January 29, 2011

Ratnagiri Bala Murugan Temple

Ratnagiri is a small village near Vellore on the way from Chennai to Bangalore in South India. Ratnagiri is famous due to its hilltop Murugan temple. As long as I know, I have hardly seen such a neat and clean temple in the surroundings of Chennai city.

As the 14th century saint Arunagiri has sung about Ratnagiri Bala Murugan temple, this temple should be at least 600 years old. However, it was not in a good shape. A devotee visited this temple in 1968 and after looking at the bad state of the temple, he became a saint and started living in this small hill. It was due to his devoted work and sacrifice, this temple was reconstructed and standing as a great structure today. The name of the saint who sacrificed his whole life just for the upliftment of this temple is Bala Murugan Adimai.

As Ratnagiri Bala Murugan temple is located on top of a small hill, there is flight of steps to reach the hilltop. However, nowadays the vehicles go right upto the temple.

The very first shrine that would welcome the devotee is  Karpaga Vinayak. After that there is a shrine that enshrines Lord Murugan along with his consorts Valli and Devasena as metal (procession/utsav) idols.

Adjacent to that, there is another shrine of Shanmukha (Murugan with six heads) along with Valli and Devasena. These are also metal processional idols. The rare depiction in this shrine is that you can find Brahma on top of elephant in front of Murugan.

The sanctum enshrines Bala Murugan along with his consorts Valli and Devasena. The idol of the presiding deity Bala Murugan is very beautiful. The wall surrounding the shrine has the small niche images of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Murugan, Brahma and Durga. Chandikeshwara is found near Brahma.

A temple which you should never miss to visit...

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Bala Murugan Temple 
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Ratnagiri,near Vellore city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: One of the important temples of Lord Muruga
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 from Chennai or Bangalore
Hotel: Many star hotels, luxury hotels/resorts, and budget hotels are available in Chennai; Many decent and budget hotels are available in Vellore
Restaurants: Saravana Bhavan in Vellore is one of the good vegetarian restaurants in Vellore; apart from that, there are only few good options available in Vellore

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