Monday, May 19, 2014

Sri Visha Mangaleshwarar Mangalambikai temple – A Vaipu sthalam

I stumbled on this temple late in the evening on 17.5.14 . This temple has a very unique U S P in that there  are very unique idols here, the sculptures are exquisite, The temple is associated with a Lingam called Vadamunishwarar  situated about 500 mtrs away which the archeologists say is a medicinal stone and the oil from this Shiva's abhishekam sells like hot cakes. This place has a Kalyana utsavam for Brahma and Saraswathy  a very unique festival.
How to each:
The temple is about 1 km further towards salem from the Thiruvasi temple. It is on the left of the road on a bit of land which is between the Kaveri and the left bank canal.20140517_184250
The temple has sannidhi for Shivan and Mangalambikai.
The unique vigrahas are 6 couples
Surya with his wife,
Lakshmi Narayana,
Kalyana Sundareswarar with Kathyayini. The lord has embraced kathyayini and has also stepped on her toe a marvelous sculpture20140517_184059
Subramanya with Valli Devasena,
Brahma and Saraswathi. The saraswathy here is in Dhyana posture with no veena she is housed as Kosta vigraha instead of a Vinayaka

Durga is Vishnu Durgai on lotus peetam with agni in hand.

The  Dakshina moorthy idol is with veena known as Digichandana in his hand.. This is supposedly good for optic nerve problems, The strings of the veena are supposedly strands of optic nerve which can be strummed only by Shiva!!
20140517_184037 .
Surya and Chandra are seen on top of Dakshinamoothy to either side with chamaram.The usual sanatkumaras are missing and there is a female bell clapper instead
Surya is seen with his consort and behind there is Lakshmi narasimha also
The speciality is abhishekam to Dakshinamurthy and saraswathy with honey which is sold in the temple. The honey is to be consumed early morning for success in studies.
The ambal sannidhi is small and has a tall ambal Mangalambikai blessing us facing south
There is a huge snake pit outside 20140517_182755
The ride to the temple is on a narrow mud bank and is adventurous but motor able. The sculptures are unique and a beauty to behold. Well worth the trouble of travel20140517_182812

Sri Sameevaneswarar (Mattrurai Varadeswarar) sametha Balambikai temple at Tiruvasi- A padal petra sthalam

On the Trichy to Salem road very near to Mannachanallur road is this ancient temple on the banks of the Kaveri.The temple has been connected with the miracles of Saint Thirugnanasambandar and Sundarar.It is a big temple which is in daily worship with a very energetic Priest who was patiently doing the sayam kala pooja when I visited.
How to Reach:
From Trichy toll gate take the musuri, salem road and in about 20 Kms after crossing Bhikshandar koil, Mannachanallur road you will come to the village of Tiruvasi. A right turn here leads to the temple inside the village20140517_173804
Legends of the temple:
The temple has been associated with Sundarar who cane here after visiting tiruvanaikaval. He asked the lord for some money. Shiva pretended to be a poor fellow and after Sundarar sung 10 songs was obliged to give sundarar a lump of mud? poor quality gold. Sundarar was not happy and he called on two men around who confirmed it was gold. These men were Shiva and Vishnu. The same is depicted in the temple gopuram in the entrance to the Shivan praharam20140517_181219

The king of this place had left his daughter inside the temples she  had a bad back problem almost crippling her. Sri Thirugnanasambandar came here and sung songs on Shiva who converted the dosha of the princess into the form of the demon Mugilan and danced on him with his hair tied up. The princess was cured and the same is depicted here in the figurines. The natarajar here is shown dancing on the sarpa (Snake) and not on the Mugilan as usual.20140517_181219
As you enter the main gopuram you see the kodimaram and Nandi in front and the amman sannidhi on the left facing the west20140517_181316
There are directions to do pradakshinam and the history  board
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The next praharam leads to the main sannidhi of Shivan at an elevated place 20140517_173929 
The shivan is a medium sized lingam and the Natarajan in the outer sanctum
The Outer wall has the various Kosta vigrahas  like Ganesha, Dakshinamurthy. Vishnu and Lakshmi in the west  20140517_174008 20140517_174018 20140517_17445220140517_174206 
The ambal sannidhi is facing the Shivan sannidhi and the ambal is standing about 5 feet. The dwarapaalikas very important and the devotees tie their requests to their hands to be given to the devi.
There is a nice walking path outside the main praharam and there is a selva vinayagar in front of the 
Amman .
The hall with the nandi has pillars with Thirugnana sambandar, Sundarar and the Mazhavan Raja and also a ball inside the pillar carved from a single stone  20140517_181209 20140517_181213  20140517_181240

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tiruvalam-Sri Vilvanadhar Sametha Dhanur Madhyambikai Temple–A padal Petra sthalam

This is the tenth Padal petra sthalam in the Thondamandalam region.The thondamandalam extended from Hosur to Chitturu and was ruled by Vandiyadevan  Vallavarayan This character immortalised by Kalki in Ponniyin selvan had me hooked. This temple is his kula deivam.this automatically dated the temple to before the Big temple.
How to Reach:
  The temple is about 120 kms away from Chennai near Ranipet on NH4. I took the NH4 and after crossing the wallajah Toll booth took a right towards wallajahbad, Ranipet and after crossing the BHEL township reached tiruvalam. There are two bridges take the left one the old bridge. The temple is at the end of the bridge on the left side–
The Temple can be reached from Vellore via Katpadi Ranipet  road and the temple is at the end of the road as it reaches Ranipet.
The Legends and Stories:
This is the temple that witnessed the competition between Vinayaka and Kumaran when Narada gave the mango to Vinayaka who did pradakshina of his parents.There is a Vinayakar sannidhi with the mango in his trunk here.
An asura called Kanjan who lived in Kanjanagiri nearby refused to allow water for puja to be brought here. Hence Nandi was deputed by Shiva to slay the asura.Nandi tore him to many pieces and all the places where his parts fell are all in existence today like narasimhapuram, Melpadi etc.The lord called the river as ne vaa and the river came closer. Hence the name of the river Nee vaa.Nandi is also facing away from the lord .This story is carved on one of the pillars IMG_0053IMG_0054IMG_0056
Sri La Sri Sivanandha Mouna Swamigal a revered soul here was responsible for reconstruction of this temple. He spent his entire wealth and efforts to this end. He used to cure people with vilvam and vibhuti.He also built the Sudhai nandi and various stars images on the main gopuramIMG_0014IMG_0015IMG_0023
The temple has lot of Tamil inscriptions  Kopparakesari Rajendra Chola, Korajakesarivarman Raja mahendran, Kulothungan, Third Kulothungan, Chola Bhupan's son Veerasamban and many other king’s inscriptions are found. These inscriptions mainly speak about the building of mandapams, donations of land, cattle, etc.,
Even before the entrance to the gopuram there is a Balaganapathy sannidhi
The  temple has two entrance Gopurams on the north side. The space between the two gopurams has the Gowri theertham on the right sideIMG_0071IMG_0072
The left side has the sannidhi of Theekali Amman who was pacified by Adishankara to a shanta swaroopamIMG_0067IMG_0066
The entrance to the second gopuram has exquisitely carved water bowls with minute figuresIMG_0068
IMG_0063The inner Gopuram leads to the main temple complex with the Sivan complex and ambal complex all facing east. The entrance on the north side through which we enter has the temple for Kani vangiya ganapathy with the mango in his trunkIMG_0017

The main sannidhi has a Shivalingam facing east. The Nandi at three stages is facing away from the lord. There is a sivan sannidhi inside with nandi and ganapathy which is under clear water –Jalakanteswarar.
There are many old trees in the temple with Vilvam being the sthala vruksham.There is a multi pillared mandapam with sannidhis for 1008lingam and meenakshi sundareshwararIMG_0012IMG_0013IMG_0021IMG_0024IMG_0025IMG_0026
The Ambal sannidhi of Dhanur madhyambal is a seperate enclosureIMG_0039

The statue has a bow shaped waist with bending delicately hence the name.
The vimanam has the statues for various nakshatra devathas which is very uniqueIMG_0045IMG_0046
The Eastern side has a statue of Nandi and Kodimaram. In between is an adhigara Nandi facing the lordIMG_0009IMG_0011IMG_0015
The temple has been sung about by the four saivants. Thirugnanasambandar in the 7 century has talked about cure for fever and chills IMG_0016
There are exquisite sculptures seen with multiple animals in one fresco
IMG_0060Three monkeys above and below is Bull and elephant
The Go shala with in the temple
The daily pujas are very popular. The Shivachariar said that the nightly procession of the lord to his bed chamber must be seen by newly weds for a happy and prosperous wedded life and beget good progeny.
Contact: Sri  Umapathy sivachariar 04162236088/ 09894922166