Sunday, September 27, 2015

Shri Shanmuganathan Murugan Temple-Viralimalai

This Saturday 26/9/15 I was travelling near Trichy and happened to visit this ancient temple. This temple is renowned for the abundant peacocks strolling around and is a place where many Siddhars are supposedly still living in the caves.

How to Reach:

Many years ago while travelling from Trichy to Madurai I remember seeing the temple steps.Today the NH 45 has a bypass and you have to enter inside the town.On The TRICHY –MADURAI HIGHWAY after about 20 kms you will see the hillock beckoning.

here is a narrow approach road to the temple and it is best you park in the broad road nearby.The regular buses from Trichy and Madurai do stop here.There are about 270 steps which leads to he temple.IMG_20150926_093436_HDRIMG_20150926_093332_HDR

Stories and Legends:

This place was where Saint Arunagirinathar was blessed with knowledge.murugan came as a hunter and directed the saint to this templeIMG_20150926_093046_HDR

This is seen in the Sandhana mandapam at the end of the flight of stairs

The Thondaman Raja of Pudukottai had a dream that if Cigars are given as prasadam in the afternoon and evening his disease would be cured hence the devotees bring these as prasadam to be submitted to god.

Saint Vashishta Cursed Arundathi for not taking care of the infant murugan who was born in 6 parts from Shiva's body Murugan in turn cursed Sage Vashishta who then came here with Arundhati and both were absolved of their sins  after praying here.

I found that people give their child in adoption to muruga for favours obtained and the child's maternal uncle re adopts the child after paying the lord  a token amount of rice husk(Thavudu)

The climb is scenic and pleasant if done slowly.There are a lot of monkeys so beware.They have a free run. There are small shrines for Vinayaga,MuruganIMG_20150926_090922IMG_20150926_090937


Idumban Sannidhi a small cave Shrine for Meenakshi Sundareshwar


The top mandabam leads to the flight of steps opening into the main temple with one praharm


The Main sannidhi has Shanmughanatha with 6 faces and 12 arms on the peacock all this standing on one leg of a peacock.There is a mirror behind which allows us to seethe three faces behind.

The outer praharam has many niches with gods as below


Some unique carvings on the temple wall


A small temple in a quiet place

Sunday, June 28, 2015

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
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

Sri Dhenupureeshwarar temple Patteeswaram- famous Durga and a PadalPetra sthalam

Right in the middle of Kumbakonam this magnificent temple is one of the major is more famous as the Durga temple as it houses one of the magnificent Vishnu durgas in its outer praharam.

The Lord of this temple Sri Dhenupureeshwarar ( one who was worshipped by a cow) wanted to see the full majesty of Sri Thirugnana sambandar the boy saint and hence asked Nandi to  stand aside 

How to reach:

The temple is in the south-western part of kumbakonam and  is easily reached on the road to papanasam

Legends of this temple:

The sage Vishwamitra obtained the Gayathri Mantra in this temple only.This was the Ashram of Sage Vashishta who was the custodian of the Divine cow Kamadhenu and he finally conferred the title of Brahma Rishi on Vishwamitra here.

When Parvati selected this place to do thapas for attaining Lord Shiva the divine Cow Kamadhenu sent her calf  - named Patti to help Parvathi.Seeing Parvathi the calf Patti also got inspired and built a mud lingam and started worshipping Shiva by dropping her milk on the linga.Pleased Shiva blessed her and this place was then called as Patteshwaram where Shiva gave a vision to Patti

Devotees pray to Mother Durga for relief from the adverse aspects of serpent planets Rahu and Ketu during the Rahu Kalam times, on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays in particular and on new moon, full moon, Ashtami and Navami days and for child and wedding boons and from the adverse aspect of Mars-Sevvai planet.

View of the main Eastern gopuram


Inside the first praharm with the durga temple facing north seen on the right side below



The Durga temple complex has multiple statues and the main Goddess has 4 arms and is about 6 foot tall and is on a MahishaIMG_0071IMG_0072


The temple legend with a picture of the main durga


The Shiva temple complex has a huge Shivalingam facing east and the atmosphere when I visited at 7 AM was  serene

The usual koshta vigrahas IMG_0080IMG_0081

The Ambal Palvalai Nayaki has a seperate sannidhi facing South and is about 4feet tall. The sculptures in the ambal sannidhi are nice and thought provoking



Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sri Ukthavedeeshwarar temple at Kuttalam near Mayavaram -a padal petra sthalam

I visited this temple late in the evening hence the photos are all not very great

How to reach:

Kuttalam is about 8 kms from Mayavaram on the road to Kumbakonam.The kuttalam bus stand is a chaotic place and can’t be missed. Right opposite this road is the road leading to the temple. In fact Thirumananjeri, Thiruvelvikudi are very near this temple and all are padal petra sthalams

Legends and Stories:

(From the Wikipedia)

The legend has that Goddess Sri Parvathi in the form of a cow worshipped Lord Shiva at Thiruvavaduthurai/Thiru Avaduthurai, Lord was pleased at her devotion and gave dharshan to her. At Kuttalam, Goddess Sri Parvathi was born as a daughter to Sage Bharatha, Sage Bharatha brought up this divine child with lots of love and affection. As years passed, the child was a staunch devotee of Lord from her early age. She worshipped Lord Shiva and underwent severe austerities to attain him as her husband .Lord Shiva was appeared before Goddess Sri Parvathi and agreed to marry her. She put forward a condition that the marriage should take place in the presence of her parents and relatives; Lord  granted her wish and married her as she desired in the presence of her parents and relatives.

He visited his Father in law, Bharata muni’s house at Kuttalam and was accompanied by the divine tree kuttalam from which the place derived its name .He left behind this tree and his padukas here to bless devotees at this temple..

Sri Sundarar the saint had become blind and developed leukoderma as a result of breaking his promises to both his wives. He came here and after a bath in the pond called sundara theertham he regained his sight and lustre and sang 10 songs on the lord here. There is a statue for sundarar near the pond and the padigams sung by him are painted inside the temple.

The Kuttralam tree is revered as having medicinal value in its leaves, flowers and is much revered here.


The Shivan sannidhi is in front facing west and the ambal Parimalasugundha nayaki’s sannidhi is seen on the left in the pic below


The sthala vruksham is seen on the right  of the dwjasthambam


The main shivan is about 5 ft high with avudiyar facing the left side. The koshta vigrahas are usual ganesha dakshinamurthy, lingothbhavar and Durga all are reversed in position due towest facing Lingam. there is also a sanidhi for the young Goddess Parvathi before she married Shiva,There are also   depictions of the marriage on the temple gopuram and vimanamIMG_0042IMG_0040IMG_0041IMG_0048IMG_0046IMG_0047IMG_0049IMG_0052IMG_0045IMG_0053IMG_0043

Sundarar’s compositions on the roofIMG_0054

A holy place for relief from skin and eye disorders and remove obstacles to marriage