Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pattarai Perambudur Soundarya Narayana Perumal Temple

Ancient Inscriptions refer to conduct of processions and sacred bath for Lord Soundarya Narayana Perumal

Temple looking to build compound wall, renovate the vimana and to create a Nandavanam



Located 8kms from Tiruvallur on the Tiruttani/ Tirupathi highway is the 1000years old Soundarya Narayana Perumal temple in Pattarai Perambudur, one that dates back to the Chola Period. Originally, this is believed to have been a temple for Azhagiya Perumal and this moolavar idol along with Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi are still found inside the temple.

However, inscriptions refer to the temple as Soundarya Narayana Perumal temple.


A 1044AD inscription indicates that there were gifts of lands to the temple. An inscription in the South Wall refers to a gift of tax free land by payment of a lump sum amount. Another inscription on the South wall of the temple refers to gift of land for conducting processions and to organise sacred bath for the Lord on holy occasions in the year.


There are several inscriptions on the base of the South, West and North walls of the temple. These inscriptions give us an indication that the temple was well funded to celebrate festivals. This ancient Chola period temple is now in a not so good shape.



Renovation
In the immediate term, the temple is looking to build a compound wall on all four sides, to renovate the Vimana and also to create a Nandavanam. Those interested in supporting the temple may contact the priest.

Narasimha in a Padmasana Posture



A special feature at this temple is that Lord Narasimha is seen in a Padmasanam Posture with his left hand in Aadhvaanam and his right hand in Vaikunta Hastham

Thiru Kachi Nambi’s idol

There is an idol of Thirukachi Nambi ( of Poonamallee) leading one to believe that he may have visited this temple.

Festivals

Vaikunta Ekadesi and Vaikunta Dwadasi
Thirumanjana on Shravanam, Swathi, Moolam and Punarvasu



Quick Facts

Moolavar : Soundarya Narayana Perumal East Facing Standing Posture
Original Moolavar : 1000years old Azhaga Perumal Sitting Posture
Temple Time : 6am-10am and 6pm-730pm
Contact : Ananthan Varadan Bhattar @ 044- 27650436 or 97900 86480

Address : Soundarya Narayana Perumal Temple
Pattarai Perambudur Village
Kadambathur Via, Tiruvallur Dist
Pin Code 631 203

How to reach

Buses ply every half hour between Chennai Koyambedu and Tiruttani. Get down at Pattarai Perambudur, about 8kms after Tiruvallur on the Tiruttani highway. The temple is walking distance from the bus stop.

By Train, one can take Sapthagiri or Tirupathi Express from Chennai Central and get down at Tiruvallur. From Tiruvallur, take the bus towards Tiruttani/Tirupathi and get down at Pattarai Perambudur (8kms)- One can reach the temple in 15minutes from Tiruvallur.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Neela Varna Perumal Nanmangalam

Pallava Period temple is the Abhimana Sthalam for Neer Vanna Perumal of Thiruneermalai Divya Desam

Parikara Sthala for Raahu Kethu Dosha



Located 1/2km West of Kovilambakkam- Medavakkam main road is the over 1200year old Neela Varna Perumal temple in Nanmangalam. One finds Goddess Lakshmi on the chest of Moolavar Neela Varna Perumal.

Built by early Pallavas around the 9th Century AD, Rajasimha Pallava is said to have visited this temple every time he went to war. This is believed to be the Abhiman Perumal for Neer Vanna Perumal of Thiru Neermalai Divya Desam.

Ignored for many decades, the temple has been renovated over the last decade and now wears a fresh look.

Rajagopalan Bhattar, who earlier performed service at Brindavan temple, is very devoted in rendering service to the Lord and is a reason for devotees returning to this temple for prayers. His performance of the daily poojas is very refreshing.

Anjaneya as Dwarapalakas

Interestingly, at the Eastern entrance, one finds Anjaneya as Dwarapalakas of Neela Varna Perumal.


Inscriptions



Inside the Dashavatara Mandapa, one finds inscriptions that possibly date back to the Pallava period. There are also fish carvings on the upper wall leading to the sanctum that is an indication that there may be a Pandya connection to the temple as well.


Parikara Sthalam



Inside the sanctum, one finds on the upper wall Rahu- Kethu. Hence, this temple is believed to be a Parikara Sthala for Rahu Kethu Dosha.

Belief is that one’s prayers are answered within 90days of invoking the blessings of Neela Varna Perumal at this temple

There are idols of Lakshmi Varaha, Lakshmi Narasimha and Lakshmi Hayagriva at this temple.



Festivals
On the 4th Saturday of Puratasi, Lord Neela Varna Perumal goes out on a Garuda Vahana procession
Navarathri 10day Utsavam
Anna Koodai before Deepavali
Every full moon day, Satyanarayana Pooja

Quick Facts
Moolavar : Neela Varna Perumal East Facing Standing Posture with Sri and Bhoo Devi
Thaayar : Veda Valli Thaayar (Separate Sannidhi)
Temple Time : 8am-11am and 6pm-8pm
Contact : Rajagopalan Bhattar @ 92833 79389

How to reach
Take the Pallavaram- Thoraipakkam 100ft Road. Turn South at the Madipakkam-Medavakkam High Road Junction. At Kovilambakkam (1km from this Junction), turn right into Nanmangalam. Temple is about 1/2km from the Kovilambakkam – Medavakkam Main Road.
Bus numbers: M14, B51.

Lakshmi Narayana Perumal Pallikaranai

800 years old Lakshmi Narayanan was the Abhimana Perumal for Mudhali Aandaan



Housed on a huge 1.95acre (as per the Gazette) space is the ancient Lakshmi Narayana temple in Pallikaranai, one that is said to belong to the Chola period. The name of the temple and the location figures in the list of temples belonging to a period 800years ago. There are also lands belonging to the temple in nearby villages indicating the contributions made by the chola rulers.

The special feature of the temple is that the moolavar Lakshmi Narayanan is believed to have been the Abhimana Perumal for Mudhali Aandaan (the favourite disciple of Ramanuja) who lived in the 11th Century AD.

Renovation


Plans are afoot to set up a tank inside the complex. Longer term plans include erecting a temple tower at the Eastern entrance and building separate sannidhis for Thaayar and Chakkarath Azhvaar

Several Vahanas are already in place at the temple.

Festivals

Hanuman Jayanthi
Panguni Uthiram
Thirumanjana for Perumal on Shravanam every month

On the 3rd Saturday in Puratasi, Lakshmi Narayana Perumal goes out on a procession

Quick Facts

Moolavar : Lakshmi Narayanan East facing Sitting Posture
Goddess : Lakshmi on his lap
Temple Time : 730am-10am and 530pm-8pm
Contact : Lakshmi Narayanan Bhattar @ 94451 70903/ Parthasarathy 99405 22365
Or 94442 48045 (Trustee)

How to reach
Take the Velachery- Medavakkam- East Tambaram Road. At Pallikaranai bus stop, take a right into the Perumal Koil Street to reach the temple.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rama Temple in Saidapet

Lord Parthasarathy of Thiruvellikeni Divya Desam makes an annual trip to this temple in Thai



Located 1kilometre West of Saidapet Railway Station in the Raghunatha Kshetram is the over 600years old Rama temple that dates back, possibly, to the Vijayanagar rule. Later, Alarmel Mangai Thaayar was found in a pit buried at this place. It is believed that Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal came up subsequent to this with a separate sannidhi for Thaayar.

Originally, this was a Rama temple, but this is now referred to as Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal temple.

Hanuman Temple

An interesting feature of the temple is that there is a Hanuman temple on all the four sides of the temple.

Divya Desam Lord’s annual visit



This is believed to be the Abhimana Perumal for Lord Parthasarathy of Thiruvellikeni Divya Desam. Once a year, on the last Sunday of Thai, Parthasarathy visits the Lord here and goes out on a joint procession around the four Mada Streets.

Adhi Kesava Perumal of Mylapore also visits this temple once a year. Thirumanjana takes place for Kesava Perumal inside this temple, after which he goes around the four Mada Streets on a procession.


Festivals

10 day Rama Navami
10 day Brahmotsavam in Chitrai
10day Udayavar Utsavam


Renovation

The temple is currently being renovated and come May 2012, the temple tower will wear a fresh colourful look. All the gopuras will also see a new look.

The temple also has a tank on the Eastern side.


Quick Facts:

Moolavar : Pattabhisheka Rama South Facing Standing Posture

Moolavar : Prasanna Venkatesan East Facing standing posture
Thaayar : Alarmel Mangai Thaayar
Temple time: 630am-11am and 5pm-9pm
Priest : SK Rajagopal Bhattar/AT Gopinathan Bhattar/ G Ravi Bhattar @ 044 2489 8540

How to reach
Take the new road under bridge below the Saidapet Railway Station, take a right at the Police booth and the third left will take you to the temple

Friday, February 10, 2012

Jagannatha Perumal temple Thirumazhisai

Birth Place of Thirumazhisai Azhvaar

Thirumazhisai Azhvaar displays his Third Eye at this temple


Located 28kms from Madras on the Poonamallee - Thiruvallur-Thirupathi Highway is the Madhyama Jagannatha Perumal temple in Thirumazhisai, the birth place of Thirumazhisai Azhvaar, where Jagannatha Perumal is seen in a sitting posture along with Rukmini and Satyabhama. The temple is also referred to as the Thirumazhisai Azhvaar temple.

The temple that dates back to the Dwapara Yuga, finds reference in the Brahmanda Purana as ‘Mageesara Kshetram’. The temple’s prominence can be seen from the significant 1000year old inscriptions that one finds inside the temple.

Thirumazhisai Azhvaar
Born to Bhargava Rishi and Kanakangi in the Tamil Calendar month of Thai (Magam star), Thirumazhisai Azhvaar had a disfigured body at birth. Hence, his parents threw him into a Bamboo pit at Thirumazhisai (which is now a Mandapa to the west of the temple complex)

A childless couple - Thiruvaalan and Bangaya Selvi- picked him up and brought him up with love and care. The presence of Thirumazhisai Azhvaar brought back youth to the couple who then had a son by name Kanikannan.

Kanikannan became Thirumazhisai Azhvaar’s disciple and served under him. Thirumazhisai Azhvaar’s favourite lord was Sonna Vannam Seitha Perumal of Thiruvekka in Kanchipuram. For years, he stayed at Thiruvekka and undertook service there.

Thirumazhisai Azhvaaar and Thiruvekka Lord
Once, a Pallava King, of Kanchi, ordered Kanikannan out of the kingdom for failing to sing praise of him. When Thirumazhisai Azhvaar heard this, he too followed suit. Not just him, he asked Thiruvekka Lord to also accompany him. To the shock of everyone, the Lord joined Thirumazhisai Azhvaar and Kanikannan out of the kingdom plunging the whole place into darkness.

Realising his folly, the king apologised and requested them to return to Kanchi.

As a mark of having left his abode and having returned subsequently, the Thiruvekka Lord changed his posture and slept in the opposite direction. As the Lord acceded to the request of Thirumazhisai Azhvaar to accompany him out of the kingdom, the Lord of Thiruvekka Divya Desam came to be called ‘Sonna Vannam Seitha Perumal’.

Thirumazhisai Azhvaar also visited Thiru Kudanthai and sung praise of Lord Aaravamuthan. Seeing the sleeping posture of the Lord, a curious ThiruMazhisai Azhvaar questioned if the Lord’s tiredness was the reason for him to be lying down in his sleeping posture and if he would not raise and provide him darshan.

After hearing this, it is believed that the Lord slightly raised his posture to greet the Azhvaar. Feeling the guilt of having caused strain on the Lord, Thirumazhisai Azhvaar asked him to remain as is. And the Lord remained so ever after. To this day, one can see the Lord in a slightly ‘raised reclining’ posture (Uthaana Sayanam).

நடந்த கால்கள் நொந்ததோ நடுங்க ஞாலம் ஏனமாய்
கிடந்த வாறு  எழுந்திருந்து பேசு வாழி கேசனே

Thirumazhisai Azhvaar sung over 200verses of praise comprised in Naanmugan Thiruvanthaathi and Thiruchandha Viruththam.

Thirumazhisai Azhvaar spent his final years at Thiru Kudanthai and attained moksham there.

Thirumazhisai- The sacred town

Once when the entire Bhoologam was placed on one side of the weighing machine and Thirumazhisai on the other, they found that Thirumazhisai was heavier by one gram indicating the greatness of this sacred town.

At around the same time, Brigu Maharishi and Markandeya Rishi were invoking the blessings of Vishnu to provide them with a darshan of Madhyama Jagannathan. They were asked to go and undertake penance at Thirumazhisai, a place that is said to be equivalent to visiting two Divya Desams.

Pleased with their prayers, Madhyama Jagannatha Perumal provided the two rishis with darshan here at Thirumazhisai. To mark this event, one finds both the rishis inside the sanctum.

Thirumazhisai Azhvaar – Display of the Third Eye at this temple
To the left of the Jagannatha Perumal Sannidhi is the Thirumazhisai Azhvaar Sannidhi facing South. A special feature of the moolavar deity is that he is seen with a third eye.

The story goes that Thirumazhisai Azhvaar was undertaking yogic penance at this place. Shiva and Parvathi, who were flying over this place were pleased with his penance and landed here at Thirumazhisai. When asked for a boon, Thirumazhisai Azhvaar asked for Mukthi only to be rejected as only Vishnu had the power to provide Moksham.

He then asked for small thread that could keep rolling into the needle that he was using to stitch his torn clothes. Fuming with anger at this request, Shiva opened his third eye. Thirumazhisai Azhvaar invoked the blessings of Lord Narayana and immediately a third eye emerged for Thirumazhisai as well from the toe of his right leg with water rolling out to cool the fire raging from Shiva’s third eye.

Pleased with the devotion of Thirumazhisai Azhvaar, Shiva presented him the title of ‘Bhakti Saaran’.

Inscriptions


Inscriptions indicate there was extensive renovation at this temple between 12th and 15th Century AD during the rule of Kulothunga Chola and Kopperunsinga among other rulers.

This place was referred to as Thirumazhisai Chaturvedi Mangalam as per the 12th and 13th Century inscriptions, In the 13th Century AD, this place was referred to as Thirumazhisai Agaram

Temple Tank

There is a huge temple tank on the Eastern side of the temple that is currently brimming with water.


Festivals
10day Brahmotsavam in Aani
10 day Thirumazhisai Azhvaar Avatara Utsavam in Thai
3day Pavitrotsavam in Avani
3day Theppotsavam in Maasi

Quick Facts

Moolavar : Madhyama Jagannatha Perumal East Facing Sitting posture
Goddess : Thirumangai Valli ( separate sannidhi)
Thirumazhisai Azhvaar’s compositions: Naanmugan Thiruvanthaathi and Thiruchandha Viruththam
Temple Time : 730am-12noon and 430pm-830pm
Contact : Thiruvikrama Bhattar @ 96001 81449

How to reach:
Thirumazhisai Jagannathan Perumal temple is located about 5kms from Poonamallee on the Thiruvallur-Tirupathi Highway. Buses ply every 30minutes from Parrys ( 253,54B) /Koyambedu (153) /TNagar ( 597) /Tambaram (596)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thiru Mandangudi Thondaradipodi Azhvaar Temple

Lord Ranganatha is seen in a Special Standing Posture
Azhagiya Manavalan at Thiru Mandangudi is believed to be a ‘Varan Tharum’ Perumal



Those who visit Adhanur and Pulla Bhoothangudi Divya Desams can visit this ancient temple of Lord Ranganatha

Located between the Coloroon and Cauvery about 1km West of Pulla Bhoothangudi Divya Desam is an ancient and historical over 1000years old Ranganatha temple in Thiru Mandangudi, the birth place of Thondaradi Podi Azhvaar, one where Lord Ranganatha is seen in a rare standing posture.

While this is a temple dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, being the birth place of Thondaradipodi and one where Lord Ranganatha acceded to the Azhvaar’s request and provided him a special darshan, this temple is referred to as the ‘Thiru Mandangudi Azhvaar’ temple.

The Story

Born in Thiru Mandangudi, Thondaradipodi Azhvaar (his original name was Vipra Narayanan) was lost in love for Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam. Very early in his life, he moved from Thiru Mandangudi to Srirangam and mastered himself in Vedas. His devotion was so enduring that he thought of none but Ranganatha. This devotion meant that he decided to sing praise only of the Lord of Srirangam and of no other Lord. Dedicating his life to the service of Lord Ranganatha, he created a beautiful Nandavanam in Srirangam and with a basket in hand immersed himself in collecting flowers and making beautiful garlands for the Lord every day.

Ranganatha’s Special Standing darshan at Thiru Mandangudi

Having heard of the Lord accepting Thirumazhisai Azhvaar’s request to come out of the kingdom in Thiruvekka near Kanchipuram and provide a special Maaru Sayanam posture there on his return, and another special posture in Kumbakonam with his Uththana Sayanam as Aaravamuthan, Thondaradipodi was keen that he too be given a special darshan from his favourite Lord Ranganatha.

Ranganatha promised him to provide such a darshan but asked him to go to his birth place at Thiru Mandangudi. Unwillingly, he left Srirangam and reached Thiru Mandangudi. To his surprise, he saw Lord Rangantha waiting for him in a special and rare standing posture to provide darshan along with Sri and Bhoo devi.

As Lord Ranganatha surprised Thondaradi Podi Azhvaar with this special standing darshan at his very own birth place, he is referred to as ‘ Varam Tharum’ Perumal and is believed to accede to and grant sincere prayers of the devotees who visit this temple at Thiru Mandangudi.

Maaliruncholai Soundararajan and Tirupathi Balaji at Thiru Mandangudi



In a separate Sannidhi, Thondaradipodi Azhvaar is seen alongside Lords of two different Divya Desams - Tirupathi Balaji and Thiru Maaliruncholai Soundararajan Perumal.

The story goes that both of them had heard of some beautiful early morning songs in praise of Ranganatha and wanted to listen to Thondaradipodi Azhvaar’s Thirupalli Ezhuchi and are believed to have made a trip to Thiru Mandangudi to be treated to those sweet ‘wake up’ verses of Thondaradipodi.

Thondaradipodi’s 55 verses in praise of Lord Ranganatha
Thondaradipodi Azhvaar was ever in thought of Lord Ranganatha and composed 55Pasurams - 10verses of Thiru Palli Yezhuchi and 45verses of Thiru Maalai. Acceding to Lord Ranganatha’s request of wanting to listen to the praise from his very own son, in his very first Paasuram, Thondaradipodi sang praise of the fame behind the Lord’s own name. One who listens to Thiru Maalai has a tendency to change dramatically for the good.

Refuses Vaikunta Moksham

Thondaradipodi refused Lord Ranganatha’s offer to go to SriVaikuntam and then even refused the offer to go to the 14 logams (7+7 logams) for Thondaradipodi wanted his place in the third world – Srirangam. Nothing could move him out of here. He did not want to be denied the opportunity and the joy of singing praise of Lord Ranganatha.

Thondaradipodi Azhvaar says that he does not desire another birth for in the 100years that one is granted, half the time is spent sleeping. The balance time is wasted away in Childhood and adolescence (when we are clueless on what we do), disease and hunger and later old age.

வேத நூற் பிராயம் நூறு மனிசர் தாம் புகவ்றேய்ளும்
பாதியும் உறங்கப் போகும்
நின்றதிர் பதினை யாண்டு
பேதை பாலகன் அது ஆகும் பிணி பசி முப்பத் துன்பம்
ஆதலால் பிறவி வேண்டாம் அரங்க மா நகருளானே

Through his 10 verses of Thiru Palli Yezhuchi, Thondaradipodi Azhvaar praises the greatness of Lord Ranganatha and asks him to wake up now that the great rishis are waiting for him, with the elephant having arrived at the temple, with devotees thronging the temple very early in the morning for his darshan leaving no place even to stand- such is the devotion of everyone towards Lord Ranganatha.

அந்தரத்து அமரர்கள் கூடங்கள் இவையோ
அருந்துவா முனிவரும் மருதரும் இவரோ
இந்திரன் ஆணையும் தானும் வந்து இவனோ
எம்பெருமான் உன் கோயிலின் வாசல்

சுந்தரர் நேருக்க விச்சாதரர் நோக்க
இயக்கரும் மயங்கினர் திருவடி தொழுவான்
அந்தரம் பார் இடம் இல்ல மற்று இதுவோ
அரங்கத்தம்மா பள்ளி எழுந்தருளாயே


Thaayar Sannidhi



Ranganayaki Thaayar is seen with a fully bloomed lotus in her right hand and with a flower stalk in her left. This is a special feature at the temple

Prarthana Sthalam for Unmarried people
This is believed to be a prarthana sthalam for unmarried people. Those who perform Thirumanjana here and offer their sincere prayers are said to get married immediately.

Mandangudi Bhattar

KG Giri Bhattar is very special taking care of both the pooja formalities as well as the Madapalli. His versatile rendering of the relevant verses of the Prabhandham and his sincere devotion and performance of daily poojas for the Lord of Thiru Mandangudi is very impressive.

Festivals
4day Pavitrotsavam in Aadi
Azhwar Utsavam on Margazhi Kettai – Lord Ranganatha and Thondaradi Podi Azhvaar together go on a procession to Koonanjeri for the only outside procession of the year.

Quick Facts

Moolavar: Ranganatha East Facing Standing Posture with Sri and Bhoo Devi
Goddess : Ranganayaki Thaayar ( Separate Sannidhi)
Utsavar : Azhagiya Manavalan / Varan Tharum Perumal

Separate Sannidhi for Thondaradipodi Azhvaar who is seen facing South

Temple time: 7am-8pm
Contact: KG Giri Bhattar @ 90956 38765

How to reach


Thirumandangudi is on the Kumbakonam- Thiruvaikavur road west of Thiru Adhanur and Thiru Pulla Bhoothangudi Divya Desams and off Koonanjeri main Road.

Town Bus Numbers 30 and 12 ply every hour from Kumbakonam (Thiruvaikavur bound bus). One should get down at Koonanjeri and walk about 10minutes west to reach the temple

The temple is just under 10kms East of Kapisthalam Divya Desam

Mini buses from Papanasam (Adhanur bound)