Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thiru Kadaiyur Amirtha Narayana Perumal

The place where the nectar was handed to the Devas
Rahu Kethu seen together at the temple
Located 100yards south of the renowned Thiru Amirtha Kadeswarar -Abhirami temple is the ancient Amirtha Narayana Perumal temple in Thiru Kadaiyur, whose legend dates back to the churning of nectar and distribution to the Devas. Bala Anjaneya is a highlight here at this temple, which is entirely of ‘brick’ construction.

Legend relating to churning of Nectar
The story goes that with Indra losing his powers after being cursed by Sage Durvasa, the asuras started striking the devas with renewed vigour. The desperate devas fearing loss of their battle with the asuras sought the help of Lord Narayana to help regain their powers.

With the churning of the Nectar, Lord Narayana was all set to hand over the nectar to the Devas here at Thiru Kadaiyur but to his surprise the nectar disappeared and turned into a Shiva lingam (Amirtha Kadeswarar). Lord Narayana sought the permission of Goddess Abhirami (his sister) to help secure the nectar from Thiru Kadeswarar.  She appeared before him here at Thiru Kadaiyur and helped devas regain their powers.
While the Devas received the nectar from Lord Narayana here at the Amirtha Pushkarani, an asura too secretly picked it up only to be struck down by Lord Amirtha Narayanan. Having consumed the nectar, the asura did not die but had his body cut into two pieces - Rahu and Kethu. In memory of this event, they are seen here together in a separate sannidhi – a special feature at this temple. This is said to be a parikara sthalam for liberation from Rahu-Kethu dosham.

60th/80th Birthday Celebrations
Those who conduct their Thiru Kalyana functions at the Abhirami temple should also visit the Amirtha Narayana Perumal temple to secure the blessings of Amirtha Narayanan so as to complete the entire formalities of the celebrations. But most of the devotees who throng the Abhirami temple are not even aware of the existence of the ancient perumal temple at a walking distance and hence miss out on seeking the blessings of Amirtha Narayana Perumal and Amirtha Valli Thaayar.
Quick Facts
Moolavar        : Amirtha Narayana Perumal in a Grand Sitting Posture
Goddess           : Amirtha Valli Thaayar
Time                : 8am-1pm
Contact            : Rangaraja Bhattar @ 75983 80204

How to reach
Thiru Kadaiyur is 20kms from Mayiladuthurai / Sirkazhi. Take Tharangambadi bound bus via Akkur cross road to reach the temple. Auto from Thiru Kadaiyur bus stand will cost Rs. 40.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Bala Samudram Ahobila Varadaraja Perumal

Dasavathara Idols inside the Perundevi Thaayar Sannidhi is a special feature
One finds 12 Raasis sculpted on a single stone on top of the Maha Mandapa
Located 6kms South of Palani Dhandayuthapani temple is the 500year old Ahobila Varadaraja Perumal temple in Bala Samudram. The temple in its current form and structure is believed to have been built in 1504AD by Obula Kunda Nayak, who ruled this region. He was originally from Ahobilam and was keen to build a Perumal temple here. Indication of the centuries old existence is the strong granite structure of the complex housing Lord Varadaraja Perumal that is so symbolic of ancient temples. 

In memory of his home town, the Lord here came to be referred to as Ahobila Varadaraja Perumal.

The handsome looking Varadaraja Perumal is seen in a standing posture with Sri and Bhoo Devi by his side.

Dasavathara Idols
A special feature at the temple is the presence of ancient Dasavathara idols inside the Perundevi Thaayar Sannidhi.

Liberation from Doshams
Another feature is the presence of 12 Rasis sculpted on a stone in the Maha Mandapa. Visiting this temple and offering sincere prayers here is believed to relieve one from doshams.

11day Brahmotsavam in Avani- Chariot Festival on Avani Revathi
11day Era Pathu Utsavam in Margazhi following the Paramapada Vaasal opening

On Puratasi Saturdays, a bhajan takes place from 9pm on Saturday evening till 7am Sunday morning.
On the moolam day in Margazhi, there is a special abhishekam for Anjaneya.
A homam is performed in Vaikasi on the occasion of Narasimha Jayanthi.

Every month, on Swathi there is a special Abhishekam for Lord Narasimha between 6am and 730am.

Ancient Vahanas
There are four Vahanas that date back several centuries. During the Brahmotsavam, Lord Varadarajan goes out on a procession around the streets of Bala Samudram on the Garuda Vahana, Hanumantha Vahana and Sapparam

Parikara Sthalam
As a solution to real estate problems, a special pooja is performed with ground nut invoking the blessings of Varaha Perumal.

A three Raja Gopuram is being planned at the Eastern entrance.

Quick Facts
Moolavar         :Ahobila Varadaraja Perumal in an east facing standing posture
Thaayar           : Perundevi Thaayar
Time                : 8am-12noon and 4pm-8pm
Contact            : R. Raghavan@ 99409 06500

How to reach

Town bus every 30minutes from Palani bus stand to Bala Samudram. Also, mini buses ply between Palani and Bala Samudram every half hour. Auto from Palani bus stand to the temple will cost Rs. 100-120.

Kathir Narasinga Perumal Reddiarchatram

Two Unique one of its kind features 
 6 ½ feet Anjaneya seen in the Agni Moolai of the temple, Bairava seen with 2 Vahanas
Located 15kms from Dindigal is the Pandya Period Kathir Narasinga Perumal temple in Kothapulli Village in Reddiarchatram, one that still has the strong granite structure of temples of that period. The temple was later renovated by Vijayanagara rulers and Kannivadi Zamindars. The temple has 220acres of land under its possession.

Kathir Narasinga Perumal is seen in a soft posture with a lean slim look unlike his normally angry presence in other Narasimha temples. The handsome looking Utsavar is seen with a conch and chakra.

Unique Anjaneya
A unique feature at the temple is the presence of the 6 ½ feet tall Anjaneya at the Agni Moolai (South Eastern corner of the temple), the only one of its kind in India. His body is facing the Eastern side while his face is turned towards the Northern direction. The right hand is lifted while the left hand is holding a mace in a posture to destroy the ego and arrogance. The huge tail is seen lifted behind on his right side.

One of its kind Bairava Sannidhi
Another special one of its kind feature at this temple is the presence of Bairava with two Vahanas. Normally one finds only a single vahana.

Chakkarath Azhvaar Sannidhi
Yet another special feature is the presence of ChakkarathAzhvaar carved on a square stone unlike the use circular stone. He is seen with Devas all around him.

There is an ancient Pandya period inscription on South wall of the Maha Mandapa

Vaikasi Narasimha Jayanthi
Avani Gokulashtami

Puratasi is celebrated in a grand way at this temple

1st Saturday – Sandal Paste Abhishekam for Narasinga Perumal and Anjaneya
2nd Saturday- Vennai Kaapu
3rd Saturday-Vegetable Maalai for Anjaneya / Ekantha Sevai Moolavar/Utsavar Narasimha
                      On this day, there is also the Thiru Kalyana Vaibhavam
4th Saturday- Maalai Alankaram for Narasinga Perumal and Anjaneya
5th Saturday- Pushpa Alankaram for Narasinga Perumal and Anjaneya

One can find solutions to problems relating to wedding hindrances, joblessness and childlessness by offering sincere prayers at this temple.
Quick Facts
Moolavar         : Kathir Narasingar in an East Facing Standing Posture with Sri and Bhoodevi
Thaayar           : Kamalavalli Thaayar
Time                : 730am-12noon and 4pm-7pm
Contact           : Vijayaraghavan Bhattar@ 98430 85165/97877 05083

How to reach
Reddiarchatram is about 15kms from Dindigul on the Palani highway. The temple is on the main road ½ km east of the bus stop. Buses ply every 15minutes from Dindigul. One can also take the Dindigul-Ottanchatram town bus to get down in front of the temple (Perumal Koil bus stop).

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kothandarama Temple Gandharvakottai

Sun Rays fall on the entire body of Kothandarama on three days every month
Interesting stone carvings seen inside the temple including Rangantha in a sayana kolam atop 5hooded serpent
Located around 30kms from Thanjavur on the Pudukottai Highway is the early Chozha Period Kothandarama temple in Gandharvakottai where Lord Rama is seen in a standing posture flanked by Goddess Sita and brother Lakshmana. The temple is believed to have been built by (Kanda) Aditya Chozha. The entire temple complex, including the outer walls, is of a granite structure and dates back a 1000years.

The story goes that Aditya Chozha was moved immeasurably after listening to the story of Ramayana and ordered the construction of the temple. 1km west of the temple is a Mandapa where the story of the Ramayana is depicted.

He donated lands and initiated the conduct of daily poojas and annual festivals here at this temple. Later, Thondaman king and Gandharvakottai Zamindars renovated the temple.

There was a Vasantha Mandapam with a dome like roof at the temple where the Lord used to come on a procession and rest for a while enjoying the greenery around.

Stone Carvings
On the North corner of the Maha Mandapa is a beautiful stone carving of Lord Ranganatha in a sayana kolam taking rest atop the 5hood Adisesha with Thaayar pressing his leg to put him to sleep. His head in a slightly lifted posture is seen resting on the right hand.

On the upper walls of Maha Mandapa are carvings of fish, an indication that the Pandyas may have contributed to the temple and the construction of the mandapas.

Unique Occurrence
On the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of every month, the sun’s rays fall on the entire body of Lord Kothandarama between 6am and 730am, quite a unique occurrence at this temple.

In centuries gone by, Theppotsavam was celebrated in a grand manner at the temple. Several of the vahanas that carried the Lord during Brahmotsavam processions are still seen at the temple.

Kothandarama goes out on a procession on Rama Navami
10day Era Pathu Utsavam following the Paramapada Vaasal opening
Thirumanjanam on Wednesdays and Saturdays

Childless couples can invoke the blessings of Lord Hanuman who is seen in a separate sannidhi here.

Thiruvengadam Bhattar has been conducting poojas at the temple for almost 50years now. Till very recently, he was paid a salary of just Rs. 50.


There is a separate sannidhi for Vedantha Desigar on Southern West corner of the temple.  Ghoshit used to take place here in centuries gone by. However, this is now seen in a dilapidated state and has to be rebuilt. 

The last renovation at the temple took place almost 45years ago. Several of the mandapas are in a dilapidated state and requires immediate attention. The temple comes under the administration of Pudukottai HR & CE.

Quick Facts
Moolavar         : Kothandarama with Sita and Lakshmana
Time                : 6am-11am and 4pm-7pm
Contact            : Thiruvengadam Bhattar @ 98656 20114

How to reach

Gandharvakottai is about 30kms from both Thanjavur and Pudukottai on the state highway. Buses ply every 10-15mts between Thanjavur and Pudukottai. From Trichy, one can take the Sengipatti-Pattukottai highway to reach the temple (50kms).

The temple is a 5minute walk from the bus stop. Car from Thanjavur Railway station and back will cost Rs. Rs. 400- 500/- Contact: 94435 88102