Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam, Chennai

Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam, Chennai
Dhenupureeswarar Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at Madambakkam near Tambaram in Chennai, Capital City of Tamil Nadu. Presiding Deity is called as Dhenupureeswarar / Sittrerinathar / Sittreri Aludaiya Nayanar and Mother is called as Dhenukambal / Nambirattiyar. This beautifully maintained temple complex, situated in serene surroundings, is a protected monument under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India.

This temple is known for its stunning sculptures (140+), which stand testament to the amazing sculpting skills of the Cholas and other Dravidian kings. There is also another rare temple nearby, housing 18 Siddhars, Sri Seshadri Swamigal and Maha Meru (Lalitha Parameshwari). Since this place has redeemed the sins of sage Kapila and God Indra, it is considered as a parihara Sthalam (a place to remove your sins). The temple is under the control of ASI and managed by the HRCE of Tamil Nadu.

For brief details, please refer below link;
For brief details, please refer below link;
The Temple
For brief details, please refer below link;
Temple Opening Time
The temple remains open from 06.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and 05.00 p.m. to 08.30 p.m.
Pooja Timings
S. No
Thiruvanathal Pooja
5.30 A.M
Vila Pooja
08.00 A.M
Uchi Kala Pooja
12.00 P.M
Sayaratchai Pooja
06.00 P.M
Ardhajama Pooja
08.30 P.M
Brahmmotsavam in Chithirai (April-May) and Panguni Uthiram boat festival (Theppam) are celebrated in the temple. The temple attracts a lot of devotees during Shivaratri and Navaratri; and the temple also follows a lot of other religious pujas like Pradosham and Panguni Uttiram. The Sarabeswarar puja is held every week during Sunday evenings during the Rahu timings (4.30 to 6 PM). It is believed that your wishes will be fulfilled if you attend this puja for 6 consecutive weeks. Pujas held during every Pradosham day (every fortnight, 2 days before the new moon day or full moon day).
Saint Arunagirinathar of the 15th Century A.D, author of the `Thirupugazh,' has composed a hymn on Lord Murugan of this temple.
It is the staunch and unshakeable faith of the people that their just prayers are duly responded by the Lord Sarabeswara, Lord Muruga and Lord Bhairava. Devotees perform special Tirumanjana Abhishekam, new clothes to the deities.
Dhenupureeswarar Temple,
No:8, Sannathi Street,
Madambakkam, Chennai – 626 126
Phone: +91 44 2226 4337 / 2228 0424
Mobile: +91 93826 77442 / 99411 49916
Mobile: +91 74035 08556 / 98849 32192
The Temple is located at about 100 meters from Madambakkam Shivan Koil Bus Stop, 3.5 Kms from Rajakilpakkam Bus Stop, 9 Kms from Tambaram Bus Stand, 7 Kms from Tambaram Railway Station, 14 Kms from Velachery Railway Station, 14 Kms from Meenambakkam Metro Station, 30 Kms from Chennai Central Railway Station, 32 Kms from Egmore Railway Station and 15 Kms from Chennai Airport.
The temple is situated at about 7 Kms from Tambaram in Chennai. The devotee should get down at the Rajakilpakkam bus stop on the Velachery road, take the bifurcation. The temple is 3.5 Kms from here. There are no convenient bus facilities from Tambaram. Buses are available only at specific hours. Bus Nos 51G & 51K from Tambaram will take you to this Temple. Nearest Railway Stations are located at Tambaram and Velachery. Nearest Airport is located at Meenambakkam.

Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam – History

Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam – History
The temple was built during the reign of the Chola king, Parantaka Chola II alias Sundara Chola (A.D. 954 – 971) and his minister Aniruddha Brahmadhirajan in the 10th Century. It is believed to have been consolidated with stones during the reign of Ulakuyavanda Kulottunga Chola I. During this era, the present Madambakkam was known as Aniruddhamangalam and Ulakuyavanda Chola Chaturvedi Mangalam. It was part of the ancient territorial subdivision called Nedugunra Nadu in Puliyur-Kottam situated in Jayamkonda-Cholamandalam.
The 13th century Chola period (Kulothunga III and Rajaraja III) inscriptions, the 15th century inscriptions of Vijayanagara Mallikarjuna, the 16th century inscriptions of Vijayanagara King Sadasiva Raya and the 13th century inscriptions of Jatavarma Sundara Pandya are found in this temple. Presiding deities Dhenupureeswarar and Dhenukambal were initially known as Sittreri Aludaiya Nayanar and Nambirattiyar and this change could have happened in the 14th century during Vijayanagara Period.
The temple is one of a number of sites that have been conserved and restored under the auspices of the Archaeological Survey of India. Improvements included removing the damaged thick weathering course (roof surface) of the front mandapa and Amman Shrine and relaying with fresh weathering course. The ASI states that the temple has been declared a monument of national importance under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (amendment and validation) 2010 Act. The temple is a National Monuments Authority notified site upon which construction is banned.

Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam – Legends

Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam – Legends
Emperor Sagara performed a great Ashwamedha Yagna and sent his Royal horse alone to go around the world. According to traditional rules of the yagna, the horse thus sent should return to the starting point victoriously without being captured by anybody.  Indira, jealous of Sagara caught the horse and tied near sage Kabila who was in penance then. Sagara’s son seeing the horse, suspecting that Kabila had captured the horse, began to torture the sage, who, on opening his eyes cursed him.  The curse continued to affect the succeeding generations of Sagara. 
As advised by Guru Sage Vasishta, King Bhagiratha, belonging to the subsequent generation performed severe penance, brought River Ganga to Earth, performed Shiva Puja, relieved all his ancestors from the grip of the curse and liberated himself also from the curse. Sage Kabila too, felt very much that he had cursed the Sagara dynasty.  He began to worship Lord Shiva to atone for the sin of cursing the Sagara family and to attain salvation. He held a Shivalinga on the Left hand and offered flowers by the right hand. 
Lord Shiva appeared before the sage and asked him why he was following a strange type of Puja. Kabila said that considering the sanctity of the Lord, he did not like to place it on impure earth.  Lord Shiva told him that he was in many places on earth and there was no such part not loved by him and said what the sage did was not right. He told the sage to be born on earth as a cow, worship him as a Swayambu Linga and attain salvation. So, saying the Lord disappeared. Sage Kabila, as ordained by Lord Shiva was born a cow. He was pouring the milk on a Shivalinga in a hidden place. 
The shepherd threw a stone on the cow. It did not move. Then he pinned on the milking part of the cow. Unable to bear the pain, the cow moved. While moving, the rear leg of the cow hit on the Linga from where blood came out. The shepherd fainted on seeing this. Lord Shiva appeared before Kabila the Cow. Kabila was absorbed within the Linga. As Kabila in his cow form (Cow means Dhenu or Kamadenu in Sanskrit) worshipped the Lord, He is known as Dhenupureeswarar. 
The people went and informed the incident to the Chola King who was coming downside of Sitreri. He visited the site and arranged to construct a temple for Lord Shiva there and the God was then known as Sittrerinathar and Goddess, Nambirattiyar. The place where people met the king downside the lake is today’s Rajakizhpakkam. And the village Sitreri (means small lake) is now called as Madambakkam.
Indra got relieved of Sage Agasthya Curse:
As per another legend, the sage Agastya cursed Indra once. Later, as per the advice from Agastya, he came to this site and worshiped the deity to get rid of his sin. The day when he got rid of his curse is Chitra Poornima.

Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam – The Temple

Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam – The Temple
The Temple was built during the reign of the Chola rule, the temple is a perfect example of a magnificent Dravidian architectural style. Like other temples in Tamil Nadu, the architecture of the sanctum is semi-circular in nature, resembling the back of a sleeping elephant, unlike other Hindu shrines which are normally square or rectangular. The Chola period temple has an incomplete tower in its east facing entrance.

The walls of the lower portion of the tower has beautiful carvings and sculptures. The entrance wall has the carvings of Ganesha and Kartikeya holding bow and arrow. Dwajasthambam (Tall flag staff), Bali Peetha and Nandi can be found facing towards the main shrine. There is a bas relief image of Ganesha installed on the flag staff. On the roof above Nandhi, are the paintings of Ashtathik Palakas – the authorities of the eight directions.

Presiding Deity is called as Dhenupureeswarar / Sittrerinathar / Sittreri Aludaiya Nayanar. He is housed in the sanctum in the form of small Shiva Linga and is facing east. The Lord is placed on a seat about 8-9 inches high and is too small measuring about just 2 inches.  It also bears the scar caused by the cow’s rear leg and also the stone attack. The Shiva lingam is Swayambu Lingam or Self Manifested Lingam. As the saint Kapila took the form of cow and poured its milk on the idol, he is called as Dhenupureeswarar.

The vimana of the sanctum sanctorum is built in Gajabrushta (similar to the back side of the elephant) style. The beautiful sculptures of Nardana Vinayaka, Dhakshinamoorthi, Vishnu, Brahma and Durga are found as the niche images on the wall outside the main shrine. There is no banyan tree in the Dakshinamurthy shrine. Mother Durga appears with a parrot on her hand.  In the place of Lingodhbava behind the sanctum sanctorum, Vishnu is installed. 

Sage Kabila in the front hall (mandapam) appears on a pillar holding the Linga on the left hand and a garland on the right hand.  The sanctum sanctorum and ardha mandapa are small in size similar to that of the main deity. There is a small Nandi idol placed in the maha mandapa facing towards Shiva Linga.

Inner Prakaram:
There are shrines and Idols of Valanchuzhi Ganapati, Maha Ganapati, Kapilanathar (Shiva Linga) with his consort Annapoorna, Chandikeswarar, Surya and Bhairava can be found in the inner prakaram surrounding the sanctum. There is a shrine for Lord Nataraja with his consort Sivakami in the inner prakaram surrounding the sanctum. This shrine is big and enshrines a lot of metal Utsava idols such as two pairs of Chandrasekhar-Uma; two pairs of Somaskanda, Subramanya-Valli-Devasena etc. There is an important and unique idol of Sharbeshwara attacking Narasimha in this shrine.

There is a shrine for Lord Murugan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai in the inner prakaram surrounding the sanctum. Arunagirinathar had sung his Thirupugazh Hymns on this Murugan. Those having no child pray to Lord Muruga here. There is also a shrine for Lord Varadharaja with his consorts Sridevi and Bhoodevi in the inner prakaram surrounding the sanctum.

Mercury (planet Budha) is facing North. Those suffering from stammering offers green pulse as Nivedhana to him. They also offer Tulsi Garland and light ghee lamps. Vaduga Bhairava is worshipped with Banana fruits and cashew garland.  They light lamps in coconut shell and pumpkin on the Ashtami days – 8th day either from new moon or full moon day.  The garland is made in sets of one cashew and a red flower known as Arali flower.  There will be 12 cashew fruits in the garland.
Dhenukambal Shrine:
Mother is called as Dhenukambal / Nambirattiyar. She is housed in a separate shrine facing South. Her shrine is found in the exterior Mandapam and is found on a raised platform. The sanctum of Goddess Dhenukambal, situated close to the main shrine, and has a separate entrance in front. There are a number of cylindrical pillars in front of this shrine with beautifully carved bases. She is found with four arms and in the standing posture. There are five niche idols of Goddesses on the external wall of the shrine. The fifth image has deer on her right arm, which is very unique. Near this shrine, the idols of Navagraha and Veerabhadra are located.

Outer Prakaram:
The outer prakara is a vast open space with so many trees and plants. Except for a Ganesha idol and few serpent idols under a holy tree, no other idols or shrines are located here.

Theertham & Sthala Vriksham:
The temple tank, which is called as Kapila Theertham, is large and it is located adjacent to the temple outside the compound. Sthala Vriksham is Vilwa Tree.

The Vijayanagara rulers also contributed to the architectural expansion of this temple. The front mandapa, through which visitors pass to reach the shrine of Lord Dhenupureeswarar belongs to this age. The exquisite sculptures found on the pillars here are a treasure house of Vaishnavite and Saivite iconography and reveal the talent of the sculptors of this period.  This temple has more than 140 exquisite sculptures. The marriage hall of this temple has 18 pillars, with each pillar containing exquisite sculptures of Shaiva and Vaishnava deities in each side (A total of 72 sculptures).

The Sarabeswara sculpture is the most revered one with weekly puja on the Rahu kala timings on Sundays (4.30 to 6 PM). Those facing problems due to planetary transitions pray to Lord Sarabeswara. The sculptures in the pillars near the main sanctum depict statues of various stories related to God Shiva and are equally stunning with lots of attention to details. The sculptures carved on the stone pillars belong to the Vijayanagara period whereas the ones in the sanctum belong to the Chola period. The lines of the Chola sculptures are graceful and free flowing while the ones from the Vijayanagara period are stiff.

It was pointed out that after the Muslim invasion, many temples were destroyed and the sculptors of the Vijayanagara period that followed had a tough time redoing the temples so much so that it became a question of quantity over quality. The eighteen pillars that are found in the exterior mandapa near the flag staff as well as in the inner prakara around the main shrine have excellent and unique sculptures. That is the highlight of this temple. The exterior mandapa is believed to be the artwork of Vijayanagaras. 

Some of the unique sculptures found in the temple pillars are Sharbeshwara attacking Narasimha, Shiva-Shakti marriage, Brahma performing yagna and Vishnu attending the holy wedding, Rama Pattabhishekam, Narasimha in the standing posture, Subramanya with six arms on elephant, Subramanya with four arms on elephant, Subramanya standing stylish on peacock, Dhakshinamoorthi with his consort, Nataraja raising his left leg upwards and towards the sky, Shiva holding Ganga on his head (Gangadhara Murti), Sadashiva with five heads, Brahma and Saraswathi, Gajasamahara Murti, Ganesha holding a musical instrument, Jwaradeva with three heads and three legs, Dhakshinamoorthi with veena (Veena Dhara Dhakshinamoorthi), Shiva attacking Koorma (tortoise incarnation of Vishnu) - Koorma Samhara Murti, Bhairava with his mount dog, Shiva as Annamalai - Brahma as a bird moving upwards and Vishnu as tortoise moving downwards, Shakti hugging Shiva Linga, Ardhanareeswarar, dancing Kali, Maha Sada Shiva, Shiva attacking Varaha Avatar (Varaha Samhara Murti), Shakti carrying her baby Skanda, Veerabhadra along with the goat headed Daksha, Varaha carrying Bhoomi Devi, Hanuman with five heads and ten arms (all faces are monkey faced unlike other typical Panchamukha Anjaneya idols) and Kartikeya with six heads and 12 arms and with Valli who is seated on his left thigh etc.

The walls of the main shrine and the Ambal shrine have numerous ancient epigraphs neatly etched in ancient Tamil script belonging to the reign of the Chola kings like Kulottunga III and Rajaraja III. There are also some epigraphs of Jatavarman Sundara Pandya and rulers of the Vijayanagara age like Kampana Udaiyar, Devaraya II and Sadasiva Raya. These epigraphs record the gifts of land, lamps and livestock to this temple and also various other services rendered for conducting festivals and daily worship. The inscriptions reveal that the original name of Lord Dhenupureeswarar was Sittreri Udaiya Nayanar and Goddess Dhenukambal was Nambirattiyar.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Sundatty Waterfalls, Kodanad, Kotagiri, Nilgiris

Sundatty Waterfalls, Kodanad, Kotagiri, Nilgiris
Sundatty Waterfalls is situated in Kodanad near Kotagiri Town near Ooty Hill Station in Kotagiri Taluk in Nilgiris District of Tamilnadu. Sundatty Waterfalls is also called as Goam Falls. There is no proper way to approach this falls as it was situated inside reserved forest. Sundatty Waterfalls is located at about 12 Kms from Kotagiri Bus Stand, 13 Kms from Kotagiri, 32 Kms from Coonoor, 33 Kms from Coonoor Railway Station, 46 Kms from Mettupalayam Railway Station, 43 Kms from Ooty, 79 Kms from Coimbatore and 83 Kms from Coimbatore Airport. Buses are available from Kotagiri Bus Stand to this place frequently. Private Taxis are available from Ooty, Kotagiri and Coonoor to reach this place.


Vetrivel Murugan Temple, Sakthi Malai, Kotagiri, Nilgiris

Vetrivel Murugan Temple, Sakthi Malai, Kotagiri, Nilgiris
Vetrivel Murugan Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Murugan, located in Sakthi Malai near Kotagiri Town in Kotagiri Taluk in Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu. Presiding Deity is called as Vetrivel Murugan.

There was a Swayambhu idol under a tree in Sakthimalai. Boy shepherds and those collecting dry leaves in the area noticed a serpent and a peacock worshipping this Swayambhu. They noticed it for six months continuously and then informed the elders in the village. They came to the spot, stood at a distance and found the information true. After the serpent and peacock left the place, they went to the spot and worshipped.

They rightly concluded that the Swayambhu should be of Lord Murugan as it was worshipped by the serpent and peacock closely related to Murugan. The villagers built a small temple and began the pujas. Devotee visits increased day by day. With liberal contributions and the cooperation of the devotees, the temple grew in size and expansions.

The Temple
Presiding Deity is called as Vetrivel Murugan. Besides the Soma Skanda design, the temple has many special features. Lord Murugan generally appears with a Dhanda – Staff in his hand in a majority of Murugan temples. Here he appears with his celebrated leaf shaped weapon Vel. Also, Lord Murugan appears with a peacock wing piece (Mayil Peeli in Tamil) on his left. The temple has separate shrines for Aadhi Vinayaka, Bhairava, Swarnapureeswarar, Mother Swarnambika, Chandikeswarar and Nagar. Dakshinamurthy, Lingodbhava and Brahma are the Koshta Idols located in the sanctum walls.

Temple Opening Time
The temple remains open from 7.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
The temple grandly celebrates Vaikasi Visakam (May-June), Panguni Uthiram (March-April) and Sura Samharam (October-November). The annual festival of the temple Thai Poosam in January-February begins with flag hoisting and goes on for 11 days. Lord Murugan is taken in procession with different Alankaras each day. Devotees from about 200 surrounding villages carry Kavadis and milk pots come to the temple by walking and perform abishek to Lord. The wedding festival takes place on the 9th day and the car festival on the 10th day.
Expressing their faith in the grace of Lord Murugan, devotees say that rubbing the Mayil Peeli on the affected parts and the sacred ash on the sick, they see remarkable signs of improvement in health. Those facing problems in families and litigations and court proceedings perform Shatru Samhara Trisathi Pujas and Archanas to Lord hoping favorable verdicts. The temple serves as a remedial centre for those facing the impact of the adverse aspects of planet Mars and Naga Dhosha – serpent aspects. They join the special pujas in the temple on Kritika star days, Chandi, Full Moon and Pradosha (thirteenth day of full moon or new moon day) days.
If Pradosha falls on a Saturday (Sani Pradosham) abishekam to Lord Murugan is performed with 108 conches followed by Mahanyasa Parayana and Rudra Homa. Those worshipping the Lord with his Vel in hand gain wisdom and conquer all evils set on them from previous births and the present. They are fearless and become enlightened. As Vel has all the powers – Sakthi, the place is known as Sakthi Malai – Hill of beneficial powers. Students come in large numbers seeking Lord’s blessings.
Devotees recall the visit of Sri Thirumuruga Kirupanandha Variyar, who usually carried with him a puja box with Lord Murugan to perform pujas and Abhishekams in his camp places daily. He did his pujas in this temple on a day and said that the place and environment of the temple had all divine features and that the temple would grow big and famous in the days to come. His words had come true.
Now the temple had grown big with many shrines for other deities too. As the temple is in a hill region, people come here in large numbers only during the summer holidays. Foreigners who visit Nilgiris do not fail to visit this temple for meditation and mental piece. People of other faiths too visit this temple and experience the divine vibrations and spend time in meditation and return back with happy feelings. Foreigners come here throughout the year.
The Temple is located at about 2 Kms from Kotagiri Bus Stand, 3 Kms from Kotagiri, 22 Kms from Coonoor, 23 Kms from Coonoor Railway Station, 34 Kms from Mettupalayam Railway Station, 33 Kms from Ooty, 68 Kms from Coimbatore and 80 Kms from Coimbatore Airport. Buses are available from Kotagiri Bus Stand to this place frequently. Private Taxis are available from Ooty, Kotagiri and Coonoor to reach this place.