Sunday, June 30, 2013

Brahmadesam Shri.Brahmapurishwarar temple

There are two temples here both under ASI control. The Brahmapureeshwarar and the Padaleshwarar temples. The shivalinga here is 16 facetted and is having the features of Shiva on Vishnu with a square avudiar signifying Brahma.

How to reach : Click to see my page

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Esalam Shri.Ramanadheshwara temple

This temple has the uniqueness of having been rebuilt recently and in daily puja. It was built as a tribute to Rajaraja Cholas teacher and has exquisite stone carvings. The main temple dome itself is built of stone unlike other temples. There is newly applied oil paint on the main  gate, but the main temple is of stone wellrenovated by ASI.

How to reach:Click to view my blog on how to reach

I reached this place by afternoon 2 PM. The temple was locked obviously , I could only click pics from outside. DSC04631 DSC04636DSC04632 DSC04633 DSC04634 DSC04635

Ennaiyiram Shri.Narasimhaswamy temple

This temple was built by Rajaraja Chola and while excavating a huge inscription of 80+ lines describing the king as his “Meikeerthi” (various titles and exploits) of a Chola king. The inscription actually runs to 80 lines, but only lines from 54 to 80 are unearthed and lines 1 to 53 are yet to be located.

There are records of a vedapatashala being run here with 270 students, hostel, hospital and doctors with their wage details have been found. The Tamil poet, Kalamegam, famous for his puns, belonged to Ennayiram.

Ennayiram means 8000.Various explanations are available for this

It was the place where 8000 jains were put to death for not denouncing Jainism or where 8000 jains embraced Hinduism ?

8000 North Indians were settled here by Rajendra Chola  in this area

The Tamil Iyers have a sub sect ashta sahasram (8000) who are believed to be from this stock

Saint Ramanuja and  Koorathazhwar also visited this temple

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Mandagapattu Brahmadesam, Esalam and Ennaiyiram ASI maintained Temples near Gingee

In Villupuram district  between Gingee and Villupuram there are these ancient temples which have all been taken over by the ASI and are being renovated and are no longer in worship. These temples are from 500 AD onwards and have been built by Mahendra pallava and Raja Raja chola and Rajendra chola.The temples were all crumbling and dilapidated. The ASI has re  built them and is still continuing to painstakingly reconstruct them using the same materials to get these temples to their original pristine glory.
Situation of these temples.
All these temples are between Gingee Villupuram road and NH 45 about 18 kms from Villupuram.
On the Villupuram Gingee state highway Mandagapattu is 18 kms away and is on a short road to the right. There is a hillock with rock cut temple built by Mahendra pallava. Since there were ancient stone edicts which were being defaced the ASI has covered these temples with a steel cage gate and posted an employee for information nearby.
Just before Mandagapattu there is a turning to the right at Nemur. This road leads to Brahmadesam, Ennayiream, Esalam and further on to NH 45 via Periya Thatchur and Perani . It can thus also be accessed from NH 45 after Veedur crossing at Perani. .
Do not expect the ASI asst to be in the premise. If you are lucky you can meet him.
The Narasimhaswamy temple at Ennayiram is now having poojas and has rare vigrahas.
The Esalam Ramanadheshwara temple was the source of many idols and copper plates of Rajendra chola the third cache after Thiruvalangadu and is supposedly the last small temple Rajaraja chola built before the Tanjore big temple.
The maternal ancestry of Raja raja Chola is near here with the sambuvarayars . He grew up in this area and the Esalam temple was built as a tribute to his guru at this place.

For a scholarly review see the link below

Thiruvadisoolam Shri.Gnanapureeshwarar temple near Chengalpet- A padal petra sthalam

Among the ancient temples around Chengalpet, Thirukazhukndram and Thiruvadi soolam are very ancient . The Thiruvadisoolam temple is very serene in the midst of the hills and is truly a divine place to visit

How to reach:

The temple is easily reached from Chengalpet. It is about 6 kms  from Chengalpet towards Thiruporur and  the temple can also be reached from Thiruporur about 20 kms from OMR towards Chengalpet.

I took an adventurous almost dirt track racing route because I trusted Google maps and had the ride of my life!!. I was travelling from Chennai to Villupuram for a camp, I had just visited Nandivaram in Guduvancherry and the Google maps showed me a shorter route to the temple 9.5 kms 18 mins via Singaperuman koil.Eager to reach I took the route . It first took me beyond the temple to a natural right turn and the next 4-5 kms literally brought me on to dirt tracks with ? roads. It was sparsely populated and Thiruvadisoolam was not a name easily recognised by the local folk. I kept asking for  sivan koil and landed up at a blind turning on the mud track near a newly built Rudra Bhairavar temple in all its majesty and glory!! with sparkling white gopuram, Clean car park and toilets!!. I enquired here and was directed via an off road journey to the temple in about a km.

I must say Google maps was spot on and whenever I made a wrong turn it showed on the map and I corrected myself.

I must also compliment my Maruti dezire petrol car which effortlessly climbed the dirt track and slushy roads sometimes just broad enough for the four wheels on the tank bunds and sheer drops with in close range. It was a real adventure sport.

While leaving I wisely took the Thiruporur Chengalpet road and reached NH 45 safely!!DSC04594 

Legends and stories:

This is an ancient Chola temple about 2000 years old built by the early Cholas . The temple has been sung by Gnanasambandar. The temple had a rajagopuram built very recently . It was also a Mottai koil built by early Cholas

Once Parvathy was born as a cow and the cowherd found the Cow emptying her milk on an ant hill. When she was disturbed she stepped on the ant hill and trampled on the Siva lingam below. The ambal here is called Govardhanambikai

Once Gnanasambandar was walking toward thiruporur and was resting under a tree. He was hungry when the lord came to him in the guise of a cowherd (Edayan) and offered him curd rice in a mud pot. The saint refused saying he must pray in a Shiva temple and only then have his meal. The cow herd brought him to this temple and the saint had a bath at the pond nearby and the cowherd vanished into the sanctum when the saint realised who had directed him to the temple and fed him! The name of the place was Thiru edai churam ( Sri Shepherd who fed) which has been corrupted as thiruvadi soolam..There is also a huge karumariamman temple nearby

The outer praharam leads us to a simple temple which looks more like a big village house than a temple. This is the south facing Ambal sannidhiDSC04597

The outer praharam has a neat paved path with a beautiful background of the hills around it is truly a peaceful heavenly abode of godDSC04617 DSC04598 DSC04609 DSC04610 DSC04611

There are separate Sannidhis outside for Brahmandeshwarar and Brahmanda nayaki the Kula deivam of the Cholas. Supposedly built by Rajaraja Chola I

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 Inside the ambal is south facing and standing. The Main sannidhi has a huge Maragatha lingam seen green during Honey abhishekam with a square avudaiyar supposedly installed by sage Gowthama and worshipped by Sanath kumara .

The Kosta vigrahas are Ganapathy, Dakshinamurthy, Brahma and Durga. There are sannidhis for Vinayaka and Murugan with Consorts valli and DevayaniDSC04606 DSC04600  

Brahmanda Nayaki sannidhi


Brahmandeshwarar sannidhi


Sthala vruksham Vilvam 12 leaved.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Kooram Adi Kesava perumal and Kooratalwar temple near Kanchipuram

Kooram is a small hamlet near Kanchi which is famous as the birth place of one of the most famous alwars Koorettalwar for an extensive description please click below Extensive history of Kooratalwar

Kooram has two temples in the complex one for Adi Kesava perumal and the other for th alwar

How  Reach:

The NH4 after Kanchi has a turn to the right below the railway gate called arakonam road. Turn right here and proceed for about 7 kms you will come to a place called Vishakandi kuppam take a left then across the railway track her and proceed for 3 kms you will come across boards announcing the temple.

Alternative you can cross the over bridge and take the first right after the over bridge via a samathuvapuram arch   in 10 kms you will reach the board to turn left for the templeDSC04550

The Adi kesava perumal temple is right in front with the alwar temple on the right. There is a standing perumal with both thayars in the Nindra kolam.

By the side is an Anjaneyar and Vishwaksena sannidhi.DSC04563 

 Behind is the thayar sannidhiDSC04559

There is also an Andal sannidhi

To the left of this temple is the Koorathalwar temple. The main sannidhi has a tall figure of the alwar .The outer praharam has the life of the alwar in pictures







On the approach road I found a small Lakshmi Hayagriva temple belonging to to Srimad Andavan ashramam of Srirangam which also had a Hanuman sannidhi

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Thirumalpur Shri Manikanteshwara swamy temple near Kanchipuram-padal petra sthalam

This is an ancient padal petra sthalam by Thirunavukkarasar as well as Gnanasambandar. It is a place where Lord Vishnu prayed to Lord shiva to obtain his Chakra. Since perumal also prayed to Shiva here Garudaseva is also a famous festival here. Both Perumal and Shiva are found facing each other here.

How to reach:

From Chennai to Bangalore  On NH 4 Cross Kanchipuram and you will reach the “Vellai gate” an old name for the new  railway over bridge do not climb but take the road under the bridge and turn right this is the road to arakonam and crosses govindawadi on the way(refer my blog on the temple

( Govindawadi guru temple)

You will reach tirumalpur railway station in 13 kms . Take a left turn under the railway line and proceed for another 3 kms till you can see the temple on the left hand side of a bifurcation. DSC04509


Legends of the temple:

The Sivalingam is a sand lingam created by Parvathy who did penance for  Lord shiva here. The moolavar has a Silver Kavacham for which abhishekam is done. Vridha seera river which flows nearby was in floods hence parvathy embraced the Lingam and prayed to her brother who diverted the river towards Kanchipuram to save his sisterDSC04531

Once Lord Vishnu who was Assisting a king called Kugan who did not like sage dadhichi  he employed the chakra which got damaged after touching the rishi. In repentance of this action Vishnu prayed to Lord Shiva here with 1000 lotuses daily. One day he found he was one lotus short and plucked out his right eye to offer shiva DSC04514

Siva was pleased and gave a boon to Vishnu here that he will be known as Kamalanayana, He also gave Vishnu his chakra which he had used to kill Jalandharan . So this place is also known as Harichakra  where hari got his chakra.

In the main sanctum we can see Vishnu with his hands folded inn prayer in front of Shiva behind the Nandi

Once Ravana came here to meet Shiva and was prevented from seeing Shiva by Nandi so he cursed Nandi to have a monkey face: Adhikara Nandi  who is found here in the wall. Nandi in turn curses Ravana that he will be defeated in warDSC04524

There are a few special vigrahas here like

Dasha bhuja Vallabha vinayakar a 10 handed VinayakaDSC04525

Kulathunga Chola installed a Choleshwara linga here facing west  which is a rarity

Ashta bhuja Durgai is also very famous and rare sculpture

As you enter we see the raised platform with Nandi and th kodimaramDSC04512

the anajanakshi ambal sannidhi is seen on the right


AS you enter the main praharam you can see the Nandi with mahavishnu standing behind in a prayer postureDSC04526

The Lord in the sanctum is a very tiny Lingam swayambhu  with a Silver kavacham

The outer praharam has the choleshwara and the Koshta Vigrahas already alluded to. Ganapathy Dakshinamurthy , Perumal, Brahma and  Durga complete the picture. There is also a large Nataraja in Bronze.

The outer praharam  DSC04532



There is a statue of Appar




Ambal sannidhi has a smiling standing anjanakshi amman with a navagraha sannidhi in the fore court.There is a simha vahanam for the ambal seen below



Sthala Vruksham is the Vilva tree


As I was leaving the temple I saw this huge Anjaneya outside