January 31, 2011

Tiruputkuzhi Vijayaraghav Perumal Temple - South India

Tiruputkuzhi is a small village located near Kanchipuram. The easiest way to reach the village is via Chennai-Bangalore High Road. The village has a temple dedicated to Lord Rama. Lord Rama is named as Vijayaraghav in this temple. Tiruputkuzhi Vijayaraghava Perumal temple is one of the 108 Divya Desam temples (108 important temples of Lord Vishnu).

Rama and Krishna are the most popular incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Even though there are plenty of temples for Krishna in India, the number of temples dedicated to Lord Rama is comparatively less. This temple dedicated to Lord Rama (Vijayaraghav) is very unique, as Rama appears in the form of Lord Vishnu along with two consorts.

As per the legend associated with this temple, Jatayu, the eagle king, fought with Raavan while he was carrying Sita to Sri Lanka. However, Jataya was not successful in his attempt. He lost his wings and fell down. Rama, in search of Sita, reached this site, where he found Jatayu. Jatayu died in front of Rama, and Rama did last rites to Jatayu here. Basically, Jatayu, the eagle king attained salvation (moksha) in this site. As per the request from Jatayu, Rama gave darshan to him in the form of Vishnu along with Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. This is the reason why Vijayaraghav, the deity of the temple, is found with Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi.

Jatayu is found in a separate shrine near the temple tank outside the temple. The tank is said to have been created by Rama's arrow. It is rare to find a shrine for Jatayu. The flag post is also available outside the temple structure. The temple has a small temple tower and one corridor. The main sanctum has the magnificent idol of Vijayaraghav in sitting posture. Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi are present on his either sides. Sri Devi is usually found on the right side of Lord Vishnu. However, in the main sanctum Sri Devi is found on the left side of Vijayaraghav and Bhoo Devi is present on his right side. Also, the head of Sri Devi is in slanting position. It is believed that Sri Devi aka Lakshmi couldn't bear the smell during the final rites of Jataya and hence she moved towards the other direction.

Near the main sanctum, there is a shrine where the idol of Narasimha along with Alwars are found. Garuda is found in a small shrine opposite to the main sanctum. The temple has just one corridor. The goddess of the temple Maragadavalli is found in a separate shrine on the left side of the main sanctum. The shrine of Andal is found on the right side of the main sanctum. This is also unique in this temple. Usually, the shrine of Lakshmi is found on the right side and Andal shrine is found on the left side in all Vishnu temples in South India.

The temple also houses the shrines for Mudaliyandan and Senai Mudali. A small idol of Ganesha is also found in the temple wall.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Vijayaraghava Perumal Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Tiruputkuzhi,near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: One of 108 Divya Desam temples; the site where Jatayu got moksh;Rama in the form of Vishnu
Nearest Railway Station: Kanchipuram- well connected from some of the main cities of Tamil Nadu such as Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai has both national and international airports
How to reach: Easily reachable by road from Chennai or Kanchipuram
Hotel: Many star hotels, luxury hotels/resorts, and budget hotels are available in Chennai; good hotels in Kanchipuram
Restaurants: All options - vegetarian, non-vegetarian, Chinese, South Indian, Gujarati, North Indian, Punjabi,....- you can find everything in Chennai city; Decent restaurants available in Kanchipuram

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Tiruparkadal Ranganathar Temple - South India

Tiruparkadal, a small village on the Chennai - Bangalore Highroad, near Kanchipuram, is considered as equivalent to 107th Divya Desam by devotees. The small village has two Vishnu temples located adjacent to each other. There is a big tank located outside the twin temples. The first temple is dedicated to Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal, where Vishnu is standing on the idol of Shiv Linga. The second temple is dedicated to Ranganath, Vishnu in the reclining posture.

The highlight of the temple is the main deity, which is made up of Atti tree (wood). The idol looks unique and beautiful due to this. The small temple doesn't have many shrines. The main shrine has Ranganath reclining on Adi Sesha, the five faced serpent, along with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi, and also with Brahma. All these idols, present in the main shrine, are made up of Atti tree.

The small temple also has separate shrines for Hanuman and Garuda. Alwar idols are also present in a separate shrine. The idol of the Goddess Ranganayaki, which is also made of Atti tree, looks extraordinarily beautiful. Normally, in South Indian Vishnu temples, the goddess idol looks beautiful. However, in this temple, the idol looks stunningly great.

As per the legend of this temple, when Brahma was doing yagna, his wife Saraswati took the form of a river and tried to destroy the yagna. Based on the request from Brahma, Lord Vishnu lied across the river and stopped the river from proceeding further. A similar story is associated with Yathodkari temple of Kanchipuram too.

There is a belief that Chitragupta, the assistant of Yama, got rid of his sins by visiting this temple.

A beautiful small temple located in a calm village. Don't miss this.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Ranganathar Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Tiruparkadal,near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: Considered as equivalent to the 107th Divya Desam; rare temple of having Vishnu idol in Atti tree
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
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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Tiruparkadal Srinivasa Perumal Temple - South India

You can find thousands of Shiva temples and thousands of Vishnu temples in India, the country where you cannot find even a village without a temple. In fact, you can even find some temples where Lord Shiva as well as Lord Vishnu are found. However, I am going to introduce you to a rare temple in South India, where Lord Vishnu is found standing on Lord Shiva.

Tiruparkadal is small village full of green fields near Kaveripakkam junction near Kanchipuram. You can find this village on the Chennai-Bangalore high road. This small village of Tiruparkadal has two important temples of Lord Vishnu located adjacent to each other. One of those twin temples is dedicated to Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal, in which Lord Vishnu is found standing on the idol of Lord Shiv Linga.

As per the legend, the sage Pundareeka Maharishi, an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu, visited the adjacent temple of Lord Ranganath. When he passed over this temple, he noticed Nandi idol in front of the temple. As he didn't want to visit Shiva temple, he skipped the temple. However, Lord Vishnu appeared as an old man and told the saint that the temple was dedicated to Lord Vishnu. When the sage visited the temple, he found Vishnu idol on top of Shiv Linga. The sage realized his mistake of differentiating between two Gods.

Apart from the eight feet long Srinivasa Perumal idol in the main shrine, this small temple also houses the shrines of Andal and Padmavati, the goddess of the temple. There is a small shrine for Garuda opposite to the main sanctum. The beautiful utsav idols of Srinivasa Perumal with Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi, and Padmavati are also found in the temple.

There are people who consider these twin temples as equivalent to the 107th Divya Desam.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Srinivasa Perumal Temple
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Tiruparkadal,near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: Considered as equivalent to the 107th Divya Desam; rare temple having Vishnu standing on top of Shiv Linga
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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January 29, 2011

Kaveripakkam Pancha Lingeswarar Temple - South India

On the Chennai - Bangalore high road in South India, near the famous Kanchipuram temple city, there is a small place named Kaveripakkam. In Kaveripakkam, in an area named Konda Puram, there is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is present. In this temple, as there are five Shiv Lingas are found, the temple is called as Pancha Lingeswarar temple.

As per the legend, the Goddess Kamakshi installed five Shiv Linga idols representing Pancha (five) Bhootas such as earth, water, fire, air, and sky, before doing penance at Kanchipuram. This small ancient and beautiful has five shrines each having one Shiv Linga. Apart from that there are two shrines having Kamakshi idol. There is also a shrine for Ganesha and another for Shanmukha with Valli and Devasena. The walls of the temple have the small idols of two Dakshinamurti, Vishnu, and Brahma. Navagraha is also found in this temple.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Pancha Lingeswarar Temple 
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Kaveripakkam, near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: Five Shiv Lingas in a single temple; Established by the Goddess Kamakshi
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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The structure of Vellore Jalagandeswarar Temple - South India

Vellore, the Fort city of Tamil Nadu state in South India, is of course famous due its gigantic fort. The main building within the fort is the magnificent temple of Jalagandeswarar. In my previous post, I wrote about the legend and history of Jalagandeswarar temple. In this post, let me briefly write about the idols, sculptures, and the temple structure.
Jalagandeswarar temple has seven storey tower which look gigantic along with its fort like long walls. Once you enter into the temple through this gigantic tower, you will find the Kalyana Mandap (wedding hall, if translated in English) and another temple tower with three storeys. The Kalyana Mandap is the highlight of this beautiful old temple of 16th century. If you visit this mandap alone and do not proceed to the temple, I would say it is more than enough. The mandap is so beautiful that it is very difficult to explain in writing. The mandap is full of extraordinary sculptures, artistic pillars, and artistic roofs. There are six big pillars in the front side of the mandap. Each pillar has soldiers on top of horses fighting with cheetahs. Each pillar is carved in unique style. In you enter into the mandap, you can find 24 big pillars. Each pillar has three sections, and each section has four sculptures. Thus, there are twelve sculptures in each pillar. Apart from this, there are sixteen pillars in the platform. Each sculpture is unique and beauty on its own. Yazhis (mythological animal), lions, and Bhootas are found in many pillars and they are intricately carved. The sculptures such as Krishna lifting mountain, dancing lady warrior, dancing girls, Vishnu with Lakshmi, Vishnu with musical instrument, Narasimha with Garuda, Nataraj with his leg raised towards sky, and Gajendra Moksha are some of the rare and unique sculptures. It is difficult to write about all sculptures and hundreds of pages are needed to write about their intricacies in detail. You should go, visit, and experience on your own.

Once you pass the internal temple tower, you will get into the main temple. Valmburi Vinayakar, the idol of Ganeshji with his truck turned toward right side, is the first idol that you would get to see. You need to turn towards your right to find the flag staff and the main sanctum loacted opposite to that. The main sanctum has Jalagandeswarar in the form of a big Shiv Linga idol. You can find two Dwarapalak idols at the entrance of the main sanctum. There is a small corridor surrounding the main sanctum where various metal (utsav) idols are found. Some of those idols such as Brahma, Bikshandeswarar, Dakshinamurti, Chandrasekarar, and Nalvar are really very beautiful. The walls surrounding the main sanctum has the idols of Ganesha, Dakshinamurti, Lingodbhava, Brahma, Durga, and Chandikeswarar.

In the outer corridor, you can find a big shrine for Nataraj and Sivakami. The idols of Surya, Chandra, Bhairav, Shaneeswarar, 63 nayanmars, Ganga Paleeswarar Linga, Sapta Mata, Adi Shankarar, Ganesha, and Bhairav are found in the outer corridor. The temple has two Nandi idols one inside the main sanctum and another near the flag staff. The outer corridor also houses the shrine of the Goddess of the temple, Akilandeswari. The walls surrounding the shrine of Akilandeswari has the small idols of Ganesh, Chandikeswari, and four Ambals. Adjacent to Akilandeswari shrine, the idols of Lakshmi and Saraswati are found. There is a shrine for Lord Muruga found along with his consorts Valli and Devasena. There is a shrine for Venkatesa Perumal and Garud opposite to him.

Vellore fort and this beautiful temple of Jalagandeswar are something which you should never miss to visit.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Jalagandeswarar Temple 
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Vellore, near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: Known for its architecture and sculpture
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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Vellore Jalagandeswarar Temple - South India

When any South Indian hears the word "Vellore", he can think of two things immediately - one is Vellore Jail and another is Vellore Fort. Vellore Fort is very popular in South India, as it is very rare to find forts and palaces in South India. Vellore Fort is one of the largest forts among those very few forts of South India. It is located near Chennai city on the Chennai-Bangalore route.

Inside the gigantic Vellore Fort, there are a lot of government buildings, museums, Churches, and mosques. However, the most important structure inside the Vellore Fort is the magnificent Jalagandeswarar temple. The fort was in fact built due to this temple. Before I write about the architecture, structure, sculptures, and idols of Jalagandeswarar temple, I would talk about its history.

As per the legend the current site where the temple is located was an island surrounded by lake. In the island, there was an snake hole. Near the snake hole, there was a Shiv Linga idol which was protected by a five headed snake. A cow used to feed milk to the snake. After hearing all these stories, the king named Bommi Reddy who ruled this region started building the temple in the site. The temple construction was started in the year of 1566 AD. A sculptor from North India lead the construction of the temple. However, it was later found out that the day selected to start the construction was not auspicious. Hence, in order to protect the temple, the king had to build a fort around the temple so that he could protect this beautiful temple.

After Bommi Reddy, there were ten kings in his dynasty who ruled Vellore. It was in the 17th century AD that the fort city was captured by Bijapur Sultan. His son KanKhan and his grand son Abdullah ruled the city after him. As Abdullah was made to believe that there were costly stones lying below the Shiv idol, he removed the Shiv idol and threw the same into the moat surrounding the fort. After that, the Vellore city was captured by Marathas. Marathas brought the idol back to the city. However, within two years, the city went to Muslims again. The poojas were stopped for around 21 years. When the city was recaptured by Marathas, the temple poojas were restarted. When it was recaptured by Muslims, the poojas and rituals didn't stop. However, it is said, even though there is no historical proof, a Muslim prince who tried to misbehave with a female was killed by her within the temple complex. Since then (during 18th century AD), the Shiv Linga idol was shifted to a nearby village and the temple was without the main idol. It was only during the recent time towards the end of 20th century AD, the temple got back its idol as well as the original glory.

A big legend with some historical facts....tried to write briefly as far as possible. I will talk about the temple structure and idols in my next post. Till then...

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Jalagandeswarar Temple 
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Vellore, near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: Known for its architecture and sculpture
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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Vellore Fort Government Museum - South India

Vellore, a small city, located near Chennai in South India is mainly famous for its Fort. Vellore Fort is one of the largest forts in South India where it's very rare to find forts or palaces. Vellore fort is very huge and it houses various government buildings, a church, a small mosque, and a gigantic beautiful Jalagandeswarar temple. Apart from all those structures, there is also a small but well maintained Government museum located inside the Vellore fort.

The Vellore Fort Government Museum is well maintained and it has a lot of rare collections. To start with, you can find a lot of sculptures belonging to different periods even outside the museum structure. You can even find some Sati stones there. Apart from typical sculptures, there are rare stones such as hero stones, stone pillars, and gun powder flasks found outside the museum. All these sculptures and stones belong to various period starting from pre-Christian era to 18th century AD.

Even though the museum is small, it is well divided into multiple sections/galleries. In one particular gallery, you can find the bones, skull, or chemically preserved body of various animals, birds, and insects, such as fox, leopard, bat, butterfly, etc. There is another section containing various beautiful bronze statues. Some rare weapons used by kings are displayed in one gallery.

You can also find some wooden idols or wooden carvings, old palquins, some handicrafts, and various weapons also in this government museum.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Vellore Fort Government Museum
Site Type: Museum
Location: Vellore, near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
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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Shenbakkam Selva Vinayakar Temple - Near Vellore, South India

Shenbakkam, a small village near Vellore, on the route of Chennai to Bangalore in South India, is famous due to its rare temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha.

Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva, is named as Selva Vinayakar in this temple. Shenbakkam Selva Vinayakar temple has totally 11 Pillayar (Ganesha) idols. The highlight is not the number of idols but the shape of those idols. All the idols are shapeless and formless. They are considered as Swamyambu - meaning which formed on their own. You cannot find a proper shape for any of those Ganesha idols. That is the highlight of this temple.

The original name of the village was Shenbagavanam as there used to be a lot of Shenbaga trees. The name got diluted to Shenbakkam later. As per a legend, Adi Shankara on his way to Virinjipuram Margabandeswarar temple visit, he came to this site and installed Sri Chakra. However, the Chakra is nowhere found in the current temple. It is also believed that all the idols were buried into the ground in due course. It is believed that the axle of the chariot of a Marati minister named Thukoji broke down here and the blood was oozing out from the ground. Ganesha appeared in the dream of Thukoji and disclosed his presence. Thus, the idols were discovered and the temple was built.

Shenbakkam Vinayakar temple has a tank outside the temple structure and a small tower. Munjur (mouse) is the vaahan of Ganesh. In this temple, in front of 11 swayambu Vinayak idols, there are four mice and one elephant standing as vaahans. Another highlight of the temple is that the flag staff is present right inside the main shrine. Behind the 11 Vinayak idols, there is a shrine where Meenakshi, Sundareswarar, and Mariamman are found. The temple also houses the idols of Dakshinamurti, Nalvar, Chandikeswarar, Viswanathar, Vishalakshi, Dakshinamurti, Vishnu and Murugan with Valli-Devasena. There are a lot of "sudhai" idols in the temple walls depicting various forms of Ganesha. Some of them are really rare forms such as Five faced Ganesha, and Ganesha on peacock. There is a shrine where all the metal utsav idols are kept. Navagraha is also found in the temple.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Selva Vinayakar Temple 
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Shenbakkam,near Vellore city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: 11 Swayambu idols of Ganesha without any proper shape
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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Vellore Fort - South India

Vellore Fort is one of the largest forts in South India. In South India, it's very common to find magnificent temples, but it's very rare to find palaces and forts. Vellore fort of Vellore city near Chennai, the gateway to South India, is one of those few forts of South India.

Vellore Fort was built by Chinna Bommi Nayak and Thimma Reddy Nayak, subordinate Chieftains under Sadasiva Raya of the Vijayanagara Empire in the year of 1566 AD. Vellore Fort got prominence under the Vijayanagara reign. Vellore city even became their capital. The empire used Vellore Fort as the base to fight a lot of battles. The fort was captured by Bijapur Sultan in 1656. Later, it was captured by Marathas and Mughals. Ultimately, the British took the control of the fort. It was under Hyder Ali for a brief period in-between.

Interestingly, the first rebellion against the British rule broke in Vellore Fort in the year of 1806 AD. Indian soldiers stationed in the fort attacked the British army. Around 100+ English men were killed. However, the British was successful in controlling the rebellion by killing 800+ Indian soldiers by noon.

Vellore Fort, which was built using granite, houses the architecturally beautiful and magnificent temple of Jalagandeswarar and a Government museum. There are a lot of government buildings, a small church, and a small mosque located within the fort today. The fort is spread for over 133 acres and is located at an altitude of 220 m. The fort is surrounded by a moat. It is said that there is an escape tunnel from the fort which leads to the nearby village Virinjipuram.

Vellore fort is definitely one of the best surviving South Indian military architecture, and is known for its grand ramparts and wide moat.

Happy travelling.


Fast Facts:
Site Name: Vellore Fort 
Site Type: Fort
Location: Vellore ,near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: One of the important forts of South India
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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Virinchipuram Margabandeswarar Temple - South India

Virinchipuram is a small village located near Chennai city in South India. You can reach this temple if you travel in Chennai-Bangalore Highway. It is located at a distance of around 10 kms from Vellore city. Virinchipuram has the architecturally beautiful Margabandeswarar temple. Margabandeswarar temple is around 1300 years old and is very rich in extraordinary sculptures and artistic pillars.

Simha tank aka Simha teerth, the tank with the lion faced sculpture in the entrace which is located inside the temple is very popular. Every Karthigai (Tamil calendar month) last Saturdays, thousands of female devotees take bath in this tank and sleep in the temple mandaps with wet clothes. It is believed that if God appears in their dreams, their wish come true.

The temple has a beautiful tower in the east direction. In addition to that there are other towers facing the other directions. The highlight of the temple is two Kalyana Mandaps (halls) located on either side of the outer prakara (corridor). Both the mandaps are full of artistically beautiful pillars and sculptures. You can find the various forms of Shakthi, Shiva, Vishnu and other Gods in the form of beautiful sculptures in the pillars of these mandaps. Narasimha coming out of pillar, Narasimha killing Hiranya, Vishnu with musical instruments, and other such rare sculptures are carved in these mandaps.

As per the legend, Brahma and Vishnu competed among themselves to find the head and foot of Lord Shiva respectively. Vishnu admitted that he failed in his attempt. However, Brahma lied as if he saw the head of Lord Shiva. Hence, he was cursed and was born as Shiva Sarma in a Brahmin family in Virinjipuram. Shiva Sarma's father died when he was five years old. His relatives tried to get the rights of doing temple Poojas by deceiving Shiva Sarma. The Lord appeared in Shiva Sarma's mother's dream and on the next day he appeared as an old man. The old man performed upanayan for the boy. The boy did all the required poojas in the temple properly. However, he couldn't do abhishek to the tall Shiv Linga. Hence, the Shiv Linga tilted slightly towards the boy. You can still find the Shiv Linga idol tilted.

The Goddess of the temple is Maragadambal. Both the God and Goddess are east facing and both have separate flag staff. It appears that the temple should have been built or renovated by Sambuvarayan, the representative of Chola king in 1239 AD. Bomma Nayakkars, who built the Vellore Jalagandeswarar temple, should have built the beautiful kalyana mandaps of the temple.



As the temple is being renovated when I visited in 2010, I am unable to give more details about the idols of the temple. If I get a chance to revisit this temple, I will provide those details.

Happy travelling.






Fast Facts:
Site Name: Margabandeswarar Temple 
Site Type: Hindu Temple
Location: Virinchipuram,near Vellore city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: Architecutral marvel; Beautiful sculptures
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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