Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Damodar temple Zambaulim -Goa

Damodar temple, belonging to GSB community (Gowda Saraswath Brahmins), is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is situated in Zambaulim, 22kms from Madgaon. It is situated on the banks of  river Kushavati . The holy water of the river is believed to cure skin diseases.

There is also an idol of Lakshmi Narayana inside the sanctum. There are shrines for  Goddess Chamundeshwari  and  Siva  on either side of the main temple.  

The enchanting idol of Lord Siva was consecrated at the present site after the Portuguese demolished  the original temple  in 1567. Both Christians and Hindus here rever Lord Damodar.

Accommodation facilities are available in the temple complex for the community members.
For other temples in Goa- view here.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rajagopalaswamy temple - Mannargudi, Tamil Nadu

Rajagopalaswamy temple at Mannargudi is in Tiruvarur district . This is a very small town and is around 30 Kms. from Tanjore. Cultivation is main occupation of the people here and the green paddy fields are a real visual treat to the eyes as one travels towards this town. The temple here is  very famous and ancient . Even though this is a very popular temple and  attracts pilgrims through out the year, this is not listed  among the divyadesams of Vishnu  mainly because none of the Alwars have sung mangalsanam here in praise of this Lord.

This temple has 7 prakarams and all the towers were under renovation when I visited. The Kumbabhishekam was also performed recently.

The main deity in the sanctum is a 7 foot tall idol that resembles Balaji of Tirupati and here He is flanked by his consorts Boodevi and Sreedevi.The Utsavar Rajagopalaswamy's idol is of exquisite beauty and is adorned with precious and colurful jewellery and flowers. Along with Him are  His consorts Rukmani and Satyabhama. There  are small statues of cows and calves  around him as he is  Gopala .( one who tends herd of cows) .  There is also a small idol of Bala Krishna ( baby Krishna) known here as Santhana Gopala, in a small cradle .There is a belief that offering prayers by holding this idol in hand blesses barren couples with progeny.

Thayar sannidhi and Anjaneyar snaidhi are in the outer prakaram. Thayar is known as Sengamala Thayar and Her idol is never taken out of the temple hence she is known as Padi Thaandaa Patni (One, who never crosses the threshold of the house) Thayar sannidhi has beautifully carved pillars and a Tulsi maadam. The flag post is in front of the Rajagopalaswamy sannidhi and near to it is the Patala Anjaneyar, The Anjaneyar idol half concealed in the earth.

As it was festival time Utsavar was out of the temple and could get some pictures of the deity. There is  also a 50 feet high monolithic tower in front of the temple.  I have included that also in the photos.

How to reach:
Mannargudi can be reached from Tanjore (30 Kms), Kumbakonam (30 Kms) or Tiruvarur(27 kms.)
Nearest airport is Trichy. Nearest railway station is Nidamangalam and the road bisects the railway platform which is very unique.
Accommodation -  One can find good accommodation in Trichy, Tanjore or Kumbakonam. 
Note that the most of the temples in Tamil Nadu are closed between 12noon -4pm, this temple also follows the same style.

Photos- Click link

Friday, April 1, 2011

Udupi Sri Krishna Temple

Udupi Sri Krishna temple is  an important pilgrimage centre  in Dakshin Kannada region and is  very famous  like the Guruvayoor temple of Kerala.  Here one would see beautifully decked up Krishna's idol here, with a churner in one hand and a rope in the other.  Devotees worship God here , through a window . As per the legend, it is believed that the Lord here turned to the opposite direction to give darshan to an ardent  devotee, named Kanakadasa  who was denied entry into the temple. The  main door of the sanctum   remains closed here, as the worship is only through the window.The window is  known as Kanakadasa window.

Photography is banned inside the temple.

The temple is situated right inside the town and it  provides free meals to the devotees here everyday.

Just outside the Krishna temple, there are two ancient temples of   Siva known as  Anantheswara and Chandramoueeshwara. I have included the photos of these two temples also.

How to reach- The town of Udupi is 60 Kms from Mangalore and it is well connected by air, rail and road. There is a railway station at Udupi itself and all major trains halt here.
Accommodation -  There are good hotels at Mangalore as well as at Udupi.
Temples nearby:
Annegudde Siddhi Vinayaka temple- Kumbakshi