Murugan Temple in Ooty: Worth your Bucket List
The Nilgiris boast nature’s bliss, amazing weather and lip-smacking food culture, together which make the hills a popular tourist destination. Over time Ooty’s popularity rose by many folds and the town has more commercialized spots than before. Nonetheless among the less crowded, peaceful places in Ooty, do check out Murugan Temple on this lush green hillslope.
Why is Murugan Temple unique?
We are sure you have seen or heard about the tall golden statue in Malaysia’s Batu Caves. Lord Murugan idol there at 140 feet is the tallest Murugan statue in the world which draws thousands of tourists every day. The one in Ooty looks like a replica of the above but shorter in height. Towering at 40 feet this is the second tallest Murugan statue after Batu Caves. The Elk Hill Temple is dedicated to Lord Karthikeya who is popularly known as Murugan.
The gorgeous location of Murugan Temple
The Murugan Temple in Ooty perched on Elk Hill is surrounded by unspoiled flora and miles of natural beauty. Away from the hustle bustle of the city, located in a calm place, the temple is the most tranquil spot in Ooty. The absence of commercial activities or establishments around make it more desirable for those on a spiritual sojourn.
A flight of around 300 steps takes you to the entrance of the temple that is the abode of Shiva, Goddess Sati, Lord Ganesha and navagrahas. As you ascend the stairs, the idol of Lord Murugan on the right in the open space appears partially. Take your shoes off at this spot to enter the temple or to directly go to the open space. Panoramic vistas of the hills and the view of Ooty from the temple are breathtaking. We were lucky to find no crowd that day since it had rained in the past two days. The misty skies amid the calming atmosphere left us awe inspired.
Interesting history of the temple you didn’t know
The other name for Murugan Temple is Baladandapani Swami Temple. It is said to be 500 years old. The ancient name of Elk Hills was Mankundram. As the legends have it, Lord Murugan once appeared in the dream of a childless couple who were unble to visit Palani to seek the deity’s blessings. Lord Murugan or Muruga asked them to build a temple in his name in the hills. The couple obliged the detity’s wish and constructed the temple on the Makundram Hills. Elk (deer) found abundantly here in the forest gave the name Elk Hills.
Other things in Murugan Temple in Ooty
To the left of the temple is an ancient bell which seemed neglected. The unkempt grass here hinted low footfall to the left of the temple. To the right in the open space stands the Murugan idol. Further right to this sacred space is the living quarters of the temple staff. P.S-Please do not photograph them without their consent.
The temple is under CCTV surveillance. Photographing deity inside the temple is not permitted. Though there was not a single person present in the temple, we did not violate the rules and did not photograph the deity. You can only photograph Lord Murugan statue outside.
How to reach Murugan Temple in Ooty
Merely 1km the famous Rose Garden and 4km from the railway station, a good motorable road connects Murugan Temple to Ooty. You can easily get an auto or taxi. You can reach there by you own vehicle. There is a huge free parking space next to the premises. One can also hike up the hill to visit the temple.
The temple welcomes visitors between 9am an 6pm.
Takeaway from Murugan Temple in Ooty
The temple teaches how humans and animals can peacefully coexist. You can spend 30 minutes to an hour here. A sense of calm will prevail the moment you reach here. Not just the magnificent statue overwhelms you but the tranquil view also connects you to your higher self. Take home magical memories from here that you’d cherish forever.