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

Sadasiva Brahmendrar Adhishtanam, Nerur.

Me & my wife started the New Year with a peaceful Prayer at the Adhishtanam of one of the Greatest Yogis of the 18th Century, Sadasiva Brahmendral.

Sadasiva Brahmendral Adhishtanam, Nerur

Sadasiva Brahmendral Adhishtanam, Nerur

We were wonderstruck by an unbelievable miracle while we were driving to have the Darshan at His Adhishtanam on January 1st!  GPS, sometimes, doesn’t clearly show by passes or probably, I was not able to read the Highway near Velur properly and I saw me driving, suddenly, on the opposite side on express way!

Sadasiva Brahmendral Adhishtanam, Nerur

Sadasiva Brahmendral Adhishtanam, Nerur

Luckily I realised the folly when a Bus was head on and I had a leeway on my right side! After a UTurn I went to a Bunk near by and sought guidance to Nerur. One attendar gave us the  directions!  When I was on the expressway, someone, in a bike chased me & when I stopped by, he, having seen me asking for guidance to Nerur in the Bunk, volunteered to take me there as he was going there with his wife on the pillion. In fact but for him I wdnt have reached Nerur on time for a morning Darshan . Guidance! 

Dakshinamurthy

Dakshinamurthy

Sadasiva Brahmendral Adhishtanam, Nerur

Sadasiva Brahmendral Adhishtanam, Nerur

Sadasiva Brahmendral Adhishtanam, Nerur

Sadasiva Brahmendral Adhishtanam, Nerur

On reaching we found,a family was celebrating their father’s Sadabishekam & many visitors had come!

Nerur Sathabishekam

Nerur Sathabishekam

Nerur Sathabishekam

Nerur Sathabishekam

Then, When me & my wife were praying in Kasi Viswanathar’s Sannidhi, another miracle happened! For quite some years now, we do not buy archanai coupons & instead prefer to donate whatever in the Hundi! When we were praying an old man in front of us did archanai  & he said his Nakshatram is Mirigaseerisham, same as mine!I was pleasantly surprised when he mentioned his wife’s Nakshatram as Uttaradam to the pleassntest New year surprise, as my wife’s is Uttaradam too! What a surprise!

One nice unknown couple escorts us here & Archanai in our Nakshatram! Nice feeling for the New Year!

Sadasiva Brahmendral Adhishtanam, Nerur

Sadasiva Brahmendral Adhishtanam, Nerur

About Sadasiva Brahmendrar :
Sadasiva was born to a couple Moksha Somasundara Avadhaani and Parvati. His initial name was Sivaramakrishna. He was married at the age of 17. Sadasiva lived in Kumbakonam, in Tamil Nadu in the 17th to 18th century. Two other prominent Hindu saints Sridhara Venkatesa Ayyaval and Sri Bodhendra Saraswathi were his classmates in the veda school.

He left his home in search of Truth. After taking sannyasa, he is said to have wandered around, naked or semi-naked, and often in a trance-like state. He was reclusive and often meditated, and was described as being in a “supremely intoxicated state”.He is said to have performed many miracles whilst alive. His jiva samadhi site is briefly mentioned in ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Paramahamsa Yogananda
Every year in Nerur and Manamadurai, music festivals are conducted in His honor.

In Manamadurai his samadhi is located at the Somanathar temple, which was identified by Sri Sivan SAR, Purvashrama Bratha (Brother) of the Paramacharya of Kanchi.

Sri Sri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Nrusimha Bharati, pontiff of the Sringeri Saradha Peetham had visited Nerur and composed two slokas in praise of Sri Sadasiva Bramhendra – Sadasivendra Stava and Sadasivendra Pancharatna.

PLEASE LISTEN TO ONE OF SADASIVA BRAHMENDRAL’S FAMOUS SONG WITH MEANING :

 

 

 

 

Darasuram -Cosmic Dance of Shiva as Explained by Carl Sagan!

03-03-58-amazing-master-pieces

Darasuram.. a monumental architectural master piece from Raja Raja Cholan period..lots of similarity between Gangai Konda Cholapuram and this temple..

“Airavateswarar Temple at Darasuram near Kumbhakonam”

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It is a very small town which has come to eminence due to the famous Siva temple of Airavateswarar, which abounds in architectural and rare sculptural specimens of workmanship.

 

The name Darasuram is said to be a corruption of the original name Rajarajapuram, and this temple – smaller than the Periya Kovil and Gangai Konda Choleeswaram dates back to Raja Raja II’s period (12th century AD). The Periya Nayaki Amman temple stands out as a separate temple because the outer walls of the temple have disappeared with the passage of time, unlike the original Periya Kovil in Thanjavur.

 

Darasuram is described as a sculptor’s dream re-lived in stone. The front mandapam itself is in the form of a huge chariot drawn by horses. Paintings and sculptured panels abound here, causing this shrine to be a veritable storehouse of art. The Vimanam is only about 80 feet in height. In front of the temple are stone panels which produce tones of varying pitches when struck.”03-04-04-dsc00839

 The legend goes to show that Airavata, the white elephant of Indra, worshipped Lord Siva in this temple; so did also the King of Death, Yama. Tradition has it that the presiding deity Airavateswarar cured Yama himself (the God of Death) who was suffering under a Rishi’s curse from a burning sensation all over the body. Yama took bath in the sacred tank and got rid of the burning sensation. Since then the tank is known as Yamateertham.

 Raja Raja Chola and Karikala Chola worshipped the Siva Lingam in this temple. South Indian Temple Inscriptions deals with a number of endowments of the Pandya Kings … On the temple walls these inscriptions are given, from which it is seen that the temple was known in those days as Raja Rajeswararn and Raja Rajapuram. Two such inscriptions are copied here.03-04-08-dsc00843

Carl Sagan, Great Astrophysicist, visits Darasuram and says :Hindu Philosophy is probably true that every Bigbang  is end of one cosmic  cycle and a beginning of another as shown by the Cosmic Dance of Nataraja :