Population: As of 2001 India census, Palani had a population of 67,175. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%
Besides numerous government and private schools, the Devasthanam Board runs several institutions of higher education.
Sri Subramaniya College of Engineering and Technology is an institute of higher technical education located near Palani on the way towards Udumalpet.
Palani is a centre of a form of traditional Indian medicine known as Siddha Vaidyam, said to have been developed by the ascetics resident, in prehistoric times, in the hills about the modern-day town. Further, the town is also the centre for production of vibhuthi (sacred ash) and pancha amritham (literally, 'the five nectars' - a traditional preparation of fruit pulp and molasses), both of which are considered holy and distributed to devotees after being offered to the Lord Subrahmanyan in the hill-temple.
Textile mills, manufacture of panchamirtham, production of vibhuti (sacred ash), making of steel furniture at Govt. pressed metal factory, manufacture of fruit juices and of stone grinders.
Geography:. Lat (DMS), 10° 28' 0N, Long (DMS), 77° 31' 60E,
Tourism: . Palani is home to one of the most sacred shrines of the God Subrahmanyan, as worshipped in the Hindu cult of Koumaram. The Dhandayudhapani Temple dedicated to Lord Murugan, and regarded one of his Arupadai Veedu (Six Battle Camps), is situated here. The temple situated atop the Sivagiri is small but attracts a flood of devotees from all over the country. The architecture of the temple appears to be of the Pandya school. The Garbagriham is surmounted by a gold gopuram, most admirably worked. Steps are hewn into the rock, besides a wide path meant for the ascent of elephants, up the hill. In addition, a funicular railway with three tracks and a rope-way have been provided more recently for the comfort of the pilgrims.
In keeping with the traditions of all temples of the God Subrahmanyan, another temple is dedicated to his worship near the foot of the Sivagiri. It goes by the name of Thiru Avinankudi, and is remarkable for the exquisite appearance of the chief deity besides other sculptures.
Besides this, right at the foot of the Sivagiri is a small shrine dedicated to the god Ganapathi, where he goes by the name Pada Vinayakar. It is common amongst the pilgrims to pay their obeisances at this shrine before commencing their ascent of the hill to worship the Lord Subrahmanyan. A particular offering here is the breaking of coconuts, by flinging them against an enclosed stone before the shrine, of which many hundreds are broken by the devotees in the course of a day.
Within the town is another temple dedicated to the Goddess Parvathi as Periyanayaki Amman. It popularly goes by the name of the Oorkovil - the town's chief temple. A particularly intriguing aspect of the temple is that, although it is referred to as the temple of Periyanayaki Amman, the central sanctum, the sanctum of supreme honour in Hindu temple architecture, is accorded to the Lord Subrahmanyan. The temple is large in expanse and displays an interesting blend of Pandya and Nayaka architecture. A tradition associated with the temple is that, formerly, a subterranean passage connected it with the Periya Avudaiyar temple some distance from the town, and was used to convey the idols under a peculiar circumstance of duress - when a Nawab attacked; however, beyond the fact, obvious from his title, that he was a Muslim, nothing is known of the Nawab or of his attack. Some evidence may be said to exist of an attack since some of the sculptures in the Nayaka mandapam in front of the temple have their limbs missing.
A short distance from the town is a temple dedicated to Shiva as Periya Avudaiyar. This temple, located right on the banks of the Shanmugha Nadi, is situated in particularly peaceful environs far-removed from the bustle of the town.
Near the Periya Nayaki Amman temple are two others - the Mariyamman Temple and the Perumal Temple. The former is particularly resorted to in times of epidemics, the goddess there being regarded as the protectress against illnesses.
The Kannadi Perumal Temple, dedicated to Vishnu, is a small temple situated on a hillock 9 km south of Palani, a short distance from the highway to Kodaikanal. The name of the temple is derived from its tradition that the presiding deity of the temple wards off the effects of dhrishti, a Sanskritic term which may be held to mean 'casting an evil eye'. One of the practices of the devotees of the temple is to bring the first-born calves of their cows to the temple seeking the deity's blessing, as the protector of cattle. On account of its secluded location it is not resorted to by many.
References exist to the place in ancient Tamil devotional texts. A local tradition holds that a tribal chieftain named Bayhun , once came upon a peacock in the forests shivering in the cold and chose to cover it using his own upper garment and face the cold, rather than let it die. Although the legend may be apocryphal, it reveals some interesting facts - that the people of the area were numerous enough to have a chieftain of some standing, that peacocks were as plentiful as, if not more than, they are today, that the people venerated peacocks and held them to be sacred to Lord Subrahmanyan as they do today and lastly, that the weather was cold enough to justify a warm upper garment, a circumstance encountered primarily higher up in the hills today
K.M from Chennai
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