Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sri Vyagrapureeshwarar temple-Tirupulivanam

About 5 kms from Uthiramerur temple is this old temple where in Sage Vyagrapada and his wife prayed to and got darshan of Shiva. This is a vypu sthalam where in appar has mentioned the temple in his songs.(There is a confusion whether this temple is spoken of or the one at tirupulivanam near kumbhakonam is spoken of.Though this is the bigger of the two temples)

How to reach:

The temple is 5 kms away from Uthiramerur on the Uthiramerur kanchipuram road and can easily be seen from the road.

Legends and stories:

The uniqueness of the temple here is the Dakshinamurthy which is supposedly a ardhanari.The sanctum of the guru has  Vyagrapada and his consort,King and Queen who prayed for children at Woriyur trichy and were directed here by the lord to pray for begetting children, Saint Vyagrapada is also supposed to have begotten progeny here.

The priest of the temple was instructed to send the garland of the lord daily . He was careless and there was a hair in the garland. When the king questioned him about the hair he says that the Lord has sprouted hair and this is one of them!! when the kind came to check the lord out of compassion to the priest had actually sprouted a head full of hair.This can be seen on the sivalingam today also

The dakshinamurthy here is unique,the right leg is on mugilan the left on a simham ,The left lower hand is pointing towards the right foot .This simha dakshinamurthy is to be prayed for all to by Simha rasi individuals .

Mother amrutha kuchalambal is supposed to cure diseases.

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The temple has a vasantha mandapam outside along with a bali peedam and nandi on the approach road itselfuthiramerur2 058

As you enter the temple rajagopuram entrance you see the amman sannidhi on the right facing South. This is a separate structure away from the main temple. The amman is about 4 feet tall with a smiling face in the standing posture.uthiramerur2 062

The entrance to the temple is through the multi pillared hall which has many beautiful carvings of stone

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The inner praharam is peaceful with the main vimanam of the gajaprushti type. The main sanctum has a swayumbhu siva lingam with marks of  tiger claws and a head with a Shikha (Kudumi!)

The koshta vigrahas and Devathas are unique here with a separate sannidhin for the srdhanari dakshina murthy who has an enclosure that needs to be climbed up to . There is also a   narasimhar in the pillar facing the Koshta Varadarajan in the  west.   The small figures are all intricately carved.

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Vyagrapadar above and Brahma below

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Durga

The features of the idols are so beautiful and proportionate.

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A  very intricately carved ganesha in the second praharam

The vigrahas in the pillars of the front hall are also a treat to watch

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Nandion the Chandikeswarar enclosure

Priest:Gunashekaran Cell no:09445111236

Sri Balasubramanyaswamy temple- Uthiramerur

Today I visited this temple as I had missed seeing this temple last month.

The temple is very close to the  Sundaravarada perumal temple and has been sung  about in Tirupugazh of Sri.Arunagirinathar

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How to reach:

Uthiramerur can be reached either from Chengalpet side from the NH 45 . It is about18 kms from Bukathurai .Take the right on the highway after andal azhagar engineering college.The road ends at uthiramerur in front of the Sundara Varada peruma; temple. The Balasubramanya swamy temple is almost  next door

Legends and Facts:

Murugan did penance here before he started on his journey to kill Sura padman. He does penence in the presence of his parents and obtains aVel (spear) with which he slays the asura Sura padman . Here the vahanam for murugan is elephant.This is because only after slaying the asura,surapadman he becomes the peacock which is the vahana of Muruga.uthiramerur2 006

It is a rock hewn temple as per pallava style and you can see the remnants of the hill with huge rocks jutting around in the outer praharamuthiramerur2 023

As you enter the rajagopuram gate you see the dwajasthambam and the elephant  . The way to the inner praharam is seen in front.A recently added ayyappa  sannidhi on the right is glaringly differentuthiramerur2 003

There is an ancient vasantha mandapam on theright as well as a new constructions. The mandapam has intricate carvings sadly whitewashed .uthiramerur2 005

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The main sanctum has a 6 foot murugan with four hands and is very impressive. There are figures of Shiva Parvati and Vinayaka behind the main dietyuthiramerur2 009 

The Second praharam inside has unusual Koshta vigrahas . It is not the ganesha, brahma, durga you see it is Sangu nidhi kubera, etcuthiramerur2 011

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Asara Kondrai tree in full blooom at the temple

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sri Neelivaneshwarar temple Thirupaingili near Trichy

This is one of the most ancient paadal petra sthalams sung by saint Appar .The lord has fed appar as a Brahmin here. 20120520_130559 The temple is  famous for the rebirth of Yama,the famous tiger stone granite construction. legend says it is 64 yugas old!! you can see the striped granite here20120520_131020

How to reach:

On the trichy salem road after you cross tollgate look for the road to Mannachanallur on the right (SH64).Take a turn and in 25 kms you will reach Mannachanallur. Thetemple is 6 kms north east of this town. It is also only 3 kms from Tiruvellarai pundarikaksha perumal. It can also be reached from Samayapuram on the Trichy Chennai Highway . It is about 20 kms from here.

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There is no Rajagopuram. The temple was constructed by Mahendra Pallava and the beginnings of the tower were built by Sundara Chola.There are archeological evidences in the nearby rock cut cave temples about the grants to this temple.You can see the unfinished gopuram and the Kasi viswanathar on the right20120520_130626

Another view of the kasiviswanathar sannidhi20120520_131723

Legends of the temple:

This place was the ashrama of Markandeya maharishi and he and his daughter Lakshmi were in penance here.

Sibi Chakravarthy was the ruler here many yugas ago. He was an ancestor of Dasaratha. The atrocities of asuras like Ravana perturbed him and he came with his army and rested here in the neeli vanam. Neeli is a peculiar Banana not consumed by people or animals. This is the sthala vruksham here.20120520_130250

Sibi saw a white boar (swetha varaha) and chased it to the ant hill at tiruvellarai and found the image of Pundarikaksha perumal. Markandeya maharishi asked him to stop the army’s march as perumal will take an avatar later to vanquish Ravana and directed Sibi instead to build the Tiruvellarai temple.There is a  Raavana kulam here .

This place was also  the ashrama of Vashishta  who prayed to the lord to give him darshan of the Cosmic dance given to vyagrapada and Patanjali at Chidambaram. So the lord did so .This place is also called Vada(north) Chidambaram.

Once Ganesha and Adiseshan were playfully combating and in a rare display of strength adiseshan hugged the kailas mountain and crushed it. One of the pieces was dispersed here. There are statues of ganesha and Adisesha in the vasantha mandapam here where they did penance to repent for their mischief. This is seen below.20120520_125550

When Yama was to take the life of Markhandeya Siva saves markhandeya and kills Yama(temple at Tirukadaiyur). As a result no death takes place and the earth becomes heavy. and chaotic with the increase in population.Bhudevi  found that only here things were peaceful. She then prayed to Siva to resurrect Yama to restore balance. There is a cave here where in the form of Somaskanda Siva restored Yama to life. Yama emerged from a pillar here as a pilaka form . It is believed that prayer here will remove the fear of Yama.It is customary to first visit this shrine then wash your feet and then visit the main temple complex.20120520_13064220120520_130648

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We then move into the main temple into  third praharam by the entrance below

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The Third praharam has the Dwaja sthambam , Amman sannidhis(yes two) and the Vasantha mandapam and sannidhis for vinayaka and adisesha

There is no Navagraha sannidhi here. Just before the Dwajasthambam all the navagrahas are depicted as pits “Navgraha kuzhi” and lamps are lit in these pits

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The neeli vazhai thottam is between the second and third praharm.  between the amman and the second sannidhi 20120520_130046 View of the second amman praharam the first is on the right hand side here.

It seems the idol of Visalakshi amman was damaged and was replaced.The king had a divine dream asking him to restore the original amman  so there are two Amman's.Puja is for the old amman.20120520_130200

The kulam in front of the second Amman's temple

when you move to the second praharam A small entrance leads you to the Sivan sannidhi.

The Sivan here is small and tiny a swayumbhu and is known as neelivaneshwarar, Vishwanathar, Sooreteashwarar20120520_130749

The Koshta Vigrahas20120520_130420 20120520_130411

Sooryan and chandran are also present.

There are a lot of writings on the wall and also stone edicts which give the temple an ancient charm  20120520_13053020120520_13053820120520_131803