INTRODUCTION OF THE TEMPLE!
Arulmigu Arumugaswamy Dhevasthanam is the only Murugan temple in the small northern state of PERLIS. This majestic temple is unique in its own way as this temple is one of the few temples in the world where Lord Muruga is in his battle form. The mighty general ( Senapathi ) presides here as Lord ARUMUGASWAMY; the six faced one with twelve hands with his two Sakthis, Sri Valli ( Icha Sakthi ) and Sri Devayanai ( Kriya Sakthi ) as the MOOLA MOORTHI in the main moolasthanam.
HIS majestic statue made from “Karungkal” is in a unique pose where HE is seeing the whole world from one place. HIS three faces are facing forward and the other three faces are facing the back. The human body is divided into six portions; body (Dhea); life-force (Prana); senses (Indrias); mind (Manas); intelligence (Budi) and ego (Ahamkar). The six rays that proceed from the divine light Shiva Sakthi represent these aspects and manifest as light and life in all the six layers. The divine effulgence flows through the six facets of the human complex and hence HE is SHANMUGAM or the six faced one.
Each of HIS twelve hands holds a weapon of each DEVA for HE is the mighty general ( Senapathi ) who suppress the asuras. Sri Valli is the personification of Icha Sakthi or energy that concerns with creativity. Sri Devayanai is the personification of Kriya Sakthi or the operating power or energy with which HE affects the evolution of the universe. HE is LORD ARUMUGASWAMY, the protector of HINDUS of PERLIS.
The need for a place of worship for Hindus in Kangar was first mooted in 1965 by a group of devotees. These seven individuals who are the founders of this temple were the late M.K Govindasamy, the late M. Ramasamy, the late S. Sathasivam, the late P. Sababathi, the late V Govindasamy Naidu, the late KG Rao and Sri M Alagumalai. The first meeting was held on 3rd. June 1965 at 8 pm in the house of the late S. Sadasivam in Arau, Perlis. In this meeting, it was decided to build a temple in Kangar, the state capital of Perlis since there was no temple there. This was the first instance where the initiation of a temple was first planned.
On 2nd. July 1965, the first general gathering of all Indians was held in the Perlis Indian Association premises and Dr. R Sivasambathan chaired the meeting. A committee was formed for this noble project. However, Dr. R Sivasambanthan was transferred to Penang shortly after the formation of the committee and the late Mr. V.K Govindasamy Naidu was appointed as the chairman of the committee to continue this project. The temple was registered as Sri Subramaniaswamy Devasthanam.
At this juncture, Mr. S.P.L.P Palaniappa Chettiar donated a piece of land for this project. Since the land was not suitable for the construction of a temple, he decided to fully sponsor the Moolamoorthi – Sri ARUMUGASWAMY, Sri. VALLI, Sri DHEVAYANAI, Mayil Vaghanam and the Pali Peedam from Tamil Nadu, INDIA. He also gave a teak wood framed photo of Lord THANDAYUTHABANI which was used by his ancestors in BURMA, which was around 80 years old at that time.
The committee approached the Perlis state Menteri Besar, the late YAB Dato’ Sheikh Ahmad b. Mohd. Hashim for assistance and the present site where the temple is located was given to the temple as it was a state land. Financial assistance was also given by the Federal Government totaling RM 25,000.00. All of this was made possible by the generous help which was given by the late YAB Dato’ Sheikh Ahmad. This piece of mangrove swamp was cleared and filled with rocks and earth from the nearby hill and river by the Kangar and Arau Indians.
On 11th. July 1968, the foundation stone was laid down for the construction of this temple by the late Tun V.T Sambanthan. Still, for the completion of the temple there was insufficient fund. The Menteri Besar was once more approached, who again arranged state fund of another RM 15,000.00. Together with donations from all over the country, the dream temple had become a reality.
On Sunday, 14th. JUNE 1970 @ 8.36 am, the First Kumbabishegam was held. The official opening ceremony was done by the honorable the late YAB Dato’ Sheikh Ahmad, Perlis Menteri Besar at 11.15 am.
On 28th. January 1972, the 1st. General Meeting was held and the late V. Govindasamy Naidu was elected as the first President and a management committee was also elected. As the first project of the new committee, they built a surrounding wall around the compound. They also purchased a “Panchaloga” statue of Lord Subramaniaswamy for the procession during the annual Vaigasi Vishagam festival. The construction of a Navagraha sannithi within the temple compound was made possible by the generous donation of Ir. Senthilthran, who was then the JKR engineer. The consecration ceremony was done on 14th. May 1975.
A significant landmark in the history of this temple was established on 15th. December 1981 when His Holiness, the late Swami Kirubanantha Varriyar visited the temple for the first time. It was indeed an honor and blessing for us the Hindus of Perlis to be able to sit down and listen to his speech and get his blessings. In 1983, the first temple president passed away while in the office. He was replaced by Sri M Alagumalai as the second president. However during this period from 1983 to 1986, the temple committee was deregistered by the Registrar of Societies.
On 20th. March 1987, a general meeting which was open to all Hindus in Perlis was arranged and conducted by the Registrar of Societies in the Dewan Tapian Gelangang, Kangar, Perlis. More than 900 people attended this meeting to elect a new president and management committee. Sri Ramayya Narasamullo Naidu was elected as the new president with a majority vote. He is still currently the temple president till 2009.
The new temple committee was reregistered and the preparations and renovation works were commenced for the consecration ceremony. After some major renovation works were completed with the financial assistance of RM 60,000.00 from the state government, the consecration ceremony was planned. The Second Kumbabishegam was held on 1st. JULY 1988 @ 9.30am which was conducted by Sri Krishnamoorthi Iyer and Sri Gopalakrishna Gurukal.
On 30th. July 1992, we were again blessed by the visit of His Holiness, the late Swami Kirubanantha Varriyar for a second time. He was very much impressed and happy with the changes that had taken place in the temple. He also reminded us to take great care of this majestic temple as he said that there were only few temples in the world that had Lord Shanmuga, the six faced one in HIS current form as the moolamoorthi.
In mid 1990’s, an individual donor Smt. A Susila Ramayya donated a GOLDEN VEL to the temple. This GOLDEN VEL has been since used in many major temple festivals and is especially used for the yearly Vaigasi Vishagam chariot procession. In 1997, a small hall was constructed with a cost of RM 60,000.00. The next year in 1998, a general store room, a kitchen, a public toilet and a house for the temple gurukal was built costing RM 50,000.00.
The temple’s name was changed after it was unanimously agreed by the management committee. It was changed from Sri Subramaniaswamy Devastanam to Arulmigu Arumugaswamy Dhevasthanam, Kangar, Perlis after it was approved by the Registrar of Society on 1st. April 2002. This was in conjunction with the main statue and the specialty of this temple.
In 2002, the whole temple was again renovated with many changes which were done according to the Hindu Agamam. Since there were slight cracks on the statues of Sri Valli, Sri Devayanai and the Navagrahangal, new statues were replaced which were made in India. These statues were fully sponsored by our generous donors.
The Third Kumbabishegam was held on 11th. SEPTEMBER 2002 @ 10.30am and was conducted by Sri Gopalakrishna Gurukal. The complete cost of this works and ceremony came to RM 200,000.00 which was completely funded by the generous donations of devotees and well wishers from all around Malaysia.
In the year 2003, the temple website was created by Dr. Hari Ram Ramayya and was officially launched on Vaigasi Vishagam day on 12th. June 2003.
In early 2004, a group of Murugan devotees headed by Dr. Hari Ram Ramayya had approached the temple management and expressed their desire to donate a wooden chariot for the use during the Vaigasi Vishagam procession. The temple management was very grateful and had given their full approval for this project. The chariot was built in Sri Lanka by Sri Jeyakanthan of Jenna Handicraft located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The chariot was made from a mixture of teak, mahogany and sandal wood. The 6 corridor chariot was built according to the Agamam and was constructed specially for Lord Arumugaswamy and HIS consorts. The total cost for the project was RM 45,000.00.
Another individual donor, Smt. A. Susila Ramayya had donated a new statue made out of “Panchaloga” which were to be used as the new procession statues replacing the old Lord Subramaniam statue. This beautifully and intricately carved majestic statue was of Lord ARUMUGAM with HIS two consorts Sri Valli Amman & Sri Devayanai Amman were made in Sri Lanka under the care of our previous temple gurukal; Sri Balasubramania Iyer. The total weight of the statues was 270kg and the total cost for the statues was RM 20,000.00. This statue is deemed to be the biggest and heaviest Arumugum statue in Malaysia and maybe in South East Asia as well as HE stands at 4 feet in height.
The Kumbabishegam ceremony for the stabhanam of the new statues were conducted on 21st. May 2004 @ 11.30am by Sri Gopalakrishna Gurukal. For the first time in the history of our temple, the Thirukalyanam ceremony for LORD SHANMUKANATHA and HIS consorts was held on the 21st. May 2004 starting in the evening 5.30pm. This was followed by the Thiruoonjal ceremony. What a beautiful sight it was seeing our MURUGAN and HIS consorts swinging gracefully and showering HIS blessings to the devotees.
The new chariot was assembled in the temple premises by Sri Jeyakanthan once the shipment had arrived from Sri Lanka. The Vellottom ceremony for the new chariot was performed during Brahma mugurthum in the early hours on 31st. May 2004. A small procession of the new chariot carrying the GOLDEN VEL around the temple was held soon after the Kumbabishegam for the chariot.
The 2004 Vaigasi Vishagam festival was indeed a history making event. On Vaigasi Vishagam day which fell on 1st. June 2004, the SHANMUGA Archanai was conducted in this temple on the new statue of LORD SHANMUGAM. The chariot procession was held on 2nd. June 2004. It was the first time in the history of the state of Perlis that the new chariot carrying the majestic statues of Lord ARUMUGA with HIS consorts Sri Valli & Sri Devayanai made a grand tour of Kangar town. The chariot was pulled by two enormous bulls which were specially brought in from Butterworth, Penang. This was indeed a beautiful sight to watch and will be remembered for a long time. All of these were done according to our HINDU Agamam.
Skanda Sashti festival was celebrated in a grand scale ceremony on 16th. November 2004 as it was the first time that the Soora Samhara festival was conducted in full accordance of our HINDU Agamam with the mighty Seenapathi; LORD SHANMUGASWAMY in HIS full battle gear came out to demolish the Asurar; Soorapathman. The wooden statue of Soorapathma was made in Sri Lanka by Sri Jeyakanthan and was specially flown in for this festival. The entire battle scene was enacted by the youths of this temple who have been a pillar of strength for the temple. The ceremony was witnessed by many devotees for the first time in this temple history.
The Kartigai Theebam festival was also celebrated in grand manner with the LORD ARUMUGASWAMY with HIS consorts were taken around the temple in a procession seated on a Mayil vaganam. This peacock carving was also crafted in Sri Lanka by Sri Jeyakanthan and was shipped together with the chariot.
On 29th. January 2005, the temple was visited by Sri Carl Vadivel Belle, a great MURUGAN devotee from Australia. He was on his pilgrimage to Malaysia for Thaipusam and made a visit to our temple. He was very impressed with the temple and he felt a mystical aura when he came into the temple.
We have completed the construction of the ground floor of a multi purpose hall which will serve as a wedding hall as well as an information centre for Hindus in Perlis. We hope to complete this 3 storey hall in the future once money is available. This magnificent temple is indeed a rare and auspicious temple with many unexplainable events and mysterious occurrences which have taken place. It is our desire that all Hindus in Malaysia and the world over come and experience the mystical powers and get the blessings of LORD ARUMUGASWAMY.
VETRIVEL ARUMUGANNUKU AROGHARA!!!