During our Kulu Manali trip we spent a day in Amritsar . As soon as we reached Amritsar we decided to visit Jallianwalla bagh then to accommodate our room for saving the time as in one day we had to visit Golden temple and Wagah border .
The bus that picked up us from airport left us near the main road and we took auto , 4 of us in each to Jallianwala bagh it took only 5 minutes and they charged Rs 20 per person. (May 2018)
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, also called Massacre of Amritsar was an incident on April 13, 1919, in which British troops fired on a large crowd of unarmed Indians in an open space known as the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar in Punjab.
The Jallianwala Bagh site in Amritsar is now a national monument.
It killed several hundred people and wounded many hundreds more. It marked a turning point in India’s modern history, in that it left a permanent scar on Indo-British relations and was the precursor to Mahatma Gandhi’s full commitment to the cause of Indian nationalism and independence from Britain.
There is a well in that complex to escape from the bullet shots the innocent crowd fell into the well and died . It is closed with iron mesh now .
It is said about more than 300 peoples were killed .
It houses a museum, gallery and a number of memorial structures.
With a disheartening feeling we went Hotel Ritz plaza got freshened up took breakfast we started to Wagah border .
My recent Nava dwaraka trip along with Bav nagar koliyac Nishkalang Mahadev and Diu and Daman Gangeshwar Porbandar Kirti mandir and many other sub temples near Somnath , old and new Somnath temple and Nageshwar jyothirlingams.
First day we saw Kankroli Dwaraka here the deity is Lord Krishna named Dwarakadesh. The significance of the temple here is every 1 hour the temple will be closed for 15 minutes to decorate the Lord and kept open for an hour and again the same thing repeats and it’s considered as Shyam bogh dharshan. We were lucky enough to see the arathy dharshan of the Lord Dwarakadesh.
The next dwaraka was at Nathdwara named Srinath Dwarakadesh . In both the temples they follow the same Shyam bogh dharshan. Here a closed room with wooden doors with silver carvings are done and this room was considered sacred as Lord krishna himself has played here with his friends and there is a Balakrishna shrine too inside the temple complex.
Both these temples are near each other within 15 to 20 kms distance in Udaipur Rajasthan . The roads are narrow from bus stop u can either walk r take a share auto they charge rs. 30 per person . Ladies and gents queue are seperate .
Second day we reached Ahmedabad we had the divine dharshan of Dakore Dwaraka Ranchhodraiji . Here u can aaram se worship the Lord . No pushing and pulling like those of the Udaipur Dwarakas there is a Goddess Mahalakshmi temple at a walkable distance after having the dharshan we left to gomti ghat by walk took a boat and went to Dhatatreyar temple at the other side of the bank . It’s like a island surrounded by water . Lord Ganesha Dhatatreyar lord shiva Hanuman Saibaba mandir was as sub shrines .
Third day Bav nagar we saw Nishkalang Mahadev beach temple . The uniqueness of this temple is the sea allows way to a certain timings to the worship the Lord Shiva . It’s about 2 kms one have to walk in the slush of the sea bed to enter the temple. There is a small well where we should wash our feet and then start doing pooja to the 5 lingas which is considered to be swayambu to rescue the pancha Pandavas from the guilt of killing their own cousins and relatives . There is a small shrine for Goddess Parvathi too . Walking in the slush is a great task . After lunch we again went n saw to our surprise the place where v did pooja was submerged intge sea along with the lingas only 1/4 portion of the domb with a flag hoisted was seen by evening again we started and reached Diu and Daman.
Fourth day morning we saw Gangeshwar beach temple of Diu and Daman which consists of 5 lingas in a cave near the beach a serpent carved on the wall of the cave . Lord Ganesha along with 5 lingas and a Nandi, on the other side of the steps are lord Vinayagar sani mahadev and Goddess Parvathi on the walls .These 5 lingas were installed by the Pandavas and worshipped during their exile . Then we travelled and reached Somnath .
Finally the arathy of Somnath Mandir the first and foremost of all 12 Jyothirlingams after the divine dharshan of Somnath opposite to it is an old mandir of Somnath.
Fifth day after having breakfast we visited Balka Theerth which is also known as Prabhas dwaraka . This is the place where a hunter named Jara hit Lord Krishna foot mistaking it to be a deer . The peepal tree where the lord rested is too here .Devotees were doing bhajans and adjacent to is is a Lord Shiva shrine . Next to this is a temple maintained by Brahmakumaris . The temple itself was in the shape of huge linga with a circular hall consisting of all God and Goddesses idols .
Next we visited Sudama Dwaraka it is said to be Sudamas resident . Sudama being a Brahmin and childhood friend of Lord krishna .The main diety being Lord Krishna with his consort Radha and Sudama with his consort Susheela. In ancient times this place has been called Sudamapuri .
Next we visited Kirti Mandir the birth place if Mahatma Gandhi ” the father of our nation “. It took more than a hour to see the full house where Mahatma was born.
Next we visited Mool Dwaraka . Mool means root . This place was the origin of Lord Krishna before he established in Dwaraka when he shifted from Mathura .The lord here is called as Ranchodraiji . There are seperate shrine of Lord shiva , Goddess Gayatri and many shrines this temple .
Then by evening we reached main Dwaraka in Gujarat . The Lord here is named as Dwarakadesh . Mobiles handbags footwear left in a lockers just with a purse we entered inside the temple. Here too seperate queue for ladies and gents . The main diety is Dwarakadesh and sub shrines for Balaramar Devaki matha under ground Lord Shiva shrine with his consort Parvathi and a mantap for adishankarachaya is present. The temple has a flag of 52 yards in length representing 52 yadava clan and 52 administrators worked under Lord Krishna with the colours of blue red yellow red pink white and saffron . The flag is hoisted 5times a day 3 times in the morning and 2 times in the evening section .We were lucky to have the arathy dharshan of the Lord.
Sixth day morning we visited Rukmani Dwaraka on the banks of Gomti river with no buildings near it . It’s said without the dharshan of Rukmani dwaraka our Dwaraka visit is in complete . After the dharshan we went to the port to travel to Beyt Dwaraka.
We had to travel by boat by paying Rs. 40 per person up and down . After reaching the other side we had to walk 1km up the slope or else can use the cart facility for that they charge Rs.50 per person pulled by men .
Beyt Dwaraka is said to be residence of Lord Krishna . The Lord here is called as Kesavaraiji and offering rice is very significant in this temple as Sudama offered rice to his childhood friend Lord Krishna . There are seperate shrines for Madhavaraiji Trivikramaraiji Ambaji matha Rukmani and Satyabhama . There is mantap for offering rice and a mantap for offering gold and silver and a pillar its believed those who hug and make a wish their desires come true .
Next we visited Nageshwarar Jothirlingam in Dwarka which has a huge 52 feet Lord Shiva statue and garden in the front . The main deity is the linga form with a serpent hood on it and closed with a glass dome . Inside the main sanctum backside of the lingam is Goddess Parvathi idol . Allowed inside the main sanctum at a entry ticket of Rs.200 .
After the dharshan of Nageshwarar Jothirlingam we travelled to Gopi Talav .It is a sacred pond were the Gopikas after Lord Krishna moved from Brindavan to Dwaraka couldn’t bear the sorrow of missing him comes and emerges themselves along with Lord Krishna.
After lunch took rest and finally saw Gomathi Ghat . This place has become one of the tourist attractions. Camel riding beach bridge entrance ticket they charge Rs 10 per person .
Final day on the way to airport saw Chotila Chamunda Mandir , the main diety being Chamunda devi the Kuladevi in some families of Gujarat. This temple is on a hill consisting of 700 steps ,we went only to foot hill temple and a Goddess Kali temple adjacent to it . By night we reached Ahmedabad airport and reached Chennai having the blessings of Lord Dwarakadesh .
From Pazhayaseevaram one has to take left and cross the bridge on the river Palar to reach Thirumukkudal.
Thirumukkudal has an ancient temple for Lord Vishnu called ‘Sri Appan Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal’.
Thirumukkoodal got its name as three rivers Palar (Ksheera Nadhi), Vegavathi (Saraswathi) and Cheyyar (Bahu Nadhi) merge together at this place. This place is called Triveni Sangamam and is considered equivalent to Ganges. Taking bath here is considered as holy as bathing in Prayag . But no water when we went last year .
The story of this Perumal goes to the period of Thondaiman Chakravarthi who ruled ‘Thondai-Nadu’ with Kanchipuram as his capital. Once he planned a ‘Tirumalai yatra’ but Lord Srinivasa came in his dream and told him not to move as an enemy attack was imminent . Perumal gave His ‘Shanku and Chakram’ to this king and he emerged victorious.
The reclining Perumal of Tirumukoodal stood up facing north to give His Divine Weapons’. Seeing this Tondaiman Chakravarthi exclaimed “Yen Appane” (Oh my Father). So Perumal is known as Appan Venkateshwara. The height of Perumal’s is exhibited by this incident and as recognition of this there is a special platform displaying Shankhu and Chakram. Having given away His special Attributes Tirupathi Perumal faced an identity crisis and it was Ramanujacharya who resolved the issue. In the vimana above the sanctum Perumal is seen in reclining posture.
Utsavar is with Sridevi and Bhudevi and Markandeya rishi is found in seated posture inside the sanctum. On maatu pongal day this Perumal is joined by Narasimha Perumal of Pazhayaseevaram and the reigning Lord of Kanchi Varadaraja. Even if three rivers (Vegavathi Palar and Cheyyar) are not to be seen Three Perumals join and ‘Tirumukoodal’ name gets justified. Again there are three trees which are sthala vrikshams – Sandal wood, Devadri and Vanni. Again Perumal was pratyaksham to these three – Bhumadevi, Bhrighu and Markandeya who are found at Perumal’s sanctum. The inner prakashinam path is interesting and one should do pradakshinam to experience the difference. As we come out we come across Thayar’s sannidhi to our left.
There is a separate east facing sanctum for goddess Alamelumanga to the right of the main sanctum. Also there are shrines for Garudazhavar and Anjaneya. The Azhwars, the Vaishnavite saints also appear in the circumambulatory path.
Here Lord Anjineyar is worshipped to clear debts and offered thenkuzhal malai instead of the usual vadamalai .
We were lucky enough to see the thirumanjanam (ablution of milk on the idol ) and then alangaram (decorating the idol with clothes jewels and flowers) of the Lord followed by the arathy (waving diyas in front of the Lord) .
Oh Great God Lakshmi Narasimha, Who lives in the ocean of milk, Who holds the holy wheel as weapon, Who wears the gems of the head, Of Adhisesha as ornaments, Who has the form of good and holy deeds, Who is the permanent protection of sages, And who is the boat which helps us cross, This ocean of misery called life, Please give me the protection of your hands.
Pazhaiya Seevaram is located on the Kanchipuram – Chengalpattu State Highway SH 58 and it is about 16 km from Chengalpattu and about 20 km from Kanchipuram. While going from Chengalpattu, one can reach Pazhaya Seevaram 5 kms before Walajabad. There are lots of buses available from Kanchipuram to this Temple. Nearest Railway Station is located at Kanchipuram, Chengalpet and Walajabad. Nearest Airport is located at Chennai.
After having our dharshan at Padalathri Narasimhar temple we went to Pazhayaseevaram Lakshmi Narasimhar temple it too nearly 1 hour .
This temple is on a small hillock named Padmagiri . Here the main deity is santha swaroopa Lakshmi Narasimhar. One has to climb about 100 steps . Now vehicles are going directly to the temple.
There is a separate shrine for Ahobilavalli Thayar next to the main temple here. Another shrine for Andal. Smaller shrines for great sages like lord Anjaneya, Vishnu Chittar, Thirumangai alwar, Nammalwar and Swami Vedanta Desikan who performed penance here.
The Dwajasthambam is seen at the backside of the temple. This temple is maintained by a Chennai based Gujarathi trust.
From above one can see the confluence of Palar Seyyar and Vegawathi . But when we went a year ago it was dry .
The other side of the road one can see the Mookudal Perumal temple also .
As per legend Lord Narasimhar gave dharshan to Athiri Maharishi’s deep penance in this place and stayed here to bless the devotees as per his prayers.
It is said the present Moolavar idol of Lord Varadaraja at Kanchipuram was sculpted out of a rock here after the original wooden idol of Atthi Varadar got damaged hundreds of years ago. It is said to mark this, Lord Varadaraja (the procession diety) is taken to Pazhaiya Seevaram on the day following Sankaranthi every year, when thousands of devotees gather here for Vana Bhojanam and aradhana.
Lord Varadaraja, who leaves his abode at 10 p.m. on Sankaranthi day, accompanied by devotees including those reciting Azhwars’ Paasurams and Vedas, is carried all the way to a distance of 15 km and goes around Pazhaiya Seevaram village at the foot of the hillock. He reaches the Narasimha temple, which is in the middle of the hillock, at noon and then he is taken to the Varadaraja Mandapam atop the hill, by climbing the 140 steps.
He stays in the mandapam there till 4 p.m. when Thirumanjanam (sacred bath) and Aradhana are performed. Later the Lord reaches the Narasimha Temple and both the Gods are taken to a temple at Thiru Mukkudal, on the other side of Palar where a temple for Lord Srinivasa, known as Appan, exists.
There the three Gods, along with the Lords of two other temples, give darshan. Later Lord Varadaraja returns to Pazhaiya Seevaram along with Narasimhar and then starts his trek back to Kanchipuram late in the night and reaches there next morning. This ritual happens every year and is known as ” Pazhayaseevaram Parivettai “
Though we are in Chennai dint know about 15 Divyadesham Perumal temples are in and around Kanchipuram. It comes under Thondanadu Divyadeshams . We saw (me and my hubby) Kanchipuram Divyadeshams through Sree Janaki tours. We started by 6 am had early breakfast on the way and reached Kanchipuram.
After this we took a lunch break had lunch in Saravana bhavan Kanchipuram and went to Orikkai Maha Periyava Shrine took rest in the mantapa, waited till 4.30 pm after the priest came and did pooja having the blessings of Maha Periyava started our trip again . First we saw
Located about 50 kms South of Chennai is the cave temple of Padalathri Narasimha at Singaperumal Koil .
Patalam means red . Athri means hill . As Lord Narasimha, appeared here furiously with Red Eyes and huge as a mount, the place came to be known as Padalathri.
During the Narasimha Avataram time, this place was said to be a big forest. It is believed that Japali Rishi undertook penance at this place and had darshan of the Lord, after the killing of Hiranyakashipu. Given the timing, the Lord here is seen in an angry posture as Ugra Narasimha.
Ugra Narasimhar here is sported with a third eye Trinetra in his forehead which is usually the significance of Lord Shiva .
This temple is built in Rock-cut architecture, occupies and is located in Singaperumalkoil, a suburb located 45 km from Chennai , the capital of the South Indian state of Tamilnadu. The presiding deity housed in the sanctum in a cave is a rock-cut image, in seated posture with his right leg bent and left leg left hanging. Narasimha has four hands with two of the top hands holding his conch and Chakra, while the other two hands showing Abaya Mudra and Uru hasta (resting on his lap).
The main sanctum itself is a rock cut shrine on which the deity too is carved out of the hill itself. So, whoever wants to circumambulate around the temple has to actually go around the small hillock as Giri Pradhakshinam. Hence, Giri Pradhakshinam is very popular here.
While walking around the temple, there is an Azhinjal tree in this temple, which is considered most sacred. It is said that this tree has mentions in the ‘Naachiyaar Thirumozhi’ composed by Sri Aandaal. People praying for marriage or children tie a small piece of thread from their clothes on the branches of this tree. By doing this with a wish, it is believed that their wishes are granted.
There are seperate shrines for Goddess Ahobilavalli Thayar, Andal , Lord Lakshmi Narasimhar, lord Garuda and Anjineyar. All 12 Alwars idols are installed as well as in procession diety form in this temple .There are shrines for Vishwasena Sri Ramanujar and Manavala mamuni .
This is only temple for Goddess Saraswathy in Tamilnadu .
Koothanur is a small village located near Poonthottam in the heart of the Temple belt of Tamil Nadu.
Saraswathi namasthubyam varathe Kamarupini Vidyarambam karishyami Sithir bavathu me satha
Meaning of the slogan Salutations Mother Saraswati, giver of boons, fulfiller of desires Bless me, so that I begin my studies successfully, may there be accomplishments.
It is believed that a visit here and praying is good for those who pursue studies.
Before joining my grand daughter in school we decided to get the blessings of Goddess Saraswathy and do aksharaabyasam (Aksharaabhyasam or Akshara abhyaasam or Vidyaarambham is a traditional religious function in which the child is given initiation of education so that the child is ready to receive formal education) .
Formerly I have gone to this temple for my daughters 10th and +2 exams . During those visits we just prayed keeping a pen with which she’s going to write the exams .
During those visits there was not much shops and no hotels or restaurants nearby.
During our recent visit we could buy near the temple all pooja articles along with white saree ,lotus garland, book, pen slate and chalk.
Initially we did archana to Goddess Saraswathy and came around the temple .In one corner they have kept a plate full of paddy on which they asked the parents to have their kid on their lap and write the first letter ‘A’ or ‘Aa’ in Tamil . Then to write on slate and book . This ritual is known as Aksharaabyasam. Usually this ritual takes place during Vijiyadsasami in the temple in a grandeur manner and the priest themselves will conduct the rituals.
Children who stammer or slow in talking are given honey in this temple and its believed it improves them .
The origin of the word Koothanur was a village gifted by Raja Raja Chola II to the poet Ottakkoothar. The temple has attained popularity by gaining the status of the only temple dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi. Devotees throng the place praying for their children’s education, liberation from previous births by taking a bath in the Triveni Sangamam.
As per legends Ottakoothan, an ordinary mortal, earnestly sought the blessings of the Goddess Saraswathi and Lord Pillayar (Arul Gnana Vinayakar) to grant him the gift of the ability to compose poems. Bathing in the river Harisol daily and by offering floral tributes to the Goddess, he got his boon fulfilled when the Goddess, came in a very beautiful boat in the river, in the form of a lovely woman and gave him to wish . From the day King Rajaraja Chola (grandson of King Vikrama Chola), gifted this land to Ottakoothar. This Ambalpuri has come to be known as Koothanur. It is learnt, that this place was known as “Ambalpuri”, about a 1000 years ago, even before poet Ottakoothan was born.
The main deity Goddess Saraswathi, in a penance performing posture, confers Her blessings on this world as the prime deity, only in this temple. A beautiful three eyed form, with one leg folded in a yogasana pattern, is afeast for the eyes. Another special feature is that there is no veena in Ambal’s hands in the prime deity.
On all nine days navrathiri festival, ambal is bedecked specially and special poojas performed. Maha Ganapathiis also celebrated here . On saraswathi Pooja Day and Vijayadasami Day, Maha Saraswathi is taken out in procession on the swan. In particular, devotees perform pooja directly to the beautifully decorated extended feet of the Goddess on Saraswathi pooja Day.
This temple we went during our grand daughters aksharaabhyasam (Aksharaabhyasam or Akshara abhyaasam or Vidyaarambham is a traditional religious function in which the child is given initiation of education so that the child is ready to receive formal education) in Koothanoor Saraswathy temple .
Swarnavalli sametha Mukthiswarar temple is located at Thilatharpanapuri 2.6kms from Koothanur. Koothanoor is near Poonthottam which is on Mayavaram — Tiruvarur Road. Here you can see a Vinayakar with a Human face.
This temple is one among the 276 Paadal petra Shivalayam. Thirugnanasambandar has sung the glory of this Lord .
This temple has a vast area in front with koshala and horses .The Adi Vinayagar temple is outside the main temple usually Lord Vinayagar will be the first shrine within any temple.
The priest while telling the sthalapurana told us as sun and moon together came and worshipped the Lord Shiva here , so it is considered as Amavasai on all days and pitru sradham can be done any day of visit .
Rama performed tharpanam (ritual of paying tribute to ancestors) for Dasaratha at various places by placing four pindams (rice balls). However, to his dismay the pindams turned into worms each time he performed the ritual. A worried Rama prayed to Lord Shiva, who advises Rama to go to mantharavanam (manthaaram is the flower of the coral tree, one of the five special trees of heaven) and offer his prayers to Him (Shiva) there. He was instructed to take bath in the Arasalar river near there, before performing the Pitru Tharpanam. Rama did as instructed. The four pindams that until now were turning into worms at other places, to his amazement, became four Lingams. Dasaratha Maharaja thus attained mukthi (salvation) and hence the name of the deity here is Muktheeswarar.
This Temple is Also Known as Thilatharpanapuri or Adhi Vinayakar Temple or Nara Mukha Pillaiyar .
Adhi Vinayagar Temple is in Muktheeswarar temple at Thilatharpanapuri, TamilNadu which is near by Koothanoor in the Mayavaram Tiruvarur road.
This is the unique temple with the Sri Ganesha without elephant head. This is the ancient form of Vinayagar. In this temple devotees are doing Thila Tharpana ritual which is the Hindu ritual of Pithur Karmas.
The name Thilatharpanapuri comes from two words thil meaning Gingely and tharpana is the Hindu ritual of performing pithru karmas (ritual of paying tribute to ancestors) to ones ancestors. It is also known as Sithalapathy.
There are 7 sthalams for performing these rituals Kasi, Rameswaram, Srivanjiyam , Thiruvenkadu, Gaya, Thiriveni Sangamam and Thilatharpanapuri.
It is said that Sri Rama performed tharpanam for his father Dasaratha at this place. This place is considered equivalent to Kasi or Rameswaram. Performing tharpanam here on Amavasya day is considered special. This is a Mukthikshetram.
The shrine for Aadhi Vinayakar (also known as Nara mukha vinayakar) is just outside the main temple. Here you can see Ganesha with a human head and hence the name Naramukha vinayakar.
The story of Shiva beheading Naramukha Vinayaka who was created by Goddess Parvati and then replacing the head with an elephant head is well known. What is less known is, Lord Shiva had instructed his troops to fetch the head of anyone found sleeping with his head placed towards North. They found this elephant sleeping with its head towards North. Lord Shiva named the boy Ganapati – meaning commander of his troops and granted a boon that Ganapati shall be worshipped by everybody before starting anything new.
This is the only type of Vinayagar where He has a human face. This is supposed to be the First Vinayagar that Goddess Parvathi created.
Kanam tharum poonkoozhalal Abirami nin kadaikan parvaye
Meaning: The slanting sight from the beautiful eyes of the flower adorned haired mother Abirami will give her devotee; the great wealth, the education, the divinely beauty, a mind that never get depressed and also relatives and friends who never deceive and all these and many more.
Abhirami Anthathi 69th Song
Thirukadaiyur is 17 kms from Mayiladuthurai . The famous Lord Shiva temple named Amrithagadeswarar with his consort Abirami is in Thirukadaiyur.
This temple is famous for 60th birthday functions (Sastiapthapoorthi) Ayush homam for one year kids (apthapoorthi) 70 to 75 years (Bimaratha santhi) 80 and above years (Sadabhishegam).
The temple consists of a long corridor in which the temple elephant and cow for Ko pooja are kept adjacent to it is the Goddess Abirami sannidi . Opposite to the Abirami sannidi is the temple garden .
Straight to the corridor is the Lord Amithagadeswar sannidhi .
Kalasamharamurthy is to the side of the main diety . Straight opposite to it is Lord Yaman .
As per legend near the temple of Tirukkadaiyur, there lived a sage named Mrikandu and his wife Marudmati. They were both devotees of Shiva and worshiped him day and night for many years, asking to be graced with a child. After many years of penance, Shiva appeared to Mrikandu and Marudmati. He told them that he heard their prayers and would give them a choice: they could either have a gifted son who would live to be only sixteen, or a son of low intelligence who would live a long life. Mrikandu and Marudmati chose the former, and were blessed with Markandeya, an exemplary son, destined to die at the age of sixteen.
As Markandeya grew, so did his devotion to Shiva. As advised by his father, Markandeya worshipped the Shiva Lingam at Tirukkadaiyur, even bringing water from the Ganges to the temple via an underground passage. On the day he was destined to die, Yama, the deity of death, appeared with his noose to tie around the soul of Markandeya and take it with him. Markandeya sought refuge in the temple and embraced the Siva Lingam. Shiva appeared and warned Yama not to touch Markandeya, as he was under his protection. Yama refused to listen and threw the noose anyway, binding Markandeya and the Lingam together. Angered by Yama’s extraordinary arrogance, Shiva kicked him and held him under his foot, making Yama inactive. Markandeya was blessed by Shiva to remain sixteen years old eternally. Shiva came to be known as “Kala-samhara” (Sanskrit: “Destroyer of Time”) at this temple.
Meanwhile, with Yama being rendered inactive, there were no deaths on earth, but people were still being born. Burdened by the weight of so many people and unable to sustain their hunger, the earth-goddess, Bhumi Devi, appealed to Shiva for help. Shiva, feeling compassionate for the earth-goddess, released Yama, allowing death to occur again. However, in order to remind Yama never to try to kill someone while they are worshiping Shiva again, the icon of Shiva in this temple is depicted with his forefinger raised in warning.
The story of Abirami pattar is one of the miracles done by Goddess Abirami of this temple.
Pusti- A well-nourished condition, thriving, prosperous, fullness of life
Vardhanam- one who nourishes, strengthens, cause to increase (in health, wealth, well-being), who gladdens, exhilarates and restores health, a good gardener
Urvarukam-iva- like the cucumber or melon (in the accusative case) or like a big peach
Bandhanan- bound down
Mrtyormuksiya – free, liberate from death
Here the Vinayagar is on the corner of one side of the temple named Kalla Vinayagar . As during the churning of parkadal between Devas and Asuras they forgot to worship Lord Vinayagar commencing the work . Once the nectar came out by churning Lord Vinayagar takes and hides it in a corner . Hence the name Kalla Vinayagar.
There are no navagrahas in this temples . Both in Abirami sannidi and Amirthagadeswarar sannidhi 60th marriages are taken place .
It is one of the Paadal petra Shivalayam Appar Sundarar and Thirugnana Sambandar has sung about this Lord .
There are hotels like Manivizha Sadhabhishegam Kanabhishegam with rooms and restaurants attached .
The marriages of the 60th year old couple are done in a grandeur manner with gaja pooja , ko pooja and they keep kalasams (pot filled with water) for each God such as Dhanvantri ,Navagrahas Lord Vinayagar Lord Shiva Goddess Abirami and start the pooja with Kuladevatha of the couples . While the ritual are done they explain the pooja and the story along with the mantra .
Now online booking are too available both for hotels and the temples .
Last year on Akshaya thrithaya our tour organizer took us on a trip to Lakshmi Kuberar temple. It’s in Ratnamangalam near Vandalur .
Being Akshaya thrithaya it was overcrowded with devotees. This temple is open by 5 am to 1pm again by 4 pm to 8 pm daily .
We paid Rs. 100 for a special archanai on that day . They gave us a nellikai (Amla) a small akshaya bowl along with prasadham and a green sacred thread they tied in our hands .
We bought a green lamp with the Kubera enthiram numbers when added any sides sums upto 9 .
There were seperate shrines to Lakshmi Ganapathy, Muthukumaran ( lord muruga) lord vishnu, Swarnaakarshana Bhairavar , lord Hanuman and navagrahas.
Near this temple is a Saibaba mandir and Chakrakali temple .
Both temples are maintained by the same trustee .
From the street end a narrow passage leads to Araikaasu Amman temple . In this temple the main deity being Arai Kaasu Amman . It is believed the lost things if we pray keeping a rupee coin to this Amman it will be found out soon .It was under construction being a newly constructed temple the hall consisted of all 51 Shakthi peedam Ammans .
Then we had a lunch break and from there through Mahindra tech city we travelled to Thiruvadi soolam.
This temple is also a newly constructed one and workings were going on still .
First was a Bhairavar temple and then a Goddess Karumari Amman temple of 51 feet . The 51 feet denotes the 51 Shakthi peedams and Kodi linga . A big linga in which Kodi (crore) small lingas are sculptured within .
This temple was also overcrowded being an auspicious day . There is a side entrance for 108 Divyadesham Perumal in this temple. Lord Venkatachalapathy temple and Lord Anjineyar temple. All Divyadesham Perumal could be seen in one place .
Finally Thirukachur Maruntheeswarar temple. In this temple the main deity is Maruntheeswarar or Oushadeeswarar and Goddess name is Irul neekiya Amman .
Near the dwajasthambam of this temple there is a pit , where people take the mud and apply for their skin ailments.
Legend of this temple is once Indra the celestial Lord was sick even Ashwini brothers (God of medicines) could not treat him . Lord Shiva told Ashwini brothers to go to this place to get certain herbs . Hence the Lord is known as Maruntheeswarar. When the Ashwini brothers came for herbs the place was filled with darkness and Goddess Parvathi gave glow to this place and hence known as Irul Neekiya Nayaki.
Akshaya Tritiya is being celebrated across the country today. The word Akshaya means “never diminishing” as the festival is associated with wealth, prosperity and happiness. It is also known as ‘Akha Teej’, an annual spring festival of Hindus and Jains. It is celebrated on the third day of Vaishakh month. It is considered to be the most auspicious day to start a new venture.
Akshaya Tritiya has lot of religious significance:
1. It is the birthday of Lord Parashurama, one of the ten Dashavataras of Lord Vishnu.
2. It is the starting day of Treta Yuga after Satya Yuga.
3. It is the day when Sudama offered Aval to Lord Krishna, who in turn blessed him with bountiful wealth and happiness.
4. Lord Krishna gave the Akshaya Patra to Draupadi when the Pandavas started for the Vanavasa, so that they always has food in abundance.
5. Veda Vyasa started writing the epic Mahabharata.
6. The Holy Ganges descended upon the Earth.
7. The annual Rath Yatra in Puri Jagannath begins on this day.
8. Adisankaracharya recited kanghathara stothram.
9. The only day Simmachalam deity Lord Varagha Narasimhar can be seen without sandal paste .
10. Badrinath Kedarnath Gangotri and Yamunotri are opened which remain closed for 6 months after Diwali festival.
11. Lord Krishna’s Lotus feet darshan is given only on AHSHAY TRITIYA DAY in Brindavan . On other days his feet is covered by his clothes.
During our Kulu Manali trip we visited Hanogi Mata Temple on the Chandigarh Manali highway .
The vehicles that pass through that way stops and all passengers pray to this Mata then continue their travel.
At a distance of 41 km from Kullu, 30 km from Mandi and 80 km from Manali, Hanogi Mata Temple is a well known religious centre of Kullu that lies on the Mandi-Manali National Highway 3.
The temple is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Hango Mata. The location of this temple is quite picturesque as it is positioned on the top of a small peak; green mountains serve as a backdrop for the temple and a stream flowing below makes this temple a stunning attraction.
Not only religious belief allures the tourists to this place but its great location is also one of the reasons for catching the attention of visitors. The view from temple is really very scenic and marvelous.
Their is a stream of lake flowing besides this temple and free boating facilities are there to take to Kali and Saraswathy temples behind this temple .
There are about 100 steps to climb to those temples and we dint go to those temples as senior citizens couldn’t climb the steps .
Ever year we visit Shirdi Saibaba Mandir to get His blessings. During this visit we combine some other temples which we have not yet seen.
In 2018 we visited Shirdi along with Panchavati and the temples near by Godavari ghat .
This year it happened to visit twice once being in March and during our 5 Jyothirlingam trip of Maharashtra in November.
During our Shirdi visit in March we combined Ellora caves and Bhadra maruthi temple .
One of the most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, Ellora caves are also known as Verul. These stunning man-made monolithic cave temples were carved during the rule of Kalachuri, Rashtrakuta and Chalukya dynasties
The Ellora Caves comprise Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples and over a 100 caves with only 34 open to the public .
The Kailasa Temple or Cave 16 is one of the 34 cave temples and monasteries collectively known as the Ellora Caves, one among the most visited tourist destinations in Maharashtra Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Kailasa Temple (Cave 16) is one of the 34 Cave temples and monasteries known collectively as the Ellora Caves. Its construction is generally attributed to the 8th century Rashtrakuta king Krishna I based on inscriptions in Kannada. The construction was a feat of human genius – it entailed removal of 250,000 tons of rock, took 100 years to complete and covers an area double the size of Parthenon in Athens. A megalith carved out of one single rock, it is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples in India because of its size, architecture and sculptural treatment.
The world famous Kailasanath Temple is a marvelous example of Rashtrakuta architecture. It represents Mount Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva. The temple has four parts- the central shrine, the entrance gate, the Nandi shrine and a group of five shrines surrounding the courtyard. A two-storeyed gateway opens to reveal a U-shaped courtyard. The dimensions of the courtyard are 82 m x 46 m at the base. The courtyard is edged by a columned arcade three stories high containing enormous sculptures of different deities. Originally flying bridges of stone connected these galleries to central temple, which have collapsed.
Within the courtyard, there is a central shrine dedicated to Shiva, and an image of Nandi (the sacred bull). The central shrine housing the lingam features a flat-roofed mandapa supported by 16 pillars, and a Dravidian shikhara. It stands on a high plinth which is carved with sculptures of elephants and lions. The sanctum contains a huge monolithic linga over a huge yonipitha and the ceiling is decorated with an enormous lotus. The temple has many sculptural designs depicting events from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. There is a scene in a relief of Ravana trying to shake Mount Kailasha and Shiva pressing Ravana into the cavern of the mountain with his feet. The tower of the temple is in linear tiers and is crowned by a dome. The whole tower is 28.5 m high.
Like all Shiva temples, Nandi sits on a porch in front of the central temple. The Nandi mandapa and main Shiva temple are about 7 m high, and built on two storeys. The lower story of the Nandi Mandapa is a solid structure, decorated with elaborate illustrative carvings. The base of the temple has been carved to suggest that elephants are holding the structure aloft. A rock bridge connects the Nandi Mandapa to the porch of the temple.
There are five detached shrines in the temple premises; these are dedicated to Ganesha, Rudra, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. There are two Dhwajasthambhas in the courtyard.
We took nearly 2 hours to finish this single cave took a lot of photos .
Had lunch and on the way to our room in Shirdi we saw Bhadramaruthi temple. This temples main diety is Lord Hanuman in a reclining pose . At the backside gate is a Sani Mahadev shrine to which only gents were allowed to do oil abishegam (ablution of oil on the idol). The temple is maintained neatly .
Sri Ramanuja stayed here for 12years during his exile from Srirangam and consecrated the temple laying down detailed processes for poojas Selva Pillai Sampath Kumaran’s Vaira Mudi Utsavam in Panguni is a must see at this temple.
This place is also called as Thiru Narayanapuram and is referred to as ‘Dakshina Badri’.
Located about 35kms North East of Srirangapatna on the banks of the Cauvery in the Pandavapura Taluk-Mandya District of Karnataka at the foot of the Yadava Giri is one of the most sacred and historical Vaishnavite temples – the Thiru Narayana Perumal Koil in ThiruNarayanapuram (now Melkote), one that dates back to the Kretha Yugam. Brahma’s sons Sanatkumaras brought their father’s pooja idol ‘Lord Narayana’ and installed it at Melkote.
An interesting feature at the Thiru Narayanan temple is that there is a separate sannidhi for the Utsava deity, ‘Selva Pillai’ (Sampath Kumaran) not seen anywhere else. Only one day in the year, both Moolavar and Utsavar deities are seen together at this temple to celebrate the home coming of Selva Pillai Sampath Kumaran (Photograph below)
The Story- Ramanuja consecrates the temple Driven out of Srirangam by the chozhas, Ramanuja came to a place called Thondanur (Bhaktha Puri) near ThiruNarayanapuram .The daughter of the Jain King Bitta Deva, who was ruling the region with Thondanur as his headquarters, had developed a disease. Using his powers, Ramanuja cured the king’s daughter.
Later, Ramanuja found himself short of Thiruman (the special thick white ash that Vaishnavites wear on their fore head). That day Lord Narayanan appeared in his dreams and informed him that he was residing in a pit in a hill nearby and that the Thiruman he is looking for can also be found there.
With the help of Bitta Deva, Ramanuja came to Thiru Narayanapuram and located the moolavar lord and performed consecration of the temple.
Legend 1 of the Utsava deity as Rama Priyan After Lord Rama had given his pooja idol, Ranganatha, to the newly crowned Lankan King Vibheeshana, He was left without an idol for his daily poojas. Brahma is said to have provided this idol to Rama. Later, Rama passed this on to his sons Luva and Kusha. When Kusha’s daughter got married to a Yadava prince, this idol was given as part of the gifts to be given by the Bride and thus this idol landed up in the lunar dynasty from the solar dynasty.
Years later, when Balarama came to this place on a religious trip, he found the moolavar deity resembling the idol at his home, back in Dwaraka. Krishna and Balarama came back to this place with the idol and they decided that this was the ideal Utsava deity for Thiru Narayanan and placed it here. The Utsava deity having been Rama’s pooja idol was called ‘Rama Priyan’.
Legend 2 of Rama Priyan becoming Selva Pillai Coming back to Ramanuja, while he was happy to have found the moolavar deity of Thiru Narayanan, Emberumaanar was keen to have regular festivals at this temple round the year. However, he found he could not do this as there was no Utsava deity, the processional idol.
Once again, the Lord came in his dreams and suggested that his utsava idol was now under the custody of a sultan king. Immediately, Ramanuja approached the king briefing him of the situation at the temple. The king asked Ramanuja to identify his idol amongst the many that the king had taken custody of. Unable to find his Lord, Ramanuja spent the night there. The next morning he called out ‘Adiyen Vareeren Enthan Selva Pillai’ and like a small child, the lord ran up to Ramanuja, from the chamber of the princess, and sat on his lap.
Delighted at finding the processional deity, Ramanuja brought the Lord back to Thiru Narayanapuram. With the Lord having reacted to Ramanuja’s call of ‘Selva Pillai’, the name stuck and from that day, Rama Priyan came to be called ‘Selva Pillai. Unhappy at the departure of her favourite Lord, the princess followed suit and joined Selva Pillai at Melkote and she is said to have remained there ever after serving at the feet of the Lord.
Having found the Utsava deity, Ramanuja stayed here for 12 years and set up processes for daily poojas, rituals and annual festivals.
The Goddess name is Yadugiri Nachiyar and every Friday thirumanjanam is being done within 1pm .
There is a yoga Narasimhar temple on a hillock .The idol is installed by Prahlad himself and one has to climb about 500 steps from chelva narayana temple .
Now roads have been put and only about 250 steps we have to climb cars are allowed half way through.
Yoga Narasimha temple is on a small hillock, there are steps that lead to this temple. There is a road that leads to half way of the hillock which is driveable, that will reduce the no. of steps to climb. The view from the hill is very scenic and green. I would suggest to first visit Cheluva narayana swamy temple, and go to Yoga narasimha swamy temple at around 5PM. Weather gets very pleasant around this time. The sunset is also beautiful.
Melkote Thirunarayana Swami Temple Vairamudi Sevai is one of the most important ceremony celebrated in this temple. Devotees flock from all over to see this event .During this festival the streets of Melkote are decorated in his honour.The procession of the Lord’s idol is carried on a golden garuda, along with idols representing his divine consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi. The procession takes place at night and continues until dawn. The festival is named for the legendary diamond studded crown, the Vaira Mudi which the Lord only wears during this procession. For the rest of the festival the Lord wears the Rajamudi, another crown studded with precious stones .
Namakkal is a small city located in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Its famous for Poultry farming.
We went to a wedding in Namakkal . We planned earlier after attending the wedding to stay a day more to see Nammakal Anjineyar and opposite to it Lakshmi Narasimhar temple .
The Nammakal Anjineyar is of 28 feet height and is a open temple. The temple has a pillared hall leading to the sanctum.
The Narasimhar temple is a rock cut temple similar to the one of Padalathri Narasimhar near Chengelpet near Chennai.
We stayed in Hotel Vangili . We enquired in the reception what are the places of interest in Namakkal except the 2 temples that we have already planned they said about Kolli hills, we were in dilemma as we could finish the sight seeing of Kolli hills within a day . They said by morning 6am temples are open u can visit both the temples and have breakfast by that time the cab arranged for us will be ready .
As per plan our cab came by 9 am and we started in a Santro car from foot hill it has 70 hairpin bends .We saw Arapaleeshwarar temple, namma aruvi , ettukkai Amman temple boating park and botanical gardens .While going our driver stopped at certain places and showed us the view point like Solakadu view point , Seeku parai view point . Our driver said that Kolli hills consists of almost 300 villages within rice coffee vegetables and fruit cultivation are the main source of income to those people .
Aghaya gangai falls we were able to hear the sound of the waterfalls but cudn’t go as we had to get 1000 steps down . Eventhough we get down afterwards climbing part would be tedious so we stood in namma aruvi and took photos .
We had a herb soup and jackfruit with honey it tasted delicious . We bought pepper fruits and honey .
The Mountain is a site of pilgrimage, because of the Arapaleeswarar temple, which is believed to have a secret path to the Shiva temple in Rasipuram. This Shiva temple is said to have been built by Valvil Ori in the 1st or 2nd century when he ruled this area.
The Mountain is named Kolli Malai behind the name of Goddess Ettukkai Amman (Kolli Paavai), the local deity. The mountains have several mythological legends associated with them, and often come across as an eerie place in contemporary tales due to the unexplored and less travelled terrain. Even at some places one can hear the presence of saptha kannigal.
We did boating and visited Botanical garden .
Our driver said many archeological people comes to see the muthumakkal thazhi if we were interested to see it , (Muthumakkal thazhi is a big earthen pot in which dead people were buried those days) This is what our driver said to us and he has taken many archeological people to that site .
As we were not much interested about it we dint go , after having late lunch in a mess by 3 pm we returned back to Nammakal by 6pm
It’s in Mandya district sugarcane and paddy field all over with chill breeze .
The temple is in a calm serene atmosphere .
This temple being one of the abhimana sthalams was built by Lord Indra .
At the end of the Dwapara Yuga, in the Sura Sura war, Indra was afflicted with Brahma Hathi Dosham. To liberate himself from this, he undertook penance and invoked the blessings for Lord Vishnu.
He was directed to install 5 Narayana Idols in this region to liberate himself from his dosham. Thondanur is the first and the oldest of the Pancha Narayana Kshetrams. The kshetrams are : Nambi Narayana at Tondanur Keerthi Narayana at Thalakad Chennakeshava(Vijaya Narayana) at belur Sowmya Narayana at nagamangala Veera Narayana at gadag .
Belief is that one will attain Vaikunta Moksham if we visit the Pancha Narayana Kshetram.
Opposite to Nambi Narayana Perumal temple is Gopalakrishna temple , at a small hillock near by is Sri Ramanujar and Lord Yoga Narasimhar temple near kere Thonnur . (Bank of lake thonnur)
First when we enter the temple there are pillars leading to Goddess Aravinda nayaki shrine . The dwajasthambam of this temple appears to look to the side from outside and center when seen from inside the temple . There is a backside gate which those days Kings used to come now it is kept locked The other side of this gate is koshala . Backside of this temple is a well and it is said echo can be heard if we clap or make noise the other side of the pragharam is yagasalai (yagnas are done) and madapalli (food for offering God is prepared here). There is a seperate idol for Lord Ramanujar as well as his Thiruvadi with His disciples . Idols of Sri Vedanta Desikacharya and foremost disciple of Sri Ramanujar Nambi Narayana are also inside the temple .
While the temple was renovated by Ramanuja during his exile from Srirangam, the idol and the sanctum is said to be over 5500years old and dates back to the Dwapara Yuga. Ramanuja built new mandapas outside the sanctum and renovated and consecrated the temple.
Bittideva a Jain King brought his sick daughter to Sri Ramanujacharya for cure , Ramanujar asked the daughter to have a holy dip in the thonnur lake and hit her head with the dandam of Yoga Narasimhar and relieved her from the evil spirit . Thus a holy dip in thonnur lake is also considered as sacred .
When asked what he wanted, Ramanuja informed the king that he was here to propagate Vishistaadvaitha and that he would like the King to convert to a Vaishnavite.
Bitti Deva, much against the wishes of his people, became a Vaishnavite and changed his name to Vishnu Vardhan reasoning out to his people that in this Kali Yuga, Ramanuja was the avathara of Sesha (similar to how Lakshmana was in the Tretha Yuga).
An unhappy lot, the 1000 Jains of Thondanur wanted to confront Ramanuja in a debate. Outside the Yoga Narasimha Temple, after Ramanuja invoked the blessings of the Lord, he was thrown 1000 questions by the people of the kingdom. And in one go Ramanuja hit back at them with 1000 answers much to the delight of the people. Pleased with his answers, the Jains converted to Vaishnavism.
Near by in a small hillock is a temple for Sri Ramanujar and Lord Yoga Narasimhar. One has to climb about 16 steps .
Here Sri Ramanujar is in the form of Adiseshan roopa .The Dandam of Yoga Narasimhar which Sri Ramanujar used to cure Bittideva’s daughter is still present in this temple and a basket which Sri Ramanujar used for bringing flowers is preserved in a glass box .
Belief is that Lord Yoga Narasimha fulfils all the prayers of the devotees here at this temple. Once fulfilled, the devotees present a 10×6 Veshti to Yoga Narasimha and an Orange Veshti to Ramanuja at this temple as a thanks giving gesture.
This temple we went during our Kulu Manali Shimla trip .
The Jakhu temple is well connected by road to Shimla. Cabs are available from any of the Shimla hotels you may stay in. We stayed in Hotel Fairmount .
One can also take a pony ride to the Jakhu Temple from the Shimla Mall Road. Adventure enthusiasts can trek up the hill, the climb is quite steep in places and you will encounter many monkeys along the way. Recently, an aerial ropeway – the Jahku Ropeway Shimla started, that takes you from The Ridge to the Jahku Temple in just 6 minutes.
As we were a part of tour group we reached the foot hill by our bus and climbed the stairs.
Jakhu temple located on Jakhu hills of Shimla is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman.
The place is Historically significant as Hanuman stopped here to rest while he was on quest for sanjeevni herb , when He was sent by Lord Rama from Lanka to cure unconscious Lakshmana , hit by the weapon of Indrajit , son of Lanka king Ravana .
He met sage Yaaku on the hilltop and then moved ahead in his journey. It is also believed that the sage built this temple.
In 2010, Hanuman statue of 108ft tall was unveiled in its courtyard. It is just in the temple complex . There is a seperate Shrine for Lord Hanuman where pooja rituals are done daily . The main Murthy is applied sindhoor fully.
Monkeys are in plenty in this temple so be carefull while taking eatables and pooja articles. A memorable moment for me was a monkey took by spectacles and was trying to put it , my hubby and our tour organizer tried to get the spectacles back it hopped from tree to tree then the temple authority person gave some peanuts to it while catching the nuts , it threw my spectacles back got it without no damage . After that I got down the steps without wearing my spectacles fearing it may again flick off .
After having the dharshan n blessings from Lord Hanuman we went to Lakkar bazaar in the Shimla mall road .
Srirangapatna Ranganathaswami Temple at Karnataka .
Srirangapatna known to be the historical capital of warrior kings Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, is a town of Mandya district, a highly sought after destination in Karnataka for it’s magnificent temples and monumental forts. Located 16 kilometers from the beautiful city Mysore, this place is recognized for its rich cultural heritage. History has it that the forts hold stories of famous battles and also portrays Tipu Sultan’s history as a ruler. Tipu built palaces and forts so as to hold proof of him as a legend and powerful, undefeatable war hero.
Not many realize that Srirangapatna is actually an island surrounded by river Cauvery from all sides. This egg-shaped island is named after Sri Ranganatha, the presiding deity of the Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple.
Srirangapatna Ranganathaswami temple built in 894 AD is an abode to Sri Maha Vishnu, lord here is in a reclining position, resting over the coils of Adi Seshu (A seven head serpent). The reclining posture statue is said to be the largest murti of its kind in the state of Karnataka.
Srirangapatna Ranganathaswami Temple is one of the largest temples with a lofty tower. The Lord is reclining on Adi Sesha with the Goddess in His chest. The murti of sage Gautama and Goddess Cauvery are enshrined at the holy feet of the Lord.
Saints and Alwars are enshrined on the corridors. Two pillars in front of the inner entrance are called Chaturvimsati. The 24 forms of Vishnu with their names are engraved thereon. In the north-west corner is the shrine of the Divine Consort Ranganayaki Thayar and the sacred feet of the Lord. Pattabhirama with Sita and Anjaneya at His feet and Lord Rajamannar are wonderful sculptures. There is another Krishna shrine, which is very popular among the devotees. The murti’s of Srinivasa and Panchamukha Anjaneya, installed by Guru Vyasaraya, are noteworthy.
The other three temples are the Adi Ranga Temple (in Srirangapatna), the Madhya Ranga Temple (in Shivanasamudra) and the Antya Ranga Temple (in Srirangam). All these three temples are considered very important Ranganatha temples.
Nimishambal shrine Goddess Nimishambal is enshrined in an ancient Shiva temple (20 km from Mysore) on the banks of river Cauvery. The temple is dedicated to Lord Mouktikeshwara. Also enshrined in the temple is Lord Lakshminarasimha. The devout strongly believe that the Goddess helps them succeed in any step they take by invoking Her. Many devotees make a thanks-giving visit to this temple later.
Goddess Nimishamba is considered as the incarnation of Goddess Parvathi, the consort of Lord Shiva. This place Ganjam is considered as a holy place. Muktharaja of Somavamsha Aryakshatriya performed penance at Nimishamba Temple.
Shrichakra is carved on a stone in front of Sri Nimishamba and pooja is performed. There is a belief that Goddess Nimishamba is going to remove all the problems and troubles of her devotees within a minute. That is why she is called Nimishamba. Nimisha means a minute and Amba is the name of Parvathi. Somavamsha Aryakshatriya Mutharasa king Muktharaja was blessed with the boon that Sri Nimishamba will come to his aid in his fight against the demons in a minute. That is why there is a deity Lord Shiva by the name of Moukthikeshwara. This temple was installed at the time of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar about 300 to 400 years ago.
The temple of Nimishamba lies at a distance of two kilometers from Srirangapatna bus stand in the eastern direction beyond Tippu’s summer palace on the road leading to Sangam. The temple is at a higher elevation on the bank of the Cauvery and faces east. The river flows by at a lower level, and steps have been neatly cut on stone slabs to reach it. It is a small shrine with a seven-tiered Rajagopuram. Goddess Nimishamba’s sannidhi is to the right as one enters the shrine. It is a fine piece of an icon. She is beautifully bedecked with jewelry and garlands of red roses. In front of the Goddess is placed the Sri Chakra to which puja is done with kumkum by the priest. The devotees stand in rapt attention till deeparadhana is offered to the deity.
Adjoining the sannidhi of the Goddess is that of Lord Shiva, whose appellation is Aksheeswara. The icon is a small sized linga. The Nandi is proportionately small sized and is diagonally facing Lord Shiva. Only after offering `deeparadhana’ to Lord Shiva, it is offered to the Goddess. Adjoining this sannidhi is that of Lakshminarayana. All the three sannidhis are in a row. There are no suka nasi and Navaranga. There is only a mukha mantapa.
There is a big brass bell hanging from the ceiling, which is rung by the priest himself after placing the `bali bhojanam’ on the bali peetam for the crows to eat. Once the bell is rung, the crows come down to the bali peetam in an orderly way to partake it! It is indeed unique to this temple. There is a prakaram (closed precincts of a temple) for circumambulation. The Nimishamba temple has shot to fame recently for its instant granting of boons to those who pray here.
It would be of interest to note that marriage proposals which have been dragging on for years, get clicked immediately after visiting this shrine. It is probable that the temple might have been built during the reign of Raja Wadiyar I (1610-38 A.D.) who ascended the Mysore throne at Srirangapatna. Regular puja has been done for the last 50 years.
This temple we visited during the annaprasanam ceremony (first rice or solid food to kids of 5 months to 9 months) of our grand daughter Neha .
Last August went once again during our Malainadu Divyadeshams trip.
Located in the Guruvayoor town, Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple is one of the most sacred pilgrimage centers in Kerala. It is one of the most revered temples in South India where the presiding deity Lord Vishnu is worshipped in Balkrishna Avtar. Lord idol is adorned with four hands each carrying a conch, a mace, a discus and a lotus and is also known by the name of Unnikrishnan. Garlanded with the Tulasi or Basil Garland and pearl necklace, the lord appears in full radiance blessing the devotees.
There are seperate shrines for Lord Ganesha Goddess Baghavathy Lord Ayyappan and Lord Ranganathar with Goddess Lakshmi. There is a Thulabharam (balance) people offer bananas jackfruit sugar whatever they have prayed to the lord according to their weights.
The walls are with mural paintings with Krishna leelas .
According to a legend, the temple was created by the preceptors of the Gods, Guru and God of winds, Vayu. The astonishing idol of Lord Unnikrishnan Guruvayur is made out of a rare mixture called Padala Anjanam instead of stone or metal which was more commonplace in the olden times. Simple in its construction, the spiritual charm of this place is unmatched and has devotees flocking to it from all over the country. However, this temple is open only to the believers of Hindu faith, and there might be long queues at the entrance but completely worth as you enter the temple complex
Mobiles are not allowed only traditional dresses are allowed . For senior citizens there are seperate queue both in the morning and evening .
For annaprasanam ceremony we paid a day before, they asked us to assemble in the first floor inside the temple opposite to the main sanctum sanctorum. Here the priests asks the parents to sit with their kids and they are served rice dhall papadam vegetables payasam in a plantain leaf to feed the kid . This is a one of the ceremony followed by many parents before keeping any solid form of rice food to their kids .
After this ritual we were allowed to see the main deity Lord Krishna.
As in all keralite temple the main deity is small and no electrical light only oil lamp diyas in the main sanctum sanctorum .
The legendary history extends to the consecration of the famous Sree Guruvayur Temple – It was the final phase of Dwaparayuga. The great Deluge has submerged Sree Krishna’s abode Dwaraka and the Lord, as a playful child, was frolicking on a banyan leaf tossed about by the surging waters. Devaguru Brihaspathi and wind god Vayu stumble upon him where upon the Lord himself handed over to them the idol of the Supreme Lord that he has been worshipping at Dwaraka, with instructions to have it installed and consecrated at an appropriate spot on earth.
Guru and Vayu then descended on the banks of a sprawing lake Rudratheertha rendered holy by Lord Shiva who has been doing penance there for ages. Realizing the purpose of the visit Lord Shiva suggested the consecration there itself on the bank of Rudratheertha and obligingly moved over to a near by location on the other side of the Rudhra theertha.
The place where Guru and Vayu consecrated the idol of Lord Krishna became GURUVAYOOR and the site that Lord Shiva chose for himself and his consort Sree Parvathy became Mahimayur, mahima evolving out of the status bestowed on Lord Shiva for voluntarily relinquishing his initial abode to accommodate Lord Krishna. This in course of time got colloquialised as MAMMIYUR. Even in Mammiyur there is a idol of Lord Guruvayoorappan . It is said those who worships Lord Guruvayoorappan should definitely visit Mammiyur Lord Shiva and have his blessings .
We visited Ramakrishna mutt Belur in the morning after breakfast.
Sri Ramakrishna Temple at Belur Math, Kolkata
Headquarter of the Ramakrishna Math, Belur Math (aka Belur Mutt) is located near the Hooghly River and spread across forty acres of land. Fusion of Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist and Christian styles of architecture, the Math stands proud as a symbol of secularism. A visit to the Belur Math fills ones soul with contentment and peace.
Belur Math Complex:
The Math complex comprises of what, for lack of a better word, can only be called temples. It consist further of museums, a shrine a library and a monastery. Following are the details:
Sri Ramakrishna Temple – Enshrining the relics of Sri Ramakrishna, this is the main temple in the Belur Math.
Swami Brahmananda Temple – This temple was built over the spot where Swami Brahmananda (one of the sixteen disciples of Sri Ramakrishna) was cremated.
Swami Vivekananda Temple – It is constructed over the place where mortal remains of Swami Vivekananda were cremated.
Samadhi Enclosure – Here the remains of seven out sixteen disciples of Swami Vivekananda were cremated.
Holy Mother Temple or the Temple of Sri Sarda Devi
Old Shrine – Here daily prayers were offered till the new temple (Ramakrishna Temple) was consecrated.
Room of Swami Vivekananda – This is the room where Swami Vivekananda lived and attained Mahasamadhi.
Old Math Ramakrishna Museum – The museum preserves and exhibits articles that were used by Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda and Holy Mother Sri Sarda Devi.
The place is different than any other place of worship where one is expected to just sit and meditate. There is no ritualistic offering made, no flowers or sweets put on offer. The silence that envelops the place is the most important feature of the Belur Math. For more details
From there by 10 am we travelled to Dakshineshwara Kaali temple by boat .
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was Blessed to have her Darshan everyday from his quarters across the temple & stands testimony to her name Bhabhatarini (as in Bangla)one who liberates her devotee from Samsara Sagara indeed a benevolent Goddess showering her grace on all. It is said Ramakrishna used to talk with the Goddess as His mother and the Goddess replies to Him .
The temple was overcrowded it took nearly a hour for us to succeed after having the divine sight of the Goddess , we took lunch break .
Then by evening we had the divine dharshan of the Kalighat Kali .
Kalighat Kali Temple in West Bengal, India dedicated to the Goddess Kali. It is one of the Shakti Peethas. Goddess Kali is worshipped as a manifestation of Devi Sati. Devi Sati’s right toes fell in the Kalighat shrine. There is also a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva worshipped as Nakulesh in lingam form nearby. Culcutta/Kolkatta gets its name from Kalighat.
The temple was earlier located on the banks of the Adi Ganga River. The river has moved away from the temple over a period of time. Thus the temple is now on the banks of a canal called as Adi Ganga connecting Hoogly.
Kalighat is regarded as one of the Shakti Peethas of India, where the various parts of Sati’s body are said to have fallen, in the course of Shiva’s Rudra Tandava. Kalighat represents the site where the toes of the right foot of Dakshayani or Sati fell.
Legend has it that a devotee discovered a luminant ray of light coming from the Bhagirathi river bed, and upon investigating its source came upon a piece of stone carved in the form of a human toe.
He also found a Swayambhu Lingam of Nakuleshwar Bhairav nearby, and started worshipping Kali in the midst of a thick jungle.
Kalighat is also associated with the worship offered to Kali by a Dasanami Monk by name Chowranga Giri, and the Chowringee area of Calcutta is said to have been named after him.
The Kalighat temple in its present form is only about 200 years old, although it has been referred to in Mansar Bhasan composed in the 15th century, and in Kavi Kankan Chandi of the 17th century. The original temple was a small hut. A small temple was constructed by King Manasingha in the early 16th century.
The present temple was erected under the patronage of the Kaliprasad Dutta of Hatkhola Dutta Bari with the help of Santosh Roy Chaudhury of Sabarna Roy Chowdhury family of Barisha.
Halder family of kalighat is called the ‘sebadas’ of this temple In the 1960s a committee was formed for the administrative management of the temple with representation from the Government.
The image of Kali in this temple is unique. It does not follow the pattern of other Kali images in Bengal. The present idol of touchstone was created by two saints – Brahmananda Giri and Atmaram Giri. Three huge eyes, long protruding tongue made of gold and four hands, which all are made of gold too. Two of these hands holding a scimitar and a severed head of the asura king ‘Shumbha’.
The scimitar signifies Divine Knowledge and the asura (or, human) head signifies human Ego which must be slain by Divine Knowledge in order to attain Moksha.
The other two hands are in the abhaya and varada mudras or blessings, which means her initiated devotees (or anyone worshiping her with a true heart) will be saved as she will guide them here and hereafter.
There is a large rectangular covered platform called Natmondir, adjacent to the main temple, from where the face of the image can be seen.
Jor-bangla is a spacious varandah of the main temple, facing the image. One can see the rituals inside the sanctum sanctorum from the Natmondir through the Jor-bangla.
There is a rectangular altar called Sosthi Tala which is about three feet high, with a small cactus plant. Below the tree, there are three stones placed on an altar, representing the Goddesses Sosthi, Sitola and Mongol Chandi. This holy spot is known as Sosthi Tala or Monosha Tala. These Goddesses are considered as part of Maa Kali.
To the south of Natmondir is the Harkath Tala which is used for Bhali (sacrifice). Located on the west side of the main temple is the Radha-Krishna Temple. It is known as Shamo-ray temple.
Kundupukur is the sacred tank situated in the south-east of the temple. It is said that that during the sixteenth century, ‘Sati-Ango’ (the right toe of Sati) was discovered from this tank.
Ceremonial bath is given to mother on snanyatra day. During the time, priests tie their eyes with cloth. The temple is crowded during Kali Puja, Durga Puja, Poila Boishakh, the Bengali New Year day and Sankranti.
The temple is open from 5.00 A.M. to 2.00 P.M and 5.00 P.M to 10.30 P.M. It is closed from 2.00 P.M to 5.00 P.M. for Bhog. Opening Time: (For Mongal Aarti) 4.00 A.M. There are Aarthis in the morning and evening.
There are many Buses moving from the station towards Hazra or Kalighat or Rashbehari. You can go Kalighat from any part of calcutta by Bus or Taxi.
Howrah and Sealdah are the two major railway stations in Kolkata. These stations are well connected to all the major cities in India.
The Metro rail system in Kolkata connects all the main junctions of Kolkata. It is the fastest way to reach the different parts of the city.
This temple we went during our Kanchipuram Divyadeshams Perumal visits .
Lord Varadaraja Perumal temple , Lord Ekambareeswarar temple and Goddess Kamashi temple in Kanchipuram together known as mumurthivasa sthalam .
One among the “Pancha Bhoota Stalam” five Shiva temples each representing five elements of life, Ekambareswarar Temple is one of the most sacred Shiva temples. It represents the element Earth.
The Presiding Deity is called as Ekambareswarar / Ekambaranathar and Mother is called as Elavarkuzhali / Kamakshi Amman.
The temple is thousands of years old with the current structure being a reconstructed one, around 600 AD by the Pallavas. However the temple displays the works of likely every dynasty that ruled Kanchipuram. The 192 feet Raja Gopuram is a marvelous piece of architectural wonder built by the Vijayanagara Empire. The Cholas made architectural contributions to the temple too.
The bottom half of the gateway tower has the shrines of Vinayaka and Murugan on either side. Here Vinayaga is on peacock which is very unusual.
Legend has it that the lingam here at the Ekambareswarar Temple is made and worshipped by Goddess Parvati herself and that we can still see a mark on the Lingam which holds this legend true. Once Goddess Parvati covered Shiva’s eyes and the world suddenly filled with darkness. With Shiva’s eyes closed, the Sun and Moon darkened without even a beam of light. He opened his third eye and saved the day for the mankind. Parvati was filled with guilt after witnessing all these. Shiva asked her to do penance to free her from wrong karma. Parvati born on earth as Kamakshi and started her penance. She made a Shiva linga out of sand and worshipped Lord Shiva in the form of Prithvi Lingam [Lingam made of earth] under an ancient temple mango tree. At the same time, Shiva in order to test her devotion caused a flood where Kamakshi was busy worshipping him.
Kamakshi on realizing about the flood got scared of the Prithvi Lingam being washed off, embraces the lingam. Lord Shiva who literally started melting due to her devotion and love appears in his materialized human form and married Kamakshi. Also this is when Kamakshi accidently left some marks on the lingam as a result of her bangles and kuchas hitting the sand made lingam which can be seen even today.
The “Sthala Vriksham” or the ancient temple mango tree is more than 3500 years old under which Kamakshi worshipped the Shiv Lingam is still present here and is one of the significant landmarks of the temple. It has four branches and each represents one of the four Vedic texts and yield four different flavors of fruits. The other significant features of the temple include the “Aayiram Kaal Mandapam” or the 1000 pillared hall, 1008 Shiv Lingams that adorn the inner walls of the temple and the ten musical pillars at the inner corridor of the temple. Another architectural brilliance is that the sun rays falls directly on the Shiva linga every 19, 20 and 21 of the Panguni month (March-April) which is when the most important festival of the Ekambareswarar Temple is celebrated, the Panguni Uthiram.
This temple is one among the 276 paadal petra Shivalayam .
All the four Shaivite saints Appar, Sambandar, Sundarar, and Manickavasagar have sung the glory of this temple.
Inside this temple is a Divyadesham Perumal named Nilathingalthundan one among the Thondanadu Divyadeshams.
Thus this temple is a place of worship for both Shaivaites and Vaishnavaites .
In Ahobilam next to Yoganandha Narasimhar temple in the lower Ahobilam is a temple of Nava Narasimhars with their respective Navagrahas . Those who cant go to upper Ahobilam can have the dharshan of the Lords here .
This temple is easily accessible by any vehicles in lower Ahobilam Pavana and Bharghava Narasimhar are accessible by forest department zeep .
In Naya Thirupathi the main deity is Prassana Venkatesha Perumal. There are seperate shrines for Lord Ganesha Panchamugha Anjineyar , Dhanvantri (God of Medicines) Narthana lord krishna and Raghu and kethu .
This temple is situated at about 8 kms from Madurantakam-Chunambedu road at Chitravadi village.
Lord srinivasa is on the road side. This temple is maintained by some North Indian and pooja are performed by Odisha priests .
There is a Narasimhar temple near by as this place is called as Chitravadi the Narasimhar here is named as Chitravadi Narasimhar or Simmagiri as the small hillock is called Simmagiri .
I recommend u to climb the hill temple as early as possible because one has to climb about 250 steps .
The entrance of the Hill temple is little fascinating like the mouth opened wide with sharp teeth of Lord Narasimhar.
The main deity of the Simmagiri hill temple is Lord Narasimhar along with his consort Goddess Lakshmi on left side of his lap . To the right side of the deity is Lord Garuda and left side Lord Hanuman.
Monkeys are there in Hill temple so devotees be little carefull while taking pooja articles otherwise they dont harm you .
Foot hill temple consists of Lakshmi Narasimhar, Goddess Anandavalli Thayar and Nava Narasimhar respective of their Navagrahams . Sani statue resembling that of Sani Signapur is also installed on the outside of the foot hill temple along with Lord Pavana Narasimhar. Those who cannot climb up can have the dharshan at this foot hill temple.
This temple is considered sacred to devotees to get rid of the Navagraha doshas .
From Udipi Krishna temple we reached Mangalore Mangaladevi temple it was almost closing time of the temple .
Mangalore was named as Mangalapuram after the local Hindu deity Mangaladevi, the presiding deity of the Mangaladevi Temple. It was modified to Mangalore by the British. But somehow the keralites have retained the old name.
Puram means ‘area of land’ or having the same meaning of ‘uru’ or ‘ooru’ in Tamil or Kannada.
As the history says that the land got it’s name from the deity Mangaladevi, the literal translation would be ‘the land of Mangaladevi’ which can be called ‘Mangaluru’ in Kannada and Tamil and in Malayalam, it would be Mangalapuram.
Mangaladevi Temple is built in Kerala style of architecture. In fact, most temples in Tulu Nadu (Mangalore side) are constructed in this design. The shrine consists of a sanctum and many other small shrines housing other gods and goddesses.
The main sanctum houses the idol of Mangaladevi who is in a sitting posture. The whole shrine is mainly a wooden architecture which is similar to other temples in the region. There is also a flag-post (Dwajastambha) and the shrine of Lord Shiva.
Mangaladevi Temple is a form of Shakti and is a much revered deity in Mangalore. Hence, Mangaladevi Temple is one of the top temples in Mangalore.
According to this legend, two sages Gorakhnath and Machindranath come in search of a holy land where Sage Parashurama is said to have lived. They enter the kingdom of Kundavaraman who ruled the Tulu Nadu.
The sages explain the importance of one such place which holds the temple of Mangaladevi which was established by Lord Parashurama. Surprised by the version of the history, King Kundavaraman agrees to support the sages in finding this shrine. Finally, an ancient shrine totally surrounded by forest was found. Thus, king Kundavaraman re-builds the temple of Mangaladevi.
With this our Mangalore spiritual tour ended after having night dinner we started to Mangalore railway station .
Meaning: I bow before that Sada Shiva Lingam, which is worshiped by Brahma, Vishnu and other Gods. It is pure and resplendent, and destroys sorrows arising out of birth and death.
Gokarna is a ancient temple town and center for Sanskrit studies. It is located in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka State. Gokarna means ” Cow’s Ear “- It is believed that Lord Shiva has emerged from the ear of a cow. This town lies between the rivers Gangavali and Agnashini and situated along the Karwar coast by the Arabian Sea.
The Mahabaleshwar temple at Gokarna is respected as a Shaiva pilgrimage centre than a tourist destination and as important as Kashi and Rameshwara pilgrimage centers for Hindus. Gokarna is also respected as “siddi kshetra” and “Mukti Stala” of Karnataka.
One can go for sparsh darshan of aatma Linga during the restricted timings. The priest helps us to feel the Atmalinga keeping our 3 fingers inside .
The rituals for ancestors are being done in this temple .
This is one of the major temples here. It houses the famous Atmalinga here. Before worshipping at the Mahabaleshwara temple, there is a custom that one has to bath in the sea and pay respect to a Shivalingam, made out of sand.
There is six feet tall Atmalinga here enshrined in a square called Saligrama Peetha. It is opened for viewing once in forty years. Now only the tip of the Linga can be seen through a opening in the Peetha. Another Mythlogical reference to Gokarna describes how Ravana went to Mount Kailasa to perform penance and get “Atmalinga” from lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva handed the Atmalinga and instructed him not to place it on the ground till he reached Lanka.If he placed it down then it would establish itself on the ground. On seeing this other Gods got threatened and went to seek Lord Shiva’s help, who devised a plan with Lord Ganesha.
On his way back to Lanka, Ravana stops for a prayer in Gokarana. Ganesha disguises himself as a Brahman boy and tells Ravana that he will hold the Atmalinga till he finishes his prayers on the condition that he would hold it till he can bear its weight and thereafter he would call Ravana three times. If Ravana failed to come back in time he would place the Atmalinga on the ground. Before Ravana could come he places the Atmalinga on the ground it firmly gets attached to the Earth.
Ravana furiously with all his effort tries to extricate it resulted in his throwing the coverings of the Linga to Dhareshwar, Gunavanteshwara, Murdeshwar and Shejjeshwar temples (the last places is very near Karwar). Maha Ganapati TempleThere is Ganapathy temple near by this temple here the Lord Ganesha is in standing posture. It’s a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha due to the smart role he played in dismantling Ravana’s intention of carrying the Atma Linga to his kingdom in Lanka. The temple boasts of a 5 ft. tall structure of Ganesha folding his two hands.
The second day of our Mangalore spiritual tour we first visited , Kateel Sri Durga Parameshwari temple then it was a 45 minutes travel to Hosanadu Annapurneshwari temple which is near to mudbidre, around 6km from mudbidre.
In this temple a main Pooja @12pm is being performed everyday after that prasada will be served to all devotees at free of cost.
The temple has a huge complex in front after entering the temple arch With a 65 feet huge Lord Hanuman statue welcomes you , Purandhara dasa statue , colourfull idols of Radha Krishna, Goddess Durga and a huge rotating granite ball .
It has gowshala and temple elephant, horse bull, deer and rabbit a mini zoo infact . Very famous temple spread over big area. Not an historical temple but the one built during our time by an ardent devotee of the Goddess by name Sri Jayarama Hegde.
The entire temple surroundings are maintained clean and neat. The presiding deity is Goddess Annapoorneshwari who bestows on you all the prosperity.
There are tokens sold in the office for Annadhan for Rs. 200 if we buy it they offer us a plate of rice which we have to take inside the main deity Goddess Annapoorni, the priest here performs archana when we give him this plate and offers us a few grains of rice which they ask us to keep in our pooja room as it is sacred . It is believed that one who does this archana will never face any famine for their food in their life time. They call this ritual as “Akki samarpane.”
“ANNAPOORNE SADA POORNE SHANKARA PRAANA VALLABHAE JHAN VAIRAGYA SIDHYARTAM BIKSHAAM DEHI CHA PARVATI”
A Slogan on Goddess Annapoorni meaning
Annapoorne – The Wife of Lord Shiva, She who is full of food. Sadapoorne – Who is always full of resources, Sankara – of Lord Sankara (Shiva), Prana – The life,Force, Energy, Vallabhe – The beloved, Jnana – Knowledge, Vairagya – Attitude of renunciation, Siddhyartham – To fulfill the purpose of, Bhiksham – Alms, food, Dehi – Give us, Namostute – We bow down to you
A traditional South Indian style of design was envisioned with shrines to Devi Annapoorneshwari, Prasanna Ganapathi, Shree Naga Sannidhi, Lord Anjineya Adi Sankaracharya and Madwacharya ,and the Navagraha. There is a seperate shrine of SaiBaba too .
The Mantapam housing the Devi shrine can accomodate over 400 devotees. The core ethos behind the worship of the Goddess Annapoorneshwari is the provision of meals to all visitors. The temple’s main dining hall, ‘Annapoorna’ is housed in an area covering over 6000 square feet with a capacity to accomodate 900 guests in each sitting.
Here in the Kshetra, thousands of people partake the prasadam, which is served day and night. It is considered a blessing to take food at the temple. Annapoorneshwari Kshetra is known for Annadaanam. Various Poojas and Maha Poojas are conducted with great devotion and grace. The Annual festival of the temple is performed with a lot of festivities.