Posts Tagged ‘equivalent to kasi’

Thiruvidaimarudhur

Mahalingaswamy Temple at Thiruvidaimarudhur near Kumbakonam is one of the three Shiva temples having Marudha tree as its sthala vruksham.  The other two are Sri Sailam (Andhra) and Thiruppudaimarudur, Ambasamudram.  As this is located between the two it is known as Thiruvidaimarudhur (Thiru + Idai + marudhur); thiru, Idai and Marudhur meaning Sacred, middle and place where Marudha tree is the sthala vruksham.  The presiding deity in this temple is Mahalingeswarar.  His consort is Brihathsundarakujambigai or Nanmulainayaki.  Some consider this temple equivalent to Kasi.  The pooja is first performed to Mahalingaswamy in this temple and only then to Vinayakar.  This is a huge temple with three praharams (circumambulatory paths).  They are ashvamedha praharam, kodumudi praharam and pranava praharam.  Ashvamedha praharam is the outermost praharam and circumambulation of this Praharam equals the benefit of performing an Ashvamedha Yagnam.  Benefits include; relief from illness caused due to seivinai (evil spirits). Kodumudi Praharam is the middle one, and circumambulation of this Praharam is equivalent to circumambulation of Mount Kailash which is the primary abode of Lord Shiva.  The innermost praharam is the Pranava Praharam or Omkara Praharam. Circumambulation of this Praharam will result in Moksham (liberation from all sufferings and pain).

Paintings depicting the story of the temple, thiruvidaimarudhur

 

Paintings depicting the story of the temple, thiruvidaimarudhur

 

Mahalingeswarar here is the main deity of the Parivara sthalams.  Parivara Sthalams are a group of temples which together form a much larger temple.  The Presiding deity of such a huge temple is Mahalingeswarar at Thiruvidamarudhur.  The Group of temples which form this large temple is as follows:

  1. Mahalingeswarar at Thiruvidaimarudhur
  2. Vinayakar at Thiruvalanchuzhi
  3. Murugan at Swamimalai
  4. Ambal at Thirukkadaiyur
  5. Dakshinamurthy at Alangudi
  6. Navagraha Sannidhi at Suryanar Koil
  7. Saneeswaran at Thirunallar
  8. Durgai at Patteeswaram
  9. Chandikeswarar at Sengalur
  10. Bhairavar at Sirkali
  11. Natarajar at Chidambaram
  12. Somaskandar at Tiruvarur
  13. Nandikeswarar at Tiruvavaduturai

There are four other main Lingams viz Viswanathar, Rishipureeswarar, Aatmanathar and Chokkanathar around the Presiding Deity.  Since there are five Lingams, this place is a Panchalinga sthalam. Apart from these five Lingams there are also Lingams dedicated to each of the 27 nakshatrams (Birth Stars).  All these 27 birth stars installed a Lingam each and worshipped Lord Shiva here.  This is the temple for performing parihara pooja (remedial pooja) for the malefic effects of the Birth stars.

Story of Chandran and the 27 Nakshatram, Thiruvidaimarudhur

 

This temple is closely connected to the life of a Pandya King by name Varaguna Pandyan.  Once when Varaguna Pandyan was returning from a hunting expedition, his horse accidentally trampled upon and killed a Brahmin.  Since he was the cause of the death of a Brahmin he was afflicted with Brahmahatti Dosham (Sin due to murder of Brahmin).  As a result, he was constantly haunted by the Brahmin’s ghost. The King prayed to Somasundarar at Madurai seeking relief from this sin.  Lord Somasundarar appeared in the King’s dream and directed him to pray Him at Thiruvidaimarudhur for relief.  Thiruvidaimarudhur was under Chola rule and they were bitter enemies of the Pandyas.  There was a war between the two in which the Cholas were defeated.  The King then visited the temple at Thiruvidaimarudhur as per the Divine guidance and prayed to Lord Mahalingeswarar.  He entered the temple through the Eastern entrance and the Brahmahatti and the ghost could not enter the temple and waited outside the temple for the King to return.  As advised by Mahalingaswamy, the King left by the Western Gopuram (Tower) and hence got rid of the Brahmatti dosham and the Brahmin’s ghost.  Even today, devotees use different gopurams to enter and exit the temple premises.

Method of worship, Thiruvidaimarudhur

 

 

The Shiva Lingam here is a swayambhu (self manifested) Lingam.  In the process of teaching and demonstrating the Worship procedures to the Seven Great Sages, Lord Shiva is believed to have worshipped himself here.  Lord Shiva blessed Markandeyan by appearing before him in the form of Ardhanareeswarar.  There is a shrine for Mookambiga in this temple which is to the south of the Goddess’ shrine.  Apart from Thiruvidaimarudhur the only other place in India to have a shrine for Mookambiga is Kollur in Karnataka.

Location:

Click here for Map

Thiruvidaimarudhur is 8 kms from Kumbakonam on Kumbakonam Mayiladuthurai Road.  There are frequent buses from Kumbakonam.


Temple Timings: 6 AM to 12 Noon 4 PM to 9 PM

Other Temples nearby:

Thirumangalakudi and Suryanar Koil

Sivayoginathar temple at Thiruvisanallur

Karkadeswarar temple at Thirundudevankudi

Rahu temple at Thirunageswaram

Uppiliappan Koil

Thirubuvanam Kambahareswarar Temple

Neelakandeswarar Temple, Thiruneelakudi

Govindapuram

Sengalur

Temple Address

Arulmigu Mahalingaswamy Temple

Thiruvidaimarudhur 612104

Tanjavur District

Temple Phone Number: 0435 – 2461946, 2460660

Thiruvenkadu – Budhan Temple

Posted: January 23, 2010 in Navagraha Temples, Temples around Kumbakonam
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Thiruvenkadu, one of the navagraha sthalams, is the Budhan sthalam dedicated to Planet Mercury.  Thiruvenkadu’s Sanskrit name is Shwetaranya and both literally mean – sacred white forest. This is also called Adhi Chidambaram and the Chidambara Rahasyam is also here. As seen in Chidambaram, Vishnu is near Nataraja. It is situated 15 kilometers away from Vaitheeswaran Koil, on the Sirkali – Poompuhar road. Here the Lord is Shwetaranyeswarar and His consort is Brahma Vidyambal.  Indran, Airavatam, Budhan, Suryan and Chandran are said to have worshipped Shiva here. Thiruvenkadu is one of the six places considered to be equivalent to Kasi.  The other five are  Rameswaram, Srivanchiyam, Gaya, Thiriveni Sangamam & Thilatharpanapuri

Marutwasura, an asura, was troubling the Rishis and the people of Thiruvenkadu.  The people prayed to Lord Shiva.  Lord Shiva sent Nandi (Bull) – his vahana, to fight the demon. Marutwasura was defeated by Nandi and thrown into the sea. Marutwasura through his penance obtained sula – from Lord Shiva.  The demon then returned with greater intensity to attack the innocent people.  Once again, at the request of the devotees, Shiva sent Nandi.  However, on this occasion, Nandi could not fight the demon as the demon had the Sula of Shiva.  The demon caused wounds on Nandi’s back with the Sula.  The idol of Nandi which bears scars on its body is seen here.

An angry Shiva opened his Third Eye and killed the demon.  The idol of Aghoramurthy, a manifestation of Shiva’s anger, is installed in Thiruvenkadu. Worshiping Aghoramurthy, especially on Sunday nights is considered important and special.

 

There is also another story of Swetaketu associated with Thiruvenkadu.  Swetaketu’s story is similar to that of Markendaiyan.  Swetaketu was destined to die at the end of his eight year but the Lord prevented Yama from taking His devotee’s life.

Lord Shiva is known to have performed his seven forms of dance or Tandavam viz Ananda tandavam, Sandhya tandavam, Samhara tandavam, Tripuranta tandavam, Urdhva tandavam, Bhujanga tandavam and Lalita tandavam here.  The three holy tanks here, known as Agni Theertham, Surya Theertham and Chandra Theertham are believed to have been created out of the three drops which fell from Lord Shiva’s eyes when he was dancing.  Another rare feature is that the deity is present here with five faces viz Easanam, Tatpurusham, Aghoram, Vamadevam and Sadyojatam.  They represent direction and an aspect of Lord Shiva.  Easanam is facing the sky and represents purity, Vamdevam faces north and represents sustenance, Tatpurisha faces east and represents spirituality that has destroyed the ego, Aghoram faces south and represents the destructive and regenerative aspect of Shiva,  Sadyojatam faces west and represents creation.

Shiva Panchanana Stotram

Praleyachala mindu kunda davalam goksheera phena prabham,
Bhasmabhyanga mananga deha dahana jwaala valee lochanam,
Vishnu brahmarul ganarchitha padanjargwedha nadhodhayam,
Vandeham sakalam kalanga rahitham Sthanormukham paschimam. 1

Gouram kumkuma pangilam suthilakam vyapandu ganda sthalam,
Broovikshepa kadaksha veekshshana lasad samsaktha karnodhphalam,
Snighdham bimbaphaladharam prahasitham neelala kalamkrutham,
Vande yajusha veda gosha janakam vakthram harsyotharam. 2

Samvarthagni thadith prathaptha kanaka praspardhi thejo mayam,
Gambeera dhwani sama veda janakam thamradharam sundaram,
Ardhendu dhyuthi phaala pingala jata bhara prabhadhoragam,
Vande sidha surasurendra namitham poorvam mukham soolina. 3

Kalabhra bramaranjana dhyuthi nibham vyavartha pingekshanam,
Karnodhbasitha bhoghi masthaka maniprothphulla damshtrakuram,
Sarpa prothaka pala shukthisaka lavyakeernasachhekaram,
Vande dakshina meswarasya vadanachaadharva vedhodhayam. 4

Vyaktha vyaktha niroopitham cha paramam shad thrimsa thathwadhikam,
Thasmad uthara thatwa maksharamithi dheyyam sada yogibhi,
Omkaaradhi samastha manthra janakam sookshmadhi sookshmam param,
Vande panchamamneeswarasya vadanam Kham vyapi thejo mayam. 5

Yethani pancha vadananbi Maheswarasya,
Ye keerthayanthi purusha sathatham pradoshe,
Gachanthi they Shiva purim ruchirair vimanai,
Kredanthi nandana vane saha loka palai.

There are three sthala vrikshams here – Vilvam, Vadaval and Konrai.  Bhadhra Kali amman has a separate shrine.  There are separate shrines for ashtalakshmi and Navagrahas. Navagrahas are installed in a row. The three holy tanks here, known as Agni Theertham, Surya Theertham and Chandra Theertham are believed to have been created out of the three drops which fell from Lord Shiva’s eyes when he was dancing.

 

Pooja: The native of a horoscope may suffer from lack of progeny, nervous problems and may not do well in academics and other arts, if Budhan is unfavourably placed.  Worshiping Budhan on Wednesdays here will alleviate the problems occurring out of Budhan dosham.  Malefic effect of Budhan can cause problems related to respiration like asthma and bronchitis, speech impediments and nervous disorders. Budhan is considered as the wisest of all the planets.  Budhan is associated with intellect and knowledge; hence those who are not doing well in studies should worship Budhan here. Budhan blesses one with good education, knowledge, eloquence, music, astrology, mathematics, sculpture, medicine, scholarship in languages.  Offer Green cloth & Full Green Moong Daal (pachchai paruppu) to Budhan here.

Recite the following mantras facing North East, which is the direction of Budhan.

Budhan Moola Mantram: Aum bram brim braum sah budhaya namah

Budhan Gayathri: aathreyaya vidhmahe indu putraya dhimahe thanno budha prachodhayath

Other Budhan Temples:

Sundareswarar Temple at Kovur near Chennai

Boarding & Lodging: This is a small village and do not expect anything here excepting a few petty shops.  It will be a good idea to buy prasadam from the temple.  Venn pongal, puliyodharai, chakkarai pongal and curd rice are all available as prasadam.  Travel base can be Vaitheeswaran Koil, Thirukadayur or Mayiladuthurai.

Other Temples Nearby:

Vaitheeswaran Koil

Keezhaperumpallam (Kethu Sthalam)

Thirukadaiyur Abhirami Temple

Location:

View the Location Map

15.5 Kms from Sirkali (Off Sirkali – Poompuhar Road)

14 Kms from Vaitheeswaran Koil

16.6 Kms from Thirukadaiyur

8 kms from Keezhaperumpallam (Kethu sthalam)

28 kms from Mayavaram

Temple Timings: 6 AM to 1.00 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM.

Temple Address:

Arulmighu Swetharanyeswarar Temple

Tiruvenkadu

Tiruvenkadu Post

Sirkazhi Taluk

Nagapattinam District PIN 609114

Temple Phone Number: 04364 256 424

Thilatharpanapuri or Adhi Vinayakar Temple

Posted: January 19, 2010 in Temples around Kumbakonam
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Swarnavalli sametha Mukthiswarar temple is located at Thilatharpanapuri 2.6kms from Koothanur. Koothanoor is near Poonthottam which is on Mayavaram – Tiruvarur Road. The nearest railway station is at Poonthottam. The main deities here are Swarnavalli Thayar and Mukthiswarar. The name Thilatharpanapuri comes from two words thil meaning Gingely and tharpana is the Hindu ritual of performing pithru karmas (ritual of paying tribute to ancestors) to ones ancestors.  It is also known as Sethalapathy.

There are 7 sthalams for performing these rituals viz. Kasi, Rameswaram, Srivanchiyam, Thiruvenkadu, Gaya, Thiriveni Sangamam & Thilatharpanapuri.

Pitru dosham can occur when the souls of our ancestors and departed forefathers do not get peace due to any of the following reasons,

  • when shradham (ritual of paying tribute to ancestors) is not performed.
  • Bad deeds while they were alive
  • Bad deeds of the children of the departed
  • Lack of fulfillment of desires

Simple ways to get rid of Pitru Dosham (Ancestral sin) is to feed the needy on Amavasya day (New Moon day) and perform the tharpanam (ritual of paying tribute to ancestors) regularly. By satisfying the departed souls of our ancestors, we can have their blessing for a happy and peaceful life.

Rama performed tharpanam (ritual of paying tribute to ancestors) for Dasaratha at various placing by placing four pindams (rice balls). However, to his dismay the pindams would turn into worms each time he performed the ritual. A worried Rama prayed to Lord Shiva, who advises Rama to go to mantharavanam (mantharam is the flower of the coral tree, one of the five special trees of heaven) and offer his prayers to Him (shiva) there. He was instructed to take bath in the Arasalar river near there, before performing the Pitru Tharpanam. Rama did as instructed. The four pindams that until now were turning into worms at other places, to his amazement, became four Lingams. Dasaratha Maharaja thus attained mukthi (salvation) and hence the name of the deity here is Mukthiswarar. Since then, the locals believe that that performing the Pitru Tharpanam here absolves you of all your Pitru Sabams (ancestral curse) and Pitru Doshams (ancestral sins). In the outer praharam (circumambulatory path) you can see the idol of Rama performing the tharpanam and also the four lingams known as Pitru Lingams.  Click here to listen to the temple priest’s narration about the temple.

This place is considered equivalent to Kasi or Rameswaram. Performing tharpanam here on Amavasya day is considered special. This is a Mukthikshetram. Like Srivanchiyam, it is believed that the sinned will not be able to visit this temple and a planned visit to this temple is not possible.

The shrine for Adhi Vinayakar (also known as Nara mukha vinayakar) is just outside the main temple. Here you can see Ganesha with a human head and hence the Naramukha vinayakar. This place is also known as Sithalapathi. The story of Shiva beheading Naramukha Vinayaka who was created by Parvati and then replacing the head with an elephant head is well known. What is less known is, Shiva had instructed his troops to fetch the head of anyone found sleeping with his head placed towards North. They found this elephant sleeping with its head towards North. This is probably one of the reasons why we are forbidden from sleeping with our head pointing towards North. Shiva named the boy Ganapati – meaning commander of his troops and granted a boon that Ganapati shall be worshipped by everybody before starting anything new.  Click here to listen about Nara Mukha Vinayakar.

Location:

Click here for the Map

Koothanur is near Poonthottam which is on Mayavaram – Tiruvarur Road.  Thjs place is about 2 Kms from Poonthottam.

Boarding & Lodging:

Have your travel base as Tiruvarur, Mayiladuthurai or Kumbakonam.  If you don’t mind putting up with little discomfort and are a seasoned traveller there is a Sankara Mutt in Koothanur where you can spend the night.

Temples Nearby:

The Goddess is Swarnavalli thayar, which is another name for Lakshmi. Kanakadhara stotram was composed here. All the three forms of Shakthi viz Lakshmi (Swarnavalli) at Thilatharpanapuri, Durga (Lalithambigai) at Thirumeyachur and Saraswathi at Koothanur are present nearby.

Seshapureswarar Temple at Thirupamburam is also close to this temple.

Temple Timings: 6AM to 12 Noon and 4 Pm to 9 PM

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Muktheeswarar Kovil

SETHALAPATHY AGRAHARAM

POONTHOTTAM-609503

Temple Priest: Sri Visvanatha Sivachariar 04366-239700

 

Vanchinathaswamy Temple, SriVanchiyam

Vanchinathaswamy Temple, SriVanchiyam

Srivanchiyam is the last temple we visited on 1st January 2010.  Srivanchiyam, is a small Village in Tiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu, between Mudikondan and Puttar rivers.  The presiding deity here is Vanchinathan and His consort is Mangalambika. The Shivalingam is a Swayambhu (self manifested) and faces both West and East; hence puja is performed here in both the directions. There are two Nandhis in this temple, one on the East and one on the West. This lingam is supposed to have existed even before the pralaya (the Great Deluge) and was facing west when Suryan worshiped him. The Shivalingam here is considered to be the oldest among the 64 swayambhu lingams in the world.  Sandalwood is the sthala vriksham here and sandal leaves are used to perform the puja to the Lord. Usually vilva leaves are used in puja for Shiva.  Brahmandam, Skandam, Samboban and Agneya Puranas talk about this sacred place.

 

Nandi facing East in the Outermost Praharam behind Vanchinathaswamy's Shrine.

There is a separate shrine here for Yama Dharmaraja. He is given preference in daily worship. Legend has it that, Yama Dharmaraja was very worried and felt overwhelmed with all the sins accumulated in the course of performing his duty. He wanted a solution for this.  As per the advice of Brahma, Yama went to a place by the banks of the Cauvery, where he could find Gandharanyam (Sandal Forest), and propiate to Lord Shiva.  Lord Shiva was pleased with his devotion and instucted Yama to have a temple built Him at here.  He also wanted Yam to be His vehicle. Accordingly, Yama stayed at this temple which he built at SriVanchiyam. The Lord also granted Yama’s wish for a shrine for himself at SriVanchiyam. Usually, Vinayakar is the first deity to be worshiped in all Shiva temples, but here at Srivanchiyam, Yama is worshiped even before prayers are offered to Vinayakar.  The Sannidhi to Lord Yama is in the first Praharam (circumambulatory path). On entering the temple, the temple tank called the Gupta Ganga Temple Tank is situated on the right hand side. Yama’s Shrine can be found on your left hand side. This small shrine faces south.  Kubera can be seen standing next to Yama at this shrine.  Those who pray here are considered to be free from the sufferings preceding their death.

This is a Mukthikshetram (where you attain salvation). The holy tank (theertham) here is Gupta Ganga. Ganges was once very worried that people were taking bath in the Ganges to get rid of their sins and she was accumulating all their sins. She is supposed to have taken bath here at the Gupta Ganga as advised by Shiva to purify herself. A dip in the tank supposedly absolves you of all the sins and there is no rebirth.

 

Gupta Gangai, SriVanchiyam

Gupta Gangai, Sacred water that is holier than The Ganges

Tharpanam on the banks of Gupta Gangai

This photo is a late addition to the post. My friend Bharath performing tharpanam at Gupta Gangai.

 

Niches for Vinayaka and Bala Murugan can be found at the entrance to the inner praharam (circumambulatory path). In the inner praharam is the shrine for Goddess Sughandha Kundalaambigai. There is Vennai Pillayar in a pillar in the first praharam (circumambulatory path). People smear butter on His stomach to get cured of their stomach ailments.

Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu are believed to have prayed the Lord here to get united. Bhairavar is in a separate shrine in the inner praharam (circumambulatory path). He is in Yoga posture without his vahanam (Vehicle) – the dog. Pujas are performed to the Yoga Bhairavar using Vanni leaves.  Consumption of the powder made from the vanni leaves used in the puja is believed to cure all nervous ailments. One can to get rid of all evils directed towards them if they perform puja to Yoga Bhairavar.  The prayers of the childless are answered after they perform puja for 6 consecutive Krishnapaksha ashtami days (eighth day of the waning Moon).  One can succeed in all his endeavours and business if he makes an offering of Curd Rice, Coconut rice and Honey on Amavasya days (New Moon days). This is also parihara sthalam (place for remedial worship) for the malefic effects of Rahu & Kethu. Rahu and Ketu appear in the same niche here. This is next to Yoga Bhairavar.  Rahu Kala Puja on Sundays with offerings of vada made of lentils and ghee is believed to remove the obstacles in getting married. Like in Thirunageswaram, milk turns blue in colour during the rahukala abhishegam (ablution during rahukalam).

Opposite Yoga Bhairavar is the shrine for Mahishasuramardhini. Mahishasuramardhini here gets rid of all evil. Since this is a very ancient temple and has been in existence before the advent of Navagraha worship, there is no shrine for the Navagrahas here. However, Saneeswarar has a separate niche. Goddess Mahalakshmi has a separate shrine and her elephant has four tusks. I wonder if this was an ancient cousin of the present day elephant.

In almost all temples, if there is an unfortunate event like a death, the pujas are not conducted.  At SriVanchiyam it has no bearing on the conduct of daily pujas and rituals, they continue.

Shashtiabthipurthi & Sadhabhishekam can be celebrated either at Srivanchiyam where the temple is specifically meant for the safety of soul or at Thirukadaiyur where the temple is specially built for the safety of body.

Performing tharpanam (ritual to pay tribute to ones ancestors) on Amavasya (New Moon day) here is considered very special. Srivanchiyam is one of the 7 pithru kadan nivarthi (absolution of ancestral debts) sthalams.  The other six are Kasi, Rameswaram, Thiruvenkadu, Gaya, Thiriveni Sangamam & Thilatharpanapuri. Some consider Srivanchiyam to be holier than even Kasi.

Location:

Click here for the Map

Srivanchiyam is 25 kms from Kumbakonam and one km from Achuthamangalam on the Kumbakonam Nagapattinam route. It is 16kms from Tiruvarur on Tiruvarur Nannilam route.

Other Temples Nearby:

Thiruveezhimizhalai

Thirupampuram

Thilatharpanapuri

Koothanur

Tiruvarur

Boarding & Lodging:

There is a Brahmin household in the Sannidhi Street that runs a mess.  There is also a kalyana mandapam where you can stay.  If you prefer a more comfortable accommodation, Tiruvarur is the nearest town.

The temple timings are 6.00 Am to 12.00 Noon & 4.00 PM to 8.00 PM

Temple Address

Arulmigu Sri Vanchinathaswamy Kovil
Sri Vanchiyam 610110
Nannilam Taluk
Tiruvarur District

Temple Phone number is 04366-228305

Sri Raja Raja Gurukal’s phone numbers: 91-94424-03926, 91-9788-75933, 04366-354108

Vegetarian Mess

Sri Mangalambiga Vilas

No, 2 -17 Sannadhi Street

Sri Vanchiyam

+91-9894726839

04366-229675