Monday, February 6, 2012

Perumbakkam Sri.Venkata Varada perumal Temple

This is a serene small temple i happened to visit yesterday.The temple houses both Varadharaja and Venkatesa perumal hence the name.The temple is the abhimanaksethram of the jeer of the Ahobilamadam and has been the seat of the sadas that selected The 37 th  jeer Srivann Satakopa Sri Veeraraghava Satakopa Yathindra Maha Desikan.. There in lies a story
How to reach:
About  seven kms from Vizhupuram on the Vizhupuram Thirukoilur road (SH69) perumbakkam is small hamlet.On reaching this village the temple is the main attraction situated on the right side about 100 m away
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History:
The temple was built in 1605 AD as per records.It is famous for Sri Varadaraja perumal who has a raised right hand in benediction as well as Sri Venkatesa perumal who has a lowered right hand pointing towards his feet as the pathway to salvation.
According to legend, Lord Varadaraja appeared in the dream of a Vedic scholar  residing at Perumbakkam and directed him to retrieve the idols buried in his land called `Thoramaniam' and build a temple for Him and His Consorts. He had also said that it should be called Venkata Varadaraja Perumal temple. Accordingly, the scholar and other  devotees of the village dug up the land, found the idols of Venkata Varadaraja Perumal with Sridevi and Bhoodevi, . The main shrine of Sri Venkata Varadaraja Perumal with His Consorts was built with special granite brought from `Kalpattu', as per Agama sastras, with ardhamandapam, mahamandapam, etc., in the year 1605 A.D., according to the inscriptions found in the temple. Subsequently, a separate shrine for Perundevi Thayar and a sannidhi for Andal were built. Other sannidhis for Bashyakarar, Nammazhwar and Vedantha Desikar, with a front mandapam, were added on. Later, a separate sannidhi with mandapam was built for Adivann Satakopa Yathindra Maha Desikan, the founder and the first Jeeyar of Sri Ahobila Mutt.
(source :The Hindu)
The temple is very close to the jeers of the Ahobila mutt  as it has been associated with a Jeeyar who was selected by a sadas here.
The 36th Jeeyar, Sri Vann Satakopa Sri Srinivasa Yathindra Mahadesikan, camped here for nearly one year and performed Mangalasasanam to Sri Venkata Varadaraja Perumal. He passed away without nominating a successor, on December 27, 1898.
At that time, U. V. Gopalacharya Swami, of Pillaipakkam was doing Aradhana Kainkaryam at Sri Matam. He was very devoted and sincere in his duties but was unwilling to take up sanyasasramam as he felt it would hinder his aradhana duties at the math. On January 24, 1899, the Srivaishnavas of Perumbakkam convened a sadas to discuss the issue and requested U. V. Gopalacharya Swami to accept the post. After much persuasion, he accepted the offer and His Peetarohanam was celebrated immediately.
The swami was the author of several Vedantic works. He assumed the thirunamam, Srivann Satakopa Sri Veeraraghava Satakopa Yathindra Maha Desikan. A staunch devotee of Sri Venkata Varadaraja Perumal, he adored Him as the replica of Kanchi Sri Varadaraja, on whom he has composed several slokas. Even though this Jeeyar adorned the peetam for only 11 months, he stayed in the village and worshipped Sri Venkata Varadaraja Perumal. It was during the period of the 36th and 37th Jeeyars that Perumbakkam devotees developed Sri Adivann SatakopaYathindra Mahadesikan Sannidhi and started celebrating a 10-day festival `Thirukettai' Sathumarai in Purattasi. The practice continues even today.
Sri Injimedu Azhagiyasingar, the 42nd Jeeyar, has proclaimed this village as Dakshina Ahobilam. The temple is thus associated with several Jeeyar swamis of the Ahobila Mutt.
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The temple was closed when I visited but the bhattar was kind enough to open it at 12 noon.
The main sanidhi has Varadaraja perumal with consorts.Varadaraja perumal has narasimhar on his chest which can be seen  during thirumanjanam

Just outside the main sanni is the sannidhi of Venkatesa perumal .This is because that during retrival  it was noticed that the Sridevi idol had a cut on the left side of the face hence she appeared in the dream of the priest and asked to be consecrated outside the main sanctum.
There is a seperate sanndhi for perundevithayar , andal, Chakrathalwar and also the doyens of the Vaishnavas as seen belowDSCN3628
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The kalyana anjeneyar seen above is very famous here. He accepts full coconuts after they are presented to varadaraja as kanikkai to improve marriage and child bearing prospects.
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The shrine for the founder of the ahobila madam.
In short a small compact temple

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thiruvennainallur –sri Krupapureeshwarar temple

Today i visited this ancient temple near Villupuram.It is very important place for shaiva siddhantha associated with the legends of great souls like Sundarar (van thondan),Thirunavukarasar,maithondar ,arunagirinathar ,vallal sadayappar , Kambar of ramayana fame  . The place has been in existance since antiquity and there are stone edicts excavated at tiruvannamalai and other placed describing grants during the reign of Raja raja chola I as well as Rajaraja chola II, The ramayana of Kambar makes reference to this place and temple,and in the Coronation scene Kambarpays homage to his sponsor and well wisher shri sadayappa mudaliar of Tiruvennainallur.
It is a padal petra sthalam with the ranking of 15 in tamil nadu
How to reach:
The place is 15 kms from Vizhupuram and easily reached. on the Chennai tiruchy highway after crossing the first pass to vizhupuram, look for the board to Tiruvennainallur on the right it is reached after  you cross the pennar river. Take the road on the right after agaram and proceed straight till you cross a village called gramam . Proceed further for about 8 kms and the road takes a bend to the left. The first left after this turning leads to the temple. The marker for this place are  the flower vendors at the market on either side of the narrow road.. The road curves around to the temple and the entrance appears narrow it leads to a mammoth templeCopy of DSCN3599
The fore ground has the sannnidhi for Sundarar
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(side enrance leading to the ambal sannidhi)
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Legends with the temple:
This temple is associated with many interesting stories.The basic legend is that when Shiva had consumed poison and was unconscious Parvathi came here and created a hall of butter (hence vennai nallur) , and created a panchagni and reduced the poison. Hence Shiva was saved .
This place is one of the Shakthi peetams with Parvathy on a simha vahanam and sangunidhi and padmanidhi as gaurdians.of the door.Her ugram was pacified by the Meru installed in front and she is a shanta swaroopi here called Mangalambikai who bestows only good here.
Maikandar a renowned shaiva poet was blessed by Sage paranjothi when he was playing here as a five year old and he received the knowledge in front of the swayambhu Vinayagar ( unchiselled vinayakar) seen below.He saw the truth (Mai kandar) and started composinghis mammoth work here.DSCN3609
This is the temple(around about 600 AD) where Sivaperuman stops the marriage of Sundarar and proves that sundarar is his slave and brings him to the temple disguised as an old man. The sandals that Shiva wore are still seen preserved in the sanctum .It is huge and frayed . Sundarar realises that the old man who he called as a mad cap is Shiva and starts singing the first of his compositions”Pitha pirai soodi”(mad man wearing the moon as a head ornament) in this temple.
The hall where Siva argued withthe vilage elders to prove that Sundararis his slave is seen below It is a 100 pillared hall present at the entrance of the temple as seen below
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Arunagirinathar is supposed to have had the vision of Muruga dancing on his peacock hereDSCN3613

As you enter the temple you see the dwaja sthambam with a small vinayagar in frontCopy of DSCN3602
The structure behind is the Sivan sannidhi . The nandi seen behind the dwaja sthambam is supposed to be dharmarajan himself. He also helps in people getting married, so he is very popular .
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Seen above is the chamber leading into the Shivan sannidhi complex on the right. The way to ambal sannidhi is on the far left
The main hall has a garba gruha with a massive sivalingam and the anteroom has the paduka of shiva inside a glass box.
There are sannidhis for vinayaka and muruga in addition to the usual niche devatahas like bhikshandar, Dakshinamurthy, Lingodhbhavar, Brahma, Durga and chandiikeshwarar as in all shiva temples.(lingodhbhavar below)
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Dakshinamurthy seen below
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(Bhikshandar seen below)
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There is a huge verandah running all around the main praharam
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The ambal sannidhi is next door in the next prakaram
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She is seen standing with four arms and a benign smile.There is a simha vahanam in front and a meru installed .
The Sthala vriksha here is the bamboo.It seems the vedas came here to worship the lord in the form of bamboos.DSCN3618

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Kurukkal Ravi is seen in the picture of the ambal sannidhi  he can be contacted on cell:7708638986
People light lamps for pariharam with a mixture of five oils hence the notice below to do it outside!Copy of DSCN3604
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A view of the 100 pillar hall in front and the main praharam seen on the right as seen from The ambal praharam to give a sense of the size of the temple

I revisited the temple today 27/4/13 here are a few more pics. The road to the temple is freshly relaid and is great.

Legend from the amman sannidhi

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Legend on the side of the vinayakar at the entrance in front of the dwajasthambam

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Nandi at the entrance

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Temple legend at the entrance

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The Divine couple at the entrance

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