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Swamimalai - Piety, Pilgrimage And Pious Pondering


Swamimalai is a town situated close to Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Literally translated, Swamimalai means “God’s Mountain” and the influence of a divine presence is clear to see in and around this settlement.

One of the six Padai Veedugal, or Battle Camps of the Lord Murugan, Swamimalai houses the only school that teaches the craft of bronze coins in the state. Rice and sugar cane are the two main crops produced in the town whose economy is essentially agrarian in nature. Swamimalai was originally known as Tiruverakam.

Historical Background

Located on the banks of a tributary of the river Cauvery, Swamimalai has the fourth among six temples (Padal Petra Sthalangal) of Lord Karthikeya (otherwise known as Lord Murugan). The legend associated with this shrine is that the Lord Murugan explained the true meaning of “Om”, the sacred Pranava mantra to his father, Lord Shiva.

In the raja gopuram of the temple complex, Lord Murugan is, thus, depicted as Guru or teacher whilst the recipient of this knowledge, Lord Shiva, is shown as shishya or disciple. The name Swamimalai came into being as a result of this legend and the presiding deity of the temple came to known as Swaminathan.

Tourist Places In And Around Swamimalai

The proximity of Swamimalai to the temple township of Kumbakonam invariably attracts a thick inflow of pilgrims to the town. Many well-known festivals are held in Swamimalai and some these include the Temple Car Festival in April and the Panguni Uthiram Festival in March.

Other notable festivals conducted are the Visakam Festival (in the month of May) and in October, the Skanda Sashti Festival.

Best Time To Visit Swamimalai

The best time to visit Swamimalai would be between October and March

How To Reach Swamimalai

Tourist planning to visit Swamimalai can reach via air, road and train.

Swamimalai is Famous for

Swamimalai Weather

Best Season / Best Time to Visit Swamimalai

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How to Reach Swamimalai

  • By Road
    The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation has buses that connect Swamimalai to almost all the major cities of the state. One can avail of regular buses to Swamimalai from Kumbakonam, Trichy, Chidambaram and Chennai. As this is a popular religious spot for tourists, the number of buses varies from season to season depending on festivals, poojas, etc being held.
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  • By Train
    Kumbakonam Railway Station is the nearest station to Swamimalai and it lies at a distance of 8 kilometers from Swamimalai city. Trains from Quilon, Tirupathi, Chennai and Rameshwaran are frequent to the Kumbakonam station. Both taxis and buses are available from Kumbakonam to Swamimalai.
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  • By Air
    The nearest airport to Swamimalai is in Trichy, and it is situated at a distance of 85 kilometers away. The closest international airport is at Chennai, at a distance of about 264 kilometers from Swamimalai. Taxis from Trichy to Swamimalai cost around Rs. 1,000 while from Chennai to the same destination, the rate is around Rs. 3000.
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