Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chinna Tirupathi Prasanna Venkatachalapathy temple

Pallava Period temple that was constructed in the current form and structure by the Pandyas
A Hill Temple whose legend back to the fight between Adiseshan and Vayu

Located about 25kms from Salem off the Salem-Dharmapuri NH on a small hill is the Pallava Period Prasanna Venkatachalapathy temple in Karuvalli near Omalur where Moolavar Lord Venkatachalapathy is flanked by Sri and Bhoo Devi. One has to climb 300 steps to reach the hill temple. There is a huge Gopuram at the Eastern Entrance that is seen from a fair distance away.

The story
Once, Vayu (the God of Wind) came to Vaikuntam to meet Lord Vishnu. With Adiseshan stopping Vayu, an argument arose as to who was mightier of the two. Adideshan went and wound himself around the Anantha Mountain (Meru’s son). With Vayu blowing in full force, devas became worried. Answering their request, Adiseshan slightly moved one of his heads. Vayu’s speed hit the mountain with such force that one piece flew and fell here at Chinna Tirupathi.

Another story goes that Vishnu came here searching for Goddess Lakshmi who had left him angered at him for not punishing Brigu rishi who had kicked him in the chest. Finding Adiseshan sleeping in the pit here in the mountain, Vishnu entered the pit. Coming to know of this, Shiva and Brahmma disguised themselves as a cow and a calf.

As this region was full of cows, it was referred to as ‘Pasupatti’.

Malai Kandaan and his descendents
The cow would come here every morning and fill the pit with milk leaving her master in a shocked state as he was not able to get even a litre of milk. Trying to understand the reason behind the cow going dry, he followed her one morning to this pit on the new mountain that had formed here. As he found the new mountain, he came to be called ‘Malai Kandaan’. To this day, the descendents of Malai Kandaan continue to perform service here at this temple.

As he narrated this story to the villagers, they came here to find out the truth. Inside the pit, they had darshan of Venkatachalapathy. A Pandya king, who was a devotee of Lord Vishnu, constructed this temple in its current form and structure installing the Swamyambu idol. In memory of this event, the sculptures of the Pandya King, his queen and mother are seen here on the south side of the Artha mandapam. The Pandya king is believed to have provided grants to the temple. There are fish symbols atop the wall on the Artha mandapa.
Granting of villages in the 15th Century
With the muslim invasion, the temple had been closed. With no poojas offered to the Lord, this region had become a drought prone place. The Paalaya King who was ruling this region including Omalur in the 15th Century AD once made a visit to Karuvalli on his horse. He found ‘Thirumalai Kannikakodi Thathachariyar’ invoking the Lord’s blessings on his way to Kasi.

He told the Paalaya King that performing a Varuna Jabam in a sincere way would bring rains back to this region.  On his way back from Kasi, Thathachariyar performed the Jabam which instantly brought rains. A pleased king presented three villages to Thathachariyar, who then brought 60families from Tirumalai to this region. One of the villages came to be called Thathaiyengar Pettai, near Namakkal.

Another village came to be called Thathayam Patti and is found near Omalur.  The descendents who were prolific in reciting Vedas were given the first rights at this temple for several centuries.

Contribution of Mysore kings
The Mysore Kings constructed the huge temple tank at the foot of the hill. Float Festival is celebrated in a grand manner in Puratasi. Near the tank is a shandy market that is seen in full buzz every Saturday.

Brahmotsavam in Puratasi
Vaikasi Vasanthotsavam
Sri Jayanthi Utsavam – The descendents of Malai Kandaan participate as part of the Uriyadi Utsavam
Street Procession on the full moon day in Chitrai

Quick Facts
Moolavar: Prasanna Venkatachalapathy with Sri and Bhoo Devi Thaayar
Thaayar  : Alarmel Mangai Thaayar / Padmavathi Thaayar ( Separate Sannidhi)
Utsavar   : Srinivasa Perumal
Time       : 6am-130pm and 330pm-630pm  
Contact: Rajagopalan Bhattar @ 94422 20607

How to reach
Bangalore bound morning train at 520am at Salem Junction will take you to Karuvalli station by 6am. The temple is walking distance from the station.

By bus, one can get down at Omalur from Salem (on the Dharmapuri / Mettur highway). From Omalur, take the Mookanur/Vellaru bus to reach Chinna Tirupathi/Karuvalli (about 13kms)

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