September 6, 2010

Fort Museum - Fort St. George, Chennai, India

Hi Everyone...I am back to Chennai. I will cover few more tourist sites in Chennai before moving to some other city...Let me start with the Museum located inside the Fort St. George.

The construction of Fort St. George in the year of 1639 AD in Chennai city, South India, was one of the landmarks in the history of East India Company. Fort Museum is one of the oldest buildings that is currently present within the premises of Fort St. George. It was completed in the year of 1795 AD. The building was made as a museum and kept open to the public in 1948 AD.

Queen Victoria Painting
Fort Museum is the second attractive museum after Egmore Museum in Chennai city. The museum has three floors fully of antiques. You will be greeted by the marble statue of Lord Cornwallis. Various arms such as daggers, guns, swords, revolvers, canons, and even fragments of shells are found. One particular gallery has full of porcelain materials used by the British people. A small cage is displayed in a gallery. A British soldier who was defeated by Chinese was arrested by them and kept in this small cage for many days. Really unbelievable!

The small cage where the British soldier was kept captive by the Chinese
You can also find some fragments of bomb that fell in Chennai during World Wars. There is a statue of Willington. A good collection of coins and stamps of British period are also found in this museum. The highlight of the museum are the various paintings and portraits of British rulers such as George III and Robert Clive. The most attractive painting is that of Queen Victoria. It is too lively.

The bomb that fell in Madras
You can get an idea about the old Madras (currently named as Chennai), especially Fort St. George and its surrounding, by looking at some of the paintings in this museum. Fort Museum is a place which you must definitely visit in Chennai city. Don't miss this.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Fort Museum 
Site Type: Museum 
Location: Fort St. George, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: 
1) One of the oldest buildings of British period
2) A museum within the fort 
3) The second most prominent museum of Chennai city
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai - well connected from the cities/towns all over India
Nearest Airport: Chennai has both national and international airports
How to reach: Easily reachable by road, train, and flight
Hotel: Many star hotels, luxury hotels/resorts, and budget hotels are available in Chennai
Restaurants: All options - vegetarian, non-vegetarian, Chinese, South Indian, Gujarati, North Indian, Punjabi,....- you can find everything in Chennai city



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September 5, 2010

Tiruchendur Murugan Temple - Tamil Nadu, India

Tiruchendur is a small town located in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu state of India. The town is famous because of Tiruchendur Murugan Temple. Tiruchendur town is located at a distance of around 75 kms from Kanyakumari, and around 55 kms from Tirunelveli. Tiruchendur Murugan temple is one the six "arupadai veedu" (six main adobes) of Lord Murugan. (Lord Murugan aka Lord Subramanya is the son of Lord Shiva).

Tiruchendur Beach
Tiruchendur Murugan temple is very huge and it is located too close to the sea shore. In fact, the sea waves keep touching the walls of Murugan temple. Tiruchendur beach is a different kind of beach where you cannot find resorts or romantic couples; the beach is full of devotees of Lord Murugan. Even though the actual temple entrance starts from the Rajagopuram (temple tower) near the beach, there is mandap (closed corridor) for a distance of around 1-1.5 kms away from the temple. You can find a lot of devotees staying beneath these closed corridors during the night. On both sides of this mandap, you can find a lot of shops selling pooja related materials. Also, there are small temples. The temple starts from the Rajagopuram (tower), where you can find a big mandap (corridor). The temple structure and entrance are a bit confusing. Moreover, you will be troubled by the beggars outside the temple and priests inside the temple. There are some shrines including that of Lord Ganesha and Murugan located in the outside mandap.
Tiruchendur Murugan Temple

The presiding deity of the temple, Lord Murugan, is believed to be many thousands of years old due to its reference in Hindu puranas and Tamil ancient books. The sanctum enshrines Lord Murugan in the standing posture. Lord Murugan in this temple is also called as Senthil, Senthil Andavar, Karthikeya, and Subramanya. In the main shrine itself, there is a Shiv linga called as Jagannatha. It is believed that this Shiv linga and a group of five Shiv lingas (Pancha linga) behind the main shrine were worshipped by Lord Murugan. You can also go and visit the Pancha Linga in the cave located behind the main shrine. Near the main shrine the idols of Veera Bagu, Veera Mahendra, Ganesha, and Parvathi are found.

In the prakara (corridor surrounding the main shrine) there is a monolithic figure of Lord Murugan seating on the peacock and fighting with the Asura. There are two separate shrines - one for Valli and another for Devasena (consorts of Lord Murugan) are also found in the corridor. There are a lot of Shiv Linga idols found in the corridor. There are also shrines or idols for Veera Kesari, Veera Marthandar, Dakshinamurti, Ganesha, Nataraja and Shanmukha. In the corridor, there is a shrine dedicated for Lord Venkatesa Perumal (Vishnu). Near his shrine, you can find the carved idol of Gaja Lakshmi and Ranganath along with Sri Devi, Bhoo Devi, and Neela Devi.

Outside the temple, there is a holy well named 'Nazhi Kinaru' where the devotees take bath. There is a small separate cave temple for Valli named ' Valli Guhai'. This is the place where Valli hid herself inside the cave as she was afraid of the elephant. (Ganesha took the form of elephant so that Valli would join his brother Lord Murugan). The small cave temple has the idols of Valli, Dattratreya, Chandra, Shiv Linga and Ganesha. In two kms from the Muruga temple, there is an ancient Shiva temple named 'Shiva Kolundeeswarar'.

Tiruchendur is the site where Lord Murugan killed the demon. In the 17th century CE, Tiruchendur temple was occupied by the Dutch for few years and they even looted some of the idols in the temple.

Ensure that you spend at least one full day to get a complete experience of Tiruchendur.

Happy travelling.


Fast Facts:
Site Name: Murugan Temple
City Name: Tiruchendur
Highlights:
1) The site where Lord Muruga killed Asuras
2) One of the six most important temples of Lord Muruga
3) One of the most important temples of South India
Location: 60 kms from Tirunelveli; 175 kms from Madurai; Located in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Tirunelveli
Nearest Airport: Madurai (around 175 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road from Tirunelveli or Madurai
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Tiruchendur
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Tiruchendur


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The Southern Kasi - Tenkasi Viswanathar Temple, Tamil Nadu, India

Tenkasi is a small town located near the ancient city of Tirunelveli in South India. Near Tenkasi, you can find the popular tourist destination Courtallm, famous due to its number of waterfalls. The word "Ten Kasi" means "southern Kasi" in Tamil language, the local language spoken in Tamil Nadu state of India, where the city Tenkasi is located. Kasi is an ancient sacred city for Hindus located in North India. As Tenkasi is considered equivalent to Kasi, this city got the name Tenkasi - the southern Kasi.

Tenkasi Temple
Tenkasi is famous due to its centrally located huge temple of Kasi Viswanathar temple. Of course, the original Kasi city in North India doesn't have such a huge temple for Kasi Viswanath as it was destroyed by foreign rulers. If you want to visit a big temple for Kasi Viswanath, you need to travel down to Southern Kasi.

The Kasi Viswanathar temple was constructed by the king Parakkirama Pandian in 1455 CE. As he wanted to visit Kasi and couldn't visit as it was ruled by Muslim rulers at that time, he ultimately built a temple for Kasi Viswanathar in his own city. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Shiva in the name of Kasi Viswanathar. The presiding goddess is Ulagammai. The temple didn't have tower for many years and it was built towards the end of 20th century CE. The beautiful temple tower is a highlight of this temple; it is 178 feet highnine tiered tower.
Tenkasi Sculpture

The Kasi Viswanathar temple which spreads for 4 acres approximately is built in Somaskanda style. The temple is divided into three main sections with three shrines. In one shrine, you can find the main deity Kasi Viswanathar in the form of Shiv Linga. There is another shrine dedicated to the goddess Ulagammai aka Loganayaki. The third main shrine is dedicated to Lord Subramanya aka Bala Subramanian in this temple.

There is a small Ganesha shrine near the temple tower. The southern corridor of the temple has the idols of Sapta Kanya, Suradevar, 63 nayanmars and the shrine of Velavan (Subramanya). The western corridor has the idols of Ayyanar, Mahalakshmi, Vinayak and Subramanya. The northern corridor has the idols of Gajalakshmi, Shaneeswara, Chandikeswara, Nataraj and the temple tank named Kasi Teerth. There is a hall with musical pillars. Apart from all these shrines and idols, the outer corridor and the other areas of the temple has the idols/shrines of Ganesha, Subramanya, Parasakthi Peeth, Sahasra Linga, Bhairav and Meenakshi & Chokkanathan.

The highlight of the temple is its beautiful sculptures present in the mandapa of Bala Subramanian. The sculptures such as Rati, Arjun, Krishna with flute, Bheem, Manmadan, Soldier, Bhairav, and Badrakali are extremely wonderfully carved statues. Especially the statues of Krishna with flute, Shiva with his leg raised towards top and the dancing Kali are very lively. They are considered as one of the best collection of sculptures in the entire South India.

When you happen to go to South India, don't miss to visit Tenkasi and Kasi Viswanathar temple.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Kasi Viswanathar Temple
City Name: Tenkasi
Highlights:
1) An ancient temple located near the city of waterfalls
2) An important South Indian temple with a lot of beautiful sculptures
3) The Southern Kasi
Location: 55 kms from Tirunelveli; 6 kms from Courtallam; Located in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Tenkasi
Nearest Airport: Madurai (around 200 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road or train
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Tenkasi
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Tenkasi


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Temple of Paintings - Chitra Sabha Temple, Courtallam, South India

Courtallam is a small town located near the ancient city named Tirunelveli in South India. Courtallm is an important tourist site due to its number of waterfalls. Apart from the waterfalls, Courtallam also has an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva (Kutralanathar). In addition to that, there is another small temple which is generally not visited by tourists. The name of that small temple is Chitra Sabha temple. The highlight of the temple is that you cannot find any idol in the temple. The temple is full of mural paintings. Having mural paintings is not a rare scene in South Indian ancient temples. However, Chitra Sabha temple has only mural paintings and no idol. The paintings are being worshipped in this temple.

Chitra Sabha Temple, Courtallam
There are five adobes of Lord Nataraj (Shiva in the dancing posture is called as Nataraj), where he did his cosmic dance. One of those five adobes is Courtallam Chitra Sabha. In Chitra Sabha temple, the main deity Lord Nataraj is in the form of painting. In addition to this painting, you can find a lot of paintings of various Hindu Gods and Goddesses across the entire temple. You can also find various mythological stories and scenes from Puranas in the form of mural paintings in this temple.

Chitra Sabha temple of Lord Nataraj is definitely a rare temple, which you shouldn't miss to visit.

Happy travelling.

Paintings in Chitra Sabha Temple, Courtallam
Fast Facts:
Site Name: Chitra Sabha Temple
City Name: Courtallam
Highlights:
1) A temple full of paintings without any idols
2) One of the five adobes of Lord Nataraja
Location: 55 kms from Tirunelveli; 6 kms from Tenkasi; Located in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Tenkasi
Nearest Airport: Madurai (around 200 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road from Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, or Madurai
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Courtallam and Tenkasi
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Courtallam and Tenkasi


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An ancient temple in the city of waterfalls - Kuttralanathar Temple, Courtallam, South India

Courtallam is a small town located near Tirunelveli city in South India. Courtallam is an ancient city; the reference about this town can be found in the ancient Tamil literature. (Tamil is an ancient language spoken in the Southern part of India; it is arguably one of the oldest languages in the entire world).

Courtallam is a very popular tourist destination in South India due to its nine waterfalls. The most important waterfalls among all the nine waterfalls of Courtallam is called as "Main Falls" aka "Peraruvi". Near the Main Falls, at the foot hills of Courtallm hills which is a part of Western Ghats, the ancient temple of Lord Shiva is located. Lord Shiva is named as Kutralanathar in this temple. The town is named as Kutralam (Courtallam) after this deity.

Courtallam Shenbaga Devi Falls
The temple of Kutralanathar is very ancient. You can find the inscriptions of the kings of Chola and Pandya dynasty in this temple. The temple is built in conch shaped style, which is one of the highlights of this temple. Thiru Kutralanathar temple is one of the 274 Paadal Petra Sthalam temples - one of the 274 most sacred temples dedicated for Lord Shiva. Not only that, this temple is also one of the Shakthi Peeth temples - one of the most important temples of Mother Goddess.

Courtallam is one of the five sacred sites (sabhas) of Lord Nataraj (Shiva in dancing posture). The sabha in Courtallam is called as Chitra Sabha - the hall of paintings. There is a small temple away from the main temple of Kutralanathar, which is dedicated to Lord Nataraj, and called as Chitra Sabha. The temple is full of mural paintings. I will write about this temple in a separate post.

Let me come back to the main temple of Kutralanathar. The Kutralanathar temple located amidst hills and waterfalls is bigger in size and one of the oldest temples of South India. The temple has the main deity in the form of Shiv Linga which is called as Kutralanathar  aka Kurumpalaveesar. The goddess has a separate shrine and named as Kuzhalvaaimozhi Amman - a beautiful Tamil name for Goddess. There is a separate shrine for Adi Parasakthi which is very popular. Due to this shrine only, this temple is considered as one of the Sakthi Peethams.  The temple's glory was sung by Tirugnana Sambandhar. The sthala vruksham of the temple is Kurumpala.

The temple has a small tower followed by a long exterior hall (mandap). On either side of the temple, the idols of Ganesha and Murugan are found. Once you enter into the temple, you can find a small beautifl 4-pillared mandap. Beyond that mandap, few beautiful life size sculptures such as kings and beautiful ladies are found. Nandi idol facing the main shrine, bali peetha and flag staff are also located in this area.

The entrance to the main shrine has the idols of Ganesha and Murugan. The big idol of Shiv Linga, called as Kutralanathar, is found inside the main shrine. The procession idols (utsav idols), idols of Nataraj and Sivakami, Shiv Linga along with Goddess and Anuknai Vinayakar are also found within the main shrine.

The inner corridor (prakara) has the following idols/shrines:
1) Adikara Nandi with his wife
2) Linga and Ambal
3) Big idol of Surya
4) Dakshinamurti shrine
5) 5 small Shiv Linga idols
6) Sapta Mata
7) Brahma
8) Kumbha Muni
9) Suradeva
10) Ayyanar
11) Brahmi
12) Vishnu
13) Narasimha
14) Ganesh
15) Kanni Vinayakar shrine
16) Chandra
17) Vanmeeginathar with his consort
18) Vishnu
19) Jambukeshwarar with his consort
20) Annamalai with his consort
21) Kalathiappar with his consort
22) Tirumoolanath with his consort
23) Ramalinga with his consort
24) Murugan-Valli-Devasena along with Shiv Linga-Parvati in a small shrine
25) Chandikeswarar
26) Shaneeswarar

There is another section dedicated to the Goddess Kulalvai Mozhi Amman. Facing the Goddess is located the Nandi idol. The entrance of the shrine has the idol of Ganesha. The small corridor surrounding this shrine has the Kailasanathar idol and Durga idol.

The outer corridor (prakara) of the temple has a lot of important shrines/idols. The holy tree of the temple is found along with the idol of Kurubalanathar (Shiv Linga form). You can hear the sound of water falling from the main falls near this tree. A small piece of the original tree (1000 years old) is also found here. Some of the other idols/shrines found in the outer corridor include:

1) 63 nayanmars
2) Vishnu shrine (Ganesh in the entrance)
3) Sailappar shrine
4) Vallabha Vinayakar
5) Papanasar and Ulagamman
6) Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi
7) A rare collection of idols - Mankkolanathar (Shiva) marrying Parvati - Vishnu, Brahma and Agastya nearby - all sandalwood idols
8) Narumbunathar
9) Sankaralinga with his consort
10) Chokkanathar and Meenakshi
11) Ayyanar sitting on a tall horse
12) Ayyanar with his consorts - in different form - similar to Shiv Linga
13) Somalinga
14) Marundeeswarar and Aramvalartha Nayaki
15) Agastya and Ganesh
16) the site where the waterfalls can be seen - the same site where Arjun got back his lost chambudam
17) Vasuki shrine
18) Sivalayamuni shrines
19) Mahalinga shrine
20) Sahastra Linga shrine
21) Viswanath and Visalakshi
22) Ayyanar with Ganesh
23) Ayyanar in Linga like shape
24) A lot of Ganesh idols in the entrance of many of the above shrines
25) A very big and important shrine for Adi Parasakthi



Chitra Sabha Temple, Courtallam
Courtallam city is well associated with the saint Agastya. As per the legend, Lord Shiva got married to Parvati in Himalayas. As the Himalayas was crowded like anything to witness this divine marriage, it resulted in an imbalance and to avoid the imbalance, Lord Shiva sent Agastya to the South - to Courtallam city. Later, it is believed that Agastya got the sight of Shiva-Parvati wedding in Courtallam. It is also believed that Agastya shrunk an image of Lord Vishnu to create the idol of Shiv linga of this temple.

When you go to Courtallam, apart from enjoying your time in the waterfalls, also visit this temple.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Kuttralanathar Temple
City Name: Courtallam
Highlights:
1) An ancient temple located near the waterfalls
2) One of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams
Location: 55 kms from Tirunelveli; 6 kms from Tenkasi; Located in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Tenkasi
Nearest Airport: Madurai (around 200 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road from Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, or Madurai
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Courtallam and Tenkasi
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Courtallam and Tenkasi


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Waterfalls of Courtallam

Courtallam, a small town, located near Tirunelveli city of South India, is very popular due to its nine waterfalls. The most important waterfalls in Courtallam is called as "Main Falls" aka "Peraruvi". As the name suggests, this is the main waterfalls of Courtallam town, and is located at the center of the town. The ancient Kuttralanathar temple is located near this waterfalls. During the season time, you can find hundreds and thousands of people in this waterfalls. You can hardly find water in the other waterfalls of Courtallam during off-season. However, you can still find at least a little amount of water in Main Falls almost throughout the year. Not all the tourists visit all the waterfalls of Courtallam. However, no one misses Main Falls for sure.

On the way to Shenbaga Devi Falls
There is a trekking route goes above main falls. On the way, you can find the second waterfalls of the town, which is called as "Chittraruvi" aka "Small falls". As the name indicates, this waterfalls is very small. If you trek for another 3 kms through the forest and streams, you will reach to Shenbaga Devi Falls. This is a beautiful and huge waterfalls in the midst of forest. If you trek for another two kms above this watefalls, you can reach Thenaruvi aka "Honey Falls". It is difficult trekking route and nowadays public are not allowed.

About 1 km from Main Falls, there is another falls named "Old Falls" aka "Pazhaiya Aruvi". This is one of the popular waterfalls of Courtallam. Near this waterfalls, there is a small waterfalls named Puli Aruvi aka "Tiger Falls". Near Old Falls, there is a little known waterfalls named "Pudhu Aruvi" aka "New Falls". It requires around 2 kms of walking to reach the place.

In another route, there is another waterfalls named "Five Falls" aka Aindaruvi. You can find the water falling into five different falls here, and hence it is called as "Five Falls". Near Five Falls, inside the Government orchard, there is a waterfalls named "Orchard Falls" aka "Pazhath thotta aruvi". You have to get special permission to visit this waterfalls.

Courtallam Mountain
If you travel out of this city, within the limit of Kerala state, there is a waterfalls named "Palaruvi" aka "Milk Falls". Even though this is not in Courtallam town, few people consider this as the ninth waterfalls of Courtallm. (This is mainly due to the fact that they are not aware of "Pudhu Aruvi" (New Falls).

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
City Name: Courtallam

Highlights:
1) Courtallam is full of waterfalls
2) One of the five important adobes of Lord Nataraj
3) A temple having only paintings without any idols
Location: 55 kms from Tirunelveli; 6 kms from Tenkasi; Located in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Tenkasi
Nearest Airport: Madurai (around 200 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road from Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, or Madurai
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Courtallam and Tenkasi
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Courtallam and Tenkasi


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Courtallam - The City of Waterfalls, South India

Courtallam is a small town located at a distance of around 5 kms from Tenkasi and around 55 kms from Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu state of India. Courtallam is famous due to its waterfalls and you can find millions of tourists thronging to this small town during the season time of June - September every year.

Courtallam, similar to its nearby city Tirunelveli, is an ancient town. You can find a lot of references about Courtallam city in Tamil literature and mythology. There are some famous old books such as 'Courtalla Kura Vanchi' written about Courtallam in ancient times. Courtallam, due to its number of beautiful waterfalls, remains as one of the most sought-after tourist spot of Tamail Nadu for the past hundreds of years.

Courtallam Main Falls
There are totally nine waterfalls within Courtallam. The names of those nine waterfalls are Main Falls, Chittaruvi (Small Falls), Tiger Falls, Shenbaga Devi Falls, Thenaruvi (Honey Falls), Five Falls aka Aindaruvi, Pazhaththotta Aruvi, Old Falls, New Falls (Pudhu Aruvi) and Palaruvi (Milk Falls). There is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located near Main Falls - Kuttralanathar Temple. There is also another temple dedicated to Lord Nataraj. The highlight of this temple is that the idols are in the form of mural paintings and the temple is called as Chitra Sabha. This temple is one of the five adobes of Lord Nataraj.

Let me write in detail about the various tourist spots of Courtallam in forthcoming blog posts. Till then...

Happy travelling.

Courtallam Five Falls
Fast Facts:
City Name: Courtallam

Highlights:
1) Courtallam is full of waterfalls
2) One of the five important adobes of Lord Nataraj
3) A temple having only paintings without any idols
Location: 55 kms from Tirunelveli; 6 kms from Tenkasi; Located in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Tenkasi; 
Nearest Airport: Madurai (around 200 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road from Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, or Madurai
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Courtallam and Tenkasi
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Courtallam and Tenkasi


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A temple full of beautiful sculptures - Krishnapuram Venkatachalapati Temple, India

Krishnapuram is a small village located at a distance of around 13 kms from Tirunelveli city in Tamil Nadu state of South India. The village is famous due to its Venkatachalapati Temple. Venkatachalapati is the name of Lord Vishnu in this temple. This temple was built by Krishnappa Naicker in 16th century CE. This village is named after this ruler.

The Krishnapuram Venkatachalapati temple is popular among the tourists not because of its religious importance but due to its life sized beautiful sculptures and images. With respect to the beauty of sculptures, Krishnapuram temple can be considered as one among the best in Tamil Nadu temples. The main shrine of the temple has Venkatachalapati along with his cosorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi.


Krishnapuram Temple
Let me try to describe the sculptures of the temple to the maximum extent. Unfortunately, photography isnot allowed inside the temple. The northern side of the temple has a hall called Veerappa Naick Mandapam. You can find two beautifully carved elephants at the entrance of the Mandapam. Inside the mandapam, there are pillars depicting various mythological stories. The features of the images are life-like.

There are few pillars which depicts the scenes of a Kuravan and Kurathi (gypsies) abducting a prince and princess. The princess sitting on the shoulder of Kurathi and the depiction of blood in Kuravan are beautiful features of these life-sized sculptures. There are some small images where you can find the worrying queen and the king trying to rescue the prince and princess. All the sculptures are nicely carved with intricate details.

There is a pillar which depicts the eternal beauty of Rati. There are pillars depicting the story related to Bheem and the half-man and half-beast Purusha Mrigam. There is a beautiful statue of Arjun doing penance. The female with a parrot on her shoulder and a begger with a monkey on his shoulder are too lively. You can also find Karna in a pillar. Two lovers make love in another pillar, whereas a knight and gypsy watching a dancing girl in another pillar. There is another interesting pillar where a lady is pulling the beard of a sage who is trying to molest her. (It seems the problems with the false sages were there even in the olden days. :-) ).

Well, it's difficult to explain the beauty of the sculptures of the temple in writing. At least, photographs can showcase the beauty a little better. Unfortunately, photographs are not allowed. I would suggest you to go and visit this architecturally beautiful temple and enjoy.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Krishnapuram Venkatachalapathi Temple

City Name: Krishnapuram, Near Tirunelveli
Highlights:
The temple with a lot of very beautiful life-size sculptures
Location: 18 kms from Tirunelveli; 180 kms from Madurai; 620 kms from Chennai; Located in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Tirunelveli; Tirunelveli station is a popular train junction; you can find a lot of trains from all over India to this city
Nearest Airport: Madurai (around 180 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road from Tirunelveli
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Tirunelveli
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Tirunelveli; Don't forget to taste the Halwa either from Iruttu Kadai or Shanti Sweets



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Kurukkuthurai Murugan Temple - Tirunelveli, South India

Tirunelveli, the ancient city of South India, has the famous Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi temple. In addition to that, there is a popular temple named Kurukkuthurai Murugan temple. Murugan temple is located in the area named Kurukkuthurai on the banks of the river Tamirabarani. Hence, the temple is called as Kurukkuthurai Murugan temple or Kurukkuthurai Subramanya temple.

Tamirabarani River
Tamirabarani river is also called as Jeeva Nadhi as it never dries up. This is perhaps the only river in Tamil Nadu state of India where you can find water for almost the entire year. You can find a lot of devotees taking bath in the Tamirabarani river and proceeding to this beautiful temple of Murugan located on the banks of the river. The temple is located so close to the river that during rainy days the entire temple gets submerged into the river. This is a usual happening occurs every year.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Muruga aka Subramanya, the son of Lord Shiva. Apart from Lord Muruga's idol in the main shrine, this temple also houses the idol of Shiva, Parvati, Ganesha, Utsav Subramanya, and other typical Gods and Goddesses of Saivism (the sect who worship Lord Shiva). You can also find peacocks in this temple. Another important aspect of the extraordinary temple located on the banks of Tamirabarani is that you can find the statues of national leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Vivekananda, and V.O. C. in the temple tower.

Go to Kurukkuthura for taking bath at Tamirabarani and to have a darshan of Lord Murugan.

Happy travelling.

Tamirabarani River

Fast Facts:

Site Name: Kurukkuthurai Murugan Temple
City Name: Tirunelveli
Highlights:
1) One of the important temples of Tirunelveli
2) A temple located on the banks of the river Tamirabarani


Location: 180 kms from Madurai; 620 kms from Chennai; Located in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Tirunelveli; Tirunelveli station is a popular train junction; you can find a lot of trains from all over India to this city
Nearest Airport: Madurai (around 180 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road and train
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Tirunelveli
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Tirunelveli; Don't forget to taste the Halwa either from Iruttu Kadai or Shanti Sweets



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Temples of Tirunelveli

Tirunelveli is an ancient city located in South India. Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi Amman Temple, which is located at the heart of the Tirunelveli city, is one of the oldest and biggest cities of South India. I have already written multiple blog posts about this extraordinarily beautiful temple. In this blog post, I am writing about the temples that are located around Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi temple.

Nellaiyappar Temple Sculpture
Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi temple is located at the heart of the city, and there are four main roads named as car streets are located around the temple. In East Car street, slightly opposite to the entrance of Kanthimathi Amman temple, there is a small temple dedicated to Goddess Saraswati. Saraswati is the Goddess of Education as per Hinduism. It is very rare to find a temple for Saraswati. As far as know, there are only two temples that are currently present for Saraswati. This is one of those temples of Saraswati. The temple is very small and it's a private temple. Apart from Saraswati, you can also find the idols of Ganesha and Murugan in this temple.

In a small lane near the Amman Sannadhi Street - the street opposite to Kanthimathi Amman entrance, there is a small but ancient temple of Shasta (Lord Ayyappa is the incarnation of Shasta). This temple is called as Chekkadi Shasta temple by the locals. You can find the idol of Shasta along with his consorts Poorna and Pushkala.

Nellaiyappar Temple Corridor
You can find a lot of small temples for the Goddess Uchchinima Kali Amman temple almost in all the streets around the Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi temple. Towards the southern side of Kanthimathi Amman entrance, there is a small temple for Bhoothathar, who is believed to be the savior God of Tirunelveli. If you enter inside the market from Bhoothathar temple, you can find a small temple dedicated to Lord Narasimha. At the end of the East Car Street, the temple of Vagaiyadi Amman is located, which is very popular among the locals.

The corner between West Car street and South Car Street has a famous temple of Lord Ganesha. The temple is referred as Sandhi Pillayar temple by the locals. It is believed that the sage Agastya had visited this temple. This is one of the oldest temples of Tiruneliveli Town. The temple has a lot of idols and shrines apart from the main deity - Lord Ganesha. The Northern side of Nellaiyappar temple has few temples. Even though they are not located in the main roads, they are also very popular. Thondargal Nayinar temple is a famous temple for Lord Shiva. Near that temple, there is a temple for Pittarapurath Amman - a famous temple for Mother Goddess in Tirunelveli. There is also a temple dedicated to Kamakshi and Draupadi.

When you happen to go to Tirunelveli, apart from enjoying Halwa and Nellaiyappar Kanthimathi temple, go to these temples too for a visit.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
City Name: Tirunelveli
Highlights:
1) One of the oldest cities of South India
2) Famous for its gigantic temple of Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi
3) Famous for Halwa
4) Tamirabarani river, called as Jeeva Nadhi, which generally doesn't dry, flows in the city
Location: 180 kms from Madurai; 620 kms from Chennai; Located in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Tirunelveli; Tirunelveli station is a popular train junction; you can find a lot of trains from all over India to this city
Nearest Airport: Madurai (around 180 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road and train
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Tirunelveli
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Tirunelveli; Don't forget to taste the Halwa either from Iruttu Kadai or Shanti Sweets


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Tirunelveli Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi Temple Structure - Part 6

Read: Tirunelveli Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi Temple Structure Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.



I have written five posts about the structure of the famous Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi temple located in the ancient city of Tirunelveli in South India. This is the last post on the structure where I am writing about the main shrine of Nellaiyappar and the corridor surrounding the shrine. I would request you to go through my previous posts on the temple structure to get a better understanding of this post, as this is a continuation of those posts.

I wrote about the popular music pillar hall in my previous post. After you cross the hall, you can enter into the main shrine of Nellaiyappar. Nellaiyappar is also called as Venuvananathar in this temple. These are the names given to Lord Shiva in this temple. As we saw in the legend of the temple, the idol of Shiv linga in the main shrine has a cut on the left side. You can also find the images of Lord Ganesha and Murugan in the entrance of the main shrine. On the other side of Nellaiyappar shrine, there is a separate shrine for Lord Nellai Govindan - which is Lord Vishnu in the reclining posture.

Nellaiyappar Temple Tower
The inner corridor of Nellaiyappar has the idols of Dakshinamurti, Bhikshatana Murti, and Chandikeswarar. There is a small shrine for Shiva in the name of TiruMoola Nathar, which is believed to be present in the site even before Nellaiyappar idol. The corridor also houses the utsav idols of Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi, Durga, Bhairav, Sapta Kanni, Sapta Rishis, 63 nayanmars, and Polla Pillayar (Ganesha). There is a shrine which depicts Raavan lifting Kailash. If you take the steps up, you can reach to the shrine of Lord Shiva on top of Ravan's idol. There is Tamara Sabha located in the corridor, where the dancing ceremony of Lord Nataraj takes place in this temple. (Nataraj is the dancing form of Lord Shiva, and this temple is one of the five adobes of Lord Nataraja - Tamra Sabha). There is a separate shrine for Lord Nataraja in the form of Sandal idol - called as Sandana Sabapathi.

The corridor also houses the idols of Ashta Lakshmi - Lakshmi in eight different forms and Shaneeswar. There is a shrine for Shasra Linga (the idol of Shiva Linga with thousand eyes), Kubera Linga and Nataraj. You can also find the Sthala Vruksham - Moongil and the idol of Rama Kone who was the main reason for this temple to be built in the corridor.

Nellaiyappar Temple Corridor


If you come out of Nellaiyappar shrine, diagonally opposite to Navagraha shrine, there is a big shrine for Lord Nataraj with his consort Sivakami. This is the Tamara Sabha Nataraja - one of the five most important idols of Lord Nataraja. The idol is located here whereas the Tamara Sabha - one of the five adobes is located in the inner corridor of Nellaiyappar.

With this, my series of posts on Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi temple gets completed.

Happy travelling.


Fast Facts:

Site Name: Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi Temple
City Name: Tirunelveli
Highlights:
1) One of the oldest and biggest temples of South India
2) Musical Pillars

3) Beautiful sculptures
4) One of the five adobes of Nataraj
5) One of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalam temples
Location: 180 kms from Madurai; 620 kms from Chennai; Located in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Tirunelveli; Tirunelveli station is a popular train junction; you can find a lot of trains from all over India to this city
Nearest Airport: Madurai (around 180 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road and train
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available in Tirunelveli
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in Tirunelveli; Don't forget to taste the Halwa either from Iruttu Kadai or Shanti Sweets