan temple in Mandogalup and Kundrathu Kumaran temple in Rockbank, Melbourne are major Hindu temples for all Australian Hindus and Murugan devotees. In New Zealand, there is a Thirumurugan Temple in Auckland and a Kurinji Kumaran Temple in Wellington, both dedicated to Murugan.

The Sri Sivasubramaniar Temple, located in the Sihl Valley in Adliswil, is the most famous and largest Hindu temple in Switzerland.[26]

See also



  1. Younger 2001, p. 39
  2. Cage of Freedom By Andrew C. Willford
  3. Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 80.
  4. Clothey p.49 Skanda is derived from the verb skanḍr- meaning "to attack, leap, rise, fall, be spilled, ooze"
  5. Clothey, Fred W. Many Faces of Murakan: The History and Meaning of a South Indian God. p. 1.
  6. Hinduism.
  7. http://www.sreenivasulu.in/2010/08/krithika-my-loving-daughters-name/
  8. Kanchan Sinha, Kartikeya in Indian art and literature, Delhi: Sundeep Prakashan (1979).
  9. The Smile of Murugan on Tamil Literature of South India, by Kamil Zvelebil
  10. 1 2 Ratna Navaratnam; Karttikeya, the divine child:the Hindu testament of wisdom, 1973, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
  11. "Bhaerava and Bhaeravii" Ánanda Vacanámrtam Part 7, 1978, Calcutta, Ananda Marga Publications
  12. "Indus Graffiti as Rock Art and their Astronomical Implications".
  13. "indianfestival.in".
  14. Kinsley, David (1988). Hindu Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Traditions. University of California Press. p. 95. ISBN 0-520-06339-2.
  15. "Kumar utsav" (PDF). http://www.odisha.gov.in/. Govt of Odisha. Retrieved 18 October 2014. External link in |website= (help)
  16. 1 2 Pathmanathan, S (September 1999). "The guardian deities of Sri Lanka: Skanda-Murgan and Kataragama". The journal of the institute of Asian studies. The institute of Asian studies.
  17. Bechert, Heinz (1970). "Skandakumara and Kataragama: An Aspect of the Relation of Hinduism and Buddhism in Sri Lanka". Proceedings of the Third International Tamil Conference Seminar. Paris: International Association of Tamil Research.
  18. http://www.lordmurugan.com/
  19. http://www.nriol.com/indianparents/lord-muruga.asp
  20. http://murugan.org/texts/murukatruppadai.htm
  21. http://www.kaumaram.com/thiru/thiru.html
  22. https://www.shivamurugantemple.org/Default.aspx
  23. "Murugan Temple of North America". Murugan Temple of North America.
  24. "leicestersrimurugantemple.org.uk".
  25. skandavale.org
  26. "Hinduismus :::: Religionen in der Schweiz / Religions en Suissse :::: Universität Luzern". 2 June 2009.
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