Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kamakshi Temple - Shiroda , Goa

Kamakshi temple, in Shiroda is more than 500 years old. Kamakshi is an incarnation Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Siva. The temple complex houses three more shrines dedicated to Shanta Durga, Lakshmi Narayana and Rayeshwar (Siva). The temple doors here are embellished well with silver foil work. This village of Shiroda is situated 12Kms from Kavlem taluk of Ponda. To read more about Kamakshi , click Kamakshi Amman of Kanchipuram Just outside this temple there is a small shrine dedicated to Aanjaneya . See the last three photos.
How to reach: Goa is well connected by air and rail and road.
Madgaon is the nearest rail station.which is about 20 Kms. from this temple.
There is also accommodation facilities available in this temple for the community members.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Vamana MoorthyTemple -Trikkakara, Kochi & Onam festival

Vamana Moorthy is the fifth Avatar (reincarnation) of Lord Vishnu and this temple in Trikkakara , Kochi is one among the very few temples of Lord Vishnu where He is worshipped as Vamana. An ancient temple , situated in a salubrious environment and is closely associated with the harvest festival of Kerala , the Onam. The temple of Vamana Moorthy celebrates a 10 day festival starting with the Atham star and it concludes on Tiruvonam day. People gather in large numbers here during the festival .The Onam festivities for this year has begun and Tiruvonam is on 23 rd August 2010.

There is also a Siva temple inside the temple complex and there are subshrines in both these temples of other Gods and Goddesses. Lord Vamana Moorthy temple is the 13th among the 108 Divya desams of Vishnu.

The Bali peetam here is very huge and the sanctum houses the resplendent image of Lord Vamana Moorthy. The sanctum is circular in shape and there are shrines inside for Ganesha and Krishna.

The temple also has a special place to worship the Nagas ( the serpent Gods)

A Little legend:
King Mahabali was a benevolent, asura king and every one was happy under his rule so much so that even Gods became jealous of him. They felt that he would become a threat to them and requested Lord Vishnu to help them. Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a young Brahmachari - Vamana and approached Mahabali when he was performing a ritual. Knowing very well that Mahabali Bali would not refuse any alms, Vamana requested him 3 paces of land. Mahabali obliged though his guru Sukrahrya warned him that it was Vishnu who had disguised himself as the Brahmachari. But Bali went ahead as he wanted to honour his word.

. Then the Lord, assumed a gigantic form and with one pace measured the earth , then with second He measured the heaven , then the Lord asked the king where he could measure the 3rd pace. Mahabali, true to his word allowed the Lord to put His foot on his head and God pushed him to the nether world. But before leaving, God granted him a boon to visit his subjects every year and people celebrate Onam as the king's homecoming. Lord Vamana is also worshipped in every homes during this period. People welcome Mahabali with religious fervour by decorating their houses and the entrance of the house with floral carpets.

Family get together, preparation of grand feast on Tiruvonam day, eating together, singing and dancing of traditional songs and snake boat races are great attractions of this festival.
To know more about Onam read my other blog by clicking the link. Onam

How to reach: Kochi is well connected by air , rail and road.
Nedumbassery is the nearest international airport situated at a distance of 25 Kms from Trikkakara.
Nearest railway station is at Ernakulam . From the station the temple is only at a distance of 7-8 Kms.
Plenty of private buses ply from Ernakulam ( Kochi) to Trikkakara .
Accommodation- Budget, luxury and deluxe hotels are available in Ernakulam /Kochi as it is officially called now.

Other places of worship- in and around Kochi
Siva temple ( Ernakulathappan)
Kunan Kurisu Palli ( Mattancherry)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Srivilliputhur Aandal temple

Aandal temple in Sriviliputtur is  yet another famous and ancient temple and is  also one among the 108 divyadesams of Vishnu.   The imposing tower of this temple is very attractive and the main tower of the temple is on the  official emblem of  Government of Tamil Nadu.

The Aadi(Tamil month)Pooram festival is  famous here and is for 12 days. The festival  is on now and thousands of devotees converge here for the same . Pooram is the birth star of Aandal and the  chariot  festival on the 9th day attracts lot of devotees to this temple.  Aandal is believed to be an  incarnation of Goddess Bhoodevi.

There are two temples here . One for Lord Vishnu, known here as Vatapatrasayi and he is in a  reclining position here.  Vata patra means the leaf of banyan tree and this is found at the head of the deity here.  This is the sacred place where the great devotee of Vishnu, Aandal used to worship the Lord . The sanctum has beautiful paintings of Gods and Goddesses.

Aandal temple is next to the Vatapatrasayi temple. In between the temples is Nandavanam, a small shrine  where Aandal was found and adopted  by Perialwar ( devotee of Vishnu).  Aandal temple has beautiful mandapams with exquisite carvings and here She gives darshan to her devotees along with Rengamannar (Vishnu) and Garuda.  .There is  a well inside the temple where Aandal used to see her reflection everyday after wearing the garland   meant for the Lord. She succeeded in winning the affection of   the Lord . As per Lord's wish her father took her to Sri Rangam , Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple where she merged with the Lord.

Andal  is the only woman Alwar (saint) of Vaishnavism and  She has composed two beautiful literary gems in Tamil, Tirupavai and Nachiyar Tirumozhi which is sung even today by devotees during the  Tamil month of Maarghazhi.

Her father Perialvar also has a separate sannidhi in Vatapatra Sayi temple and there are also  separate shrines for Chakrathazhvar and Nammalwar.

Srivilliputhur is famous for palgova,  a milk sweet and people make it a point to buy this when they visit this place.

How to reach: Srivilliputhur is about 75 Kms from Madurai  on NH 208.
Madurai is well connected with air, rail and road. Many buses ply from all parts of Tamil Nadu to the town of Srivilliputhur.
Accommodation: Budget  hotels are available in Srivilliputtur and Rajapalayam town which is just 14kms. from here but I would suggest staying in Madurai is a better option as all types of accommodation, luxury , deluxe and budget hotels are available there.
Temples nearby :
Temple of Ninra Narayana Perumal at Tiruthangal  (on Virudhunagar- Sivakasi route)which is just 20 Kms. away.
Kasi Viswanathar Koil -Sivakasi, 25 kms.
Kuttraleeshwarar temple- 75 Kms. on NH 208
Sankaran Koil-  40 Kms

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mahalakshmi temple- Ponda, Goa

In this temple resides Goddess of wealth- Mahalakshmi. This temple is in Ponda . One can enjoy the richness and grandeur of the temple as it is a befitting tribute to the Goddess of wealth. The entrance and the doors have rich ornamental designs covered with silver and gold foils. A golden image of Lakshmi is set atop the door leading to the sanctum. The main deity here is adorned with rich silks and finery. There are two shrines on either side of the main temple one for Lakshmi Narayana and other for Ganapathi.
How to reach: Nearest railway station Madgaon . Ponda is 16 Kms. from the railway station.
Dabolim is the airport in Goa.
Accommodation - Most of the temples have accommodation facilities for the community members .Budget and luxury hotels are available here.