Friday, August 19, 2016

Sri Kalyanasundareswarar temple–a padal petra sthalam at Nallur near Kumbakonam

Also known as Panchavarneshwarar koil the ancient Shiva temple where the main Shivalingam changes hues 5 times in a day and appears in different colours at different times of the day.


The temple is situated on the outskirts of Kumbakonam on theTanjore road and can be reached from Thirukarugavur it is about 6 kms from this temple and about 10 kms from Kumbakonam. Nallur village is across the railway line and can easily be found



The sapthasagara theertha in front of the temple



Agasthya worshipped here and saw the divine wedding of Shiva and Parvathi here during his sojourn south of the Vindhyas.

It has been sung about by Appar,Sundarar and also Amara needhi nayanar

The Shivalingam changes colours as the day progresses From 6:00-8:24 a.m, it takes the colour of copper, light red from 8:25-10:48, molten gold from 10:49-15:12, unknown colour from 13:13-15:36 and emerald green from 15:37-18:00.

Kunti was directed by  Sri Narada to have a bath in the tank here and was relieved of her sins.

The Ashtabhuja Durga found in the lower prahara is very powerful and is the kuladeivam for many families.

The temple is under the control of the thiruvavadudurai adheenam

The temple has 3 praharams and the main  praharam is  on an artificial hill

View from the Raja Gopuram


The second praharam has multiple Koshta vigrahasDSC05201DSC05202DSC05203DSC05205

After seeing this Ganapathy we will climb to the main praharam in the I floor where there is a resplendent Shiva lingam with sculptures of Shiva and Parvathi in kalyana kolam behind. There is also a sundaralingar a lingam anointed by sage Agasthya behind the main lingam . The sannidhi for Ambal Giriraja Sundari (Tripurasundari) is also seen above facing west


There are also various statues of Siva in various episodes of SivapuranamDSC05214DSC05216DSC05217


Next praharam is the one housing the ashta bhuja DurgaDSC05229

Plaque above the sannidhi depicting the Durga


The Sthala vriksham is the vilwam and it is called the adhi vilvam supposedly the first vilvam tree on earth and worshipping with this leaf is very specialDSC05233

A peaceful temple worth visiting especially for the changing hues of Shiva. In true Vaishnava fashion the priest blesses everybody with a sadari another speciality of this temple

Another view of the  Saptha sagara kulam


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Sri Meenakshi Sundareshwarar Koil Katharikuppam near Ranipet-Adhishtanam of Sri Sri Satchidghanendra Saraswati Swamiji the 13th Pontiff of the Kanchi peetam

The new calendar for 2016 from the Kanchi madam  talks of many newly found adhishtanams of the previous pontiffs. I ventured out to visit the one near Ranipet –the Adhishtanam of Sri Sri Satchidghanendra Saraswati Swamiji the 13th Pontiff of the Kanchi peetam. The place mentioned was Katharikuppam .A Google search led me on an adventure which is memorable. I ended up near Sholinghur  at Katharikuppam which was a wrong call. There was no Shiva temple.I proceeded to the nearby Shiva temple near pulivalam and spoke to the priest of the Kameshwarar koil who was very helpful though he did not know of this temple he told me there is another Kattari kuppam near Chittoor road So away I went going around Sholinghur reserving that visit for another day. I ended up near Pudur medu Kattari kuppam this was also a wrong call. There was no Shiva temple here also.So crest fallen I proceeded towards Lalapet bus stop and lo Google maps picked up another Katharikuppam I turned in and after travelling about 8-10 kms I found the correct place!!. His holiness had decided to give me a small blessing and showed me the way.
How To Reach:
The shortest way from Chennai is to take the Bangalore highway and turn into Ranipet and Old Bangalore road.Near the MGM resorts take a right turn towards Ponnai and in about 10 kms you will reach the road to Katharikuppam. On the right turn after the bus stand of Katharikuppam All sign boards are in Tamil. Proceed for about 6 kms and you will reach the Meenakshi Sundareshwarar  temple on your left where the Pontiff is said to have merged with the Shivalingam.DSC05504
Legends and Stories:
The Legend:
Sri Satchidghanendra Saraswati : Known as Seshaya in his poorvasrama, he belonged to a village on the bank of the Gadilam river. He was the son of Sridhar Pandita. Like his predecessor, he relinquished his pontificate to his successor and wandered about the environs of Kanchi as an "Avadhuta". After wandering for over thirty-two years, he disappeared into a. temple near Kanchi and it is said that his mortal frame got transformed into a Linga, now identified with Meenakshi Sundareshwarar temple at Katharikuppam on Shukla Prathama in the month of Margashirsha of the cyclic the cyclic year Khara (272 AD).
History of thekamakoti peetam(web link to theKamakoti peetam's website history of the mutt).
The temple priest Sridhar a very honest and simple soul narrated that actually there was another Brindavanam inside a snake pit nearby( near the temple pond), after Deiva prashnam the jeeva Samadhi of a  sanyasi was found there and that Brindavanam which has  since been re built revealed that the pujya  guru of that Swamiji was infact the Kanchi pontiff who had merged with the Linga inside the templeDSC05505
The name and Identity of this Swamiji is not known yet.
The pond in front had very little water earlier and once many years ago  after Mahaperiyava bathed here it started raining heavily and the pond was filled up in no time. There is also a Murugan temple built nearby by Sri.Rajappa (see below to know about this great soul) on the other side of the pondDSC05510
The temple itself is very small but the vibrations you receive are something you have to experience to believe
As you enter the main gate you see the banner on the door and  a plaque on the wall about the AdhishtanamDSC05480
The inner Chamber is a small room with the Ambal facing South and the Shiva Lingam facing East in their enclosuresDSC05485DSC05484
Both the Shiva Lingam and the Meenakshi Ambal are small in size but the ambience is  electrifying. In front of the Shivalingam a pair of Padukas have been installed recently.There was also a sculpture of a Saint?, A siddhar? and hanumanDSC05486DSC05487DSC05488
Inside the sanctum next to the Meenakshi sannidhi there is an Anjaneya whos has been installed by Shri Vyasatirtha of the Vijayanagara fame this Anjaneya is unique in that it is usually in profile with right hand raised in benediction with a bell on the tail encircling the head and a dagger on the waist.
The outside prahara has small koshta vigrahas like Ganapathy, Dakshinamurthy, Durga and Brahma. There is also a Bhairava, and a navagraha sannidhi. There is also a nagar and a statue of Shiva sittingDSC05496DSC05497DSC05498DSC05499DSC05500DSC05501
For further help Contact the priest Sri Sridharan Cell:8489637744
I had the opportunity to re visit this beautiful place on 3/8/16 where I happened to meet Shri .Rajappa and his wife , Shri Rajappa retired from a very senior position in L&T and has taken upon himself single handedly to renovate this  temple and others too.He is following strict simple  Vedic principles and will be  conducting aradhanai on 25 DEC this year. In his company more electrifying facts were revealed about this place. it seems places where Yatis and Siddhars are present there will be a huge population of athi trees and Parasa trees with white erukkai I literally saw these in profusion all around. He also revealed how many people meditating here have had profound positive experiences  and positive things have happened. It was endearing to note the utmost humility he was narrating these details and all the trials and tribulations he underwent and how all this was with divine direction he was successful so far especially with the whole village behind him.. He has now taken the lead to rebuild a Kamakshi Ekambaranathar temple nearby and start a Veda patashala there. both he and his wife have built a house there and spend a lot of time getting the work done and enjoying bliss, We were fortunate to have met him and shared a superb time getting to know of the importance of this place and also the wonderful lavish meal his wife served us with in a jiffy. It was all very satisfying both to the soul as well as the palate!! doubly blessed

From the Kanchi mutt calendar 2018

13. Sri Satchidghanendra Saraswati
235 - 272 A.D.
आचाय - 13 - सिनेः
सिंशदशो···मीरम ्॥२५॥
खरेऽखर···शरीरमयम ्॥२७॥
Then, the preceptor Śră Cidghana, having governed
or held the responsibilities of Ācārya Păṭha for thirtyseven
years, placed his disciple Śră Vidyāghana,
who was known as Śră Nāyana in Pūrvāśrama
before initiation, in the Maṭha; adhering to ascetic
principles, wandering like a child, he vanished in
the divine form of Ăśvara.
Śră Sacchidānanda, named Ąeṣa (before initiation),
son of Ąrădhrapaṇḍita, born on the banks of river
Garuḍa, disciple of Preceptor Candraąekahara
having enjoyed the bliss through spiritual practices
for sixty-nine years, and at the end of life entered
into the Ąivaliṅga - Kāyādhirohaneąvara.
The great preceptor, the transcendental,
immaculate attained the supreme state devoid of
pains, beyond everything, imperishable and infinite
on the first day of the dark fortnight in the month of
Mārgaąărṣa in the year Khara.