Monday, October 2, 2017

Sri Parashurameshwara temple at Gudimallam–The most ancient Shiva temple near Tirupati

Gudimallam  is a nondescript village off the beaten track near Renigunta near Tirupati. It is the site of a very ancient Shiva temple thought to be built in 1 BC as per archeological evidence of the potsherds and the huge bricks un earthed here. It has been later rebuilt as a granite temple with the Gaja prushti type vimana by successive dynasties like the shatavahanas, Banas, Cholas and Hoysalas.

How to reach:

While proceeding from Tirupati to Sri Kalahasti, in less than a furlong  take a turn on the right ,the road on the right to papa Naidu Peta and Gudimallam It is about 22 kms from Tirupati.

The trip by itself became an adventure thanks to Google maps and overnight rain. I trusted the maps implicitly and proceeded on the Kalahasthi road behind the Renigunta airport.After crossing an under-construction  college the adventure became interesting. The road disappeared and a dirt track emerged with slushy quick sand made worse by rain and deep tracks formed by giant tyres of tractors which use the road. There were two areas of concrete only where we waded through the now dry Swarnamukhi river. There were no people to ask directions due to rain and my new jazz bravely trudged through the sludge. My heart was in my mouth many times. I was going around in Papa Naidu Peta village and ultimately came to the temple after doing a pradakshina all in one piece God's will I accepted. My octogenarian father in law, a seasoned veteran of many a gory neurosurgical battle who came with me developed a tension headache and I am sure was in direct prayer link with his Guru Sri Mahaperiyava who safely saw us to the temple. The return journey was on tar roads thankfully as I could ask few people

The temple is under the administration of the ASI and hence neatly maintained an oasis in the middle of the sleepy village


legends and facts:

A local chieftain called Parashurama was blessed by the lord and he had a garden which was used to do Pooja to the lord. Chitrasena a yaksha stole a few flowers and a fight ensured between the two and the yaksha was cursed to be an Asura. Some say Chitrasena was actually Brahma, sent by Shiva to help Parashurama absolve himself of his dosha of beheading his own mother.

The Shivalinga is unique and remarkably like a phallus. The front portion has a dwarf Chitrasena over whom Parashurama is standing in full warrior mode. This they say is amalgamation of Shiva , Vishnu as Parashurama and Brahma as the dwarf below

The whole sanctum is at a lower level and once in 40 years the swarnamukhi flows enough to cause a fountain effect inside and submerges the lord. The last time was in 2005, a remarkable feat of engineering. The sun’s rays fall on the lord directly on Uttarayana and Dakshinayana solstice days.

View of the outer prahara with Anandavalli Ammavaru in the distanceIMG_20171001_130839

The legend of the temple as put up by the ASI IMG_20171001_130744IMG_20171001_130826

The outer prahara has east facing sannidhi for Murugan with Valli and Devasena,IMG_20171001_131017

There is a separate sannidhi for Surya in the eastIMG_20171001_131149

and the Ammavaru Anandavalli has an enclosure facing east

.inside the prahara the Kostas vigrahas are Dakshinamurthy, abhayahastha Perumal ,Chaturmukha brahma and ,vaishnavi. In deference to the notice I did not photograph the deities inside

The majestic Shiva as seen from Pics on the internet

web link to the site of the picture


A truly adventurous trip I had with family that journey really re enforced my strong belief in the positivity of sincere prayers!!!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sri Kaaraneeshwarar Temple–Saidapet Chennai

Today I took an unplanned trip on a whim to visit this temple.I have always been hearing of Saidapet temple though I could not get much info about this temple I know it is a very ancient one. The sudden rain pouring down was very heavy and added to the thrill of the visit today

How to reach: 

Saidapet is a sprawling area between the Adayar river , Mount Road and T.Nagar.Proceeding from Anna flyover side I took a turn on the right side at East Jones road junction on mount road after the South Usman road junction and proceeded straight on this road .You will go under the railway tracks near the station and immediately after take the left turn .On the right is the temple pond IMG_20170813_092250supposedly built by Indra it is named “Gopathi Saras “ and on taking a left here I reached the front of the Majestic TempleIMG_20170813_085526

legend of this temple:

Lord Indra had sent his cow with sage vashishta.He was saddened to know that owing to some reason Kamadhenu had incurred the rishis wrath and was under a curse.Indra was advised to build a temple between Mylapore and Adayar river and pray to lord Shiva to retrieve Kamadhenu. He first asked Lord varuna to pour rain and make this area fertile and then built the temple here. Lord Shiva was happy and conferred the title “GO Pathy” lord of the Cows to Indra here and released Kamadhenu back

As you enter the Rajagopuram we see the wide praharam.Right in front is the Ambal Swarnambikai Sannidhi


There is a Vinayaka sannidhi at the entrance facing east.

The outer praharam has multiple sannidhis for murugan, Various replica of lords of different temples and Navagraha sannidhi with Shani Bhagawan and Surya Bhagavan ,Bhairava  seen below


The back of the temple with images of various lords of famous temples


Murugan SannidhiIMG_20170813_090952IMG_20170813_091032

Navagraha sannidhi


The Kodi maram and in the foreground a sannidhi for Kasi Viswanathan and Tripurasundari


Kasi Viswanatha Sannidhi


Tripurasundari Ambal


There are also sannidhis for Shani and Bhairava

View from the Nandi in front of the Kodimaram facing the Main Kaaraneeshwarar SannidhiIMG_20170813_091449

Ambal Sri Swarnambikai sannidhi as seen from the South side entrance


Having circumambulated the outer praharam we enter the main sannidhi where there is a Eat facing Shivalingam and a South facing sannidhi for Ambal

The inner praharam has the Koshta vigrahas and vigrahas for the nayanmars. The statue for Kaaraikal ammayar  and a small  Shivalingam and Nandi was eye catchingIMG_20170813_090057

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Sri Tripurasundari sametha Panchanadheshwarar koil-A padal petra sthalam at Thiruandar koil near Pondicherry

Thiruvandar Koil is a sleepy hamlet between Pondy and Villupuram. This a an ancient temple of about 800 AD under the control of the ASI which has many exquisite sculptures, I found some rare ones too.


The temple is on the state highway 332 about 17 kms from Pondy and 20 kms from Villupuram . there is a small board indicating this small but peaceful temple.


A few dilapidated  structures at the entrance



There was an asura called Vandasuran who was vanquished by Shiva as Bhairava form and the place came to be called as Thiruvandar koil.

It is also the place that brahma’s fifth head was removed by Shiva Shiva became Bhikshandar here and brahma prayed here to absolve himself of the sins of lying.

The temple has been sung about by Sri Gnanasambandar and Arunagirinathar


There is no Dwajasthambam only bali peetamm


The main temple is a simple structure with a slightly inclined Shivalingam facing east.

The Ambal Tripurasundari is in her own sannidhi facing south

The outer praharam has unique Koshta vigrahas




The Dakshinamurthy here is famous  and helps clear marriage obstacles




A rare panel of Shiva Parvathi and murugan as hunters carrying Bow and arrows




Vishnu Durga


A rare Pradosha murthy Shiva and Parvathy as a couple


other sannidhis

Ganapathy sannidhiDSC06219

Murugan Sannidhi


Bhairava on the left, Navagraha in the far left behind and Shanishwarar in front of murugan


This place is famous for the Bhairava and special prayers to him to help vanquish difficult times are performed here

A small neatly maintained ancient temple with rare sculptures

Sri Marundeshwarar koil at Kandamangalam /Navamal Marudhur near Pondicherry-An ancient temple renovated recently

About 15 years ago an elderly relative urged me to visit this temple which was in a dilapidated stage and he told me it wont last long. I could not find more details. Today I could recollect the place and could visit the same when I visited Pondicherry.

Though I could not get more information of this temple I found that new construction has been done.


The temple is situated 15 kms from Pondy on the Villupuram road in a village called Marudhur . The winding narrow village road leads us to the temple and locals are eager to guide you. Sadly at 10 AM there were not many people around and the temple is being looked after by an elderly oduvar.I heard from him that Sri. Thirunavukkarasar has visited this temple.I read somewhere that records from 1056 AD  in the Karandhai temple in Tanjore district there were 66 acres of land allotted to this temple by Raja Raja Chola.

It is very famous as a parihara sthalam with the Bhairava being very powerful. The Oduvar said if you pray to this lord I predict you will see results in 15 days!! such was his confidence

A placid natural uncared for pond in front of the temple


View of the temple from the pond. The Huge Nandi guards the temple entrance where in a huge Shivalingam rests in the main sannidhi facing SOUTH as is the Marudhambigai sannidhi  a very rare feature. Shiva was manifested in a Marudha tree here (Arjun tree) hence marudhur. Both Shiva and Parvathi are equal in height . The whole temple was built with black granite  which was available about 70 kms away ( all this data from Sri. Sathiya   Narayanan on Google maps and from the Oduvar in the temple my gratitude to both of them and all credit to these two people for all the  info regarding this temple)

The temple was consecrated by sri Parakesi munivar it seems

To the right you can see the Marudhambigai sannidhi


Marudhambigai sannidhi


Murugan and Vinayaka sannidhi can be seen behind the main sannidhis.

I front of the Ambal sannidhi facing north are the sannidhis  for Suryan, Chandran ,Kala Bhairava and the Navagrahas


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sri Maragadhavalli sametha Sri Margasahayeshwarar and Sri KarunakaraPerumal temple Maduravoyal,Chennai

Another Gem of an ancient temple came to my notice recently as I was travelling on the busy Poonamalle high road. A recently put up sign board drew my attention to this ancient temple and I could visit it today. The temple has been taken up by the Archeological survey of India and is being re built.You would never imagine such a peaceful ancient temple exists near this busy highway.

The Vishnu temple was actually situated nearby on the banks of the cooum.Apparently in 1970’s there was flooding and the temple was washed away and the Moola virat was rescued and installed in this Shiva temple.IMG_20170625_091415


On Poonamalle highroad as you are coming from the Kanchi/ Bangalore side towards Chennai you will cross the inner ring road and then come to the first signal.Just after this is the Maduravoyal corporation office and adjacent to this is the narrow lane leading to the temple. Since I was not sure about this road I proceeded a bit straight and took the next acute left turn  east mada street and reached the temple

The main Shiva temple is undergoing renovation IMG_20170625_092955IMG_20170625_092918IMG_20170625_092607

Due to the renovation the main lord is in Balalayam and kept in a small enclosure in the for court next to the navagraha. The most captivating thing here was the sheer peace and greenery with multiple Ganeshas under various banyan treesIMG_20170625_091812IMG_20170625_092353

There were also a mango tree , Bhilva tree and Jack fruit tree all with fruitsIMG_20170625_092505IMG_20170625_092632IMG_20170625_092713

In the hind court of the temple complex is the Karunakara perumal temple with Sridevi and Bhoodevi.IMG_20170625_091848IMG_20170625_092357

Picture of the main deity taken with the permission of the Bhattar below



A small derelict temple which I am sure will be attracting more visitors shortly