While the pilgrims climb the hillock of Sri Kshethra Melpalani it is customary to offer salutations to Sri Idumban, an idol that is consecrated along the stairway.
Sri Idumban was one of the ardent disciples of Lord Muruga and a great disciple of Sage Agasthya. In an historical event Sri Idumban loses a battle with Lord Muruga and surrenders to him, becoming one of the most admired disciples. Afterwhich, Sri Idumban declares that ;
a) If a pilgrim carries Kavadion their shoulders, (signifying the two hills which Idumban carried under the command of Sage Agastya), and visitsSri Palani Murugan temple with a vow, they shall receive the blessings of Lord Muruga, and that
b) Sri Idumban should be given the privilege of a standing sentinel at the entrance to the hill Since then, pilgrims to Sri Palani bring their offerings on their shoulders in a Kavadi. The custom has spread from Sri Palani to all the Lord Muruga shrines worldwide, including Sri Kshethra Melpalani.
Hence, an idol of Sri Idumban has been consecrated halfway up the hillock of Mayiladumkunnu, where every pilgrim is expected to offer obeisance to Sri Idumban before entering the temple of Sri Jnana Dhandayuthapaani.