The Kumara Kottam Temple is situated in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, the city of TN. It is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Muruga, one of the most significant deities of Tamil Hindus. The temple is also known as Subramaniya Swami temple, and among the 21 major temples in the city, it is considered a significant one.

The Celebration for Lord Muruga

It was made in 1915 CE, and every year the temple attracts thousands of devotees. On the celebration of Skanda Sashti, which is the festival of Lord Muruga, all devotees remember and invoke Muruga, the God of War. The festival is celebrated every year in the month of October/November or the month of Kartik.

It is the event that takes place between the waning and waxing half-moon. The celebration is held for six days during which people light up Diyas, observe Vrat, say Muruga Arti, and recite Skanda Purana. According to a legend, the God of War was incarnated to defeat the Demon Surapadma, his two brothers, and their army of demons. The entire battle happened for six days, and on the six-day, Lord Muruga set their victory by killing all the demons who were distressing the Gods-like.

To celebrate this victory, the celebration takes place in all the temples of Lord Muruga throughout Tamil Nadu. The sixth day of the event is known as Soorasamharam, on which the temples depict the battle between Lord Muruga and Demons. This show fills up the devotees with utter bliss and strengthens their belief that Goodness and truth always win over evil. In all the temples of Kanchipuram, Brahmotsavam is also celebrated.

The Establishment of the Temple

The Kumara kottam temple is located on the main Rāja Street. The temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga, also known as Karthikey. This temple lies in between the temple Ekāmbareswarar and the Kāmākshi Amman. Ekāmbareswarar is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and Kāmākshi Amman is dedicated to Goddess Parvati. Karthikey being the son of both, the position of the temple makes complete sense.

This spot of the temple also matches with the iconography of Somāskandha in which Shiva is depicted with Son Karthikey and Mata Parvati. The child is seated between the parents, and so these three temples are also in the same order. In Kanchipuram, the same patterns follow for all the temples since these temples depict the extended family of Gods.

The Legend Behind Formation

The legend takes us back in the time when once Brahma, in all his arrogance, considered him as the creator of the universe. Lord Karthikey, when got to know about his arrogant nature, he asked Lord Brahma that “how does he create the universe?”

Brahma answered that by “Pranava mantra,” but upon asking further about explaining the mantra, Brahma ignored the single syllable mantra “Om,” which is the most significant sound in Hinduism. Witnessing this, Lord Muruga imprisoned Lord Brahma for his arrogance and ignorance of Om.

Later, when Shiva arrived, he got to know about the entire scenario. Lord Shiva asked his son Karthikey or Lord Muruga that “does he know the meaning of Pranava mantra?” On which Lord Muruga told him to ask it humbly like a student asks a teacher. Shiva did the same, and then Lord Muruga explained the mantra. After that, when Shiva learned his lesson from Lord Muruga, he released Lord Brahma, and the temple Kumara Kottam signifies the legend.

The Imagery of the Temple

The temple can be seen as having a pinnacle (shikara) above the main sanctum, which is also known as garbhagriha. Its design signifies the Chola period as it is built using granite and is in the shape of a dome or chakra vimanam. For the décor of the wall, corbels and pilasters are used. There are two prakārams and many sub-shrines for the family deities.

In the center, there is the image of Muruga in its full glory and is depicted as Brahma-Shāstā with a kamandalu (water pot) and prayer beads of Rudrāksha. The legend also states that Lord Muruga, during the release of Brahma, also worshipped Lord Shiva. To depict this story, there is a Linga placed in a separate shrine which is called Devasenapathisar or SenapathiIshvara.Skanda Sashti

Author's Bio: 

The Kumaran Kundram Temple is situated in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, the city of TN. It is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Muruga