Archive for June, 2010

Birth stars are as important as the celestial planets in Astrology.  Like it is important to visit the temples dedicated to the Navagrahas or celestial planets, it is also important to visit temples dedicated to ones Birth star or Janma Nakshatram.  It is said that visiting the temple corresponding to your Birth star at least once a year removes obstacles and ensures happy life. The full list is as follows.

1. Ashwini or Aswathi or Ashwathi or Asvini

Piravi Marundeeswarar Koil Situated in Thiruthuraipoondi which is about 30 Kms from Tiruvarur.  04369-222392, 94438 85316

Dharbaranyeswarar  temple Situated at Thirunallar about 6 Kms from Karaikal

2. Bharani or Apa Bharani

Agneeswarar Koil. This temple is at Nallaadai, situated  20 Kms from Mayavaram on Nagapattinam  Route.  It is about 3 Kms from Poraiyar.   04364-285341, 97159 60413, 94866 31196

Vadaranyeswarar Temple This temple is at Thiruvalangadu, 45 Kms from Chennai on the route to Arakkonam.

3. Karthigai or Krithika

Gaathra Sundareswarar Koil This is at Kanjanagaram, at a distance of 8 Kms from Mayavaram on Poompuhar road.   04364-282853, 94874 43351

Naganathar Temple Nagapattinam

4. Rohini

Pandava Dhootha Perumal Koil Situated in the lane opposite to Ekambareswarar Koil at Kanchipuram   044-27231899

Sivayoginathar Temple Thiruvisanallur

5. Mirugaseerisham or Mrigashiras or Mrigasira or Mrigashirsha

Adi Narayana Koil at Enkan.  Enkan is very famour for the Murugan temple. Enkan is near Tiruvarur on the road to Thanjavur via Koradacheri.   04366-269965, 94433 51528

Vana Durga Devi Temple situated at Kathiramangalam at a distance of 5 Kms from Kuthalam & 16 Kms from Mayavaram.

6. Thiruvadharai or Arudhra

Abhaya Varadeeswarar Koil located at Adhiramapattinam at a distance of 12 Kms from   Pattukottai in Tanjore District.   99440 82313, 94435 86451

Agneeswarar Temple Thirukollikkadu near Tiruvarur

7. Punarpoosam or Punarvasu

Athitheeswarar Koil Vaniyambadi in North Arcot District.   04174-22652, 99941 07395

Abathsahayeswarar Temple Alangudi

8. Poosam or Pushyami or Pushya

Akshayapureeswarar Koil. This temple is at Vilangulam.  Vilangulam is situated at 20 Kms from Peravurani,  in Tanjore District.  From Pattukottai on the ECR towards Rameswaram this is at a distance of 30 Kms.   97507 84944, 96266 85051

Karkadeswarar Temple Thirunandudevankudi is about 2 Kms from Thiruvisanallur and 8 Kms from Thiruvidaimarudhur

9. Aayilyam or Ashlesha

Karkadeswarar Koil Thirunandudevankudi is about 2 Kms from Thiruvisanallur and 8 Kms from Thiruvidaimarudhur.   0435-2000240, 99940 15871.

Subramanya Swamy Temple Thirupurankundram

10. Magham or Magha

Mahalingeswarar Koil This temple is at Thavasimadai 25 kms from Dindugal on the road to Nattam.   95782 11659, 93624 05382

Thillai Kali Temple Chidambaram

11. Pooram or Poorva Phalguni or Purva or Purva Phalguni or Poorvaphalguni or Pubba

Hari Theertheswarar Koil Situated at Thiruvarangulam, which is 10 Kms from Pudukottai on the road to Pattukottai.   98651 56430, 99652 11768.

Sri Kalyanasundara Swamy Temple Thirumanacheri about 6 Kms from Kuthalam which is on Mayavaram-Kumbakonam route

12. Uttiram or Uttara Phalguni

Mangalyeswarar Koil Edaiyathumangalam is on Trichy-Lalgudi route.  Just after Valadi you will find an arch to your right, take a right turn there and the road will lead you to this village.   0431-2544070, 98439 51363

Kucchiamman Temple At Poovalur situated at a distance of 20 kms from Trichy and 3 Kms North of Lalgudi on Trichy Ariyalur road.

13. Hastham or Hastha or Hast or Hasta

Kripakupareswarar Koil This temple is at Komal, which is about 6 Kms from Kuttalam, which is on Kumbakonam Mayavaram Route.   95002 84866

Thyagarajaswamy Temple Tiruvarur

14. Chitirai or Chitra

Chittirairatha Vallabha Perumal Koil Situated at Kuruvithurai about 23 Kms from Madurai and 8 Kms from Cholavandan.   94439 61948, 97902 95795

Thyagarajaswamy Temple Tiruvarur

15. Swaathi

Prasanna Kundhalambika and Tantreeswarar Koil Sittukadu about 10 Kms from Poonamallee on Pattabiram route.   93643 48700, 93826 84485

Jambukeshwarar temple Thiruvanaikaval is on the outskirts of Trichy near Srirangam

16. Vishaka or Vishaakha or Vishakam

Kumaraswamy Koil Thirumalai about 7 Kms from Shenkottai and 15 Kms from Thenkasi.   04633-237131, 237343

Pralayanathar Temple Cholavandhan, 26 Kms from Madurai

17. Anusham or Anuradha

Lakhmsipureeswarar Koil. This temple is at Thiruninriyur about 6 Kms from Vaitheeswaran Koil on the road to Mayavaram.   04364-320 520

Mahalingaswamy temple Thiruvidaimarudhur

18. Kettai or Jyeshtha

Varadaraja Koil Varadaraja Koil is at Pasupati Koil, 12 Kms from Tanjore on Kumbakonam route.   97903 42581, 94436 50920

Angalaparameswari Amman Temple Situated at Palladam, 35 Kms from Coimbatore

19. Moolam or Moola

Singeeswarar Koil At Mappedu about 40 Kms from Chennai   044-27608065, 94447 70579, 94432 25093

Meenakshi Amman Temple Madurai

20. Pooradam or Purva Ashadha or Poorva Shada or Poorvashaada

Akasapureeswarar Koil Kaduveli near Thiruvaiyar.   94434 47826, 96267 65472

Bhakthajaneswarar Temple Thirunavalur is on Ulundurpet – Panruti route at a distance of 16 Kms from Panruti.

21. Uttiradam or Uttara Ashadha or Uttara Shada or Uthrashaada

Brahma Pureeswarar Koil Situated at Keezhapungudi in Madurai district on the on the Melur – Sivaganga Road.   99436 59071, 99466 59072

Dharmapuram Durga Temple Mayavaram

22. Thiruvonam or Shravana

Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal Koil This temple at Thiruparkadal is 4 kms from Kaveripakkam on the Chennai – Vellore route.   04177-254929, 94868 77896

Rajakaliamman Temple Chetpet in Chennai

23. Avittam or Shravishtha or Dhanista or Dhanishta

Brahma Gnana Pureeswarar Koil This temple at Korukkai is 5 Kms from   Kumbakonam on the Patteeswaram – Muzhaiyur road.   98658 04862, 94436 78579

Magudeshwarar Temple Kodumudi is situated on Erode Trichy Highway, it is 26 Kms from Karur and 38 Kms from Erode.

24. Sadayam or Shatabhisha or Shatataraka

Agnipureeswarar Koil Thirupugalur about 10 Kms from Nannilam towards Nagapattinam.   04366-236 970

Ardhanareeswarar Temple Thiruchengode

25. Pooratadhi or Purva Bhadrapada or Poorva Bhadra

Thiruvaneswarar Koil Ranganathapuram about 3 Kms from Thirukattupalli in Tanjore District.   94439 70397, 97150 37810

Adishesha Perumal Temple Kanchipuram

26. Uttiratadhi or Uttara Bhadrapada or Uttara Bhadra or Uthrabhadra

Sahasra Lakshmeeswarar Koil Theeyathur about 15 Kms from Avudayar Kovil in Pudukkottai District on Thirupunavasal route.   04371-239212 99652 11768

Panchanatheswarar Temple Thiruvaiyaru

27. Revathi

Kailasanathar Koil Karukudi about 2 Kms from Tattayangarpettai and 1.5 Kms from Mettuppalayam in Musiri Taluka of  Trichy District.   97518 94339, 94423 58146

Pranavavyaghrapureeswarar Temple Omampuliyur, 32 Kms from Chidhambaram.

About a month back I visited a couple of temples on the outskirts of Chennai, Gnayiru Gramam and an hitherto unknown temple near Poondi.  Pushparatheswarar Temple at Gnayiru Gramam is one of the Navagraha temples around Chennai dedicated to Suryan.  The village itself gets its name from Suryan or Sun God, Gnayiru in Tamil means Sun.

Temple Gopuram

Temple Gopuram

I had first visited this temple about 8 years back and it was a balalayam.  It was unknown too. During that visit I had waited for an hour for the temple priest to come after finishing the rituals at another temple in a neighbouring village.  Today, the temple is getting popular.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the temple has been renovated thanks to the efforts of the local villagers and few other devotees.  It is very well maintained too.  I would say that it is one of the better maintained temples that I have visited.  Work on the temple pond is still on and hopefully it should be ready in about 6 months.  I also found a rare tree here, in fact, the first time I have seen this tree.  Thiruvodu (begging bowl of the sanyasis) is a half of the outer shell of the fruit of these trees.  It is also used by them to drink or eat food from and is believed to prevent viral infections.

Thiruvodu Tree

Thiruvodu Tree

Thiruvodu Tree

Thiruvodu Tree

Thee are a few interesting legends behind this temple.  A Chola King was returning after successfully waging a war on a kingdom in Andhra Pradesh.  He camped at Cholavaram.  He was a staunch Shiva devotee and went in search of lotus to perform his daily pooja.  During his search he saw a pond full of lotuses.  One of the flowers was taller, bigger and more beautiful than the rest.  The King wanted this flower for the pooja and tried to reach the flower.  As the King neared the flower it moved away and was elusive.  After several futile attempts, the King was very angry and threw his sword at the flower.  The sword broke into pieces.  One of the pieces fell on a Lingam which was in the pond.  The pond turned red in no time because of the blood that was oozing from the Lingam.  This scar can still be seen on this Shiva Lingam.  The King fainted there. His horse fled from the scene before fainting.  Lord Shiva then appeared before the King and blessed him.  The King apologized to the Lord.  Lord Shiva asked the King to build a temple for the Lingam that was found in the pond.  The Shiva Lingam is a Swayambhu (self-manifested).  Here, Lord Shiva is known as Pushparatheswarar.  His consort here is Swarnabigai.  The God is also known as Poothereeswarar.  Both the names convey the same meaning; Poo or Pushpam means flower and ratham or ther means chariot.  Since the Lingam was found in Lotus, He got this name. Lotus is the flower that is offered to the God here.

Gnayiru Gramam, Praharam

Gnayiru Gramam, Praharam

Landscaped Praharam

Beautifully Landscaped Praharam

Here is the story on why this place got the name Gnayiru Gramam.  A Chola King was on a Pilgrimage to Kasi and was passing through this village.  He saw the beautiful lotus in the pond and as he tried to pluck the same he was blinded.  He prayed to the Lord that he would build a temple here on his way back from Kasi.  Immediately, his eyesight was restored in one eye. As promised he came to the village on his way back.  Lord Shiva appeared to the King and shone brightly on the lotus as Suryan.  The King then built a temple as instructed by the Lord and got back his eyesight in the other eye as well.  Since then, this place is known as Gnayiru Gramam and came to be known as a Surya Sthalam.  People come here to get themselves cured of eye related ailments.

Temple Tank

Temple Tank

The ancient temple here had shrines for Pushparatheswarar and His Consort Swarnambigai apart from shrines for Karaneeswarar, Kapaleeswarar, Jambukeswarar and Hiranyeswarar.  Inscriptions here suggest that some additions were also made by the Pandyas and Vijayanagar Kings.

In my earlier post on Suryanar Koil near Aduthurai, I had narrated the story behind the Navagrahas being cursed by Lord Brahma, as a result of which Suryan was afflicted with leprosy.  Suryan, during his pilgrimage to get absolved of the curse also visited this village.  He saw a pond filled with lotuses and was enamoured by its beauty.  Some of the lotuses even had a thousand petals.  Surya decided to stay here and offer His prayers to Lord Shiva.  As time passed, one fine day Lord Shiva was pleased with Suryan’s devotion and appeared as a Lingam in one of the lotuses and blessed Suryan.  A grateful Suryan built a temple for Him here.  Since Lord Shiva appeared from a lotus or a flower, He is known as Pushparatheswarar. Lord Shiva also gave Suryan an Akshaya pathram (a bowl which is always full).  Suryan blesses His devotees who pray to Him here with prosperity, good health and happiness.

Dhwaja Sthambam

Dhwaja Sthambam

Sage Agasthiyar, the author of Ādityahṛdayam is believed to have stayed here and worshipped Lord Shiva. Ādityahṛdayam is a sloka recited by Agasthiyar to Lord Rama in the battlefield before the fight with Ravana. The sage teaches Lord Rama the procedure of worshipping Suryan for strength and to gain victory over the enemy. Recting this sloka of about 30 verses everyday is said to be highly beneficial.  Here is a nice link explaining everything about Ādityahṛdayam.

Surya Moola Mantram: Aum hram hrim hraum sah suryaya namah.

Surya Gayathri: om ashwadhwajaaya vidmahae padma hasthaaya dheemahi tanno surya: prachodayaath

The navagraha temples around Chennai are as follows.

  1. Suryan Sthalam – Gnayiru Gramam, Surya Sthalam & Agastheeswarar Kovil, Kolapakkam
  2. Chandran Sthalam – Somanatheswarar Temple, Somangalam
  3. Chevvai Sthalam or Angakaran Sthalam – Vaitheeswaran Kovil, Poonamalee
  4. Budhan Sthalam – Sundareswarar Kovil, Kovur & Karaneeswarar Koil, Saidapet
  5. Guru Sthalam – Ramanatheeswarar Koil, Porur & Thiruvaleeswarar Koil, Padi
  6. Sukran Sthalam – Valleeswarar Kovil, Mylapore, Valleeswarar Kovil, Mangadu
  7. Saneeswaran Sthalam – Agastheeswarar Kovil, Pozhichalur
  8. Rahu Sthalam –  Nageswarar Temple, Kunrathur
  9. Kethu Sthalam – Neelakanteswarar Kovil, Gerugambakkam

Location:


Gnayiru Gramam is located at a distance of about 10 Kms from Red Hills (Chenkundram).  There are buses available from Red Hills to Gnayiru Gramam.  Route numbers T 57, 58 A and 58 G ply from High Court to Gnayiru Gramam.

Click here for the map

Travel Base: Chennai.

Temple Timings: 7 AM to 12 Noon & 4 PM to 8 PM (3 PM to 8 PM on Sundays)

Temple Address:

Pushparatheswarar Temple

Gnayiru Gramam

Via Cholavaram

Chennai 600 067

Phone: 044- 29021016, Mobile: +91- 99620-34729.

PS:  After worshipping at this temple, we proceeded towards Poondi to visit Shree Agneeswarar Temple at Neyveli (near Thiruvallur).  The story behind its discovery and the subsequent events are quite interesting.  I came to know about this temple through Raju’s blog.

Here are a couple of photos of this temple from that visit.

Location of this temple – view Map

Shiva Lingam covered by Cement bags

Shiva Lingam covered by Cement bags

Temple under Construction

Temple under Construction

I visited Bangalore with my family about 3 weeks back and used the opportunity to visit Sri Pancha Lingaeshwara Temple or Naganatheshwara Temple at Begur, which is about 25 Kms from MG Road. This small hamlet is off Bomanahalli on Hosur Road.  This temple is believed to be 1300 years old and has been built by Sri Kulatunga Raja the First of Chola Dynasty, and Sri Rajasimhanandi of Talakad Ganga Dynasty.

Nageshwara Swamy is the Presiding Deity of this temple and His consort is Parvati.  Nageshwara Lingam is the most important and the oldest amongst the five lingams in this temple.  A unique feature of this temple is that there is an idol of Suryan facing the Nageshwara Lingam ie facing west.  There are idols of Vinayakar, Chamundeswari, Kala Bhairavar, Vishnu, Chandran and Kasi Vishwanathar.  There are carvings of Ashta Dhika Palakas.

An interesting fact about this temple is that there are specific spots where the devotees need to stand and pray to derive the maximum benefit.  While praying to Nagalingeshwara or Nageshwara Swamy, stand right below the colourful Yantra painted on the ceiling.  Praying to Nageshwara Swamy is said to relieve mental stress, mental depression, diseases, protection from black magic & enemies.


Choleshwara Lingam is a 4 ft tall Lingam and there is a 2 ft Nandi opposite to this Lingam.  Unmarried girls pray here, standing below the carving of Ashta Palakas and Uma Maheshwari for removal or obstacles in their marriage and for a good matrimonial alliance.

Kali Kamateshwara is about 3 ½ ft tall.  The idol of Kali is behind a small Lingam is about 1 ft tall.  Devotees stand below the lotus carving on the ceiling to pray for Progeny, favourable & early settlement of legal disputes, good health and protection from enemies.

It is noticeable that the Nandhi is not placed directly opposite to this Lingam.  The reason attributed is that it is not auspicious to face the angry form of Shakthi directly.

Nagareshwara Lingam is a huge 5 ft Lingam and is the tallest of the Lingams in this temple.  The nandi is also tall at 4 ft.  Like at Nageshwara Shrine, there is Nandhi opposite to the Lingam and there is an idol of Suryan behind the Nandi facing the Lingam.  The idol of Suryan is again facing west.  Worship benefits at Nagareshwara Swamy’s shrine include; good Business prospects, career advancement, prevention and cure of skin diseases.

Kalinga a serpent God is believed to be residing inside this temple and blessing the devotees.  Saptha rishis and the Ashta Dhika Palakas are supposed to perform poojas here every night.

Karaneshwara Lingam is the last and smallest of the Lingams in this temple at 2 ½ ft.  There is also a small Nandhi in front of this Lingam.  Stand on the right hand side of the shrine as you face the shrine and pray for relief from stomach and intestine related ailments, stand on the left hand side of the Shrine for relief from paralysis, nervous problem and brain disorders; stand right behind the Nandi and pray for relief from hearing and other ear related problems.

There is a separate shrine for Parvati.  The Goddess’s idol is about 5 ft tall.  Praying to the Goddess cures one of blood related diseases including blood cancer, apart from being blessed with peace and happiness.  The Navagrahas are present near the shrine of Parvati.

The Vinayakar at the entrance is indeed very rare.  Two handed Vinayakar is found only in two other places viz Pillayarpatti near Karaikudi and in Afghanistan.  While at Pillayarpatti His trunk is turned to the right and is known as Valampuri, here His trunk is turned to the left and is known as Edampuri.  You can experience a unique vibration if you place your forehead right at the feet of this Vinayakar.

Location:

 

This temple is near Bommanahalli off Hosur Road about 25 Kms away from MG Road.

Click here for the map

Travel Base: Bangalore