Tirupparankundram article courtesy of Mr. Suresh
The First among the Six Padai Veedu shrines is the sacred Tirupparankundram temple. The Tirupparankundram hill is about 8 km south west of Madurai, the famous temple town of Tamil Nadu. (The Meenakshi temple at Madurai is very famous). It is a temple cut into a rock bed. The temple was known even in the Sangam period of Tamil history (about 200 BC). The present shrine was constructed by Pandya kings in the 8th century, AD.
The divine wedding
The cherished memories of the divine wedding of Devasena (‘Theivayaanai’ in Tamil) with Muruga still lingers in the minds of local Tamil devotees. Muruga saved the clan of Devas (gods) by his relentless war with the evil and immoral asuras. Pleased with Muruga’s defeating the demons, the King of Devas, Indra offered his daughter Devasena in marriage to Muruga. Muruga agreed to the proposal. The wedding took place at Tirupparankundram hill. The hill so sanctified by the holy union is considered best place for getting married.
The prayer of two maidens
Amrita (Amuda) Valli and Sundara Valli were the two daughters of the great God Maha Vishnu. To marry Muruga was their life’s ambition. With this desire, they went to Saravana Poikai, a lake where Muruga was born and engaged in intense austerities. Pleased with their tapas, the Lord Subrahmanya appeared before them and granted their wishes, which He promised will be fulfilled in their later births.
In due time, Amrita Valli was born as Indra’s foster-daughter Devasena. The younger sister Sundara Valli was born to the sage Sivamuni and brought up by Nambi, a chieftain of a tribal community who lived in forests. She was named Valli.
The battle Muruga had at Tiruchendur to defeat the elusive and powerful demon Surapadman was prolonged and fierce. The asura was an expert in changing his forms and Muruga had a tough time chasing him. At last, the war was won by Muruga. This was to the great joy of Devas, who were captured and tortured by the demon. The overjoyed Indra had a wish to marry Devasena to Muruga. All the gods and the great Gods Brahma and Vishnu were pleased at this. With the blessings of his parents Shiva and Parvati, Muruga agreed to this marriage with Devasena. In the presence of all gods, seers, Gods and His parents, the wedding took place at Tirupparankundram.