Friday, December 23, 2016

Tiru Nangur Annan Koil, Tirunangur.1, Nagapattinam District

There are about 11 ancient temple in Tirunangur near Seerkazhi which are referred to as Tirunangur Divyadesams . These temples are among the 108 Tirupatis of Vishnu and they are situated close by but accessing each temple becomes easier  if one hires a guide and I was fortunate enough to engage Mr. Subramani , a gentleman who is thoroughly aware of the timings and route of reaching these temples.
 For first timers it would be difficult to access all temples as it would take time meandering through the narrow village roads and  there are no sign boards showing  direction .

He  maintains good relationship with priests here and makes necessary arrangements to make the visits fruitful. It is possible to visit these temples in  3-4 hours. 

This temple draws crowd only during festival season and some of the temples remain open only depending on the availability of priests.

I will share his phone number at the end of the post so it would be easy to reach him.

He is only a navigator and don't expect any temple history, legend  from him.

It is believed that Tirumangai Azhwar. One of the 12 Azhwars  sang hymns praising  Lord Vishnu in these temples.  As per Lord Shiva's wish Lord Vishnu appeared here in 11 forms and these came to be collectively called as Tirunangur divyadesams .

As there are 11 temples I would share one by one as I have to upload pictures of the temples too.
The first one I visited was Annan Kovil at Tiruvellakulam village.

This temple is located in a calm and serene environment away form the dust and din of the city. The surroundings are enveloped by greenery and peace prevails here literally.

The Lord in the temple was addressed by Thirumangai Azhwar first in his hymns  as Annan ( elder brother).  Lord here is known as  Srivasan  and  His consort    Alarmel Mangai as in Tirupati, hence those place is also known as Then Tirupati.
There is a small shrine for Aanjeneya at the entrance and Garuda's shrine is facing the Lord here. 

Kumuda Vali Nachiyar , wife of Tirumangai Alwar has a separte shrine here. She was a celestial maiden and used to come to this place to pluck Kumuda flowers. Once she lost power to reach back to heaven and Neelan commander of Tirumangai approached her for her hand. She laid many conditions and he was able to win her hand with the help of Perumal. Lord elevated him to the status of Azhwar and he worshipped Lord with his sweet hymns.
Mr. Subrami's Phone contact- 9159706875
Temple timing- 8 Am-11.30 Am
5.30 pm -8.30 pm

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tiruvidaimaradhur, Mahalingaswamy temple Near Kubakonam, Tamilnadu

Tamil Nadu is famous for its ancient temples, its grandeur  cannot be contained in a few words ,each one is a an architectural marvel and they are scattered all over the State.

This time, I am taking you  to a temple in Tiruvidaimarudhur which  is considered to be  as sacred as Varanasi  near Kumbakonam  where the presiding deity is Siva. This temple, I would say is huge and is spread over 20 acres. I was very happy to visit this as this was on my wish list for long. It is easy to locate this temple if one plans as it is just 7-8 Kms from Kumbaonam city and no one would miss the majestic multi tiered Gopuram of this temple from a long distance.

The temple precincts are also huge it takes about 10 minutes to walk from one side of the Gopuram to the other.The grandeur of the tall gopurams on all 4 sides the ornate Mandapas makes one wonder about the skillful architecture of the artisans during  the Chola period.

The Lord here is known as Mahalingaswamy , a huge Lingam believed to be a self manifestation.

Every temple will have a main deity and subshrines ; Parivara devatas surrounding the Lord around the temple but the Siva temple here forms the focal point for the other grand temples in the vicinity i.e Tiruvalanchuzhi , Swetha Vinaygar, Murugan temple in Swami Malai, Somaskandar at Tiruvarur,Tiruvavduthurai with Nandi, Seerkazhi  for Bhairavar,Tiruseingalur for Chandikeshwarar, Suryanar Koil with Navgrahas, Alangudi for Dakshinamoorthy,Tirukkadayur for Ambal,Tirunallar for Saneeshwaran, Pateeshwaram for Durgai and Natarajar for Chidambaram.

The Ambal sannidhi here is one among the Saktipeetas. Consort here is known as Bruhusundara gujambigai. Goddess Mookambigai is yet another important shrine here and considered as holy as Kollur Moogambigai temple in Karnataka. Mahameru Srichakram is installed in this shrine.
Sacred tree here is maruda tree. This is  one of the three temples having a Marudha tree, other two are in Srisailam Andhrapradesh and third one in Ambasamudram In Tamil Nadu itself.
Do include this temple in your list when you plan Kumbakonam trip

Temple timings:- 6 Am -12 noon 
phone number 91 435 2460660
Nearest city is Kumbakonam which 8Kms away 
Kumbakonam has good hotels suiting to one's budget.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Nageshwara Jyotirlinga temple. Darukavanam,Dwarka, Gujarat

We relate Dwarka  to Lord Krishna but it is also abode of Lord Shiva. Shiva's temple here is one among the 12 Jyothirlingas listed in Shivpurana.

After worshipping  Somnath at Veraval we were fortunate enough to visit yet another Jyothirlinga the very next day at Dwarka.  Situated in a scenic, serene spot: this temple is known as Nageshwara Jyothirlinga . It's about 17 Kms  from Dwarka on the way to Beyt Dwarka.

An imposing idol of Shiva, 25 feet high  greets us when we reach the temple.

This deity here is a swambhu. The Lingam in the temple is seen in a niche in floor of the sanctum. I also found it was covered with a glass dome. What is visible is a glass dome with a Lingam inside.The hood of the Naga is seen above the Lingam. The Nageshwara manifested here after protecting his devotee from the clutches of a demon. Just outside the temple there is a shrine for Shanishwara under the Peepul tree.

Jamnagar is the nearest airport.
Do add this to your itinerary when you plan to visit Dwarka.

This temple is  between Dwarka and Beyt dwarka.
Temple timings- Temple remains open through out the day.
Timings 5 am-9 pm
Here cows and pigeons move freely among the devotees. They do not disturb anyone.They also feel safe under the Lord's gaze.

Many autos ply from the city of Dwarka at reasonable fee. They offer packages of all important temples like Beyt Dwarka, Gopi Talav, Nageshwara temple and Dwarkadeesh temple and a visit to beach to watch the Sun set. The beach is beautiful and I have captured some pictures of same. Check this link for the same,

Monday, November 14, 2016

Ambaji Temple, Ambaji, Banskantha district Gujarat

Ambaji temple in situated near the Aravalli mountain range and this is one of the most powerful Sakthipeeta of Goddess Sakthi. It is believed that the heart of Sati Devi fell here making this a punya bhoomi. Millions visit this temple through out the year.

There is no idol here instead there is Sri Yantra worshipped as Mother Goddess.
The temple is very well maintained. 
Men and women here have separate queues to worship Mother Goddess,
No photography is allowed inside the temple. One has to leave those at the lockers outside.

The temple spire shines with golden polish  and the domes are of  white marble  decorated with golden spikes   This adds to the beauty of the structure. There is a huge statue of lion  with Ma Sakthi at the entrance of the temple. The doors of this temple are covered with silver and whole structure is made of marble.
There is yet another temple of Ambaji on the Gabbar hill nearby.This is supposed to be the main seat of Ma Sakhti and later only the temple below the mountain range came into existence.Here also there is no idol instead a big Holy lamp glows continuously  throughout day and night.

Lord Krishna's  Mundan ceremony took place here at Gabbar Hill shrine.

The Mother Goddess here waits to bestow her grace and to grant the wishes of her devotees, after all only a Maa understands her children.

There are about 1000 steps if one wants to ascend the hill by foot. Cables cars are operated by the temple administration  to help pilgrims to reach temple in a few minutes. It just takes 3 minutes to reach the temple atop the hill.There was absolutely no crowd on the day we visited. Hence we  were fortunate enough to worship Mother without any problems.
Photography allowed here.

Nearest airport is Ahmadabad and this temple can be reached within 2 1/2 hrs from Ahmedabad by road. Distance is about 135 Kilometers.
Mount Abu a popular hill station is situated at a distance of 45 Kilometers.
Temple timings
7-11.30 Am 
12.30-4.30 pm
6.30 -9 pm

                                              Arasuri Ambaji temple Ambaji

                                                          Ambaji temple at Gabbar Hill

                                                           View from Gabbar Hill