Swami Malai The Lord Murugan temple is located in Swami Malai, which is around 10 km from Kumbakonam. It is located on the main road connecting Kumbakonam and Thanjavur. It is one among the six famous temples (Arupadai Veedu) of Lord Muruga. This is the place where the Lord Murugan in childhood taught the meaning of mantra “OM” to his father Lord Shiva. It is a popular story that Brahamma the Creator bypassed Lord Muruga when both met on an occasion without offering the respect to the Young Lord which He deserved. Muruga intercepted Brahma and demanded the meaning of the Pranava Mantra Ohm. The Creator could not answer. Muruga pounced on Brahma’s four heads and put him in prison as he was not qualified for the creation job. He began creation Himself. Vishnu appealed to Lord Shiva for the release of Brahma. Muruga obeyed His father’s order. When Lord Shiva asked the Son to explain the meaning of Ohm, the Young Son explained the meaning in detail, but secretly close to Father’s ears as this is such a holy mantra which the righteous and wise alone should know. The event took place on this sacred soil. There are no hills in Thanjavur district. It is in this region, Swamimalai stands. As hills are the abodes of Lord Muruga, He is gracing from this hill temple. There are 60 steps to reach the hill temple representing the 60 Tamil Years. These are considered on par with the importance of 18 steps in Sabarimala. The deities of the Tamil years are praying to Lord Muruga in the form of steps. Hence, the Padi Puja (puja for the steps) is conducted on Tamil and English New Year days with coconuts, fruits and singing hymns.