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History and Significance of Sri Shanmughanathar Temple, Viralimalai 

Saint Arunagiriar came to this place as instructed by Lord Muruga after the darshan granted in Vayalur. The saint was in search of the way to Viralimalai. Lord Muruga came and lead the saint to the place. Muruga wrote the OHM letter in the saint’s tongue in Vayalur and taught him the arts of Ashtama Siddhis-eight great miracle arts including the one of entering into others body known as Koodu Vittu Koodu Paithal. The saint lived in this place for a while. His hymns are a holy record of the history of Viralimalai. Viralimalai had been the home of many Siddhas next only to Tiruvannamalai. This is also the place where Lord offered a sweet preparation called Appam in Tamil to the devotees of Tiruvarur Lord Dakshinamurthy. Great four sages – Sanakar, Sanantanar, Sanantar and Sanatkumarar performed penance here and were granted darshan by Lord Muruga. A Nagar – idol of a snake is installed at the centre of Naga theertham. A devotee, Karuppamuthu by name was engaged in the renovation of the temple. One day it rained heavily accompanied by wild winds. The river was in spate. He was trembling with cold. Praying to Lord Muruga, he lighted a cigar to fight the cold. Another man came near him also trembling. Karuppamuthu offered him a cigar. The second man disappeared. When Kauppamuthu went to the temple, he was shocked to see cigar bits before the Lord. He told the gathering in the temple what happened. Since then, cigar nivedhana became a practice in this temple.Later, Maharaja of Pudukkottai banned this system in the temple. Lord Muruga is believed to have appeared in his dream saying that the cigar nivedhana system had behind it the noble quality of helping one when in need and not to encourage smoking, hence this need not be prohibited. People take the cigar and keep it in their houses. This is to show that love and devotion are important in the offering and not the object offered, it is said.

History of Sri Shanmughanathar Temple, Viralimalai

According to one story, there was a Kura tree in the place where now the temple exists. A hunter was chasing a tiger. It disappeared at this spot. It was believed that Lord was there where the tiger disappeared and people began their worships. Lord Muruga showed the way to Viralimalai to Saint Arunagiriar who was coming from Vayalur and also taught him the rare eight miracle arts-Ashtama Siddhis. This is a Muruga temple that has 18 Tirupugazh hymns sung by Arunagiriar.

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