The Hindu people are intense about their religion, and take
some extraordinary measures to display their devotion. A good example is
the Thaipusam festival. Thaipusam is the feast for the son of Shiva, Lord
Subramanya. Celebrations of this festival are carried out at almost all
the temples of Lord Subramanya. This festival is celebrated in the month
Thaipusam is a festival from Tamil Nadu associated with penance and atonement. Lord Subramanya is the universal granter of wishes. All those who wish to ask for a future favor, fulfill a vow in return for a granted favor, or to repent for past sins participate in this festival (basically, all Hindus fall in one of these groups). Devotees walk long distances, carrying offerings, to reach the temple of the Lord. Many devotees raise the stakes by entering a trance, and piercing their bodies with skewers.
To the uninitiated Thaipusam is a stunning, totally unexpected assault on the senses. Hair-raising sights of human bodies covered in hooks, which anchor huge Kavadis (ritualistic yokes) balanced on heads and cheeks pierced with small spears, wooden tongues and arrows. The most elaborate Kavadis can weigh as much as 80 pounds, a platform ornately decorated with peacock feathers, Christmas decorations, even plastic dolls!
Celebration At Palani
At Palani Thaipusam is a ten-day festival held in the Periyanayaki temple. Since the festival falls in January - the post harvest season, the exuberance of the agriculturists and their lusty participation lends unique splendour to the temple. The most remarkable feature of this festival is the parading devout 'Bhaktas' (devotees) bearing Kavadis.
The yellow robed 'Bhaktas' coming from several distant places dance their way through the streets to reach the Muruga Sannidhi to the accompaniment of music, both instrumental and vocal. Many strangely and ghastly traditions, like the lips pierced with mini silver lance, and locking of the mouth with metal ring to maintain perfect silence and drawing of small make shift chariot with its chain hooked into the back of devotees strike the eye of spectator during the festival.
Air: The nearest airport is at
Madurai, at a distance of
Rail: There is a railway station at Palani but it is advisable to travel upto Dindigal or Madurai by train and take bus or taxi to reach Palani. Madurai and Dindigal stations are well connected with Chennai, Bangalore, Salem, Coimbatore and other important cities/towns in Tamil Nadu.
Road: Palani is well connected by road with all-important cities/towns in Tamil Nadu. There are frequent buses to Madurai, Coimbatore, Chennai, and Dindigal, etc.
Accommodation is available at the moderate class hotels, economy class hotels and lodges, Devasthanam cottages and choultries in Palani.