Sunday, February 26, 2017

Thiruvilanji Kumarar Temple, Ilanji, Thirunelveli

Thiruvilanji Kumarar Temple, Ilanji, Thirunelveli
Thiruvilanji Kumarar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Murugan located at Ilanji in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. Ilanji is located at about 5 Kms West of Tenkasi en route Sengottai, 5 Kms north of Courtrallam and 5 Kms from Sengottai. Arunagirinathar has revered this shrine in his Thiruppugazh hymns. 

This temple is believed to have been visited the mythological saint Agastya. Although, this ancient temple is considered as Kumaran temple (Murugan aka Kumaran - the son of Lord Shiva) nowadays, it is originally the temple of Lord Shiva. The temple is located amidst a lush green locale and a mere visit to the temple surrounding is so pleasing.

For brief details, please refer below link;
The Temple
For brief details, please refer below link;
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open from 6.15 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 4.30 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Pooja Timings
Pooja Timings
Thiruvanathal Pooja
6.30 a.m.
Udhayamarthandam Pooja
7.00 a.m.
Kaala Shanthi Pooja
9.00 a.m.
Uchchi Kaala Pooja
12.00 Noon.
Sayaratchai Pooja
6.00 p.m.
Arthasama Pooja
8.00 p.m.
Six worship services are offered each day here. The procession bearing Skanda stops at the Kutralanathar shrine to receive offerings during the annual Brahmotsavams. Skanda Sashti is celebrated in great splendour here. During this festival, Subramanyar is portrayed as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Maheshwara, Sadasivan and finally again on Shiva on the 6 days of this festival. The final day of this festival involves the enactment of Surasamharam.
This portrayal is tied to the legend that Subramanya here manifested himself as the trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva - when asked by the sages Kapila, Kashyapa and Durvasa the question as to who was the greatest among the trinity. Chittirai Vishu (Tamil New Year’s Day) and Karthikai asterism in the month of Aadi are also celebrated here.
10 day Chithirai festival in April-May; Aipasi Skanda Sashti in October-November; Thai Poosam in January-February; Vaikasi Visakam in May-June; Aadi Kruthikai in July-August; Aavani Pavithra Utsavam in August-September; Purattasi Navarathri in September-October; Tirukarthikai in November-December and Maha Shivaratri in February-March are the festivals celebrated in the temple.
The glory of Lord Ilanji Kumarar – Muruga is praised by Saint Arunagirinathar in his Thirupugazh hymns. Ilanji Murugan Ulaa and the Kutralanathar Purana speak of the glory of this temple. Several other literary works also speak of the glory of this shrine.
Devotees pray for wedding, child boon, development of business and for family welfare and prosperity. Realizing their wishes, devotees offer hair (tonsuring), perform special abishek, archanas and carry Kavadis. Those who are blessed with a child offer them in adoption symbolically and receive the child back.
Arulmigu Thiruvilanji Kumarar Temple,
Ilanji - 627 805,
Thirunelveli District
Phone: +91 4633 283201 / 226400 / 223029
Mobile: +91 9965670975
Ilanji is located at about 5 Kms West of Tenkasi en route Sengottai, 5 Kms north of Courtrallam, 5 Kms from Sengottai, 65 Kms from Thirunelveli, 162 Kms from Madurai and 104 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. There are two stops namely Chowkai (buses not going via Courtrallam from Tenkasi to Sengottai stops here) and West Ilanji bus stop (buses going via Courtrallam from Tenkasi to Sengottai stops here) located at the North and South extremes of the village. Nearest Railway Station is located at Sengottai and Tenkasi. Nearest Airport is located at Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.

Thiruvilanji Kumarar Temple, Ilanji – The Temple

Thiruvilanji Kumarar Temple, Ilanji – The Temple
The temple is located in the midst of green Paddy fields and coconut groves on the bank of Chithra River. This temple was renovated by Mara Varman Kulasekhara Pandiyan in 1409 A.D. This east facing temple has two entrances, two praharams, an Arthamandapam, Mani Mandapam and Mahamandapam. A three tiered gopuram adorns the entrance to the inner prakaram. Central Shrine is Iruvaalukanathar's shrine (believed to have been worshipped by Agasthiar) is located to the left of Skanda's shrine.

The name Iru valuga Eesar arises from the fact that Agasthiyar made a two Shivalingams out of the white sands (valugam) of the Chitra Nadhi flowing nearby and then combined the two into one Shivalingam, which now adorns the sanctum. Since the Shivalingam is fashioned out of white sand, no abishekam is performed. Offerings of Shenbaga flowers to Shiva are considered to be very special here. The entrance of the sanctum has two big and beautiful sculptures of Dwarapalakas.

There is also an idol of Lord Ganesha located near the sculptures of Dwarapalakas. The main sanctum is facing east. Apart from the main sanctum of Shiva, the main shrine houses a small shrine for Nataraja-Sivakami and Utsava (processional) idols. In addition, the Goddess Iruvaluga Isarkkiniyal is found in a separate south facing sanctum. The entrance of the main shrine has the idols of Ganesh and Murugan.

To the left of the main sanctum of Iruvaluga Ishwar, there is another main sanctum dedicated to Velavan. Lord Murugan is found with four hands and sitting on the peacock flanked by his consorts Valli and Devasena. The temple is nowadays named after this idol as Velavan temple. The Lord is also called as Tiruvilanji Kumaran. The prime deity is called Varada Raja Kumarar. The flag staff (dhwajastambha) and peacock idol are located facing the shrine of Velavan. Nandi idol is located facing the main shrine of Lord Shiva.

To the main Gopuram, we see Lord Murugan sculpture with 10 heads. Once, Murugan punished Brahma for not explaining the meaning of "OM” and he punished him by putting in a room and started doing the work of Brahma. They say the meaning of ten heads is four of Brahma and six of shanmugar put together. Ilanji Kumara blesses the devotees as an alluring youth.  Appam a sweet preparation and the popular Vada of Tamilnadu are offered as Nivedhana in the temple.  

The inner prakara has the following idols/shrines:
1)         Surya idol
2)         63 Nayanmars
3)         Sapta Mata
4)         Suradeva
5)         Kanni Moola Vinayaka shrine
6)         Murugan-Valli-Devasena Utsava idols
7)         Venugopala with his consorts
8)         Viswanathar-Visalakshi along with Nandi and Ganesh
9)         Kuttralanathar-Kulalvaimozhi along with Agastya
10)     Ayyanar in a different shape
11)     Sapta Kanni
12)     Nagakanni
13)     Vasuki, Lakshmi, Saraswathi and two Ganesh idols
14)     Shanmukha with his consorts in a separate shrine
15)     Dhakshinamoorthi on the niche
16)     Saneeswarar 
17)     Chandikeswarar
18)     Bhairavar
19)     Shanmukha with his consorts as metal (procession) idols
The outer prakara has just one shrine for Shenbaga Vinayaka. There is another important shrine in this temple. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the name of Varadaraja Perumal. Theertham is Chakra Theertham and Chitra River. Sthala Vriksham is Magizha Maram. Ilanji means Magizham and hence the place is known as Ilanji. Arunagirinathar sang Thirupugazh on Lord Murugan of this place.

Thiruvilanji Kumarar Temple, Ilanji – Legends

Thiruvilanji Kumarar Temple, Ilanji – Legends
Divine wedding of Lord Shiva with Mother Parvathi:
To attend the divine wedding of Lord Shiva with Mother Parvathi, sages and others went to Mount Kailash in north. The earth went down due to the collective weight of the attendees. Sage Agasthya was asked by Lord Shiva to go south to balance the ground level. But he had to miss the wedding darshan. Lord promised the sage to grant him not only the wedding darshan but also of his dance darshan. Agasthya came to Kuttralam to worship Lord for the darshan boon. 
He found a Vishnu temple in the shape of a conch and was denied entrance into the temple. The sage came to Ilanji and prayed to Kumara-Muruga to help him in getting the darshan. As suggested by Kumara, Sage Agasthiyar made two lingams out of white sand available in the region, which was then converted into one.
Agasthya performed his worship to Linga. This white Linga is praised as Iruvaluka Nayaka, meaning ‘made by respected Sage Agasthya’. The sage then came back to Kuttralam in the guise of a Vaishnava and made Lord Vishnu as Lord Shiva. Thus Ilanji Kumara helped the sage to have the darshan of Lord Shiva. Lord Vinayaka in the temple is praised as Shenbaga Vinayaka.
Muruga appeared as Shiva, Vishnu & Brahma to the Sages:
Three great sages Kashyapa son of Lord Brahmma, Kabila with the attributes of Lord Vishnu and Durvasa with the attributes of Lord Parameswara met at Thiri Koodachala and discussed some great philosophies to decide what ultimate reality was.  Kabila insisted that Lord Vishnu was the ultimate reality while Kashyapa and Durvasa insisted that it was Brahmma and Rudra respectively. Sage Durvasa approached Lord Muruga for a final verdict on the issue.
Lord Muruga appeared before them as an alluring youth and said, “I alone create as Brahmma, protect as Vishnu and destroy as Shiva.”  He appeared before them as Lords Brahmma, Vishnu and Shiva and said that he decided the past, present and the future. The sages prayed that he should stay in this place and impart wisdom to devotees. Granting their wish Lord Muruga chose this place and is blessing devotees.
Indra worshipped here:
Indira the king of Devas worshipped here.  

Ananthavalli Amman Temple, Kuttam, Thirunelveli

Ananthavalli Amman Temple, Kuttam, Thirunelveli
Ananthavalli Amman is a temple is located at Kuttam in Thirunelveli district in the South Indian state of Tamilnadu. There is a large tamarind tree in front of the temple which is nearly 300 years old. This tamarind tree has many names including Thoonga Puli, Sanjeevi tree. People from Kuttam and nearby villages use this leaf as a medicine.

Kuttam is located at about 10 Kms from Thisayanvilai, 73 Kms from Thirunelveli, 42 Kms from Nanguneri, 38 Kms from Radhapuram, 232 Kms from Madurai and 141 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Nanguneri and Nearest Airport is located at Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.

Ramar Hill Temple, Alangulam, Thirunelveli

Ramar Hill Temple, Alangulam, Thirunelveli
Ramar Temple is located in Okkanindranpothai Malai in Alangulam in Thirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. Okkanindranpothai Malai, a Tamil expression meaning "standing on tip-toes", is depicted in a folk tale of Lord Rama standing at the top of this hill on tip-toes, searching the area for his companion Sita.

Alangulam is located at about around 36 Kms from Thirunelveli, 24 Kms from Tenkasi, 20 Kms from Ambasamudram, 186 Kms from Madurai and 131 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram.  Nearest Railway Stations are located Ambasamudram and Tenkasi. Nearest Airport is located at Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.

Upper Kodayar Dam, Manjolai Hills, Thirunelveli

Upper Kodayar Dam, Manjolai Hills, Thirunelveli
Upper Kodayar Dam is located very near to Nalamukku in Manjolai Hills. Kodayar dam which is located in the hills is noted for its wild view. The two power houses in Kodayar-Hydro Kodayar Power House I and Kodayar Power House II generates over 100 MW. The water that is collected is pumped up from the Lower Kodayar catchment as there are no direct streams that serve this dam. 

There is a winch to reach the upper parts of the Kodayar dam for which prior permission is required. Kodayar are surrounded by dense forests with valuable trees and wildlife constituting elephants, monkeys, porcupine, snakes, wild boars, deer and many birds.

Over 42 species of tropical trees are found here. There is a view point near this dam from which Pechiparai Dam, Perumchanni and Chittar reservoirs can be seen. The Agasthiar Mountain can also be seen from this viewpoint.

Kodayar Dam is located at about 85 Kms from Thirunelveli, 50 Kms from Papanasam, 45 Kms from Ambasamudram, 244 Kms from Madurai and 185 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest Railway Station is located at Ambasamudram and Nearest Airport is located at Madurai and Thiruvananthapuram.