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!

 

Advertisements

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!

Amazing Architectural Marvel – Avudaiyar Koil

Avudaiyar Koil

Avudaiyar Koil

Beautiful Statue of Vinayaka

Beautiful Statue of Vinayaka

My journey to age old Marvels of India took me this week to Avudaiyar Koil, an Architectural Marvel, 100 KM South of Trichy!This temple, called Thiruperundurai by Manickvasagar, is said to have been built by Him! Amazing intricate carvings makes it  as Great as Meenakshi Amman Temple!

Avudaiyar Koil

Avudaiyar Koil

The presiding deity is formless ATMANATAR!  There is no Shivalingam  but only a pedestal {Avudayar} located in the sanctum, hence the name Avudayar Koil.His consort is worshipped as Siva Yoga Nayaki in iconless form. There is no Nandi,  bull icon. There is deep spiritual significance in the queerness. Upanishads says  deity n Idol worship are only for beginners in the initial stage. As the devotee and his devotion matures,attaining gyanam, he has to realise the truth of formlessness. To illustrate the theology, the temple has been designed. This is the only Saivaite shrine in whole of India to portray the supreme truth symbolically. Since the soul (Athma) has no form, the deity is called Athmanathar.

Manickvasagar,being the prime minister, He spent all the money given to Him by the King, Varuguna Pandyan II to buy horses,  in building this temple. As He was bereft of money, Lord SHIVA displayed one of his Thiruvilayadall (holy prank) by transforming foxes to horses and once they were given to the king, they again became foxes! 

 

The temple is noted for the granite roof work. The ceiling of the Kanaga sabhai (golden hall) is a grandeur creation in stone. The ropes, rafters and nails all are made of granite.The bow wielding MURUGA, KALI and SHIVA’s rudra thandavam (wild dance) are the finest specimens in sculptural art.

Many renovations have been carried out, much of the current structure dates to the fifteenth Century . The temple covers an area of over 10 acres and faces south, constructed in such a way, that the setting sun strikes the sanctum even though it is cloistered within three circumambulatory paths. The thousand pillared hall has several delicately crafted pillars with depictions of the Oordhwa Tandavam of Shiva, Kaaraikkaal Ammaiyaar, Dhanurdhara Subramanya, etc.

One must take all steps to visit such Marvels of age old Architectural Beauty! 

Arthanareeswar, TRICHENGODE-Marvels of India

 

Arthanareeswar Temple TRICHENGODE

8Parrots and a Coconut

8Parrots and a Coconut

In my pursuit to explore many marvels of India from Ajanta Ellora to a remote Karakala & Bimbekta Caves, I started this new year with a unique architectural wonder on a 800 feet hill top just 150 kms from Coimbatore, Arthanareeswar Temple TRICHENGODE!

8Parrots and a Coconut

8Parrots and a Coconut

Arthanareeswar Temple TRICHENGODE

Arthanareeswar Temple TRICHENGODE

I just cdn’t believe that nearly 2000 years ago our gifted artisans have chiseled this 8Parrots beautifully on a Stone Ring & kept a Rotatable Coconut in the middle! I don’t think you will ever see such a marvel anywhere else & their Devotion for a Temple with Arthanareeswar, half Siva, half Sakthi rupam is amazing!
Indians are ritualistic & forget to enjoy these intricacies of intelligent execution some 2000 years ago! Luckily I went prepared to look for these 8Parrots, as otherwise, I wdnt have also noticed! Time we should preserve such architectural marvels and not create more & more roadside Temples to our convenience! Please enjoy the pictures of a marvel, mentioned in Tamil epic Silapathikaram too :

History :
Tiruchengode is also known as “Thirukodi mada chengundroor ” in vedic times&has many references in puranas, like Thevaram and Silapathikaram. In Silapathikaram, Ilango adigal referred Tiruchengode as “Chengodu ” and that “it has numerous holy ponds and enjoys popularity and prosperity”.

This temple has been praised by the Nayanmar Thirugnanasambandhar in his devotional hyman Devaram. Great poets and saints like Arunagirinathar, Ilango adigal, Kaviraja pandithar amongst others have enlogised this holy place in their divine poems. The idols of Birungi Munivar and Arunagirinathar are found inside the temple.

This ancient hill temple according to the inscriptions on the walls must have been built about 2000 years ago. Many renovation works and additions were done by the Chola kings and chieftains ruled over Tamilnadu in the past.

The town has a hill, which is about 650 ft. height . The hill is referred in many names like Chemmalai, Nagamalai, Nandhimalai and many more.

Lord Arthanareeswarar is giving salvation to all souls, from the hill top temple. Lord Sengottuvelavar (one can see 8Parrots in front of this Sannidhi) and Lord Adhikesava Perumal in separate shrines as presiding deities.
It is claimed that this rare posture of the Lord as prime deity can be found only in this temple in the whole of Asia. The hill top temple can be reached by climbing up 1200steps, made of stone or by Temple Bus conveniently connected!
Let’s be really Proud of our ancient Heritage, which is admitted today eloquently all over the world!

Dikshitar’s Arthanareeswaram, in Kumudakriya, probably was sung here :

Sathyameva Jayathe