Saturday, January 27, 2018

Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple–MG road Pondicherry

This temple is right next to the Vedapureswarar temple  with a street separating the two. the temple is a simple construction with idols which were unearthed nearby. The vasantha mantap was donated by a Muslim trader it seems. When the French demolished the Shiva temple next door 1n 1700’s Sri Ananda ranga Pillai collected the idols and kept them here for safekeeping,

Originally this was a Narasimha temple between two Bodhi trees but later the temple grew and the original Narasimha idol is housed in a sannidhi behind

There is a separate sannidhi for Andal and also sannidhi for Sri  Ramanuja and Sri Nikamanda mahadesikan

The temple houses idols of many divyadesams which were all found in the lands nearby.The Sundara Anjeneyar is a big draw in this temple


The Rajagopuram leads to the Dwajasthambam with Garuda alwar facing the main deity The main sannidhi has a 5 feet tall Varadaraja Perumal standing. the southern side has a Mahalakshmi sannidhi and the north the Andal sannidhi

Sri Hanuman is found facing West in the North east corner

Sri Tripurasundari sametha Sri Vedapureswarar temple- MG road Pondicherry

This is the oldest temple in Pondicherry town. Today was the Kumbabishekam of this temple recently renovated hence it was very crowded and I had to rush through

The MG road is one of the prime market areas and easy to find it is next to the Perumal temple


There is not much in legends here but in the Franco Indian war of 1788 the temple was razed to the ground and rebuilt in 1899 by Dewan  Kandappa mudaliar a local patron and the towns folk.


The raja gopuram leads us to a small hall where Kumbabishekam pooja were in full swing. we next enter the outer praharam which has the dwaja sthamba20180127_094901

Ambal Tripura sundari sannidhi on the right seen below facing south


The mural showing the builders/renovators and nayanmars appar, Sundarar


Outer praharam showing the way to do pradakshina


Some  pounding activity for the Kumbabishekam


The Dakshinamurthy sannidhi made out as a separate enclosure


Ganapathi sannidhi in the outer praharam


Exquisite  paintings on the walls and the roof depicting tales from the Shivapuranam


the roof


The temple pond


An old edict


the main sanctum was closed due to balalayam which is seen below


Sri Kameshwarar sametha Kokilambal Temple Villianur near Pondicherry

Today I had a whirl wind visit of three temples in Pondicherry on a visit.

The first visit was to the  above  temple  which I passed by 2 months ago and was longing to visit. The temple was chock a bloc full of people as some yaga was going on and I could not take pictures of the temple on the inside


On the pondy Vizhupuram road at 8 kms you reach Villianur . There is a new rail overbridge being constructed on the state highway  hence local detours on narrow side  lanes were in order and we reached the temple 20180127_091101

The temple is famous for the solar worship in april (Tamil month Panguni 9-12) when the sun’s rays fall on the shivalinga directly


Brahma was directed by Shiva to plant Vilva trees here to atone for the sin of lying . Hence the place was known as Vilvanur which is now referred to as Villianur. He prayed here to the lord and received release for his sin

A chola king Dharma Pala Chola was suffering from leprosy and was cured after taking a bath here in the pond and he re built this temple in 1500 AD

The French under Dupleix helped  renovate this temple in 1800 AD

As you enter there is an  outer praharam  leading to a small inner praharam with the dwaja sthamba.This place today was hosting a homam with many people crowding it

The dwajastambha has 3 nandis around it one facing the Shiva linga the other two at right angles facing each other one is a bigger one and the other facing  a small calf is referred to as prasava Nandi  one who helps deliver  as in child birth and women pray here for a safe delivery.

(Pic courtesy

the main temple is quite small we enter from the south and see a small shivalinga . In a weeks time the sun's rays will illuminate the lord at dawn 

The  walls of the shrine have the Koshta vigrahas, Ganapathy, Dakshinamurthy , Perumal,Brahma and Durga.

There are separate shrines for Ganapathy and Murugan and also huge Murugan. there are many prahara Shivalingas, including a koti linga . The Navagraha sannidhi is in front

the Kokilambal sannidhi is in the front facing south with a petite amman standing  and smilingly blessing devotees

There are statues of Somaskandar,Sivagami, Nataraja all exquisite

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sri Thiruvetteswarar–Shenbagambikai temple Triplicane Chennai

For me  Triplicane evokes fond memories of Parthasarathy temple,its divine  prasadam ,  it is also the home of another ancient temple for Shiva the Thiruvetteswarar temple. Today after visiting the Pudupet temple I had an opportunity to visit


The temple is situated near the main Triplicane high road. I entered the Triplicane high road behind the new Omundurar medical college and turned right. As I proceeded straight I turned right into Mayor chittibabu street and a further left turn brought me in front of the temple20180114_101312


Arjuna obtained the pasupatha from Shiva and was returning back when he prayed here. Since he incurred a sin of opposing Shiva during the fight in the forest when both claimed  that the boar hunted belonged to them Arjuna was re born as Kanappa nayanar and is celebrated as a great Shiva devotee here

Thirunavukkarasar has sung about this temple but not visited

The savant Sundarar has a sannidhi here with both wives here

Goddess Lakshmi prayed to Shiva here for enabling her marriage to Mahavishnu here There is a carving on a pillar to substantiate this . there  is also a sannidhi for Lakshmi with Saraswathi inside in the praharamTiruvetteeswarar_005

(image courtesy TNHRCE from the temple website)

It is the place where Rahu and ketu prayed to Shiva for redemption. The roof of the inner praharam has a huge carving of the swallowing of sun and moon here

Image courtesy TH HRCE from the temples websiteTiruvetteeswarar_010

It is one of the few temples with a huge pond un encroached and with a large garden in this bustling concrete jungle

There are 3 dwaja stambhas in this temple one in front one in front of the Ambal sannidhi and one in front of the Murugan sannidhi

As you enter the Rajagopuram you see the main praharam entrance



The outer praharam has certain unique sannidhis like

the Vallabha Ganapathy who is thanked with coconut offerings and lamp lit with coconut oil20180114_101413

The Adhikara Nandi  sannidhi


The Southern side showing Dwajasthambam of Ambal sannidhi


The western and northern side have a nandavanam and also the huge pond which is dry now 20180114_10280020180114_10280420180114_10311520180114_103129

The main praharam has a single hall from where we can pray to both Shiva and Ambika .The temple has been re built inside to include a sannidhi for the utsava vigrahas  Thyagaraja swami and Parvathi as somaskandar. This somehow makes the sanctum look cramped but is well maintained

The Koshta  vigrahas are all small and there is a huge sannidhi for the 63 nayanmars which is well lit and organised. The Durga sannidhi is very well maintained with grill gate and the idol itself is warmly welcoming with a benevolent smile.

The outer praharam has a Bhairavar sannidhi


and a Navagraha sannidhi as below



A truly ancient oasis in the midst of the concrete metropolis Chennai

Sri Komaleeshwaran–Komalambikai temple at Komaleeshwaran pet @Pudupet Chennai

Today 14/1/18 being a local holiday due to Pongal  festival I had the opportunity to visit this ancient temple in the middle of Chennai. Pudupet is more known for the motor spares, scraps and automobile industry and an ancient temple here is a wonder.


The temple is situated on the arterial Adithanar salai the road from Egmore to Mount road leading to the Omundurar estate hospital.the temple is of a cul de sac on this road midway


A Kolam in front of the temple



The river Cooum which flows nearby changes direction  nearby and flows from west to North before changing directions to east.This is considered very holy.Its a sad fact that the Cooum then known as Ksheerasagaram (ocean of milk) is reduced to a sewer carrier now

The famous dubash of Madras patchaiappa mudaliar lived here and was supposedly taking bath in the river and praying to this lord daily.

A local rich merchant and his wife Sri Sah had renovated this temple in the 1800 as per stone edicts in the temple

A large number of mystics have stayed here

A few cowherds saw a cow dripping milk on to an ant hill and when disturbed he ant hill revealed a Shiva lingam which was installed in a temple here

the legend


The Rajagopuram leads to the dwajasthambam and main sanctum where there is an east facing Swayambu Shiva and a south facing Komalambikai amman 20180114_09530020180114_095839

On the left there is a  Agastya vinayagar


The courtyard around is very serene 20180114_095331

Entrance to Ambal sannidhi as seen from outside


The Sanctum has the following Koshta vigrahas










A notice asking people not to clap in  front of Chandikeshwara who is in Dhyana


A rarity Hanuman in a Shiva temple seen on the northern side


Navagraha enclosure


A neatly maintained ancient temple