Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sri Ambikapatheeshwarar temple Keezhambi-Kanchipuram

Though I visited this temple in 2011 I have somehow not blogged about it. A recent discussion about the adhishtanam of Sri Advaithatma Prakashendra 

(Sishya of Sri Bodhendral of Govindapuram) of the Kanchi peetam reminded me of this temple.(click here to see the blog )

This is the only temple in Kanchipuram with a seperate ambal sannidhi

How to reach:

Keezhambi is a small village west of Kanchipuram on the Bangalore highway. The place is about 10 kms from the present Sri madam. Take the road towards Ekambranathaswamy temple and proceed straight for 8 kms.till you reach the Krishna engineering college and just after this take left turn. You will see lush green Verdant fields amidst which rests the temple. The road stops at a huge banyan tree and you will have to go by a small mud road.20120114_101336


Legends of the temple:

Parvathy did penance in Kanchi to attain the lord. This place where the temple is situated was a huge garden and during her tapas an attendant would daily bring flowers from here to the place where Parvathy was lost in dhyana. Kanchi is the Nabhi sthalam shakthi peetam. Kamakshi is all pervading here and no other shiva temple in all 0f Kanchi except this temple has a ambal sannidhi. This is referenced in the Shivapuranam.20120114_095408

Sri Kamban the great poet lived with his benefactor  in Kanchi. He did poojas here to beget progeny and in gratitude named his son after the Lord in this temple

The temple itself is very small and is east facing with entrance to the sannidhi from the south. with the ambal sannidhi seen on the right20120114_095125


The main sanidhi has an ante chamber with murugan, Ganesha and a nandi plus the temple legend board20120114_095159


The Shivalingam is medium sized and is blessing us . The temple is clean and well maintained and very peaceful.

The kosta vigrahas around are Ganapathy, Dakshinamurthy, Mahavishnu , Brahma and Durga 20120114_100517 20120114_100526 20120114_100545

There are shrines for Vinayaka and Murugan behind the temple and the sthalavruksham is the Vilvam20120114_100708


View from behind of ambal sannidhi and Vilva tree


The Ganapathy sannidhi behind


The Navagrahas and the temple well 20120114_101024 20120114_101018

The entrance walls have murugan and vinayaka20120114_095114 20120114_095107

Since there are very few visitors the priest who stays in Kanchi comes twice a day and closes the temple after pooja. He is available from 7 am to 9 AM and evenings from 4 PM. Both the temple and the adhishtanam nearby are places worth seeing . Please include them in your trips to Kanchipuram The farm hand at the adhishtanam will guide you around

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sri, Sivakozhundeshwarar temple Thirthanagari near Cuddalore- A padal petra sthalam

This temple has been in existence over 4 yugams and has been re built many times over, The last time by a local chieftain VeeramanMaharaja. There are many legends associated with this temple. It is on the banks of a huge water body called Perumal lake
Hoe to Reach:
Theerthanagiri is 18 km far from Cuddalore on the east coast road towards chidambaram. After crossing alapakkam on the left in 5 kms will see a board to thirthanagari it is about 4 kms on this road. IMG_0049
Legends of the temple:
Perumal worshipped shiva here and killed a demon called Murasuran and he hence came to be known as Murari
Siva rahasyam which was told by shiva to parvathy was overheard by Murugan who instructed Agasthiyar the same and the same are documented in palm leaf writings in the Connemara library
Durvasa cursed Bhringi rishi and he received salvation after worshipping shiva here
Perumal lake or Garuda theertham was  dug out by Garuda.
There were an aged couple who cultivated Thinai (hence thinai oor ). They used to eat only after feeding a guest. One day an aged man came and said he would work in the fields and then eat. He started sowing seeds and when the aged couple came to feed him they fount a bountiful harvest of thinai here and when the couple asked how this was possible Shiva revealed his real form to them, Thinai cultivation was the main agriculture here and even today the local farmers start cultivation after prayers to Dakshinamurthy here who is sitting in Padmasana without his sishyas and in the posture he had food . He is called Yoga Dakshinamurthy
Suryan prayed to Shiva here and in March April (Panguni month) the sun rays fall directly on the swayumbu lingam
The ambal sannidhi is in the first praharam on the right of the Nandi and the Dwajasthambam seen above
Below is the second praharam with entrance from the south
The  saints Appar, Sambandar Navukkarasar and the builder Veeraman Maharaja are housed in the enclosure on the left
The main enclosure has a shivalingam  and also houses a rare Nataraja. Shiva is east facing and has a majestic avudiar.
The nataraja is ardhanari with ganga on the head and anklets on one leg. There are figures of Brahma playing drums and Vishnu blowing the Conch. The earrings are different on both sides. Agni is held in one hand and the damaru in anotherIMG_0076
This place is considered as holy for the performing arts and many vidwans come here to exhibit their artistry and pray for success
The Kosta vigrahas are unique. The story of the aged farmer is depicted around t ganesaIMG_0057 IMG_0056

The yoga dakshinamurthy in padmasana on a lotus with no maram or sishyasIMG_0058 IMG_0062
Lingothbhavar shiva with Brahma and Vishnu on either side. Sadly the epigraphy has been whitewashed
Rare Chandikeshwara with consortIMG_0066
Murugan sannidhiIMG_0065
The sthala vruksham KonraiIMG_0068
The ambal sannidhi is in the outer courtyard facing South. Goddess Oppilla nayaki one who has no comparision (Karunthadankanni)is about 5 feet tall and majesticIMG_0086
A few paintings inside of the nayanmarsIMG_0085 IMG_0084
Manikantan gurukkal :9047140464 / 8870740464

Sri Mangalapureeshwarar temple at Tiruchopuram near Cuddalore- A padal petra sthalam

This Sunday 23/8/14 I visited this temple . It is very close to the shore and in a quaint village. Sadly many people do not visit this temple and the priest stays at Cuddalore but does 5 kala pujas daily. Since he is in charge of many temples  he is always on the move. The temple manager stays behind and has custody of the keys and so we were able to enter the temple and have a darshan
How to reach:
The temple is between cuddalore and chidambaram On the east coast road about 20 kms from cuddalore you will see the road to Alapakkam take this road and cross the railway track at 4 kms you will come to Thiruchopuram now called Thiagavalli in memory of the queen of Thribhuvana maharaja who used to worship here. The Temple is in the middle of the village
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The bells on the kodimaram were pleasantly welcoming us with their music
A few hundred  and fifty years ago the temple was covered by sand and was lost. Ramalinga sivayogiar of Madurai had a dream and he came here and discovered the kalasam and with the help of villagers reclaimed  the temple. Till a few years ago it was accessed only  by boat access the river. You can still see copious sand in the courtyard
Agasthya did penance here .
Thirugnanasambandar has sung songs about this temple
The temple itself is quite small but spacious. The shivalingam faces west hence the  square avudiar is on the left. The ambal sannidhi is on the left facing south. There is only one praharamIMG_0008
The dwarapalakas of the shivan sannidhi
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The ambal is known as Veladan nadunkanniyal, sathyaaya dakshi and is about 5feet tall and quite imposing.IMG_0019 IMG_0018
The kosta vigrahas are reversed as the temple faces west and hence you find Vishnu durgai first, The Dakshinamurthy, lingodhbhavar are unique in having attendants Ganesh has Thirugnanasambandam as attendantIMG_0036 
Dakshinamurthy has sanath kumaras
Brahma and Vishnu are attending Shiva above
There are other sannidhis in the praharam  as below with many lingams and the 63 nayanmarsIMG_0041 IMG_0026 IMG_0027 IMG_0028 
Navagragas in an enclosure
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Sthala vriksham Konrai maram