Friday, July 9, 2010

Sathurangapatnam Malai Mandala Perumal Koil

Lord Varadar is seen in a walking posture with his feet at the same level as the head of Garuda
Presence of Ashta Naaga Garuda- A Prarthana Sthalam for liberation from Sarpa Dosham
Several special features make this an interesting temple

Located about 15kms South of Thiru Kadal Mallai Divya Desam and a couple of kms ahead of Kalpakkam on the Thirukazhakundram-Kalpakkam SH 58 is the ancient Mani Mandala Perumal Koil in Sathurangapatnam (Sadras), one that has several interesting features.

The name of the location
Believed to be well over a 1000years old and originally located on a hill, this place dates back to the period of Vijayendra Chozha and was called Raja Narayana Patnam named after the minister of the Chozha.

Later, during the Vijayanagara rule, this came to be referred to as Sathura-Vasam- Patnam, which in course of time became Sathurangapatnam. While the Dutch referred to this place as ‘Sadras’, the name ‘Sathurangapatnam’ has come to stay.
This was originally a Lakshmi Narayana temple. Later, with Varadaraja Perumal appearing here as a Swayambu Murthy, Lakshmi Narayana is said to have given way for Lord Varadaraja.

Lord in 3 forms
At this temple, one finds Varadaraja Perumal in an East facing standing posture along with Sri and Bhoo Devi. Lord Narayana is seen in a sitting posture with Goddess Lakshmi on his lap. A special feature of Lakshmi Narayana is that it is made of a single stone. Ranganatha is seen in a Sayana Kolam facing the South.

Walking Posture of Varadaraja Perumal

Lord Varadar is seen almost in a walking posture with his right leg slightly ahead of the left leg, reminding one of Gajendra Moksham. An interesting feature at this temple is that feet of Lord Varadar is at the same level as the head of Garuda, seen opposite the main sannidhi, indicating the slightly raised position of the sanctum. Bhoo devi is seen slightly shorter in height than Sridevi, an indication of her holding the pressures of the earth. Also, at this temple, we find Bhoodevi looking and smiling at us rather than Sri devi.

Ashta Naga Garuda

Yet another interesting feature is the presence of Garuda seen here in an Ashta Naaga Posture- 1snake on his head, 2 each on his ears, shoulders and chest and one on his hip. Hence, this place is said to be a Prarthana Sthalam for liberation from Naaga Sarpa Dosham.

Just next to the Lakshmi Narasimha is a special lamp on whose four sides is Garuda, with a leg on the Peedam and another stamping a snake. Below the lamp at the base are 6 parrots seen in a posture of holding the lamp. Every shravanam, a special pooja is performed here.

Yoga Narasimha above the Dwarapalakas

At the entrance, one normally sees Lakshmi above the Dwarapalakas. But at this temple, one finds Yoga Narasimha. On Pradhosham days and Swathi star day, sweet milk is first presented to Yoga Narasimha before serving to Lord Varadaraja Perumal.

Bhoothath Azhvaar’s presence here

The first of the Azhvaars, Bhoothath Azhvaar, is said to have stayed at this place. He is seen in a Gnana Mudra Posture similar to the one at Thiru Kadal Mallai Divya Desam.

400year old Inscription

At the main temple door, one finds an inscription, in Tamil and Telugu, dating back to 1603.


Vaikunta Ekadesi
On Maasi Magam, Lord leaves the temple for his only street Procession of the year for a Theertha Vaari at the Sea. This entire festival is hosted by the fishermen community.

Quick Facts
Moolavar : Varadaraja Perumal East Facing Standing Posture/ Narayana/Ranganatha
Thaayar : Perundevi Thaayaar/Mahalakshmi
Time: 730am-11am, 430pm-8pm
Priest:Sridhar Bhattar@95852 12797 / 044 27489064

How to reach

Bus No. 108 from Chennai to Sathurangapatnam via Chengalpet
Bus No. 118 from Chennai to Sathurangapatnam via ECR/Mahabalipuram
From Chengalpet, one can reach via Thirukazhakundram (about 28kms)
By car, one should drive 12kms on the Mahabalipuram-Pondicherry highway and take a left at the Vengambakkam Junction. Sathurangapatnam temple is 4kms from this junction.
From Vengambakkam Four Road Junction, an auto will cost about Rs.40 to this temple.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

kothandarama Pon Vilaintha Kalathur

1000 year old Pattabhisheka Rama is seen with Sita on his lap

The third in the set of Vishnu temples in Pon Vilaintha Kalathur, near Chengalpet, is the thousand year old Kothandarama temple. The other temples in PV Kalathur are Lakshmi Narayana temple and Chathurbhuja Rama temple.

This temple is as old as the village itself. The moolavar deity is Pattabhi Rama, seen in a Grand Pattabhisheka sitting posture with Sita on his left lap and Lakshmana by his side. The marks one finds on the Moolavar Rama deity is an indication of the history of the temple.

Venkata Varadan
The moolavar Venkata Varadan deity was found under the earth when the Maha Mandapam of Kothandarama temple and one now sees the handsome 6ft Venkata Varadan, seen with a Abhayam in a South Facing posture. When Kothandarama went on a procession to Edayur hill, near here, the Srinivasa Utsava deity was brought here as the utsava deity could not be maintained in that place.

The temple in its current form is about 500years old and was renovated by the Ahobila Mutt, with sacred water from Vilokoli Perumal Temple at Thoopal (Kanchi), the birth place of Vedantha Desigar.


1day Rama Navami (9th day)
Aipasi Pavitrotsavam

Quick Facts

Moolavar : Pattabhi Rama with Sita on his left lap and Lakshmana to his right
Utsavar : Kothandarama with Sita

Moolavar: Abhaya Venkata Varadar with Sridevi and Bhoodevi
Utsavar: Srinivasan
Goddess : Alarmel Mangai Thaayar

Temple Time: 8am-1030am, 5pm-730pm

Priest: Kasturi Rangan Bhattar @ 044 27441142 / 94437 06842

How to reach:

Pon Vilaintha Kalathur is about 65kms from Madras, near Ottivakkam Railway Station.
There are direct buses to the temple from Chengalpet.
One can also take passenger train to Ottivakkam and walk to this temple from the station
One can take an auto or taxi from Chengalpet (10kms)