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Sunday, February 4, 2007

Coimbatore Temples

Sri Saradambal :
This temple situated on Race Course Rd is a Branch of Sri Sarada Sringeri Madam. The main sannathi is that of Sri Saradambal flanked on either side by sannithis of Vinayakar & Muruga. There is a sannithi of Adi Sankara on the left. There is a separate priest for each of the sanctum sanctorums. To the left there is a Kalyana Mandapam attached to the temple. Pujas are carried out at regular intervals. There is an independent block towards the right which contains a veda patsalai on the ground floor & quarters on the first floor for the priests to stay. Ganapathy Homam is conducted every morning in a specified place in front of a large picture of Ganesha.
The present Sankaracharya at Sringeri is Sri Sri Bharathi Teertha Swamigal & he has been the math head since for the past 18 years since 1989.
The temple premises are maintained spic & span. Offering of flowers to Saradambal is considered very significant. Sri Saradambal is always radiantly decorated in Pattu vastram, gold ornaments, gold padam,and heavily decked with garlands of flowers. Red & yellow chambarathy (hibiscus) and a variety of other flowers from the Den are regularly offerred to all the deities.

Sri Dhanwatari :
This is a private Temple inside the premises of the The Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, Trichy Road,Coimbatore. The main deity is Sri Dhanwantari or the God of Health(reincarnation of Vishnu). This a typical Kerala style temple. Other Sannithis include Uma Maheswara, Siva, Subramania, Ganesha, Durga, Ayyappa, Anjanaya & Bhagawathi and the Navagrahas.The Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (Coimbatore) Ltd. (AVP), was founded in 1943 by late Arya Vaidyan P. V. Rama Variar who was a humanitarian, philosopher and physician par excellence.The Hospital has both out patient consultancy as well as in patient facilities. treatments include Dhara, Pizhichal,Navarakizhi, Sirovasti and Sirolepa. In addition, the Panchakarma treatments like Vamana, Virechana, Snehavasti, Kashaya Vasti and Nasyam are also conducted here. Accomodation is available against payment- tariffs ranging from Rs.100 for general ward to Rs.2500/- for executive suites. For more details refers http://www.avpayurveda.com/

Sri Kottai Eswaran :
Located off Big Bazar St near Clock Tower. As you enter you are greeted by a Dwaja Sthambam and a bull facing Easwara and to your left Sakti Ganapathy under the sthala Vriksham, a towering peepul tree. There is a second Dwaja Sthambam and a peacock facing Murugan Sannithi. The three deities of Sangameswara- a sivalingam (Kotai Eswara), Subramania in the form of Shanmugha (6 faced Muruga) & Ambal(Akhilandeswari) are in Somaskandar formation. Around the prakaram you find 63 moovars (nayanmars) in a separate enclosure, Kanni Moola Ganapathy, Dakshinamurthy,Neelakantar, Vaswanathar (lingam), Visalakshy(ambal).
Around the Kotai Eswara shrine sculpted on the temple outer walls are Nrithya Vinayakar, Dakshinamurthy,Lingodbhavar, Brahma & Durga. Similarly around the Ambal sannithi you see sculpted figurines of Brahmi,Kaumari, Varahi, Vaishnavi & Maheswari. You also find dwarpals in the form of Dindan & Mundan(outside Easwara), Dindi & Mundi(outside Easwari). The three main gopurams of the main deities are tall & beautifully sculpted and painted in bright multi colours. Outside the Shanmuga Sannithi there is Airawathan & outside the Ambal Sannithi is a sthamba anjaneya covered with butter on special occasions.There is also a Sannithi for Natarajar. Then as you complete your pradakshana clock wise you see Bhairavar Sannithi & the Navagrahas.
Overall a spacious temple and one which gives you strong vibrations. A kumbabhi shekam was recently conducted about a year ago after extensive expansion and renovation works were completed. The temple comes under the auspices of the HR&CE.

Sri Ramalinga Chowdeswari Amman :
This is the titular deity of the Devanga Chetty's who are the weaver community of Coimbatore.
Located on the narrow & crowded Raja street having heavy vehicular traffic especially buses, you are almost bound to miss the entrance except for the tall gopuram towering above the commercial buildings surrounding it. As you enter through the tall carved wooden doorway to the temple you don't know what to expect - suddenly you are in a spacious, quiet,clean,serene and pious environment quite in contrast to the hustle,bustle,dirt & dust outside. There is a special vibration here which you have to experience yourself. Inside you find carved painted pillars leading straight to Vinayaka & to the sanctum of Chowdeswari Amman & to Ramalingaswamy to her right. On your left is the sanctum of Anjanayar. As you exit after offerring prayers to Chowdeswari and walk around clockwise you see Saptamata(in panchaloha) &sanctums for Sapta Kannikais (in stone) ,Bhairavar, Saniswarar,Chandran, Navagrahas, Suryan. There is a mandapam containing 8 beautiful bronze statues of Asthalakshmi. Next you see an enclosure carrying stone statues of 63 moovars. As you complete the circummambulation you enter a mandapam containing sanctums of Baladandapani, Mahavishnu -Sridevi-Bhudevi, Natarajar-Sivakami and portraits of Nalvars. You are back where you started & you pray to Muruga-Valli-Devayani.
A visit to this temple gives you a great amount of peace and solitude.

Eachanari Pillayar :
Located 15 kms away on Coimbatore Pollachi Rd beyond Kurichi is the town of Eachanari. The drive is scenic with trees on either side & the Western Ghats on one side. Legend has it that around 300 yrs ago the idol of Ganesha was being brought in a chariot to be installed at Patteswarar Temple in Coimbatore. The axle of the chariot broke down at Eachanari and thereafter the idol could not be moved. Therefore devotees decided to build a temple and instal the idol at Eachanari. The temple is under the administration of the Hindu Religious & Endowments Board. The temple was expanded in phases in 1973,1978 & 1992. The thanga theru (golden chatiot) was inaugurated in 1998. The new office complex was completed in 2002. In front of the sanctum overhead on the ceiling 12 zodiac signs are painted. All around the inner prakaram you see various legends of Ganesha pictorially depicted by way of paintings framed & hung on the walls.

Mahalakshmi Temple :
Also located in Eachanari close to the Pillayar temple, this is a contemporaray temple. As you enter you see a huge idol of Vishnu in Ananthasayam pose Sanku (Panchajanyam) on his right & Sudarsanam Chakram on his left. Sridevi & Bhoomi Devi kneeling besides him & Brahma sitting on a lotus stem emanating from Vishnu's navel. The main deity is Mahalakshmi(holding lotus on either hand) with Durga (holding a trisoolam) & Saraswati (holding a Veena) on either side. The sanctum and the inner prakaram floor and walls are richly inlaid with beautiful red & white granite. The temple has a rich opulence about it. Around the sanctum walls hang paintings of Astalakshmi - Adilakshmi, Santanalakshmi, Gajalakshmi, Dhanalakshmi, Dhanyalakshmi, Vijayalakshmi, Veeralakshmi & Jayalakshmi. Asthalakshmi figurines also adorn the outer walls of the temple. In the outer prakaram are shrines of Anjaneya, Vinayaka & Navagrahas.

Perumal Temple :
From Avanashi Rd you go past Residency Hotel into GKNM Hospital Rd & Mani School to reach this temple. The temple construction undertaken by Lakshmi Mills Group family and completed between 1910-1918. The expansion of outer prakaram & mandapam was completed & kumbabhishekam performed in 1973. You can drive into the temple campus into a spacious bay & park your car. A Dwaja Sthambam in stone greets you before you enter the temple. At the base you see sculptures of Sanku & Chakram and Anjaneya & Garuda. You enter through the main gopuram which has a high well polished wooden door & then walk through a corridor flanked by tall granite pillars, past a copper plated Dwaja Sthambam, the Garuda shrine and finally into the sanctum of Lord Srinivasa (a silver throne behind the deity) with his consorts Sridevi & Bhudevi on either side richly decorated in gold plating and ornate jewellery. Just outside the sanctum are two large beautiful brass vilakkus (lamps) around 5 ft tall one with Sanku (conch) & another with chakram(wheel) at the apex. The archakas are friendly and invite us to the inner most sanctum. There is thick smell of burning incense in the air. The archakas do puja & ring a silver bell. They do arati and offer you Teertham & Thulasi and bless you by placing a silver chadari on your head. As you go around the outer prakaram you see tall gopurams containing stone figures of various incarnations of Lord Vishnu - Krishna playing flute, Krishna dancing on the head of Kalia the snake, Vamana, Narasimha, Laxmi Narasimha, Rama & Sita, Varaha, Lakshmi Hyagrivar, Anantasayana with Bhudevi. There is a large nursery at the back which contains a large thulasi garden apart from a banana thottam & many other plants. Tall coconut palms adorn the temple all round. A gentle cool breeze and swaying of the palms add to the magic in the air. You are really impressed by the immaculate neatness & cleanliness inside - this is indeed the path to Godliness !
Finally near the exit you see the sanctum of Anjaneya & besides this on the wall is a large framed picture of Varaha Lakshmi. The temple has an open well & water is lifted through an electric pump mounted outside. The temple also has a generator as power back up.

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