Friday, December 23, 2011

Sri Viswarupa Anjali Varatha Anjaneyar temple Chinnalapatti- Tamil Nadu

Tomorrow  is  Hanuman Jayanthi and I thought it is appropriate that my next post should be on Hanuman and hence this post of the Chinnalapatti Hanuman temple.

Sri Viswarupa Anjali Varatha Anjaneyar temple is situated in the quaint little village of Chinnalapatti which is 15 Kms from the the town of Dindigul. The temple here is small, a pretty neat structure but the idol of Anjaneyar here is huge, about 16 feet in height  made of Saligrama stone. One can view the idol right from the entrance of the temple. The Lord here stands with His hands folded and  with his mace -'Gadha'  resting on his legs. His eyes are like dark marbles which sparkle and gives a feeling as if he is looking at his devotees wherever they stand.

  He is always adorned with beautiful costumes and  priests here who do the alankara(decorations) need a special mention as it is not easy to decorate a huge idol. He appears magnifcient in his various alankaras made of butter, fruits, sweet jalebis, and vadas. Offering Vada mala, a garland made of vadas  (a south Indian snack made of black gram ) numbering 108-1008 is  very  famous here . He is also bedecked with silk robes and jewellery like a king, known as Rajalankara. When He becomes Maruti he is adorned with green costume. These various alankaras are really a visual treat. The temple becomes a beehive of activity on Saturdays.  

The most attractive thing here is photography is allowed even inside the sanctum.

This is considered to be one of the  six abodes of Anajaneyar where chunks of the Sanjeevani hill fell during the great Ramayana war when the Anjayear returned  with the Sanjeevani hill to revive the unconscious Lakshmana. There are about 5 more places considered equally holy , the others are at Suchindram, Namakkal, Nanganallur in Chennai , Deivaseyalpuram and Nugarveliya in Rampoda, Sri Lanka .

Chinnalapatti town is famous for handloom weaving and Chinnalapatii silk is a speciality of this place . Unfortunately this variety of silk is losing charm and is almost extinct now a days. 

How to reach- Nearest rail station is at Dindigul Chinalapatti town is 15 Kms. from Dindigul. There are many buses plying from the town of Dindigul.
My google photos.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Marudha malai Subramanya swami Kovil, Coimbatore,Tamilnadu

Kartikai masam  as per the Tamil calender is from mid November  - mid December and this month is considered to be very auspicious for devotees of Siva, Ayappa and Lord Muruga.

I have been waiting for an opportunity to write on Lord Muruga, also known by many other names as Shanmugha, Vadivela, Dhandayudhapani, Karthikeya, Skanda,Subramanya  and many more . There are six important abodes of Lord Muruga known as Arupadai veedu which I would be posting here one by one. But this present temple set among the majestic hills of Marudhamalai is also considered at par with the other six abodes of Lord Muruga.  Interestingly most of the temples of Muruga is found on small mounts or hillocks.

This magnificent temple  is at a distance of 12 Kms. from the town of Coimbatore,  The renovation was under progress when I visited  the temple and a flight of steps leads one to this temple. The hills around are  believed to have medicinal herbs and one does get refreshed by breathing the fresh air here. There is a cave temple here at  level lower than the main shrine and there is also a shrine here for Vinayagar .

The idol is radiant and a glimpse of this resplendent image of Lord soothes the mind. There are sacred  springs considered to have medicinal properties. Please just see the images which I could capture . I think those pictures itself would calm your mind too.

Other Murugan temple on 'My pilgrimage'- Mittai Murugan.

Find here  the link to Arunachaleshwar temple - Tiruvannamalai which is also celebrating Karthikai festival. The Kartikai deepam lit  atop the Tiruvannamali hill is famous and lakhs of devotees flock here on that day which happens to fall on December 8 th this year.

Howto reach
Maruthamali is situated in the industrial town of Coimbatore . This town is like a mini metro and is well connected with various cities by rail, road and air.
Accomrmodation facilities are excellent in the town . The famous hill station Ooty is only a 100 odd kilometres ride from this town.

Google photos link-

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chidambaram Natarajar Koil- Tamilnadu

Chidambaram Natarajar Koil is one of the  Pancha bhootasthalas  of Siva where the Lord is worshipped in the form of Akash (space). Other Pancha bootha sthalas being Jambukeswara temple -Trichy, where Siva is worshipped as Jal ( water) Tiruvannamalai -fire,  Kalahasti - air  and  Kanchipuram - earth

The Lord Natarajar idol is enshrined in the chitsabha , the hall of Consciousness in the Ananada Tandavam pose (dance of bliss) . The idol of Nataraja is of exquisite beauty and grace  and it surely enchants those who stand in front of Him.   Next to the sanctum is a room which gets opened only during the worship which is known as Chidamabara rahasyam, the form of nothingness. Here the Lord is worshipped as formless and there are Golden Vilva leaves  inside.

The Nrithya sabha ( Dance Hall) is very famous , has exquisitely carved pillars and this is the place where Lord had a dance competition with Goddess Bhadra Kali. At the end of the competition the Lord lifted His  leg towards the sky as  Urdhva thandavar, a  pose, Kali could not take and she lost the competiton.

Near  this mandapam is a niche for Somaskandar and Kala Samhara moorthy  where the Lord protects Markendaya and kills Yama, the Lord of death.

Tiruchitra Kootam (an important Vishnu desam) is also inside this temple very near to Lord Natarajar's shrine. Vishnu here is  Tillai Govinda Rajar and his consort is known as Pundarikavalli thayar . There is also a shrine for Mahalakshmi here. 

 Amman shrine is in the outer prakram and on the left of her shrine we see the Adi Moola Siva .

This temple has lofty towers on all four sides and the the Western Gopuram has 108 dance poses from Bharatanatayam carved to perfection on the gate way.Have included a few pictures of the dance poses .
Other temples en route Chidambaram from Kumbhakonam in " My pilgrimage" are Seerkazhi and Vaidheeshwaran Koil.

How to reach- Chidambaram can be reached from Chennai or from Kumbhakonam. From Kumbhakonam it is nearly 70 Kms . From Chennai it is about a 4-5 by road. Regular buses ply from both places with very good frequency.

Photos link-

Friday, November 4, 2011

Brahamapureeshwarar - Tonaiappar temple, Seerkazhi, Tamilnadu

Brahamapureeshwarar -  Tonaiappar temple,Seerkazhi is a highly revered holy shrine and is very close to Vaidheeshawaran koil which is enroute to Chidambaram from Kumbakonam.It is 14th thevara sthalam and is situated near the river Kaveri. Here,  Lord Siva gives darshan in three forms -one as Lingam , Second, in  the form of a colossal statue  Tonaiappar with His consort Uma and last one as Sattainadhar Bhairavar.  All these forms are found in 3 different levels of the temple. One has to climb a few steep steps to have a darshan of Uma Maheshwar, Thoniappar and Sattainadhar.  One can see and enjoy the entire lay out of this huge temple from the top of the Vimanam.

 Brahma is believed to have worshipped the Lord Siva here hence he is known as Brahmapureeshwar,(the main Lingam in the sanctum) During the deluge Siva is said to have secured the 64 art forms in a boat (Thoni) hence he is known as Thonaiappar. Sattainadhar is said to have quelled the arrogance of Trivikramar  after he showed his dominance over all the three worlds. Sattainadhar is worshipped here on every Friday night.

This is also the place where Tirugnana Sambandar received the Milk of Wisdom from Mother Goddess, known here as  Tirunilai Nayaki.

The temple with its vast area  and a calm, serene, salubrious atmosphere shuts oneself from the outside world and helps to have peace with oneself. A temple worth visiting to feel the vibrations of spirituality.

How to reach - The temple is about 25 Kms from the town of Kumbhkonam. Many buses ply from the city of Kumbhakonam.Good hotels are there in the town of Kumbhakonam.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vaidheeswaran Koil- Kumbhakonam, Tamil Nadu

Vaidheeswaran Koil is an important Sivasthalam. It is also one of the Navagraha sthalams which enshrines the planet Chevvai, (Mars)  This temple is  en route to Seerkazhi and Chidambaram (Posts in the offing) from Kumbakonam.

The presiding deity is known as Vaidheeswaran  as he is the Divine Healer. He had cured Chevvai when he was afflicted with leprosy. Lord Vaidheeswaran's  Consort is Thayal Nayaki, she  holds a medicinal oil pot in her hands. The Tiruchandu Urundai , the prasadam offered in the temple is considered to have tremendous healing capability and is a panacea for curing many ailments. Nettripadi chandanam ( the holy sandal paste) from Murugan temple is another prasadam with healing properties. There are separate  shrines for Vinayagar and Dandayudhapani and Lord Singaravelar ( Murugan ) here. Singaravelar sannidhi is like a separate temple inside the same complex as it has a separate dwajasthambha.  Devotees offer salt , pepper, jaggery to the presiding deity here.

Vaidheeshwaran koil is 15 Kms. from the town of Kumbhakonam and is easily accessible by  road.

How to reach
Nearest town is Kumbhakonam and is well connected by rail and road. Nearest airport is at Trichy which is nearly 100 Kms from the town. This town has good boarding and lodging facilities.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gunaseelam Sri PrasannaVenkatachalapathy temple, Tamilnadu

Prasanna Venkatachalapathy temple is a famous Vishnu temple in Gunaseelam  about 20 Kms. from Trichy.This temple attracts lot of pilgrims and people also believe that worshipping the deity here helps one to cure mental and physical ailments. Pilgrims stay here for about 48 days ,worship God and partake the prasadam from the temple and get relief from their problems.The temple looks neat and clean.

Legend is that sage Gunaseela used to visit Tirumala to have the darshan of Lord Balaji , once he requested God to come to the place where he was and God obliged, pleased with the sage's devotion. The temple is small when compared to the huge temples I have visited. There is a mandapam and a water tank outside the temple.
How to reach- Trichy is well connected with rail, road and air. 
Accommodation facilities are excellent as this is quite big town which attracts lot of tourists.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dhenupureeshwar and Durga temple, Pateeshwaram,Tamil Nadu

Navarathri Greetings to all my friends. 

 This time, I am taking you to Patteswaram temple which is  close to Swami Malai , One of the Aarupadai Veedugal of Lord Muruga,  The presiding deity is Dhenu Pureeshwarar ( Siva) and His consort is Gnanambigai. The Nandi here, is found on the left side of the main entrance unlike other temples where we find it  facing the Lord. It was as per Lord's wish that Nandi moved to one side as  Siva  wanted to have a look at  Tirugnanasambandar, the child poet saint  as he was approaching the temple.  The legend has it that, this Sivalingam was consecrated by Lord Rama.  There is a small shrine for Anjaneyar  and there are separate shrines for  Vinayagar and Subramaya.  The Madapam in front of the Amman sannidhi has pillars embellished with intricate designs. The  idols of of Kala Bhairavar and Vinayagar inside the temple are  huge in size. The gates of the main temple are  guarded by gigantic statues, Dwarapalakas of the Lord.

The Goddess Durga's idol situated on the Northern side is considered to be  very powerful who showers her divine blessings like a mother, on all her devotees.  Durga here is Santha swaroopi, has 8 hands and is sitting on Her mount Lion.  The temple gets crowded on Tuesdays and Fridays and many perform Rahu puja here to ward off the ill effects of the planet. The Cholas were worshippers of Durga and the deity was installed here after the fall of Chola dynasty.
How to reach- This temple is very near to the Kumbhakonam town ( 5 km ) and is well connected by road. Many buses ply from the town and this temple is very close to Swamimalai temple.Nearest airport is Trichy and rail station is at Kumbhakonam. One would find good hotels in the town itself.

Navarathri celebration in Madurai Meenakshi temple is quite famous and just made a trip to catch a glimpse of that. I could gather only a few pics from outside.



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sree Tirumala Tatha Lakshmi Narasimha temple- Ullal, Karnataka

Sree Lakshmi Narasimha ( 4th avatar of Lord Vishnu ) temple is in Ullal , a quaint little town situated on the coast of Arabian sea and which is  at a distance of 8 Kms. from Mangalore.  Lord Narasimha with his consort Lakshmi is enshrined here.  This is a GSB temple . There are shrines for Kalabhairava  and Subramanya. This temple is  situated in a  calm and serene atmoshphere.
Some more information is available about this temple  at  gsbkerala .com 
How to reach- Ullal has a  railway station , Mangalore is the biggest town nearby which is easily accessible. Good number of hotels are available in Mangalore town . Check here for other temples in and around Mangalore.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Aranmulla Parthasarathy temple- Kerala

Happy Janmashtami greetings to all . 
Befitting the occasion, I am taking you to the famous Aramulla Parthasarathy temple in Kerala near Chengannur which is on the banks of river Pampa. Aramulla is declared as a heritage village.It is famous for its snake boat race and the Tiruvabharanam procession for Sabarimala temple halts at this temple. Aramulla mirrors are also famous as it is cast with a special metal.
The temple of Parathasarathy, the divine charioteer  is situated in a calm and salubrious atmosphere totally away from the dust and din of the city. The temple is on a higher elevation and a flight of steps leads one to the temple. There are towers  on  four sides of the temple and on Northern side we see river Pampa where the famous Vallom kali  ( snake boat race) starts during Onam, the famous harvest festival of Kerala. This year, Onam falls in September  and those who are interested to see this colourful snake boat race can head towards Aranmulla.There is an intersting legend connected with the Aranmulla boat race . read it here.
Have a 360 degree virtual tour of the temple click here.

The Lord here,  Parathasarathy is Krishna, gives Vishwaroopa darshanam to His devotees as He appeared to Arjuna after the famous Gitopadesham. The temple sanctum is circular in shape with typical Kerala architecture . The idol here is believed to be consecrated  by Arjuna . There are 4 more temples of Vishnu which comes under the 108 divadesams consecrated by the other 4 Pandava brothers, in Kerala. I will be posting about all those one by one. These temples are in the nearby villages and devotees make it a point to visit all of them on the same day.

Just outside the sanctum on the Northen side we find the idol Nirmalyadhari Vikshasenar, 
There is a subshrine for Balabadra, in outer circumambulatory path. 
How to reach:
Nearest rail station is Chengannur. Aramulla temple is 9 Kms from this town.  Nearest airport is at Trivandrum .  
A diversion at Kulanada on NH would take one to this temple.

  My friend Asha has written  an interesting  post on  Uriyadi Varagur temple about the Janmashtami celebrations. Shall be visiting the temple soon and would bring you pictures in the near future.

 To read about Parthasarathy temple of Chennai ,on 'My Pilgrimage' click here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tirunageshwaram- ( Rahu sthalam) ,Tamil Nadu

Tirunageshwaram  is an important Navagraha temple in Kumbhakonam ,  Rahu is worshipped here along with his consorts. The presiding deity is Naganatha swamy ( Siva) . His consort is known here as Girigujambika. Rahu is found in the subshrine of the main temple.This is the only place where  Rahu appears in a human form, unlike other temples where he is worshipped as a serpent.

The temple gets crowded here during Rahu Kalam . The idol of Rahu is worshipped and bathed in milk during this period to ward off the ill effects of the planet.

This temple is 7 Kms from the Kumbakonam town. Very near to Uppiliyappan temple.( 1 km)


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tiruchherai Saranathan temple, Tamil Nadu

Tiruchherai also known as Udaiyar Koil is a divya desam of Vishnu and here the main deity is known by the name  Saranathan and His consort Saranayaki.  This is the place where  river Kaveri prayed to God to obtain the stature of river Ganga.  Lord Vishnu blesses Kaveri here, along with His consorts, Sreedevi, Boodevi, Neela devi, and Saranayaki.  The idols are well sculpted are quite charming and  beautiful.

  The legend also mentions that during the great deluge, Brahma wanted to protect the Vedas by keeping them in a pot of clay but failed to make a lasting one. He could make one only at Tirucherai, at Sara kshetram  as per the directions of Lord Vishnu.  The temple has a separate sannidhi for Saranayaki.

There are also shrines for Lakshmi Narasimha and Rajagopalaswamy here.
Temple is situated 15 Kms from the town of Kumbhakonam.

How to reach-   Nearest airport is at Trichy. Kumbhakonam is well connected with rail and road.
As Kumbhakonam is a pilgrim town there are many hotels available in the town.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

TiruKoshtiyur- Sowmya Narayana Perumal Temple, Tamilnadu

Sowmya Narayana Perumal temple in Tirukoshtiyur is in Sivagangai district and is 10 Kms from Tirupathur town, on Madurai Karaikudi road.  This is one of the 108 divyadeshams of Vishnu and I would say this was the most adventurous trip to a temple I ever undertook as I climbed the Vimanam ( tower) of the temple.

The temple is situated in a serene village and  a huge tower welcomes us inside the temple. The uniqueness of this temple is, there are 3 tiers  in the main Vimanam above the sanctum and and each tier houses a deity, the main one being on the first floor.

This   is a rock cut temple and here we can see the blend of Vaishanavism and Saivism .At the entrance there is a separate shrine for Siva with Nandi mandapam in front.  As we enter the Perumal temple,  there is a small shrine for Vinayagar , On the ground floor there is a beautifully carved statue of dancing Krishna  with Rukmani and Satyabhama.  There are many idols of Azhwars (Vaishnavite saints)  in this prakaram.  Turning left, climbing a few steps one would reach the Sowmya Narayana Perumal's sanctum. The Moolavar ( the main deity) is Vishnu in Anantha Sayanam known as Ugramellanaiyan and along with him are Boodevi and Sreedevi. The Utsavar is Sowmaya Narayana Perumal with his consorts and there are also idols of dancing Krishna, Chakrathazhwar, Ramanujar and Nambigal. On the ground floor is the shrine of  the Thayar , known here as Thirumamagal .  From the Thayar sannidhi there are a fleet of steps which  takes one  to the top of the Vimanam .

A trip up the vimanam is adventurous , scary and cannot be accessed without the help of a guide as the maze like formation may make one feel  dis -oriented. The width of the narrow rock- cut staircase is just about 21/2 feet. Lack of air, the dark interiors , frequent twist and turns in the steep staircase without railings does create panic. At times one has to bend double as the ceiling is too low. At one point it was just a hole through which we had crawl to get on to the terrace.

 On  the 2 nd  floor is the sannidhi of the Upendra Narayana with his consorts and here the Lord is in a standing position . There are beautiful murals on the walls of this temple and it is believed to be one thousand years old . Above this sanctum is another sannidhi of Paravasudevan with his consorts (All different names of Vishnu)  . From the terrace of the Vimanam  we  could see the house of  Sri Tirukoshtiyur Nambigal who was the Guru of  Ramanujana, God's devotee and a great Vaishnava saint. It is believed that Ramanujam gave the Mantropadesham of Om Namo Narayana to all his disciples from this place. It is also said that from the top of the vimanam one could also watch the Meenakshi Kovil's tower at Madurai which is 70 Kms. away.

Outside, when we circumambulate there are shrines for  Emperumanar ,Chakrathazhwar, Nambigal, all Vaishnava saints.

Facing the west we could see two huge idols of Narasimha Moorthy fighting Hiranya Kashipu and tearing him by putting him on his lap ( photos included). The Vimanam is ashtanga vimanam. Similar Vimanams are in Madurai ,  Koodal azhagar temple and other one in Chengalpet near Chennai  .

The legend is that this was the place of Kadamba Maharshi's ashram and he was being tormented by Hiranya Kashipu.To find a solution to this, all the rishis and devas assembled in Goshti ( group ) and hence this place came to be known as Tiru Koshtiyur. Here only the Prahlada charithram and slaying of  Hirnyakashipu was planned. It is also believed that Vishnu gave the Anantha sayana darshanam to Lord Indra here and the Sowmaya Narayana Perumal who is also known as Madhavan was given to Kadamba Maharishi by Lord Indra.

How to reach-   Karaikudi is the nearest town which is 20-25 Kms. The nearest airport is at Madurai.Karaikudi is well connected with road and rail .

Accommodation: Good hotels are available in town of Karaikudi .
For other temples near Karaikudi click here


Friday, July 15, 2011

Tirukkozhi, Azhagiya Manavalan temple - Urayur, Trichy, Tamil Nadu

 Azhagiya Manvalan temple is second Divya desam after sri Ranganatha Swamy temple.   There is no Utsavar here. Namperumal, the Utsavar of Sri Rangam temple is brought here for the yearly Panguni Uthram  festival. This place is also the birth place of Tirupaana Alwar, a great devotee of Vishnu. Temple architecture is very simple. This temple is not crowded like the Srirangam temple. One can worship the God, in peace.
This is the place where Lord married Mahalakshmi  known here as Kamalavalli Nachiyar when she was born as an ordinary human being because of a curse incurred. Here the deities are in kalyana Tirukolam.

Trichy is well connected by road, air and rail.Excellent accommodation facilities are available in the town.
To see other temples in and around trichy click here