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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Apparswamigal Temple

Apparswamigal temple is a calm and peaceful temple. The temple is located opposite to Sanskrit college. In the 19th century AD, there was a saint named Appar Swamigal in Chennai. After he died in 1851, his disciple Chidambara Swamigal built a tomb (samadi) and also installed a Shiv Linga on the samadi. In 1853, the temple was built with this Shiv Linga as the main deity. This Appar Swamigal is a different saint and not Appar, the one among 63 nayanmars.
The temple has a huge open corridor with few trees which makes the environment serene. The fusion of neem and peepul tree in this temple is a rare sight. The well maintained temple has Nandi idol, flag staff and bali peeth facing the main shrine, although tower is not there.

The main deity is Viswanath in the form of a big Shiv Linga. The corridor surrounding the main shrine has the stucco images of Ganesha, Dakshinamurthy, Vishnu, Durga, Brahma and Chandikeswarar. There is a separate shrine for the Goddess of the temple, Vishalakshi.

In the open corridor, the shrine of Needi Vinayakar is found - there are three idols of Ganesha in one row. It is believed that these deities solve the legal problems. There is a shrine for Jaya Subramanya along with his consorts Valli and Devasena.

Thiruvalluvar Temple

There is a temple dedicated for the great Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar, who is believed to have lived 2000 years ago. This unique and rare temple dedicated to the great poet Tiruvalluvar is located in Mylapore locality of Chennai city in South India.
Located very near to the Mundakkanni amman temple, this is the birthplace of Thiruvalluvar and little known even to the locals. The site where the temple is located is believed to be the birthplace of Tiruvalluvar. A more than 2000 years old Iluppai tree under which Thiruvalluvar is said to have born got damaged in 1935 and the base of the tree is being protected with a cover. There is a famous incident in Thiruvalluvar-Vasuki life in which, while Vasuki was fetching water in a pot from a well, Thiruvalluvar called her and she went leaving the pot as it was but incidentally the pot remained half way as it was. This historical well can be seen here.

The main shrine has the big idol of Tiruvalluvar. The bronze idols (utsav) of Tiruvalluvar and his consort Vasuki are also found in the main shrine. Vasuki is also present in the separate shrine in the corridor (prakara).

Ekambareswarar and Kamatchi are the main deities along with Vinayahar, Murugar, Navagrahas and Saneeswarar shrines. The Ekambareswarar shrine is considered as the birth place of Thiruvalluvar by some researchers and as the Samadhi by others.

Sri Gnanasundara Vinayahar Temple

This is a 400 years old popular temple. Located at the junction of the St Marry’s Road and Ramakrishna Math Road, this has the following legend: The main deity here was once lying along other stones at the Dharga in Ramakrishna Math road. When Arcot Nawab was going through this route, his horse was tied to this stone but the horse got the ‘Valippu’. When the horse was untied, it came back to normalcy but when it was tied again to the stone, it got the ‘Valippu’ again. They then identified the stone as the Vinayahar idol and this temple was built.

Kolavizhi Amman Temple

The Pattu Kolavizhi Amman temple is situated at Mylapore (near Sanskrit College ) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. This temple is dedicated to Goddesses Pattu Kolavizhi Amman. Just a few minutes walk from mundakanni amman temple in mylapore lies kolavizhi amman temple as the name implies amman seated here with beautiful eyes, though the amman depicted in fiery form she stays here as a remedy for ailments in life and health.
The temple is situated near vaaleswarar temple, in the temple kolavizhiamman is the main deity of the temple the sanctorum, the moolasthanam is shared by bhadrakaali amman and kolavizhi amman, on entering the temple vinayagar can be seen beneath the combination of peepal and neem tree and the other side of the tree anjaneyar is seated in a separate sanidhi, sapthakanniyar(7 goddess, forms of sakthi) are seen in standing position in a single row.


The kolavizhi amman and bhadrakaali amman are seen together, the eyes are so powerful as it melts you and your sins, people will gain the confidence that amman will follow them to demolish the hurdles ahead in life, amman is armed with weapons in her hands to kill the fear and evil, the thaali (mangal suthra) which amman wearing here is really a big in size and the dharshan of the thaali is belived to relive the hurdles in marriage.

Kolavizhi amman is the power of protection for mylapore and during the panguni festival (march-april) amman gets the first pooja to ensure the safety of the carnival amman leads the arubathimoovar festival and makes the journey smooth for kapaleeswarar and karpagaambal. The other important festivities includes 1008 milk pots carried by the devotees for amman, and as usual aadi has its own imporatance here.

Many say that this is the original Kali of the Kapalishwarar koil.

Sri Mundakkanni Amman Temple

Located at about half a kilometer north of Kapaleeswarar Temple and at a few hundred meters to the east of Sanskrit College, this is a very popular and powerful Amman temple. Mundagakanni amman temple is situated towards the north side of mylapore kapaleeswarar temple and near to madhava permal kovil, the temple is about 1300 years old and still attracts many people and people in mylapore start their family occasion after performing special prayers to mundakanni amman, though the temple is small in size the miracles of the amman are countless, in the month of aadi the temple is busy as people perform special prayers to her.
Mundakanni amman is said to be a form of saraswathi who blesses people to excel in thier fine arts,amman is also known to relive naaga dhosham as the temple is the residing place of snake anthill along with banyan tree behind the sanctum sanctorum of amman,it is belived that naagam(snake) still worships amman everyday.

On entering the temple via the main entrance, before that get a packet of milk a egg for worshiping naagam and arali flowers which is the used for the worship of the amman, once you enter the temple, you can worship amman, the statue is said to formed naturally (not carved by man) the moolavar or the main deity resembles a lotus bud and beneath which you can see soolam engraved on it, above this you can see a silver roof with amman's face on it (donated by music director ilayaraja) abishegam is done to amman from morning till the noon, the main shrine (moolasthanam) is build naturally with thatched roof as amman loves to be surrounded by nature.

Behind the main shrine is the banyan tree which is belived to be the place of the temple naagam and also have a separate sanidhi for naagam with the statue of snake in it, people offer milk and eggs to the tree and the statue to get relived from naagadhosam, there is a separate sanidhi for temples uttsavar, next to this is the sanidhi of sapthakannis. In left side of the main shire there are many statues of naagam and ammam which is installed here in the temple for get relived from the clutches of naagadhosam, nardhanavinayagar, murugar, iiyappan, hanuman, raamalinga adigal, dhakshinamurthy along with kasi vishwanathar and annapoorani have seperate sanidhis here.

Mundakanni amman is considered to be the powerful god and god for the common, in the temple viboothi (collected from the ashes of cowdung) kungumam, manjal and theertham is distributed as prasadam for the devotees, theertham given here is belived to cure chickenpox and neem leaves from the sanidhi is used to cure the pustules caused by chickenpox. Aadi masam is considered to be the more auspicious month for worshiping amman.
The imporatnt festivities in the temple includes aadipuram, chitra pournami, newyear, vijaya dhasami and the last friday of thai masam (jan-feb) women from all parts of chennai participate in carnival were they carry 1008 milk pots or flower baskets to worship amman and pray for their well being. Apart from these lighting deepaam in lemon using ghee as fuel and with cotton wick, distributing food to the poor will please amman and grant wishes for which people visit the temple.

Sri Vedanta Desikar Srinivasa perumal temple

Next to the Kesavaperumal temple and sharing a wall with it is the Srinivasa perumal temple. the temple is 300 years old. As seen it is a Vadagalai temple initially It was a temple for Sri Vedanta Desikar a vigraha of Shri Vedanta desikar was moved from the Kesavaperumal temple.
Hayagriva was the "upasana daivam" of Vedantha Desikar a vigraha of Lakshmi Hayagriva modelled on the idol of the Mysore Parakala mutt was later  brought and installed. (The Parakala mutt is also located in Mylapore (opposite road to Mylai railway station)). The shrine of the great teacher Vedantha Desika is the one that faces north and it is the first shrine one sees in the temple.

Sri Vedantha Desika lived over 730 years ago in South India. He wrote erudite commentaries on Ramanuja's Sribhashyam, Gita Bhashyam and was a great exponent of Visishtadvaita. As soon as you enter the north facing  temple on your right you will see the east facing Srinivasan sannidhi the lord is in standing posture with abhaya hastha and shanka chakra gada hastha.

Next to the lord in a second sannidhi on his right is the thayar sanidhi. the Alamelu mangai thayar Vigraha is huge and very captivating.

Sri Adhikesava Perumal temple

Adhikesava Perumal temple is one of the oldest temples of Mylapore. Once upon a time sage Bhrigu and a host of rishis were engrossed in a severe penance at a spot located near Brindaranya kshetra. An execrable and depraved by robust demon named Madhu disgorged the sages from their hermitage.

The demon was entranced by the picturesque spot. He directed the asura architect Mayan to create a splendid city which he named Mayurapuri. It became the metropolis of the asuras domains. The sages who were the victims of the asura’s wrath sought asylum at the lotus feet of Kshirapthi Natha. Mahavishnu allayed their apprehensions and vanquished the demons. The sages conducted a ‘Sayana Yajna’ in honor of the victory.
The Lord appeared before the sages thereby glorified as ‘Sayana Keshava’. The place where the Almighty gave darshan to the sages is the present day Mylapore, a bustling and populous part of Chennai. Mayurapuri Mahatmaya, an integral part of the Garuda Purana, furnishes a descriptive account of this episode. The fourth chapter of Garuda Purana narrates how Goddess Lakshmi took up her residence at this hallowed place under the name Mayuravalli Thayar.

Sage Bhrigyu observed a meticulous penance invoking Mahavishnu. The Lord bade Mahalakshmi to appear as a child in the sage’s hermitage.

Adikeshava Perumal temple is situated at a distance of one furlong from the renowned Kapaleeswara temple in Chennai. The temple occupying an area of 1.5 acres houses two main sanctums and numerous shrines dedicated to subsidiary deities. Worship is conducted six time a day adhering to the principles of Vaikanasa Agama. As a contrast to the Madhava Perumal Temple, this is being maintained poorly.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sri Malleeswarar Temple

A popular saying associated with Mylapore is "Mayilaye Kayilai" (Mylapore is the Kailash - abode of Lord Shiva ).  There are several ancient temples in Mylapore and one among those temples is the very ancient temple of Lord "MALLEESWARAR".
    
The history of this temple is Prarthan, a Shiva devotee of Ayodhya chose this place full Malligai (Jasmine ) bushes to do penance on Lord Shiva & was blessed with the darshan of the Lord along with his consort "MARAGATHAMBAL". The Lingam worshipped by him was in an area of Malligai bushes & hence the name came as "MALLEESWARAR".
The belief about this temple is that the Garlands exchanged between the 'God' & the 'Goddess' during the 'Kalyana Uthsavam' if worn by an unmarried person & kept at home would bring wedlock. Also offering of Jasmine garland on six consecutive Mondays to Lord Shiva will fulfill one's wishes.

Sri Malleeswarar Temple Worshipped by Sage Brigu, this temple is located near the Karaneeswara temple. Neem and Aswatha trees are grown together as a single tree.

Sri Madhava Perumal Temple

Sri Madhava Perumal Temple is located to the east of Sanskrit College and north of Kapaleeswarar temple it is very near to the Mundakkanni amman temple. The temple is amazingly clean, aesthetically painted, well lit and very well maintained.
The Sthala-Purana related to this place also mentions that during the churning of the ocean of milk, when Goddess Mahalakshmi arose from the ocean, Vishnu sent Her to Mayurapuri to Brighu Maharishi`s ashram. Hence the place also attained a mythological significance. According to that story She appeared before Brighu Maharishi who was then praying for a child, and he brought Her up and named her Amritavalli. Sriman Narayana as Madhava Perumal came to this place and asked for Her hand in marriage which took place in Panguni Uttiram. It is believed that this temple is situated in the place where sage Bhrigu`s ashram existed. The temple was also named following the name of Lord Narayana in his disguise. Thus the reference of the place in the legendary accounts like Brahmanda Purana and the Vedas is an added grandeur to the temple and nowadays Sri Madhava Perumal temple existed as the legendary shrine of the historical place of Mylapore.
 The presiding deity of this temple is Madhava Perumal is the chief attraction of the temple. The deity is seen in a seated posture flanked by the goddess Sri Devi and Bhu Devi by His side. Madhava Perumal, the presiding deity is also called Kalyana Madhava as He married Amritavalli Thayar (goddess Lakshmi is known by this name here). Those devotees desirous of marriage considered Him as Prarthanai niraivetra Perumal. These devotees also believe that in order to get married soon, they should satisfy the lord enshrined here by offering their worship and veneration. The large processional image (utsava murti) of this shrine is another striking feature of the temple. It is seen in a standing posture flanked by Sri Devi and Bhu Devi. This processional  image deserves special mention on account of His exquisite and serene countenance. In the exquisite utsava murti is also seen the image of Niranjana Madhavan (Chinna Madhavan) holding the sacred sankha and chakra. His lower hands is found in the gesture of abhaya hasta and his left hand resting on His thigh (uru hasta), also with Sri Devi and Bhu Devi. The imposing image of the Lord created a sense of awe and veneration in the heart of the devotees and the same time this unusual image cast a beautiful sight.
In the mandapa in front of the principal sanctum is erected the shrine dedicated to the consecrated preceptor Pey Azhvar. The other Azhvars are also enshrined in the temple complex. But they are worshipped with high admiration in a shrine a little outside in the courtyard. This is in keeping with the special position given to this Azhvar in the Mylapore area, his birthplace (Avatara-Sthala). The Pey Azhvar avatara Utsavam is celebrated annually in the month of Aippasi (October-November). Next to the sanctum of this Azhvar is erected another sanctum for Lord Sri Ramanuja, the pre-eminent Srivaishnava Acharya.
There is a shrine for Goddess Lakshmi, who is worshipped here as Amritavalli Thayar. The sanctum for the goddess is located to the right of the main sanctum (garbha-griha). Many festivals like the Navaratri Utsavam and Tirukalyana Utsavam during Panguni Uttiram are celebrated here for praising the deity and on all Fridays the Unjal Utsavam for those desirous of offspring are conducted. Like in most Vishnu temples of Tamil Nadu, there is a sannidhi for Sri Andal to the left of the main sanctum. In this sanctum dedicated to sri Andal is observed a festival every month. During the occasion of Puram Nakshatram there is held a procession (tiruveedhi purapaadu) and during the month of Adi, for ten days, the Tiru Adi Utsavam is celebrated on a grand style. A large number of devotees flocked in the temple precincts and participate in this processional festival.

A small sanctum for Bhu Varaha, the third incarnation of Vishnu is seen near the Goddess Amritavalli shrine, which is facing to the east. In this place he is popularly known as Jnanappiran. This beautiful image of Varahasvami with Bhu Devi on His left lap is extremely captivating. The image was earlier placed in a shrine near the sacred tank (pushkarini) but presently it is consecrated in a separate sanctum near the Thayar sannidhi. 

Another significant feature of the temple is the sacred tree on the bank of the river. The sacred tree of this temple is known as the Punnai tree. This tree has a special connection with the presiding deity Madhava Perumal, who is also known as Lord Krishna. The tree is seen on the rear side of the main sanctum of Madhava Perumal.

This east-facing temple has a beautiful five-tier Rajagopuram at its entrance, which is the specimen of its excellent architecture. The temple tank Sandhana Pushkarani here is the erstwhile pond of Bruhu Maharishi’s Ashram.

Sri Virupaksheeswarar Temple

Sri Virupaksheeswarar Temple Worshipped by Sage Kutsa, this is the oldest temple of Mylapore and is near Karaneeswara temple and Mundakkanni Amman temple. Sivanesan Chettiar, who built this temple, had a daughter called Poompavai and when she died, Thirugnana Sambandhar brought her alive from her burnt bones.
The main deities of Virupakesheeswarar temple are Virupakesheeswarar (Lord Shiva) and Vishalaxi Amman. Virupakesheeswarar means 'one with three eyes'. ‘Viroopam’ means ‘Contradicting the Nature’ and since Shiva’s third eye contradicts the nature, He is called Virupaksheeswarar. The current temple is very small and calm. There is a tank inside this temple and the belief is that a dip on this will cure the people of their diseases.

Sri Karaneeswarar Temple

Sri Karaneeswarar Temple is located in the Bazaar street of Karaneeswararpet and it is worshipped by Sage Vasishta. This temple belongs to 12th century. Karaneeswarar temple is at a distance of 0.5 km from the famous Kapaleeswarar temple in Mylapore. The temple is located at Bazaar road in the middle stretch of the popular Kutcheri road in Mylapore.
Karaneeswara temple is one of the Sapta Sthana Shiva temples in Mylapore (one of the seven sacred Shiva temples in Mylapore). As per the legend, there used to be a young Brahmin in Mylapore who used to perform poojas to Shiv Linga. Through his penance, the young Brahmin found out that Lord Shiva was the cause of creation, protection and destruction of this universe. Thereafter, the Shiv Linga (the main deity of this temple) was called as Karaneeswara. (Karaneeswara means one who has causes).

The Shivalingam here is in square shape as seen in only Thirukkadaiyur and Kalahasthi. The main deities of the temples are Karaneeswara (Shiva) and his consort Porkodi Amman. Both the deities are found in two separate shrines. The temple has a small tower and as per the tradition followed in all old South Indian temples, this temple also has bali peeth, flag staff and Nandi idol facing the main shrine. The entrance of the main shrine has the idols of Ganesha and Dhandayudhapani (Subramanya).

The belief is that a visit to this temple would cure you from all your diseases.

Sri Theerthapaleeswarar Temple

Sri Theerthapaleeswarar Temple is located in the Dr.Natesan street of Krishnapet, Triplicane Mirsahib market area opposite to mosque. It is said that the Sage Adri  Worshipped this temple. Theerthapaleeswarar temple is the second Saptha Sthana Shiva temples of Mylapore in Chennai (seven great temples of Mylapore).
Even though this ancient temple is considered as one of the important temples of historically rich Mylapore area, the temple falls under current Triplicane area in Chennai. The current temple is around 500 years old. However, as per the legend, the temple was worshipped by sages Agasthya and Athri. The main deity of the temple is Theerthapaleeswarar (Lord Shiva). The temple is very small and you cannot find any other deities apart from Shiva in this temple. The temple has significance that when the seven deities of the Sapthasthana temples take bath in the sea during the Theerthavari festival in the tamil month of Masi, this deity takes the first place.

By looking at the current state of the temple, anyone hardly would believe that this temple had very significant importance in the past.

Sri Valiswarar Temple

The Sri Valiswarar Temple had been Worshipped by Sage Gautama. This is 2000 years old temple and is located at Gopathy Narayana Chetty Street opposite to Kolavizhiamman Temple.

Vaali got all his powers after his tapas towards Easwaran here. Pancha lingams came out from the earth as seen in a separate shrine which is an appropriate place for meditation. There are shrines for Vinayahar, Natarajar, Goddess Sivahami, Murugar with Valli and Deivanai, Chandeeswar, Anjaneyar, Vishnu, Durgai, and Ayyappan.

Navagrahas with their respective vahanas and Saneeswarar separately are present in different shrines. In the Southwest of the outer praharam, a lizard has been carved out to indicate that this is a Parihara sthalam.

Velleeswarar Temple

Velleeswarar temple is located near Kapaleeswarar temple at Mylapore, Chennai.
This temple dedicated for Sri Velleeswarar and Mother Kamakshi.'Vellee' means Sukra and 'Velleeswara' means Lord of Sukracharya.

Sage Sukracharya worshipped the Lord Shiva here and got back the eye sight he lost at the hands of Lord Vamana. Devotees can worship the statue form of Sri Sukra worshipping the Lord here in this temple. Lord Velleeswara in this temple is the divine eye doctor who can solve the eye related problems. Lord Shiva here also protects his devotees from falling prey to the desires inflamed by their eyes.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Kasi Viswanathar Temple

Around 400 years ago, the part which is today called West Mambalam was a small hamlet with big and enormous vilwa trees. The place had been called Mahabilam. They say that the name became Mambalam in course of time. When a swayambhu lingam appeared in Mahabilam, people built a temple for it. Researchers say that the temple might have been built by a Nayakka king of Vijayanagar Empire. The God appeared in the dream of a Nayakka king after he worshipped Him in Kasi and told him to build a temple for Him. Accordingly, Kasi Viswanatha temple was built in Tenkasi. The sthala purana says that the temple at Mambalam in Chennai was also built during this same period by the Nayakka king. Usually, at the temples built during the Nayakka regimes, an emblem of fish will be seen. At the granite roof of this temple also, figures of fishes are seen. Researchers say that this is a proof for the claim that the temple was built by a Nayakka king. Devotees feel proud to think that they live in a place that has a temple with an antiquity of more than 400 years.
First, when we enter the temple through its east entrance, the seven-level Rajagopuram welcomes us. Next to it, we see dwajasthambha, altar and Nandi. In the sanctum, Kasi Viswanatha, facing the east, blesses His devotees. He is a lingam, installed on a high peedam. The small Nandi in front of the sanctum holds our attention with its beauty. After praying to the Lord, when we move rightward, we see the sannidhi of Lord Vinayaka. Then, the darshan of Lord Muruga along with His consorts Valli and Devyani. Next is situated the sannidhi of Annai Visalakshi. We feel ecstatic seeing the beautiful Visalashi thaayar in a beautifully built sannidhi.
The prahara is spacious so that devotees can have darshan of deities without difficulty. There are Vasantha mandap and Navagraha mandap too. On the surrounding wall of the temple, beautiful figures of Nandi have been made in a row.

Pradosham is celebrated here every month on a very grand scale. Also, Sivarathri and Arudra vizha are being celebrated with grandeur. Kumbabhishek was done in the years 1932, 1955, 1964 and 2008 on a very grand scale.
Those, who are unable to go to Kasi for darshan of God can visit this temple and pray to the deity and be blessed by the Lord with all prosperity.

Sri Vasavi Kanniha Parameswari Temple

The temple is located at the Aadhiappa Naickan street and this temple has a rich legend. The legend has it that along with Kanniha Parameswari, Vaisya couples from 102 Gothrams took firebath and attained salvation. The names of these 102 couples have been inscribed in the temple. Vasavi Kanniha Parameswari’s janma sthalam is Benukonda which is about 400 kms from Chennai but one can worship the same Goddess here at Chennai.
History
Kusuma Sresti , the king of vysyas was ruling the kingdom making PENUGONDA (Jestasailam) as capital city for all the 18 paraganas during 10th –11th Century A.D.  Kusumamba was his wife. They were ideal couple and led a peaceful domestic life. They were worshipping Lord Siva (Nageshwara swami) as the part of their daily duties. His Kingdom was part and parcel of Vengi desha, which was ruled by Vishnu Vardhana-7 or MaharajVimaladitya .
Though they had spent many years of their married life,  the couple did not have the peace of mind. They suffered a lot, as there was no any successor to look after the administration of the Kingdom. Their many rites and sacrifices did not bear any fruit and hence they were heart striken. Then, with sheer disappointment, they approached Kulaguru (family Teacher) Bhaskaracharya. He advised them to perform Puthra Kamestiyaga which Dasharatha had observed.

During the auspicious hour, Kusuma Sresti couple started the yoga. The Gods were pleased and sent prasadam (blessed fruit from god) through Yagneswara(fire God).  There was a divine utterance that they would be get children after eating prasadam. With utmost devotion they ate Prasadam, within a few days the sign of pregnancy was found with Kusumamba. She expressed unusual desires, which indicated that she would give birth to children who would fight for the welfare of all.

Birth of Vasavi Devi :
During spring season, there was pleasure everywhere. Even the atmosphere was beautiful. Amidst this beauty, kusumamba gave birth to twins, one male the other female on Friday the tenth of vaishaka (Indian month) at twilight during coincidences of Uttara Nakshatra and Kanya (virgo) Male child was baptised as Virupaksha , and the female as VASAVAMBA. During childhood itself, in Virupaksha, the features of a powerful king, leadership qualities were clearly visible, whereas in Vasavi, the inclination towards art & architecture, adoration music and philosophical approach were seen. Even parents supported their tastes & preferences.
Education of Vasavi Devi :
Under the guidance of Bhaskaracharya, Virupaksha learnt Vedas, fencing, horse riding, martial arts and statecraft archery and others, which were essential to rule a country. Vasavi learnt all fine arts and got mastery over the philosophical subjects and proud to be an intelligent woman.
Marriage of Virupaksha with Ratnavati :
When Virupaksha attained proper age he married Rathnavathi, daughter of Aridhisresti of Aelur Town. The huge gathering thought that even Vasavi's marriage would also be observed with same grandeur and pompous.
Vishnu Vardhna fell in love on Sri Vasavi Devi :
Once, Vishnu Vardhna to eradicate his enemies and to extend his empire went on expedition. On the way he visited Penugonda. King Kusumasresti received him and took him in a procession and arranged felicitation program in the colourful auditorium on behalf of his subjects.
Among the crowd, Vimaladitya (Vishnu Vardhana) spotted Vasavi who was glittering with her beauty after when Manamatha (the god of romance) threw his sweet arrows on him which influenced him a lot. To enquire about her he sent his minister. He made up his mind to marry her. He went to the extreme extent that without Vasavi he could not live in the world. The desire of Vishnuvardhana (Vimaladitya) was like a deathblow to Kusumasresty. He was neither in a position to accept it nor to deny. The age disparity barrier of difference of caste in addition to that Emperor was already married. All these facts crashed his mind into pieces.

Consequences after Vishnu Vardhana demand :
Kusumasresti sent Vishnuvardhana. Later he discussed this issue with his nearest & dearest. They unanimously decided to give most importance to the views of Vasavi. In turn, Vasavi frankly expressed to be a Virgin throughout her life and intended to meditate upon eternal problems.
Kusumasresti sent a denial message to the king Vishnuvardhana. As a result,the king rose into high anger and sent a Battalion of his army with words to attack mercilessly and to get Vasavi for him. The brave Vysyas of Penugonda by using all sorts of techniques of Sama, Dhana, Bheda and finally Danda, defeated Vishnuvardana's army.

Community reaction:
At this crucial juncture, Kusumasresti called for Great Conference of the Chief of all the 18 paraganas, the people of all 714 Gotras. The conference was presided by kusumasresti in the begin presence of Bhaskaracharya.

In the conference, there was difference of opinion. The Chiefs of 102 Gotras thought that ‘Those who are born must die'. Moreover, cowards die many times before their death. Their valiant never tastes of death but once. Hence, even the opponent is stronger, let us fight for the good cause. Cannot the spark burn a heap of straw? This was their firm decision. Whereas, Contrary to this the persons of 612 gotras urged that the matrimonial alliance would be safer and beneficial.

Later on Bhaskaracharya told  "we must safeguard our respect even at the cost of our lives". These words acted like a Catalyst on Kusumasresti. Even though they framed minority he stood firm not to give his daughter Vasavi in marriage to the king. With this incident, the unity among Vysyas was broken. Emperor like an injured Cobra took the lead of his huge army with strong determination to destroy his opponents.  In Penugonda also necessary arrangements were made with supporters of 102 Gotras and the people to face consequence.

Vasavi Devi reaction :
Vasavi, now entered into scene and told "Why there should be bloodshed among ourselves for the sake of a Girl? It does not look nice to sacrifice the lives of soldiers for our selfish desire. It is better to give up the idea of war. Instead, let us rebel in a novel way. We can control war through non-violence and self-sacrifice. Only people with strong will power and moral strength can participate in this kind of self- sacrifice,. The stream of Vasavi's new thought was delightful directions to Kusuma couple, and they decided to act in accordance with directions of Vasavi.

Arrangements for final exit
On the banks of Godavari, the holy place Brahmakunda as per the directions of Vasavi, the royal servants arranged 103 Agnikundas ( fire pits) in a special way. The whole city was observing that day as a festival day. Then Vasavi asked the couples of 102 Gotras as "will you plunge into this holy fire along with me?' everyone of them whole heatedly gave their consent. There was strong faith in the minds of those persons that Vasavi must an incarnation of God. They requested her to show them her real nature or swarupa.

She smiled and revealed her true self, which had the glittering radiance surpassing the brightness of sun. She told, " I am the incarnation of Adiparashakthi."  To safeguard the dignity of woman and to protect Dharma, to destroy Vishnu Vardhana and to reveal to the world the magnanimity of Vysyas I come here in Kaliyuga. Like Satideva who was insulted entered into holy fire, I too plunge into the holy fire and enter the other world. Kusumasresty during last birth was a great Saint by name Samadhi as per his aspirations he could attain salvation along with the people of 102 Gotras. That is why I asked you all to undergo Atmabalidhana." Vasavi advised the gathering about patriotism, honesty, social service, tolerance etc.,

Final exit and Vishnu Vardhan's death :
Devi disappeared as soon as the divine words came out of her mouth and people saw her in human form. Then all of them entered into holy fire after meditating upon their Gods.

Though Vishnuvardana felt bad Omens, he marched ahead and reached the main entrance of Penugonda. Then his detectives reported what all had happened in the city. He could not bare the great shock and his heart shattered into pieces. He fell down vomiting blood and he was no more.

The self-sacrifice of Vasavi and the end of Vishnuvardana was the talk of the town. People condemned the deeds of VishnuVardana and appreciated the epoch maker Vasavi and her non-violent principle.

History after Goddess Sri Vasavi Devi Final exit
The son of Vishnuvardana,Raja Raja Narendre rushed Penugonda and repented about the incidence. Later on Virupaksha consoled him and told " Brother, let us learn and formulate the present and future on the strong base of past. Vasavi had came to rescue of the people without giving room for great bloodshed. Her non-violence gave a good result".

Then, they consoled themselves. Virupaksha visited many pilgrim centres like Kasi, Gaya and other places, under the guidance of Baskaracharya. To commemorate the pilgrimage they installed 101 lingas for each gotra in penugonda. Then, Narendra installed a statue of Vasavi as a token of respect. From that day and even today all Vysyas are performing poojas to her and she to considered as Vysyakula Devatha-Vasavi Kanyaka parameshwari.

Vasavi's life is worth remembering, because of her faith in non-violence religious values and her defence of status of women. She become immortal as she has been mainly responsible for the propagation of reputation of Vysyas throughout the world. Vasavi who had rejected worldly pleasures, won the minds of   Vysyas and the champion of peace and non-violence should be remembered at all times by one and all.

Sri Kachaleeswarar Temple

Kachaleeswarar temple is situated in Parry's Corner, Chennai. Since Perumal worshipped Siva in the form of a tortoise, the deity derived the name Kachabeysan. The temple was built at Armenian Street in Parrys Corner in the year 1720. There's a story behind the construction of the temple here. Talavay Chettiar, a staunch devotee of Lord Siva used to visit Kachabeswara temple in Kancheepuram whenever he wished to. But during one of such visits, he could not reach Kancheepuram due to heavy rains and had to return. He was extremely sad over the incident. Then, he built the temple in Chennai. He took eight years to complete the work.
After passing by the majestic kodimaram, altar and Nandi, we reach the sanctum of the moolavar Sri Kachabeysan. The presiding deity is portrayed with five seats - koormasanam (tortoise), ashtanagasanam (eight serpents), simhasanam (lion), yugasanam (time), kamala vimalasanam (lotus flower). Lord Siva is portrayed as lingam in all the temples. But in this temple, at the back side of the lingam, Lord Siva is portrayed with five faces as Sadasivamoorthy along with His consort Manonmani thaayaar.

Colorful pictures depicting the glory of Lord Siva are seen on the walls of the inner prahara and Alangara mandap. Devaram songs are written on the walls of the temple. The navagrahas in this temple are unique in their nature in that they have been made as per astrological calculation. While going around the inner prahara, we see the towering urchavamoorthy Somaskandar. Because of the heavy weight, He is being taken on procession only twice in a year.

Adjoining this sannadhi, we get the darshan of Sthala Kachapa Maha Ganapathy. History says that this deity had been installed on the banks of the adjacent tank even before this temple was built. Next to this sannadhi, Lord Muruga is portrayed with His two consorts Valli and Devyani. Sri Durgambika's urchavamoorthy gives us darshan if we pass by the sannadhi of Muruga.

In the north prahara, Sri Durga Devi blesses Her devotees with the fortune of marriage, children and property. At the Nataraja sannadhi, the twelve Thirumurai Vedas and Chidambara Ragasyam are there. At the right side of its entrance, Govindaraja Perumal has been portrayed. Dattatreya, who appeared before the chaste woman Anasuya has been portrayed.

Daily worship services are being carried out as per Veda aagama procedure. Pradosha abhishekam, pujas, Veda parayanam, Sivapuranam, the procession of the deity on Rishaba mount all these emphasize the godly atmosphere. On Tuesdays and Fridays parayanam by women and songs are done for the welfare of the people. Worship of Durga during Rahu kaalam on Tuesdays is believed to relieve people from their travails. And, for the welfare of the world, Iyappa bhajans are conducted on Saturdays. The special abhishekams on the nights of new moon days to Kaalabhairava is believed to drive away sorrow.

We can see the figures of Dalavay Chettiar and his wife Sundari on a pillar in the south prahara.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Parrys Sri Kalikambal Temple

The Kalikambal Temple, one of the most popular temples in Chennai, is located in Thambu Chetty Street, Georgetown. This temple is a very old temple and has a lot of historical relevance as well. Chennai city was once called Chennamman Kuppam in the name of Goddess Chennaman and later Chenna pattinam. The Kali of the erstwhile Chennamman Kuppam is today’s Kalikambal. The temple was once located inside the St George fort and later shifted here during the British regime at 1640 AD. The temple has the sanctity of the two Pancha bootha Sthalams – Kanchipuram and Thiruvannamalai.
It is believed that a fierce form of Goddess was held in worship earlier and that this form was replaced with the shanta swaroopa form of Kamakshi. At the foot of the Goddess is present the Arthameru installed by Aadhi Shankarar. Kamadeswarar is present in a separate shrine. Many sages Vyasar, Parasar, Agasthiar, Ankiresar, Pulasthiar and Varunan and Celestial Gods Indhran, Guberan and Viwaakarma worshipped Kalikambal. It is said that Guberan got all his wealth only after worshipping Kalikambal here.
Chathrabathi Sivaji worshipped Kalikambal in October, 1667. Bharathiar used to worship Kalikambal while working in Suthesamithran magazine and his verse ‘Yathumahi Ninral Kali’ was sung on Kalikambal only. The famous TMS’s song ‘Ullam Uruhuthaiya’ was sung for the first time here only, in 1952 by Sri Andavan Pichai.

The Chennai Kalikambal temple has a lot of festivals and celebrations. The Bhramotsavam celebrations for ten days in the Vaikasi month are one of the most popular festivals where devotees come in huge numbers. Talking of the architectural heights that the temple boasts about is the Kinnitter, also referred to as the Sri Chakra Vimamaanam (the kings’ chariot). This is unique to the temple and is marked by a supremely well crafted chariot which is lined with metal cymbals. The temple premises is very well maintained, even after being exposed to so long time and is worth a visit. Devotees can visit the temple all year round.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Maangaadu Sri Vaikunda Perumaal

Maangaadu is located at the outskirts of Chennai near Poondhamalli. While going from Chennai city on Mount Poondhamalli road, one has to take left from Kumananchaavadi junction to reach Maangaadu.
 This temple is located very close to Maangaadu Sri Kamakshi Amman temple. This is a very ancient and beautiful temple for Lord Vishnu. The main deity here is Sri Vaikunda Perumaal.
 According to the legend, when Goddess Sri Kamakshi performed Thapas here in Maangaadu, Lord Shiva came down to earth to marry Her. Lord Shiva appeared to Sri Kamakshi and directed Her to reach Kanchipuram where He can marry the Goddess.

Lord Vishnu, who is the brother of Goddess anticipating the wedding to happen at Maangaadu, came down here with maternal gifts for the bride and waited here.
But as the wedding did not happen here at Maangaadu, Lord Vishnu took abode here as Sri Vaikunda Perumaal with the Jewel (wedding ring) he brought for the Goddess and started blessing devotees.

The main deity Sri Vaikunda Perumaal is so beautiful with Sri Devi and Bhu Devi facing east. God is seen holding the wedding ring in his palm. Also He is holding Prayoga Chakra in one of his hands, which is believed to be so powerful.
Goddess here is Sri Kanakavalli Thaayaar having a separate shrine facing east on the outer praakaaram. Aandaal shrine is found on the northwest corner of the temple, facing east.
The temple also maintains a beautiful Goshala with many cows.

Many beautiful statues like Sri Rama, Sri Anjaneya etc, are found on the outer walls of the temple.
It is said that people visiting Sri Kamakshi Amman temple should also have dharshan at Sri Velleeswarar temple and Sri Vaikunda Perumaal temple in Maangaadu, as all these three temples are interconnected with the history of Sri Kamakshi Amman.

Maangaadu Sri Velleeswarar

Maangaadu is a small beautiful village located at the outskirts of Chennai near Poondhamalli. While going from Chennai city on Mount Poondhamalli road, one has to take left from Kumananchaavadi junction to reach Maangaadu.
This temple is located very close to Maangaadu Sri Kamakshi Amman temple. This is a very ancient and beautiful temple for Lord Shiva. The main deity here is Sri Velleeswarar. There is no Ambaal in this temple, as Sri Kamakshi Amman is present nearby.
According to the legend, when Goddess Sri Kamakshi performed Thapas here in Maangaadu, Lord Shiva came down to earth to give dharshan to Her and marry Her. It is said that, Sri Sukran (Venus) worshipped Lord Shiva here. When Sri Kamakshi came here to have dharshan of Lord Shiva, she saw Sri Sukran worshipping the Lord. The Goddess went back as She did not want to disturb the prayers of Sukran.

Later Lord Shiva directed the Goddess to come to Kanchipuram and married Her there. As Sri Sukran (Velli in Thamizh) worshipped Lord Shiva here, the Lord came to be known as Sri Velleeswarar and also called as Sri Bhaargaveswarar.

This temple is Sukran Sthalam among the Navagraha Temples of Chennai (or Thondai Mandalam). Sri Sukran blesses people with wealth, prosperity, good family, vehicles, fame and social status.

The main deity Sri Velleeswarar is huge and looks very grand, facing east. Lord Ganesha and Lord Muruga are seen at either side of the entrance of the sanctum. Lord Ganesha here is holding a Mango fruit in His hand and is called ‘Maangani Vinayagar’. The place Maangaadu itself had got its name as it was once a vast Mango forest.
Lingothbavar is seen on the outer wall behind the sanctum. Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu are present on either side of Lingothbavar worshipping Him.
There is a separate shrine for Sri Veerabadhrar behind the sanctum. Sri Veerabadhrar is said to have got created from the sweat of Lord Shiva to defeat Dhakshan.
Sri Subramanyar shrine is present at the North West side of the outer praakaaram. Sri Subramanyar is so beautiful and seen with His consorts Sri Valli and Sri Dhevasena. All the 3 deities are made of a single stone. Lord Muruga’s Vaahanam (carrier) peacock is present outside the shrine facing the shrine.
A beautiful Nandhi is present outside the sanctum, facing towards west. It is said that people visiting Sri Kamakshi Amman temple should also have dharshan at Sri Velleeswarar temple and Sri Vaikunda Perumaal temple in Maangaadu, as all these three temples are interconnected with the history of Sri Kamakshi Amman.

Kovur Budhan Temple

Budhan Sthalam - Kovur Thirumeyneeswarar Shiva temple is the Budhan (Sthalam. The entrance is picturesque with an array of houses and tall Asoka Trees on either side.
This temple has the unique Maha Vilvam as its Sthala Vruksham. (Sacred tree in the temple) which has bunch of 27 leaves in one single stalk!!!
This is the place where Saint Thyagaraja sang the Kovur Panchartanam on Shiva.

Kozapakkam - Suryan - Sun

Agastheeswarar Koil – Kozapakkam, is the Surya shrine, (Sun)

Location: This lies sandwiched in the link road between the Kundrathur and Mount Poonamallee High Road.


The unique feature is that the three main deities The Sun God, Bairava Idol and the Shivalingam (to be seen through Salaram (window) all at the same time. Many stone scriptures are seen scattered all around the temple. The landscape and garden around this temple is maintained excellently well.
Local folk say that due to the power of Surya (Sun God) here, most of the inhabitants have secured Government jobs!

A beautiful water pond is in front of the temple.

Somangalam - Chandran - Moon

Somangalam Chandra (Moon) sthala
Location: Sandwiched in a place between the road from Kundrathur to Sriperumbudur.

This has Somanatheeswarar as the main deity. The Chandra adorning Shiva is worshipped.
A legend says that the Nandi was cursed to look the opposite side, as it got over confident and thought that it was better than the Lord Himself on winning a war against invaders!!
This temple also ahs an unique statue of BRAHMA SUBRAHMANIAR – Subramania who did the work of Brahma, while Brahma was put behind bars, by Subrahmania himself!! When Brahma came to Kailasa, the abode of Shiva, the young Subrahmania @Karthikeya, stopped Brahma on the way. Brahma showd arrogance and challenged Karthikeya, saying that he was one among the Trinity, doing the job of a Creator and none dared to stop him.

Karthikeya asked the meaning for Aum (pronounced as OM). Brahma could not decipher the meaning of this Pranava Mantra.

To condemn his ignorance and arrogance, Brahma was imprisoned and Karthikeya took the mantle of a creator for a while!
The priest here is for the 11th generation FROM THE SAME FAMILY which is doing Pooja for ages! There were few idols sctattered around the temple.

The sthala vriksha here is “Sarakondrai”.

Poonamallee - Sevvai - Angaraka - Mars

Thayal Nayagi Udanurai Vaitheesaran Koil ( Goddess named as Thayal Nayagi and the Shiva called as Vaideeswaran, is the Sevvai @ Angaraka Kshetram – (Mars) .
The temple is lavish, big and well maintained. Here the temple has a separate Sevvai Padam (legs) and a statue of the Sthala Vruksha Thaazhi Panai Maram (Thazhi Palm) and also 3 Chakrams which were established here by the Adi Shankara (Sri Chakram, Subramania Chakram, Shanmuga Chakram) near the Subramania Swami Sannidhi.
The munmandapam near the Shiva Shrine has beautiful carvings on the roof. The South entrance has some interesting sculptures on either side.


Pozhichaloor - Saturn - Sani

Agastheeswarar Koil at Pozhichalur – was also called as Thugazh Chola Nallur. This temple has a separate Sani Statue.

The presiding Goddess is Anandavalli Thayar and the Lord is Agastheeswarar . This temple is also called as Vada Thirunallaru, and is a renowned Nadi Pariharashthalam.
People around say that foreigners, North Indians throng this temple to do parihaara for their Dosha if informed through Naadi Josyam!

The temple is a 12th century architecture. It is said that the Sivalingam appeared when the native Mudaliars ploughed the land.

Porur - Guru - Jupiter

Guru sthala-(Jupiter) - Porur Ramanadeswarar Koil
This temple is the situated in Eswaran Koil Street. This is also called as Uthara Rameswaram, and is being maintained beautifully. Well lit, the main Shiva Linga well decorated and taken care off. What is missed is the history and the stones bearing the inscriptions!
The alternate to this Gurusthalam, is the Shiva Temple at Kundrathur.

Thiruverkaadu Sri Vedhapureeswarar

Thiruverkaadu is situated about 20 kms from Chennai city. It lies on the road branching out off Mount Poondhamalli Road near Kumananchaavadi.

Though Thiruverkaadu is much known for Sri Karumari Amman temple, there’s another ancient and older temple for Lord Shiva, called as Sri Vedhapureeswarar. Goddess here is Sri Baalaambigai.
As per the legend, once when Lord Brahma, the creator was proceeding to Kailash, the playful child Lord Muruga asked him for the meaning of the Pranava Manthra "OM". When Brahma admitted that he did not know it, Lord Muruga imprisoned him. As a result, all creations came to a standstill and the Devas prayed to Lord Siva to get Brahma released.

Lord Shiva sent Sri Nandhigeswarar to talk to Lord Muruga and rescue Lord Brahma. But Lord Muruga didn’t listen to Sri Nandhigeswarar. So, Lord Shiva Himself decided and went to Lord Muruga and convinced Him to leave Lord Brahma.

Since Lord Muruga didn’t obey the words of Sri Nandhigeswarar, Lord Shiva ordered Him to go to Thiruverkaadu and worship Him here. Lord Muruga visited Thiruverkaadu, formed a Theertham using his Vel, installed a Shiva Lingam and worshipped Lord Shiva here. The Theertham created by Lord Muruga is called Velaayudha Theertham.
In this temple, we can see Lord Muruga in a separate shrine without any weapons in His hand. Also there is a Shiva Lingam seen in front of Lord Muruga which is rare to see.

Another history connected to this temple is, during Lord Shiva’s wedding everyone including Gods, Devas and Saints gathered at Mount Kailash to witness the celestial event. Because of this, the whole earth tilted towards North, where everyone gathered. Lord Shiva directed Sage Agasthiar to go towards South to balance the earth. Sage Agasthiar prayed the Lord saying that he will not be able to see the God’s wedding.

Lord Shiva granted him a boon that from wherever He prays the Lord, he can have the dharshan of His wedding. Sage Agasthiar on his way stayed here at Thiruverkaadu and worshipped Lord Shiva and had the Dharshan of Lord Shiva’s wedding. One can see Lord Shiva and the Goddess’s in ceremonial wedding posture just behind the Shiva Lingam inside the sanctum. Sage Agasthiar was blessed to have God’s dharshan from various places and Thiruverkaadu is one of them.

The temple is constructed on a vast area and the Raja Gopuram is facing east. The Rajagopuram is 5 tiered and has various sculptures on it.

Sri Nandhigeswarar is so beautifully present at the outer praakaaram decorated with many flowers and Vilvam, allowing us to have the Dharshan of Sri Vedhapureeswarar.

In the sanctum, we can see Sri Vedhapureeswarar in the form of Shiva Lingam and behind that the wedding posture of Lord Shiva and Sri Parvathi.

At the inner praakaaram, we can see the Naalvar viz Appar, Sundharar, Manickavaasagar and Thirugnanasambandhar. Along with them are seen the others among 63 Naayanmaars in a row at the southern praakaaram.
Sri Dhakshinamurthy is found at the southern side of the praakaaram. At the south western side there is a separate shrine for Sri Sannadhi Vinayagar.

The sanctum is apsidal which is called Gajabrishta shape. Sri Lingothbavar is present behind the sanctum on the outer wall.

Just behind the sanctum, Sri Kasi Viswanathar, Sri Visalakshi, Anabaya Chozhan and Sekkizhar are seen facing East towards Sri Lingothbavar.

Sri Sandigeswarar is facing south towards the Lord and another Sri Sandeeswarar is also seen sitting and meditating the Lord looking towards the sanctum.

The Vimaanam of the sanctum is of the Gajabrishta shape

Ambaal Sri Balambigai is facing south and has Simha Vaahanam facing Her towards north.

The Shiva Ganaas are seen on the top of the walls of the temple on specific directions, guarding the whole temple.

There is a tall and beautiful Dhwajasthambham adding beauty to the temple.

There is a separate shrine for Sri Saneeswarar and Sri Moorgha Naayanaar on the north eastern side of the outer praakaaram. It is said that Sri Moorgha Naayanaar was born here at this place.

Sri Arunagirinaathar has sung Thiruppugazh on Lord Muruga here and has a separate shrine facing west on the south eastern side.

The Sthala Viruksham is called VeLvela Maram which is seen on the outer praakaaram. There is a Shiva Lingam and Sri Nandhi under the Sthala Viruksham.

The Theertham of this temple is called Velaayudha Theertham formed by Lord Muruga, which is under renovation now.

Thiruverkaadu is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams for Lord Shiva (Thiru Gnana Sambandar has sung hymns on Lord Shiva here) and is one of the renowned temples in Thondai Mandalam, which is worth visiting.

Pancheshti Sri Agatheeswarar

Pancheshti is a very small village located on Chennai Kolkota highway, about 30 kms from Chennai. After crossing Red Hills and Karanodai on the highway, you have to take a right turn to enter this village. The temple is just 500 meters off the highway.

Pancheshti had got its name from Pancha Ishti. Pancha means 5 and Ishti means Yagna means Penance which is performed to get some wish fulfilled.
According to legend, there lived a demon king called Sukethu, who along with his family suffered some curse. To get him relieved of the curse, Sage Agasthiyar performed about 5 yagnas called Deva Yaagam, Brahma Yaagam, Bhootha Yaagam, Pithur Yaagam and Manusha Yaagam here. Hence this place got its name Pancha Ishti which later corrupted to become Pancheshti and now Panchetti.

It is said that Sage Agasthiyar stayed here for long and worshipped Lord Shiva and also helped the Devas like Lord Indra, Indrani (Indra’s wife) and Viswaroopan to get relieved of their curses, by performing Pradhosha Poojas.

A king called Mithradhwaja, who was ruling this part with his capital as Kanchipuram, used to visit this temple on all Pradhosham days to worship Lord Shiva here. Once during such visit, he heard a voice crying for savior. When he went near, he saw a tiger trying to kill a old man who was a passer by. The king asked the tiger to leave the old man. The tiger replied that it is also old and has to feed it’s family, for which the old man is the prey. The king told the tiger to take him as the prey and leave the old man alive. The king also said that he is on his way to Pancheshti for Pradhosha Pooja and on return he will offer himself to the tiger. The tiger agreed. After his pooja the king returned to the tiger and asked to take him as the prey. The tiger vanished and Lord
Shiva gave Dharshan to him along with Parvathi. The king who was overwhelmed with the mercy of the Lord, has contributed a lot to this temple.

The Lord here is a Swayambhu (self evolved) Lingam, which is said to be existed even before the arrival of Sage Agasthiyar here. As Agasthiyar worshipped here, the Lord here is called Sri Agatheeswarar.

The Ambaal (Goddess) here is Sri Anandhavalli, who is so beautiful in standing posture facing south. She is made of green granite and is three eyed, hence considered powerful. As she has her left foot forward, she is believed to be the destroyer (Chathru Samhaari) of all the evil forces or enemies.

Worshipping her here eliminates all the evil forces, enemies and hurdles in one’s life.

Sage Agasthiyar has installed a Maha Yantra, also called Durga Yantra (containing scriptures) just in front of Ambaal to bring down her fierce (Ugram).

Abishegams are performed to this Yantra on Tuesdays and Fridays and also poojas during Rahu Kaalam timings.

Thiruverkaadu Sri Karumaari Amman

Thiruverkaadu is situated about 20 kms from Chennai city. It lies on the road branching out off Mount Poondhamalli Road near Kumananchaavadi.

Apart from an ancient temple for Lord Shiva called as Sri Vedhapureeswarar temple, Thiruverkaadu also has a temple for Sri Karumaari Amman, which is more popular in Chennai.
According to the legend, once Sri Karumaari Amman took form of a fortune teller and went to Sun God for predicting his future. Sri Surya Bhagawan neglected Her and Sri Ambaal vanished from his sight, because of which Sun God lost his powers and glory. Then Surya Bhagawan realized that it was none other than the Goddess Herself and came and worshipped her here at Thiruverkaadu, seeking apologies. Goddess pardoned him with mercy and Sri Surya Bhagawan requested her to bless that Sunday (Sun God’s day) be the auspicious day for the Devi here. Goddess obliged to it. Also the Sun God spread His rays on the Goddess here during the Thamizh months Panguni and Purattaasi to show His devotion to the Goddess.

In ancient days, this place was a forest filled with VeLvela trees and hence was called as Velankaadu, which later turned to get its present name. It is also said that Lord Muruga, before His battle with the demon king Surapadhman, got His weapon ‘Vel’ from Sri Karumaari Amman here and so the place was called as Velankaadu.

It is said that Sri Vinayagar (Lord Ganesha) worshipped the Goddess here by performing Abhishegam using Valampuri Sanghu (Conch). The Goddess got pleased with His worship and blessed Him that the poojas at the temple will first be performed to Sri Vinayagar and then to Her. Sri Vinayagar can be seen present in the temple just as we enter the temple near the Dhwajasthambham. While entering the temple, one has to pray Him and then go further to worship Sri Karumaari Amman.

Once, when the Asuras gave troubles to Devas, they came and worshipped Lord Shiva at Thiruverkaadu, to save them. Lord Shiva called His Devi Sri Verkanni and directed Her to look after His duties till He is back from Devaloka. Lord Shiva gave her the holy ashes from His body and blessed Her. The Goddess asked Sage Agasthiyar to look for a holy place where she can perform the heavenly duties assigned by Lord Shiva. When Sage Agasthiyar was thinking of such place, he heard an Asareeri (a holy voice) saying that the place where he was standing itself is a holy place. Goddess took abode here as Sri Karumaari Amman and also blessed the place that one will be removed of all the sins by worshipping Her at Thiruverkaadu.
Thiruverkaadu is the place where all 3 Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva have worshipped the Goddess. Hence She is called as Sri Karumaari here. Ka means Brahma, Ru means Rudhra or Shiva, and Ma means Vishnu.

The temple here is facing east. There is a beautiful Rajagopuram to enter the temple. Once we enter Sri Vinayagar is seen on an elevated shrine under a tree.

After crossing Sri Vinayagar, the sanctum of Goddess Sri Karumaari Amman is seen. The Goddess is facing east. It is said that originally the Goddess evolved from an ant hill. Amman is so beautiful with a smiling face and decorated well with lots of flowers.

Sri Subramanyar is found at the praakaaram around the sanctum. Navagrahas are found at the north eastern side of the temple. Sri Brahma is found on one of the walls facing north.

There is another small shrine adjacent to this temple, where a huge ant hill is found under a Peepul tree. Devotees offer milk and eggs for the snakes in this ant hill. Camphors are also lit here to offer worship. The entire ant hill is yellow in color as devotees have applied turmeric powder on it.

The temple pond is found in front of the temple which is so beautiful with a small Mandapam in the middle.

A tall and beautiful temple Chariot is parked in a separate Mandapam adjacent to the temple.

Thiruverkaadu attracts thousands of devotees and tourists everyday from various parts of the country. Sri Ambaal here is believed to be so powerful granting the wishes of the devotees worshipping her.

Vadapalani Murugan Temple

The Vadapalani Murugan Temple was built some 125 years back. The temple was just built starting with just a Murugan Picture.
According to this temple history a devotee named Annaswami Tambiran made a small hut and kept a Murugan painting for his worship. While he was meditating and worshipping he used to experience some divine power used to enter his body and made him to do mysterious things. Whatever he said had started to become true and this saying started to be said as “Arul Vakku” and he started to help the needy by getting jobs for the jobless, curing decease and marriage problems.One day he was feeling sick and according to the instruction of a Sadhu he visited Tiruthani and prayed to God that he would offer part of his tongue cut with knife at Bali Peetam and when he returned back his sickness went off. Then he went to Palani by foot and he experienced many divine things happening on his way. Then he returned back and started to worship Lord Muruga in the small hut. When started to feel that his life is going to be an end he requested his close friend Ratnaswami to continue the pooja activities to the Murugan painting, which he was doing. And Ratnaswami started to do the pooja work as he promised his friend and he built a small shrine and he also started to give Arul vakku. The public started to offer money to him and this was used to erect the Temple but before the Temple got finished Ratnaswami also expired.

Then entered into the arena some humanist philanthropists who metamorphosed that simple hut into a superb spiritual abode. Among the builders, the renowned Saiva Pravakta Kripananda Variyar's name takes first place. Thus emerged this great Muruga kshetra, and now a great temple drawing a steady streams of pilgrims throughout the year.

There are many sannadhi’s inside the Temple Varasiddhi Vinayaka,Chokkanathar, Mother Parvati, Kali, Bhairava, Shanmuga with Valli and Devasena.
The moolavar in standing posture resembles the Palani Muruga in every respect. In the inner prakara, there are many niches housing Dakshina Murti, Chandikeswar, Mahalakshmi, etc., It has a spacious hall used for conducting marriages and religious discourses. It is one of the most-frequented Murugan shrines in the city of Chennai.  The entrance to this temple is crowned with a rajagopuram adorned with several stucco images depicting legends from the Skanda puranam. In front of the temple is the temple tank. The eastern tower rises to a height of 40.8 metres. The 108 bharata natyam dance gestures can be seen on the eastern tower as well.

This temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga, worshipped as Lord of Tamil, by the people of Tamil Nadu. Although Lord Muruga in this temple has become very popular among the devotees, this temple is a full-fledged Siva temple with "Sanctum Sanctorums" for Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvathi, Lord Ganesh, in addition to Lord Muruga. Another God who is more popular in this temple is Lord Anjaneya, whose figure is sculpted on a pillar. Devotees apply butter to Lord Anjaneya and pray for the fulfillment of their wishes. This temple became popular more because of the patronage of the film-industry as most of the activities are concentrated in and around Kodambakkam and Vadapalani. More than 7000 marriages have taken place in the temple premises because people consider it auspicious for getting married there. This temple is always bustling with activity throughout the year and attracts devotees from far and wide.