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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Temple Tours - Kodumudi - Thanthonimalai -Kulithalai-Srirangam

We decided to take a 5 day road trip to Trichy via Karur to see Tevara Sthalams & Divya Desams in that region. Left Coimbatore on Sunday 13 Jan'08 on Cbte - Karur Road, took a deviation at Kangayam and reached our first destination - Kodumudi, a panchayat town in Erode dt. & one of the Tevara Sthalams in Kongunadu. Situated on the banks of the Cauvery river, the temple has three Gopurams - leading to shrines of Maguteswarar or Kodumudi nathar, Vadivudaiamman or Soundaranayaki & Veeranarayana Perumal (as Ananthasayanam). This a trimurthy or mummoorthy koil as there are shrines for Brahma, Vishnu & Siva.
Sambandhar has sung 11 songs,Appar 5 songs and Sundharar 10 songs (Namashivaya Pathigam) on Lord Magudeshwara. Arunagirinathar has sung "Thirupugazl" on Lord Muruga.
Inside the shrine of Maguteswarar as you circumambulate you come across Nartana Ganapathy, idols of 63 nayanmars, Kaveri Kanda Vinayakar, Somaskandar(utsava murthy), Agasteeswarar, Arumugar with Valli & Devayani, Gajalakshmi, Vishnu on sanctum wall, Natarajar & Sivakami with Manikkavasar besides, Tripura -sundari. Natarajar is known as Kunjidapadam as he has both feet on the ground. On the West side you can see idols of Vallabhi Ganesar, Sozhiswarar, Visveswarar, Kasi Viswanathar, Visalakshi, Saraswati & Sapta Matas.
In the Perumal sannithi - the lord is in reclining pose with Adisehans protective hood over his head. In the centre of the sanctum wall you can see Brahma flanked by Naradar & Vasudeva - on the left Garudan & Sridevi - on the right Vibheeshanan, Anjaneya, Sudarsana Chakram & Bhoomadevi. Right in the front is the Utsavar Moorthy. As you circumambulate the sanctum you find idols of Tirumangai Azhwar, Garudar, Thondaradipodi Azhwar, Venkatachalapathi, Tirumazhishai Azhwar, Nagas, Kulasekhara Azhwar, Poygai Azhwar, Tirupaan Azhwar, Peyazhwar, Nammazhwar, Udayavar, Paramapadanathar.
Other sanctums outside include Brahma (open air sanctum) located under the Vanni Tree (Sthala Vriksham), Anjaneya, Thayar Thirumangai Nachiyar (adjacent to Perumal) & Saneeswarar. The Vanni tree is reported to be more than 3000 yrs old.
Legend :
Agastiyar is said to have worshipped here - it is believed that the waters of his kamandalam flowed from here as the Kaveri river to alleviate the misery of the farmers downstream.
A well known divine story of the temple starts with the combat between Aadiseshan and Vaayu . This war pulverises the holy Meru (Divine hill) into five pieces which ultimately changes into five Swayambulinga Sivasthalas. 5 gems are said to have gotten scattered from the head of Adisesha. A red stone landed at Tiruvannamalai, an emerald at Eengoimalai, a blue diamond at Potikai, a manikkam at Vaatpoki and a diamond here.
Thanthonrimlai :
From Kodumudi we reached Karur had breakfast at Ananda Bhavan(neat & clean place,nice vegetarian items) & proceeded to Thanthonimalai located 3 km from Karur. We visited the Kalyana Venkatarama Perumal temple . The idol of the Lord is situated on a raised portion of a hillock. Lord Srinivasa is the presiding deity and the Thayars are Sri Devi and Bhoomi Devi. Thaanthonri Malai was known as 'Dakshina Tirupati' in the past. The speciality of the temple is that the lord is found in the standing posture. Built 300 years ago, the temple was carved out of a cave by the lord himself - hence also known as Swayamvyakta Venkatavaradha Swamy.There is no separate sanctum for Thayar.
In an adjacent room to the left of the sanctum are installed idols of nine Azhwars, Udayavar, Desikar, & Manavala Mamunivar. Outside the sanctum to the immediate right are shrines for Garudar, Venugopal & Anjaneyar.
Kulithalai :
Kulithalai municipality is situated in between Karur and Trichi.The distance from Kulithalai to Karur in 40km and to Trichi in 35km. The Kulithalai Kadambaneswar temple, a tevara sthalam, is located here .We reached around 1.00 pm & fortunately the temple was open & the noon Pooja was just about to start. Moolavar is Kadambavaneswarar & Ambal is Balakujambal. Sthala Vriksham on the Southern side is Kadambam tree. Theertham is Cauvery. Praises sung by Appar & Ayyadikal Kadavarkon. Saptakanyakas were relieved of their Brahmahatti Doshams here.
Moolavar is a swayambu lingam with a square avudayar. Behind the lingam you can see sculptures of Saptakanyakas. The deity is North facing which is unique (normally facing East).
Koshtams : East side koshtam - 6 faced Brahma & Sandikeswarar. South koshtam is Dakshinamurthy.West koshtam is Annamalayar or Lingodbhavar.
As you circumambulate the prakaram - you can see in the North side,two vigrahams of Natarajar - one without Muyalagan.On the East you see Saneeswarar & Navagrahas. On the South - Jeshtadiri, Nalwars & 63'ars.Vinayakar is on the South West corner & on the West Shanmughar with Valli,Devayani & Somaskandar, Gajalakshmi.
Mookombu is located about 20 kms (towards Trichy) from Kulithalai.It is a lovely picnic spot with a lot of water. The Kollidam (or Coleroon as it was known during British times) river divides from River Cauvery here. There is a big dam (Upper Anicut) here. You can walk on top of the dam and take a look at the fast flowing water.
Srirangam :
After Kulitalai we headed for Trichy & we went straight for thali lunch at Vasantha Bhavan near bus stand. Neither the ambience nor the food was of desired standard. Try & avoid this place next time you are in Trichy. After that we headed towards Srirangam crossed the bridge across the Cauvery & arrived at the island called Srirangam in Chozha Nadu. We arrived at the Sri Veera Raghava Ramanuja Kutam run by the Tridanti Jeer right next to the Raja Gopuram & checked in. Nice two bedded room with tiled flooring & attached bath. The tariff Rs.350/- day inclusive of B.Fast, Lunch & Dinner - not a bad bargain at all. Sri Rangam is an Island city of around 600 acres lying between Rivers Kaveri and Kollidam. The Raja Gopuram is a tall impressive brightly painted gopuram which is considered the tallest in Asia. It is easily & distinctly visible from a far distance as it towers majestically over all other structures in the vicinity. We went straight away for darshan of the moolavar - Sri Ranganathar reclining on Sesha Naga, who is also known by various other names - Periya Perumal, Nam Peruman, Azhagiya Manavalan. Srirangam is considered the foremost of the 108 Divya Desams. The 11 Azhwars have sung praises of Lord Ranganatha in Srirangam. The temple is spread over an area of 156 acres and has 7 prakarams with 21 gopurams. The temple is also known 'Bhooloka Vaikuntam' or 'Heaven on Earth.'
Srirangam cannot be discussed without mentioning about the great Vaishnavite scholar Ramanujacharya who attained divinity here. His "Swayam Thirumeni" (the symbolic body) is preserved in a shrine by periodical application of saffron & camphor and prayers offerred even today after 8 centuries. There are several legends associated with the temple. For these and other details log on to : Srirangam temple, Temples in tamil nadu, Hotels,Tamil Nadu History ... Also : http://srirangapankajam.com/default.aspx,
There are total of 9 thirthams - the most significant one is Chandra Pushkarni. Sthala Vrikshan is Punnai.
Prasadam : On most days, the devotees are treated to prasadam offerring of Chakra pongal (A sweet made with jaggery, pulses and rice), Puliyodarai and thayir sadam (Rice with yogurt/curd).
It is customary when the temple doors open every morning,for Lord Ranganatha's eyes fall first on an elephant & a cow standing with its rear facing the Lord. This is considered very auspicious.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice description of your spiritual travel. Very helpful for all who decided to go on tour. Thank you

    Srinivasan . Hosur.

    ReplyDelete