Located in the Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu Palani is a beautiful hill station, the hills of which are part of the oldest mountain range in India. The name of the town is derived from the two Tamil words ‘Pazham’ which means ‘fruit’ and ‘Nee’ meaning you. The mountain range on which the picturesque town is located dates back to the Pre Cambrian period.
The terrain is hillier than mountainous and is located in the eastern part of the Western Ghats. The hills are home to several nomadic Paliyan tribes. Palani gathers worldwide attention as a holy place, and it is believed that Lord Murugan had settled here. The shrine of Palani Dhandayuthapani Swami Murugan, popularly known as the Murugan Temple, can be found atop a hill. The Kurinji Andavar Temple, another popular religious attraction of the region, can also be seen from here.
A Land with Rich History
References of this place can be found in several holy texts. Palani was under the rule of the kings of Madurai and Coimbatore during different points of history. The architecture of the Goddess Periyanayaki Amman temple shows the influence of both the Pandya and Nayaka kings.
In the 18th century the place was under the rule of Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan who in return of a nominal tribute let the Palayakarars of Balasamudram rule. It was then handed over to the British during the time of colonial reign.
Palani is home to several temples including one of the most sacred shrines of God Subramanyan, Palani Dhandayuthapani Temple. Thiruvaavinankudi temple, Idumban Temple, Pada Vinayakar Temple dedicated to God Ganapati, Periya Nayaki Amman Temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati, Periyan Avudaiyar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Kannadi Perumal temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu are some of the famous temples in the region.
Several festivals such as Thaipusam, Vaikasi Vishakam and Thirukartikai which are celebrated in Palani with much pomp and glory also manage to draw many tourists.
The place is also a paradise for birdwatchers. Numerous birds such as night herons, egrets and golden-backed woodpeckers can be found commonly in the region. The hilly terrain and the exotic natural beauty also attract several hikers, backpackers and trekkers.
Travelling to Palani is not very difficult. The closest airport to Palani is Coimbatore airport which is at a distance of about 100 km. Taxies and buses are easily available from here to Palani.
The Palani railway station is also connected Coimbatore and Madurai which in turn connects it to all major cities in India. State transport buses as well as private buses ply from Palani to other cities of Tamil Nadu.
The summers in Palani can be extremely hot which makes travelling very uncomfortable while monsoons receive average rainfall. The best time of the year to visit Palani is during the winters when the temperature is mild and pleasant. Several festivals are celebrated during those months make the place look spectacular.