Posts Tagged ‘temple for prosperity’

Financial abundance is of great importance to every human being. Good Health & Happiness (peace of mind) are the other two of the three foremost things that man prays to his Creator to bestow him with. Padikkasunathar temple at Alagaputhur near Kumbakonam is one such temple where the presiding deity blesses His devotees with financial prosperity. The main deity here is also known as Swarnapureeswarar. His consort at this temple is Alagammai or Azhagammai. The deity taken out in processions (Utsavar) during festivals is Somaskandar. The sthala vruksham is vilva. The Shiva Linga is a swayam bhu or self manifested. Alagaputhur is on the banks of the river Arasalar. The old name for this place is Arisilkaraipudur. This three tiered temple is believed to be about 2000 years old.

Padikkasunathar Kovil, Alagaputhur

Padikkasunathar Kovil, Alagaputhur

The priest at this temple was a staunch Shiva devotee who performed the daily pooja with great devotion along with all the customary offerings. Famine and poverty struck the whole region that was once prosperous. In spite of his poverty and the difficulty he had in making the ends meet, he never shirked from his “responsibility” of performing the daily poojas to the Lord. Please with his devotion, one night the Lord appeared in his dreams and granted a boon.  The priest wished that the village must become prosperous once again and that he himself should have enough to continue performing the daily poojas without any hurdle. As per his wish Lord Shiva left him one gold coin at the steps of the temple everyday. The priest used this to take care of the villagers and also to perform the daily pooja. Soon the famine was gone and the village became prosperous once again.

The descendents of that noble priest are still the priests at this temple.  The priest performed the padikasu pooja for us. We handed to him an even number of ten rupee notes for the pooja. After performing the pooja the priest gave us back half of them (that is the reason for taking even number of currency notes). The money retained by the priest is utilized for temple maintenance etc. The priest asked us to preserve the currency notes he gave us and also issued detailed instructions on performing poojas at home using these. Devotees believe that performing this ritual will bring prosperity.

Lord Muruga here is very unique. He is seen with the Conch and Discus that one normally associates with Mahavishnu. The story goes that it is the Conch and Discus given by Lord Vishnu to Muruga when He set out to wage a war on the demons. He is seen sitting on a peacock with His consorts Valli and Deivayanai. Since Muruga appears with both His consorts He is known as Kalyanasundara Shanmuga Subramanyar. The decoration in the background is in the form of Om.

Talking of Om, there is a story linking this temple to the Swaminatha Swamy temple at Swamimalai. Once Lord Brahma, the Creator was asked how he created life in the Universe. Lord Brahma replied that he used the Pranava Mantra. When Lord Muruga further asked Lord Brahma the meaning of the Pranava Mantra, Lord Brahma was stumped for an answer. An angry Muruga imprisoned Him and stripped Him of the responsibility of creation. He took upon the responsibility Himself. Lord Shiva approached Muruga and requested Him to free Brahma and reinstate Him as the creator. He also wanted to know the meaning of the Pranava Mantra. Lord Muruga taught Lord Shiva the meaning of this mantra at Swami Malai. Later, when Lord Shiva appealed to Lord Muruga again, He relented. He was also remorseful for having punished and insulted an elder for his ignorance. Lord Muruga performed penance on Lord Shiva at this temple and sought forgiveness. Lord Shiva pardoned Him and said that while pointing out of mistakes committed by the elders can be accepted, you should take sufficient care to ensure that it does not offend the elders.

This is one of the 275 Padal Petra Sthalams and all the four Great Saints have sung hymns in praise of the Lord at this temple.

Location:

Click here for the Map

This village is just about 2.5 Kames from Nachiyar Kovil on the Kumbakonam-Nachiyar Kovil-Tiruvarur route. It is about 7 Kms from Kumbakonam. This temple is almost on the State Highway. It is just a two-minute walk from the highway. The bus services are frequent and is well connected with the important places around here.

Other Nearby Temples

Nachiyar Kovil

Karuvalarkum Nayaki Temple, Karuvalarcheri

Uppiliappan Kovil

Thirunageswaram

Saranatha Perumal Kovil, Thirucherai

Kadan Nivartheeswarar Kovil, Thirucherai

Amirthakaleswarar Temple, Sakkottai

Siddhanathar Temple, Tirunaaraiyur

Ramanatha swamy Temple, Thirunaraiyur (This temple houses Saneeswaran, who is present with His wives and sons)

Travel Base: Kumbakonam

Temple Timings:

7 AM to 12 Noon & 4 PM to 8 PM

Temple Address:

Arulmigu Padikkasunathar Kovil

Alagaputhur – 612 401

Thanjavur District

Phone: +91-435-2466939  Mobile: +91-99431-78294

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