Thirupparaithurai Thirugavaneswarar!

Dakshinamurthy

Thirupparaithurai-
Tharugavaneswarar,aka Paraithurai Nather, Paraithruai Selvar…

If God appears before me and gives me a choice “which era you Wd like to be Reborn!’I Wd choose 800 AD,as I Wd experience the Great ambience of Saints like ADI Sankara’s and enjoy the immense contributions of Manikkavasagar to Paranthaka Cholan’s dedications in creation and Preservation of such great Temples on the banks of Akanda Cauvery!

Atleast, now,I have the satisfaction to be able to visit such age old Shiva n Vishnu sthalams..One such is Thirupparaithurai :

Arunagirinathar on Thiruppareswarar

Pasumpon Mayeelambikai (Hema Varnambikai) (Parvati)

Pasumpon Mayeelambikai Amman

Manikkavasagar and Arunagirinathar have sung in praise of this sthalam as can be seen above.

Manikkavasagar has visited almost all Temples in the south and was also involved in cleaning of the dilapidated temples with a team called uzhavarapadai,which probably the Japanese has copied from us Today!

The hymnists like Manikkavasagar made classificatory lists of places like katu (for forest), turai (port or refuge), kulam (water tank) and kalam (field) being used – thus giving us an idea of their prominence..thurai means only by boats one can reach this place!

We should be very very grateful to Nagarathars for preserving such historical temples,as can be seen from this tableau at this Siva Sthalam:

Thirupparaithurai Dharukavaneswarar

Let us atleast visit such age old temples before age takes us Older Still!
Sathyameva Jayathe

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Badrinath,a Once in a Lifetime Journey!

Badrinath,A lifetime Journey for the Faithfuls!

Badrinath Main Entrance

Both Kedarnath and Badrinath are only 15 KMs apart but on different Hills!Hence visiting them is a tough ride,amidst man made obstacles and chaotic traffic.
But one is the happiest on arriving at these shrines,for their Mountain View and moment of Achievement!
Badrinarain is Vishnu on the banks of River Alakananda, consecrated by Adi Sankara ,1400 yrs back.

BADRINATH TEMPLE

At 4 am when I got up and went for Darshan,there was a Queue of 1.5 KM!Luckily my friend Ramachandran of Kalpathy,used a trick with the security and we were infront of the Lord Himself!
Not satisfied with one Round of Darshan,Ramachandran(see in picture)wanted to have a second round!

Ramachandran At Adi Sankara Sannidhi

When I met him after 3 hrs he narrated this miracle experience!
He sneaked into VIP enclosures where Only Ambanis and Bangurs who have reserved the enclosure with huge amnt were allowed.Ramachandran was nervous when the Head priest signalled him and offered him a special chair in front of the Lord,Reserved for a Lucky person of the day!It was really unbelievable and we were unhappy that still many faithfuls are unable to get simple Glance of the Lord!Lots of discrimination and unmanageble crowds!

Badrinath Shiva

Badrinath Hanuman

The Temple:
The image of the presiding deity worshipped in the temple is Only 3.3 ft tall, black stone statue of Vishnu in the form of Badrinarayan. The statue is considered by many Hindus to be one of eight swayam vyakta kshetras, or self-manifested statues of Vishnu.

Badrinarain, Urchavar

At Adi Sankara Sannidhi

The temple is mentioned in ancient religious texts like Vishnu Purana and Skanda Purana. It is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, an early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD.

About The Temple:

The main shrine houses the 3.3 ft Shaligram (black stone) image of Badrinarayan, which is housed in a gold canopy under a Badri Tree. The image of Badrinarayan holds a Shankha (conch) and a Chakra (wheel) in two of its arms in a lifted posture and two arms are rested on its lap in a Yogamudra (Padmasana) posture.The sanctum also houses images of the god of wealth—Kubera, sage Narada, Uddhava, Nar and Narayan.K There are fifteen more images that are also worshipped around the temple. These include that of Lakshmi (the consort of Vishnu), Garuda (the vahana of Narayan), and Navadurga, the manifestation of Durga in nine different forms. The temple also has shrines of Lakshmi Narasimhar and for saints Adi Shankara (ad 788-820), Vedanta Desika and Ramanujacharya. All the idols of the temple are made of black stone.

Mountain View

At Badrinath

The Tapt Kund, a group of hot sulphur springs just below the temple, are considered to be medicinal; many pilgrims consider it a requirement to bathe in the springs before visiting the temple. The springs have a year-round temperature of 55 °C (131 °F), while outside temperature is typically below 17 °C (63 °F) all year round.The two water ponds in the temple are called Narad Kund and Surya Kund.

Anjumurthy Temple, Kerala

Anjumurthy Temple, Mangalam, Kerala

Palghat and near by villages are dotted with age old amazing Temples, if one wishes to spend some useful and peaceful Time.

One such unique Temple, near Alathur is Anjumurthy Temple, a rare temple for Mahavishnu’s Sudarsana Chakra!

 

Maha Sudarsanam is the strongest weapon of Lord Mahavishnu. Sundarsanam is used by Maha Vishnu towards enemies with cuts enemies head and return back to his hand. It is believed that sudarsana is separating head from body, denoting seperating “Maya” and giving moksha. 

The presiding deity here is this ‘Sudarsana Chakra’ as self-formed deity. Lord Maha Vishnu is presiding here in Saint form, Shiva on one side, Karthikeya devi in dancing posture, on the backside and Sastha and Ganapathi, on another side are adorable! A small Hanuman statue looks a later date addition!
Sudarsanam here is approximately 3 feets height. It is believed that worshipping here will protect devotees from all evil spirits and other obstacles. 
I admire the Keralites’ taste for cleanliness for Temples and sincerity while praying!

 

Sri Mahadeva Temple, Kavassery, 1300 Yr old Temple!

IIn my pursuit to see age old Temples of India, led me to a 1300 Yr old, unique, Temple for Brahma Vishnu Shiva, near Alathur, Kerala, on the new year Eve!

 

The Temple looked deserted and remote but a very sincere Gopalakrishnan, the only priest managing this unique architectural beauty so very well!  We were surprised by his Devotion!

 

He received us at the Pradosha neram on 31st December, saying “I was praying God to send someone for the Puja, as I have done today, thorough cleaning of the Sanctum! He became emotional when he did the Special Puja for my family and explained the Uniqueness of the Temple. There is only, one other temple for Brahma Vishnu Shiva,  one in Suchindram and another one  in Kodumudy! 

We were so touched by his special Puja for us,  on the eve of the New Year! He explained how Cobras come and go and once when he opened the door, one fell on his head and sped away harmlessly. I saw the unique Snake Pit inside the Temple and for a single man, managing this age old Temple, is a real challenge too. He was God’s Messenger, we felt, specially sent for us on this New Year’s Eve! 

Can’t ask for anything more! 

I narrowly missed crushing a 6feet long  Cobra, leisurely crossing while we were driving! The truck driver following us,  stopped the Traffic on time for the Majestic Reptile to cross the road at its own Pace! 

IMG_20171231_172407

Marvels of India – Sringeri

Sringeri Vidyaranyar Temple

Sankara Jayanthi

When Lord Parameaswara Himself was reborn in Kalady!

If one makes a trip to Kodajadri one can imagine how it is impossible to trek to that place even Today! Unless AdiSankara is Parameaswara Himself some 1300 yrs back He cdn’t have made it! 

On Sankara Jayanthi, A journey to Sringeri is a pilgrimage bringing me immeasurable Happiness.

Selfish Eeeee Sringeri

Enjoy the intricate Carvings, shadows falling exactly on the Zodiac signs of that month, an architectural Marvel! 

Take a dip in the Thungabadra!

Visit Rishyasringar Temple!

Don’t forget Simhagiri across the river! A Peaceful Paradise!

Adi Sankara Temple Sringeri

Vidyasankar Temple is an architectural Marvel!

Sringeri Sankaracharyas

The Vidyashankar temple was built in commemoration of the pontiff Vidyashankara, around 1357-58 C.E.. It was built by Vidyaranya, patron-saint of Harihara and Bukka  the brothers who founded the Vijayanagara empire! 

The niches in the temple have a number of sculptures from Hindu mythology. Inscriptions in the temple record contributions made by several Vijayanagara emperors. One must not miss the Stone Chains unique in only few Temples like Avudaiyar Koil, Perur, apart from Sringeri! 

The architecture  is also an exhibition of the astronomical expertise of medieval south Indian temple builders. The main temple hall features 12 pillars designated for the 12 signs of the zodiac. Windows and doors along the temple walls are arranged such that equinoxes sunrise views reach the deity. The northern and southern gates enable the sunrise view from the hall during solstices. The structure stands on a high plinth and commands a magnificent view from the hills and their slopes all round. It is more or less a rectangle with apisidal east-west ends. On the western side is the Garbhagriha, with Vidya Ganapathi  on one side and Durga on the other side of the entrance.

In the eastern half of the structure is a mantapa with twelve pillars, huge monoliths carrying large figures and carrying heavy projecting corbels on top. These twelve pillars are marked by the twelve signs of the zodiac in their regular order, and arranged in such a manner that the rays of the sun fall on each of them in the order of the twelve solar months. On the floor is a large circle, marked with converging lines to indicate the direction of the shadows. The central ceiling is an exquisite piece of workmanship with lotus and pecking parrots. The vimana over the Garbhagriha rises magnificently with shikhara, mahapadma and stupa. The rest of the roof is made up of sloping channelled slab. The basement is elaborately sculpted with animals, puranic stories, and Dasavathara . From the caves of the corners of the central hall chains of stone rings hang which is a unique master piece! 

Stone Chains Sringeri

Marvels of India – Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar

Lingaraj Temple – Bhubaneswar

Lingaraj Temple Bhubaneswar

Lingaraj Temple(inside) Bhubaneswar


Bhubaneswar is dotted with many Architecturally carved out beautiful Temple towers  in Odissy style architecture , which is unique. It is called Deula style,that has fourcomponents namely, 

vimana (structure containing thesanctum), 

jagamohana(assebly hall), natamandira (festival hall) and bhoga-mandapa (hall of offerings), each increasing in the height to its predecessor.

Deula Style Architecture Lingaraj Temple


Bhubaneswar is called the Ekamra Kshetra as the deity of Lingaraj was originally under a mango tree (Ekamra) as noted in Ekamra Purana, a 13th-century Sanskrit treatise. The temple is active in worship practises, unlike most other temples in Bhubaneswar and Shiva is worshipped as Harihara, a combined form of Vishnu and Shiva. The temple has image of Lord Shiva of only 8″height but with 8feet Dia! 

At Lingaraj Temple

A tower inside Lingaraj Temple Bhubaneswar


The Lingaraja temple is said to have been built first by the ruler Yayati Kesari in the 7th century who shifted his capital from Jaipur to Bhubaneshwar. Bhubaneshwar remained as the Kesari capital, till Nripati Kesari founded Cuttck in the 10th century. Inscriptions from the period of the Kalinga King Anangabhima III from the 13th century are seen here.
There are many structures inside the temple, particularly of interest is the replica of Puri Jagannath and Balabadra, Subadra, one can have such a peaceful Darshan! 

Our Faith is so pure for the Cows,  Bulls and Cow Dungs too, that one can see them loitering everywhere in all such Temples! 

Puri Jagannath Temple!

Puri Jagannath Temple

Puri Jagannath Temple 
The temple is an important pilgrimage destination and is particularly visited by devotees of Supreme lord Sri Krishna and is one of the Char Dham, Kedaranath, Badrinath, Puri, Rameswaram,  pilgrimages that any devoted Hindu,  is expected to make in one’s lifetime.

Nila Chakra pillar at Puri Jagannath

The major construction of Jagannath temple was initiated by king chodagangadeva (known for also building the Sun temple of Konark and several major Shaivism temples). And was completed by his grandson Anangabhimadeva in the late 12th century.

Nila Chakra pillar at Puri Jagannath

Puri Jagannath Temple

Adi Shankara established Lord Jagannath in this place, having established one On West Dwaraka for Lord Krishna, one on North and South, Kedaranath and Rameswaram for Lord Siva, to revive Hinduism! So this temple is sacred to all Hindus and especially,the Vaishnava traditions andsaints , Ramananda & Ramanuja were closely associated with the temple. Ramanuja 
also established the Emar Matha near this temple. The Govardhan Mutt which is the seat of one of the four Shankaracharyas is also located here. It is also of particular significance to the followers of the Gaudiya Vaishnavism whose founder, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, was attracted to the deity, Jagannath, and lived in Puri for many years. Hence Swami Bakthivedanantha who established the ISKCON Temple in USA has two Temples here with a well run Vegetarian Restaurant, Govinda !

ISKCON TEMPLE AT GOLDEN BEACH PURI

Chaithanya and Bakthivedanantha Swami

Govinda Restaurant Run by ISKCON

Govinda Restaurant Run by ISKCON

The temple has 3 icons, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabadra and Subadra, all made of Neem Tree logs and being replaced in all fervour once in 12 years!
The Nila Chakra pillar at the eastern entrance was originally in front of Konark Sun Temple and brought here by a local king in the 17th century!


There is such a mad unorganized crowd inside this temple, one has to pray only to Lord Jagannath to come out in One Piece! If successful, have a nice Breakfast @Geetanjali Restaurant :

Geetanjali Restaurant

BF@Geetanjali

There is a Surya Temple, again brought from Konark on the Southern side and Kanchi Ganesh and Bhimeswara Temple on the back, which establish beyond proof the architectural genius of the 12th century Indians!