Thirupparankunram is a town in the district of Madurai, and this was the temple we visited after Meenakshi Temple, that is located in Madurai.
Thirupparankunram is the first of the 6 Abodes of lord Murugan, the Arupadai Veedu, but this was the 5th of Arupadai Veedu that we went to. This is believed to be the place where lord Murugan married Goddess Deivanai, the daughter of Indra. The temple here is actually a cave-temple, situated 1050 feet above sea level, built in a hillock. The temple was built by king Maravarman Sundara Pandyan in the 8th century CE, though the temple is believed to be much elder, from the 6th century, where the Murugan temple was converted to a worship place for Jainists by Jain monks, and then later reversed to Hinduism in the 8th century, where the Pandya king built it.
Of the 6 temples, this is the only one where abishekam is performed to the Vel (lord Murugan’s weapon) instead of the deity. This is because it’s a cave temple, and it’s believed that lord Murugan walked into this temple after defeating Surapadman. The deity here is by the way seen seated and only with Goddess Deivanai by his side, whereas in the other 5 temples the deity is standing.
Here, 25 festivals are celebrated each year, including Tamil New Year in April, Chritra Festival, Vaikasi Visakam, Mottaiarasu Vizha and much more.