This weekend was holy on two occasions.
- Happy New Year 2017
- Shravanam (on New Year Day)
You might be interested to check my presence in different new years at various places here. This year’s scheduled trip was Kumbakonam. Since it was on Sunday I was trying to add a few more pilgrimage spots. So I took the Madurai Express via Mayiladuthurai and got down there. I don’t know who renamed Mayavaram (Mayuram) as Mayiladuthurai. The former name is more divine and crisp. After reaching Mayavaram at around 4 AM on Saturday morning, I got freshed up in the Railway Waiting Hall and proceeded to bus stand.
From there I visited Thiruindhalur Parimala Ranganathan temple. It is one of the Pancharanga Kshetrams. Since it is Dhanur Month, the temple had open early and Thiruppavai and other pasuram chanting was going on. Got very good Pongal prasadam after Ghosti. After being in temple close to an hour, came of the temple to visit a Hanuman temple nearby and then moved to bus stand. From there caught a Karaikal bound bus to visit Thirukadaiyur.
Thirukkadaiyur has two significant histories.
- Blessings to Abhirami Bhattar by Ambal
- Saving of Sage Markendaya from the Lord of death by Lord Shiva
After worshipping the deities came back to Mayavaram bus stand and moved to Therazhundhur Amaruviappan (Devathi Rajan) temple. Here is one pasuram about this temple.
திருவுக்கும் திருவாகிய செல்வா !
தெய்வத்துக்கரசே ! செய்யகண்ணா !
உருவச் செஞ்சுடராழி வல்லானே !
உலகுண்ட ஒருவா ! திருமார்பா !
ஒருவற்காற்றி உய்யும்வகை என்றால்
உடனின்றைவர் என்னுள் புகுந்து ஒழியாது
அருவித் தின்றிடவஞ்சி நின்னடைந்தேன்,
அழுந்தூர் மேல்திசை நின்றவம்மானே.
(பெரிய திருமொழி – 7-7-1)
After worshipping the deity it was quite evening. So started to Kumbakonam. Reached Kumbakonam around 7 PM and stayed in a relatives house. Got up at 3.30 AM and after having bath went to Viswaroopa darshan at Sri Bhumidevi Sametha Oppiliappan temple.
After completing darshan went to Ayyavadi Pratyankara temple. This temple is bordered by cremation ghats and hence the temple has warnings not to use stale words anywhere in its premises. After completing darshan here went back to Oppiliappan temple to have a darshan of Shravana Deepam and had lunch at Sri Ahobila Mutt.
It was 2 PM then so moved to Kumbakonam and caught a Thiruvaiyaru bound bus (Townbus No. 37) to go to Kabisthalam. Had darshan of Lord Gajendra Varadhan and started back to Kumbakonam. It was 4 PM and hence waited for a few hours in Kumbakonam bus stand and at 6 PM moved to Railway station to have dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. A couple of more hours wait for my Uzhavan Express to come at 9.45 PM to start my journey back to Chennai.
Yesterday night my LeTV got powered down after battery drain. It normally happens and I just thought after midnight I would have the charger plugged on and have it up and running. But since morning the red indicator does not change amber after a long time which made me quite suspicious of something gone wrong. After some search in Internet figured out that I would need a visit to the retailer. I took a print of the Flipkart invoice and visited the nearest center at Taramani. A few observations from Taramani are as below:
- The address at Kennedy Street, Thanthai Periyar Nagar, Taramani upstairs of Indian Overseas Branch (Taramani Link Road Branch) and at Pillayar Koil Stop might be easy to recognize through Google Maps but as usual when asked from auto drivers they give a circuitous route perhaps in an attempt to solicit a ride?
- Not satisfied with the way the service center responded and diluted the confidence level. Hence went to Thiruvanmiyur to meet a friend to take his advise and returned work.
Traffic is nightmarish even in off peak hours through OMR and Tidel Park Intersection. BTW as an interesting observation I found a signage called Ticel Park near Tidel Park. I was thinking it might be a typo but then a Google search a few minutes back revealed that there is indeed a business park called Ticel Bio Park at the same neighborhood as Tidel Park.
Another coincidence in today morning traffic is that the Medavakkam – Perumbakkam was very less crowded and hence that was my chosen route than Velachery – Tambaram road to Taramani. And there were more buses in the former stretch too (and in the normal course of days it is otherwise)
Then I booked through a service online. I would post the service review in V&R.
I have been planning for a while to visit Sri Karpaga Vinayagar (Pillayarpatti) and hence planned the same for this weekend. Though I had booked Pallavan Express for the up journey, I canceled the same because of the following reasons:
- Need to take half a day leave because the train crosses Tambaram at 4 PM
- Very early reaching to Karaikudi (mid night) and half night sleep would be spoilt.
Hence I booked an overnight bus (TNSTC-SETC) to Karaikudi. However the 9 PM bus came to CMBT only by 11.30 and when crossing Perungalathur it was well around 2 AM. The estimated reach time as on schedule to Karaikudi was 8 AM but because of the delays it reached by 11 AM. From Karaikudi bus stand I caught a local bus and went to Pillayarpatti. The temple devasthanam had made good arrangements for devotees to take bath behind the temple. After completing the morning (?) duties and finishing the darshan started from there to Kundrakudi. Felt very lucky when a TNSTC bus to Kundrakudi came from near temple so saved a bit of walk to the main road (near arch) bus stand.
When I reached Kundrakudi it was around 3 PM so the temple was closed. So waited for sometime and then when the temple opened started climbing the flight of steps. It was around 140 steps I believe. After completing the darshan at Kundrakudi came down and caught a bus to Karaikudi Old Bus stand from where Sri Koppudai Nayaki temple is walkable (~0.75 KM) After completing the darshan and having some food in a nearby restaurant came to know that there is a mini bus service to railway station at 6.15 PM. Took that bus and reached Railway Gate at around 7 PM. From where maneuvered through the thick blanket of dark roads (street lights missing) to reach Karaikudi Junction. Our train came at around 8.30 PM (Sethu Express). We boarded the same to reach Tambaram next day morning.
As a good citizen, I also reported to Government of Tamil Nadu to provision a TNSTC bus stand near Pillayarpatti Arch and increase the number of buses between Karaikudi and Pillayapatti. Also requested for streetlights to be provisioned near Karaikudi Junction for the safety of passengers and passerbys on that route.
Kumbakonam Oppiliappan is considered to be elder brother of Tirumala Srinivasa Perumal. I had been planning a trip to Tirumala and hence started on Friday afternoon. The train reached Tirupathi by 8.45 PM and then stayed at a relative house for that night. Next day morning went to Aliperi and boarded the bus to Tirumala. After a six hour queue had darshan of the Lord towards afternoon. Had food at the Annadhanam in the afternoon. And then started by bus to relatives house in the evening. On Sunday morning started to Srinivasam complex in Tirupathi and booked for Local Temple Tour by APTDC and TTD. That covered most of the temples in the town including Thiruchanoor. Towards evening got the train back to Chennai. After reaching Chennai switched to Egmore station and boarded the train to Kumbakonam. The train reached Kumbakonam next day morning. Now started to Oppiliappan temple and had Sravana Deepam darshan by 11 AM.
Towards night caught the next train to Chennai to reach Tambaram by 4 AM.
Yesterday night I boarded the Rockfort Express and reached Trichy today morning around 5 AM. The Trichy Waiting hall seemed to be little congested. However managed to get freshened up and then after having tiffin in a nearby hotel went to Chatram Bus Stand. From there inquired for a bus to Siruganoor to go Brahma temple. This was the temple one software company in Trichy guided me in order to visit the temple. It was a divine blessings that there was an announcement regarding a bus which goes to the temple itself just came to the bus stand. So boarded that bus and after about an hour’s journey reached the temple.
Had a good darshan in the temple and then started from there. In the temple there is a a belief to take the original horoscope book and keep near Brahma to have the destiny re-written. After completing the darshan took the Trichy bound bus back but got down at Siruganur and then caught a Chennai bus from the highway. It was around a few hours journey and reached Chennai by evening.
Yesterday was Sravanam and hence took the pilgrimage by train to Kumbakonam. The train reached quite late and hence had to complete the morning duties in the waiting room of the railway station itself and then caught a bus to reach Oppiliappan temple. You might be aware that last month Sravanam got missed out by a few hours calculation in the almanac. The Sravana Deepam got lighted by 11 AM and then after the prasadam distribution started to Alangudi temple. Alangudi is famous Guru temple. There was a Perumal temple also nearby. After completing both came to Railway Station and waited for Uzhavan express at 9.45 PM to travel back to Chennai.