Bala Subramanya Swamy Temple, Vellimalai, Kanyakumari
|Deity:||Bala Subramanya Swamy|
|Architectural style:||Dravidian architecture|
Sasti Sura Samharam, Aadi Kirthikai, Vaikasi Visakam and Thai Poosam are the festivals celebrated in this temple with much fanfare. Kerala Tantram is the protocol of worship offered here as with most other temples in Kanyakumari district. As with Vellimalai, the last Friday in every Tamil month is considered to be auspicious and Kanji is offered as prasadam here.
It is believed that not only the devotees who come here for prayer are benefited, but also the people who visit the hill. It is because that the Lord of this hill blesses one and all without any discrimination. Those who make any request at this holy place would get relief from their impediments and attain happiness. The sick people may find much relief if they stay for some days here. Mental depression and worries can be reduced by the holy visit of this hill temple. The poor may find guidance to get relief from their poverty. The depressed may find peace and solace. Austeries and Vratha (restriction afford) taken for six days of Skanda Sasti period with deep prayers are equated with many years of penance and Yoga practices.
The Karthika Vratham, and the visit on that day for the Dharshan of the deity will bring more benediction than the one gets taking baths in several sacred rivers. The devotees get relaxation and mental peace when they sit before the deity and pray earnestly. Annadhanam and other charities bring prosperity in one’s life. This place attracts the great and noble persons with spiritual turn of mind. Local belief has it that barren women go on to deliver healthy children upon worshipping at this temple.
Legend / Local stories
Nearly 1200 years back the village Vellimalai was covered with thick forest. At that time, there lived a saintly person on the hill. He had the divine power of healing chronic diseases. So, the surrounding people visited this noble soul for getting his blessings and got their diseases cured. He was known as a great ‘Siddhar’. He lived in a cave which was at the foot of the present steps on the eastern side of the shrine. One day, a small crowd of the people came to see the Siddhar. He came out of the fire cave and reached the top of the hill where the sanctity of Sanatorium of the present Muruga Temple is situated. He then miraculously disappeared.
From that incidence, the people believed that the holy person was none other than the God himself. From that time onwards, people came there on every Friday to worship the God by lighting lamps there and a small temple was built. In due course, it developed as a pilgrimage centre of Lord Muruga. A small temple was built by erecting a thatched shed on the hill top.
The devotees felt the need of improving the thatched shed temple. With their service of enthusiasm, they erected a tile structure for the temple. People of all communities namely Nadars, Brahmins, Washermen, Parayas, came on every Friday and worshipped the idol of Muruga.
Till 1937, the people worshipped the God in the tiled building. After that, the devotees revealed their intention of building a full structured temple in this place. At that time, there was no facility for the devotees either to take rest or to eat food. There was hardly a place to sit for some time. There was no road or path to reach the temple. A strong plan was developed then in the minds of the surrounding villagers to improve this place. The credit of the development of the Vellimalai Temple goes to Mr. A. Palaniyandi Pillai of Thalakulam who was a staunch Muruga devotee.
With his earnest effort, he collected Rs. 100/- as contribution from the people of the surrounding places and handed over the amount to Mr. Unnithon, Chairman of Kochi Devasom Board, as caution money and requested him to erect a new temple by replacing the tiled building. Mr. Swaminathan Pillai became the Chairman of the Temple Endowment Committee and Mr. Brammananda Swamy Nadar became its Secretary. With the help and interest of these members who hailed from South Travancore, a new mandapam was built for the temple.
As a matter of fact, there was no road or path-ways then to reach this temple. With the efforts of the local people and by the grace of Lord Muruga, two roads were laid, one through Kalpadi and another from Manavilai to reach the base of the hill. There was a great hurdle to construct the eastern side road. The lands spread on the eastern side of the hill belonged to Dr. Chellakkan from Nagercoil. The eastern road from Manavilai was laid up to the boundary of Dr. Chellakkan.
Mr. Palani Appan, son of Arumughan, who was a staunch believer of Muruga led a delegation to Nagercoil, met the doctor and explained to him that a road had already been constructed up to his plot. They requested him to part with some area of his plot so that the already constructed road could be extended up to the Sannidhanam of the temple. He did not accept their request. Again Mr. Gnayam Pillai Nadar, a pious teacher from Manavilai, personally requested Dr. Chellakkan to donate a piece of his land stating the social, cultural and religious need of the public.
Though he was a rich man having several acres of land there, he flatly denied their request and the delegation and the teacher returned with broken hearts. On the same night, the doctor had a miraculous dream in which Lord Muruga appeared before him and instructed to donate the land for the extension of the road to reach the temple. He summoned the members next day and narrated them the dream that he had seen the previous day. He came forward to give his land for the road purpose. Thus, the first road was formed to reach the Temple of Muruga at Vellimalai.
Birthplace of Valli:
It is popularly believed that Valli was born here, and raised by a tribal king and she got married to Lord Murugan in a Love marriage. Nonetheless, similar story is associated with another namesake place, Vallimalai in Vellore district and Thiruthani of Tiruvallur district in the far north of Tamil Nadu.
How to Reach:
The Temple is located at about 5 Kms from Eraniel, 7 Kms from Manavalakurichi, 10 Kms from Mandaikadu, 10 Kms from Thuckalay, 12 Kms from Colachel, 14 Kms from Nagercoil, 15 Kms from Villukuri, 5 Kms from Thingal Nagar, 7 Kms from Muttom, 32 Kms from Kanyakumari and 72 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. The frequent bus facilities are available to this temple from Nagercoil, Monday Market Bus Terminals. Apart from this, mini bus-services also touch this spot. Nearest Railway Station is located at Eraniel and Nearest Airport is located Thiruvananthapuram.