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 Mahadeva Malai Temple, Vellore

Mahadeva Malai Temple is a Shiva temple that is located in the Mahadeva Malai Hills in Kankuppam village, Vellore district, in Tamil Nadu. The temple lies west of Katpadi. It stands on the hill-top and is built of a single stone. The Mahadeva Malai Temple was built by a trader of the Pandya kingdom and is said to be 500 years old. Shiva’s consort here is in the form of Goddess Kamakshi.

 Mahadeva Malai Temple, Vellore

The Legend behind Mahadeva Malai Temple
Once, there was a merchant who was a great devotee of Shiva. He wanted to have a Darshan of Shiva and offered prayers. He was told to go on a pilgrimage to Kalahasthi on the day of Maha Shivratri. The merchant left soon after. En route to his destination, he reached a place called K.V. Kuppam, and as he was unsure of the route, he made enquiries about the route to Kalahasthi and learned that he was quite far away from his destination.

But Maha Shivratri was on that day. The merchant was deeply disappointed when he realized that he would not be able to reach Kalahasthi in time. As he was wondering what to do, an elderly man approached him and promised him a view of God. The two men then went to a hill, where the elderly man revealed his true form. He was Shiva himself! The merchant was overcome with awe and delight. Shiva told the merchant to build a temple in that spot. The village where Shiva met the merchant later came to be known as Keezh Vazhi Thunai Kuppam.

History of Mahadeva Malai Temple

Mahananda Siddha was a merchant who traded in turmeric. He was born in Dharmapuri district on December 6, 1930. When he was 35 years old, he undertook the task of renovating several temples across Tamil Nadu. He also started the practice of Annadaanam (feeding the poor) at the Lokuvakulam Bhradwajeeswarar temple at Kalahasti (in Andhra Pradesh).

Shiva appeared to him in a dream on the night of December 25, 2002. He told Mahananda that he was very fortunate to have been born a Siddha and that he would live for 1000 years. He then told him to proceed to Mahadeva Mount and dwell in a cave. Shiva vanished after saying, “Worship me and protect devotees.”

So, Mahananda Siddha made his way to Mahadeva Mount, where Shiva appeared before him once more. The deity told him to cleanse himself only on the first day of Chithirai month. He also told him not to seek alms from anyone as there was a lot of wealth there. Mahananda Siddha’s task was to protect the living creatures on the mountain from diseases and suffering. He was also to refrain from eating any food or drinking water. Then Shiva vanished again.

Mahananda Siddha is still living here without taking any food or water. He has been like this for many years. He meditates by lying on fire to receive Prana (life force), and Amrit (nectar) flows from his mouth. This is his sole food. He worships the idol of Shiva with fresh flowers and leaves. Mahananda Swami’s head resembles a serpent with five heads, the one on the head of Shiva. The Siddha built steps to enable devotees to ascend the hill and worship Shiva at the Mahadeva Malai Temple. He also offers food to large numbers of devotees daily.

The Architecture of Mahadeva Malai Temple
The Mahadeva Malai Temple is in the Dravidian architectural style. Shiva is the presiding deity. There is a huge idol of Dakshinamoorthy here and also an idol of Kali Amman. The Dwajasthambam stands in front of the Mandapam, and there is a meditation hall as well. One can see a temple tank on the premises.

An arch welcomes devotees and visitors to the temple at the 19th kilometer on the Gudiyatham highway. From Gudiyatham town, the welcome arch to the Mount is 11 km on the way to Katpadi.

Significance of Mahadeva Malai Temple
The Shiva Lingam, which is the presiding deity, and the Nandi (Shiva’s mount) are both Swayambu (self-manifested). The temple has a serene atmosphere, and devotees experience a sense of peace at the temple. The positive vibrations within the temple premises makes them feel that their prayers will be heard by the deity.

Benefits of Worshipping at Mahadeva Malai Temple
Devotees believe that by visiting and worshipping at the Mahadeva Malai Temple, they can gain Moksha (salvation). Shiva is regarded as the divine healer. So, those who are suffering from various ailments come to the Mahadeva Malai Temple and make offerings to Shiva, hoping to be cured of their ailments. Also, those who are facing financial problems like debt and bankruptcy visit the temple and worship Shiva to get relief from them. There are also people who pray for blessings like knowledge and academic success. Some offer prayers and Pooja before they buy a vehicle.

Festivals at Mahadeva Malai Temple
The Maha Shivratri festival is celebrated grandly in February-March every year at the Mahadeva Malai Temple.