Kumaran Tirumalai

Kumaran, Tirumalai

Other Temples - Tirunelveli


Kumaraswamy, facing east



Other Deities

Vallabha Vinayaka, Uchchi Pillayar, Aadhi Uthanda Velayudham, Idumban, Kalabhairava, Chokkanadar, Meenakshi Amman, twin Vinayaka, Mahalakshmi, Karthigai Kannigal

Kumaran Tirumalai is a beautiful hill temple, about 400 feet high that can be reached by climbing up 544 footsteps and also by vehicle through a nice road. At the base of the hill is the shrine for Vallabha Vinayaka. This is a large idol. Chokkanadar and Meenakshi Amman have shrines after the Vinayaka Shrine. After this are Pacheri and Pagadai Mandapams on either side of the pathway. On the way up is the shrine for Idumban. On top is the shrine for Uchchi Pillayar in an elevated structure with 16 steps. Under a Tamarind tree is the ancient carving of Aadhi Uthanda Velayudham which is Murugan. Alongside are the idols of Shiva Lingam and Parvathi. The outer Prakaram is large, spacious, and beautifully laid. There is a clean and well-maintained temple tank on top. North of the temple is the ancient temple of Kaliamman. In the same structure is the shrine for Veerabadhra. The hill originally had only this temple and Lord Muruga was installed later. The temple of Muruga is entered from the south and a large Mantapam leads to the east-facing Sanctum Sanctorum where he is seen standing alone as a young boy. Around the sanctum sanctorum, the inner prakaram runs as a covered circumambulatory path. On the eastern side of the temple is a 5 tiered Rajagopuram. Outside this gopuram on the large walls are the recently installed idols of the 6 Karthikai girls – Mehanthi, Abrakenthi, Nithrathini, Thula, Amba, and Varthayenthi. There is a gold-plated chariot on top of the hill. The western ghats are on the west and north of the hill and the views from Kumarakovil, as it is called, are worth spending some peaceful time.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Poonchunai (on top of the hill)

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Puli (Tamarind – Tamarindus indica)


The original temple of Lord Muruga is said to have been elsewhere in a place called Puzhithiyatrukottai on the way to the quaint little temple of Lord Ayyappa at Achankovil. During massive rains and floods, the idol was washed away and was buried in the sand and water in a nearby place called Kottaithirattu. Around this area, many relics of earthen pottery, coins, and carvings have been recovered and some of the carved stones have been used in the construction of the dam across Hanuman river at Kottaithirattu. These are from a Shiva Temple and could be connected to Kumaran Tirumalai. The idol of Lord of Muruga as Aadhi Uthanda Velayudham retrieved from the earth is installed under a Tamarind Tree at Kumaran Tirumalai. Later the present idol was installed in a separate sanctum sanctorum built by one Mayilappan about 250-300 years ago. In the hymns of Saint Arunagirinadar (15th Century CE) there is mention of ‘Tirumalai’, but it is not clear as to which one is referred by him. Even if it is connected to this Lord it would be the one in the original temple at Puzhithiyatrukottai. There is information pertaining to various additions and contributions to the temple around the 18th century by Zamindars of Chokkampatti, published in the official booklet of the temple. Though there are mentions of various Mandapams and Madams nothing survives today. Later a lady called Sivakami Paradesi dedicated herself to the service of the lord here and with the support of local chieftains elaborated the temple and recovered donated lands of the temple. Her grave is below the hill even today.

A shrine for Thirumalai Murugan is present in the corridor, constructed around 1452 CE by Mavali Vanathirayar, leading to the Goddess Sanctum in the ancient temple of Chokkanadar and Meenakshi at Madurai indicating that Kumaran Tirumalai temple has been in existence for a very long time.


After the deluge mentioned above and the subsequent to the idol getting washed away from its original temple at Puzhithiyatrukottai, the Lord appeared in the dreams of one Uthaman Poovan Battar and the King of Panthalam. The exact would be indicated by a line of ants leading to it. This was followed by them together and the original idol, Aadhi Uthanda Velayudham, was recovered and installed in Kumaran Tirumalai under the Tamarind Tree. This tree is said to be more than a thousand years old as per analytical studies. Sage Agastya is believed to have worshiped the lord of the original Kumaran Tirumalai temple.


Kumaran Tirumalai is about 14 kilometers northwest of Tenkasi.

Stay and Food

None locally except Prasadam stalls on top of the hill. The closest is Tenkasi.

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