Palani is one of the important pilgrim place for Hindus. Palani Murugan (Kartikeya) temple is very famous among Hindu religion. People come by walk (bare footed) to take darshan of Lord Murugan. Devotees going to Shabarimalai also visit Palani on their way to take blessings of Lord Murugan.
Palani is located in Dindigul district of Tamilnadu state in India. Both Palani hills and Kodaikanal hills are at the backdrop of the Palani temple (South side). Lord Murugan temple is on a small hill. This hill is called Shivagiri. At the foot hill, there is also one more temple (locals say, it is the main temple) dedicated to Lord Muruga. Beside this temple, Lord Ganesha temple is also located. Before climibing the hill, main pooja is performed here. There will be huge gathering at this place and entry into the steps is a little difficult sometimes. The main temple is called, Palani Arulmigu Dhandayudhapani temple. The temple hill is surrounded by a circular road (also called Giri (means temple) Veedhi (means road). Here devotees pay their prayers through singing and dancing while making rounds around the temple hill. This road reaches to other places via connecting or bypassing roads. Palani is the main door way to Kodaikanal (65Kms).
There are four ways to reach the hill top temple. Two different step ways are there, left one is like a ramp with less slope which is very easy to climb. Right side steps are a little steep, approximately 650 - 700 steps are there. If you don't have problem in climbing, take the right one to reach the top faster. It takes 20 - 30 minutes to climb the hill. Drinking water and wash room (toilet) facilities are available for the entire foot-steps way.
Winch and Rope way
There is a winch facility to reach the hill top. Winch charges is INR 50 (special line) and INR 10 (normal line) per head. There are two Winches, first one Total 36 people and second winch 32 people can sit at a time. Winch travel time is around 10 minutes one way.
There is a rope way (Cable car). It takes less than 5 minutes to get into hill top. cable car charges INR 50 (special que) or INR 15 (normal que) per head.
Cable car (Rope way) timings at Palani temple - 7.00am to 21.00pm
For both Winch and Rope way, there will be huge rush during special puja days and holidays. It may take 1-2 Hours to get into climbing. Consider climbing the steps (preferably left side way) for faster darshan.
The place in front of the temple is very small considering the number of devotees visiting the temple. The surrounding is neat and clean. There is a traditional bronze bell at the entrance and a spectacular view of mountains (Sun set is gorgeous) can be seen from here. You will find many people sleeping at this area when they are waiting for darshan. Entry to the inside Garbha Griham is through different doors which depends on the free darshan or the amount paid for special darshan. Don't entertain people who offer you faster darshan at an additional cost. Special darshan tickets can be purchased either at the main area outside the Garbha griham or inside itself while standing in the qeue. Limited people will be allowed at a time from various doors to avoid rush inside. People can see Golden Gopuram at the top. Photography (Camera and Mobile) is strictly phohibited in this area.
Various poojas are performed at the temple premesis. Contact the temple management for timings and cost of each puja. The cost of each pooja varies with season (normal and special days). Various types of Archana and Abhishekas are done. There will be a Golden Chariot procession everyday. Take care of your children if you want to participate in the procession as there will be very huge crowd.
Free and special darshan 6.00am to 20.30 pm. Special days temple will be opened at 4.00am.
Winch timings at Palani temple- 5.30am to 21.00pm normal days and 3.30am to 21.00pm during festival and special days.
There are people (locals) who take you to the temple top on personal payment basis. The cost varies from INR 500 to 1000 per person depending on the season. The cost is only for taking you to the hill top. Darshan entry fee is separate.
Temple entry fee: There is free entry. Paid entry fees (separate entry) is different for normal days and special days. It is INR 5, 10, 15, 25, 100 and 150 during normal days and just double the fees during special days.
There is an earmarked parking place for vehicles. It will be difficult to find parking place during special days. Toilet facility along with bath rooms are available at all directions.
Food and Accomodation at Palani:
Traditional Idli, Dosa and Puri items are available everywhere at a very reasonable price. At Odd hours private canteens are run.
Accomodation at Palani: Temple accomodation facility is available at various places surrounding the hill. Advance booking facility is available. Type of accomodation includes, cottages, lodges, special and delux rooms. The cost varies from INR 150 to INR 1500 depending upon the type of accomodation. Private lodges are also available but the cost depends upon the season.
How to reach Palani:
By Road: Palani is 55Kms from Dindigul, 65 Kms from Kodaikonal, 110Kms from Madurai, 190 Kms from Ooty (Via Coimbatore and Pollachi)
By Rail: Palani Railway station
By Air: Nearest Airport is Coimbatore - 100Kms and Madurai 110Kms.