Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dindigul Srinivasa Perumal Temple

An ancient Prarthana Sthalam at the foot of the Dindigul Fort
Offering prayers to Garuda with a Jalebi presentation is believed to remove Pilli, Soonyam
Located 4kms West of the Railway station at the foot of the Dindigul Fort is the 500years old Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Dindigul. The temple in its current form is believed to have been built by Achutha Deva Raya.

The story goes that Lord Vishnu provided darshan in Kalyana Kolam to the rishis here after killing dindasura who was troubling them and disrupting their penance in this Nandavanam.

25feet Garuda
A special feature at this temple is the huge 25feet Vishwaroopa Garuda seen in a standing posture facing the Lord. This is believed to be a prarthana sthalam for removal of Pilli, Soonyam with a special pooja for Garuda on Swathi along with presentation  of Jalebi to the Lord helping solve a devotee's problems.Garuda Panchami Homam is a speciality at this temple and fffering sincere prayers to Garuda at this temple is also believed to help prevent accidents.

Another feature is that Anjaneya is seen in a posture of blessing the devotees.

On the full moon day in Chitrai, Srinivasa Perumal starts on an annual three day procession to nearby villages providing darshan to people in several villages around Dindigul.
There are also separate Sannidhis for Krishna, Damodara Vinayaka and Navagriha

There is an 80year old inscription inside the temple
Brahmotsavam is celebrated in a grand manner in Aani
10 day Vasanthotsavam in Vaikasi

Quick Facts
Moolavar : Srinivasa Perumal in an East facing standing posture
Thaayar   : Alarmel Mangai Thaayar (Separate Sannidhi)
Time        : 7am-12noon and 4pm-830pm
Contact    : Bhattar @ 99652 54227

How to reach 
The temple is about 4kms West of the Dindigul Railway station. Auto from the station will cost Rs.40.
Dindigul bus stand is about 2kms North of the temple.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Patteeswaram Kothandarama Temple

Lord Rama installed Shiva Linga here at Patteeswaram and provided darshan in a Kalyana Kolam
Rajaraja, Rajendra and Kulothunga Chozha made this an integral part of their kingdom and took several important decisions from here
Located just under 10kms South West of Kumbakonam is the Kothandarama temple in Patteeswaram, a temple whose legend dates back to the Ramayana
The temple in its current form is believed to date back to the 16th Century AD. The mix of granite and brick construction seems to indicate that this temple may have seen renovation during different periods in history and different rulers may have played a role in the construction of the temple though there are no specific records available to this effect.

Direction to the temple
In centuries gone by, the landmark to this place was denoted as being South of Arasalaru and North of Mudikondan River.

Pallava and Chozha Period
In the 8th Century AD, Pallava King Nandivarma II built the beautiful Nandipura Vinnagaram -Jagannathan Perumal Temple (Divya Desam), a few kms East of Patteeswaram giving this region a grand stature and a rich place in history. Subsequently, Rajaraja Chozha, Rajendra Chozha and Kulothunga Chozha made this an integral part of their kingdom from where they took several important decisions    .

Liberation from Chaaya Hathi Dosham
Having defeated and killed Ravana, legend has it that that Rama visited Patteeswaram, installed Shiva Linga (referred to as Rama Linga) at the Thenu Pureeswara temple (half a km East of the Rama Temple) and performed pooja invoking the blessings of Shiva to liberate himself from Chaaya Hathi Dosham that had struck him as a result of killing Vaali hiding behind a tree. Later, Devas arrived here and requested Rama to provide darshan in a kalyana kolam at this place.

Another story goes that Pattu Saali Maha Rishi invoked the blessings of Rama on behalf of silk weavers of this place who were going through troubled times.

10day Navarathri Brahmotsavam
Rama Navami Kalyana Utsavam
Hanuman Jayanthi
30day Utsavam in Margazhi

Quick Facts

Moolavar: Kalyana Rama in an East Facing Standing Posture
Utsavar   : Kothanda Rama
Time       : 8am-12noon and 5pm-830pm
Contact   : Varadaraja Bhattar @ 98405 78704

How to reach
Pateeswaram is about 8ms from Kumbakonam. An auto from the Kumbakonam railway station will cost Rs. 125. Buses every half hour from Kumbakonam Bus stand (Aavoor bound buses)
While at Patteeswaram, also visit Gopinatha Perumal Temple (1km West), Jagannathan Perumal Divya Desam in Nathan Koil (4kms East), Sundaraperumal Koil (4kms West) and Kalinga Narthana Temple in Oothukadu (12kms South West).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Oonjal Utsavam in Srirangam

500 year old Swing Festival was celebrated at the Ranganatha Temple in Srirangam last week with Vaadhyam, Prabhandham and Saamaram
Lord Namperumal witnessed the display of measurement of Paddy at the Thiru Kottaram
மாணிக்கம் கட்டி வைரம் இடை கட்டி
ஆணிப் பொன்னால் செய்த வண்ணச் சிறுத் தொட்டில் ….
வைரம் அளந்தானே தாலேலோ - Peri Azhvaar

With this verse of PeriAzhvaar referring to the Lord's cradle, Araiyars Sampath Kumaran and Ramanujacharya welcomed Namperumal with the Ubaya Nachiyars at the Oonjal Mandapa on the 7th day of the Oonjal Utsavam that took place on  8November at the Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam.

Perumal Thirumozhi Thaalattu Verses
When the Araiyars followed this with another set of beautiful Thaalaatu verses - Kulasekara Azhwar’s ‘மண்ணு புகழ் கௌசலைதன் ’ one could almost visualise Namperumal reacting with joy to the presentation of these Perumal Thirumozhi verses. This showcased as to how much Lord Ranganatha enjoyed playing on the swing and how relaxed he now was. This presentation was also relevant, for the Oonjal Mandapa is located in the Kulasekara Thiruchutru (Prakara) – one contributed by Kulasekara Azhwar.

The two Araiyars completed their presentation for the evening with Thirumangai Azhwar’s Saranagathi Periya Thirumozhi Prabhandham – 
ஏழை எதலன் கீழ்மகன் என்னாது ….
அணி பொழில் திருவரங்கத்து அம்மானே
The Nine Day Oonjal Utsavam at the Ranganathaswamy temple dates back to the late 15th Century AD.

 Nel Alavu Display
The 7th day of the Dolotsavam is particularly special in that it is on this evening that Namperumal used to personally inspect the granary and witness the measurement of paddy that have accrued to him through gifts from Kings as well as from his devotees. The quantity of paddy also symbolises the prosperity or otherwise of the kingdom.

Namperumal, with his Ubaya Nachiyars started on the procession at 6pm to reach Thiru Kottaram, West of the Garuda Sannidhi. Here, the ‘Nel Alavu’ display event was enacted with representatives of Namperumal measuring and displaying to the Lord 25kgs of Paddy following which the representatives shouted out the next measurement as 250kgs and 2500kgs of Paddy thus informing Lord Namperumal that all was well in the region and that devotees were taking good care of him by gifting in plenty.

After the joy of finding out that his devotees were showering their wealth on him, Namperumal made his way to the Northern Entrance of the temple to meet with and have darshan of Ranganayaki Thaayar, who presented the Lord with Thiruvanthikaapu as a measure of protecting the Lord from Drishti.

By 7pm, Lord Namperumal had made it to the Oonjal Mandapam via the Manal Veli (Eastern Side) and the Arya Bhattal Gate.

For the next three hours, thousands of devotees watched the swinging Lord Namperumal along with the Ubaya Nachiyars on the Oonjal enjoy the presentation of joyful verses of Peri Azhwar and Kulasekara Azhwar.

 Vaadhyam, Prabhandham and Saamaram
During the Swing Festival, Lord Ranganatha is showered with unending care by his devotees with Vadhyam (instruments), Arayar Prabhandham and the Saamaram (fanning of the Lord) while he himself enjoyed these pleasures sitting through the evening on the Oonjal which swayed up and down with delicate push from the Lord’s representatives. During this period, the Lord is said to be relieved from all mental tensions and worries and is believed to be in a complete mood of enjoyment.

Oonjal Utsavam removes Dosham in the Swing
Belief is that when the Lord is in such joyous mood, he does not hold himself back and showers his special blessings fulfilling the prayers of devotees who come here to have darshan of him.  Age old belief is that his presence at the Oonjal Mandapa is said to remove any dosham in the Swing.

On the 9th and final day last Saturday (Nov10), Namperumal made his way to the sacred Chandra Pushkarani for the Theerthavari Utsavam, following which a Thirumanjana was performed on the Lord at the Oonjal Mandapa. That evening Namperumal returned to his sanctum bringing to end for another year the annual Aipasi Dolotsavam.