Odhimalai Andavar ,Irumbarai,Coimbatore
Moolavar : Odhimalai Andavar
Urchavar : Kalyanasubramaniar
Amman / Thayar : –
Thala Virutcham : Odhi tree
Theertham : Sunai theertham
Agamam / Pooja : Shivagama
Old year : 500-1000 years old
Historical Name : Gnanamalai
City : Irumbarai
District : Coimbatore
State : Tamil Nadu
9 day Brammotsavam in Thaipoosam (January-February), Chithirai new year day (April 14 or 15) Vaikasi Visakam (May-June) Adi Perukku (August), Skanda Sashi (October-November) and Panguni Uthiram (March-April) are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
Muruga gave darshan to Bogar with one face. Muruga is known to have six faces, he showed five in Irumbarai and one here. The sand in the place where Bogar performed his Homa is still white. During festival days this is offered as Prasad to devotees.
The temple is open on Mondays, Fridays, Sashti and Kruthika star days from 11.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. During the Margazhi month on the Muruga specific days, the temple is open. It is advised that the devotee gets in touch with the temple priest for a visit in odd days and time.
Sri Odhimalai Andavar Temple, Irumbarai-638 459, Coimbatore Dist.
White sand Prasad: Bogar, one of the Siddhas held in high esteem was on his way to Palani and did not know the correct path. He performed Pujas and Homas (a performance in fire with offering in the flames) prayed to show him the way to Palani. Lord Muruga showed the Siddha the way to Palani.
Lord Muruga also graces from another temple at Kumarapalayam Naganatheswarar temple with one face. Muruga gave darshan to Bogar with one face. Muruga is known to have six faces, he showed five in Irumbarai and one here. The sand in the place where Bogar performed his Homa is still white. During festival days this is offered as Prasad to devotees.
Before undertaking any new endeavours, devotees seek the approval from Lord Muruga with two flowers choosing one to know his opinion. This is called Varam Kettal – Seeking a Boon. People also pray for knowledge, wisdom and distinction in Education.
As a prayer commitment, devotees perform abishek with milk and sandal, offer vastras-clothing to the Lord.
Greatness Of Temple:
No Goddess: When the Lord met Muruga, in Odhimalai, He came alone not accompanied by His Consort-Ambika. Hence, there is no shrine for the Goddess.
During His creation days, Muruga had five faces and eight hands. As Lord Muruga has in Himself the characteristics of Lord Shiva and considered part Shiva, he also had five faces then. This is a very rare form of Lord Muruga. Muruga in this form is known as Kaunchamurthy. People pray to Him for knowledge, wisdom and distinction in Education.
Swayambu Vinayaka graces from a shrine in the foot of the hills. This hill temple is constructed with Kasiviswanatha on the right of Lord Muruga and Mother Visalakshi in the right, a form known as Somaskanda form. There are shrines for Idumban and Saptha Kannikas the seven virgin deities. Lord Shiva who recommended the release of Brahmma graces from a separate shrine at the foot of the hills.
Brahmma was lodged in an iron room. Irumbu in Tamil means iron and Arai the room. The place is named after this as Irumbarai.
During a visit to Mount Kailash, Lord Brahamma, the creator, after saluting Vinayaka, simply bypassed Muruga and proceeded for darshan of Lord Shiva. Lord Muruga stopped him and demanded the meaning of the Pranava Mantra from Brahmma which Brahamma was not able to offer. Hence, Muruga jailed him and began the creation work Himself.
Brahmma had five faces then. Lord Muruga too, having assumed the charge of creation had for himself the same five faces. All the creatures created by Lord Muruga including humans, were of high righteous standards and enjoyed high longevity too. This added to the burden of Mother Earth. She went to Lord Shiva and explained her woes. Lord Shiva intervened, asked Muruga the meaning of Pranava Mantra which Lord Muruga explained. On the direction of Lord Shiva, Muruga released Brahmma from his captivity.
Lord Muruga explained the meaning of Pranava (the first Vedic sound Ohm) in Swamimalai. Here in Irumbarai, Muruga taught the Agamas of the Vedas. Odhal in Tamil means learning. Malai means hill. As Lord Shiva learnt from His son Muruga these philosophies here, the place came to be known as Odhimalai. The Lord also was named Odhimalai Andavar.