Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sri Kanakadurga temple Vijayawada

I had the opportunity to visit this temple this Sunday as per the wishes of the Kanchi acharyas who are camping here for their chaturmasa vratam. The Krishna river will have the pushkar festival from Aug 12  to 24 this year hence hectic construction  activity is taking place. I had previously visited this temple  in 1983 and remember climbing up the Indra keeladri hill but today there is a magnificent 7 floored multistory building engulfing the hill which is the modern queue complex. There is a lift available for the physically challenged also.
How to Reach:
The temple is on a hillock where the NH 5 enters the city from the south at the Krishna river barrage. It is very close to the station and you just can't miss it.There is a road up the ghat road and vehicles were allowed up previously. For the pushkar it has been stopped.
Legends
Indra Keela a sage obtained a boon that  Ma Durga would stay Atop his head and protect the people from asuras in the previous Yuga .True to her word After killing mahishasura, Durga came to rest on the Indrakeeladri hill protecting the people of Bezwada. The 10 day Dasara festival is grandly celebrated here with daily adornments and alankara of Durga Devi.Since she shines in a holden hue she is called Kanaka Durga. Kanaka is gold in Telugu and Sanskrit.
There is another story that Durga playfully removed the nose ring from Krishnaa and ran up the hill.Krishna has promised that at the end of the Yuga she will rise up to the hill and redeem her nose ring

In the Mahabharata Arjuna has a fight  with Shiva as a hunter in claiming  a wild boar killed by his arrow,Shiva tests him and this is where he gives Arjuna the pasupata astra.
The Chola king Vijaya adithya conquered this land and built  the Vijayeshwara temple below the hill to commemorate Arjuna's receiving the astra.

The river Krishna was stopped by the hills here . Answering the peoples prayers Shiva created caverns and tunnels in these hills to allow free flow of the river to irrigate the land and make it fertile. Locally these tunnels are called Bejjalu hence the name Bejjalu wada or Bezwada for this city. To commemorate this the Mallikarjuna shiva temple is built on another hill adjoining the Durga temple.
Adishankara visited this place and has codified Pooja here and has done a Srichakra yathrai sthapana in this temple

When you visit the temple please leave the cell phones in designated lockers and you can move up 7 floors in dedicated queues for Rs.5/20/100 and free darshan. Tickets will be issued in the queue itself with laddu  .
You will be allowed in front of the sanctum for a brief period to pray.
The temple has a dedicated website for all special Poojas and sevas .
Everything is peaceful inspute of the crowd above at the temple .please do visit and enjoy the benefits of Ma Durga

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sri Kari Varadaraja Perumal temple-Madhavaram in Chennai

Enroute to the Kailasanathar temple I visited this temple.it is built recently but the idols were looking ancient. I could not find much information on this temple. The main sannidhi has Varadaraja perumal with Sridevi and Bhoodevi in  the standing pose . There are separate sannidhis for Kanakavalli thayar, chakrathalwar, andal.It is a small place and I saw the dwelling for the archakas also inside,

Both the Madhavaram temples were built by Nandi Varma pallava in 656 AD I was told

Just outside is the imposing  Anjeneya statueDSC06047DSC06048

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Sri Kailasanathar Karpagambal Temple at Madhavaram in Chennai

Today I visited Madhavaram a quiet suburb of Chennai towards the North where in I could visit this temple.Madhavaram is more famous for its Milk Diary (Aavin runs its biggest diary processing facility here)

How to Reach:

I traveled through the PADI to REDHILLS highway and near puzhal proceeded straight to Madhavaram at the round about I took the right and entered Madhavaram. in about 1 KM I saw the perumal koil street on the left proceed straight and cross the perumal koil and as the road narrows take the second left after the perumal temple you will arrive at the Sivan temple

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The main entrance is closed as there is painting work going on  in the RajagopuramDSC06008

History of the temple:

The temple was apparently built by the pallavas in 610 AD there was a stone tablet which proclaimed this and it said the temple was not having pujas for more than 50 years until a member of the caretaker family formally re built the temple and re furbished new vigrahas. The moolavar Shivalinga is a majestic 5 foot Maragatha lingam which is truly imposing

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The  temple itself is very small with a large courtyardDSC06012

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The main prahara has the sanctum for east facing Shivalingam Sri.Kailasanathar and a South Facing Sanctum for Sri.Karpagambal who is a small 3 feet statue but with wonderful alankara. I was able to witness abhishekam of the mother today morningDSC06035

Vinayaka

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DakshinamurthyDSC06018

nayanmarsDSC06019

GanapathyDSC06020

The outside has koshta vigrahas and also shrines as  above

There are sannidhis for the Jyotirlingams, mahalakshmi and murugan

The northern side had a hanuman sannidhi alsoDSC06023DSC06025DSC06026DSC06027

All in all a quiet temple ancient with a modern make over

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Thiru Kumaraswamy temple Erukathampuliyur nearVriddhachalam- A padalpetra Sthalam

I had an opportunity to visit this temple near Vriddhachalam last Sunday. I was driving down from kumbakonam to Chennai after an “on the spur of a  moment” trip the previous day. my wife and her aunt wanted to visit Andimadam , a small village famous  for its cotton sarees which are very light in weight and on the purse too!! So after a feel good saree purchase trip I happened to pass by this temple currently under renovation and had a good darshan.

How to Reach: 

The temple is situated in Rajendrapatnam and is known as Erukathampuliyur due to the abundant Erukka( Calotropis procera, Arka, Jilledu, Erukkam) trees forest here puliyur because Vyagrapada did penance here.More about that in history.Rajendrapatnam is 25 kms from Jayamkondan towards Vriddhachalam and it is 13 kms away from Vriddhachalam.The temple is easily found just by the side of the highway.

Legends and Stories:

This place was very peaceful in the past and all the devas used  to come here to meditate on the lord Shiva here in the form of bees, animals, trees etc. The local hunters started hunting these animals and cutting the divine trees.The lord cursed these hunters to become erukka plant which is generally considered useless .This explains the Erukka forest.

Once Shiva was expounding the Vedas to Parvati and she appeared disinterested he cursed her then to be born here as a fisher women.this enraged Murugan who threw the palm leaves of shiva as his mother was cursed so Shiva also bid him to be born on earth in Madurai  to Sri. Thalapathy and Gunasalini in the name of Rudrasanman , He was unfortunately born a deaf mute.  When he grew old, he went to many Shiva shrines seeking relief and was blessed with speaking skills at Erukathampuliyur.  As Kumaran (Murugan) worshipped Lord Shiva in the place, the Lord is named Thiru Kumara Swami.  There is an idol of Rudrasanma in the temple.

King Rajaraja Cholan prayed to Lord of this temple seeking a worthy progeny and was blessed with a son who later grew famous as Rajendra Cholan/Ponniyin Selvan/Arulmozhi Varman, hence, the place is called Rajendra Pattinam.

A king from the North of India called Suvedhan a, staunch Shiva devotee was infected with leucoderma due to his past sins and got relieved of the cruel disease by worshipping the Lord after a dip in the sacred Erukathampuliyur spring.   

The rays of Sun fall on the Lord from March 16 to 20. 

People with Stammering and speech difficulties pray to the lord here for mitigation of their problems.

It is the birth place of Thiru neelakanta Yazhpanar a Nayanmar

Thirugnanasambandar has composed Padigams on this lord

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It iss a small temple with both the Shivan Amedium sized Shivalingam  and Ambal Veramulai Amman – Abhinna Kusa Nayaki sannidhi are both side by side facing eastIMG_0094

The small outer praharam has sannidhis for Vinayaga and Murugan. The Koshta Vigrahas are Dakshinamurthy, Brahma and Durga and PerumalIMG_0098IMG_0100IMG_0097IMG_0101IMG_0099

The Nayanmars and Rudrasanman statue behind

Below we see Brahma and Durga in the Koshta

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Tiruvelvikudi ManaVaaleshwarar temple-Kumbakonam- A Padal petra sthalam

By sheer providence I took a wrong turn at Aduthurai and ended up at this temple while trying to visit the Thirumananjeri temple (click here to see my blog on the Thirumananjeri temple).

It was a divine blessing as I came too know that the pre marriage Vedic homams were all conducted here for Shiva and Parvathy before their wedding at Tirumananjeri and we are supposed to visit this temple before visiting the Thirumananjeri temple.

How to Reach:

This temple is very close to the tirumanenjeri temple and easily accessed from Aduthurai (for details see my blog on the Thirumanenjeri temple)

Legends of the temple:

The temple was the place where the vedic homam before the wedding was conducted. Those with delay in wedding should do homams here to expedite things.Compared to the Thirumnanjeri temple there is no crowd here. the peaceful surroundings were enchanting    .

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The temple has  nice pond outside and the outer courtyard is well maintainedIMG_0004The main Shivan  Sri Manavaaleshwarar sannidhi is seen in front  facing east.He is a majestic Shivalingam almost 5 feet tall

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with Ambal Parimalasugandha nayaki in the front facing south.The ambal is standing and is about 5 feet tall

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The outer praharam has a sannidhi where Shiva and parvathi are seen holding hands . The brass figures are exquisite but in need of better maintenance  IMG_0011

The koshta vigrahas are of Ganapathi, Agasthiar, NatarajaIMG_0012

, Dakshinamurthy,IMG_0015IMG_0014

Lingodbhavar, Chandrasekhara and Ardhanaareeswarar adorn the outer walls of the main sanctum.IMG_0017IMG_0018 The Ardhanari is unique in hat the shakthi is depicted on the right half unlike the usual left .

There is an unique durgai and a bhikshandar IMG_0022IMG_0023IMG_0024IMG_0025

There is an unique eeshana lingam in its own enclosure and lighting a lamp here will help mitigate navagraha and marriage doshamsIMG_0029

 

The Bull image on the temple was very life like

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The well had living trees as posts to support the pulley

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The entrance to the ambal sannidhiIMG_0031IMG_0034

Inscriptions from the period of Sembian Mahadevi and Rajaraja Cholan and Parantaka Cholan have been found in this temple.

The temple legend a shown above the Shivan sannidhiIMG_0030