Posts Tagged ‘soundaryanayaki’

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

Yoganandeswarar Temple at Thiruvisanallur is a very ancient temple.  The presiding deity of this temple, Yoganandeswarar is also known as Sivayoginathar. Eight Shiva yogis after severe penance on Lord Shiva, merged with the Lingam and hence the name Sivayoginathar.   This place was a vilva forest at one time and hence He is also called Vilvaranyeswarar. He is also known as Puradhaneswarar.  His consort here is known as Soundaryanayaki or Shantha Nayaki.  The sthala vriksham is Arasa maram and the Theertham Jatayu Theertham.

Sivayoginathar Temple, Thiruvisanallur

Nandi in the outer Praharam

Chatur Kala Bhairavar is famous here. The four Bhairavars with Saneeswara Bhagawan and Sivalingam on their sides denote different periods of life and praying here will solve our problems for our entire lifespan.

The four Bhairavars, (Chatur Kala Bhairavars) each representing the four phases or four Ashramas in the lifespan of a human being are as follows:

Gnana Bhairavar :

The Brahmacharya phase of the human life is dominated by his quest for knowledge. Gnana Bhairavar bestows good education and good employment on his devotees.

Swarna akarshana Bhairavar:

In the Grahasta phase, Swarna akarshana Bhairavar blesses his devotees with excellent growth in career and material gains.

Unmattha Bhairavar:

In the Vanaprastha phase, His devotees are blessed with good health, financial stability and good luck.

Yoga Bhairavar:

In the Sanyasa stage of life, a man is supposed to be totally devoted to God. By praying to Yoga Bhairavar and the Kailash Lingam beside the Yoga Bhairavar, man attains salvation. The objective of existence is to try to merge the jivatma (individual self) with the paramatma (God). This is known as moksham or liberation from the cycle of birth and death. The four ashrams prepare a person to undertake the process in a controlled but directed manner.

Chaturkala Bhairavar, Thiruvisanallur

Devotees who worship Chatur Kala Bhairavar during the 8th day of the waxing period (ashtami of Sukla paksham or valarpirai) gain in prosperity and advancement in business and career. Devotees worship during the 8th day of the waning period (ashtami of Krishna paksham or theipirai) to get cured of their diseases, peaceful family life, protection from evil spirits and envy.

chathurkala bhairavar, special pooja information

Lighting oil lamps with black pepper on eight consecutive Sundays during Rahu kalam 4.30PM to 6.00 PM at Bhairavar’s sannidhi results in getting back lost property and wealth.

Kala Bhairava Gayatri Mantra
“Om Kaalakaalaaya vidhmahey Kaalaatheethaaya dheemahi Thanno Kaala Bhairava Prachodhayaath.”

Once a man who was a habitual sinner was about to be taken away by Yama.  This man had only indulged in evil deeds and had not not anything good to anybody all his life.  This man came running into the temple to escape from Yama and was shouting and pleading to Lord Shiva to save him.  Nandi trained his ears towards the entrance of the temple to hear the cry of the man and informed Lord Shiva about the same.  Though, this man was a habitual sinner, Lord Shiva blessed him with papa vimochanam (absolution of sin) and Mukthi because he had come to Shiva with total devotion.  It is to be noted that you can see the idol of Nandi with its head turning to a side. It is believed that those who pray to Him here during the Pradosham (Twilight period in the evening on the 13th day of every Lunar fortnight) will be absolved of all their past sins.

Nandi in the Sivan Sannadhi, Thiruvisanallur. Notice that the Nandi is turning away from Sivan and training its ears to the entrance.

There is also a sannadhi for Lakshmi and Narayanan which is a rare.  Vishnu and Lakshmi are supposed to have got the blessing of Shiva here for their marriage.  Worshipping Lakshmi Narayanan on shravan nakshatra, ekadasi and Saturdays is considered special.  Devotees who light 6 oil lamps and offer Tulasi garland to this deity for six consecutive weeks are blessed with progeny, peaceful family life, removal of obstacles in marriage and general prosperity.

Lakshmi Narayanar, Thiruvisanallur

About Lakshmi Narayanar, Thiruvisanallur

There is a Sun Dial in the periphery wall of this temple opposite to Ambal’s Sannidhi, which is a symbol of the scientific advancement during the Chola period.

Sun Dial at Thiruvisanallur Temple

 

This is the temple for Rishabha Rasi.  People born under Rishabha rasi are recommended to visit and pray at this temple regularly.

About the temple, Thiruvisanallur

Sridhara Ayyaval’s ashram is in this village.  There are few miracles about his life. Devas and Pithrus are believed to have partaken in a meal when he conducted Shraddham for his father, although the local Brahmins refused to attend.

Once on a New Moon day, he brought Ganges to the well in his house for purification.  He is also credited with restoring life to a young man, out of compassion for his parents.

Sridhara Ayyaval is reported to have vanished after entering the Sanctum Sanctorum of Madhyarjuna Siva temple at Thiruvidaimaruthur.

Location:

Click here for the Map

From Thiruvidaimarudhur this is at a distance of about 6 kms across the Cauvery.  Thiruvisanallur is on the Suryanar – Thirumangalakudi – Swamimalai Road.

 

Boarding & Lodging: Do not expect any hotel here.  This is a very small village.  Thiruvidaimarudhur is the nearest town.  You could stay at Kumbakonam, which is about 9 kms from here.

Other temples nearby:

Mahalingaswamy temple at Thiruvidaimarudhur

Thirumangalakudi & Suryanar Koil – 10 kms from here

Karkadeswarar temple is just less than 2 kms from here

Sridhar Ayyaval Ashram at Thiruvisanallur.

Thirubhuvanam Sarabeswarar temple

Govindapuram

Yoganandeswarar Temple at Thiruvisanallur is a very ancient temple.  The presiding deity of this temple, Yoganandeswarar is also known as Sivayoginathar. Eight Shiva yogis after severe penance on Lord Shiva, merged with the Lingam and hence the name Sivayoginathar.   This place was a vilva forest at one time and hence He is also called Vilvaranyeswarar. He is also known as Puradhaneswarar.  His consort here is known as Soundaryanayaki or Shantha Nayaki.  The sthala vriksham is Arasa maram and the Theertham Jatayu Theertham.

Chatur Kala Bhairavar is famous here. The four Bhairavars with Saneeswara Bhagawan and Sivalingam on their sides denote different periods of life and praying here will solve our problems for our entire lifespan. The four Bhairavars, (Chatur Kala Bhairavars) each representing the four phases or four Ashramas in the lifespan of a human being are as follows:

Gnana Bhairavar :

The Brahmacharya phase of the human life is dominated by his quest for knowledge. Gnana Bhairavar bestows good education and good employment on his devotees.

Swarna akarshana Bhairavar:

In the Grahasta phase, Swarna akarshana Bhairavar blesses his devotees with excellent growth in career and material gains.

Unmattha Bhairavar:

In the Vanaprastha phase, His devotees are blessed with good health, financial stability and good luck.

Yoga Bhairavar:

In the Sanyasa stage of life, a man is supposed to be totally devoted to God. Praying to Yoga Bhairavar & the Kailash Lingam beside the Yoga Bhairavar man attains salvation. The objective of existence is to try to merge the jivatma with the paramatma. This is known as moksham or salvation. The four ashrams prepare a person to undertake the process in a controlled but directed manner.


There is a Sun Dial in the periphery wall of this temple opposite to Ambal’s Sannidhi.



This is the temple for Rishabha Rasi.  People born under Rishabha rasi are recommended to visit and pray at this temple regularly.


Sridhara Ayyaval’s ashram is in this village.  There are few miracles about his life. Devas and Pithrus are believed to have partake in a meal when he conducted Shraddham for his father, although the local Brahmins refused to attend.

Once on a New Moon day brought Ganges itself to the well in his house for purification. He is also credited with restoring life to a young man, out of compassion for his parents.

Sridhara Ayyaval is reported to have vanished after entering the Sanctum Sanctorum of Madhyarjuna Siva temple at Thiruvidaimaruthur, furthering the belief that he was Siva incarnate.

Kala Bhairava Gayatri Mantra


“Om Kaalakaalaaya vidhmahey Kaalaatheethaaya dheemahi Thanno Kaala Bhairava Prachodhayaath.”


Location:


From Thiruvidaimarudhur this is at a distance of about 6 kms across the Cauvery.  Thiruvisanallur is on the Suryanar – Thirumangalakudi – Swamimalai Road.


Where to Stay & Eat: Do not expect any place to stay or eat here.  This is a very small village.  Thiruvidaimarudhur is the nearest town.  You could stay at Kumbakonam, which is about 9 kms from here.


Other temples nearby:


Mahalingaswamy temple at Thiruvidaimarudhur

Thirumangalakudi & Suryanar Koil – 10 kms from here

Karkadeswarar temple is just less than 2 kms from here

Sridhar Ayyaval Ashram at Thiruvisanallur.

Thirubhuvanam Sarabeswarar temple

Govindapuram