As discussed in my previous narration, I visited Shiva temple on Wednesday night at 9 PM. There were four blocks. For those who had registered for the special blocks they could perform abhishekam and others can sit and participate by listening and joining with the participants.
The whole night ensured constant hearing of Om Nama Shivaya and nothing else. Unlike in 2017 where in the state of Tamil Nadu due to the iron rods being erected in the temples to segregate pilgrims on the basis of economy this was a total equality before the Almighty.
It had been around two years since I participated the whole night observations of Maha Shivarathri and hence thought I would visit the neighborhood Shiva temple. Today when I visited the temple I found out that for this temple it was going to be tomorrow. But had the bliss of visiting Shiva temple at the eve of Shivarathri.
The temple administration clarified that the functions would start at 9 PM and go on till 5 AM on Thursday morning. There will be four batches of Rudrabhishekam throughout the night.
Had been a while since I moved in North India but haven’t taken any pilgrimage or trip. Hence I thought over the Christmas I would plan a visit to Kurukshetra in Haryana. Saturday morning I caught the bus to Jind in Haryana to meet a friend and from there caught the passenger train to Kurukshetra that reached around 9 PM. Winter was already at its peak and chill winds ransacking the region. I managed to reach Gaudiya Mutt in Kurukshetra which offered us a night’s accommodation and then next day morning we had a visit of the following in Kurukshetra amidst the thick blanket of white fog.
- Brahma Sarovar
- Bheeshma Kund
And a few more temples. And then we reached Kurukshetra junction from where we caught an express train to reach New Delhi by evening.
The time wheel spins again and issued a location change for me. Due to my project requirements I am now travelling North-bound to New Delhi. And that too when winter is setting in. As of 2nd October 2017 early morning 5 AM caught the Jet Airways flight and reached New Delhi in a couple of hours and checked in to the company guest house.
This is kind of second move in for me to New Delhi. My first move in was in 2001 for a very short sojourn as an Onsite Consultant at GECIS (now Genpact). That was in high summer and returning back to Chennai by New Delhi.
Subsequent trips to New Delhi were short ones as below.
- 2009 September (Vacation to Manali)
- 2015 May (Pilgrimage to Badrinath)
And this trip is a move in meaning it may involve a few months stay here.
The Friday (21st July 2017) I had the booking to RMM (Rameswaram) for Aadi Amavasya that falls on 23rd July 2017. The train had unusually high number of Waiting Lists and RACs flooding its compartments. Fortunately I had a confirmed accommodation. We reached Rameswaram station around 5 AM on Saturday. There were buses plying from the station to Agni Theertham temple beach shore.
After reaching the Agni Theertham and taking holy dip in the sea proceeded towards the temple. The temple crowd was less since it was one day before Amavasya and had the fortunate bliss of getting the darshan of even morning deepararadhana. The temple had good arrangements for cloak room and foot wear keeping too. Cloak room is pretty cheap at INR 10 with good sized lockers and foot wear keeping is free though there is no token issued.
After completing Rameshwaram, started to Dhanushkodi. Kothandaramar temple is on the way and scheduled it for next RMM trip. After completing Dhanushkodi travelled back to Market to visit Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam house which is a must visit for every Indian citizen.
After completing these trips started to RMD (Ramanathapuram) by bus and then to Thirupullani from there. We had made booking at Ahobila Mutt Malola Bhavan. We completed temple darshan that day itself to avoid the rush on Aadi Amavasya day. The day’s dinner and next day’s lunch was at Srirangam Srimad Andavan Ashrama Thatheeyaradhanai, which was sumptous and excellent. Next day morning we went to Sethukarai for the holy dip at sea. Buses were halted around half a kilometer away from Sethukarai because of surging heavy crowds right from wee hours of Aadi Amavasya.
Towards afternoon started from Thirupullani to RMD railway station for catching the train back to Tambaram (TBM).
Vroom seems to be offering good alternatives to city traffic with its bike taxi services similar to Uber and Ola. They have their website here.
Initially when we checked its app a few months back there was the first ride free offer. But most of the times the bikers give a wrong message saying ‘I am here, I am there’ and then avoiding to pick us up. Once the biker gave a message that his vehicle is puncture and can not offer ride.
Furthermore bikers do not have good road rule sense and they squeeze themselves between heavy vehicles, often attempt stop line violations and jump red lights.
Verdict: The customer support too replies after a week or so. I don’t think Vroom Rides is yet competent enough to contest against Uber and Ola.
Our sibling blog has covered a few years ago about this temple. You can check its permalink here. Yesterday evening I chose to visit this temple. The route I took to this temple was from Ambattur after work hours.
I chose to take a bus to Ambattur Industrial Estate and from there I was looking for a bus to Red Hills. Only a bus to Puzhal was there. So took that bus and after getting down at Puzhal camp, took the next bus from Poonamalee to Red Hills. From Red Hills I took the bus to Thiruvotriyur which takes us to Madhavaram/Ponniammanmedu/Kanakan Chatram. Interestingly this is the same route which goes from Puzhal camp to Red Hills. But the downside of catching the bus at Puzhal is you will end up standing in the crowd through the journey unlike getting a seating accommodation if you board the bus at Red Hills.
After getting down at Kanakanchatiram, you can see a petrol bunk in the opposite site and take the road next to it. I think it is called Big Street. After a few feet walking down, you can find a lane called Vinobhaji Street which is the one that houses the temple.
The time when we went they were doing evening poojas (Saya Rakshai). After completing of the same they allowed us for darshan of the temple. The unique feature of this temple is that Narasimha is in standing position. There are also other sannidhis like Naga Narasimhar, Chakkaratathazhwar (with Narasimhar), Hayagreevar (behind main sanctum sanctorum on the wall). There is a shrine for Andal and Ayyappa too.
The return journey we took back to Red Hills which was a good transit point for a comfortable journey though it takes 20 to 30 minutes more than getting a bus at Madhavaram bypass intersection.