Malaysia is a colourful country of different cultures and lifestyles, islands and ancient jungles, quaint old towns and swish modern cities. The feather in its cap are the Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest buildings in the world today. The country has a long history and its eclectic mix of cultures – Indian, Chinese, Malay, tribal – makes it an interesting place to visit.

Malaysia is a federation which consists of thirteen states (Negeri) and three federal territories (Wilayah Persekutuan). Eleven states and two federal territories are located on the Malay Peninsula while the remaining two states and one federal territory are on the island of Borneo.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


A Day trip to Maran Temple at Pahang

The Sri Marathandava Bala Dhandayuthapani (Lord Murugan) temple in Maran, Pahang, is one the holiest pilgrimage sites for Malaysian Hindus.

Devotees come from all over the country as well as Singapore to the 120-year-old temple. It is said to be a temple which answers one's prayers.

As the legend goes, a large tree was marked for felling to make way for Kuala Lumpur-Kuantan road, but as the blade of the axe struck it, the tree began to bleed.

As this happened, one of the Tamil workers suddenly went into a trance and pleaded for the tree to be spared. The British supervisor refused. But to his astonishment and all those around him, a figure of a child appeared on the trunk of the tree. The supervisor immediately changed his mind and re-laid the road to avoid the tree.

The place became sacred and the temple was constructed soon after.

Sri Marathandavar Bala Dhandayuthapani Alayam, Maran (Pahang)
This ancient temple has to be one of the greatest spiritual sites in Malaysia. Pangguni Utiram which occurs during the month of March/April is celebrated blissfully in this temple. Numerous devotees come to perform their prayers as well as carry Kavadi. The temple is located in the midst of palm oil and rubber plantations, and is rather secluded. Hence, it is ideal for meditation and spiritual contemplation. Several saints have visited this holy place and have claimed that powerful energy from heaven is frequently directed towards the locality of this mystical temple. Adding to the unique nature of the temple is its mystical origin. The name of the temple 'Marathandavar' means deity of the tree. The tree mentioned in this context is the sacred rudraksha tree. Rudraksha is identified as the eye of Lord Shiva, whereby Rudra denotes Lord Shiva and Aksha indicates the eye. This divine bead is the ultimate holy talisman, as it transforms negative energy into positive energy. Rudraksha beads have been worn by the yogis of India for thousands of years to maintain health and to gain spiritual empowerment.

About 120 years ago, a road was being built from Kuala Lumpur to Kuantan. Many trees were felled to make way for the oncoming road. As one particular rudraksha tree was being cut, the tree began to bleed as if it was wounded. Many of the workers observed the bleeding of the tree, and immediately stopped work. Immediately one of the Hindu workers went into a trance, and declared that the tree should be spared. A British supervisor who was entrusted with the construction of the road refused to this suggestion. Suddenly, a child miraculously appeared on the trunk of the tree and disappeared into this mysterious tree. The British supervisor was overcome with amazement and changed his decision. The road was laid away from the tree and the rudraksha tree was spared. An old man who is believed to be a Murugan devotee planted a Vel at the base of the tree. After that, the tree became sacred and many of the Hindu workers started praying at that shrine.

It has been many years since the incident, and rudraksha tree is now dead. However the remains of the tree are preserved in inner sanctum of the temple. In 1998, a new temple was built which incorporated features of the rudraksha tree. The inner sanctum has a beautiful silver layering that resembles the original rudraksha tree. There are other shrines dedicated to Lord Bhairavar, Lord Idumban and Goddess Naga Amman. Another huge tree is now a focal point in this wondrous place of worship. Devotees pledge requests by placing a stone, coin or a lime on a yellow cloth. Subsequently they tie the cloth onto the tree and humbly utter a prayer. If the request is fulfilled, hence the vow will be fulfilled. The vow could range from donating to the temple, serving food to temple devotees or tying a miniature silver cradle on the vines of the tree. Some people even tie a baby doll onto this bestowing tree as a sign of gratitude. In addition, this temple is renowned for granting boons to deserving devotees. A lame boy had started walking after praying ardently at this temple. Lakshmi, a girl who was unable to speak has been miraculously cured of her disability. 

Another interesting story is the dream of the previous Head Priest Sri K.S. Ganapathy. In 1962, he had a dream of a Murugan yogi. It is rumoured that this yogi had lived at the location of the current temple about 200 years ago. In his dream, the yogi was having his bath in a nearby stream. After his bath, the yogi started walking towards the rudraksha tree. All of a sudden the yogi completely vanished into the tree. Appearing again in his dream, the yogi instructed the Head Priest to serve in this amazing temple. Since then the Head Priest Sri K.S. Ganapathy decided to serve this temple for as long as he could.

Address: 100 km, Jalan Kuantan - Jerantut,26500 Maran,Pahang. Tel: 09-4778043 , 09-4778050 . Directions:On the Kuala Lumpur to Kuantan (E-W Highway), turn left into the road to Jerantut (highway 64), just before Maran town. Temple is about 22 km from this junction. On the Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur direction, turn right into the road to Jerantut (highway 64), just after passing Maran town. Temple is about 22 km from this junction.

Rajan (60196504595) or Guna (60176764942) or Vera (60122693410) /

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