Srivilliputhur Andal

Srivilliputhur is a town in Virudhunagar district of Tamilnadu .

The famous Srivilliputhur Andal temple is one among the Pandiyanadu divyadeshams .

The Moolavar (main deity) is named Lord Rangamannar or Vadabhadrasayi and Thayar Goddess Andal .

Here the Lord is in sleeping posture . Periyalwar and Goddess Andal both has sung praising this Lord . This is the birthplace of Goddess Andal and Periyalwar.

As per mythological legend, the place was referred as Varaha Kshetra . It was a dense forest named Champaka where the sages Bhrigu and Markandeya were doing penance and had their hermitages in the place. A demon named Kalanerai was troubling the sages and they prayed to Lord Vishnu to relieve them from the demon . Lord Vishnu was pleased by their devotion and appeared in the place to slay the demon . He is believed to have taken the abode in the forest reclining on Adhisesha, his serpent bed, on the leaf of a banyan tree. The place thus came to be known as Vadaveshwarapuram and the Lord as Vadabhadrasayi .

Periyalvar (originally called Vishnuchitar) was an ardent devotee of Vishnu and he used to string garland to Vishnu every day . He was childless and he prayed to Lord Vishnu to save him from the longing. One day, he found a girl child under a Tulsi plant in a garden inside the temple. He and his wife named the child as Kothai, who grew up as a devotee of Krishan, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. She is believed to have worn the garland before dedicating it to the presiding deity of the temple. Periyalwar, who later found it, was highly upset and remonstrated her. Lord Vishnu appeared in his dream and asked him to dedicate only the garland worn by Andal to him. The girl Kothai was thus named Andal and was referred as Chudikodutha Sudarkodi (lady who gave her garland to Vishnu). The practise is followed during modern times when the garland of Andal is sent to Azhagar Koyil on Chitra Pournami day where the presiding deity Lord Kallazhagar entering into River Vaigai with the garland worn by Goddess Andal and Tirumala Venkateswara Temple during [Garudostavam during the Tamil month of Puratasi (September – October)] . It is also believed that  Lord Ranganathar of Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple married Andal , who later merged with the idol . Andal was taken in a palanquin from Srivilliputhur to Srirangam before the marriage . Since Andal married Ranganatha , who came as a King (called Raja) , the presiding deity is called Rangamannar .

The parrot in the hands of the Goddess Andal is made up of fresh leaves daily and the old ones are given to devotees .

In this temple interchanging of garlands between the married couples is a sacred ritual and we were fortunate to do so , as it was our 37th wedding anniversary day .

Srivilliputhur is famous for its palkova too .


Srivilliputhur temple gopuram
Inside the temple
The corridor
Periyalwar sannidhi
A picture of Andal thirukalyanam
Our tour group
Goddess Andal with Lord Rangamannar
Pillars of the corridor
Paintings on the walls

Thothathri Perumal Vanamamalai Nanguneri

Vanamamalai Sri Thothatri temple is in nanguneri and very near to Thirukurunkudi another divyadeshams of Pandiyanadu .

A must visit for all Sri vaishnavas , the Thothathri temple is located in a small village called Nanguneri in Thirunelveli. This temple is one of the Pandiyanadu divyadeshams.

Moolavar Thothathri Perumal in sitting posture . Thayar named as Varamangai Sridevi Bhumidevi .

Nammalwar has sung praising this Lord .

The temple is around four thousand years old and it is a huge one with extensive carvings. The temple is stated to have been built in a place which was a huge lake.

The Sannidhi street in front of the temple is a indeed a big one. The main deity is given an oil bath every day and the gingerly oil that comes out with water goes through a tiny oil separator and the separated oil is pumped into the oil well. This oil is stated to be having curative effect and hence is sold as the Prasadam. The temple is under the administrative control , of Vanamamalai (Jeeyar Swamy) The Mutt is also located within the temple Vanamamalai Sri Thothathri temple .

The Uthsavamurthy is known by the name Deivanayagan.

This is one of the eight prime shrines of the Srivaishnavas where the presiding deity appeared swayambu and therefore is of great significance .

The sacred oil well is inside the temple . There are few steps to oil well , we can climb and see it .The oil is sold in the temple office and it is considered as a sacred medicine for arthritis and other skin diseases.

This is how the main deity is
The corridor opposite to ennai kinaru
Oil coming out from main sanctum
Ennai kinaru
At the entrance of the temple

Nindra Narayana Perumal Thiruthangal

This temple is one of the Pandiyanadu divyadeshams in Thiruthangal village , Virudhunagar district , Tamilnadu .

Here the Moolavar is named Nindra Narayana Perumal , Thayar Shenkamalam .The Lord here is in standing posture .

Thirumangai alwar and Boodathalwar has sung praising this Lord .

Sthalapuranam once there was an arguement between the Goddesses Sridevi Bhumidevi and Neeladevi on degree of their devotion towards Lord Vishnu . Goddess Sridevi came to this place getting angry and was in deep meditation . Seeing her devotion Lord Vishnu gave her dharshan . Here the Lord gives dharshan along with
Goddesses Sridevi, Bhumidevi , Neeladevi and Jambavidevi (daughter of Jambavan. (As per legends Lord Ramar had promised to Jambavan to marry Jambavidevi in His next avatar, hence he married her in this place in Krishna avatar)

As per another legend, Krishna’s grandson Anirudhha , got married at this place.

As per another legend , Ranganatha from Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple was enamoured by the devotion of Andal. He started a journey to Srivilliputhur divya desam to seek her hand for marriage . While reaching the place , it became dark and he decided to spend the night in the place. Since he stayed at this place, it came to be known as Thiruthangal and the hillock came to be known as Thalagiri .

Based on the legend , there is a common belief that the temple provides relief to devotees suffering from mental weariness and physical fatigue .

Picture of the main deity

Sri Kalamegha Perumal Thirumoghur

This is one of the Pandiyanadu divyadeshams near to Madurai .

Nammalwar and Thirumangai alwar has sung praising this Lord .

As per the legend Dhurvasa Maharishi cursed Indira, to loose all his wealth, when he was not given respect. Due to this the devas lost their strength and the Asuras regained. As per the advice of  Lord Vishnu Devas and Asuras churned the Thiruparkadal to get the nectar ( Amruth) . An aalakala poison came first and the same was consumed and kept in the throat by Lord Shiva . After that Jyesta Devi , Lakshmi and finally nectar has come. The Devas and Asuras fought with each other to consume the Amirtham first . Lord Vishnu took the form of Mohini and gave it to Devas after mesmerizing the Asuras. The place where Vishnu gave to Devas was this place Thirumohur . Initially it was called as Mohana Kshethram latter corrupted to Mohiniyur and then Mohiyur and to the present name Thirumohur.

In ancient times this place was called as Mohanakshethram.

Sri Chakkarathalwar sannidhi is more powerful than Perumal of this temple. The sannadhi vimanam is covered with copper plate with gold plating. People used to worship Chakkarathalwar for Child boon, Marriage, to get rid of Pilli sunyam, eval ( Black magic), Debt, etc, to flourish in the business.
The temple is known for “Chakkrathalwar” (Sudarshan swamy) temple which is probably the first Sudarshan swamy temple in the world. Here lord Sudarshan (who is also a representation of Lord Vishnu himself) is seen with 16 hands. Each of the 16 hands has a weapon (also known as Shoda-Ayudha from where the shloka Shoda-ayudha stotram also probably came). Pradakshina of the Lord’s temple removes all hurdles from one’s life and HE bestows on you all success and answers your prayers.

Sri Chakrathalwar

Azhaghar Koil Madurai

Located at a distance of 21 km away from Madurai, Alagar Koyil Temple, also known with the name of Azhagar Kovil is one of the prominent temples situated at the foothills of Alagar hills. This temple has high religious significance as well as presents a captivating architecture. What makes it even more enchanting is the natural setting surrounding this temple. With a history that dates back to early Sangam age, this temple is a must visit when on a Madurai tour.

Alagar Koyil Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is known for its intricate sculpting and mandapams. Alagar Hills also have great importance in the Hindu religion; this hill is called Alagar as the Lord Thirumal is known with the name of Alagar here, hence the hills are named on the Lord.

When we enter into the entrance,first we have to pray the “protection deity of the Alagar koil padinettam padi Karrupanaswamy “

The main deity of Alagar Kovil temple is Lord Paramaswamy. The processional idol of this temple is Lord Alagar or Sundararajan, who is brother of Goddess Meenakshi. The temple has a shrine of Kalyana Sundaravalli, who is the consort of Lord Alagar. There are also separate shrines for deities Andal, Sudarshana and Yoga Narasimha.

There are many legends associated with the Alagar Koyil temple. According to a legend, Lord Vishnu had come down to divine marriage of Lord Sundareswarar and Goddess Meenakshi. Unfortunately, the marriage took place before his arrival, owing to which he turned back from River Vaigai banks. This temple is the place where Lord Azhar, a form of Lord Vishnu resides.

Goddess Andal is in sitting posture in this temple.

Periyalwar Peialwar Boodathalwar Andal Nammalwar Thirumangai alwar has sung praising this Lord .

Twenty one kilometers north-east of Madurai on a picturesque wooded hill amidst panoramic surroundings resides Lord Vishnu, Kallazhagar Perumal, the brother of Goddess Meenakshi. Azhagar Kovil is situated on the foothills of Azhagar Hills or Solaimalai, surrounded by the ruins of an ancient fortified town.

The Pastime

According to legend, When Lord Vishnu manifested the Vishvarupa in His Vamana avatara and raised His foot, Lord Brahma performed padapuja with the Ganga water in heaven. Some of the water drops splashed over the anklet of Lord Vishnu, fell on the earth at Azhagar Hills and still exists as a lake. This water body is known as Nupura Ganga (nupura means anklet in Sanskrit) or silambaru (in Tamil).

Once, while Sage Suthapas was bathing in Nupura Ganga at Azhagar Hill, he failed to pay heed to Maharishi Durvasa who was passing by. The enraged Maharishi Durvasa cursed Sage Suthapas that he would turn into a frog, until he was redeemed of the curse by Lord Sundararajar, who is also known as Kallazhagar (the Lord of Azhagar Kovil).

Because of this curse, Sage Suthapas came to be known as Manduka Maharishi (manduka means frog in Sanskrit). The sage began to perform penance on the banks of river Vaigai, which is otherwise known as Vegavathi, at Thenur near Madurai, not far from Azhagar Kovil.

According to legend, Lord Kallazhagar came riding on a golden horse to Madurai from Azhagar Kovil to participate in the celestial wedding ceremony of His sister Goddess Meenakshi (Goddess Parvathy) and Lord Sundareshwar (Lord Shiva).He arrived late and as He reached the river Vaigai, He was informed that the wedding ceremony was over. He was furious and decided to return home to Azhagar Kovil.

However He changed His plan and decided to visit Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareshwar to bless them. He presented them with the gifts that He brought with Him from Azhagar Kovil and blessed them. On His way back to Azhagar Kovil, Lord Kallazhagar heard the prayers of Sage Suthapas and was immensely pleased. He went to where Sage Suthapas was and blessed him to regain his original form. Upon getting his original form, Manduka Maharishi requested Lord Kallazhagar to show him His Dashavatara (the ten avataras of Lord Vishnu). Lord Kallazhagar, being very happy, revealed to the sage His divine Dashavatara and blessed him .

It is believed that Lord Kallazhagar came to Thenur to attend the wedding via Malaipatti, Alanganallur and Vayalur.

The Mahabharata says that this temple was visited by both Yudhisthira and Arjuna.

Andal and Kallazhagar Perumal
Andal is the incarnation of the goddess Sri Mahalakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu, and is one of the 12 Alwars. She wanted to marry Lord Sri Ranganatha (Lord Vishnu) of Srirangam, without knowing the birth secret of Her incarnation. She often used to make the garland for Lord Vishnu and had garlanded Him with flowers and her songs. She and her father Periyalwar (also one of the 12 Alwars) often visited Azhagar Kovil and sang paasurams about the hill and Azhagar.

Sri Andal, prayed to offer akkara adisil (sweet milk rice) to Lord Kallazhagar of Azhagar Kovil temple, if her desire to marry Sri Mahavishnu of Sri Rangam would be fulfilled. Though she attained her desire of marrying the Lord of Srirangam, she could not perform her promised offerings. Later, Sri Ramanuja, the incarnation of Adishesha or Anantha, came to Azhagar Kovil on the 27th day of the Tamil month Margazhi and performed offerings of akkara adisil on Andal’s behalf. Every year, this is remembered by performing the offerings on the 27th day of the Tamil month Margazhi and its known as “Kudaravalli”.

Lord Kallazhagar and Sri Andal of Srivilliputtur have a divine relationship. As a mark of this, even today a garland adorned by Sri Andal comes from Srivilliputtur (birthplace of Andal) during Chithirai festival. Wearing this garland, Lord Kallazhagar enters River Vaigai in His Kuthirai vahana (horse vehicle).

In the time of Sri Ramanujacharya, his glories spread far and wide. Along with this, grew the number of enemies, i.e. the people who became jealous of Sri Ramanujacharya. At that time, the Chola king who was influenced by certain groups, ordered Sri Ramanujacharya to be brought to his court. Understanding the king’s plan, Koorathalwar, one of the chief disciples of Sri Ramanujacharya, immediately rushed back to the matha in Srirangam and requested Sri Ramanujacharya and the others to move away to some safer place. Though not interested in moving, Sri Ramanujacharya had to oblige his adamant disciples. When the soldiers came to the matha, Koorathalwar was dressed up as Ramanujacharya. Mistaken, they took him along with Sri Mahapurna, (Periya Nambi), the diksha acharya of Sri Ramanujacharya, to the royal court in Gangaikonda Cholapuram. At the court, the King presented a written declaration which read, “Nothing higher than Shiva exists,” and commanded them both to affix their signatures to it without protest. But both of them refused and argued the supremacy of Lord Vishnu, quoting from the Vedas, Upanishads and various other holy texts.

At some point, the king became furious and ordered their eyes be gouged out. On hearing the order, Koorathalwar replied that he did not need the eyes which have seen a sinner like the king, and he blinded himself. The eyes of Mahapurna were also gouged out by the soldiers and they were sent away from the court. The old Sri Mahapurna died on the way to Srirangam.

Sri Ramanujacharya meanwhile had moved to Melkote in Karnataka along with his disciples and established Vaishnavism there with the support of the local king. After a turbulent period of over 12 years, Sri Ramanujacharya returned to Srirangam and the old friends reunited. Ramanujacharya was very sad to hear of the mournful incident. Sri Ramanujacharya asked Koorathalwar to go to Azhagar Kovil and pray for his eyesight. Sri Koorathalwar who had no desire for eyesight, was obliged to obey the orders of his acharya. Sri Koorathalwar got back his eyesight in Azhagar Kovil, by composing Sundararajastavam, a hymn in praise of Sri Kallazhagar.

Legend has it that the Somasundara Vimanam, also known as the Somaskanda Vimanam or the Somachanda Vimanam was designed by Vishwakarma. This shrine was built by Dharma Deva, upon whose request Vishnu took this place as His permanent abode.

The devotees take bath in the Nupura Ganga to wash away their sins. This water tastes sweet and has medicinal values. Bath in Nupura Ganga during full moon, new moon and Dwadashi are considered sacred.

Azhagar Hills and Azhagar Kovil have been highlighted in the Valmiki Ramayana and Veda Vyasa’s Mahabharatha. Vyasa quoted in the Mahabharatha, that Yudhishthira came here when the Pandavas had been banished from the kingdom for 12 years. In Bhagavatam, Balarama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, had reached Virushapathiri (Azhagar Kovil), and had gone to Sethu (Rameshwaram), when on His pilgrimage .

The moolavar (main Deity) here is Azhagar/ Paramaswamy, in a standing posture facing east. The utsavar (processional Deity) is called Azhagar and also Sundararajan. This beautiful Deity is made of pure gold and is a fine example of craftsmanship of the ancient period. In the topmost right hand, He has Prayoka Chakram (the chakra that is going to be used). Both the moolavar and utsavar are found along with the pancha aayutham (5 weapons) namely the shanka, chakra, vaal or sword, kodanda (bow) and gadha or mace, in their hands. There are also utsavars of Kalyana Sundaravalli Thayar, Andal, Sridevi and Bhoodevi.

The vimanam (roof of the sanctum sanctorum) is called as Somachanda Vimanam and is fully gold plated. Azhagar is considered to be the tutelary Deity of the Kallar tribe of this region, hence the name Kallazhagar.

Thayar (Mahalakshmi) in Azhagar Kovil is called Kalyana Sundaravalli. The shrine of Kalyana Sundaravalli, the divine consort of Azhagar, is in the southern enclosure. As the Thayar has a separate shrine, she is also called Thanikkovil Thayar.

There is another shrine in the north dedicated to Andal who visited this place with Periyalwar from Srivilliputtur. Other important shrines are those of Sudarshana and Yoga Narasimha. Sudarshana or Sudarshana-chakra is about 2,000 years old and only once a year the door of the shrine is opened. Sri Yoga Narasimha is in sitting posture.

Karuppannaswamy, the God of Kallars and the finely carved eighteen steps are held in great reverence by the devotees. It is claimed that nobody will dare tell a lie at this spot.(source sthalapuranam book)

Sri Sowmya Narayana Perumal Thirukostiyur

This is one among the Pandiyanadu divyadeshams and is situated at Thirukostiyur a small village near Thirupathur , Sivagangai district Tamilnadu .

As per legend asura Hiranyakashipu prayed to Brahma for a boon that he would not be killed by Devas, human race, animals or by weapons. Having secured the boon, he went on a rampage harassing everyone and forcing them to utter ‘Namo Hiranyaya Namaha’. Worried at his increasing power and anxious at what his next action would be, Devas sought Lord Shiva’s help, who directed them to Lord Brahma , who further directed them to Lord Vishnu as the only one who could pin down Hiranyakashipu.

The Devas went to Lord Narayana who told them that Hiranya’s powers had been spread around the world and they had to go and find a place in the world where His (Lord Vishnu ) name was still being chanted. They managed to find Kadamba Rishi’s ashram as the one place where Lord Narayana’s name was still being uttered. The Rishi was undertaking severe penance in his quest to have darshan of the Lord as Sheerabdhi Nathan.

The Devas and Tri Murthis went to Kadamba Rishi’s ashram to discuss the plan to kill Hiranya. While everyone remained there, Lord Narayana went back to Thiru Paarkadal where, he asked Sanghu Karna to be born as Hiranyakashipu’s son Prahalada who would utter Om Namo Narayana all the time , much to his father’s shock. The Devas pleaded with Lord Vishnu to show the form before he could take it. Lord Vishnu showed them the avatar, but not pleased with the vision, the Devas and sages pleaded him to show it again.

Lord Vishnu appeared in three forms of standing, sitting and resting posture at Thirukoshtiyur. Since Lord Vishnu showed his form after hardship (called Thirukkai in Tamil) of Devas, the place came to be known as Thirukoshtiyur.

In this temple from Thayar sannidhi there are steps to go to the gopuram, where the other 2 moolavar in reclining and standing posture are seen . They officially allow us to see those 2 moolavars too but when we went the temple was under renovation works so could not see .

Brahma built Thirukoshtiyur Temple: 
After Hiranya Samhara, Kadamba Rishi requested Brahma to give him a model of Lord Narayana killing Hiranya. It was Brahma who directed Vishwakarma to construct a 3 tier structure at this place – one with Om, another with Namo and the third with Narayana with the Southern side of the tower depicting ‘Lord ‘Narasimha catching Hiranyan’. He asked Mayan to construct the Northern side of the tower depicting ‘Narasimha killing Hiranyan’. Indra, who had stayed back here till the Hiranya Samhara, presented to Kadamba Rishi the silver plated idols of Sowmiya Narayana along with Sridevi , Bhumidevi and Neela Devi.

Pururavan built Thirukoshtiyur Town:
When Pururavan, the son of Budhan (Mercury) flew above Thiru Koshtiyur on his way for a bath in the Ganges, he was brought down to this place through the powers of the Ashtanga Vimana. Having had a darshan of the Thiru Koshtiyur Lord and lured by his presence , Pururavan built the town where people could stay and have darshan of Sheerabdhi Nathan.

Ramanujar publicizing Ashtakshara Mantram:
Thirukoshtiyur is the birth place of Thirukoshtiyur Nambi, who is also named as “Selva Nambi”. He was the guru of Ramanujar, who was preached with the “Ashtakshara Mantram”. But the way he was taught the Ashtakshara Mantram was one of main issue that has to be explained. Selva Nambi ordered Ramanujar to do the fasting in this sthalam. Having crossed the age of 60, to get the Mantram, he followed the order of Selva Nambi. He took only water as his food and one fine day, he was preached with the Ashtakshara Mantram for which he was waiting for. But, he was ordered by Selva Nambi that the Mantram should not be published to any one and it should be kept secret.

But on hearing the Mantram, he thought it is not only a secret thing that is helpful and useful for him only, but it should be made public to all and it should be useful for all the other people. As a result of his thought, he went straight to the temple of Sowmiya Narayana perumal and stood on the huge walls of it and all of the village people to gather. And once all the people gathered, he loudly pronounced the Ashtakshara Mantram, which is said to sacred and explained it to all. He also asked them to repeat it.

On hearing this, Selva Nambi got angry on Sri Ramanujar since he has not obeyed his words and has broken the promise that he had given to him. Then, he called up Sri Ramanujar and said that having broken the promise, he will have to pay for the mistake, and as a result, he will be going to the hell. But before that, Thirukoshtiyur Nambi (Selva Nambi) wanted to know the reason why he made the Ashtakshara Mantram so public. But Ramanujar answered that in this world, all the things belongs to Sriman Naarayanan and no other thing should be kept secret (or) themselves but it should be used to others.

As the same way, on explaining the Mantram to all, it might help them from many things and because of this reason only, he answered that he publicized the Mantram. On hearing this from Sri Ramanujar, Selva Nambi realised how his mind was narrowed and felt for it. But, at the same time he was attracted by the thinking of Ramanujar towards humanity and Vaishnavism. As a result of it, Selva Nambi called Ramanujar as his Emperumaanar. We can find two separate statues that are made of bronze for Thirukoshtiyur Nambi and Ramanujar in this temple.

The Name – Removal of all Sins:
As the Devas came here in Groups (Ghosti) requesting Lord Narayana to kill Asura Hiranyakashipu, this place is called Koshtiyur. The belief is that a visit to this place will remove one’s sins as can be seen from the name – Thiruku (Sin) – Otiyur (removed).

Importance of this Divya Desam:
Belief is that visiting Thiru Koshtiyur provides one the fruits of visiting Naimisaranyam Divya Desam, a bath in the Ganges and a visit to Kurukshetra. It is said that a Vaishnavite who does not visit Thiru Koshtiyur will become a monkey in the next birth.

Peialwar Boodathalwar Thirumangai alwar Thirumazhisai alwar and Periyalwar has sung praising this Lord .

In front of the temple
Under renovation
Temple entrance
Paramapatha vaasal
Lord Narasimhar
Sculptures of Lord Narasimhar
Lord Lakshmi Narasimhar

Koodalazhagar Madurai

This temple is located amongst the city of Madurai in the parallel road of Meenakshi Amman temple .

Dedicated to Lord Vishnu , the Koodal Azhagar Temple, located in the centre of Madurai city is one among the Pandiyanadu divyadeshams . Goddess Lakshmi as Mathuravalli . Beautifully sculpted and carved by adding different shades of colour, the majestic temple imposes itself in the eyes of the beholder .

According to a legend, Vishnuchitha who is considered to the foremost among the twelve Alwars, mystical saints, who used to praise lord Vishnu presence in temple in their poems. Vishnuchitha was known for quoting from vedic texts and his arguments on the sovereignty of Lord Narayana. Once he was invited to Madurai at the Pandya King court where he established the greatness of lord throughout his convincing arguments, after which a miracle happened which even made the King celebrate his divine victory.

Vishnuchitha was honoured by being placed on a royal elephant, accompanied by Vedic pundits. Pleased with his display of devotion, Lord Koodal Azhagar himself appeared before the grand procession, seated on the shoulders of Garuda and blessed Vishnuchitha. His joy knew no bounds, he blessed the Lord and conveyed his wishes in the form of twelve verses in Tamil called ‘Thirupallandu’. He recited hem in tune with the ringing of the elephant bells and offered Mangalasanam at the holy feet of the lord.

Vishnuchitha gained the name of ‘Periyalwar’ from Lord Vishnu himself. He is regarded as the most prominent of the twelve alwar saints of the Vaishnava sect. Thirupallandu is still recited to this day as starting prayer offerings to the deity.

Moolavar is Kalamegha Perumal and Thayar is Goddess Meghavalli .

Thirumangai alwar and Thirumazhisai alwar has sung praising this Lord .

Here the Lord is in 3 postures one can climb to see the other 2 postures of the Lord standing and sayana kolam .

Koodalazhagar

Sri Satyamurthy Perumal Thirumayam

This beautiful rock cut temple is among the 108 divyadesams of Sri Vaishnavas and comes under Pandiya naadu divyadesams. The temple is inside a huge fort and adjoining is the Sathyagiriswarar temple of Lord Shiva. The presiding deity is Sathyagiri nathan/Sathyamoorthy perumal with prayoga chakra and shanku in his hands and is swayambu moorthy. Adjoining it is the sannadhi for Meyyappar perumal who is lying on Adiseshan and gives darshan in sayana kolam. Meyyappar perumal is similar to Lord Ranganatha at Srirangam but is really huge in comparison. Also in the sannadhi are chitragupta, dharmaraj, brahma, several devas, rishis and asuras. Bhoomi devi thayar appears close to his feet. There is a seperate sannadhi for Ujjeevana thayar.

Thirumayam is around 20 kms from Tirupattur and 15 kms from Pudukottai. The temple is about a km from the main Tirupattur – Pudukottai state highway. One can get down at Thirumayam bus stand and either walk down from there or take an auto. The nearest station is Thirumayam on the Karaikudi-Pudukottai route. Nearest airport is Madurai around 90 kms away.

One can stay at Pudukottai or Karaikudi as there arent any good lodging facilities here.

There are seperate Sannadhis for

Sathyamoorthy perumal

Meyyappar perumal

Ujjeevana thayar

Chakratazhwar

Lakshmi Narasimhar

Ramar, Sita, Lakshmana

Andal

Krishna

Anjaneya

Garuda

Vishwaksenar

Alwars Acharyas

Lot of nagars

Adhiseshan is said to have let off poisonous gas against the asuras , when the Lord in order the Lord should not be disturbed , when Lord woke up , He praised this gesture of Adhiseshan . Here the Lord in sleeping posture . Its said this Lord gave dharshan to Satya Maharishi and Adhiseshan after their deep penance in this place .

Just next to the temple is that of Sathyagirishwarar- Lord Shiva and the girivalam is possible only if the two temples are combined .

There are lot of stone sculptures in the temples as in Mahabalipuram .

 The idol of Thirumeyyar is probably the largest one in sleeping posture in India .

 Thirumangai alwar has sung praising this Lord .

Thirumayam sri Satyamurthy Perumal temple entrance
Inside the temple
Meyyappar Perumal
Freedom fighter Satyamurthys Manimandapam close by the temple
Side view of the temple
The temple corridor
Nagars
Satyamurthy Perumal

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Thiruvanamalai

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Thiruvannamalai, Srivilliputhur, Virudhunagar.

It is located at about 5 kms North of Srivilliputhur in the back drop of the Western Ghats. Here Lord is seen in a handsome standing posture. The temple is celebrated as Thirupathi of South.

Srinivasa Perumal Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu located in Thiruvannamalai Village near Srivilliputhur in Virudhunagar District of Tamilnadu .
One has to climb about 150 steps to have the dharshan of this Lord . Backside of this temple is a foot print of the Lord ( Paadham) .

Legends

The temple is celebrated as the Thirupathi of South . According to tradition , Lord of Seven Hills came here for hunting and stayed here itself to take care of his devotees. The Mount is being Adishesha (divine snake) himself. The Lord offers all needs of his devotees . There is a holy spring at the foothills with Lotus and other water flowers that ensure cleansing of the sins of the devotees . It is named Koneri Theertham .

The temple looks superlatively beautiful . The tank opposite the temple is very pleasing to look at . Lord Srinivasa Perumal is in standing posture. The appearance of this Deity is the re -embodiment of Lord Venkatesa Perumal of Thirupathi. The adoration of this God can be equated to a pilgrimage to Thirupathi .

At downward slope of this hill is the Gopalswamy temple, in the eastern part. Vanappechi Amman temple is found in the western side . A tank called “Koneri Theertham” is at the foot of the hill. On the bank of this tank, a huge Lord Vinayagar statue exists .

There are broad steps to climb up to this hill. At present, a ceiling has been set up over these steps for providing shadow to the climbing devotees. Here, every Saturday is considered to be significant for worship .

We visited this abhimana sthalam during our Pandiyanadu divyadeshams tour .

The temple poojas are Eka Pera Vithanam under the Vaikhanasa Agama System with the Moolavar being a Sthaanaga Veera- positioned as a single idol without Utsavar and consorts at the hill temple.

Temple Opening Time
The temple is opened from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.

Festivals
The temple conducts monthly Saturday pujas and special pujas on Saturdays in the month of Purattasi (September-October). Puratasi Saturday is special at this temple. The temple is open from 1 am for early morning pooja to 8 pm on these days.
The Utsava deity of this temple who resides at the Andal temple in Srivilliputhur is one of the five Perumal who go on a procession in their Garuda Vahana on the fifth day of Aadi every year.

Connectivity
This holy place Thiruvannamalai, being called South Thirupathi, is on the top of a small hill, just 3 Km away from Srivilliputhur in Tamilnadu. Mini Buses from Srivilliputhur go to the foot of the hill. Auto from Srivilliputhur and back will cost Rs. 150-200/-

The huge Vinayagar statue
The entrance arch from here the steps starts
Reached on top
Sri Srinivasa Perumal
The paadham of the Lord

Aadhi Jaganatha Perumal Thirupullani

During our Pandiyanadu divyadeshams tour , we first visited Sethukarai .

Sethukarai , meaning the edge of the sea at Sethu , a tiny village near Tirupullani , finds a prominent place in the Ramayana. It is believed that Lord Rama constructed a bridge of floating stones across the sea to Srilanka , with the help of Hanuman and His army of vanaras. Interestingly a Hanuman temple is here facing the sea . People take aholy dip in the sea and worship Lord Hanuman . Many do srartham (rituals done for ancestors) at this place .

Thirupullani
This town is also connected to Madurai via NH 49. It is well connected to the rest of the country too via road, as well as railway through Madurai junction .

Thirupullani Aadhi Jaganatha Perumal temple is one among the Pandiyanadu divyadeshams .This temple is also called as Dakshina Jaganatha Perumal temple . Uthara Jagnath temple in Puri and madya Jagnath in Thirumazhisai near Chennai . Here the Main deity Aadhi Jaganatha Perumal is in sitting posture with Goddess Sridevi and Bhumidevi.

There are many legends behind Sri Adi Jagannatha Perumal Temple. According to one legend , Lord Rama while on his way to Lanka to fight demon Ravana , who had kidnapped Goddess Sita , had requested Lord Samudra Raja , the God of Ocean to allow a way through the ocean to Lanka. It is believed that Lord Rama had offered prayers lying on Kusa grass; which is known as Dharba Sayanam. Later, Lord Samudraraja, after making the sea gentle and low, had asked the Lord to build a bridge to Lanka.
According to another legend, at this place, Lord Rama had met Pulla maharishi under a peepal tree. It is said that Lord Rama has offered his prayers to Sri Adi Jagannatha Perumal at this place before starting his journey to Lanka. Adi Jagannatha Perumal then gave Lord Rama a bow which was used to kill demon Ravana.

There is another legend according to which King Dasaratha who was the father of Lord Rama, had offered prayers here. It is said that in answers to his prayers and dedicated efforts, his wives gave birth to his children – Rama, Lakshmana, Bharatha and Shatrughna. Owing to this legend, many childless devotees come here to worship and seek blessings of the Lord.

Here Lord Ramar is in sayana kolam as well as there is Lord Kothandaramar sannidhi along with Goddess Seetha and Lakshmana and big statue of Lord Santhana Krishnan with a five headed snake .

Here the moolavar is Aadhi Jaganatha Perumal with His consort Goddess Kalyanavalli or Padmasini in sitting posture.

Thirumangai alwar has sung praising this Lord .

Sethukarai
People giving srartham
Lord Anjineyar temple at Sethukarai
Thirupullani temple entrance
Inside the temple
Inside the temple
Inside the temple

Aanamalai Yoga Narasimhar

Yoga Narasimha Perumal Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located at Narasingam in Aanaimalai in Madurai District of Tamilnadu. The Temple is located at the foot of the Aanaimalai hills. This is a rock cut temple and the main deity Narasimhar is carved out of the rock . The temple is a good example of the cave sculpturing of the Pandya Kingdom . Presiding Deity is called as Yoga Narasimhar and Mother is called as Narasingavalli . This place, though not a Divyadesam , is situated between two holy places – Alagar Koil in the north and Thiru Mohur in the east.

This hill is in the shape of an elephant hence it is called Yanaimalai (elephant hill). This place is mentioned as the Gaja Giri Kshetram, Narasingam or Hasthigiri.

Pulasthya Maharishi, the great grandfather of Lankan King Ravana is said to have undertaken penance at this place and had darshan of Lord Narasimha.

According to the Sthala Purana for Madurai Koodal Azhagar Temple , sage Romasa had installed the Lord Narasimhar idol in a cave in the hill . And the 87th chapter of the Uttara Kanda of the Brahmanda Purana says the sage did penance on the banks of the Padma Thadagam, as it was filled with lotus flowers, near the Gajagiri Kshetram (the present Anaimalai) seeking progeny, and wanted the Lord to appear in this Narasimha avatar. The Lord appeared as Ugra Narasimha and the heat that emanated from him was unbearable.

Even the celestials were affected by it and they all came to Gajagiri Kshetram and prayed to the Lord to calm down. The Lord could not be pacified and then they sought the help of Prahlada, whose arrival quietened him to some extent. They prayed to the Goddess Mahalakshmi, who also took her abode in him as Narasingavalli, after which he became Yoga Narasimha. The Lord later granted the boon sought by the sage.

Chakra Theertham:

According to another legend, Lord Shiva was afflicted by Brahma Hathi Dosham (a curse that descends upon a Hindu if he murders a Vedic Brahman) after he plucked one of the five heads of Lord Brahma. He was relieved of it after he took a bath in the holy water source there, also known as Chakra Theertham, and he worshipped Lord Narasimha. It is believed that taking a dip in the Chakra Theertham, which is near the temple, relieves the devotees from sins.

Thiruvilayadal Puranam:

The Thiruvilayadal Purana, written by Perumbatta Puliyur Nambi and later amended by Paranjothi Munivar, says that the Chola king, who could not win the battle against the Pandya ruler, sought the help of Jains. They created a giant elephant using their mystic powers and directed it to kill the Pandya king and destroy his capital. But the Pandya prayed to Lord Siva to save him and his capital. The Lord sent to him the “Narasinga Asthram” (the eight-lettered word Namo Narayana), which turned the elephant into a hill. To commemorate this event, a stone elephant was installed in Madurai near the Vaigai facing the north, which is found near the Yanaikkal bridge even today .

This temple too we visited during our Pandiyanadu divyadeshams tour and it is also one of an abhimana sthalams .





Entrance of the temple
Inside the temple
Aanamalai
Aanamalai Yoga Narasimhar temple entrance
Yoga Narasimhar

Thirupullamboothakudi Vallvil Ramar

Valvil Ramar Kovil at Thiru Pullaboothangudi is one of the 108 Divya desams and one of the Vaishnava Navagraha Parihara kshetrams around Kumbakonam.

The Moolavar is Valvilraman and the Utsavar is Raman at this temple. The thayar or the Lord’s consort at this temple is Hemambujavalli. The holy water is Jatayu theertham. The vimanam is Shobana Vimanam. He is facing East and present in Kidantha kolam or a lying posture.

This divyadesam is situated in Tanjore district Tamil Nadu . 3 miles away from Swami Malai (where another famous temple for Lord Muruga is found) .

Lord Rama takes rest after doing the final rituals for Jatayu (a bird that lost life by trying to rescue Goddess Seetha from Lanka King Ravana) . He gives dharshan to his devotees in that Thirukolam in this place .

Here the Lord Valvil Raman , after Goddess Seetha is lost is holding only his Kothandam , the Bow in this sthalam . This is the only support he has inspite of loosing his wife.


Bhumidevi , who helped Lord Rama in the final funeral in Thiruputkuzhi is giving support here and is sitting along with Valvil Ramar.

Since, the Lord does the final ceremony for Jatayu, the Eagle belongs to the pull family (One king of bird family) and after finishing the ceremony, he takes rest. So this shetram is called as “Pullam Kudi”. Kudi means the place of staying in Tamil.

King Kiruthrajan , got the dharshan of Lord Valvil Raman in Bujangha Sayanam after his deep penance . Since, the Theertham which purified Kiruthrarajan , the theertham here is called “Kiruthra theertham”.

Since, he was held in the forest, when King Dasaratha was dead, he could not do the final funeral to his father. But, keeping Jatayu in his father’s place, he did the final funeral to him as what he could have done to his father, King Dasaratha.

When Parasu Raman was against Lord Rama, he showed his actual image (or) face as Parasu Ramar and Sri Ramar are not two different people but they are a single person, the final destiny Lord Vishnu .

The final funeral of Jatayu was done under Punnai tree, only here, Sri Ramar gives his seva as Chakaravarthi (along with Sangu and Chakram).

Moolavar:
The Moolavar of this temple is Sri Valvil Raman. Moolavar in Kidantha kolam in Bujanga Sayanam facing East direction. Prathyaksham for Chakravarthy Thirumangan Ramar and Raja Kruthra. Utsava Moorthy gives seva Valvil Raman has four hands (Chathur Bhujan) along with Sangu and Chakram. Thirumangai alwar has sung pasuram praising this Lord .

Sri Manikundra Perumal Thanjavur

This temple is a cluster of 3 temples together making a divyadeshams .
1. Manikundra Perumal
2. Nela Megha Perumal
3. Sri Narasimhar
The 3 temples are near each other and is known as Thanjai Mamani koil .

Mangalasasanam was done by Thirumangai alwar, Nammalwar and Bhoodhathalwar.

In ancient days this place was called as Manikundram.

Moolavar : Sri Manikundra Perumal
Thayar    : Sri Ambujavalli

Some of the important features of this temple are….

The temple was built like a madakoil , little above the ground level . It was told that this temple was built on a small hill ( Kundru). Dwajasthambam, Palipedam and Garudalwar are immediately after the entrance arch .

The sanctum sanctorum consists of Sanctum , Antarala and arthamandapam. Moolavar Sri Manikundra Perumal is in sitting posture with Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi . Thayar Ambujavalli is facing east in a separate sannadhi with a small vimana . Garudalwar and  Anjaneyar are at the entrance of the sanctum arthamandapam . The Paramapatha Vayil is on the north side with steps. Perumal gave dharshan to Markandeyar.

As per the legend  Parasara Maharishi with his disciple lived in the ashram on the banks of river Manimutha river now called as Vennar. The demons Thanjaka, Thandaka and Tharakasura gave troubles to the Sage Parasara Maharishi  and his yagam. So Maharishi requested Lord Shiva to protect them from demons. Lord Shiva in turn sent Kali ( another avathar of Sri Parvati ). Tharakasura was Killed by Kali but couldn’t kill Thanjaka and Thandaka. When the sage Parasara approached Vishnu, He took the form of Narasimhar ( with lion’s Face – Yazhi face ) and Killed Thanjaka . As per his request Sri Narasimhar stayed in Yazhi Nagar. On seeing this Thandaka, hide himself in the pathalaloga. Now Vishnu took the form of Varaha ( Boar ) and killed the demon Thandaka . After Killing the demons Lord Vishnu gave dharshan in the form of Neelamega Perumal to Sage Parasara Maharishi. Lord Vishnu bless us in three different names in three temples close to each other. In Neelamrgaperumal Temple Lakshmi is sitting on the left lap of Perumal but in Yazhi Nagar Goddess Lakshmi is sitting on the right side since Lord Vishnu looks ferocious .

Only one priest looks after the 3 temples so had to wait till he finishes in first temples and locks and comes to other .

Manikundra Perumal
Neela megha Perumal entrance
Dhanvantri sloka in the walls of this temple

Hara saabha vimochana Perumal Thirukandiyur

This temple is one of the Cholanadu divyadeshams near Thiruvayaru in Thanjavur .

Moolavar is Hara saabha vimochana Perumal in standing posture . Thayar Kamalavalli and Thirumangai alwar has sung praising this Lord

The Lord gave dharshan to Lord Brahma Lord Shiva and King Mahabali .

As per Hindu legend , Brahma, the Lord of creation and Lord Shiva , the god of destruction , had originally five heads . Parvathi , the wife of Lord Shiva once got confused and performed Patha pooja (ablution of feet, considered an act of respect) to Lord Brahma instead of Shiva . Shiva got enraged and cut off one of the heads of Lord Brahma . The cut head got stuck in his hand of Shiva on account of a curse of Brahma . To get rid off this sin , Lord Shiva worshipped Lord Vishnu at Thirukarambanur as Bhikshadanar , where a part of his sin was relieved .

He got his curse fully relieved after visiting Lord Vishnu at Thirukandiyur and taking a holy dip in the temple tank , Kamala Pushkarani . After this incident it is known as ” kabala ” theertham meaning ( skull ) . Since Lord Vishnu relieved (Vimochana) the sin (saabha) of Shiva (also called Hara) , the temple is called Hara Saabha Vimochana Temple . 

As per another legend, Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu requested Shiva to cut off one of the heads of Brahma as she felt that Vishnu would ignore her and show all his affection towards Brahma

Sage Bhrigu , King Mahabali and Chandra (Moon) all got their sins relieved worshipping Vishnu here in the temple . Sage Bhrigu once wanted to test the superior of Lord Vishnu , Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. He kicked Vishnu in his chest in anger and got relieved of the sin here.

Chandra , got curse by seducing the preceptor’s wife , got partially relieved of it by worshipping Hara Saabha Vimochana Perumal .

Thiru Kabisthalam

Thiru Kavithalam or Kabisthalam is one of the 108 divya desam temples situated near Kumbakonam in Papanasam . The perumal in this sthalam is called ‘Gajendra Varadhan’.

The sthalapuranam of this temple is also associated with that of the elephant Gajendran . Gajendra performed pooja to Maha Vishnu using the lotus flowers from this pond . One day a crocodile caught Gajendra’s legs and there was a big struggle . The elephant was about lose the battle when cried ‘Adimoolamae’ seeking Sri Narayana’s help .Sri Narayana rescued the elephant Gajendra from the crocodile’s mouth using his ‘chakra’ cutting the neck of the crocodile. He then gave moksham ( salvation) to the elephant here .

The Moolavar of this temple is Sri Gajendra Varadhan. Moolavar in Kidantha Kolam in Bhujanga sayanam facing East . Prathyaksham for Anjaneyar and for Gajendran .

Thayar of this sthalam is Ramamani Valli (Potramaraiyaal).

Mangalasasanams The temple is revered by the verses of Tirumazhisai alwar .

5 Jyothirlingams of Maharashtra

1. Bhimashankar

2. Triambakeshwar

3. Grishneswar

4. Aundh Nagnath

5.Parali Vaijnath

We visited all 5 Jyothirlingams of Maharashtra in last November (2019) .

It was a 4 days trip . This trip too we planned it through Sanjay tours .

What is the difference between jyotirlinga and shivling?
Basically a “Linga” is an Image of Lord Shiva . 
For the sake of his devotees , Shiva manifested himself as Jyotirlingas . A Jyotirlinga generally means pillar of light and it contains the Athma of that supreme Lord residing in it.
The Legend of the “Jyotirlinga” is mentioned in the Shiva Purana . When Lord Vishu and Lord Shiva were debating over who is supreme, Lord Shiva had produced a vast pillar of light and asked both of them to find the end of the light in both directions. To which, Lord Brahma lied that he found the end, but Lord Vishnu accepted defeat. Lord Shiva then cursed Lord Brahma that even though he is the creator of the Universe, he won’t be worshipped. And the Jyotirlingas here are believed to have appeared from that infinite pillar of light produced by Lord Shiva.

First we visited Bhimashankar Jyothirlingam as it consisted of 330 steps we had to get down those steps, both the sides there were shops , selling pooja articles, spiritual books, sweets , flowers and even chat items . The steps were wide and we could easily get down .

The Bhimashankar Temple is located in the Sahyadri region of Pune, Maharashtra.

It lies on the banks of Bhima River and is considered to be a source of this river.
The legend about the existence of this Jyotirlinga is related to Kumbhakarna’s son Bhima. When Bhima learned that he was the son of Kumbhakarana who was annihilated by Lord Vishnu in his incarnation as Lord Ram, he vowed to avenge Lord Vishnu. He performed penance to please Lord Brahma who granted him immense power. On achieving this power , he started creating havoc in the world . He defeated the staunch devotee of Lord Shiva- Kamrupeshwar and put him in the dungeons . This angered the Lords who requested Lord Shiva to descend Earth and put an end to this tyranny. A war ensued between the two and Lord Shiva ultimately put the demon to ashes. All the Gods then requested Shiva to make that place his abode. Shiva then manifested himself in the form of Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga. It is believed that the sweat which poured from Lord Shiva’s body after the battle is what formed the Bhima River .

After having the divine dharshan ( we were able to do milk abhishegam and put vilvam leaves by ourselves to this Jyothirlingam) of this Jyothirlingam we had to climb up the 330 steps , which we felt little exhausted as most of them were above 50 years . Our tour organizer Mr. Manivannan Krishnan said that is the reason I choosed this Jyothirlingam visit to be the first ,”As this is the first day of the trip all of u will get down and climb up with full josh later u may feel tired “.

Entrance of Bhimashankar jyothirlingam
In front of the temple
Backside view of the temple

That day night our stay was put up in Hotel Krushna inn walkable distance to Triambakeshwar Jyothirlingam at Nasik .

Next day we got up early, freshened up and were waiting for the temple doors to be opened in Triambakeshwar . As only few people stood with us we succeeded within 10 minutes after they opened the temple .

We were able to see the Nirmalya ( before keeping the silver head on the Lingam ) dharshan of this Jyothirlingam . This Jyothirlingam has 3 small lingam formations within it , after abishegam ( a ritual done for the lingam before they decorate with flowers and clothes ) they cover it with a silver head . These 3 formations are considered as Lord Shiva Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma . Water was over flowing from the linga .

The Trimbakeshwar Temple is located about 30kms from Nasik in Maharashtra near the mountain named Brahmagiri from the river Godavari flows. This temple is considered to be a source of the river Godavari which is known as “Gautami Ganga”- the most sacred river in South India. According to the Shiva Purana, it is on the earnest request of River Godavari, Gautam Rishi and all the other Gods , Lord Shiva decided to reside here and assumed the name Trimbakeshwar. Gautam Rishi earned a boon from Varuna in the form of a pit from which he received an inexhaustible supply of grains and food. The other Gods were rendered jealous by him and they send a cow to enter the granary. The cow was mistakenly killed by Gautam Rishi who then asked Lord Shiva to do something to purify the premises. Lord Shiva asked Ganga to flow through the land to make it pure . Everyone thus sang praising the Lord who then resided beside Ganga in the form of Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga . Hindus believe that this Jyotirlinga in Maharashtra is the one which fulfils everyone’s desires .

Triambakeshwar jyothirlingam temple
This is how the main deity looks this was at the entrance of the temple
See the 3 lingas within the hollow

After this we visited Shirdi sammadhi mandir of Saibaba it was VIP dharshan arranged by our tour organizer.

By evening we saw Girishneswar Jyothirlingam temple .

The Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga is located in a village called Verul , which lies 20 km from Daulatabad , near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Located near this temple is the famous tourist site – Ajanta & Ellora caves. This temple was built by Ahilyabai Holkar who also rebuilt the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. The Ghrishneshwar temple is also known by other names like Kusumeswarar, Ghushmeswara, Grushmeswara and Grishneswara. According to the Shiva Purana, a couple named Sudharm and Sudeha resided on the Devagiri Mountain. They were childless, and thus Sudeha got her sister Ghushma married to Sudharm. They bore a son who rendered Ghushma proud and Sudeha jealous of her sister. In her jealousy, Sudeha threw the son in the lake where Ghushma used to discharge 101 lingams. Ghushma prayed to Lord Shiva who ultimately returned her the son and told her of her sister’s deeds. Sudharm asked Lord Shiva to emancipate Sudeha which left Lord Shiva pleased with his generosity. On Sudharm’s request, Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of the Jyotirlinga and assumed the name Ghushneshwar .

As photography prohibited we took this pic with the help of temple photographer

We travelled to Aundh Nagnath as our stay was put up there that night . We reached by midnight .

Early morning milk abhishegam was arranged by our tour organizer and we gathered in the temple before 7am . They charged rs.500 per couple after milk abhishegam we all did archana to this Jyothirlingam telling our name , naksthram and gothram .

The twelve jyotirlingas are the most significant places of pilgrimage for Hindus in India. Five of them happen to be in Maharashtra. Shiva has been worshipped in these places for centuries. The entrance of this main deity is only 2 feet height , one could not stand inside . We should crawl and go inside and sit .We as couples went performed abhishegam and came out then the next couple went inside .

Aundha-Nagnath is one of them. Anudha Nagnath is in the Hingoli District .
This pilgrim center is of great significance , since it is considered to be the Eighth (adya), of the 12 jyotirlingas. It is believed that Dharmraj (eldest of Pandav) has constructed this beautiful temple while they were expelled for 14 years from Hastinapur .
The temple of Nagnath has exquisite carvings . 
We were offered vibhoothi (hindus apply on their fore head) and panchamirtham ( mixed fruit offered to the Lord ) and milk .

Aundh Nagnath abhishegam
After alangaram Aundh Nagnath
Inside the temple of Aundh Nagnath
Aundh Nagnath
Aundh Nagnath
Aundh Nagnath
Aundh Nagnath

After breakfast we started to Parle Vaijnath , the last Jyothirlingam in our Maharashtra Jyothirlingam trip .

We reached by evening 4pm and had the dharshan of this Jyothirlingam .

Legend Of Parali Vaijnath Temple
(some say this as jyothirlingam others Vaidyanath in Jharkhand )
It is in Parali Vaijnath Lord Vishnu successfully helped the Devas to obtain Amrit. Therefore, this place is also known as ‘Vaijayanti”.

Once the Demon King Ravana went to Kailasa mountain and did a severe penance to please Lord Shiva . Put up with cold, heat, rains and fine and even then when Lord Shiva did not appear before him, he began to cut his head off in order to offer it to the Shiva Linga . Then the Lord appeared after Ravana tried to offer his tenth head . He restored all of Ravana’s heads and granted him boons. Ravana expressed his desire to take Lord Shiva to Lanka as a boon. He said, “I want to take you to Lanka”. Lord Shiva , who is very soft hearted to His devotees, agreed to accompany Ravana to Lanka. He told Ravanan, “You must carry my Linga with care and devotion, but do be careful not to put it down on the earth until you reach your destination, or else, it will stay at whichever place you put it down” Lord Shiva cautioned .

Lanka King Ravana began the journey homeward carrying the Shivalinga . On the way, he wanted to relieve himself by urination . He bid a cowherd boy to hold the Linga while he relieved himself. The cowherd was not able to bear the weight of the Linga and when he could no longer hold it , he put it down on the earth. And the Shiva Linga put there stayed as Lord Shiva already ordained and came to be known as Vaidyanatheswar.

Here, the gods were sad about Ravana taking away Shiva to his Lanka. They requested saint Narada to do something . Narada met Ravana and said to him by way of praising his penance and Tapas . “You made a mistake in trusting Lord Shiva. Believing Lord Shiva’s word was wrong. Go to him and slander him and get your way. Go to Kailasa and move it entirely. Your success will be gauged by your art of moving Kailasa from there”. Ravana was tricked into believing Narada . Ravana promptly carried out Narada’s bidding . Lord Shiva saw the ego driven mischieves Ravana and told him: “A unique power is soon going to born which will destroy your pride in the strength of your arms”. Narada informed the Gods of these tidings and his success in his mission. The gods were relieved and were happy. In the meanwhile, Ravana too was happy with the boon he received from Lord Shiva. He returned and was in a trance and was under the influence of Lord Shiva’s mythical power. He was heady and drunk with power. He decided to conquer the entire universe. To subdue his ego only God had to descend on the earth in the Avatar of Rama .

Parli Vaijnath
Parli Vaijnath
Parli Vaijnath

Next day we visited Kolhapur Mahalakshmi , Sattara (vada Chidambaram) and returned back back to Pune airport .

Kolhapur Mahalakshmi
Satara Vada Chidambaram

Though we had to travel from one Jyothirlingam to other atleast 300 kms per day had divine dharshan of all 5 Jyothirlingams .With a contented happiness we returned home safely .

Uraiyur

This temple is 7kms from Srirangam and it is also one of the divyadesham (Cholanadu) .

It’s the birth place of Thiru Parthanpalli alwar .

The only temple Thayar facing North .

The moolavar name is Azhaghiya manavalan
Thayar name is kamavalli
Thirumangai alwar and Kulasekara alwar has sung praising this Lord.

The story
The Chozha King Nanda Chozhan had been childless. Pleased with his prayers , Lord Ranganathar asked Goddess Lakshmi to be born as the King’s daughter at Uraiyur . Being born out of the Lotus , the Goddess here is called Kamalavalli Nachiyar [Kamala means Lotus] . As years went by , Kamalavalli grew into a beautiful young girl. One day while she was out with her friends , her eyes fell on a handsome young man and instantly she fell in love with him. The man was none other than Lord Ranganathar of Srirangam .

King Nanda Chozhan was in a fix as his daughter had fallen in love with the man , who had blessed the king with the child . Once again , the Lord accepted the king’s prayers and accepted her as his bride . Delighted at this , King Nanda Chozhan built a temple at Uraiyur to celebrate the (home) coming of Lord Ranganatha to Uraiyur to take the hand of his daughter .



Uthammar koil

This is a Cholanadu divyadeshams in Trichy and near to Srirangam .This place is also known as Thirukarambanoor .

Moolavar name is Purushothamar and Thayar is Poorvadevi .

Plantain tree being the sthalam vritcham .

As per mythological story , to kill Brahma’s ego Lord Shiva had plugged off his fifth head . As he removed one head from Brahma Lord Shiva got a Brahmahati Dosha and the skull of the Brahma’s head got attached to Shiva’s hand .Lord Shiva came in the form of beggar and Sri Maha Laxmi offered food for that beggar. As Maha Laxmi offered a food on the skull , Shiva got cured from his Dosha in this place .

Lord Brahma did Thirumanjanam ( a pooja ritual ) to Lord Vishnu who was in the form of kadamba tree .

Lords Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu also grace from their respective shrines with their consorts. This is the only temple where all the three Lords grace devotees together. 

Thirumangai alwar has sung praising this Lord .

Sri Nathan koil Nandhipura vinnagaram

Nathan Kovil or Thiru Nandipura Vinnagaram Temple in Nathan Kovil, a village in the outskirts of Kumbakonam . This is one among the 40 Cholanadu divyadeshams .

Moolavar is Jaganatha Perumal in sitting posture. Thayar Shenbhagavalli . Thirumangai alwar has sung praising this Lord.

Nandi, the sacred bull of Shiva , is believed to have got his curses relieved by worshipping Lord Vishnu here and hence the place is called Nandipuram. All the shrines and water bodies associated with the temple are named after Nandi .

Shrines in the temple
As per Hindu legend , Nandi , the sacred bull of Shiva , did not respect the Dwarapalakas, the gatekeepers of Vishnu . They cursed Nandi that his body would suffer oppressive heat . Nandi informed it to his lord Shiva, who advised him to do penance in Shenbakaranyam ( also called Nadhivanam ), a forest near modern-day Kumbakonam . It is the place where Lakshmi , the consort of Vishnu was doing penance to get into the chest of Vishnu . Vishnu was impressed by the penance of Nandi and got his curse relieved . It is also believed that king Sibi worshiped Vishnu at this place .

As per another legend, Lakshmi did penance at this place to seek a place in Vishnu’s chest. Vishnu was impressed by her devotion and took Lakshmi her in his chest. The image of Lakshmi in the form of Shenbagavalli faces west indicating the legend. Devotees worship Shenbagavalli of the temple during the Tamil month of Aipasi and believe that their wishes will be fulfilled .

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Sri Kolavili Ramar Thiruvelliyangudi

Kolavili Ramar Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located 19 km away from Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, India on the Kumbakonam-Chennai highway .

It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Kola Valvill Ramar and his consort Lakshmi as Maragathavalli .

The great King Bali, was donating 3 steps to Lord Vamana (who was in the guise of a brahmana boy) , Shukra , King Bali’s guru , identified that the dwarf brahmana was none than the Lord Vishnu and instructed King Bali to not donate. Inspite of that instruction , King Bali was greatly happy to donate to the Lord Himself . Hence , Shukra , immediately took a from of a small bee , blocks the kettle mouth (Kamandalam) of King Bali while donating 3 steps . At that time , Lord Vamana pierces the bee’s eye with His darbha (kusha grass), so that the donating process is completed (by letting the water fall three times) . For this act of the Lord , Shukra loses His eyesight and falls down from the Kamandalam .

Hence Shukracharya performed penance in this place and got back his lost eyesight.

On the request of Indra, Mayan, Markandeya, Shukra, Brahma and Parashara, the Lord handed over his conch and discus to His devotee Garuda and blessed them the vision in Kalyana Tirukkolam or Marriage Ceremonial Alankara.

Hence even now, one can see these two divine Ayudas of the Lord, in the hands of Garuda. In the whole world, this is the only temple where one can see Garuda with four arms in the rising posture. Hence Garuda here is known as Chaturbhuja Garuda.

Garuda

Andalukkun Ayyan Thiruaadhanur

Thiru Adhanur near Kumbakonam is one of the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Lord Vishnu .
Andalakkun ayyan temple here is one of the Vaishnava navagraha parihara sthalams around Kumbakonam. It is a Guru parihara sthalam.

The main deity in this temple is Andalakkumayyan. He is present here facing East in Kidantha Kolam and Bujanga sayanam. He has been worshipped here by Brighu Maharishi, Kamadhenu, thirumangai Azhwar and Agni. His consort here is Ranganayaki Thayar also known as Kamalasini .The utsavar is Ranganathar.

According to legend , there was an affluent devotee who also wished to partake in religious endeavour of serving Lord Ranganathar . Some of those who worked under him exploited his bhakti to their advantage and swindled all his money , making him penniless . Pleased with his devotion , Vishnu appeared in his dream and promised to help him out of the situation. He instructed the devotee to bring along a marakkal and his workers, who cheated him, to the bank of the Kollidam , where he promised to pay the workers their dues. The Lord , in the guise of an old man , gave each of them a measure of sand from the bank of Kollidam according to the work done by them . Much to their surprise , it turned into precious stones for those who toiled and it stayed the same for those who shirked work . The workers who did not get anything were enraged and started chasing the old man. At this juncture , the Lord appeared in his original form and made the workers realize their mistakes . It is also believed that the presiding deity appeared for Kamadhenu , the holy cow and also for Thirumangai alwar .

As per another legend , the celestial deities Indra and Agni worshiped Vishnu at this place . Indra once insulted the sage Bhrigu when he placed the divine garland offered to him on his elephant Airavata . Bhrigu cursed him to lose all the powers . Indra did severe penance in the place to regain the powers . Agni, the fire god , was affected with Brahmbhathi Dosha , a curse inflicted on account of burning the head of Brahma handed over by Lord Shiva. He was propitiated off his curse by offering worship at this temple .

Sri Sundaraja Perumal ThiruAnbil

This temple is 22 kms from Trichy and it’s one among the Cholanadu divyadeshams .

Moolavar is Sundaraja Perumal
Thayar name is Sundaravalli .

Once Lord Brahma ( the creator) thought that he is the sole reason for the world living beings being beautiful. Lord Vishnu advised to brahma but still his ego didn’t go. So Lord Vishnu cursed him to go to earth and take a birth of a normal human being. Lord Brahma who born as a human at earth went to many temples and worshipped to get rid of his curse.
At that time he saw a very handsome man who crossed him. Brahma thought that he never saw such a beauty. Later he realized that man was none other than Lord Vishnu, who came down to show him that the beauty is not stable and ego will demolish one’s life. As Lord Vishnu showed mercy on Brahma and showed his full form at this place, it is called as Anbil (Anbu means love in Tamil).

As per Hindu legend, sage Suthaba was doing penance at this place. He had to powers to reside both in water and land. He did not observe sage Durvasa , who was waiting for him. Durvasa got irritated and cursed Suthaba to become a frog called mandukam in Sanskrit . Suthaba requested Durvasa on the penance he had to do to get relieved off the curse . Durvasa explained him that the curse was on account of the sin he committed in his previous birth and Vishnu would appear to him to relieve him . Suthaba , as a frog , continued his penance under water in the Manduka Theertham in the temple and Vishnu appeared to him as Sundararajan . Hence, this place is called Manduka (Frog) Puri . 

Thirumazhisai alwar has sung praising this Lord .

Thiru Anbil

Sri Sarangapani temple Kumbakonam

This temple is located in Kumbakonam and along the coast of Cauvery.
It’s one among the Pancha ranga sthethram . It’s one among the Cholanadu divyadeshams .

The Moolavar of this temple is Sri Sarangapani. Aara Amudhan, Abayaryaapthamiruthan and Utthanasayi are the other names of Moolavar. Prathyaksham for Hema Maharishi. Moolavar is in Udhyoga sayana posture (ie) he appears as though is getting up from sleeping position.

Thayaar:
Sri Komalavalli Thayar. Also called as “Padi Thanda Pathini” ie thayaar would never (leave out) or leave away from her chamber. She has her own seperate sannadhi in this temple.

Mangalasasanam:
Sri Aandal – 1 Paasuram.
Periyalwar – 3 Paasurams.
Thirumizhisai Alwar – 7 Paasurams.
Boothatalwar – 2 Paasurams.
Peiyalwar – 2 Paasurams.
Nammalwar – 11 Paasurams.
Thirumangai – 25 Paasurams.
Total – 51 Paasurams.

Pushkarani:
Hema Pushkarani (Potramarai Kulam).
Cauvery Nadhi.
Arasalaaru.

Vimanam:
Vaidega Vimaanam.

As per Hindu legend, the main deity, Lord Sarangapani , an incarnation of Lord Vishnu , appeared for a sage Hema Rishi , who performed penance in the bank of Potramarai tank . Once sage Bhrigu wanted to meet Vishnu at his residence , Ocean of Milk (Thiruparkadal) . The sage did not get the attention of Vishnu and in his anger , he kicked Lord Vishnu on his chest . Mahalakshmi who resides in Vishnu’s chest got angered as Vishnu did not show his anger towards the sage . She left Vaikunta and reached earth and took the form of Padmavathy . Lord Vishnu followed and married her . Padmavathy got her memories and was still angry with Lord Vishnu . To avoid her anger , Lord Vishnu resided in the underground chamber in the temple as Pathala Srinivasa . Meanwhile, the sage Bhrigu sought his apology and requested Mahalakshmi to be born to him as Komalavalli in his next birth . The sage was born as Hemarishi and performed penance to attain Mahalakshmi as his daughter . Lord Vishnu was pleased by the penance and he wished the sage to get Lakshmi as his daughter . Lakshmi emerged from the Potramarai tank among thousand lotuses and was thus named Komalavalli (the one who emerged from lotus) . Vishnu descended to earth as Aravamudhan in a chariot drawn by horses and elephants from his abode Vaikuntam . He stayed in the nearby Someswaran Temple to convince Lakshmi to marry him and the couple eventually got married . The name Sarangapani (“one who has the bow in his hand”) derives from the Sanskrit word Sarangam meaning bow of Vishnu and pani meaning hand .

Sri Saranatha Perumal Thirucherai

Thiru Saranathan Perumal temple  at Thirucherai , is a village in the outskirts of Kumbakonam in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu , is dedicated to the Lord Vishnu . Its one of the Cholanadu divyadeshams .
This temple is about 24 Km from Kumbakonam town on the way to Thiruvarur and is very near to Nachchiar Koil . Thirucherai – Sri Saranathan Perumal Temple, Kumbakonam is one of the temples, located near Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu, about 24 Km, from Kumbakonam on the way to Thiruvarur and 10 Km, from Nachiar Koil.

There was a dispute between Ganga and Cauvery as to who was superior . They approached Brahma for a solution . During the Thrivikkrama Incarnation, the feet of Perumal extended upto Sathyalogam . As Ganga performed Thirumanjanam to the feet of the Lord , it flooded into Ganges. Hence Ganga said that she was Holy . Cauvery, who became sorrowful hearing the account of Ganga , performed rigorous penance under a tree at Sarapushkarani. Lord Perumal on the day of the Poosam star in Thai , appeared as a baby and began to crawl . Cauvery looking at the incomparable brightness of one crore Suns , worshipped the baby calling it Perumal . Thirumal appeared equipped with the chakra and the conch flanked by Sri Devi , Bhoomadevi , Neeladevi , Mahalakshmi and Saranayagi. He blessed ‘Cauvery as holier than Ganges’. There is a separate shrine for Cauvery here. In this shrine Markandeya attained eternity.

Moolavar is Sri Saranatha Perumal

Thayar name Sri Saranayagi.

Moorthy : Saranathar.

Theertham : Sarapushkarani.

Temple Tree : Shenbagam.

Thirumangai alwar has sung praising this Lord .

This is a pancha sara kshetram: Kshetram – Sarakshetram; Temple tank – Sarapushkarni; Vimanam – Saravimanam; Lord – Saranatha; Goddess – Saranayaki. Saram in Tamil means “essence” or “concentrate”.

Saranatha Perumal temple Thirucherai

Sri Soundararaja Perumal Nagapattinam

From Mayavaram it is 40 kms to Nagapattinam .

This temple is one among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Lord Vishnu and one among Cholanadu divyadeshams . Lord Vishnu is worshiped as Soundararaja Perumal and his consort Lakshmi as Soundaravalli .
Lord Soundararaja Perumal is believed to have appeared for sage Markandeya , Dhuruva , Saleesan and the Hindu god Bhoomadevi .
The present day Nagapattinam is believed to have been a forest , historically named Sundararinyam .
It is believed that two eunuchs , Kandan and Sukandan , attained physical fitness after having a holy dip in Sara Pushkarani , the temple tank . Lord Brahma , started worshiping Vishnu at this place . Lord Vishnu is believed to have appeared on the auspicious day of Masi Maham on the banks of Sarapushkarani . On account of the glow emanating from Masi Maham, Vishnu at this place was called “Azhagiyan”. Since he had a glittering skin , he was called “Soundara Rajan”, meaning the most beautiful and his consort was called Soundaravalli . Since the king of Nagars (snakes) , Adhiseshan  worshipped Lord Vishnu at this place , the place was called Nagar Pattinam , the place of Nagars .


As we stayed in Mayavaram , we started early and saw Vishwaroopa dharshan in this temple .


Thirumangai Alwar has sung imagining himself as a lady and Lord Soundaraja Perumsl as his lover .

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Thirunarayur

At a distance of 9 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station , Nachiyar Kovil or Thirunarayur Nambi Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, located at Thirunaraiyur village of Kumbakonam .

The shrines in this temples are
Naraiyur Nambi
Vanjulavalli thayar (same sannadhi as the lord)
Kal Garuda
Yoga Narasimha
Hanuman
Sri Ram
Chakrapani
Lord Brahma is in standing posture in this temple .

The temple tank is known as Mani mukthi nadhi theertham while the vimanam is named after the lord as “Srinivasa Vimaanam”
This temple is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Lord Vishnu , who is worshipped as Srinivasa Perumal and his consort Lakshmi as Nachiyar .

This temple is the place where god Vishnu is believed to have initiated Pancha Samskara (religious initiation) to Thirumangai Azhwar. 

Pancha Samaskaaram – The identity of a real Vaishnavite:
1 .   12 Thiru Namam on the body (fore head, arms, chest, on the back)
2 .   To include the name of an Acharya in one’s name
3 .   To have the ‘chakra’ seal inscribed on the left hand
4 .   To first serve the Lord with food every day
5 .   To understand and utter the Thiru Mandhiram

This is the only Divyadesam where Perumal came as a Guru and offered Mudrasthanam to a devotee.

According to the legend , sage Medhavi wanted Goddess to be born as his daughter and undertook penance on the banks of the Manimuthar River. Pleased with his penance, Goddess was born under the Vanjula tree and the Rishi brought her up as Vanjulavalli. Lord Mahavishnu came to Thirunaraiyur in five forms as Sangarshanan , Pradyumnan , Anirudhan , Purushothaman and Vaasudevan. Perumal expressed his desire to the sage to marry his daughter. The sage accepted Lord’s wish on one condition that his daughter would have all powers in all matters. Perumal agreed to the condition and had the hands of Mother. Named after Mother-Nachiar, the place came to be known as Nachiar Kovil.

Only in 3 divyadesham temples the Thayar is given priority over the Lord

1. Nachiyar koil Vanjulavalli Thayar Thirunarayoor

2. Srivilliputhur Andal

3. Thiruvellarai Shenbagavalli thayar


Presiding deity of this temple is Lord Vishnu known as Naraiyur Nambi and Goddess Lakshmi as Nachiyar Thayar (Vanjulavalli Thayar). The sanctum also houses the images of Brahma, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Sankarshana and a set of gods, who are depicted attending the wedding. The festive idols of Srinivasa, Vanjulavalli (Lakshmi) and Bhudevi are housed in the same shrine.

Kal Garuda is the most prominent feature of the temple. As per local legend, the sculptor who sculpted the idol of Garuda got frustrated as the bird flew away each time, a new image was prepared. In frustration, he threw a stone at Garuda, who got injured and decided to stay in the temple as Kal Garuda. The image of Kal Garuda is made of saligrama and is housed in the shrine outside the main sanctum .

The significance of Kal Garudan is during the festival they start with 4 members as the weight increases likewise 8 ,16 ,32, 64 ,128 members r needed to lift the Garudan during procession similarly while returning back to temple 128 , 64 , 32 ,16 , 8, 4 members as the weight decreases . It is said one can see the sweat drops on the lord’s face during this procession . ( Kal Garuda Sevai )

Sri Srinivasa Perumal temple

Our trip to Srilanka

We went to Srilanka recently (December 2019) it was a funfilled trip with Sanjay tours about 32 peoples accompanying us . The places we covered are Ramayana places , Arupadai veedu murugar temples , Pancha Eswara sthalams , Paadal petra Shivalayam 2 , Sakthi peedam 3 , Ella forest , Rhamboda and Ella falls . Colombo city tour . Kathirkamam murugan temple . We reached katunayake airport by 2pm .
A guest house was arranged for us to sleep .

After getting freshen up in the guest house we got up in a mini van and by 8 am reached Madhambe Murugar temple . One batch went for morning breakfast and the another to temple .

Madhambe Murugar temple
It’s a temple for Lord Murugar in Chillaw , with a huge Lord Murugar statue at the entrance gate and huge colourfull idols of Lord Shiva Goddess Parvathi Lord Anjineyar run by a private entity .

Manavari
After killing Lanka King Ravana on his return to Ayodhya Lord Rama felt a shadow following him . When the Lord came to this place , he realized the shadow had stopped . He prayed Lord Shiva to relieve him from (Brahma hathi dosham) . Lord Shiva suggested to Lord Rama to install 4 lingam in and worship .
Manavari is the first lingam installed and prayed by Lord Rama and till date this lingam is called as Ramalinga Shivan. This lingam is made up of sands (manal in tamil) hence the name Manalvari got corrupted as Manavari . Rameshwaram is the only other lingam in the world named after Lord Rama .

Munneswaram
Legend: Lord Rama after his victorious battle left for Ayodhya in one of King Ravana’s Vimanas . He felt he was being followed by Bramahathi Dosham as he killed King Ravana who was a Brahmin. He stopped the Vimana at this juncture because he felt at this place the “ Bramahathi Dosham ” was not following him. He descended from the Vimana and asked God Shiva for a remedy. God Shiva blessed Lord Rama and advised him to install and pray four lingams in Manavari, Munneswaram, Thiruketheeswaram and Rameshwaram in India, as the only remedy to get rid of the Dosham.

Thiruketheeswaram
Thiruketheeswaram is one of the five Shivan temples in the Island (Pancha Eswara sthalams) as well as Paadal petra Shivalayam . The giant Shivalingam carved out of granite stone which was excavated by archaeologists in Thiruketheeswaram temple area in the fifties is believed to have been buried when the Portuguese destroyed the temple during their invasion of Mannar in the 16th century. The temple which was in ruins was gradually rebuilt to its pristine glory during the British period with Hindu elite from Jaffna playing a major role in the reconstruction. Now renovation works are being done .

Sangupiddy bridge
The Sangupiddy Bridge that connects the A-32 road from Mannar to Jaffna across the lagoon is the shortest land route to Jaffna from Colombo. The A-32 road is 120 kilometers shorter than the way through the main A-9 Jaffna-Kandy highway. Through the Sangupiddy Bridge the traveling time to Jaffna will be reduced by three hours. Is a awesome place surrounded by water with a bridge and breezy air definitely one should not miss this place .

Nallur kandaswamy temple
It’s one of the arupadai veedu of Lord Muruga in Srilanka.
The Nallur Kandaswamy temple is an important relic of Sri Lanka, which has been praised in many ancient texts from around the world. As such a visit is a must to properly understand the glory of ancient Hindu Temples .

With this we completed our first day of the itenary. Our night stay and dinner was put up in Hotel Gnanam.

On the second day by 8.30 am (after a early breakfast) we started to Naina theevu to Goddess Naghabhoosani Amman temple which is one of the sakthi peedams ( its said Ammans right leg anklet fell in this place ) . We a members of 32 people occupied a boat . It was an half an hour travel . It is a big temple .
Nainativu Nagapoosani Amman Temple is an ancient and historic Hindu temple located 36 km from the ancient capital of the Jaffna kingdom , Nallur , SriLanka . It is dedicated to Parvati who is known as Nagapooshani or Bhuvaneswari and her consort, Shiva who is named here as Rakshaseshwar ( Nayanair ) .

Then we went to Naguleswaram .
This is one of the Pancha Eshwara sthalam .
Thousands of years ago a Sage named Nagul had come here . Due to a curse his face had become like that of a mongoose . Deity Shiva advised him that for mitigation of the curse he should bath in the pond created from the Keerimalai spring in Lankapuri . He complied after which He regained the human form . In gratitude as an offering unto the Holy feet of Deity Shiva Sage Nagul installed a Shivalinga there and worshiped it . Even today hundreds of people bath in this Keerimalai pond to get rid of skin diseases .

Thondamanaru Selvasannithiyan
This is also a murugar temple .The main deity there is no idol of Lord Murugar only the Vel His weapon is kept and worshipped . This temple is considered to be like Thiruchendur temple of Tamilnadu as it is near beach coast and a gnayi kinaru is present . It is one of the arupadai veedu of Srilanka .

Mavitapuram Kandaswamy temple
A shrine dedicated to Lord Skanda or Murugan , god of war and the second son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. The Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Kovil is located close to Kankesanthurai , which was formerly known as Gayathurai . However , since the image of Lord Skanda, also known as Kankesan, first arrived in Gayathurai , it is believed that the name changed to Kankesanthurai . Maviddapuram, the place where the temple is situated translates to ‘the holy city where the horse face was removed’ ( Ma – horse, vidda –removed and pura – holy city ). It is believed that this legendary temple temple was built by a Chola Princess from Tamil Nadu . According to history princess Maruthapuraveegavallli , had a disfigured face resembling that of a horse . It is said that Maviddapuram is the place where the gods answered her prayers and transformed her appearance to that of a woman .

Inuvil kandaswamy Arunagirinathar koil
This is another arupadai veedu of Lord Murugar temple in Srilanka .

Manchavanapathy Murugar
This is also one of the arupadai veedu Lord Murugar temple in Srilanka .

” Vel ” the weapon of Lord Murugar is only worshipped in most of the Lord Murugar temples in Srilanka . Though there is idol kept adjacent to it .

With this we finished 5 temples of ” arupadai veedu ” and returned to Gnanam Hotel for night stay and dinner .

Morning checked out our rooms and with a early breakfast at Hotel Gnanam we started our 3rd day trip .

Sangathaanai Bhairavaswamy Kandaswamy koil
This is also one among the arupadai veedu of Lord Murugar in Srilanka . Had divine dharshan of all 6 abodes of Lord Murugar .

Thiruvasaka Aranmanai
The Moolavar here being Lord Dakshinamoorthy and at the entrance is a 21 feet granite chariot with Poet Manickavasagar idol in it . All 658 poems of Thiruvasagam has been carved on granite slabs and 108 Lingam installed with a bell around the corridor and neatly maintained . This temple has been established by a Hindu couple settled in Australia and the carvings being done by Bharathipuram Vinod .

Kanniya Hot springs
legend about Kanniya’s origin is that this is the place where King Ravana carried out the last rites for his mother. When he was unable to find water to perform the rituals , he pierced with his Trishula into the ground seven times . Water started gushing out immediately. The very hot water cooled down to the present degree when Ravana’s anger calmed down . The temperature of the water is different .

Sri Lakshmi Narayanan temple
The temple is located on the Nilaveli road about 10 Kms from Trincomalee town. There is ample parking space . The bus stop is also very close to the temple . Most of the bus operators will know the place by name . The presiding deity is Sri Lakshmi Narayanan – Vishnu. You will not miss the temple when you are on the Nilaveli road. it is on the left as you go from Trincomalee. It is painted gold on the top and the walls blue. They have a beautiful lengthy hall to stand and pray in front of the god. Place is very clean and serene. Felt at peace when I visited the temple. Such was the impact. There is also idols of all the 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu on the left hand side of the main sanctum . If you visit temples and if you are in Trincomalee do take time to visit this temple . It is worth a visit .

Mariamman temple and Vinayagar temple .
Mariamman koil  – Trincomalee is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Goddess Mariamman , a form of the Goddess Kali Amman in Trincomalee Eastern Province , Sri Lanka . The Kali temple of the ancient Trincomalee Koneswaram Temple Compounds , a large complex of connected shrines in the Trincomalee Konesar Malai area , the temple is located close to the Trincomalee Hindu College. Near it is Lord Vinayagar temple . Both the temples has beautiful sculptures and carvings .The gopuram and the colourfull carvings are a visual treat to our eyes as photography was allowed we clicked pictures in our mobile as much as we can .

Koneswaram
Next was our visit to Koneswaram another Paadal Petra Shivalayam and one of the Pancha Eswara sthalams . Adjacent to it is Goddess Sankaridevi Amman and it is one of the Sakthi peedams .
Thiru Koneswaram was built by Rishi Agastya on the instructions of Lord Shiva who was impressed by the devotion of King Ravana. This place is unique in this respect because the Lord built a temple for his devotee as a reward for his devotion . Lord Rama is believed to have offered his prayers here in order to get rid of the malediction of killing Ravana who was a Brahmin , meaning Brahmahasthi Dosham .
Adjacent to Koneswaram temple there is another small shrine ; with some significance for Hindu pilgrims . The original Shankari Devi temple, said to be built by Ravana , was the first in the list of Ashtadasha ( 18 ) Shakti Peedas written down by Adi Shankara , but its whole cliff was destroyed by Portuguese cannon balls. Only a pillar for commemoration is placed on that spot now . And it is believed that the original idol of the Goddess has been preserved and replaced, being venerated now in this nearby new Shankari Devi temple .

Ravanan vettu
There are many stories relating to King Ravana and Koneswaram Temple . It is believed that King Ravana who was known to have a virulent temper was subdued by Lord Shiva . Apparently , when his mother was suffering from ill health the King wanted to take Koneswaram Temple to her . As he was lifting the rock Lord Shiva had made him drop his sword creating a great cleft , which came to be known as Ravana Vettu. Another story regarding the same is that King Ravana’s mother wanted him to denounce violence and as such he had thrown his sword thus creating the cleft in the rock . This great cleft can be seen just before the entrance to the Temple .

With this we finished our third day of Srilanka trip . Our night dinner and stay was arranged in Green garden resorts .

We proceeded to Habarana on the way we saw Sigiriya Fort and lake . In addition to Dambulla tourist attractions , this rock outcrop in Sigiriya which is an easy half an hour drive away , is a wonderful trip for those looking for a taste of adventure . A 30-minute hike along steep steps and boulders rewards you with sweeping views of the surrounding area and the best view of Sigiriya Lion Rock . The hike through dense forest is thrilling , and the mesmerising views at the top make it worth all the effort . You need to go through an ancient Buddhist temple before beginning the ascent . A sunrise hike is recommended for the breathtaking views and tranquil setting . As many of them were senior citizens did not show interest as we had to climb 1337 steps that too without any balancing wall or support .

Dambulla Golden temple
There are 5 caves (shrine rooms) in Dambulla temple . All of these caves arc full of statues of Buddha and various personages of the Buddhist Order or History . There are 150 Buddha images in these caves . Cave No. 5 (the last in order) has no historical value as it was done in the second decade of this century . All of the other caves contain statues and paintings representing various epochs of Sinhalese sculpture and painting .The early paintings of Dambulla are believed by some to belong to the 8th century A. C. But this cannot be proved at all because of over painting . Nevertheless this place is a mine of decorative designs , the patterns of which resemble those of Sigiriya . To a student of the history of Buddhism a careful study of the paintings of Dambulla provides a good deal of source material .
One has to climb atleast 800 steps to reach the caves statues and paintings of Lord Buddha are there .

Then to a spice garden they cultivate and sell herbal oils and spices it was over priced .

Mostly our afternoon lunch was at Buddha Vihar packed by morning itself from the Hotel we stayed .

Patini Amman
This is also considered as one of the Shakthi peedams in Srilanka . Hindus Budhists and Muslims worship here . The main diety is a Lakshmi painting on a canvas , no idol is present .

Night halt and dinner was arranged in kothmallee Holiday resort .

Next day was my birthday 2nd of December as our tour organizer has informed in group ( wats up ) all the co passengers wished me and i was gifted 2 boxes of chocolates by Manivannan Krishnan which I distributed to all .

After breakfast we started to Rhamboda there is a Lord Hanuman temple established by Chinmaya Mission . It is said Lord Hanuman kept his first foot in this place in Srilanka . The temple has a 100 steps and neatly painted the view from top is scenic .

On the way to Seetha Elliya we saw and spent an hour in Ella falls .

Seetha Elliya Location : Seetha Eliya on Nuwara-Eliya – Welimada Road
Legend A temple for Lord Rama , Seetha Devi , Luxshmana and Hanuman built on the sides of the stream where Seetha Devi bathed .

Ashoka Vatika
Legend The Ashok Vatika is the place where Ravana kept the Sita captive . Ashok Vatika is a garden that is present in the Seetha Elliya in Sri Lanka . Some of the interesting findings here include the rock on which Sita used to sat and meditate . Seetha Elliya also have the only Site Temple in the world . The idols of Seetha was excavated from here 100 years ago .

Next visited Ravana falls awesome place . Its said Ravana was hiding in the caves above this falls after abducting Seethadevi .We did some roadside shopping there .

As tea cultivation is famous in Srilanka our next destination was to a tea factory name blue field . Within the tea estate they had a retail shop where we all bought tea of our beloved taste and we were served with black tea with lime , which tasted yummy .

Then after lunch we crossed Ella forest on the way we saw more than 5 to 6 elephants crossing .

Divurumpola
Location : It is situated 15 km from Seetha Eliya on Nuwara-Eliya – Welimada Road.

Legend : This is the place where Seetha Devi underwent “Agni Pariksha” (test). It is a popular place of worship among locals in this area. Divurumpola means place of oath in Sinhala. The legal system permits and accepts the swearing done at this temple while settling disputes between parties. It is occupied by Buddhists and they have built a temple for Goddess Seethadevi too .

Reached kathirkamam by 6pm , we saw chella kathirkamam vinayagar temple .
This temple was surrounded by river Manicka Ganga and we had to walk in 1 feet of water to reach the temple .

Next we visited Kathirkamam Lord Murugar temple .
Legend: This is the temple of Lord Karthikeya Subramaniam at Kataragama. Lord Karthikeya was requested to go to the battlefield by Lord Indra on the last day of war. This was done to protect Lord Rama from the wrath of Brahmasthra aimed by King Ravana which other wise would have weakened Lord Rama. The benefit was one of the most powerful weapon brahma asthra aimed at Lord Rama for the second time was rendered useless by the presence of Lord Karthikeya.

Then to Hotel Samwill Holiday resort for night dinner and stay .

Asusual early morning breakfast then we visited Devinuvara
The god Upulvan is considered as a guardian deity of Lanka and protector of Buddhism. The word upulvan depicts the color of blue water lily and the God’s complexion is also blue. So that it leads to a confusion that god Upulvan and God Vishnu in Hinduism are identical. But they are considerd as two separate gods.
This dedicated shrine for god Upulvan situated not too far from Matara town, only 6 km from Matara town towards Tangalle. This town is known as Devinuvara in Sinhala which has the meaning of “city of gods”, one of the oldest city in old Lanka.
The 3 story blue color building is elegantly constructed. It is said that its roof is made by copper tiles. The walls are decorated with intricate floral designs. The roof is ways covered by pigeons. The interior also beautifully decorated with marvellous paintings. Taking photographs is strictly prohibited inside the shrine. The temple ground also consists of ancient monument which take your mind to guess its heyday.

Thondeshwaram
One if the Pancha Eswara sthalams is also adjacent to it . There are seperate shrines for Lord Murugar Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vinayagar. Here only Nandhi is worshipped and a big Lord Buddha idol has been installed .

Then after having lunch we proceeded to Colombo . We saw old parliament and new Parliament building .We did shopping in the House of fashions a 4 storeyed building after dinner we started to Colombo airport with sweet memories of our Srilanka trip .

Madhambe Murugar temple
Madhambe Murugar temple
Manavari Ramalinga temple
Munneswaram
Thiruketheeswaram
Renovation works going on this huge Lingam is to be installed
Sangupiddy bridge
Sangupiddy
Nallur kandaswamy koil
Nallur kandaswamy koil
Boat travel to Naina island
Entrance of naghabhoosani amman it was drizzling wen we entered
In front of Naghabhoosani amman temple
Inside the temple
Side view of the temple
Naghabhoosani amman temple
The idol of this temple
The other side of the temple
Returning back to boat
Naguleswaram
Selva sannidhiyan kandaswamy koil
The ” VEL” is the main diety
This is the Gnayi kinaru
Mavitapuram kandaswamy koil
Inuvil kandaswamy arunagirinathar koil
Sangathaanai kandaswamy bhairavaswamy koil
Lakshmi Narayanan temple Devinuwara
Thiruvasaka Aranmanai Main deity Dakshinamoorthy
The stone chariot in front
The sides of the corridor with 108 lingams and a bell on top of each (Thiruvasakam carved on granite slabs)
The entire view
Buddha vihar
Kanniya hot springs
Lord Vinayagar temple
Goddess Mariamman temple
Koneswaram temple
This pic was taken in front of Shankari devi shakthi peedam
Ravanan vettu
Ravanan statue
At the beach near koneswaram temple
Dambulla Golden temple
Patini amman temple
Spice Garden
Rhamboda Hanuman temple steps
Entrance of Hanuman temple
Lord Hanuman
Seetha elliya temple
Ashoka vatika
Hanuman foot
Seetha agnipravesha sthalam
Blue field tea estate
Rhamboda falls
Ella falls
Chell kathirkamam vinayagar
Kathirkamam murugar temple
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