Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Minjur Varadaraja Perumal

Abhimana Sthalam Referred to as Vada Kanchi
Lakhs of devotees visit this temple during Garuda Sevai

27kms North of Madras is the 400 year old Varadaraja Perumal koil in Minjur. The temple is also referred to as Vada Kanchi. Some culvert records, relating to the history of the temple, are said to be currently in Mysore This place was once called Mouncharanyam as sacred grass grew here all over the place. In course of time, Mouncharanyam became Minjur. Vaikasi Brahmotsavam is special here. During Garuda Sevai, lakhs of devotees visit this temple.

All Utsavams are celebrated here similar to Kanchi Varadaraja Perumal temple. It is said that devotees visit Kanchi early in the morning and follow it up by visiting the Minjur Varadaraja Perumal koil. This is the only Vishnu temple in this region with a chariot. Puratasi Saturday are special here.

There was not even Rs. 1 in Thattu in 1998 when the Bhattar was at Rs. 230/- salary.

Quick Facts 
Moolavar: Varadaraja Perumal 
Goddess : Perundevi Thaayar 
Temple time : 7am-11am and 5pm-8pm 
Priest : Jagannathan Bhattar @ 9952930743

How to reach 
Chennai Central-Minjur is about 27kms on the Gummidipoondi rail route ( about 45minutes) Buses every half hour from Broadway/Parrys Corner to Minjur. The temple is about ½ km from the railway station.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Devadhanam Ranganatha near Chennai

Huge 18feet Ranganatha seen in a Bhoga Sayana Posture at Devadhanam

Located 30kms North of Madras, and 4kms North East of Minjur in a small village away from the noise is the Ranganatha Swamy temple in Devadhanam, one that dates over a 1000 years to the rule of the Chalukya kings and situated on a large sand mound.

Temple History
Chalukya rulers who visited Srirangam wanted to recreate an idol, within their empire, similar to the sleeping Ranganatha in Srirangam. Hence, this temple is also referred to as Vada Srirangam (North Srirangam).

The name DevaDhanam

The village is believed to have been gifted by the Devas and hence the name Deva dhanam.

Lord in Bhoga Sayanam

Yet another story goes that tired of measuring the paddy during the harvest season, Lord Ranganatha is believed to have relaxed his head on the same grain measure ( One has seen a similar kind of story relating to the Sarangapani temple where Thirumazhisai Azhvaar enquires the sleeping Aravamudhan if he is tired after his long walk and requests the Lord to give him darshan).

Moolavar Idol made out of Saligramam
18feet long- 5ft high Lord Ranganatha is seen sleeping on the serpent bed with 3 folds formed by the 5 headed Adisesha., with the right hand of the Lord placed beneath his head and the left hand stretched forward.

The moolavar deity is made out of Saligrama stones. Even the jewels of the sleeping lord are of Saligrama stone, the only one of its kind in ranganatha temples. Hence, there is no Thirumanjanam for the Moolavar Lord, only oil anointment.

At the feet of Lord Ranganatha are Sri devi and Bhoo devi. Anjaneya is also seen with folded palms along with Maha Rishi Thumburu inside the sanctum.

Snake Hill behind the Sanctum

On the Western side of the temple behind the sanctum is a snake hill inside which is believed to reside a snake. The belief is that this snake protects the temple and the devotees who visit here.

Prarthana Sthalam

A visit to the temple is said to provide immediate job opportunities, help in marriages and progeny.

Rama Navami, Panguni Uthiram, Vaikunta Ekadesi are celebrated here but there is no procession of the deities.

Quick Facts
Moolavar : Lord Ranganatha in Bhoga Sayanam facing East
Thaayar : Ranganayaki Thaayar
Time : 630am-12noon and 4pm-8pm
Priest : Sridhar Bhattar @ 97868 66895

How to reach the temple
Take a Sub-Urban train from Chennai Central and get down at Minjur (27kms- 45minutes) – Gummudipoondi section. From Minjur, take a share auto/ mini bus on the Eastern Side just outside the station to reach the temple in about 20-30minutes. Currently the 4 km road is in a very bad shape.

Bus 56D runs between Broadway ( Parrys Corner) and Minjur. It will take about 1 ½ hours to reach Minjur by bus from Chennai.

The temple is about 7kms South East of Ponneri (there are buses every hour or so from Ponneri)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Kari Krishna Perumal Thiru Aayarpadi, Ponneri

2000 year old temple dating back to Karikala Chozha period
Moolavar Idol is seen slanting to his right

Located 35kms North of Madras off the Calcutta Highway is the Kari Krishna Perumal koil in Thiru Aayarpadi, Ponneri, a temple that dates back to the rule of Kari Kala Chozha, one of the greatest among the early Chozha kings. This temple is believed to have been built during his period and hence has been named after him.

The slanting Moolavar idol

With a Kondai (bun like tuft) on his head, Kari Krishna has his left hand on his hip in a majestic king like stance. His right leg is slightly down on a pit while his left leg is normal. Hence, one finds the moolavar swayambu idol in a standing posture slanting slightly towards his right. All the pillars in the mandapam in front of the temple are also seen slanting towards one side. Interestingly, there is no peedam for the Lord. He is seen standing on the ground just like us!!!

Unique Feature-Goddess to the left of Moolavar Lord

Another unique feature at this temple is that Soundaravalli Thaayar is seen to the left of the Kari Krishna Sannidhi, facing the East. In Vishnu temples, one normally finds the Thaaayar Sannidhi to the right of Moolavar deity.

Lord Vishnu meets Lord Shiva in Chitrai

Baradwaja Maha Rishi  undertook penance at this temple while Agastya Rishi undertook penance invoking the blessings of Lord Shiva.Pleased with their prayers, Lord Vishnu appeared before Baradwaja Rishi and Lord Shiva before Sage Agastya and acceded to their request of providing joint darshan to the devotees. In accordance with this event, every year on the 5th day of Chitrai, Kari Krishna Perumal leaves on a procession to the bazaar street in Ponneri where he meets with Lord Shiva and exchanges garland. As Lord Shiva met with Lord Vishnu here, this street has come to be called Hari-Haran bazaar street.

Location of the temple

Aother unique feature of this temple is that it is surrounded by water in the front as well as the back of the temple. Behind the Sanctum is Santhana Pushkarani said to be very sacred, especially for child birth. In front of the temple, on the Northern side is the Arani River.

Prarthana Sthalam for Child birth

This temple is believed to be a prarthana Sthalam for child birth. On Rohini star every month, if childless couples visit the Kari Krishna temple with two plantains, ½ litre milk, 100gms butter and oil (Gingely lamp oil) and perform an archanai, the Lord is said to immediately bless the couple with progeny.

Quick Facts

Moolavar : Sri Kari Krishna Perumal North Facing Standing Posture

Thaayar   : Soundara Valli Thaayara (left side of Moolavar)- East Facing

Temple Time : 730am-1030am and 530pm-830pm

Priest: Mohan Rama/ Srinath Bhattar @ 044- 27972290/94447 20636
Sampath Kumar/ Krishna Kumar/ Sai Krishna Bhattar@ 044- 27974934/99941 82494

Chitra Festival – meeting of Kari Krishna Perumal with Lord Shiva
Puratasi Saturdays special at this temple
Vaikunta Ekadesi
Rama Navami

How to reach

The temple is about 35kms North of Chennai and about 1 km North East of the Ponneri Railway Station. Auto from the Ponneri Railway Station to the temple will cost Rs. 40/-.

Sub-Urban trains ply between Chennai Central and Ponneri ( Gummudipoondi route) every half hour It will take about 1 hour to reach Ponneri from Chennai Central Station.

Bus Route: 95D, 56D, 160P, 112B, 76C

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vadinen Vaadi Varunthinen Thirumangai's first paasuram

வாடினேன் வாடி வருந்தினேன் மனத்தால்
பெருந்துயர் இடும்பையில் பிறந்து
கூடினேன் கூடி இளையவர் தம்மோடு
அவர் தரும் கலவியே கருதி

ஓடினேன் ஓடி உய்வது ஓர் பொருளால்
உணர்வெனும் பெரும் பதம் திரிந்து
நாடினேன் நாடி நான் கண்டுகொண்டேன்
நாராயண என்னும் நாமம்- Periya Thirumozhi (948)

This was the first Paasuram after Thirumangai Mannan became Thirumangai Azhvaar. Having way laid Lord Ranganatha in a disguised form in Veda Rajapuram near Thiruvali- Thirunagari, Thirumangai had darshan of the Lord and Goddess in a Kalyana Kolam.

It is then that he reveals how he finally has come of age after having gone through the desires of life.

He says, that his wavering mind wandered everywhere but today after his darshan of Lord he has realised that uttering the name of Narayana is the ultimate solution to all our problems