Lord Skanda-Murugan

Synopsis: "Vallakkottai Murukan Temple "

by Giridharilal Moolchand

Vallakkōttai is a hamlet in Kanchipuram District, situated twelve kilometres south of Sriperumputūr. The great saint and Tamil poet Arunakirinātar, in his famous Tiruppukal, celebrated the Murukan temple at Vallakkōttai in seven songs (707, 708, 709, 710, 711, 712 & 713 in Arunakirinatār Tiruppukal, Part IV, edited with commentary by Dr. Tanikaimani Cenkalvaraya Pillai, Caiva Cittanta Nurpatippuk Kal$akam, Chennai, 1991).

Arunakirinātar calls Vallakkōttai as Kōtainakar (707 & 708) Kōttappati (709), Kōtaiyampati (710) and Kōtaienumpati (711, 712 & 713). In Kanchipuram District there is another Murukan Tiruppati (holy place) called Vallam or Tiruvallam near Vallakkōttai and therefore there is every possibility that it is related to Vallakkōttai. Whatever may be the origin of Vallakkōttai, the Murukan temple here it would have been proceeded by many centuries of Murukan worship even before the time of Arunakirinātar. This Vallakkōttai alias Kōttai has long been a sacred and influential Murukan shrine.

It is said that Arunakirinātar was on padayatra singing the glory of Murukan temples when he happened to stay at Kōttaimpati while he was on the way to Tiruttani from Tiruppōrūr. A heavenly voice was heard by Arunkirinātar saying 'Have you forgotton me Arunakiri?' After having heard the heavenly voice, Arunakiri felt the greatness of this place. Her searched everywhere and at last he could see Kōttaiyāntavar (mūlavar) under a patiri tree. Inspired by the greatness of Kōttaiyāntavar's grace, he sang the glory of this sacred place with spontaneous overflow of poetic emotion.

Though Vallakkōttai is a small village, nowadays this temple is visited bys throngs of Murukan devotees from in and around Chennai. Every Sunday there is mahābisekam in large numbers. The idol of Murukan about seven feet in height is the tallest in the whole of Tamil Nadu. Valli and Teyvayānai stand beside Vallakkōttai Murukan. On New Year Day (both English and Tamil) special pujas are performed in this temple. Annadānam is arranged for all bhaktas. Just as at marriage functions, bhaktas from outside are welcome, with food and other facilities provided freely.

The traditional Vallakkōttai sthalapurānam relates the story of one prince Pākirata, a chieftan who was ruling the territory of Illanci. According to sthalaburānam, Pākirata was consumed by arrogance and was mended by the sage Narada, and we understand that this Pākirata was responsible for the construction of Vallakkōttai Murukan shrine.

Kōtainagar Kumaran Vāra Valipāttu Manram is of special mention here. This manram has the following objectives :

  1. Propagating the glory of this temple throughout the world
  2. Arranging facilities including food free of cost to Muruka bhaktas coming from outside.
  3. Developing the village of Vallakkōttai along with the growth of the Murukan temple.