Bringing the mountain

The central figure in Murugan temples honor Shiva's second son and the general of his armies. Hills being good locations for fortified temples, Murugan temples are normally built on hills. The most famous Murugan temple, for example, is in a town called Palani which is located in the Western Ghats; the name of that temple translates to "six battle-camps". 

This, of course, poses a problem for people who'd dearly love to build a Murugan temple but have the unfortunate problem of living in a flat town. In the course of the last year, someone in my parents' village came up with an innovative solution:
Yes, he built the temple on stilts!  You climb the stairs and presto, you are in the "hill temple" (its actual name). What else could a Murugan devotee ask for? My dad tells me that on festival days, the space on top is not enough and the crowds stretch down one flight of stairs.

Having always seen my parents' village from street level, it was quite cool to get a panaromic view. Forget what I said about "the standard panaroma" -- an unfamiliar view of a familiar landscape is something else altogether.

This, for example, is the view looking to the North-East.  The gopurams (temple spires) are those of the town's Shiva temple (I've blogged about this temple before):

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