Vaḷḷi (Tamil: வள்ளி) ("Creeper, Sweet Potato Plant")
is a Hindu goddess and the consort of the god Kartikeya.
Vaḷḷi is used to refer to many tribal or indigenous peoples'
Tamil Nadu and
Kerala and by the
Rodiya and Vedda peoples
of Sri Lanka.
Vaḷḷi is also known as Pongi at
Vallimalai in Vellore, Tamil Nadu,
and the pond from which she drew water to quench the thirst of Murugan
is still there. This pond, though in an open ground, does not receive
the rays of the sun. Vedda still inhabit
Kataragama region and there
are temples dedicated to the mountain god
Murugan in this region of
2 Divine relation
3 The Wedding
4 See also
6 External links
In ancient times, the mountainous regions in South India were ruled by
various tribes. The chief of the Kuravar tribe, Nambi Rajan and his
wife prayed to the mountain god
Murugan for a girl-child. Their
prayers were answered, resulting in the birth of a girl named Valli.
She grew up as the princess of the mountain tribe. Some myths state
Valli was born from a doe when a sage laid eyes on it during a
momentary lapse in his meditation.
In her previous birth,
Valli and her sibling Deivayani (another
consort of Murugan) were the daughters of the god Vishnu. Both
undertook severe austerities to become the consorts of Murugan, who
gave them the boon of marriage in their next birth. At a young age,
Narada informed Valli's father that she was a shakti of
According to Sri Lankan mythology, the events occurred among the
Veddah people near Kataragama, Sri Lanka. However, South Indian
Puranas state that
Kataragama was the place where
his army during his war with Surapadman.
Murugan with Deivaanai (on right of image) and
Valli (on left of
Valli had her heart and soul dedicated to
Murugan and would always
pray with fervent devotion and love, to be with him. Once, the tribal
chief planned to develop a field for growing millet, and assigned
Valli in charge of its protection from pests. Moved by Valli's
Murugan met her in the form of a handsome tribal hunter, who
had lost his way on a hunting chase. This form of
Murugan called the
'Veduvan Kolam' is worshipped at the Palaniapaar temple at
Valli did not recognize the stranger and promptly asked
him to leave the place. Seeing the chief arriving at the field with
honey and fruits for Valli,
Murugan turned himself into a tree. After
the chief and his followers left, the god changed back into his hunter
form and proposed his love to Valli.
The princess who had only
Murugan in her heart, was infuriated at the
proposal and lashed out at the hunter. When the chief and his
followers returned to the place,
Murugan disguised as an old man. The
chief, on seeing the aged man, requested him to stay with
he and his hunting party returned back.
The old man was hungry and asked
Valli for food; she gave him a
mixture of the millet flour and honey. However, it made him thirsty
and he asked for water. She provided water from a nearby stream. He
jokingly remarked that she had satisfied his thirst and she could
quench his thirst for a companion.
Valli was angered again and started
to leave the place. He requested assistance from his divine brother,
Ganesha, who appeared as a wild elephant at that time. On seeing the
Valli was scared and ran back to the old man, pleading
him to save her from the elephant.
Murugan proposed to save her only
if she agreed to marry him. In the heat of the moment, she agrees and
he reveals his true form. It was then
Valli realised that it was her
beloved Lord, who was with her all the time.
Valli married to Murugan.
After the millet harvest was over, the chief with his daughter and
entourage returned to their native land.
Murugan returned for
the guise of the aged man and the couple spent time away from Valli's
family. Nambi Raja on being alerted about Valli's absence, flew into
rage and went in search of her. When the search party finally found
Valli with Murugan, the chief and his men shot arrows at Murugan, but
they all failed to even touch the god and instead, the chief and his
sons fell lifeless.
Valli was disheartened to see the lifeless bodies
of her kith and kin, and requested the to bring them back to life.
Murugan instructed her to revive them herself; by her mere touch
everyone was brought back to life. The chief Nambi Raja and his
tribesmen realized that it was Murugan, in the form of the old man and
prayed to Him.
Murugan took his true form and blessed the tribesmen,
and the chief conducted the marriage of his daughter and Murugan.
This place came to be known as Vallimalai, the divine place were
Valli spent their time in courtship and eventually got
married. It is located in Vellore District of
Tamil Nadu state, in
After their wedding,
Murugan and Valli, moved to Thiruthani, which is
one of the Arupadai Veedu (the six battle camps) of the god.
Six Abodes of Muruga
^ Dictionary definition is: வள்ளி (vaḷḷi), s. a plant,
convolvulus batatas; 2. a winding plant, dioscorea sativa,
படர்கொடி; 3. a ratan-shield, பிரப்பங்
கேடகம்; 4. a jewel, ஆபரணம்; 5. a bracelet,
கைவளை; 6. a kind of play, a dance, ஓர்
கூத்து; 7. a consort of Subramanya. Fabricius, Johann
Philipp. J. P. Fabricius's Tamil and English dictionary. 4th ed.,
rev.and enl. Tranquebar: Evangelical Lutheran Mission Pub. House,
p,855, online (1972) edition
Ancient myths of the aborigines of Kerala
Murugan (Madras: International Institute of Tamil Studies)
Valli romance". Kamil V. Zvelebil. Retrieved
Pongi.org web site of
Vallimalai Tiruppukazh Ashram, home of Pongi
Hindu deities and texts
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali