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
IMG_0090IMG_0091IMG_0092
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
IMG_0102IMG_0103IMG_0104

Sri Dhenupureeshwarar temple Patteeswaram- famous Durga and a PadalPetra sthalam

Right in the middle of Kumbakonam this magnificent temple is one of the major attractions.it 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

IMG_0068

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

 

IMG_0069

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

IMG_0074

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

IMG_0084IMG_0085

IMG_0086

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.

IMG_0067

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

IMG_0063

The sthala vruksham is seen on the right  of the dwjasthambam

IMG_0065IMG_0062IMG_0061

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

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    .

IMG_0001IMG_0002 

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

IMG_0005

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

IMG_0007

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

IMG_0027

The well had living trees as posts to support the pulley

IMG_0028

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