Myth of Murugan the Tamil God

I have dealt with theories in murugan origin in a seprate article. Now let us see one of the common held misconception that of
  1. Muruga is tamil god and of tamil only.
  2. Muruga patronized tamil language and literature.
We have seen that murugan is not tamil origin and various theories surrounding murugan origin. So that question is settled now that murugu is all India god as any.
Next let us see how muruga started patronizing tamil. Let us see the history.
There is no reference to Murugan in tamil literature until Kanda puranam got written in tamil from skanda purana in 14th century AD. All the legends come later. Eventhough there is talk of murugan in Sangam age , there is no evidence of that.

Kartikeya - Differences in puranic and Tamil traditions

There seems to be some intriguing differences in the traditions associated with Kartikeya in the Puranic and Tamil. The Sanskrit epics and Puranas seem to indicate that he was the eldest son of Shiva, as the tale of Shiva's marriage to Parvati indicates. In the Shiva-Purana, he is seen helping Shiva fight the newly born Ganesha, Shiva's other son, when Ganesha stopped Shiva from entering his home in Kailasa. Tamil tradition states he was the younger of the two. In the north, he is generally seen as a bachelor hence the name kumara whereas the southern tradition has him married to two wives.

History shows that the legend comes from sanskrit and puranic traditions , with imperfect translations and introducing legends of their own while doing so. The translation Kanda puranam and Thiruvilayadal and susequently Thirupugazh has fundamentally altered the Kanda- Karthikeya story to Tamil Murugan. Until 14th century the karthikeya was obscure in tamil divinity and was worshipped in a similar way to being worshipped in other parts of India and srilanka. So around 15th century and subsequently dravidian- aryan ideology has made Murugan the cult figure in tamil.

To quote Paripadal

"Oh God of Kadamba wreath! "
This line shows that muruga came to tamilnadu with kadamba rulers. Lord Subramanyawhich is present in kadamba territory is transported to Tamil Nadu as Murugan.


  1. Thirumurgattruppadai by Nakkeerar does not belong to sangam age ??!!

  2. Nakkeerar had composed a single work of 400 verses, under the name of Naaladiyaar, as already mentioned. In verses 200 and 296, there is a reference to a minor chieftain by name Perumuttharaiyan. Having regard to the date of this person, many scholars hold that the ‘Naaladiyaar’ should be after 7th century A D

    Refer to sangam myth

  3. Hi,

    Neither of your lines in the previous posts says that Lord muruga was worshiped all throughout India.


    It infact gave different version of what people said or the stories around and none of these storied denied that Lord Muruga's origin is from Tamilnadu. And if at all his origin is all over India, why can't we see even a single idol or some kind of evidence about Muruga in other places except in places where tamil people live?

  4. Karthikeya is a vedic god and got shrines all over India , Search for Karthikeya in google you will find temples everywhere, Muruga and Karthikeya different? , Dont start new myths

  5. If search for "pillaiyar" u will get information of temples more in tamil nadu only.
    Murugan is a tamil word and therefore its used mostly in southern part.

  6. You're quite right that the date of Nakkirar isn't clear, and is probably after the seventh century A.D. Nevertheless, you said:

    "There is no reference to Murugan in tamil literature until Kanda puranam got written in tamil from skanda purana in 14th century AD. All the legends come later."

    No serious scholar holds Tirumurukarrupatai to be that late. It certainly can't be post Chola. So it's clearly earlier than the Kanda puranam. There are also temples from the Pandiyan period in Tamil Nadu that were dedicated to Murugan. An example is the Ladan Koil, which archaeologists generally date to the late 8th / early 9th century. There you go - we have precisely the sort of archaelogical evidence whose absence you lament.

  7. Thankyou for agreeing that there is a doubt in nakeerer date , you are the first one to agree on this blog, otherwise i just get lot of crap.

    I never said murugan appeared after kandapuranam translation. My main point of argument is Murugan is tamil version of Karthikeya.

    Srilanka has temples for karthikeya preceding tamil temples. Many of Muruga legends are from Srilanka.

  8. hi im Dr.ganesh.we still believe that murugan or subramaniyar is a siddar and roamed this world in flesh and blood.if you have opurtunity read books by desigar frm tiruchy.still livin..,
    jus imagine murugar as a siddar and feel the immense pleasure it gives......

  9. I dont have problem with Lord Muruga, I am Just Fed up with some of the myth spread around in his name, not for divine purposes

  10. From : N.Shankarappa Toranagallu

    Visit the site :
    which has the article : ‘The Sanskrit and Tamil Folklore in Thiru-murugatru p padai
    By PADMANABHSAN. SRI , The University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

    For discussion on date of Thiru-murugatru p padai and which fixes it to 10 th Century.

  11. well said and i agree that skandapurana was composed by vedvyas in sanskrit and muruga was the God of the indian subcontinent

  12. Veda Vyasa collected religious texts and presented in a form which could be easily understood by everyone.

    Karthikeya , Muruga or Shanmuga , the diety is same. Why play politics with faith.

  13. Lord Muruga, Lord Karthikeya are different gods existed in different period and place in India. The arrival of Aryans from north combined the Lord Karthikeya with Lord Muruga. Thats it ! In Sangam poems, Seyon refferred to Muruga, is son of Kotravai, mother goddess and Son-in-law of Mayon, These dravidian gods are later mixed up with Aryan gods lost its original stories in time ...... ..

  14. Great Ankita
    You seem to have solved a great Mystery , But where is the evidence.

    Refer to my other article on Karthikeya

    Refer to my Myth of Aryan Invasion article

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  17. I feel ANKITHA VARMA's explanation is the apt one. The Aryans brought the concept of Siva, Vishnu, etc.. Lord Murugan was successfully assimilated by the Aryans into Hinduism so that they can appease and control the dravidians by saying a story that Murugan is the son of Siva

  18. Balaji
    You Tamils don't read Tamil Literature properly. Read Tamil Literature, there is no indication to show Tamil literature different from rest of the Indian Literature. Your explanation is funny, Murugan was already there and Aryans brought their Dad Shiva. You are a funny guy.

    Read the article myth of Independent Tamil Culture article.

  19. Modasattava,
    Very nice blog.
    Sir,Please do check this one:

    It says Murugan was of Tamil origin and Aryans introduced Skanda story to it.

  20. I have already dealt with about these topics and has proved murugan is a tamil version of karthikeya

  21. Isn't it too late to talk of whether Muruga was a Tamil God or did he have a pan-Indian following? The fact is that being a North Indian, when I see a statue of Muruga, I bow my head in reverence. I also think of Him as the valiant slayer of Tarkasura. I think of Him as the son of Shankar and Parvati. I also see Him as Kartikeya.
    If He is called Muruga in Tamil Nadu and other parts of the country, it does not make Him a local deity at all. Faith cannot be subjugated to History or at least our understanding of it.
    Yes, when peoples of different origin meet, they seek similarities as much as differences. If there is acceptance of each other's beliefs then it is easier to assimilate them. Some theorists do believe that many deities are actually amalgams of different deities of different peoples. I am certain that if you come to my village in the heart of Northern India and visit the local temple you would easily recognise the deity as Shiva with Parvati on His left thigh - despite He not being in the Lingam form.

    1. Hello Madhukar
      Noble thoughts indeed , why don't you preach it to Tamil Chuvanists. I don't have any problems with Muruga or Karthikeya or Shanmuga

  22. moda sattava..
    you should learn the history properly.come to can see murugan temples old as 1500 years.Murugan is TAMIL god,we are the followers of kumaran.Murugan is an warrior in tamilnadu,even those workshipping him come under the warrior clan.actually he is small child of 6-8 please brief yourself before writting any article.go through the subject carefully,please dont write BOGUS articles in future.

    1. Hello Pongal
      Show me the murugan temple which is 1500 yrs old. We will know who is bogus

      Karthikeya is warrior god, he commands Devas Army, he is so wedded to defending Devas that he is said to be wedded to the Devas Army or Devayani. So he is unmarried and is called Kumara. If you are follower of Kumara you are follower of Karthikeya. Now Murugun is twice Married guy right?

      Now increse awareness for true stories.

  23. lord murugan temple in , Saluvankuppam,tamilnadu

    That temple is minimum 1700 years old.,_Saluvankuppam

    1. First go to Myth of Sangam Article

      Brick and Mortar construction is pallavas construction around 700AD.

      Your own so called tamil Expert does not agree with the view

      "However, noted Indian archaeologist R. Nagaswamy is critical of this claim owing to lack of references to the shrine in the popular literature of the period."

  24. I agree to the extent He is not The God only for the Tamils.

    But to state that Lord Muruga is not mentioned in the Tamil Literature is totally erroneous.

    My points.

    1.Muruga is not mentioned as Muruga in the Vedas.

    He is called Skanda and He is one of the Deities. along with Vishnu,Narayana, Siva, Rudra, Ganesha,Sakti,Brahma, among the major deities mentioned apart from the Devatas. like Agni,Varuna, Mitra, Vayu etc.

    And the Stuthi on Ganesha states ‘Skanda Purvajah’ meaning elder to Muruga.

    The term Muruga in Tamil means ‘Beauty’-Murugu in Tamil means Beauty.

    2.Tamil Literature on Muruga.

    Tholkappiyam is more ancient than Sangam Literature.

    It mentions Lord Muruga as also the Parpdal of the Sangam Era.

    3.On the fact that Muruga has wives and in the North He is worshiped as a Bachelor.

    One must be careful in understanding Hindu Puranas.

    Allegories are to be shifted from Philosophy.

    Muruga represents Gnana Sakti while Valli and Devayani represent, Iccha Shakti and Kriya Shakti.

    Ganesh is portrayed as a Bachelor in the South, while in the North he is worshiped with his consorts Sidhi and Buddhi Devis.

    The same logic as for Lord Muruga for having two wives.

    In essence Hinduism understands that the Reality is a principle, Nameless and Formless, human mind needs things to concentrate upon to suit their individual preferences.

    So, people worship as they please.

    4.The term Kadamba is indicative of an Orange Flower and is in Masculine Gender,

    Muruga wields the Kadamba Stalk in his hands.

    It is interesting to note that the Lalitha Sahasranama calls Goddess Lalitha s’Kadambha Vanavaasini’

    5.The Ruling Deity of Kurinji, Mountainous Region is Lord Muruga, as described in the earliest Tamil Grammar, Agathiyamand Tholkaapiyam, while describing geographical demarcations.

    ‘Tolkappiyam, possibly the most ancient of the extant Sangam works, dated between the 3rd century BCE and 5th century CE glorified Murugan, ” the red god seated on the blue peacock, who is ever young and resplendent,” as ” the favoured god of the Tamils.”[5] The Sangam poetry divided space and Tamil land into five allegorical areas (tinai) and according to the Tirumurugarruppatai ( c. 400–450 AD) attributed to the great Sangam poet Nakkiirar, Murugan was the presiding deity the Kurinci region (hilly area). (Tirumurugaruppatai is a deeply devotional poem included in the ten idylls (Pattupattu) of the age of the third Sangam). The other Sangam era works in Tamil that refer to Murugan in detail include the Paripaatal, the Akananuru and the Purananuru.One poem in the Paripaatal describes the veneration of Murugan thus:

    “We implore thee not for boons of enjoyment or wealth,But for thy grace beatific, love and virtuous deeds.

  25. 1. Well Muruga is also called karthikeya and he is mentioned in Indian Literature including tamil, kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Tulu and even Sinhalese.

    2. Go to Tholkappiam Article and Come Back once you read that.

    3.Why he is called Kumaran in Tamil Nadu. You keep saying South, but south India also says he is bachelor and commited to defending the honour devas and so he is wedded to deva Army or devyani.

    4. Kadamba is also famous dynasty of South India.

    5. Tholkappiam gives five division of land, One of which is desert and it is only found in North India. While Tholkappiam is broad minded and talks of whole India. Your Tamil Chuvanistic tendencies are making regional.

    6.Seyyon can be anybody. It is a theory that he is Murugan, it can be Shiva, Vishnu, anybody.

  26. Truth can be only found by worshipping. If you want to know about Muruga/Karthikeya, pray to them and they will make you realize.

  27. Iravatham Mahadevan takes a different view of the etymology of "Murukan". As a result, he interprets one of the signs from the Indus Valley corpus as being a reference to Murukan, which would make his worship an extremely ancient tradition of the ancestors of the Tamils.

  28. However Muruga is portrayed by Indian literacy, the story of Muruga (Kandar /Murugan) and Alexander the great (Aliskandar /Skanda ) is similar. Would it make one to re-think of the contents in Indian literature of Muruga?


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