Palani: Full of Religious Fervor and Devotion

Palani: Full of Religious Fervor and Devotion

Hello Friends,

If you are visiting Madurai, it is only natural that you plan a trip to Palani, as it is about 130 kilometeres from the city and roughly about 2 hours of journey. The Arulmigu Dhandayuthapaniswamy temple is located on a hill of about 150 metres high. The temple is one of the six arupadai veedus and third house of Lord Muruga dates back to the 9th century.  Devotees throng the temple in such huge numbers that it is quite surprising to see orderliness and a well-managed queue system.

There are three ways to reach the hilltop: by walk up the steps (693 steps), the winch (5 minutes travel time) and now the newly introduced rope cars. While the walk takes about 30 minutes depending on speed and ability of course the rope car transports the devotee in a matter of 3 minutes.  We gathered that there is a long waiting time for winches hence opted for the rope car. However, we later realized that the waiting time for the rope car was equally bad, as we had to wait for about 1 hour just to get into the rope car.  Still, it was a well-organized system, the waiting hall and the way they let devotees in batches was done smartly without any hiccups.

Once you reach the hilltop then it is a matter of getting into the right queue and waiting your turn for the darshan.  That said, the crowd and the large outer wings of the temple can be a bit overwhelming. There is a maze of queues and a sea of devotees, so it is recommended that if you are a first timer to have somebody receive you and take you through.  Else, you may spend a couple of more hours waiting for darshan.

The large outer wing of the temple, as soon as we alight from the rope car
The rope car with passengers on its way to the hilltop
An aerial view from the hilltop
Clean waiting room for the rope car
Benches with grills for the queues to get into the rope car waiting hall
The beautifully manicured lawns and greenery as the rope car climbs up
Another view of the ride up hill
Closer view of the rope car
The machinery and the hauling system of the rope car
Nurseries with wide varieties of plants on the way back to Madurai from Palani
Filter coffee and short eats on the way back to Madurai from Palani,idea for a quick stopover

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Bhuvana Rajaram

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