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The Uttara Swami Malai Temple

The Uttara Swami Malai Temple is dedicated to Lord Swaminatha who is also popularly known as Lord Murugan or the Lord of War in Hindu pantheon. The temple is also known as the Malai Mandir or the Temple situated on a hill by the virtue of its location atop an elevated gradient in the Palam Marg area of New Delhi.

The Uttara Wami Malai Temple is a Hindu temple complex having a deep seated reverence in the minds of devout Hindus. It has a specific place especially in the minds and hearts of the Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam and Kannada speaking groups of South Indians within and outside the city.

Layout of the Temple Complex

The Main Temple

The main temple of the temple complex is called the Shri Swaminatha Swami Temple. This main building is the ‘Garbha Griha’ or the sanctum sanctorum. A legend inscribed in Tamil outside the main temple is the motto of Lord Murugan, “Yaamirukka Bayamain” that translated literally into “Why fear when I am there!”

Shri Karpaga Vinayagar Temple

Besides the main temple in the complex of temples, a temple is dedicated to Shri Karpaga Vinayagar or the elder brother of Lord Swaminatha.

Shri Sundareswara Temple

Alongside the brother’s temple lies that of the father of Lord Swaminatha. This temple is built in honor of his father viz., Shri Sundareswara.

Devi Meenakshi Temple

Next to the temple of the father is located the temple dedicated to the mother of Shri Swaminatha. This temple is called the Devi Meenakshi Temple.

Architectural Characteristics

All Malai temples are situated at a gradient or a height. This temple is also located on top of a hillock in Sector-7 of R.K Puram. It overlooks Vasant Vihar in the South West Delhi area.

The motto of Lord Murugan is on the gateways of temples dedicated to him.

The material used to build the temple is almost entirely granite. It follows the Chola style of architecture typical of South Indian Temples.

The subsidiary temples, however, are more on the lines of the Pandya architectural style. An example is the famous Meenakshi Temple of Madurai located in Tamil Nadu.

Another characteristic of the Murugan temple is the presence of peacocks believed to be the ‘vahana’ or vehicle of Lord Murugan or Lord Swaminatha. As it is a common feature of all such temples, the Uttara Swami Malai Temple is no exception. The management has adopted peacocks as pets which can be seen and heard in the dense foliage surrounding the temple within its compound. Besides its religious significance the temple has great appeal for its aesthetic beauty and exquisite architecture.

Visitors from all over the country and abroad visit the temple in great numbers.

Historical Significance

The temple’s history can be traced chronologically in the following details:


On 8th September 1965, the foundation laying ceremony of the temple was performed by the then Prime Minister, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri. He supervised the laying of the foundation stone by Shri Bhakthavatsalam, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in an elaborate religious ceremony.


On 7th June 1973, the consecration ceremony of the main temple was held. The consecration or ‘Mahakumbhabhishekham’ was performed at the Shri Swaminatha Swami Temple. During the consecration ceremony the holy deity or Lord Swaminatha was successively bathed with holy waters, milk, curd, honey and water again besides being decorated with sacred flowers and incense amidst the auspicious sounds of the ‘nadaswaram’ or musical instruments typical of the South Indian schools of music. This ceremony took place nine years after the foundation laying ceremony of the Shri Swaminatha Temple had been held.


On 13th June 1990, the temples of the family of Lord Murugan were consecrated simultaneously. The temple of his divine father, Shri Sundareswara and his divine mother, Devi Meenakshi besides his esteemed divine elder brother, Shri Karpaga Vinaykar were ritually purified and religiously consecrated with the performance of the ‘Mahakumbhabhishekham’. On the same day another commemorative ceremony was also held. A ‘Jeeranoddharana kumbhabishekam’ was performed for the Lord Swaminatha or Lord Murugan Temple.


On 7th July 1995, the Navagraha temple or the temple housing the nine planets, a celestial divinity propitiated by the Hindus was consecrated along with another small temple created for Idumban Swami. The ‘kumbhabishekam’ was also performed in both temples.


On 9th November 1997, the Adi Sankara Hall was formally inaugurated and opened to public.


On 27th June 2001, His Holiness Kanchi Kamakoti Peethadhipati Shri Jayendra Saraswat Swamigal performed the ceremonies of third ‘Punaruddharana’, ‘Ashtabandhana’ and ‘Swarna Rajatha Bandhana Mahakumbhabhishekham’ for all the temples of the Uttara Swami Malai Temple complex.


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