Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cricket in the 1970s- KS Narayanan packs off Kalli

KS Narayanan packs off an injured Kalyanasundaram from the IC Foundries to the Marina
A freak meeting outside the Chariman’s office at the India Cements headquarters in Madras led to B Kalyanasundaram (Kalli), arguably the greatest TN fast bowler being directed to turn into whites despite a fractured finger to bowl to the likes of Sunil Gavaskar.  It was a Buchi Babu match of the early 1970s. India Cements was to play ACC with the match starting on Wednesday at the Marina Ground. The strong ACC team comprised stars such as Polly Umrigar (captain), Ramakant (Tiny) Desai, Sunil Gavaskar and Karsan Ghavri, among others. 

In a match over the previous weekend at the Gandhinagar ground in Adyar, Kalli had fractured his left hand while taking a return catch.

It was by chance that Kalyanasundaram, then working at the foundries division, was present at the headquarters of India Cements in Madras that Monday morning. He was there for an official work related meeting ( he was there to meet the uncle of N. Srinivasan). 

As he was waiting outside, KS Narayanan, the co-promoter of India Cements, who was to leave Madras that day came out of his room on his way to the airport and saw an injured Kalli standing there with a plaster in his left hand. On enquiry, Kalli narrated the details of his injury and his inability to play in the Buchi Babu match starting on Wednesday as a result of the fracture on his little finger.

Kalli was stunned at the immediate response of Narayanan: 'I thought you were a right arm fast bowler. You don’t bowl with your left hand, do you? I want to see you at the ground when I am back from Bombay’.

The passion for the game then took over and Kalli was promptly at the ground on Wednesday morning to take the new ball. Bowling with one hand (without active participation from the other), he took two important wickets and played a crucial role in the draw with India Cements clinching the win by toss of the coin.

Recounting that incident, Kalyanasundaram says, ‘Such was the interest of Mr. Narayanan that he would be at the ground before the players. They were so supportive of us and wanted us to give our best and play in the true spirit of the game. He pushed and motivated me to play that match. But for him, I would have returned back to the foundries and continued with my work.’

' Looking back, I feel happy that he helped me make an important contribution in that match which we ultimately won. Those are moments that you really cherish. All the pain in my left hand was forgotten in that win.' 

Kalli B Kalyanasundram:  http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2011/08/kalli-b-kalyanasundaram.html

Friday, July 19, 2013

Kurugai Kaavalappan Koil

Alavanthar ‘misses the bus’, Vaishnavites lose the ‘Yoga Rahasya’ for ever
This 'non event' turns out to be a big curse for the Vaishanava Sampradaya
Kurugai Kaavalappan/Natha Muni/Alavanthar
Located 1km West of Gangai Konda Chozhapuram is an ancient temple named after Kurugai Kaavalappan, one of the disciples of Natha Muni. The significance of the temple relates to a historic ‘non-event’ that turned out to be a big loss for the Vaishnavites.

Alavanthar, the grandson of Natha Muni, came here to this place as directed by his preceptor Manakkaal Nambi seeking initiation of Yoga Rahasya from Kurugai Kaavalappan.

Yoga Rahasya is a secret mantra that empowers one to experience the Lord at Vaikuntam.

When he reached here, Kurugai Kaavalappan was in a yogic state sitting at the Brindavanam in the North East corner of the temple. Not wanting to disturb him, Alavanthar stood outside, but to his surprise Kurugai Kaavalappan asked if someone from the ‘Sottai clan’ (Alavanthar belonged to this clan) had come there. Kurugai Kaavalappan explained that the Lord tried to glance through his shoulders and hence he realised that it had to be someone from Natha Muni’s clan for the Lord to show such interest.

Kurugai Kaavalappan asked Alavanthar to re-visit on full moon Poosam day in the Tamil calendar month of Thai for initiation of the Yoga Rahasya as that was the day the former was to attain the Lord’s feet.

Alavanthar’s Ananthapuram trip and missing out on his appointment with Kurugai Kaavalappan

During this period, Alavanthar went to Srirangam to witness Araiyar Sevai that had been started there by his Grand Father. At the Ranganathaswamy temple, he listened to the presentation of Anantha Pura Nagar Paasuram during the Era Pathu Thiruvoimozhi festival. An excited Alavanthar moved on to visit Anantha Padmanabhaswamy at Thiruvananthapuram.

It was there that he realised that it was the day of his scheduled appointment with Kurugai Kaavalappan for the initiation of Yoga Rahasya.  Alavanthar wondered if he could get a Pushpaka Vimana like Lord Rama to immediately land at Kurugai Kaavalappan Koil. But alas, it was not to be.

Thus he lost out on an important meeting with Kurugai Kaavalappan. This turned out to be a significant ‘non-event’ in the history of Vaishnava Sampradaya as Yoga Rahasya (that was only with Natha Muni and Kurugai Kaavalappan) was lost to the future generations and went into oblivion.

The Name
As Kurugai Kaavalappan was the only disciple to be initiated with Yoga Rahasya by Natha Muni and was seen here at this place in a Yogic State, both the village and the temple came to be named after him as Kurugai Kaavalappan Koil. Over time, the place has come to be referred to as Kuruvaalappan Koil.

The handsome 11feet Moolavar deity Veera Narayana Perumal (similar to the one at Kaatu Mannar Koil, the avathara sthalam of Natha Muni) is seen in a grand standing posture along with Sri and Bhoo devi.

In memory of the legend relating to this temple, there is a separate sannidhi where Natha Muni, Alavanthar and Kurugai Kaavalappan are seen together facing south.

Earlier festivals were celebrated in a grand manner at this temple. The plan is to revive all the festivals that were once celebrated here including the annual Brahmotsavam and the Float Festival. Currently, Maasi Magam, Vijayadasami, Vaikunta Ekadasi and Puratasi Saturdays are celebrated at the temple.

There are two Rajagopurams at the Eastern Entrance. Alavanthar is believed to have built the sanctum while the architecture in its current form- with huge outer and inner walls - is a mix of granite and brick construction dating back to the 11th century AD and the Chozha period.

Quick Fact
Moolavar: Veera Narayana Perumal in an East Facing Standing Posture
Thaayar  : Maragada Valli Thaayar ( Separate Sannidhi)
Utsavar   : Dwarakanath
Time       : 7am-11am and 5pm-730pm
Contact   : Rangaraja Bhattar @ 98403 69793 / Rajamani Bhattar @ 80723 28426/ Asokan office @ 99949 57495

How to reach
 Kurugai Kaavalappan temple is about 1km North West of Gangai Konda Chola Puram. Buses ply every 10minutes from Kumbakonam and Jayakondam.  Auto from Gangai Konda Chola Puram Cross Road (Kumbakonam-Chennai NH) will cost Rs.40.

By train, one can get down at Kumbakonam and take a 45minute bus to Gangai Konda Chola Puram.
Also, one can get down at Vriddachalam Station and reach the temple via Jayakondam.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Padagacheri Perumal Temple

Rama was delighted to find Sita’s Anklets here at this place giving him the assurance that he was in the right direction in his search of her

Marking this event and Rama's happiness in finding her jewels, the Lord here is referred to as 'Kandullam Magazhintha Perumal'
Located just under 20kms from Kumbakonam off the Mannargudi highway on the Southern Banks of Vettaru in a very quiet remote village is the Kandullam Magazhintha Perumal temple in Paadagacheri whose legend dates back to the Ramayana and Lord Rama’s search for Sita.

The Story
The story goes that Sita dropped her jewels as she was being carried off by Ravana. On finding these jewels at different places, Rama asked Lakshmana if these were Sita’s jewels. Lakshmana remained quiet.On reaching this place, Rama found her Anklets and once again enquired with Lakshmana if this was Sita’s to which Lakshmana expressed delight for this was the very anklet that he saw every day when he fell at her feet for her blessings.

This gave Rama the confidence that all other jewels that they saw along the way were also hers and that they were going in the right direction to locate her.

The Name
As he was delighted to get hints of her whereabouts here at this place, the Lord here came to be called ‘Kandullam Magazhintha Perumal’. Since this was the place where Rama found Sita’s Paadagam
(Anklets), this place came to be called Paadagacheri. The Lord was housed in a thatched hut North West of the current site of the temple over the last two centuries. The temple in its current form and structure was renovated a couple of years ago.
Also here at Padagacheri is an ancient Shiva Temple and a Bala Dhandayuthapani temple on either side of the Perumal temple.

The famous Padagacheri Swamigal- Ramalinga Swamigal- came and stayed here and organised anna dhanam. He would go from house to house and collect money for the purpose of building temples. He is also credited with the special power to cure different kinds of illness of devotees.

Quick Facts
 Moolavar  :  Kandullam Magazhintha Perumal East Facing Standing Posture along with Sri and Bhoo devi
Time         : 9am- 6pm
Contact     :  Kumaran Gurukal @ 99528 48340
( He takes care of all the five temples here at Padagacheri)
 How to reach
 Take the Mannargudi bound bus from Kumbakonam and get down at Paadagacheri, about 5kms after Valangaiman and 3kms before Alangudi. From the bus stop, take the right road (westwards) and walk over a km to reach the temple.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Srinivasa Perumal Temple Srirangam

Idol was installed by Palahari Purushottama Ramanuja Jeer (I) around 450years ago
Parikara Sthalam for curing diseases not cured by doctors
Missing people are said to be found after a visit to this temple
Located a few hundred yards south of the bus stand is the 450year Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Srirangam where the handsome Lord is seen in an East facing Standing Posture.

The Moolavar Deity was installed by the Palahari Purushottama Ramanuja Jeer (I) in the 2nd half of the 16th Century. The idol is believed to have been the Abhisekha deity of the Jeer and is said to have been brought from Kandagi, Nepal along with several of the large Saligrama stones that are seen inside the temple.

There are two sacred trees inside the temple. The significance of the Ashoka tree that is seen to the North of the sanctum dates back to the Ramayana. Sita spent her days of captivity in Lanka in the Ashoka Vanam. The 2nd tree seen to the North East of the Sanctum is the ‘Nelli’ Tree
Daily recital  of Pancha Sookthas and Nithyanusandhanam in the morning
Every evening at 5pm, there is a Vishnu Sahasranama parayanam
At 8pm every evening, there is Ekanta Sevai (Sayanam), Tallapaka  sankirtanam with presentation of relevant Pasurams to the Lord
Naarayaneeyam Parayanam is recited on every Ekadasi   
Special Poojas at the temple
Muthangi Sevai, Nija Pada Darshan, Thomala Sevai, Sahasranama Archanai and Anna Kooda Utsavam.
Moolavar Thirumanjana is done on every Friday, Ekadasi, Thiruvonam and new Tamil month.
Every Shravanam, lamps are lit here at the temple in the evening at 5pm

Parikara Sthalam
The belief is that devotees visit this temple to get diseases cured, that is not cured otherwise by the doctors. It is also believed that missing people are found if one offers his sincere prayers at this temple.

In centuries gone by, Navarathri Utsavam was celebrated here.
With the taking over of the temple by HR & CE, it is expected that festivals will be celebrated round the year. 
Quick Facts
Moolavar: Srinivasa Perumal East Facing Standing Posture
Time       : 6am-12noon and 5pm-8pm
Contact    : Sridhar Bhattar @ 95857 87997

How to reach
The temple is 1/2km south of the Ranganathaswamy Temple Raja Gopuram on the way to Amma Mandapam just after the Mangamma Nagar Arch.