New Thannirmalai Thandayuthabani Temple Penang – Pre-Opening (Video)

June 24, 2012 Vel EventsHinduInfo StoryMurugaPenangPhoto BlogStatueTamilThaipusamVideoWhat's New

New Thannirmalai Thandayuthabani Temple Penang – Pre-Opening

New Thannirmalai Murugan (Thaipusam) temple, also known as Penang Waterfall hilltop top temple, preparation before grand kumbabhichegam on 29 June 2012.

It is said that our faith had no name to begin with. As western civilization came in contact with the Indus civilization in India, they termed the faith that the people of the Indus valley professed as “Indus-ism”. This evolved to become the term Hinduism that we are currently familiar with. It is also said that no particular name was given to our faith because there wasn’t a need for a name. This was because our faith had been in existence since the beginning of time. However as time progressed, new faiths emerged. To distinguish themselves, names had to be assigned. To the question when our faith began, our scriptures say that our faith came into being when God took the first breath. In essence our faith came into existence when God came into existence. Since God is one who is without beginning (also without an end), he is eternal; so is our faith. Therefore our faith is referred to as Sanathana Dharmam (Eternal Faith).
It intrigues me that somewhat the story of Hinduism has a parallel with the story of this Waterfall in Penang, Malaysia. Just like Hinduism, it too has no name. We very simply refer to it as “Waterfall”. There is no name assigned to this Waterfall. It was the first to be discovered and people just referred to it as "The Waterfall". Here at the base of the waterfall, our forefathers established a shrine to Lord Murugan. the Lord Himself took on the name Thaneermalai after this waterfall which is truly a spectacular natural wonder in Penang.
Another point to note is that a waterfall is always a subset of a river i.e. it is part of a vast river system. Accordingly waterfalls are named after the river that gives rise to them. For example, the great falls at the Niagara river is called the Niagara falls, Victoria falls after the Victoria river etc. etc. Here we find a very unusual scenario where by the river takes its name from the waterfall and is actually referred to as Waterfall River (Sungai Air Terjun). Such is the fame and grandeur of this Waterfall !
Our forefathers couldn’t have chosen a better place to build the original temple for Lord Murugan than at the base of the 100 meter Waterfall. He is after all Lord of “kurunji” (hilly lands). In the 1900s, the temple was relocated to its current location to cater for the growing Hindu population on the island. The new temple that will be ready in June 29th 2012 will be a icon that befits the humble origins of this temple. It has taken us over 200 years to get here ….

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