Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thiruvarpu Krishna Temple-Kottayam district,Kerala.

Tiruvarpu Krishna temple is situated in a small scenic village, 6-7 Kms from  Kottayam which is an important town in Kerala. This temple is nearly 1500  years old.

The temple deity is similar to  Lord Krishna of Guruvayur.  The temple here opens at 3 am in the morning  and as soon as the temple opens the Lord is offered the sweet porridge known here as Usha payasam . it is believed that Lord here is tired and hungry after killing Kamsa. So any delay in offering  would keep the Lord hungry and angry.

The temple architecture is typical Kerala style and there is a dwajasthambha in front. In the outer circumambulation  path there are  sub shrines for Bhagavathy, Subramanya, Ganapathy and  Shiva. The interior of the temple is quite small and it is visited more by local people. There is a huge Bali Peetam in front of the temple.

During the temple festivals young girl dressed as Krishna worship this Lord by carrying oil lamps. I visited the temple very early morning and the peace and serenity in the temple enveloped me and it was difficult to leave the temple precincts to be back in the dust and din of the city life.

This temple is on Kumarakan- Kottayam road . Kumarakom  draws lot of tourist and it is famous for house boats.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mahadeva Temple,Tambdi Surla -Goa

Mahadeva temple in Tambdi Surla, is a 13th century monument  nestled among the foot of Anmod hills in  a small clearing. It is surrounded by dense growth of trees and a there is a small river flowing nearby. The Sivalinga inside the sanctum is intact though centuries have gone by but the Nandi facing the Lord here is headless. That does not deter devotees from offering worship to the  Lord's mount.

The atmosphere in the inner portion of the temple is very strong and magical and  a few minutes of meditation can purify the mind and soul.The brightly glowing oil lamps create a brilliant  aura around the deity.

The  temple is very small but the ornamental work on stone is marvellous. The intricate work on the ceilings, the pillars and tower looks fresh even today.The temple is believed to be built by Kadamba kings who ruled Goa between 12- 14th century.

Mahasivarathri  is celebrated here in a grand manner and thousands gather at the temple to offer worship.

The temple is 65 kms from the capital city of Panaji- Goa




Thursday, October 18, 2012

Kannudaya nayagi- Nattarasan kottai sivaganga

Kannudaya Nayagi - the guardian deity of the eyes. She protects the eyes of her devotees. It is not surprising to find devotees praying here to cure their eye ailments. This temple is set amidst a tiny hamlet in Nattarasan Kottai near Sivaganga in Tamilnadu. The Goddess here is very powerful and  a  swaymbhu moorthy (self manifested) The granite idol is always  decked up with jewels and silk and flowers. This temple is also known as Kananthal temple; very ancient believed to have been built in the 18th century. 

Utsavar ,Goddesss Parasakthi  is seen here with 8 hands.

Devotees offer eyes made of silver metal ( flat eye shapes are cast in metal) to the deity  and seek blessing from her.  Devotees also offer salt to deity to ward off skin and stomach ailments.  Temple gets crowded during Navarathri.

The temple mandapam is huge and has a beautiful  water tank in front - this is a very common feature in all temples in Sivaganga district. Vinayaka shrine is very near to the pond.

A few miles away from the temple lies the famous Kalayar Koil. Shall write about it in my next post.

  Great Tamil poet Kambar who translated Ramayana into Tamil is laid to rest in this town and the tomb is just a few meters from the temple click here to see pictures.

I also found local women selling handmade eco friendly, colurful items just outside the temple. Got a couple of those as souvenir. Thought I should share what I captured. These colorful items are made of palm leaf and reed and coloured using natural dyes.

Nattarasan kottai -51 kms from Madurai.
temple timing 6 am- 1pm
4.30 pm -8.30 pm.



Monday, October 1, 2012

Thyagaraja Swamy temple- Tiruvarur, Tiruvarur District ,Tamil nadu

Thyagaraja Swamy temple was on my wish list for a long time as I heard that the temple is very ancient and has the biggest  pond in India. The temple stretches into acres of land and each and every corner of this temple is rich in craftsmanship and ornamental work. The temple towers stand testimony to the centuries it has seen and is certainly a delight for the those who wish to witness the marvellous work of craftsmen which would leave anyone astounded. The temple surroundings are serene and one can enjoy the peace as there is hardly any crowd on regular days.

The temple of Siva -Tyagaraja Swamy  lies in the  heart of Chola land very near to Tanjore ( 45Kms by road) and is also closer to Kumbakonam.

The main door leading to the inner most prakaram  has  gigantic idols as dwarapalakas guarding the gate. Just outside this temple is the shrine of Goddess Parvati.

It is said that Thyagaraja Swamy here is in a form of Somaskanda ; Shiva with His consort Uma and Skanda, ( Muruga ) seated between . This temple is surrounded by many sub shrines of Siva in various forms.

The temple tank is very huge and magnificent and covers an area of 33 acres. There is  also a shrine inside the tank. The chariot festival here during the month of Chitharai ( April/May) is very famous and the chariot here is supposed to be the biggest in Tamil Nadu.

A temple worth visiting.

How to reach- The temple is situated at a distance of 40 Kms from Kumhakonam and  can be reached by rail or road.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bramhapureeshwarar temple, Thirupattur- Trichy

Brahmapureeshwarar temple is situated  30Kms from the town of Trichy , Tamilnadu .This temple is known as  Brahma sthalam ( temple where Brahma is worshipped)

It is believed that one can change one's fate by worshipping   Lord Brahma here( Thailaiyezhuttu mattrum deivam )

The main deity is Lord Siva ,Brahmapurreshwarar blessing the devotees along with  His consort Parvati, Babrahmapureeshwari . Lord Brahma has a separte shrine, one finds devotees praying here fervently seeking His blessing to fulfill their wishes. The temple has Pathanjali Muneevar Jeeva samadhi  also.

It is believed that Lord Siva along with Parvati blessed Brahma when he undertook a penance to seek blessings of the Lord. For more information click  here


The other temple where Brahma is worshipped is Uthamar koil in Trichy itself.
How to reach- Trichy is well connected by road , rail and air and there many budget as well as luxury hotels.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Madana Gopala swamy Swamy temple- Madurai

Happy Krisnhashtami Wishes to all!!
Here's a post on Lord Krishna's temple as today it is Lord Krishna's birthday,  celebrated all over India with so much fervour and gaiety.
This temple is about 800 years old. The main deity is of  Lord Krishna, playing the flute  known as Madana Gopalaswamy flanked by His consorts Rukmani and Sathyabhama. The idol is of bewitching beauty and  the idol is about 5 feet tall . This temple is not known to many tourists and is more frequented by local people. Make a visit to this temple whenever you get an opportunity to visit Madurai as the Krishna here will definitely steal your heart.:)
There are sub shrines here for Anjaneya, Lakshmi Narsimha, Nag  devas , Gajalakshmi and Saraswathi too.
This temple is in  West Masi street and is very close to Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple .


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kottrallishwarar temple-Koviloor, Karaikudi,Tamil nadu

The Kottarleeshwarar temple is about 1000 years old, built by Pandya kings and is situated in pristine surroundings at Koviloor near  Karaikudi, 

First time, when I visited the temple it appeared neglected and was in bad shape . My second visit, a few months ago left me  speechless as the temple had transformed into a magnificent structure. The sparkling bright colors  made it easy  to recognize the well carved statues on the tower and around the temple. Lord Siva, here, is known as Kottralishwarar and the  Goddess is known as Tirunellai Amman. More information about the temple can be read at this link .http://www.kovilur.com/temple.htm
The temple recently had a Kumbabhishekam . The temple tank is right in front of the temple and is maintained well with its circular pillared  mandapam in the center. There is yet another  beautiful mandapam in Southern side of the temple which has fabulous paintings on the ceiling made with natural dyes. In the center of the ceiling the Rasi chakra is depicted. Go through my album and enjoy the visual treat.

This temple is just about 6-7 Kms from the famous Pillayarpatti temple.
How to reach-
 Karaikudi,Can be reached from Madurai and Trichy which is  at a distance of 70 Kms and 82 Kms respectively.

Buses ply from all the towns in Tamil Nadu to Karaikudi and all the above temples are on regular bus routes and are easily reachable.

Karaikudi town has good number of hotels for boarding as well as lodging.



Thursday, June 14, 2012

Karuppana Swamy Koil,-, the village deity, Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu

Karuppanna Swamy is a deity worshipped in rural areas of Kerala and Tamil Nadu and  if you travel through the villages of Tamil Nadu you'll find huge colorful statues of this deity in each and and every village with a sword or a club in hand, riding a horse. The villagers adore and respect this deity a lot as they believe he is the one who protects them.
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karuppu_Sami.

here are some photos I captured recently.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nemam temple, Jeyam Kondeswararar Temple, Tamilnadu

I have already blogged about some of the 'Temples in and  around Karaikudi', and 'Soumya Narayana temple', in Sivaganga district of Tamilnadu. This is yet another temple I visited recently which is just 6 kms from the Pillyarpatti koil.( click the first link )

The deity of Nemam temple is Siva, known as Jayamkondeswarar and His consort is  Soundaryanayaki. Just outside the main shrine, we find a disfigured idol of the same Goddess which is  supposed to be the original idol. Usually disfigured , damaged idols are not worshipped  in any temples but here it is  worshipped as per the wishes of the Goddess.  The temple is a treasure trove of  art work and has richly ornamental pillars and life size statutes from mythology. There are shrines for  Vinayagar and Muruga on either side of the main shrine.

The temple has a beautiful pond with lot of lillies . Water tanks in front of the temple is a common sight in most of the Karaikudi temples. There is also a shrine for Vinayaka near the tank. The ceiling of the temple has a Rasi chakra representing all the Zodiac signs and also has paintings related to Siva Puranam. This temple is situated in serene and calm village and the trees around the temple is a safe haven for parrots. Bees also have made the ceiling their homes. Could find 2 beehives at the entrance itself.  
How to reach Karaikudi
Can be reached from Madurai and Trichy which are at 70 Kms and 82 Kms respectively. Both the cities have airports and railway stations. Karaikudi also has a railway station.
Buses ply from all the towns in Tamil Nadu to Karaikudi and all the above temples are on regular bus routes and are easily reachable.

Karaikudi town has good number of hotels for boarding as well as lodging.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Shatrughna temple- Payyamal, Kerala

Temple of Shatrughna, the youngest brother of Lord Rama is situated at Payyamal in Kerala . The temple also forms  part of Nalambala darshanam. The temple is situated in a serene and clean village atmoshphere and the huge peepul tree in front, forms a canopy of sorts; as if holding an umbrella for the Lord here. This temple unlike other three temples Koodalmanikkam temple, Triprayar Rama temple, Lakshmana temple doesn't have a dwaja - flag post in front. This temple is just 6 Kms from the Koodalmanikkam temple in Irinajalakuda, Trichur district.

The temple was under renovation when I visited almost a year back and I have heard that work is still in progress. Those who wish to visit this temple must reach there before 9 a.m to have a good darshan or one has to visit the temple in the evening. I could capture some pictures from outside. The temple is very small  and there are no sub shrines outside.
This temple can reached from Ernakulam as well as from Trichur.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lakshmana temple, Moozhikulam, Kerala

Lord Lakshmana is the presiding  deity of Moozhikulam temple .

Moozhikulam temple is  believed to be 5000 years old. The idol here resembles that of Vishnu.  This temple is on Alwaye - Mala route in Ernakulam district.

The temple has a  Vatta sreekovil ( circular  shaped structure where deity is enshrined) and a dwaja sthamba .On the south side there are shrines for Ganesha and Siva  - Dakshina Moorthy.

Unseen manifestations of Lord Srirama , Seeta and  Hanuman are also worshipped here . There are sub shrines for for Ayyapa and Bahgavathy.( Mother Godess),Goshala Krishnan.

There is a mandapam with beautiful carvings of  Ashtadikpalakar carved in wood on the ceiling .

Devotees offer worship here to ward off the ill effects of Nagadosha. This temple  is very  famous and forms part of the Nalambala darshanam , other temples being Koodal Manikkam temple , Sree Rama temple Triprayar and Payyamel Shathrughna temple( shall post soon)


How to reach- This temple is easily accessible from Ernakulam.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Koodal Manikkam temple- Irinjalakuda, Kerala.

Koodal Manikkam temple, Irinjalakuda is dedicated to Lord Bharatha , Lord Sree Rama's brother. Here the deity,Bharata is also known as Lord Sangameshwara. This is the only temple in India dedicated to Lord Bharata. This temple is situated at a distance of 22 Kms from the Sree Rama temple, Triprayar. and forms parts of the Nalambala darisanam. 

The temple structure and its sprawling grounds are of exceptional beauty and one can see a huge  Koothambalam on the Southern side where the famous performing arts koodiyattam and koothu are conducted.  The porches on East and west side are huge and tall. It can accommodate up to 21 elephants during the temple festivals. The main towers on the East and West  are simple but they stand tall and magnificent. There are 2 ponds inside the temple and meenuttu , feeding fish is famous here too.

There is a dress code for men and women here for those who wish to go to inner most part of the temple to worship the God. 
For Men- Dhoti and angavastram and for women - sarees. 
Chudihars and pants, shirts  are not allowed. 

This is supposed to be a 9th century temple. More details can be found at this http://www.hindudevotionalblog.com/2009/05/koodalmanikyam-temple-irinjalakuda.html.

How to reach-How to reach- One can approach this temple either from Ernakulam or Thrissur.Both towns have excellent accommodation facilties as well as bus services to this place.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sree Rama temple- Thriprayar,Kerala

Sree Rama temple, is  situated on the banks of river Thriprayar which is in Trichur district. This is a 11th century temple. Guruvayur temple is just 23kms from this place.  This temple stands tall on the banks of the river and one can enjoy the  scenic beauty around.

 A golden statue of Lord Rama is enshrined in sanctum sanctorum. The idol possesses 4 hands each carrying a conch, disc, bow and garland respectively. There are also  idols of Boodevi and Sreedevi on either side of the deity . Dakshina Murthy is also worshipped here on the Southern side . It is believed that deity here has some of the aspects of Siva and Brahma too. Hence the deity is said to be a manifestation of Trimurtis. There are sub shrines for Goshala Krishnan and Ayyapa  in the outer circumambulation path. Devotees visiting the temple, as a ritual , feed fish in the river with soaked rice, called as meenutu, to  seek blessings of God.

 The temple sanctum is circular and the roof is conical. There are exquisite paintings, and carvings on wooden panels from  Ramayana epic on the walls of this temple. Ganesha is worshipped in a  small shrine within the inner walls of the temple. An unseen manifestation of Hanuman is worshipped  in the mandapam near the sanctum .

There are also temples dedicated to Rama's brothers Lakshmana, Bharatha and Shatrughna nearby and devotees take a pilgrimage of these 4 temples on a single day in the month of  karkkidagam , the last  month of Malayalam calender. It is known as nalambala darishanam and gaining popularity these days. These temples are in Irinajalakuda , dedicated to Bharatha- Moozhikulam - Lakshmana, and Payyamel - Shatrughna. I shall be posting on these temples one by one

To read more about this  temple  click here.

How to reach- One can approach this temple either from Ernakulam or Thrissur.Both towns have excellent accommodation facilties as well as bus services to this place.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Thenkasi, Kasi Viswanathar temple- Tirunelveli disrict - Tamil Nadu

 If Benares is Kasi of North , it is Tenkasi,   Kasi of South where Lord Siva resides to bless His devotees on the banks of river Chitraru. Worshipping Lord here is considered to be equal to that of worshipping him in Benares.

This temple has a  magnificent  tower that stands 180 feet tall and is visible from kilometres away. This temple is in Tiruvenlveli district of Tamilnadu and is 5 kms from the tourist spot Coutrallam which is famous for its waterfalls having medicinal properties.

The huge coutryard in front of the temple has lush green grass and in the background of the temple we see the Podighai hills full of herbs and medicinal plants. A  mandapam, leads one inside the main temple. Inside the sanctum resides the main deity Kasi Viswanathar , a huge  Sivalingam of exceptional grace and beauty.This is a swayambhu Lingam. The well decked up Lingam  would mesmerise any one . It is total surrender we feel when we are in front of  the Lord of the Universe.  The tranquillity inside renders supreme happiness. Siva's consort  here is known as Ulgammal. The Amman shrine is to the left of the Siva's shrine. There are shrines for Vinayagar and  for Subramanya in the inner prakaram of the temple. Each pillar is adorned with excellent sculptures of Gods and Godesses and of Pandya kings who were patrons of the temple.

The legend is that a Pandya king wished to go the North Kasi to worship Siva there. But Lord appeared to him in his dream and asked him to build a temple to avoid the long journey . He was advised to follow a group of ants and next day he did so and found a swayambhulingam . It is believed that this is the Lingam what we see in the temple now.

How to reach
Tirunelveli is the biggest rail head nearby own nearby which has good  hotel facilities. Tenkasi also has a railway station. This is a small town and is at a distance  of 50 kms. from Tirunelveli.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Kapisthlam- Gajendra Varadha Perumal

This  temple is the 22nd among the 108 divyadesams of Vishnu . Here the Moolvar is known as Aadi Moola Perumal and consorts are Pottramaryar thayar( Mother) and Remamani Thayar.  Utsavar is Gajendra Varadha Perumal, giving darshan with Sree devi Boodevi and Andal. There are separate shrines for Remamani Thayar and Andal. The main idol in the sanctum is in a reclining posture.

 The story of Gajendra Mokasham is depicted on the outside walls of the sanctum. This is believed to be the sacred place where elephant Gajendra, a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu was rescued by the Lord from the clutches of a crocodile. For details on this story click  here.

 Bali and sugreeva, also believed to have worshipped the God at this temple hence the name Kapi( monkey) sthalam.( place)

This temple is on Tiruvayyaru road 10kms from Kumbhakonam.

How to reach- Many buses ply from Tiruvayyaru and Kumbhakoam to this town.Kumbhakonam is the nearest railway station and the town has good accommodation facilities.
Temple timing 6-30 -12noon  
 5pm-730pm



Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sri Varaha Moorthy temple-Thiru Vidanthai, Chennai

Thiru Vidanthai,  Sri Varaha Moorthy temple is situated en route to Mahabalipuram on the East Coast road and is one among the 108 divya desams of Vishnu. Alwars have sung in praise of the God here and this temple sits smugly in a village off the Mahabalipuram road in a calm and serene atmosphere.This temple is about 1000 years old and as it is  near the sea coast many structures and carvings have  corroded here hence it is under the care of Archaelogical Survey of India and I was a bit disappointed when they didn't allow the cameras inside. But I have tried to make the best of my visit by clicking some beautiful shots from outside.

Varaha Swamy is one of  reincarnations of Vishnu, he took the form of a boar to save Mother Earth from the demon Hiranyaksha. There are a very few temples dedicated to Varaha Swamy. Here the idol is about 61/2 feet high, an  exquistively carved idol with Boodevi on His left thigh. He is giving Mantropadesham to Boodevi and at his feet are Adisesha , the serpent God and his wife.

The Utsavar is called as Nithya Kalyana Perumal . It is believed that a visit to this temple and praying here by following certain worship pattern would help  one to find  a good life partner. 

The legend says that as per the wishes of a Maharshi, the Lord here married all his 360 daughters one per day throughout the year and united them all into one as Boodevi who is the Thayar ( mother Goddess) here.There is also separate sannidhi for Thayar and Andal. The sthala vriksham is at the back side of the temple.There are beautiful carvings on the pillars here near the Garudalwar sannidhi which is opposite to the main sannidhi. The carving are etched beautifully as if idols have been stuck on the pillars. The  temple must be around 4-5 acres and there is a  bell tower, dwaja sthamba and balipeetam, typical of any temple front in Tamilnadu.

How to reach:
Chennai is well connnected by air, road and rail. Umpteen number of buses ply from various parts of the city towards Mahabalipuram. Thiru Vidanthai bus stop is 3 Kms. from Kovalam. Distance to Tiruvidanthai from Chennai is 50 Kms.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Valvil Ramar temple- Tirupullam Boothankudi- Tamil Nadu

Valvil Ramar temple is 7 th divya desam of Vishnu and here Bala Ramar is the Moolavar. Here  the Utsavar  Lord Ramar gives darshan in Chathurbhujam  form with Sree devi and Boodevi. The legend is assosiated with Ramayana. Rama is said to have given moksham to Jaytayu here. One would find Lakshmana  and Jatayu inside the sanctum depicted on the wall near the Lord Rama's lotus feet.  Lord is reclining here under the Punnai tree. There is a separate sannidhi for the the Goddess , Hemambhuja valli and a separate sannidhi for Yoga Narasimhar.It is also believed that Yoganarasimhar fulfills the wishes of aspiring job seekers.

Devotees pray here for their ancestors .A temple set in sylvan surroundings, an absolutely calm and quiet place.

How to reach- This temple is in Kumbhakonam ( Tanjore dist) and Tiru Adanoor another divaydesam and Swamimalai, one of the Aarupadai veedu's of Lord Muruga , are close by and about  which I would be writing soon.

Enjoy the slide show.




Thursday, January 5, 2012

Harasaba Vimochana Perumal- Tirukkandiyur, Tamil Nadu

This temple at Tirukkandiyur  is one among the divyadesams of Vishnu and  is very near to the town of Thiruvaiyaru and here  Lord Vishnu is known as Harasaba Vimochana Perumal as he liberated Hara  (Siva) from  a Saba (curse) which He incurred when he removed one of the five heads of Brahma. 

Moolavar , Main deity here is also known as  Bali Nadhar and Thayar is Kamalavalli. Idol in the temple resembles that of Balaji of Tirupati. A temple sans crowd and the serene atmosphere helps  one to  worship in peace.  Just outside   the sanctum there is separate niche for Chakrathazhvar .Near the main entrance of the  temple one would find the Hanuman shrine. Kamala Valli thayar has a separate sannidhi so has Andal. The 20 day festival in the month Avani is famous here.

Had an opportunity to visit this temple for a second time last week.

Thiruvayaru is the birth place of Saint Thayaraja ,the great Carnatic music composer who has composed hundreds of  hymns on the Lord Rama. Tiruvayyaru town is about 11 Kms from  Tanjore which is famous for its Big temple. 

How to reach-  Tanjore is the nearest town well connected by rail and road.The nearest airport is at Trichy which 60 Kms from Tanjore.