by Uma Shankari on 14/08/12 at 12:35 pm
Thanneermalai Murugan Temple in Penang, Malyasia, has been renovated recently.
The recently consecrated Bala Dandayuthapani temple is set to be a new tourist attraction in Penang, Malaysia, as the biggest temple to Lord Subramanya or Muruga outside India.
The Temple is built under the guidance of the world renowned temple architect and Vaastu expert Dr.V.Ganapati Sthapati in compliance with all the stipulated scriptural procedures and has been blessed by Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swami, the 69th Pontiff of the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. The temple is reminiscent of the Chola and Pallava temple architectures of India.
The main temple and the other ancillary temples are located in a spacious, wooded and a hilly 20,000-sq-ft area with about 500 steps leading to it from the foothill.
The main gateway is about 21.6m in height which is equivalent to a seven-storey high building. Visitors entering the temple’s 70,000sq ft grounds will be greeted by a majestic 8.23m-tall statue of Lord Shiva at the foot of the hill.
There are eleven different floral designs on the ceiling with that of a peacock facing the Sanctum where the idol of Lord Murugan is installed.
The temple can accommodate up to 700,000 visitors, a number expected for every Thaipusam Festival. The maha mandapam, the pillared outer hall, is huge enough for performing public rituals.
Earlier History of the Temple
The temple has been under construction for more than ten years, and was consecrated on June 29th this year. You can see the old Bala-dandayuthapani temple on the way to the new temple. This temple dates from 1850 AD, when the British authorities took over the site of the original Bala-dandayuthapani Temple, and provided the Hindus the present eleven-acre plot of hillside land for their temple.
Until recently, the Hindus from Malaysia/ Singapore celebrated the annual festival known as Thaipusam to commemorate the victory of Lord Murugan over the demon Tarakasuran. Devotees and penitents can be seen bearing kavadis, and piercing their bodies with hooks and spears as an act of faith and atonement.
This festival attracts several thousands of people, and the temple could not handle the crowd effectively. The temple authorities considered expanding the temple premises at first. Consultants engaged in the study discovered that the temple was sited over several subterranean springs. So the temple authorities decided to relocate the Balathandayuthapani temple to a new, bigger and safer location.
The Original Temple Structure at the Water Falls
The original Balathandayuthapani Temple was at the base of the waterfall at the Penang Botanical Gardens and was the main temple for the worship of Murugan until 1850 AD, when it had to be relocated to the afore-mentioned eleven-acre plot of land along the then Waterfall Road when the British administration took over the area to establish a reservoir.
The original temple had been in existence even before 1782 AD. Francis Light writes that since the early 1800s, the early settlers from Tamil Nadu celebrated Thaipusam festival as has been verified by British records and local newspapers.