May 30, 2016

Kolapakkam Agasteeswarar Temple

Site Name: Agasteeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:   Kolapakkam, Near Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of Navagraha Sthalams of Chennai
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Chennai
Hotel: A lot of options across Chennai
Restaurants:  A lot of options across Chennai 

Kolapakkam is a lesser known locality near Chennai city. The nearest well known areas are Nandampakkam and Porur. The locality has an ancient temple of Lord Shiva called Agasteeswarar. There are so many temples in and around Chennai in the name of Agasteeswarar temple. This temple is very special among all those temples. Let us explore about this temple in this article. 


Highlights:

  • God Agasteeswarar 
  • Goddess Anandavalli
  • Teerth (Holy Water) - Amrudha Pushkarani
  • Sthala Vruksha (Holy Tree) - Peepul
  • It is a Surya sthalam and one of Navagraha sthalams of Chennai

Legend:

As per the legend, the sage Agastya had worshiped Shiv Linga idol and installed the same. Hence, the deity is called as Agasteeswarar.

It is also believed that Surya had worshiped Shiv Linga in this temple and this temple has become a Surya Sthalam.

A sage named Vageesa had also worshiped Shiv Linga of this site.

History:

Like most of the temple around Porur locality of Chennai, this temple was also built by the Cholas. Aditya Chola I of 9th century CE had renovated the temple. There were contributions by various kings such as Rajaraja Chola I, Rajaraja Chola II, Kulotunga Chola III, Sundara Pandya, Vijayakanda Gopala (Telugu Chola) and a King of SriVijaya of Sumatra Islands, as per the inscriptions found in this temple.


Temple Layout:

The ancient Chola era temple has almost lost its beauty thanks to modern day renovations and paintings. The temple is very small and does not have gopura.

The east facing shrine enshrines a small Shiv Linga called as Agasteeswarar. There is a separate south facing shrine for small idol of Anandavalli. 

Nandi Mandap is found facing towards the sanctum. There is no flag staff. Ganesh, Dakshinamurti, Lingodbhava, Brahma and Durga are found as the niche idols around the sanctum. Chandikeshwara is found in his usual location. The small idols of Ganesh and Subramanya are found at the entrance of the sanctum.

In the prakara, the sub shrines of Vishwanath-Vishalakshi, Ganesh, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena, Kruna Vimochana Linga, Bhairav and Surya. Surya shrine is very important as it is a Surya sthalam. Similarly, Bhairav is also very popular and special poojas are conducted for him on Sundays.

Happy travelling.


May 29, 2016

Gerugampakkam Neelakantheswarar Temple

Site Name: Neelakantheswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:   Gerugampakkam, Near Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of Navagraha Sthalams of Chennai
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Chennai
Hotel: A lot of options across Chennai
Restaurants:  A lot of options across Chennai 

Gerugampakkam is a lesser known locality near Chennai city. The nearest well known area is Porur. The locality has an ancient temple of Lord Shiva. Let us explore about this temple named Neelakantheswarar temple in this article. 

Neelakantheswarar temple is one of Navagraha Sthalams of Chennai. It is a Ketu Sthalam.

The temple is supposed to be a Chola period temple. However, the current structure is very small without any major signs of Chola period.


The east facing sanctum enshrines Shiv Linga called as Neelakantheswarar. There is a separate south facing shrine dedicated to the tall idol of Adi Kamakshi. Her idol is very beautiful and attractive. It is believed that she is the oldest among five different forms of Kamakshi.

There is a separate shrine for Ketu. Navagraha and Kalinga Nardana Krishna are found in the prakara.

There is no gopura, flag staff or bali peetha. 

In the main shrine, Ganesh, Nandi, Bhairav and Chandikeshwara idols are all found. 

An important temple which lost its glory due to negligence.

Happy travelling.



May 27, 2016

Kovur Sundareswarar Temple

Site Name: Sundareswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:   Kovur, Near Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of Navagraha Sthalams of Chennai
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Chennai
Hotel: A lot of options across Chennai
Restaurants:  A lot of options across Chennai 

Kovur is a peaceful locality near Chennai city. The nearest well known area is Porur on one side and Kundrathur on the other side. The village has an ancient and big temple of Lord Shiva. Let us explore about this temple named Sundareswarar temple in this article. 

Highlights:

  • God Sundareswarar or Tirumeneeswarar
  • Goddess Soundarambikai or Tiruvudai Nayaki
  • Teerth (Holy Water) - Shiva Ganga Teerth
  • Sthala Vruksha (Holy Tree) - Bilva
  • It is a Budha sthalam and one of Navagraha sthalams of Chennai
  • Sri Tyagaiyar had sung hymns on the presiding deity of this temple, which is very rare as he had sung mainly about Lord Ram
Legend:

As per the legend, the Goddess Kamakshi performed severe penance towards Lord Shiva standing on Panchagni. The surrounding localities could not bear the heat and the people suffered due to this. Devas prayed to Lord Shiva to protect the people from fire. However, Shiva was in deep meditation. As per the advice from Vishnu, his wife Lakshmi came down to the site where this village is located today. She took the form of a cow and prayed to Shiv Linga idol in this site. Lord Shiva was pleased with Lakshmi's prayers and opened his eyes, which resulted in the surrounding places getting cooled down. As Lakshmi took the form of a cow, the place was called as Gopuri, as the word "Go" means cow. Later, the name probably got corrupted into Kopuri and at last Kovur.

As per another legend, Sri Tyagaiyar was passing through Kovur in a palanquin on his way to Tirupati. He did not halt or visit this temple. The robbers were trying to attack palanquin. However, all of a sudden two men appeared and they threw stones towards the robbers and drove them off. Tyagaiyar believed that Lord Ram and Lakshman had come to protect him. He went back to Kovur and visited the temple of Lord Shiva. He composed five songs on Sundareswarar of this temple.

It is believed that Sekkizhar from the nearby Kundrathur locality started writing Periya Puranam in this temple.


History:


The temple belongs to Chola period and was probably built by Kulotunga Chola II.

Sri Tyagaraja Swamigal had sung compositions on Sundareswarar of this site. It is called as Kovur Pancharatnam. Tyagaiyar had sung mostly about Lord Ram. This is one such rare site where the great saint had sung about other deity.


Temple Layout:



The temple is located in a peaceful street surrounded by trees on either sides. The gigantic tower has seven tiers and faces towards south direction. The gopura has the idols of Ganesh and Kartikeya at the entrance.


The east facing sanctum enshrines a tall and magnificent Shiv Linga called as Sundareswarar a.k.a. Tirumeneeswarar. Dwarapalas and small idols of Naga Skanda are found at the entrance of the main shrine. 

The Vimana is Gaja prshtha style vimana. Ganesh, Dakshinamurti, Lingodbhava, Brahma and Durga are found as the niche idols. Chandikeshwara is found in his usual location.

The flag staff, bali peetha and Nandi are found facing towards the main shrine. 

The Goddess Soundarambikai a.k.a. Tiruvudai Nayaki is found in a separate south facing shrine. As per the names, both Shiva and Ambikai look very beautiful. The wall of Amman shrine has Indrani, Maheswari, Maha Lakshmi, Brahmi and Durga as the niche images. Chandikeshwari is found instead of Chandikeshwara. 

There is a separate shrine for Karunakara Perumal who is found along with his two consorts. There is another shrine where the utsav idols of Sekkizhar and Thogai Adiyars are located. 

In the inner prakara, the idols of Ganesh, Surya, Sekkizhar, Nalvar, Kali, Veerabhadra and Bhairav are found.

In the outer prakara, the shrines of Ganesh, Murugan-Valli-Devasena, Shaneeswar and Navagraha.

The other shrines that are found in the temple include Netra Vinayak, Somaskanda, Sukravara Amman, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena, Utsav idols of Murugan with two consorts, Natraj-Shivakami, utsav idols of 63 Nayanmars, Muthumari and Ponni Amman. There is a separate shrine where the beautiful utsav idols such as Ganesh, Chandrasekhar and others are located.

Happy travelling. 

May 26, 2016

Tiru Uraga Perumal Temple - Kundrathur

Site Name: Tiru Uraga Perumal Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:   Kundrathur, Near Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: An ancient Vishnu temple in the site of Subramanya
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Chennai
Hotel: A lot of options across Chennai
Restaurants:  A lot of options across Chennai 

Kundrathur is a peaceful locality near Chennai city. The village is popular mainly due to its hilltop Murugan temple. The village has so many temples beyond Murugan temple. Let us explore one such lesser known and ancient temple named Tiru Uraga Perumal temple in this article.


Legend:

As per the legend, Kulotunga Chola had a disease. Lord Vishnu appeared in his dream and asked him to visit Tiru Uraga Perumal temple in Kanchipuram. The King did accordingly and got his disease cured. As an act of gratitude, the King built a temple for Tiru Uraga Perumal in Kundrathur. While constructing the temple, Vishnu appeared to him in the form of Tirupati Venkatachalapati and hence the idol was made as the replica of Tirupati temple.


History:

It is believed that the temple was built by Kulotunga Chola II. The pillars and other additions were done by Vijayanagara Kings.


Temple Layout:

The temple has a colorful and magnificent Raja gopura with a lot of beautiful stucco idols. 

The sanctum enshrines the gigantic seven feet tall idol of Tiru Uraga Perumal. The Goddess is found in a separate shrine in the prakara. She is called as Tiruvirundavalli.

Andal graces from a separate shrine. There is another sub-shrine for Ram, Sita and Lakshman with Hanuman facing towards them. Few more idols such as Ramanuj and Vishwaksena are also found in this temple.

The flag staff, bali peetha and Garud are found facing towards the main shrine.

Happy travelling.




Kundrathur Kandazheeswarar Temple

Site Name: Kandazheeswarar Temple
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:   Kundrathur, Near Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: One of the ancient temples in Kundrathur
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Well connected by road from Chennai
Hotel: A lot of options across Chennai
Restaurants:  A lot of options across Chennai 

Kundrathur is a peaceful locality near Chennai city. The village is popular mainly due to its hilltop Murugan temple. The village has so many temples beyond Murugan temple. Let us explore one such lesser known and ancient temple named Kandazheeswarar temple in this article.


Legend:

As per the legend, Lord Subramanya (Murugan) stayed for sometime on the hills of Kundrathur while travelling from Tiruporur to Tiruttani. He also installed a Shiv Linga in this site. That Shiv Linga is the one which is found as the presiding deity of this temple.

History:

The temple was built during the Chola era and possibly by Kulotunga Chola II. Even Krishnadeva Raya had contributed to this temple.

It is well known fact that this village was the native village of Sekkizhar, the eminent poet who authored the famous Periya Puranam. It is believed that he used to regularly visit this temple to get darshan of Kandazheeswarar.


Temple Layout:

This lesser known temple is located near Kundrathur bus stand next to a Vishnu temple (Uraga Perumal temple). The temple has a south facing entrance. There is no gopura. 

The sanctum is east facing. It enshrines a big Shiv Linga called as Kandazheeswarar. The flag staff, bali peeth and Nandi mandap are found facing towards the sanctum.

At the entrance of the sanctum, the idols of Ganesh and Subramanya-Valli-Devasena are found. 

In Ardha Mandap, the south facing shrine of Nagaimukha Valli is located. Both her name as well as Shiva's name are very beautiful names in Tamil language.


Ganesh, Dakshinamurti, Lingodbhava, Brahma and Durga are found as the niche images around the sanctum. Chandikeshwara is found in his usual location.

There are two prakaras in this temple.

In the outer prakara, the sub shrines/idols of Surya, Nalvar, Vaaleeswarar Linga with Balambikai, Karpaga Vinayak, 63 Nayanmars with Ganesh, Bhairav, Navagraha and another Ganesh under the holy tree are all found.

A relief panel of Kannappa Nayanar sacrificing his eye and stamping Linga is  noteworthy.

In the sub-shrine of Bhairav, there are actually three idols of Bhairav are found.These idols are definitely not old, but this is a unique combination of three Bhairavs in this temple. They are:

1) Kapala Bhairav on elephant
2) Samhara Bhairav on lion
3) Unmatta Bhairav on horse

Happy travelling.