The 9th year pilgrimage falls in the same angelical year of 2016 as the 8th year pilgrimage but in different Tamil years. I had booked the bus tickets in [http://www,.tnstc.in/]SETC in the first week of Karthikai month itself. Furthermore I had also booked in the Virtual Queue at the same time. On Friday we started early morning to Thirumal Nagar (Poonamalee) Ayyappa temple and had the Irumudi Kattu there. After that before the strike of Rahu Kalam (10.30 AM) we booked an Uber and started to Koyambedu CMBT. Our bus was only at 2 PM and after a little wait we boarded the bus. It was a little long 14 hours journey and we reached Pampa at around 7 AM through Trichy Bypass, Dindigul and Kumily.
After having the dip at Pampa and getting the Virtual Queue identification cards we started trekking the hill. After little confusions in locating group members we reached Sarankutthi around 10.30 AM. The queue from there took around 3 hours and by that time the temple closed at 1 PM. So we had the touch of Pathinettam Padi at 2 PM and then entered through North Gate for darshan of the Lord. After completing darshan of other deities, started to trek down to Pampa at 5.30 PM. By the time we reached Pampa it was close to 8.30 PM. Was feeling way too tired to walk further to Kerala RTC bus stand. Perhaps this is the reason Lord had directed me to cancel the return ticket which was originally scheduled for 6 PM. So once at Pampa Ganapathy temple took rest there till 11 PM and heard Harivarasanam from there. Had another sleep till 4 AM and then started to RTC bus stand to catch the 6 AM bus to Chennai.
Another day long journey of 14 hours and we reached Chennai around 11 PM on Sunday.
This Kaisikha Ekadasi I was intending to travel to Thirukurungudi and hence had made the bookings right in the month of August itself. Nearest Railway station for the same is VLY (Valliyur) from where you would need to either take a bus or auto to Thirukurungudi. But a week before I made a slight change in the itinerary and got down at TEN (Tirunelveli) from where I had booked a cab from RS Cabs to help me tour around the following places and then drop me off Thirukurungudi by 7 PM because Kaisika Ekadasi celebrations is only in the night.
The following places we visited:
|Srivaikuntanathan Permual Temple
||7 am – 12 pm, 5 – 8 pm
|Vijayaasana Perumal Temple
||8 am – 12 pm, 1 – 6 pm
|Vaithamanidhi Perumal Temple
||7:30 am – 12 pm, 1 – 8 pm
|ThiruPulingudi Perumal Temple
||8 am – 12 pm, 1 – 6 pm
||6 am – 12 pm, 5 – 8:45 pm
|Makara Nedunkuzhai Kannan Temple
||7 am – 12 pm, 5 – 8:30 pm
|Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Tirukulandhai
||7:30 am – 12:30 pm, 4:30 – 7:30 pm
|Irattai Thiruppathy, Aravindalochanar temple
||8 am – 1 pm, 2 – 6 pm
|Irattai Thiruppathy, Devapiran temple
||8 am – 1 pm, 2 – 6 pm
After completing all these by 1 PM we went to Thiruchendoor, had lunch and darshan there and then from there we went to Nanguneri (Vanamamalai) temple. After that we got dropped off in Thirukurungudi. The whole night we were in temple. After completing darshan in the morning we took an auto to Valliyur but the train was only towards evening. So while waiting in the station we went to the Murugan temple nearby.
Towards evening the train came and we started off. Both up and down were through Ananthapuri Express.
More Information on Navathirupathi temples here.
Indian Railways is by far the most extensive transportation system in the world spanning across the vast subcontinent of India. They have a large base of workforce at various levels to service the travellers. Nevertheless at times due to faults and fallacies of some one in the link, you may be observing a discrepancy and/or encountering some trouble.
You need not fret on the occasion. Help is around the corner operated by Ministry of Railways on the social media platform. Tweet them a quick message and they would try responding to your issue through the nearest available railway station or staff. Here are the various tweet handles of Indian Railways.
And if you are trying to voice your concern in detail, you can do so after the trip by logging on to http://pgportal.gov.in/ and selecting ‘Ministry of Railways (Railway Board)’.
This weekend I had taken the scheduled trip (pilgrimage) to Kumbakonam Oppiliappan Temple for Shravanam on 4th December 2016. The train (Mannai Express) dropped me quite early and hence I had the opportunity to get a glimpse of Vishwaroopa darshan also. The Sharavana Deepam was at 11 AM and hence was waiting in the temple itself till then. After darshan completion and lunch in the temple itself started back to the Kumbakonam bus stand. There was funny situations in Kumbakonam bus stand. The folks at TNSTC are not tech-savvy and could not accept mobile tickets. Hence had to visit a nearby browsing center to take a printout of the ticket. Again the conductor tried to change the bus for me but the changed bus was too uncomfortable and since I protested, I got the opportunity to board the same bus which was booked at my desired time. I have submitted a petition to Government of Tamil Nadu vide GOVTN/E/2016/03095.
After a lot of ordeal the bus started at 4.15 PM (15 minutes before Rahu Kalam). It reached Tambaram around 9.30 PM. Only then when booking a Uber did we realize that there was local chaos because of Jayalalithaa related news. Fortunately we reached home in time.
It turned all out of the blue for me that on the day of Diwali, I wanted to make a trip to Suruttapalli. This place is 1 km from Uthukkottai and within Andhra Pradesh state border. This place features Lord Shiva in sleeping posture by name ‘Pallikondeswarar’ temple.
Trip on Diwali (October 30): I started from Sembakkam around 11.45. When I reached Tambaram bus stand I was lucky to get 202 (Avadi Bus) that travels via Outer Ring Road instead of slow traffic city roads. The bus reached Avadi around 1.15 PM. After a few minutes wait I got a bus to Periyapalayam (PP). The bus reached PP around 3.30 PM. From there, I came to know that MTC bus to Uthukottai has just crossed so caught the mofussil route and reached Uthukottai. From Uthukottai I got a private bus to Suruttapalli and reached by 4.15 PM. While I could have a glimpse of Pallikondeswarar, Valmikishwarar and Lordess temples were closed for 5 PM Abhishekam. So bought the 25 Rs. ticket and entered that shrine. After having the glimpse of Abhishekam and Maha Arathi, had a circumambulation of the temple and came out at around 6.45 PM.
For the return route, I got a APSRTC bus to Sathyavedu and alighted at Uthukottai. And again took a bus from there to PP. From PP, I travelled to Red Hills. From Red Hills I got a bus to Tambaram (114) and from Tambaram got an Uber to Sembakkam.
I got to know from the temple that October 29 was Pradosham and next two Pradoshams were Shani Maha Pradoshams.
November 12: I had the opportunity to visit Suruttapalli . This time the up route was Sembakkam – Tambaram – Cmbt – Red Hills – Periyapalayam – <fortunately i got a straight bus from here to Suruttapalli> There was a big crowd at the temple and managed to have a glimpse of Nandhi Abhishekam. However there was a serpentine queue for Pallikondeswarar. The volunteering to manage queue at the temple is not that good. So there is a literal commotion at the place where the queue merges into the sanctum sanctorum hall. After having the darshan of the deities took the road from Suruttapalli – Uthukottai – <straight bus> – Red Hills – Tambaram and then Uber to Sembakkam.
November 26: This time the onward trip was powered by 202 whereas the return trip was similar to November 12.
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.
At least for the past few years, the month of September had been particularly turbulent on me or I used to be tensed in that month. For that specific reason, this year the whole of September my Outlook calendar was scheduled with pilgrimage visits every weekend.
Here is a summary of the same. In detail travelog of each items would feature separately in the blog.
- 1st Weekend: Original Plan was for Mattapalli/Vijayawada. But since due to Waiting List issue had to take a detour and visited Thirunallar instead.
- 2nd Weekend: Nagercoil and Thiruvananthapuram
- 3rd Weekend: Rameswaram/Thiruppullani
- 4th Weekend: Sri Sailam
Perhaps this divine seed sowed for the month of September continues more pilgrimages scheduled.