Palani Hills

Palani is a city and a municipality in the Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu, located about 100 km north-west of Madurai city and 100 km South-east of Coimbatore City and 60 km west of Dindigul. It is the location of the far-famed temple of the god Kartikeya, resorted to by more than 7 million devotees each year. As of 2011, the town had a population of 70,467.

The Palani Hills are a mountain range in Tamil Nadu. The Palani Hills are an eastward extension of the Western Ghats ranges, which run parallel to the west coast of India. The Palani Hills adjoin the high Anamalai range on the west, and extend east into the plains of Tamil Nadu, covering an area of 2,068 square kilometres (798 sq mi). The highest part of the range is in the southwest, and reaches 1,800-2,500 metres (5,906-8,202 feet) elevation; the eastern extension of the range is made up of hills 1,000-1,500 m (3,281-4,921 ft) high.

Palani is also home to one of the shrines of Lord Karthikeyan or Murugan, who is worshipped as the primary god in Tamil Nadu.

Palani Murugan Temple
The Hill Temple of Pazhani is one of the most famous temples of Murugan in India. Palani is located in the town of Pazhani, 100 km southeast of Coimbatore.

The temple at Palani is an ancient one, situated at an elevation of 1500 feet above sea level. The deity of Palani is known as Dandayudhapani Swami, the Lord having the Staff in his Hand. The deity at the sanctum sanctorum is made out of an amalgam of nine minerals popularly called Navabashana.

There is a legend how Lord Murugan came to this sacred spot. Narada Muni, a sage, brought a golden mango to the divine court of Lord Siva when Lord Siva was seated with his consort Parvati and His children Lord Vinayakar and Lord Subrahmanya. Narada gave the fruit to Lord Siva and implored Him to eat since it was a rare, miraculous Jnanapalam, the fruit of wisdom. As a loving husband, Lord Siva gave it to Parvati and requested her to eat. As a loving mother, she wanted to give the fruit to her children. As there was only one fruit and it should not be cut, they announced a contest and said that the winner would be given the fruit. Whoever completes one round of the globe first will be given the fruit.

Lord Subrahmanya mounted His peacock to go around the world. Lord Vinayakar circumambulated around His parents, symbolising the world, and got the fruit. On return, Lord Subrahmanya found that He was cheated. In anger, He renounced His family and came to this spot to settle forever. Lord Siva and Parvati came to pacify Him. They said, "Pazham Nee" ('You are the Fruit'). Hence the name Palani is a popular syncopation of the two words mentioned.

The presiding deity, Lord Dandayudhapani Swami, is the son of Lord Siva and son-in-law of Vishnu. He has other names such as Kulandaivelan, Balasubrahmanyan, Shanmukhan, Devasenapati, Swaminathan, Vallimanalan, Devayanaimanalan, Palaniandavar, Kurinjiandavar, Arumugan, Jnana Pandita, Saravanan, Sevar Kodiyon, etc.

Cheaman Perumal, a ruler of Kerala, built the main temple perhaps in the 7th Century AD. The Nayaks built the Navaranga Mandapam which is a fascinating stone structure incorporated by four pillars and endowed with nine bays. The other portions of the temple have been built by the Pandiya kings, besides a number of local heads, religious groups and individual devotees.

Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary
The Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park is a proposed Protected area in Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu. The Park will be an upgrade and expansion of the 736.87 sq km (PRO) Palani (Kodaikanal) Wildlife Sanctuary which was to be established in 2008.