Aadi Amavasya Trip to Rameswaram and Thirupullani

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).

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A Friday evening trip to Ponnimedu Prasanna Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple

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.

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Global Hindu Temple Network Index

I am currently in the process of preparing an index of Global Hindu Temple Network as a hosted spreadsheet. You can find the same here. Please remember that this project is in the nascent stage with no assurance of accuracy or presentational aesthetics. The intent of sharing is that it would give an insight into the categories that we are desiring to cover and to benefit pilgrims in a quick and easy way.

As of 12th January 2017 we have the following categories:

  1. 51 Sakthi Peetams
  2. 12 Jyotirlingams
  3. Sri Siva Temples
  4. Arupadai Veedu
  5. Chardham
  6. Navagraha Temples
  7. 108 Sri Vaishnava Divyadesams
  8. Sri Vaishnava Abhimana Sthalangal

Let me know if you know another temple and would like us to add the same here.

பித்ரு தோஷம் நீக்கும் வல்லங்குளம் மாரியம்மன் கோவில்

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திருவாரூர் பாதையில் நாகையில் இருந்து சுமார் 14 கி.மீ. தொலைவில் அமைந்துள்ளது வல்லங்குளம் ஸ்ரீமாரியம்மன் திருக்கோவில். ஒவ்வொரு ஞாயிற்றுக்கிழமையும் இரவில் இந்த ஊர் மக்கள் பலரும் கோவிலில் தங்குகின்றனர்.

மறுநாள் மாரியம்மனை தரிசித்து, வணங்கினால் நினைத்தது நிறைவேறும் என்பது நம்பிக்கை. இங்கே மாரியம்மனை மனதார வேண்டி, உளுந்தாலான பலகாரங்களை அம்மனுக்குப் படைத்து, பக்தர்களுக்கு விநியோகிக்கின்றனர். இதனால் அம்மனின் அருளோடு நம்முன்னோர்களின் ஆசியும் கிடைக்கும். இது வரை, திதி-தர்ப்பணம் செய்யாதவர்களும், பிதுர் தோஷத்துக்கு ஆளானவர்களும் இங்கு வந்து, ‘தோசை’ முதலான உளுந்தால் ஆன உணவைப் படைத்து, அம்மனை வழிபட்டு பலனடையலாம் என்கிறார்கள்.

கோவில் வரலாறு :

இந்த கோவிலின் பரிகார வழிபாடுகள் மட்டுமல்ல மாரியம்மன் இங்கு குடிகொண்ட கதையும் சுவாரஸ்யமானது தான். திருவண்ணாமலையை தலை நகராகக் கொண்டு ஆட்சி செய்த வல்லாள மகா ராஜாவுக்கு குழந்தை பாக்கியம் வாய்க்கவில்லை. இதனால் வருந்திய மகாராஜா யாகங்கள் நிகழ்த்தி வழிபட்டார். இதன் பலனால் அரசி கருவுற்றாள். ஆனால் விதி வேறுவிதமாக விளையாடியது. ‘இந்த குழந்தை பிறந்தால் நாட்டுக்கு கேடு விளையும்’ என்று ஜோதிடர் எச்சரிக்க, கலங்கிப் போன போன மகாராஜா, செய்வதறியாது குழம்பினார்.

இறுதியில் நாட்டு மக்களின் நலனே முக்கியம் என்று கருதி மனைவியையும், அவள் கருவில் வளரும் குழந்தையையும் அழிக்கத் திட்டமிட்டார். ஒரு நாள் மனைவி அசந்திருந்த வேளையில் அவளை வெட்டுவதற்கு வாளை ஓங்கினார் மகாராஜா. அப்போது, ஆக்ரோஷமாகத் தோன்றினாள் பேச்சாயி அம்மன். மகாராஜாவின் கையில் இருந்த வாளைப் பிடுங்கி எறிந்தாள், அவரைத் தன் காலில் போட்டு மிதித்தாள்.

அரசியை தன்மடியில் கிடத்தி அவளுக்கு பிரசவம் பார்த்துக் குழந்தையையும், தாயையும் காப்பாற்றினாள், தனது தவறை உணர்ந்த மகாராஜா, பேச்சாயி அம்மனிடம் பாவ பரிகாரம் குறித்து வேண்டினார். கீவளூரில் ஒரு குளம் வெட்டி பாவத்துக்குப் பரிகாரம் தேடிக்கொள் என்று கட்டளையிட்டாள் அம்மன். அதன் படியே செய்தார் மகாராஜா. அவரால் உருவாக்கப்பட்ட குளம் தான் ‘வல்லங்குளம்’ எனப்பட்டது.

Weekend Trip to Kumbakonam

This weekend was holy on two occasions.

  1. Happy New Year 2017
  2. 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.

  1. Blessings to Abhirami Bhattar by Ambal
  2. 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.

Medical Tour for my LeTV 1s

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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.

Weekend Trip to Karaikudi

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:

  1. Need to take half a day leave because the train crosses Tambaram at 4 PM
  2. 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.