Friday, August 30, 2019

Shri Aryambal sametha Shri Sivagurunathar Temple at Sivapuram-A padal Petra Sthalam

Its amazing how many important temples are in sight but not patronised well. This temple was in the news recently as the Bronze Nataraja of this temple was  retrieved a few years ago from abroad
The names of the lord and ambal corresponds to the names of the parents of Adi sankara

How to reach:
The temple is on the southern bypass of Kumbakonam  on the east about 5 kms in Sivapuram area and very easily found out. The approach from the highway is very narrow but the travel is worth it
When I visited it was sunset time and it was totally deserted

Legends and Stories:
The child prodigy Thirugnanasambandar refused to set his foot here and moved around rolling on the ground as he felt there are thousands of Shivalingas in Sivapuram.

This place is very famous for the Bhairava here and you can see a separate sannidhi for him well maintained and of course lot of Bhairava vahanas as you can see in the pictures. In fact they were brazen enough to enter all the sannidhis and a few even locked out the oil lamps which were lit. Maybe the fried wicks are a delicacy  who knows?

Thirunavukkarasar(Appar) has sung about the temple.

Notably this place is famous for devotees doing angapradakshinam for fulfillment of prayers. 

It is also famous as Kubera kshetra locally

Inside we find a carving depicting that Mahavishnu came in the form of a white boar and prayed to lord Sivagurunatha offering a bunch of plantains. 

The temple by itself is compact and neat with an east facing Shiva sannidhi and a south facing Aryambal sannidhi. 

The kosta vigrahas are beautiful.

Bhairavar sannidhi is present outside.

View from inside the Gopuram where you can see Bairava sannidhi on the right and other bhairavas free roaming

Nandi in the outer praharam

  View after you enter the second inner gopuram in the outer praharam with temple history and Sivagurunathar sannidhi in front
The Aryambal sanidhi is on our right facing south

Below are the Koshta vigrahas

Mahavishnu worshipping as a boar




 View from the Sivan sannidhi towards the Main entrance

A look at the Bhairavar Sannidhi in the outer praharam all decked up

Shri Koneshwaram temple at Kudavasal near Kumbakonam- A padal petra sthalam

One of the ancient temples rebuilt by Kochengatcholan as a elevated Temple(mada kovil) It is related to the legend of pralaya and regeneration of life forms. The lord is also known as Koneshwara (one who loves Ko -humans), Amritakateeswara( custodian of the pot of amruth), Vanmeekinatha( one who arose from an ant hill)
How to reach:
The temple is on the highway from Kumbakonam to Tiruvarur midway .About 18 kms from Kumbakonam  in front is a pond Amritha saras.It is easily seen

Legends and Stories:
When pralaya occurred the life forms were preserved in a pot by Brahma and when it rolled down during the floods,  it came south and was hidden in an ant hill here. Garuda wanted to set his mother and siblings free by giving them amruth from this pot when it slipped . In retriving this garuda used his beaks and injured the Vanmiki nathar in the ant hill.The lord bears the mark till today. The pot also broke releasing the life forms this is the amritha saras in front of the temple and the pot's remnant bottom portion rolled into Kumbakonam this is the Adi Kumbeshwara koil and the neck (kuda vasal  Kudam+pot Vasal=entry door) fell here

Garudan sannidhi in the temple

The temple has been praised by Thirugnana sambandar
The temple  has no Durga as the Periyanayaki herself has attributes of Durga

As you enter the Rajagopuram you see the kodimaram and the Ambal sanidhi (Periyanayaki) is on the left She is facing south
Kodimaram and Ambal sannidhi on the left
 The inner enclosure has the steps to the main sanctum
Steps leading to the main sanctum of Shiva he is facing west

 The Shivalinga bears marks of the Beak of Garuda and is facing west

The Koshta vigrahas in the courtyard
Sthala vriksham ?



 The beauty of the temple construction is the Adhi Ganapathy in front of the temple tank can be seen from the Top Shiva sannidhi

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Shri Shivalokanathar sametha Shri Soundaryanayaki temple Thirupungur-( Nandanar temple )- A padal petra sthalam

I have always visited Vaitheeswaran koil but did not know that this temple is just 5 kms west of the Vaitheeswaran temple! The legend of Nandanar makes this temple enchanting.

How to reach:
 The temple is 5kms west of the Vaitheeswaran koil on the main road and easily found

Main Gopuram

Legends and Stories:

 Among the 63 Nayanmars who composed poems and spread shaivism Nandanar is unique. He was a farm labourer and was denied permission by his owner to visit Chidambaram. He was for ever asking his boss permission to visit Chidambaram and forever being denied(thirunaalai povar  nayanmar) The boss told him if sowing and harvesting is done in 1 day he can go and lo  next day ,miraculously the crop was harvested. The Boss prostated at his helps' feet and so Nandanar set out   to
Chidambaram. en' route he arrived at Thirupungur and sung a song on Shiva who was so moved and asked Nandi who it was . He was told that Nandanar had come and was craning his neck to see Shiva Shiva directed Nandi to move so that nandanar could have a better look!so the nandi here is to a side

Now a temple for Nandanar has been built at the main gopuram outside and it shows him with both hands raised
Nandanar sannidhi outside the gopuram
The vinayaka here was directed by Shiva to dig a pond to alleviate drought he is called Kulam Vettiya Vinayaka

Thirunavukkarasar, Sundarar,Thirugnanasambandar have all sung about this temple
View from Gopuram entrance
Once Shiva and Parvathi had an argument who was more beautiful they asked Brahma to judge, brahma dropped 5 darba grass and asked the two to follow the path where the Grass fell, there were 5 lingas and looking at them Shiva felt Parvathy was beautiful and she felt Shiva was better looking
The pancha Linga statues outside 

TheNandi who moved

Temple legend

entrance to inner sannidhi

The Koshta vigrahas and sannidhis inside
vinayaka and Bikshandar


Surya lingam

Kshetrapala and ashtabhuja durga


Navagrahas and bhairava
Nandanar sannidhi nside

Shri Periya nayaki(Brihannayaki) sametha Shri Aruna Jateshwarar(Senjedaiappan)Temple -Thiruppanandal-A padal petra sthalam

This temple is right on the highway from Chennai to Kumbakonam and I have passed through so many times but temple was closed at those times. After visiting the Triloki temple I rushed to see this temple a very well maintained temple attached to the Thiruppanandal aadheenam (Kasi madam)

How to reach:
 The temple is right on the highway from Chennai to Kumbakonam from the lower anaicut .You can not miss this mammoth structure on the left
Legends and Stories:
A devotee called Mantharai used to offer garlands to the lord .One day while offering her Saree slipped and she caught it and could not reach the lord to garland him hence the merciful lord bent his red head (Sen jedai appan/Aruna jatadhara = locks like the early morning red sun  before sunrise) in front to receive the garland . The King tried to straighten the lord but entire army could not but a nayanmar Kungiliya kalaya nayanar accomplished the task with a rope tied around his neck he prayed to the lord and his devotion straightened the Shiva linga

Sri Thirugnana sambandar has sung padigams about this temple

Brahma did penance here  to redeem himself from the sin of lying ( the legend of Arunachaleshwara) It is still believed he comes here in the month of Chittirai and himself does the yagnas

View inside the Gopuram
Entrance to the main sanctum which is facing west
Senjadaiappan sannidhi

The kosta vigrahas were unique as below

Dakshimoorthy/pradoshamorthy Shiva and parvati

Ashta bhuja Vishnu Durga

The entrance to Periyanayaki sannidhi is from the west the idol is facing East
way to ambal sannidhi

Brihannayaki sannidhi

An ancient well maintained Temple with peace and tranquility

Shri Akhilandeshwari sametha Shri Sundareshwarar Temple at Triloki near Kumbakonam

Once in a way you land up in a small temple and the experience is euphoric due to the hidden gems here.I was visiting Thirupanandal from Kumbakonam and saw that there was another temple nearby 10 kms and visited the same and what a great sight I saw inside. Two exquisite rare sculptures depicting  Rathi Manmatha inside and Shiva Parvati riding Nandi (vrushabarooda) outside with Dakshinamurthy standing

How to reach:
 On the Aduthurai Thirupanandal road just 1 km before the Thirupanandal road is a road leading inside to triloki the temple is 4-5 kms inside.


Legends and stories:

The place has a perumal temple, a miniature of Gangaikonda cholapuram temple built by Rajendra chola. Triloki was the birth place of Trilokya maadevi one of the wives of Raja raja Chola I  and the temples were built by her here

This was the place where Manmatha was brought back to life and re united with Rathi as per her prayers

The Dakshinamurthy here is not sitting as usual he is standing in front of Shiva and Parvathy on Nandi

The Temple is recommended for therapy of couples having differences and to facilitate a happy married life

Both figures have their arms around each other . It is a single stone carving

The priest very patiently enplaned all the features to us ,This statue is present right inside at the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum
Outside on the North east is the enclosure of the Vrushabharooda

View from the Vrushaba rooda sannidhi

once you come outside you have the koshta vigrahas and the resplendent Vrishabha rooda shiva in a seperate enclosure
Dakshinamurthy is standing on the right in front of the statue
The back side of the statue has a Shivalinga carved which can be seen in the reflection in the mirror behind (not in this pic)

closer view

Shri Abathsahayeshwara Ezhvar kudali amman temple -Aduthurai -A padal petra sthalam

Having travelled through Aduthurai betwen Kumbakonak and Mayavaram I had an opurtunity to visit this temple kast week.It is a fairly busy place and the temple is easily found,

How to reach:
 I travelled from Kumbakonam and took the right turn after the bus stand and in 3 kms I took aleft and eached the temple.
It can also be reached from Maruthuvakudi from the south as well as Thiruneelakudi on the Kumbakonam Karaikal road

Main entrance
Legends and Stories:
The original name of aduthurai is "Then Kurangu Aduthurai" (the southern place where monkeys played). It was the place where sugriva came for protection when Vali chased him The Shiva here (Aabathsahayar) transformed him into a swan and hid him on top of the Sthala vriksham to protect him from the wrath of Vali. There are sculptures inside to attest to this fact enlarge the photo below and you can see
Sugriva offering worhip to Shiva

Entrance to the Main Sanctum

entrance to Amman sannidhi

Koshta vigrahas

Statues for Thirugnana sambandarand other nayanmars who visited this temple