Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sri Venkatesa Perumal Temple (Melathiruppathi), Mondipalayam, Tirupur

Sri Venkatesa Perumal Temple (Melathiruppathi), Mondipalayam, Tirupur
This temple is counted among the noted Vishnu temples of Kongunadu. The image of the lord is flat on the four sides and conical in the center. The form was first discovered by one Kondamanaicker around 300 years ago. The devotee once sighted his cow shedding her milk on a sand hill. Induced by curiosity, he dug it, when manifested the image with Conch (Sangu) and Disc (Chakkram) as well as Saligrama and Chikandi (weapon).

Inspired by the divine revolution, he ordered a temple to be built up for Sri Venkatachalapathi enshrining the form. Devotees who have taken vows to make offering to the lord of the seven hills can fulfill them in Mondipalayam, in the event of their inability to go to Tirupati.
Sri Venkatesa Perumal Temple is a prominent Vaishnavite temple situated at Mondipalayam near Tiruppur. Devotees worship at this temple seeking a calm and peaceful life. Lakshmi Hayagriva Homam, Sudarshana Homam and Lakshmi Narasimha Homam are performed to the Lord. If the devotees cannot reach Tirumala Tirupati then they visit this temple and hence it is known as Mela Tirupati. Ardha Mandapam and Maha Mandapam are two mandapams within this temple.

Venkatesa Perumal temple popularly called, as Melai Thirupathy is devoted to Lord Vishnu. Situated in the northeastern hamlet Mondipalayam at a distance of 42 Km from Coimbatore, and 18 Km from Avinashi, the temple comes under the Tiruppur district. This age old temple believed to be built in the 16th century. Venkatesa Perumal in the form of Swayambu being the primary deity in the sanctum along with consorts Sri Devi and Bhudevi. The structure of this temple is example of the ancient kongu architecture.
Idols of Venugopal Swamy, Chakrathaazhwar, Anjaneya, Garuda, Alamelu Mangai, and Saneeswarar are in separate shrines inside the temple complex. Outer Prakaram of this temple abode the idols of 12 Azhwargal and footmark (Thiruvadi) of Sri Rama. Brahmotsavam and Vaikunda Ekadasi are the major festival of this temple.
Geographical Position
Sri Venkatesa Perumal Temple in Mondipalayam near Tiruppur is located at 11°17'39.7"N 77°09'52.5"E or 11.294370, 77.164581.
Location
This temple is located in Tirupur District. The location of the temple is approximately 45 kilometers from the city of Coimbatore in Coimbatore-Sathyamangalam highway, 5 km east of Pasur village on the Annur – Sathy Road. It can be reached from Tirupur (30 km away) through Avinashi. The temple is 27 km from Sathyamangalam through Punjai Puliampatti.
Legends
About 300 years ago Kondamanayakkar lived in Alathur Village. He is a staunch devotee of Perumal. One day he got a dream and in that dream lord informed about a certain place where he would make himself seen. When Kondamanayakkar went there he found a Swayambu idol there.
Temple Speciality
Sri Perumal graces in the temple in the form of a Salagrama Swayambumurthy. Sri Venkateswara appears plain flat on four sides and as a Swayambu Linga with a plantain bud form in the middle and sharp at the top. No Vaishnava temple has such a feature.
The Temple
This temple called Melai Tirupathi, an abode of Sri Venkatesa Perumal (Lord Balaji), sits majestically in the middle of four streets. The “Dwajasthambam” is seen at the entrance. The Bali Peetam and the Kodi Maram (flag post) are seen at the entrance. Further ahead is “Garuda Azhwar” praying to the Lord with folded hands facing the main deity. Ahead are the Maha Mandapam and the Ardha Mandapam. On entering, devotees have a spiritual experience hearing the divine words “Om Namo Narayana” in their hearts.

The main deity is in the form of a Swayambu in the sanctum sanctorum. The Lord “Sri Venkatesa Perumal” facing eastward gives his divine darshan to his devotees. As one continues to pray here, devotees receive the darshan with the blessings of the Lord and experience an inner calm and a flow of divine energy within.
Devotees then come out to the inner “Prakaram” (corridor) of the temple. Moving clockwise, there is the Sannidhi of “Venugopalaswami” and then a passage having the Sannidhi of “Chakrathaazhwar” facing east. Coming back to the inner prakaram (outer courtyard) is the Sannidhi of “Anjanayar” (Sri Hanuman). After the darshan of the Azhwars (the twelve mystic saints), one gets the grace of “Thumbikkai Azhwar” (Lord Ganesa). The Sannidhi of “Alamelumangai Thayar” (Goddess Mahalakshmi) with the having a graceful smile and bestow blessings with her four hands.

The next Sannidhi has “Andal” in a standing posture facing east showering devotees with her blessings. Moving forward we find the idols of Sri Tirupati Venkatachalapathi followed by the ten incarnations (Dashavatara) of Lord Vishnu and Sri Srirangam Ranganathar. Across the idols one finds the “Lord’s Lotus feet” (Thiruvadi). The traditional “Swarga Vaasal” which is opened every year on Vaikunta Ekadashi which is blessed by the Sannidhi of “Vaikunta Narayanamurthi” along with his consort “Lakshmi Devi”. Finally after the darshan of “Saneeswarar” one can reach the “Kodimaram”.
Moolasthanam:
The main deity Venkatesa Perumal is in the form of Swayambu. The vision of the Lord and his benign presence fill the devotee’s heart with peace and calm. The presiding deity, (Utsava Moorthy) Sri Venkatesa Perumal gives us his darshan along with his consorts, Sri Devi and Bhudevi. The main deity Venkatesa Perumal is in the form of Swayambu resembled the shape of a banana flower.
Other Sannathis:
Excluding Moolavar and Urchavar, there are Sri Venugopalan Sannathi, Sri Chakarathalwar Sannathi, Sri Anjaneyar Sannathi, Alwargal Sannathi, Sri Thumbikaialwar Sannathi, Sri Mahalakshmi Thayar Sannathi, Sri Andal Sannathi, Dasavatharam Idols, Sri Vaikunta Nathar Sannathi, and Sri Saneeswaran Sannathi.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.30 p.m. to 12.45 p.m. and 3.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Poojas
Darshan (open to the public) hours are from 6.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. On festival days the temple opens at 4.30 a.m.
·        Adhikalai Poojai: 6:00 AM
·        Uchikala Poojai: 12:00
·        Saingalam: 6:00 PM
Thirukalyana Utsavam:
Performing Thirukalyana Utsavam to the Lord in this temple is considered very special. It is held at the same time (10.30 to 12.00 AM) as the Tirumala Tirupathi temple.
The uniqueness is that it is performed as a prayer (Venduthal) by the devotees throughout the year. The wedding ceremony is held amidst recitation of Vedic mantras.
It is believed that performing Kalyana Utsavam to the Lord here will bring immense peace and prosperity to the family of the devotees.
Satyanarayana Puja:
The special pooja is performed every month on full moon day at around 5 PM . The main homam performed for this is the Sudarshana homam which brings immense gratification to the devotees performing it. The Sudarshana Chakra (the discus of the lord) is the one that always protects his devotees.
It is the main weapon (astram) adorning Lord Vishnu in all his 10 incarnations. The Sudarshana Chakra is the one which is known as the “Chakrathaazhwar”.
Devotees performing this pooja will overcome their difficulties and will be blessed with wealth, prosperity, progeny and happiness in their family.
Homams:
From time immemorial Yagnas or Homams are performed by devotees to seek the grace of the Lord and to grant happiness and prosperity to his bhaktas. A separate enclosure has been constructed at the temple for performing Homams. These include
·        Sudarshana Homam
·        Lakshmi Narasimha Homam
·        Lakshmi Hayagrivar Homam
These Homams are performed every month (except in the Tamil month of Purattasi). Further details may be obtained by contacting the temple office.
Bhajans:
Every month on the 2nd and 4th Saturday (except in the Tamil month of Purattasi), bhajans are performed at the temple. They sing devoutly in praise of Sriman Narayana and devotees join in the religious fervour. This is followed by Annadhanam.
Thirumanjanam (Abhishekam):
Thirumanjanam is performed for the mail deity (Moolavar) on all Saturdays at 7.00 AM and on special days/festivals at the time fixed for the same. Thirumanjanam is performed for all the other deities/Azhwars on the 1st Friday of every Tamil month at about 9.00 AM. Devotees wishing to participate/contribute/donate for the same may contact the temple office.
Festivals
Brahmotsavam is celebrated twice a year for 10 days in the month of Thai (January-February) and 11 days in Margazhi (December-January) which are the two main festivals celebrated in the temples besides Vijayadasami, Ayudha Puja and Saraswathi Puja in Purattasi (September-October), Tirukarthikai in November - December, Vaikunda Ekadasi in December-January, Krishna Jayanthi in August-September, Sri Rama Navami in Panguni (March-April) and Saturdays in the month of Purattasi (September-October).
Purattasi Festival:
This festival is celebrated with grandeur in the Tamil month of Purattasi (during September/October months) for six consecutive Saturdays. People converge at the temple from across India and overseas. During these days the temple presents a sea of humanity immersed in Bhakthi for the Lord. These Saturdays at the temple begin as early as 4.00 AM with an “Abhishekam” or “Thirumanjanam” Aradhanai for the Lord.
The Maha Deepaaradhanai is performed at noon. In the evening the Lord is taken along with his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi on a majestic Garuda vahanam around the four streets of the temple in a tastefully decorated floral palanquin (Pushpaka Pallakku). The unique feature of this is the bhaktas fulfilling their vows by carrying an arrow shaped “Meravanai”.
For generations people have been following this custom where they remit money in the name of their family members and receive this “Meravanai”. They accompany the palanquin carrying it.
On these days a special Hundi is placed here. It is believed that devotees who wish to make their offerings to Tirupathi Balaji but who are unable to visit Tirupathi Tirumala may place their offerings in this Hundi to receive his blessings.
The entire day is very busy with special programs, bhajans, etc. Annadhanam (free feeding), is carried out throughout the day. To facilitate the transportation for pilgrims, several special buses ply from points in and around Coimbatore and nearby places on these days.
Temple Chariot Festival:
This festival commences in the Tamil month of Thai with the Dwajarohana the hoisting of the Garudadwaja (flag with the emblem of black Garuda). Following this, the festival is held for 11 days. The temple chariot is taken around the four streets of the temple on the day of the “punarpoosam” (punarvasa) star.
On the evenings of the festival, the Lord and the consorts are taken around the streets of the temple on vahanams (vehicles) such as “ Anna Vahanam” (peacock), “Simha Vahanam” (Narasimha), “Hanumantha Vahanam” (Hanuman), “Garuda Vahanam” (king of birds), “Pushpaka vimanam”, “Yanai Vahanam” (elephant), “Kudirai Vahanam” (horse), “Sesha Vahanam” (Adishesha – Lord’s serpent).
Thirukalyana Uthsavam is performed the day before the car festival and “Theppotsavam” (Pushkarani or temple tank float) is performed on the day after the car festival. The Garudadwaja is then lowered. The temple wears a very festive look and thousands of devotees shouting “Govinda” throng the temple to participate in this unique festival.
Management
Hereditary trustees and officials of the HR and CE department of the government of Tamil Nadu with active support from the devotees manage the activities of the temple.
Prayers 
Devotees who have taken vows to make offering to the lord of the seven hills can fulfill them in Mondipalayam, in the event of their inability to go to Thirupathi.
Contact
Arulmigu Venkatesa Perumal Temple
Mondipalayam, Alathur (post),
Cheyur (via), Avinashi (Taluk),
Tiruppur District – 641655
Phone:  04296 – 289270
Contact: Balaji Bhattar:  98422 29960
Connectivity
It is located about 10kms from Puliampatti near Sathyamangalam is the three centuries old Venkatesa Perumal temple in Mondipalayam. There are seven pits to be crossed from Puliampatti before reaching the temple.
Mondipalayam  is accessible through Annur-Kanurpudur bus route. Avinashi is the nearby railway station. The place is about 50 Kms. from Coimbatore on the Avinashi-Mettupalayam road.
Point to Point buses every 10minutes between Sathyamangalam and Coimbatore. Get down at Puliampatti (25kms from Sathyamangalam/35kms from Coimbatore).
Auto to Mondipalayam will cost Rs. 125-150. Buses are available for every 1hour between Puliampatti and Mondipalayam. One can also get down at Sevur on the Coimbatore-Sathyamangalam route (non-point to point buses). From Sevur, Mondipalayam is about 5kms east.

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