" It was Raju Mama who was telling me for some days that we should visit Thiruvennnai Nallur Sivan temple and Gnananandar Thapovanam, also a common friend Mr. Rao suggested that I should visit the Brindavanam of Ragoothamar in Thirukoyilur. In the mean while, Sowmya told me she made a trip to Thapovanam with her parents on New year day and she talked at length about her experience in Thapovanam. All these made me to make a trip myself.
The Presiding deity is Lord Shiva ( Krupapureeswarar ) and Ambal is Mangalaambigai. The Sthala Vruksham is Bamboo ( Moongil ) The gurukal told us it is a SUYAMBU LINGAM. The Rishis of Tharukavana became very proud of their strength of penance and performed a yaga to kill Lord Shiva himself but could not, as they were absorbed by the Lord. Realizing their guilt, they shed their pride and performed penance on Lord Shiva asking his pardon. As the Lord granted pardon ( Arul ), this place is also called Arulthurai. As he granted them Krupa ( pardon ) the Lord came to be knows as Krupapureeswarar. The Lord was in the form of fire during their penance period and existed as Swayambu.
The Ganesha also is Suyambu here called Pollapillaiyaar....At the age of 5, sage Meykandathevar was initiated by this Vinayaka only. It is also told that dumb children will regain speech if they offer prayers to this Pollapillaiyar.
No Shiva devotee can afford to miss a visit and worship of Krupapureeswarar in this temple. The temple is very calm and quite and one can feel the vibration inside the temple.
Thiruvennai nallur is closely related with the history of Sundaramoorthy Nayanar. Sundarar was in his wedding attaire to marry the daughter of Sadangavi Sivachariya. Lord Shiva of the temple intervened in the guise of an old man and claimed Sundarar as his slave and produced documentary evidence signed by his father to substantiate his claim. Sundarar stoutly refused the claim and called the old man a Lunatic. Unmindful of this the old man dragged Sundarar to the temple and simply disappeared. Realizing that the old man was none other than the Lord himself, Sundarar shed tears. The Lord asked him to sing on him and also suggested that he could use the word "Piththa" ( lunatic ) for a start which he used while refuting his claim. That was the first famous hymn of Sundarar on Lord biginning with the line " Pitha Pirai Soodi " reverently chanted by the devotees. After entering the temple on the right side, north ,a mantapam could be seen, where the Lord and Sundarar argued and the panchayat took place. Also the sandals which the Lord wore while coming to claim Sundarar is also still kept in the temple... inside the Moolasthaanam.
The goddess Mangalaambigai appears with four hands in the standing posture and instead of Nandi, a Lion is installed before the Ambal as this is the place where she shed her anger after killing the Demon Mahishasura and having a dip in the river. The goddess appears with sanganidhi, padhumanidhi and Srichakra. Also the Gurukkal told us that to reduce Ambal's anger, a fort was built with Vennai ( butter ) around the temple and hence the place is called "Thiruvennainallur".
This is the place where Lord Muruga gave Darshan on his peacock to Saint Arunagiri Nathar. Also it is told that Arjunan, Indran and Mahavishnu worshipped Shiva here only.
It is also told that great philanthropist Sadayappa Vallal also lived here who encouraged Poet Kambar to write the immortal epic Ramayana.
The temple was not crowded ...in fact only around 10 people were inside... and they were very helpful and eager to explain the details... As we wanted to visit many temples in the same belt, we were asking for details and also looking for some local guide who can help us... as a god-send,,,an old man of around 65 years offered to help us by coming with us the whole day. He was very helpful and polite and was knowing all the roads including the small lanes and interior / artillery roads... OK... now we will move on the Thirukoyilur and visit further temples........
The road to Thirukoyilur from Thiruvennainallur was not good and we had to dirve slowly only. We reached Ulagalandha perumaal temple around 11am.
As the name indicates, the prime diety, is a Viswaroopa of Vamana avathar, Thiruvikramaswamy with his one leg resting on Mahabali . You can see Brahma doing puja to his other leg which is measuring the heavens. This diety has been sung by 4 azhwars ( Poigai Azhwar, Peyazhwar, Boothathazhwar and Thirumangai Azhwar ). It is also told that this is the first Divya Desam and first verses of Naalaayira Divya Prabhantham originated from here.
The Thayaar here is called Pushvalli Thaayar ( Poonkoval Nachiyaar ). There is one sannidhi for Vishnu Durgai just within the main sannidhi of perumaal... and they told us This Durgai is safeguarding the temple as well as the town.
|Be active;||but Not impatient|
|Be patient;||but Not indolent|
|Be economic;||but Not stingy|
|Be loving ;||but Not slavish|
|Be merciful ;||but Wakeful; do not be deceived|
|Give liberally;||but Do not become a pauper|
|Be a hero;||but Not a (Nero) villain|
|Seek the good ;||but Do not hate others|
|Live in the family;||but Be not infatuated with lust|
|Be unattached ;||but Do not run to the forest|
As described above, I could see the tamarind tree next to the Vrindhavan and I could see that the tamarind tree is burnt on the portions where it is trying to cover the Vrindhavan....
We made three pradakshanams and offered prayer at the Vrindhavan....
Here we missed Mr. Rao, ( he only suggested us to visit Vrindhavan for long time ) who was also there in the same premises,, which we came to know only the next day... Had we met Mr. Rao in Vrindhavan, we would have been offered with a big feast... However, I got the Panchamirtham the next day from Mr. Rao... Mr. Rao told me he offered special prayers for me and assured me that some thing good will happen very soon... :)
It was around 12.30pm and we wanted to see Parikkal Lakshmi Narasimhar also before 1 pm and decided to skip food and proceeded directly.
However on the way out we were told that there two famous Shiva temples, both very old with history behind them. We first proceeded to "Athulyanathar temple" in Arankanda Nallur, which is acutally built on a rock.
The temple is located at about 3 km from Thirukkovilur towards Villupuram. The temple is situated in a beautiful location on a hillock adjacent to the South Pennai river and is visible from a distance across the river. There are two entrances, one through the main road and the other through the river which is very scenic. We were told that building of this temple was started around 2nd Century and was continued to be built for 285 years by various kings of Chola and Pandya kingdoms.
* One of the 275 Shiva temples glorified by the Thevara hymns
* Ramanar has meditated in this temple when he was a young boy. It is said that he was directed to go to tiruvannamalai by the Lord himself here.
* It is believed that the Pandavas visited Arankandanallur and that the temple tank close to the cave in which they stayed was created with Bhima’s mace. There are two sunais (water streams) on the hillock which are said to have been used by Pandavas and Draupadi.
* There is an imprint of Thirugnana Sambandar’s feet here. Sambandar is said to have miraculously moved a huge rock that had been placed to block the shrine. Thirugnana Sambandhar worshipped Thiruvannamalai from this hillock top.
* Worshipped by Prasanda rishi
The Temple: The 160 feet high Gopuram in this shrine (dating back to the 7th century) with three prakarams Rich in inscriptions, it received Royal patronage from local chieftains, the later Cholas and the later Pandyas. This is the south most rock-cut cave temple of Pallavas, with the solitary exception of Tiruchirapalli. Thiruvannamalai is visible from this hill. There is an idol of Ramanar as a young boy in a meditative posture and the temple is visited by many Ramana Maharsishi followers.
The Presiding deity is Athulyanathar ( ஒப்பில்லா ஈஸ்வரன் ) and Ambal is "Soundarya kanakambigai ( அழகு பொன்னம்மை ). As the name indicates, Ambal is so beautiful here and was decorated very well on that day.
Our next stop was Veerattanaeswarar temple. This temple is situated in Thirukoyilur town closer to the bus stand... This temple also was dated back to 5 th Century... We were told that Lord Shiva here has taken Bhairava avathar ( பைரவர் தோன்றிய இடம் ) to kill Andhagaasuran. The story is written on the board kept in the temple. The Ambal here is called "Sivanandha valli" who is also so beautiful as Soundarya kanakambigai. Also the Gurukal showed us the Durgai here with eyes look like real with black and white colour.
I was so happy that I got the Bhairava Moola Manthra upadesam from my Guru Raju Mama in Ambaal sannidhi... Actually I was very eagerly looking for this manthra for long, and I was very glad to get it in the Bhairava Sthal itself.
Also in this temple only Avvaiyaar sang her song "Vinayagar Agaval" on Pillaiyar who took her to Kailash ahead of others.
Since it was Kaanum Pongal Day, we were told that all the big temples will be kept open through out the day. So we took a chance to finish visiting Parikkal also before lunch.
Some of our friends told us that it is good to see 3 Narasimhars on the same day. Parikkal is . called South Ahobilam ( தென் அஹோபிலம் ) . We were told that Narashimha avtar took place in Ahobilam in Andhra Pradesh... After this, as per the request of the saints and rishis, who wanted to see the Narasimha, he appeared in 8 places with Goddess Lakshmi in Tamilnadu... Parikal is one among them. The other 7 places are Andhili in Vilupuram, Poovarasan Kuppam near Panruti, Singaperumal Koil, Singirigudi, Sindhalawadi, Namakkal and Sholingur.
Out of these 8 temples, Parikal, Poovarasan kuppam, and Andhili are close to each other and we thought we will cover all three on same day. However, by the time we reached Parikal it was beyond 2pm, and the temple was closed and Perumal was taking rest after Lunch. So we dicided to move on to Poovarasan Kuppam instead of waiting for the temple to reopen at 4 pm. We had to cross the NH45 (GST Road ) and via Vilupuram we reached Panruti ( 35 kms from Parikal ). There we were discussing how to cover three Narasimha temples... Also we were told that Andhili temple was under Balalayam ( only the Urchava Murthy is on display as the temple was getting ready for Kumbabishekam ),, we decided to skip that place. We were so hungry and decided to have lunch at Panruti. We had not so good Dosa and Curd rice at Hotel NARASIMHA VILAS.. I was jokingly telling every one that we should count this Narasimhar also to make it 3 in a row on same day. After lunch we proceeded to Poovarasan Kuppam temple through village roads.. Poovarasan Kuppam is around 15 Kms from Panruti and the road was bad again. However we could reach before the 4 pm, the schedule time for the temple to reopen after Lunch.
Barring two things ( Drunken employees and devotees in Poovarasan Kuppam and heavy traffic due to a political meeting ) our trip was excellent and we really enjoyed it.
Write to me if you need any more details.