Sunday, April 24, 2011

Navagraha temples in chennai near porur –Thiru Naageshwarar Temple Kunrathur-Rahu sthalam

As already written by me in the previous post the temple was built by Sri Sekkizhaar who wrote the popular ‘Periya Puranam’. This temple is a famous Rahu ketu parihara  sthalam near chennai.
The temple is situated right behind the bus stand of kunrathur and very easy to find.(Kunrathur can also be easily reached from Porur where if you follow the extension of Arcot road you will reach the town in 4 kms or you can also reach it from Mangadu/poonamallee)

(The approach road to the vada thirunaageshwaram temple which is seen in the far distance)

Sekkizhaar was born in Kunrathur itself. The king made Sekkizhaar his minister at his capital. Sekkizhaar was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and was regularly worshipping Lord Shiva at Thirunaageswaram near Kumbakonam.
During later stages, Sekkizhaar built a temple for Lord Shiva at Kunrathur which is very similar to the Thirunaageswaram temple. He installed the deity (Shiva Lingam) with Naagaabaranam (snake as an ornament) around the Shiva Lingam and named the Lord as Sri Naageswarar.
There is a huge temple tank just outside the temple24042011293
(The main entrance to the temple)

view as you enter
The first praharam as you enter houses the Kamakshi devi sannidhi in the standing posture on the left hand side.Goddess Sri Kamakshi is facing south .The next praharam houses the Sivalingam in all its resplendencesivalingam[1] The Naga aabharanams around the shiva is what makes him special here to ward off the evils of Rahu and Ketu.Sri Naageswarar is seen facing east
Sri Sekkizhaar also has a separate shrine inside the temple.
There is a seperate navagraha sannidhi in the outer praharam

Nandi seen on a seperate pedestal facing the main sanctum
View of the temple from outside

Nagai mugai ambal sametha Kandhazheeswarar temple

This temple on the foot hills of the Kunrathur temple is truly enchanting. It was built by Kulathungachola II with generous modifications by Chera and Pandya kings as per inscriptions found here. The temple is opposite the residence of sekkhizhiar the Chola prime minister and author of the periapuranam fame who it seems sat here and composed many poems of the peria puranam here.(The dilapidated house can still be seen)
The temple is unique that the main entrance leads to Ambal sannidhi( seen in the back ground here) unlike in other siva  temple and the ambal is facing south.
The kumbabishekam was done about 40 days ago and there was a special puja yesterday with a 1000 sanghu abhishekams and homams  the ambal was decked with sandal paste and was truly enchanting
Legend: The Sivalingam here was prayed to by Subramania on his travels and hence he is called Kandhazheeswarar.The other reasons for the names are
In pure tamil Kandhu stands for tree. The story is there used to be  a very
ancient tree right at the spot where the Linga is today. People used
to worship the tree as it was considered very auspicious. Once the
tree withered away they constructed a temple at the same place and
hence the name Kanhdaeshwar.

Also in tamil Kandhe stands for evil. Kandhaeshwar is the destroyer of all evil
Another meaning for kandhu is infinity. Since the linga in pure form
is a beam of light with no beginning and end, Surya worshiped Lord
Shiva in this place and hence the name Kandhaeshwar. There is a
separate worship place for Suriya in this temple.

All these different interpretations are found in different puranas.
But according to periya puranam the last one is the correct
interpretation of the Lord's name.
As you enter the main gate you see sannidhis for Vinayaka and murugan on your left24042011280
As you enter the main temple you can see the goddess Nagai Mugai amman(Smiling face) sannidhi  which is truly enchanting. Equally enchanting is the huge sivalingam bedecked with flowers in the main sannidhi.
The Gajaprushti vimanam signifies early chola influence and a swayumbhu lingam .Next to the main sannidhi are the utsava Moorthies of Muruga and valli devasena. 24042011281
The outer courtyard has been neatly paved with tiles and it was very peaceful.
( A panel depicting Kannappa nayanar fresco found during the renovation)
Navagraha sannidhi seen on the lotus
A view of the dwajastambham and balipeedam seen in the western courtyard
we had a lovely morning experience. unfortunately the perumal koil next door was locked so we could not see it as it was being renovated.. The next stop was the Vada Naageshwaram an 800 year old temple built by the chola prime minister!

Kunrathur Temples

After a superb darshan in Thiruneermalai i proceeded by quaint village roads for about 4 kms to reach Kunrathur the abode of Murugan. Only after reaching here i was amazed to see four huge neat temples. This place was the hometown of Sekkizhiar the Chola prime minister and he composed the periya puranam in these temples and also constructed the Vada thirunaageshwaram temple here like in Kumbakonam during the reign of Kulathunga chola.
Kunrathur Murugan Temple:
This temple can be seen as we approach the town of kunrathur as it is on a hillock. It is said that Murugan alighted here as the hillock was shaped as a sivalingam. There is a motor able road all the way to the top as also steps
( A view of the steps leading to the temple)
(The entrance to the Murugan temple)
  The Kundrathur temple is unique in its architecture among all the Murugan temples that are found in Chennai. The temple is distinguished from the rest because the deity here is placed facing the North. On the northern side of it lies Thanigai (tiruthani). The presiding deity in the famous Kundrathur Murugan temple  is known as Lord Subramaniar who sits atop the hill along with the goddess Valli and Deivanai
Legend of the temple:
The mythology  associated with the temple is that the Lord halted on the hills of Kundrathur during his journey from Tiruporur to Thiruthanigai. The temple dates back to the reign of the famous emperor of Chola dynasty- King Kulothunga Chola-II.
The entrance to the temple is from the north side. There as an orderly common queue which moved slowly for 20 mins .The outer hall had a huge utsava murthy to whom aarathi and archanai was done . the wonderful idol of Muruga was accompanied by both Valli and Deivanai. We then entered the next sanctum where the lord was dressed in vibhuthi and was very enchanting with Valli and Deivanai on either side. The curious feature of this temple is the placement of the idols of the deities. When viewed from all ends, Lord Subramaniam can be seen along with only one Goddess at a time. In no position of viewing can both the Goddesses (Valli and Deivanai) be seen together with the Lord.II
There was a huge covered canopy around the temple offering shade to many people who had come there in large numbers.
As we descended we found two more temples in the foot of the hill The Thiruvooraga Perumal temple and The Kandhazheeswarar temple seen in the photo below. the perumal temple had balalayam prior to the Samprokshanam hence we could not see it but we visited the Siva temple

Thiruneermalai,Kunrathur,Mangadu trip

whenever I travel by the Tambaram bypass from Maduravoyal I see this temple and always wanted to visit was the oppurtunity and i combined it with a trip to kunrathur and Mangadu.which was a bonus!!
I started at about 7 am from kilpauk and reached pallavaram in about 40 mins  .just before the flyover there is a road to the right with a sign indicating Thiruneermalai.( there is an earlier road which leads to anakaputhur, pammal and thiruneer malai but on the map it looked very circuitous so I chose the more straighter road which was the second road) About 4 kms on this road leads us to the Base of the hill and the base temple. These are both Divya desam temples sung by Thirumangaialwar and Boothalwar  
The temple is built on a hill. There are two temples one at the foot of the hill, the other at the top. The Lord appears in four poses representing three of his incarnations in these temples. Rama below and Narasimha,Vamana above .24042011270
(View of the temple from pallavaram approach road)
Temple at the foothill

The moolavar is Neervannan, Neelamugilvannan seen in standing posture facing east.Thaayaar - Animaamalar Mangai..Thirumangai Azhwar also sang on Mother Animamalarmangai This temple is famous for quick marriages and there was one being arranged when I visited.This is usually held at the Ramar sanidhi .
Legend of the temple
Sage Valmiki appealed for Vishnu’s Darshan saying that he had completed the Epic Ramayana on him and the Lord complied.Thirumangai Azhwar, one of the 12 Azhwars of the Vaishnava School singing hymns only on the Lord, once camped here on a hilock awaiting darshan of Rama. The whole area was covered in water and it took 6 months for the floods to recede and hence Neervanna Perumal

View as you enter the main gate.
Anjeneyar statue in front of the main sannidhi
The thayar sannidhi and Ramar sannidhi is in front of you
and The perumal sannidhi is to your right.
The perumal here is in the standing Posture hence he is described as “Nindran” standing.Next to the lord on his right is a figure of Valmiki praying.
There is a seperate andal sannidhi behind
The temple legend as painted here
The temple is very neat. (there are neat toilets built outside and the flowerseller at the stall has the keys)
Next is
The Sri  Ranganatha temple on top of the hill. There are 220 steps which are quite small all the way to the top and can be climbed easily by the elderly too
There is a hanuman temple in the mid way

(View of the temple steps)

The samprokshanam of the temple  had taken place just a week before hence the temple was very bright. There are about 100 steps to climb quite easy and we can reach the hilltop temple.
After a winding climb you can see the glorious entrance gopuram called the Kalki mandapam


Below is a view of the Tambaram Maduravoyal byepass
This temple is supposed to be in existance from the tretayugam and was one of the two perumal abodes the other was Ahobilam This temple is a divyadesam and also a swayambhu kshetram like Srimushnam.
As you enter the Main gate you see the dwajastanbham and Garudar sannidhi facing the lord
Moolavar (Kidandhaan) - Ranganathan seen in reclining maanicka sayana posture facing south.. The Thousand tongued Adisesha is seen spreading himself as a mattress and covering the top with his head as an umbrella, the Lord is seen in this temple in a lying pose with his consorts Sridevi and Bhoodevi both at his feet with Brahma in his Nabhi kamalam.The vigraham is swayambhu and there is a lotus at the feet of the lord. the lord manifested here to fulfill Bhrigu maharishi’s prayer for darshan. It is also called as Nadu Naatu Srirangam
In the  inner praharam we see the other  sannidhis
Thaayaar - Ranganayagi facing east is seen in the foreground of main sannidhi.
Behind  the Sriranganatha sannidhis we find the other two sannidhis
Moolavar (Nadandhaan) – Thrivikraman ( Vamana) seen in standing posture facing east.Reminding the Vamanavathara (Dwarf incarnation), the Lord is in the walking order asking where to place his third step after measuring all the worlds in two steps . The left leg is lifted up to shoulder level unlike in Kanchipuram and Tirukoilur where it is the right leg lifted to 90 degrees (

Moolavar (Irundhaan) - Saantha Narasimhan seen in seated posture facing east.Considering the appeal of boy Prahlada who was afraid of his fury, the Lord appears in a calm and pleasant mood as Shantanarasimha and also as Balanarasimha. (There is a small moolavar with prahaladha kept in front of the main lord about 1 foot tall) The lord is welcoming bhaktas with the left hand and the right hand shows abayam DSCN3171 
Theertham - Manikarniga Thdaakam - Sheera Pushkarini, Kaarunya Pushkarini, Siddha Pushkarini, Swarna Pushkarini.
Thirumangaialwar - 1078-87, 1115, 1521, 1554, 1660, 1765, 1848, 2069, 2673 (73), 2674 (130)
Boothalwar - 2227.
Total of 20 Paasurams.
.There is a huge pond here common to both temples called pushkarini which is considered very holy. The tank in the temple measuring 3 acres, very beautiful, is called Suddha Pushkarani, Ksheera Pushkarani, Swarna Pushkarani and Karunya Pushkarani. Devotees bathe in the tank for cure from illness. They also get clarity of thoughts and prosperity. People use to tie cradles in the trees in the temple seeking child boon. Ladies come round the hill for removal of obstacles in marriage matters.
View from behind the entrance mandapam
The Rama temple as seen from above with the pushkarini
General information:
The Pujas in the temple are performed in accordance with the Vaikanasa Agama rules. The daily puja time is 8.a.m. to 12.00 in the day and from 4.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Yoga Hayagreevar temple at Chettypunyam near Chennai

I had an occasion to visit this temple today. It is about 20 kms from Chennai towards Chengalpet. The temple is around 500 years old
How to reach: 
When you cross Maraimalai nagar look out for Mahindra city on the left. Just opposite this is the road to Chettypunyam . The road has granite arches of a construction company so it is easy to identify. The journey in this road for about a KM brings you to the railway track and a manned level crossing. Next you will find a placid lake on the right. After the lake proceed straight into the village (and not to the left which takes you to the Palar river bed). The journey from GST road is around 2 kms. There are autos available at the GST road . Inside the village the road comes meandering to a dead end and a left turn here takes you to the temple

Yoga hayagreevar temple Chettypunyam
Legend of the temple:
The temple is actually originally Varadaraja swamy temple. In 1848 The idols of Yoga hayagreevar and Devanathaswamy were brought here from Thiruvendhipuram near Cuddalore to protect them from alien invasion
(In Thiruvendhipuram, Vedanta Desika recited the Garuda Mantra taught to him by his uncle, Kidambi Appular and was initiated into the worship of Hayagriva by Garuda. Desika composed the Hayagriva Stotram in 33 verses. Apart from the `phalasruti' there are 32 verses. There is a reason for Desika writing the Stotram in 32 verses. The Brahma vidyas are 32 in number. His composing the Hayagriva Stotram in 32 verses is to show that Hayagriva is the repository of all vidyas. Desika says the neighs of Hayagriva are the essence of the Rig, Yajur and Sama Vedas. The 32nd verse which is the `dhyana sloka,' speaks of Hayagriva's right lower hand as `vyakhyamudra' - the elucidating pose and the left lower hand holds a book. Desika says that Saraswati, Dakshinamurthy and sages like Vyasa reflect a fraction of Lord Hayagriva's effulgence) .
So the temple is referred to as all three names. the Moolavar is Varadarajaswamy, Utsavar is Devanathaswamy and Yoga hayagreevar is the main attraction here especially to parents of school children you can find roll numbers scribbled on the wall inspite of advice to to the contrary by the authorities!!
Hayagreeva avataram of Sri Vishnu is not one of the dashavatarams but is ancient than that. Two asuras Madhu and Kaitapha stole the Vedas and hid them Vishnu as hayagreeva retrieved them and preached them to Saraswathy and Brahma making them the custodians hence hayagreevar is looked upon as the fountain head of the Vedas.
As you enter you can see Sri Rama's shrine on the right hand side . The vigrahas here are exquisite
(pics of the utsava murthies from the net)
The idols of Sri Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman were brought to Vandalur in Chennai, in the year 1868, on Oct 5, by Mudumbai Ramaswamy Iyengar, from the Tanjore Palace. When Ramaswamy Iyengar migrated to Bangalore, he had all these Gods installed in the Devanathaswamy Temple, since Chettipunniyam, was his native village. It has to be mentioned here that the first Mysore Dewan Veeravalli Rangachar (1831-1883) also hailed from this village.
It may be mentioned that the other beautiful images of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Anjaneya at Vaduvur were also unearthed at Thalainayar during the rule of Serfoji. He later enshrined them in the temple at Vaduvur. `Sita Kalyanamu,' a work in Telugu and Sanskrit, composed in praise of Lord Rama at Chettipunnyam by Shahji Maharaj of the Serfoji dynasty is said to be preserved in the Saraswathi Mahal Library at Thanjavur.

View from the Dwaja sthambam the main sanctum is in front
Dwajasthambha is made of stone here on which Sri Garuda is seen facing the Lord, towards the sanctum.
There is a practice of lighting lamps for prayers and you can buy them inside     Rs.2/ per lamp.and light them in the enclosure on the left as seen in the photo above.The area being recently covered gave god respite from the burning sun.There is also a counter selling water and prasadam puliyodharai, murukku and laddus, thengoyals all yummy to look at. There was a small queue when I went inside and it took a claustrophobic 20 mins to get to the sannidhiwhich was thankfully air conditioned and pleasant. The archakar was patient and lot of people gave books ,pens, pencils to be blessed and returned for success.They are all sold in a small shop outside the temple!!
The yoga hayagreevar is a short idol . He is in yoga Nidhra hence not accompanied by Mahalakshmi.
jnAna-Ananda-mayam devam
AdhAram sarvavidyAnAm
hayagrIvam upAsmahe!
(This verse is originally from the Pancaratra Agamas but is now popularly prefixed to the Hayagriva Stotram of the 13th century poet-philosopher Vedanta Desika. It is very popular among devotees of Hayagriva)
The devanatha swamy and devis are next to this lord and behind them is the idol of Varadaraja  found along with his two consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. There is a separate shrine for Goddess Hemambuja Nayaki even before you come to the main sanctum.( Correspondingly there is andal sannidhi on the other side seen through a mirror as the gates are locked). . The Urchavar of this temple is Sri Devanatha Perumal. Sri Devanatha Perumal is seen here with Prayoga Chakra on His right hand, which is a rare sight.

Having finished darshan I proceeded on to the pradakshinam of the small temple

View from behind the garbhagruha

View from the South side
The Sthala vruksham Azhinjal tree and legend
Temple is open from 7AM to 12 noon and 4PM to 8 PM.
For more information visit the
link .

For more details, please contact Chettippunniyam Temple +918675127999 or +919942993770.