Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sri Vaalishwarar temple at Ramagiri near Nagalapuram Andhra pradesh

Yesterday on the way toTirupati from Chennai I visited the unique small temple rich in legend and ancient with rare Pallava architecture supposedly from the 9 th century. There are two temples in this sleepy village. At the foot of the Ramagiri hill is the Shiva temple where Hanuman has a special status in front of the Nandi and there is a murugan temple on the hill which is open only between 8-9 AM .Since it requires a steep climb many do not frequent it.It is also administered by the same priest.
The temple is very close to the kailas kone temple and the famous nagalapuram trekking spots with the kailasa kone falls.
This temple is more famous for the Bhairavar who played a part in tricking Hanuman , just like Ganesha in Rock fort temple Trichy  and Srirangam. The bhairavar in fact is known to help in marriage  and progeny related issues and is called Santhana praapthi bhairavar and has a separate sannidhi and vimanam.
The temple is under the control of the Archeology department of Andhra Pradesh20120516_154309
How to Reach:
On the Periapalayam, puttur road after you cross Nagalapuram look out for the temple arch at the village Ramagiri. The murugan temple is visible from far.It is about 90 kms from Chennai via periapalayam. It can also be reached from Putturside  in about 10 kms from the Narayanavanam temple for details click here(http://drlsravi.blogspot.in/2010/07/narayanavanam-sri-kalyanavenkateshwara.html)
History and the legends of the temple:
Rama on his way back after killing ravana is advised by Vashishta his guru to install and pray to a Sivalingam from Kasi  at Papanasam in Kumbhakonam.to absolve himself of the Brahmahatti dosham . Promptly Rama despatched Anjeneya to bring one from Kasi . When he was crossing this place Kalabhairavar who was present here wanted the Lingam to be installed here and so he tricked Hanuman to leave theLingam here. Since it was a hot day Hanuman felt thirsty and landed here with the lingam. He was searching for a water source. Kalabhairava came in the form of a cow herd and pointed to the lake here created by him.through prayers to Ganga.. Since the lingam must not be placed on the earth as it would take root there itself Hanuman requested the Cowherd to hold the lingam which was heavy.Just like ucchi pilliar tricked vibhishana in Srirangam with Sri Ranganatha’s vigraham so also Bhairavar faked that it was too heavy and left the lingam here .How ever much he tried an enraged hanuman could not move it .He tried with all his might with his tail around the lingam, It just tilted but would not  budge hence it is called Vaal eashwarar (Vaal in tamil meanss Tail)
The pond  here has a continuous source of water sprouting from the mouth of a Nandi from a hidden spring which is very clear and cold. It is supposedly of medicinal value in treating Neurological problems.20120516_155951
this temple is one of the five faces of Lord Shiva.
1) Ramagiri alias Thiru Arikarai - Ishana face
2) Pallikondeswaram alias Suruttapalli - Tatpurusha face
3) Sampangi rameshwarar Vamadhevapuram alias Arani near Periyapalayam (not North Arcot) - Vamadheva face.
4) Varamoorthy Kshethram alias Ariyathurai - Sadhyojatha face South Gokaranam                                    5) Chinthamaneeswaram - Kattur near Minjur, the place where Brahma Aranya river merges with sea represents Aghora face of Lord Shiva.
Source:  Shantiraju's excellent blog on this temple
saravanan iyer's excellent blog on this temple.Please see these two blogs for excellent write ups on this temple.
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When you enter the main temple The first praharam you see is the ambal maragathambikai who is enchanting and calm looking having four arms and facing south.The hall in front of the ambal is recently built and has a neat tiled floor and is roomy .(The Second praharam). There is a very unique Vallabha ganapathy on the right with its trunk coiled up in front of the face!! as seen from the statue below. It is really very pretty inside in stone


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This praharam leads in front to the Kalabhairavar sannidhi which is a temple in itself with its own vimanam and with koshta devathas all of them are Bhairavas in different postures. The vahanam is a dog just like the nandhi in the sivan sannidhi and you find dogs carved in many niches as well as live ones happily walking inside.There is a seperate niche and sannidhi  for Kalikamba inside facing south.The bhairavar faces east and is seated - Santhana Praapthi bhairavar.

The shiva is east facing .The Sivalingam is tilted towards the north and has marks of hanumans tail as grooves on it encircling the lord.The pic above is from the statue outside on the wall of the temple.
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The Nandi is in the outer praharam in the amman’s praharam with the Sivalingam having a Hanuman between the Nandi and a small nandi in front of the hanuman,which is a very unique feature in any siva temple for a hanuman to be between Nandhi and the Lord !!
The koshta vigrahas and other vigrahas are Brahma, Vishnu, Shanmuga, Veerabhadra, Durga, Surya, Chandikeswarar, Sapta Mata, Dakshinamurthy, Ayyappa( sastha), Anjaneya, Agasthiar and Appar. These are very intricately carved idols unique like the agasthiyar having a hood on his head,The sastha vigraham turning his face and leg bent at the knee as though he is just getting up. The workmanship of all the vigrahas are excellent.I could not take photos inside as it was not allowed by the manager.

There is a dilapidated brick temple behind with a stone chatram in front of the Pond.I could not get much info on these.They can be seen below in the pic of the pond.20120516_155951

You can see the sprout from the nandi’s mouth between the two bathers
A refreshing peaceful temple withvery beautiful scultures.
Contact:
Shri.Shankarswamy gurukkal ph:09490008887
(Phone number given by the resident  manager ).