Sunday, August 25, 2013

Shri Dhenupureeswarar Temple –Madambakkam a Suburb of Chennai


Today morning after a visit to the tirusoolam temple I drove down further and visited this temple.The Temple is under control of the ASI and is in daily worship with Puja offered daily. It has many great carvings from the time of Sundara chola to Kulathungachola and lastly to the Hoysala period. The peaceful ambience was very refreshing


How to reach:

The temple can be reached either from Velacherry  or from Tambaram. It is adjacent to Selaiyur and Rajakilpakkam. I travelled down the GST road from Pallavaram and took the railway over bridge near Hindu mission hospital and turned left towards Velacherry. After proceeding for 4=5 kms I came to the signal at Selaiyur turning right towards Rajakilpaukkam. I proceeded on this road till I crossed a couple of schools the Sankara school and Kamakshi temple and Vedathri School and entered Madambkkam. The temple is very close to the main road on the right side. There is ample car parking beyond the temple near the temple pond. IMG_0073

The legend of the temple:

Saint Kapila committed a sin when he  unwittingly held the Shivalingam in his left hand during puja so he was guided by Shiva to worship him as a cow in the next Janma. When the rishi was reborn as a cow the cow used to bathe the shivalingam daily with all its milk . The cowherd followed it one day and started beating the cow on its udder when the cow trampled the tiny lingam in pain the stone started bleeding and the villagers realised that it was a divine stone and the king built a temple here, Sundara Chola remodeled this temple into a stone temple in 937 AD. For more details see the link of the Hindu below

Dhenupureeswarar temple




The  temple entrance has a pillared hall with excellent sculptures of both Shiva and Vishnu



. The famous of them are the veena Dakshinamurthy and the Sarabeshwara and 10 headed hanuman seen behind the pillar in the photo below


The main sanctum is entered via the hall above. There are excellent sculptures in each pillar and it is all well preserved.

The main sanctum has a small 6 inch Sivalingam sitting on the 2 inch avudiar. The Lord is adorned with a Nagabharanam. I received milk theertham after Abhishekam today

The Kosta Vigrahas are Narthana Ganapathy, Dakshinamurthy. Mahavishnu , Brahma and Durga.

The vimanam is the Gajaprushti type. IMG_0077


A panel with a Cow giving milk on the lingam


The pillar showing the Hoysala legend  a Soldier killing a lion with a dagger which is what Hakka and Bukka did when they started the Dynasty

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There are separate shrines for Vinayaka, Varadaraja with Sridevi and Bhoodevi and  Murugan . Lord Murugan is prayed to here for  obstacles related  to  marriage  to be removed

The outer courtyard has the Sthala vruksham Vilvam,There is a Huge Nagalinga flower tree. The temples sells delicious puliyodarai and sakkarapongal which we enjoyed IMG_0084 IMG_0085 IMG_0086 IMG_0090 IMG_0092

Shri Tirusoolanathar Tripurasundari temple at Trisoolam near Chennai Airport

I had an opportunity to visit this temple today morning. It is an ancient temple built by Kulathunga Chola. It is very surprising that such pristine surroundings are found so close to the City.

How to Reach:

On the GST road after you cross the airport there is the Trisoolam railway station on the left. Take the first left after this you will come on to the Railway  level crossing which is the gateway to the hilly road . Follow the winding road or 3 kms and you can see the temple arch on the right side turn right to reach the temple

Though the temple is ancient it is very well maintained and has been visited by Adisankara and Shri Chandrashekara saraswathy swami of Kanchi. The priest was telling me he is the third generation of kurukkal here and his family has conducted daily rituals for more than 150 years and seen three kumbabishekams.

Legends about the temple:


Brahma did pooja to Shiva here . The four hills around the temple are considered four Vedas.

(All the pictures here were taken by the permission)


There is a goddess in the main sanctum itself Sri. Sundarambikai but the presiding goddess is Tripurasundari in a south facing sanctum.

The main sanctum has a huge Shivalingam royally bedecked .The Vimanam has the Gajaprushti type of ArchitectureIMG_0047

The Koshta vigraham has few unique deities.

The Ganapathy is having a Naga Yagnopavetham (Poonal) and is considered very auspicious. to remove obstacles  especially for marriage and marital harmonyIMG_0059

The panel above this shows Brahma worshipping ShivaIMG_0057

There is the Dakshinamurthy in the Veerasanam posture( left leg bent at the hip and knee)IMG_0060

There are separate Sannidhis for Vinayaka Murugan and Kasi Vishwanata

The Lingodhbhavar has a panel showing Vishnu worshipping ShivaIMG_0062

The Brahma and Durga are also very intricate.  IMG_0064 IMG_0066

The panel above the Durga shows Anjeneya worshipping ShivaIMG_0068

The ambal sannidhi has a 5 foot tall Tripurasundari blessing the devotees.

The bhairavar is also famous and poojas are done for him during Rahukalam .

The outer praharam has various trees and a garden The sthala vruksham is the vilvam treeIMG_0051


There is a Banyan tree and naga devathas  in the north west corner. The south west corner has a navagraha enclosure. IMG_0070

The main Complex has separate sannidhi for ayyappan and AdisankaraIMG_0053 IMG_0072

There is a rare sarabeshwara with two faces carved on the pillar in frontIMG_0054

The Kurukkal was very courteous  Sri Raja: Cell :+919444764162

The washroom facilities were clean and excellent here.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Gnayiru Sri Pushparatheshwarar-Swarnambikai temple – A suryan navagraha sthalam near Chennai

Finding a few hours of free time today morning  I went for a quick temple visit to this ancient temple which is famous for

Lord Suryan being blessed here – good for eye related problems

The place of Final resting of Shri Kanva maharishi ( foster Father of Shakunthala)

The Birth place of Sangili Nachiar the wife of the Nayanmar Sundarar

How to Reach:

The temple is  about 35 kms away from Chennai Gnayiru gramam a village close to Karanodai and Red hills. On the Kolkata highway from Chennai take a left toward puzhal At red hills take the right turn after Sivanthi adithyan mat school at the signal at vadakkarai it is called the andarkuppam redhills road about 10 kms down the road you will reach the temple. Please ask for Gnayiru gramam as the area is full of small village roads and you can get lost.

Alternatively you can come from Karanodai also from further down the GNT highway take a right at Karanodai and ask for directions locally.

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In this remote area the well maintained temple and its pond Surya thirtham is a real stress buster.

As you enter you see the amman sanidhi facing  east with the Sivan sannidhi also facing east the entrance to both is via a pillared  hall IMG_0004 IMG_0007

Legends of the temple:

Surya was cursed by Brahma once and he prayed to lord shiva here to be cured of his curse. The lord gave darshan to Surya on a 1000 petalled  lotus hence he is called Pushparatheshwarar. In the month of Chithirai the sun rays fall directly on Shiva and swarnambikai.

A chola king enroute to Kashi was attracted to the lotus in the pond while cutting it he lost eyesight and  prayed to shiva . He was directed to visit kashi and come back to build a temple here when he did this he got back his vision. There is a Kasi vishwanatha sannidhi also here.

Sangili nachiar the wife of Sundarar was born in this village

A view from the eastern side  with dwaja sthambam and pond


The Main shrine has a small Sivalingam apparently worshipped by Kanva maharishi and Agasthiyar. There is a small statue for Kanva also hereIMG_0029

The main sivan sannidhi also has a separate enclosure for Suryan with a an impressive brass background IMG_0032

The ambal sannidhi has a 5 foot tall Swarnambikai blessing the devotees.

The ususal Kosta vigrahas of Ganapathy, Dakshinamurthy lingodhbhavar , Brahma and Durgai are enshrined in their niches around the Sivan sannidhi.

Around the main shrine are sub shrines for Vinayaka , Murugan with Valli and Devasena, a separate kashi vishwanathar the ambience in the midst of the lovely flower garden is very enchanting

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The shrine for Sangili nachiar



Just outside the temple is a thatched shed where new shrines are being built for Chakrathalwar (Sudarshanam the discus = related to eye),Lakshminarasimhar, and Anjeneyar   IMG_0040


The priest sri.Krishnaswamy Kurukkal can be contacted on tel:+919952224822

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sri Sivanandhishwarar temple Thirukandalam near Red hills – A padal petra sthalam

Today on a leisurely Sunday our family visited this famous ancient temple near red hills . It was a peaceful village with a nice temple.

How to reach:

The temple is fairly easy to find about 40 kms from Chennai on the Chennai Nellore highway. After the karanodai bridge and toll plaza look for the periyapalayam turning on the left. 6 kms after the turn take a left at Kannigaiper village bazaar road and proceed for 6 kms the meandering road gets you to  thirukandalam village and the temple .

Nandikulam in front of the temple with good clean water bathing here is allowed.IMG_0002 IMG_0001

Route 2:

Alternatively you can take a left into the road to red hills from the Kolkata highway  on to SH 114 and after 4 kms  turn right at boochiathipattu, This is a horrible road on the riverbed the temple is about 3 kms on this road. Please do not take this road. I travelled back on this road and almost busted my suspensions . There is scarcely any habitation around luckily a few lorry drivers were found drinking in a groove who guided me properly to red hills

Legends and stories of the temple

Shiva is worshipped here by Saint Bhrigu with Kallil flowers (Huge Indian hedge cactus) hence he is also called Kalilishwarar. Saint Bhrigu had a peculiar habit of circumambulating shiva alone daily which used to irritate Parvathy.Shiva gave darshan to Bhrigu rishi in the form of Shakthi dakshinamurthy to prove he was not different from shakthi . We find a sannidhi with Shakthi on the lap of Shiva here.

When Thirugnanasambandar was travelling to Kalahasthi he had a bath in the Kushashtalai river. His pooja box and Vibhuti box were washed away and were found near this Shiva in between a cactus  (Kallil) forest. The saint thus composed poems on this lord.

This temple is recommended for couples with differences to visit so that they may resolve their differences with the lords blessings

The temple itself is very small and neat. It is built in the Somaskanda pattern with Skanda in between Sivan and Parvathi sannidhi. Ambal is known as Anandavalli here .

Today when I visited a group of devotees from Chennai were doing  Laksharchanai .with such great devotion. The Kurukkal here is aged 102 years and is very sprightly. He lives on the premises hence the temple is open from 6 AM to night.7 PM


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The main sannithi has a small austere Shivalingam with a square avudiar . There is good peace inside the main sivan sanidhi and it was a real divine blessing. The main Vimanam has a Gajaprushti construction signifying an ancient Swayumbhu lingam

Just near the Gopuram there is a shrine built for the nayanmars and Suryan


There is a shrine for anjeneya which is new and in the far corner a vinayaka sanidhi IMG_0010IMG_0011

Next to vinayakar is the sannidhi for Kalahasthishwarar

The Kosta vigrahas are Ganapathy, Dakshinamurthy, Lingodbhavar, Brahma and DurgaIMG_0012  IMG_0013 IMG_0017 IMG_0019

Next to the main sannidhi is Murugan sanidhi. Here the lord is having a rudraksha in his hand signifying creation which he took over from Brahma temporarily.This was the norm in early chola temples I was told by the KurukkalIMG_0016 IMG_0015

The ambal sanidhiis after the Murugan sanidhi. Anandavalli  ambal is standing benignly blessing the devoteesIMG_0023

A new addition is the Shakthi dakshinamurthy sannidhi IMG_0024

Shloka on the sannithi for harmonius married life




Navagraha sannidhi seen below


View of the gopuram from inside . It has an ardhanari as well as a Hari hara


A very peaceful and nice experience