Lord Skanda-Murugan

The International Murukan Conference Series

Announcement update of 10 November, 2003

General Information

Scope of the Seminar

Research Topics

Call for Papers

Third Conference Announcement

Murukan Conference Reviews

How the Murukan Conference Series began

Iconography of Skanda-Murukan

Nov 2003 Murukan Conference Newsletter special issue

Contact the organisers


First Murukan Conference souvenir cover

Since late Vedic times in the Sanskrit tradition and perhaps far earlier among proto-Dravidian and tribal peoples of the South, the vigorous and complex deity Skanda or Murukan has exerted a powerful influence upon Indian literature and religious thought. Even today, his cult continues to command the allegiance of millions in South India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius, Reunion Island and wherever there are expatriate Tamil communities.

The Institute of Asian Studies (Chennai) proudly hosted the First International Conference Seminar on Skanda-Murukan in Chennai on 28-31 December, 1998. This event brought together for the first time some 135 scholars of various disciplines from 21 countries around the world sharing a common interest in the composite Aryan-Dravidian god Skanda-Murukan and as well as presentations by English-articulate devotees from India and other countries. The Conference assembled in a single forum leading scholars and devotees for a wide-ranging exchange of findings and interpretations concerning the god and his cult.

The Second International Conference Seminar on Skanda-Murukan took place in Mauritius 24-28 April, 2001 in Mauritius. The Third International Conference held in Malaysia during November 2-5, 2003, was an exceptional opportunity for scholars and bhaktas alike to exchange findings and insights in a conducive environment hosted by the Malaysian organisers. For scholars especially, the event represented an extraordinary opportunity to meet and interact with fellow scholars and exceptionally well-informed Murukan bhaktas.

Scope of Murukan Conferences

  Article by Dr. Malati Agneswaran

The International Murukan Conference Series accepts presentations concerning the cult of Skanda-Murukan from earliest times up to the present as considered from these disciplinary perspectives:

  1. History
  2. Mythology
  3. Literature
  4. Religion
  5. Art History
  1. Musicology
  2. Folklore
  3. Philosophy
  4. Anthropology
  5. Sociology
Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers Batu Caves
Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers (left) and Batu Caves (right)

Multi-media presentations including video productions and slide presentations are accepted for screening. The Murukan Conference Series also hosts dramatic performances of Murukan Tiruvilaiyatal in the Bharata Natyam genre as well as other artistic performances.

NOTE: The Conference organisers provided meals and accommodation for the entire four-day conference, extras and a post-conference tour of Kuala Lumpur for participants, observers and their spouses for a nominal charge of US$100 per person. Presenters of papers will also receive a gratis copy of the Conference proceedings when it is released.

Range of Topics

Kavadi child


Conference scholars are encouraged present original research papers on a broad range of topics including:

  • Murukan in the Indus Valley script
  • Skanda-Kumara in ancient North India
  • Tai Pucam around the world
  • Murukan in Cankam Literature
  • Arunakirinatar's Tiruppukazh
  • The Iconography of Skanda-Murukan
  • Aru Padai Viitu: The Six 'Camps' of Murukan
  • The Cult of Murukan in the ParipāTal
  • Pilgrimage and Sacred Geography
  • The Kavati Cintu Genre
  • Murukan and Saiva Siddhanta Philosophy
  • Historical Development of Skanda-Murukan as a Tamil deity
  • The Continuing Love Story of Valli and Murukan
  • Murukan worship among Tamil diaspora worldwide

See also:
complete listing of Murukan Conference topics
Synopses of 95 Third Murukan Conference participants
complete file of synopses from the First Conference

Call for papers

Conference participants submit a short synopsis describing their proposed research paper after considering details about topic suitability. Only research proposals conforming to international academic standards are considered for inclusion.

See the detailed Call for Papers

Papers for publication

The Skanda-Murukan Conference series publishes selected papers presented at its international conferences, in digital format. The Conference website to date has published 86 research papers

Reviews of the 1st Conference

For accounts of the First International Conference on Skanda-Murukan, see these published reviews:

  1. How the Murukan Conference Series began
  2. Cult of the Child-God Crosses a Millennial Milestone
  3. Hinduism Today feature article
  4. Review published in International Institute of Asian Studies Newsletter

Digital Image Bank:
Kaumara Iconography

The Murukan Conference home page now features a digital image bank of the iconography of Skanda-Murukan. This includes four collections or galleries of color plates:

  1. Gallery One: 1958 Skanda Sasti Vizhamalar
  2. Gallery Two: rare calendar posters of the early 20th century
  3. Gallery Three: selected calendar posters of the early-late 20th century
  4. Gallery Four: 1930 to 1950 devotional lithographs


For information, contact Murukan Conference Special Co-ordinator:
Patrick Harrigan