Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sri Ekambareshwarar koil (Kubera koil) at Chettikulam near perambalur

Last Sunday while returning from Trichy to Chennai I happened to visit this temple. It was a unique experience. Kubera is the lord of the north direction and is the elder brother of Ravana. He is described in both Buddhism as well as Jainism. He is a lord of the merchant community and I found a very well maintained temple . The uniqueness of this temple is that there are eight carvings of Kubera on a fish with his hand having a pomegranate / money bag. Each carving is for a rasi and each rasi has 3 stars. These are all distributed in the pillars of the shrines of Shiva and Ambal and are very unique. There is also a new structure built recently to house a sannidhi for kubera
How to reach:
Between Trichy and Perambalur after about 45 kms from trichy look for Alathur gate take the left road here which will lead you to Chettykulam and the temple. There is also a famous Dhandayudhapani temple here on a hill.
The temple received patronage from the rulers and you can see wonderful sculptures all around. Once a shepherd saw some yogis worshipping a ball of fire in this area and reported to the king. When they arrived here there was nothing. An old man with a red sugarcane walking stick was seen and on being questioned pointed to the ball of fire and quickly ran up the hillock and stood there and Lo! it was lord Dhandayudhapani. The overjoyed king built tem,ples for both here
If you look closely in the pic above you can make out 2 kids doing their homework in the Krishna's presence
Main temple inside with exquisite carvings all over the pathway and all the pillars
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Nandi in front of the main sannidhiIMG_0013
The main sannidhi has a majestic Shivalingam. The Praharam has many pillars with the various Kubera carvings 

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The rest are in the amman sannidhi seen below
Kamakshi ambal is about 3 feet tall and is standing on a pedestal blessing us.
The pillars of the praharam have the rest of Kuberas  IMG_0042
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IN front of the ambal sannidhi is the new temple of kubera . The prasadam was green kumkum here  and vahanam was horse. Kubera was flanked by Sanghunidhi and padma nidhi inside IMG_0052 IMG_0054

Sri Pralayakaleshwarar koil at Pennadam- a padal Petra sthalam

This is a very ancient temple going back to the Chola king Kochengan who was in the Sangam era. The temple has been quite well maintained. The unique design of this temple is that the Garbha gruha has lattice windows on three sides and the lord is seen easily from the outside. Pennadam is the birth place of many nayanmars and it is the second padal petra sthalam in the Nadu naadu.
How to reach:
Pennadam is situated between Vriddhachalam and Thittakudi to the east of NH 45. You can come from either side . I travelled from Vriddhachalam to srimushnam and pennadam and returned by the pennadam to thittakudi road which joined NH 45 at Thozhudur  before perambalur.. The temple is in the middle of the village with the bus stand in front almost closing the entrance road
Legends and stories:
Penn= Girl, AAM= Cow , holy cow Kamadhenu. Gajam= Elephant Airavatham. These three things were sent by Indra to get flowers for worship  but seeing the lord here they were mesmerised to offer puja here hence the place is called  pennaagajam= Pennadam.
Thirunavukkarasar in his aged life prayed to Shiva to be branded with Shiva's symbols if the lord deemed it fit and was marked lovingly by shiva
The place is the birthplace of shri Meikanda deva nayanar20130831_123803

Sri kalikamba nayanar who cut off his wife’s hands for refusing to wash the feet of Shiva’s devotees and who had the limbs reattached was also living here
When there was a deluge in this place at the time of pralayam Shiva blessed and saved  this place by asking nandi to drink the floods on the prayers of devotees hence he is called Pralaya  kaleshwarar,
When you enter the main gate you can see the Shivan sannidhi and the Ambal sannidhi on the right. Both the sannidhis have the Nandi and kodimaram and in the sivan sannidhi the Nandi is facing away from the lord
(Sivan sannidhi )
When you enter the shivan sannidhi you see the temples for the nayanmars and a huge temple with Gajaprushti vimanam for Shiva. The nandi is facing away from the lord20130831_123841 
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Vinay theertha vinayakar above and Murugan sannidhi below
Next to the temple there is an elevated structure which also houses a Shiva this was to facilitate devotees from the other side of the river to view the lord.
Navagraha sannidhi
Ambal Azhagia Kadhali, Amodnambal Kadanthai Nayaki sannidhi

11/06/16 I had occation to revisit  today and had blissful darshan of Uccha kala pooja at 12 noon
View from the main gate
Anjaneys Swami at the entrance on the right

Sri Bhuvarahaswamy temple Srimushnam a Divya desam-Adhishtanam of the 37 th Sankaracharya of the Kamakoti peetam SriVIDHYAGHANENDRA SARASWATHI(758-788 AD)

Very close to Vriddachalam is Srimushnam a place where there is a divyadesam temple dedicated to Varaha avataram of Sri Vishnu. The temple is famous for being a swayumbhu murthy with the reputation of saving vehicles. I saw a lot of repaired vehicles being parked here for puja before being put into use.
How to reach:
Srimushnam is about 20 kms from Vriddachalam . Proceed on the road to Pennadam and Andimadam take a left turn at the first bifurcation and at a place called vannankudikadu take a left to Srimushnam, the route is easy to find.
You can also come from Sethiathopu near neyveli on NH 45C and take a right at thimmasamudram to reach Srimushnam
Legends of the temple:
The lord here is swayumbhu and is formed from a single large black stone saligrama. The lord is facing west and his face (Boar) is turned upwards and facing south.
His consort ambujavalli thayar was born nearby in Neyveli and as per her wishes the utsavamurthy is having a human face.
The swami here is swayamvyukhta in the idol, the pond behind the temple in front of the Shiva temple
the holy pond

Swayamvyuktha perumal is in the pond also

and also in the huge Banyan tree in front of the pond.

  Please do not miss these during your visit
The is also a story that says that the moorthy is actually a meteorite. The bhattar was explaining that there is a huge crater behind the perumal statue and the saligramam mala adorning the perumal also was svayamvyaktha. The saligramas are all covered with chakra and conch symbols it seems

The bhattar sells a unique laddoo made of the roots of the grass and lots of sugar tastes as ravaladdu. It costs 10 rs each

The temple was under patronage of the Hoysala kings and has exquisite stone sculptures which reverberate musically . The pillars are a marvel carved from a single block of granite and having 3 different sections with many sculpturesIMG_0146 IMG_0135 IMG_0136 IMG_0137 IMG_0138 IMG_0139 IMG_0143 IMG_0144 IMG_0145

As the Kanchi muttCalender lists this temple where the Adhishtanam of the 37 th Sankaracharya of the Kamakoti peetam  SriVIDHYAGHANENDRA SARASWATHI(758-788 AD) I had the oppurtunity to revisit and see this brindavanam. The Brindavanam is situated in the northern side of the outer praharam close to the wall of the main temple inner praharam. Nobody in the temple was aware of it though. they said its been there from many years
(Extract from

Sri Vidyaghanendra Saraswati III: He was the son of Balachandra. His former name was Suryanarayana. He attained mukti at Srimushnam, where he had gone on a pilgrimage on Krishna Dwitiya in the month of Pushya of the cyclic year Prabhava (795 AD).

The Brindavanam from the western side

view from the northern side

view from the western side

from the Kanchi mutt calender 2018

37. Sri Vidyaghanendra Saraswati
758 - 788 A.D.
आचाय  - 37 - िवाघनदेिशकः
बालचसतु ः ··· ीिवाघनदेिशकः ॥ ७२ ॥
पः ··· ौढिनयमी ॥ ७३ ॥
एष ··· िशं देव ॥
Son of Bālacandrasuta named Sūryanārāyaṇa, Śră
Vidyāghanadeśika was the disciple of Śră Cidānanda.
The preceptor Śră Vidyāghana, mastering the
Śrăvidyā held the responsibilities of the preceptor
despite the atrocities of Turuṣkas for thirty years.
The staunch adherent of asceticism, he reached
the highest state of Bliss on the second day of the
black fortnight in the month of Puṣya in the year
This preceptor Vidyāghana, searching a worthy
disciple to adorn the seat of the păṭha, reached
Cidambaram where he handed over the
responsibilities of governing (the Maṭha) to
Dhăraśaṅkarendra and attained siddhi there itself.
His preceptor-ship was for thirty years.

After visiting this temple please do visit the Neelishwar shiva temple which is right behind the Varahaswamy temple
for more details visit my blog on that temple at