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14Sep/19

Celebration of Laksha Deepam (2020) At Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram

Pureprayer offers Greetings to all devotees for the occasion of Anantha Chaturdashee.

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On the auspicious occasion of Anantha Chaturdashee and Paurnima, Pureprayer takes you on SpiRitual journeys to Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala State. This is one of the very ancient temples of India and one of the 108 Divyadesam temples, also the richest in terms of wealth. Nammalwar, one among the 12 Vaishnavite saints of the Alwar tradition, has composed eleven verses in praise of the lord. This can speak about the antiquity of the temple.

Sri Anantha Padmanabhaswamy is the tutelary deity of the royal family of Travancore. Male members of the royal family are called Padmanabha Dasa and female memebrs are called Padmanabhasevanis.

Lakshadeepam is a celebration of lighting innumerable countless oil lamps on the day of Makara Vilakku in Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple.

Where is Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple?

Anantha Shayana or Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple is located in the capital city of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram. Thiruvananthapuram is well connected by air, rail and bus routes. Thiruvananthapuram means the city of Lord Vishnu, the eternal and unending.

Why is Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple called a Maha Kshetra?

Ten characteristics are attributed to a Maha Kshetra. Antiquity, proximity to the sea, presence in wooded region, location of the temple on an elevation, mention in scriptures, architecture, grandeur of festivals, royal patronage, well established history and records.

Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple is said to meet all these characteristics.

What are the legends about the temple?

There are two legends associated with Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple. A sage called Divakaramuni from Tulunadu is believed to have consecrated the image of Lord Vishnu in the form of Anantha Shayana.

Vilvamangalatthu Swamiyar a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, whose name is linked with consecrating many images across South India is said to have consecrated Anantha Padmanabha Swamy.

What is the story of Vishnu playing mischief with the sage?

A sage was performing a difficult penance in the woods of the southern region. A lovely child appeared in front of him one day. He tried to make the child stay with him. However, the child said he would agree to stay with him on a condition. The sage shall not lose his temper. On failing to do so, he would leave. The sage accepted the condition put by the child, and tolerated all the pranks and continued his penance. During the pujas one day, the child took the Saligram which was being worshipped and put it in his mouth. Upset with this the sage chastised the child. The child disappeared much to the astonishment of the sage and he heard a voice telling him, “If you wish to see me again, you will find me again in Ananthankaadu”. Suddenly realizing that the child was none other than Lord Vishnu, the sage was inconsolable and started searching for him everywhere.

He reached a wooded region near the ocean and caught a glimpse of the child disappearing into a Madhuka tree (Malayalam/Tamil: Ilappai). The large tree fell down and Lord Vishnu showed his Vishwaroopam. The sage was bewildered by this vision and requested the lord to reduce his size, so that he could behold the lord’s form. Vishnu agreed and took a form of the size three times the sage’s Yogadand (A staff carried by hermits). He looked around and found raw mangoes. He offered them in a coconut shell (This tradition is continued to this day with a golden coconut shell in the temple). The Samadhi of Vilvamangalatthu Swamyiar is near the temple.

Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy:

The image of Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple is nearly 16 feet long and is believed to be a replica of Sri Adi keshava Perumal temple in Thiruvattar near Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu state. Ananthapuram temple in Kumbala village of Kasargod of Kerala is said to be the Mulasthanam (Origin).

The image is believed to be a Daru Shilpa (made of wood) and said to contain 12008 Saligramas brought in from Gandhaki River. The exterior of the image is coated with a special herbal preparation of Kerala region, called “Katusarkarayogam”. The presence of this huge collection of Saligramas are said to bring the results of visiting a thousand temples, when we get Darshan of Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy.

Lord Vishnu in the form of Anantha Padmanabha Swamy or Anantha Shayana, is reclining on a five hooded Adi Shesha with his right hand near Shivalingam. Consorts of Lord Vishnu, Sridevi and Bhudevi are by his side. Sages Tumburu and Narad are singing hymns before him. Brahma the creator is seen seated on a Padma that has emerged from the lord’s navel, marking the importance of Swadhishthan. Garuda, his carrier is awaiting the lord’s order. Six weapons of the lord in divine form are also seen praying. Surya, Soma, Saptarshis (the sacred seven sages) are also seen. Demons Madhu and Kaitabha are present.

Darshan of Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple has to be done through a row of three doors that present different views.

Temple Architecture:

Many royal dynasties have continually contributed to the development of Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple. The temple architecture has developed in different phases. The sanctum sanctorum is in Kerala style. The Gopurams are in the Dravidian style. Raja Gopuram and many Mantapams are in Vijayanagar style.

The temple complex, situated on seven acres of land, is enclosed by fort walls. One can notice a striking similarity between Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple and the Adikesava Perumal temple at Tiruvattar in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu State. There are nine entrances to the temple alluding to the ‘Navarandhras’ in the human body. Shrines of Ugra Narasimha Swamy, Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy and Sri Krishna Swamy (Parthasarathy) are enclosed by a high wall.

Sanctum, Dhwajastambha (Kodimaram), Prakaram (Chuttambalam) are of Kerala style. The temple interiors are adorned by beautiful murals and paintings. A large painting 18 feet long adorns the back wall of the sanctum. This is believed to be the biggest painting in the temple complex and was commissioned by Rani Gauri Parvati Bayi in 1820. A Mukha Mantapam and Bali Peetha Mantapam are part of the temple. A Navagraha mantapam with planets carved in the ceiling can also be seen.

Gopuram:

Gopuram in the temple-complex on the eastern entrance is a seven storeyed structureand is a fine example of South Indian architecture and is exclusively in Dravidian style. It is nearly 100 feet high (35m). Dashavataram (10 incarnations) of Lord Vishnu are portrayed inside the first storey of the gopuram.

Garbhagriha:

Garbhagriha or the sanctum sanctorum is on a stone slab and the main idol, which is about 16 feet long, can be viewed through three different doors. The temple has a Mantapam with 365 and one-quarter sculptured granite-stone pillars with elaborate carvings. This Mantapam extends from the eastern side into the sanctum sanctorum.

Dhwajastambham:

Dhwajastambha is 80 feet high. This was erected in 1730s. A tall teak tree was used and has been clad with gold plated copper sheets.

Ottakkal Mantapam:

Ottakkal Mantapam was created in 1461 CE. Ottakkal-mandapam was cut out of a rock at Thirumala, about 6.4 km north of the temple. Ottakkal (single stone) mandapam, a massive platform carved out of a block of granite. This structure is a single slab of granite which is two and a half feet thick and twenty feet square. The ceiling is pure artistry in itself and is made of well-seasoned wood, abounding in carvings. Its granite pillars are covered with gold. Abhishekams to Sri Padmanabhaswamy are performed in this Mandapam. Only the King of Travancore may perform sashtanga namaskaram, or prostrate on the “Ottakkal Mandapam”.

Abhisravana Mandapam

This structure is in front of the Ottakkal Mantapam. Special pujas related with Temple festivals are performed here. Devotees use Abhisravana Mandapam for meditation and prayer. King Kotha Marthanda Verma is said to have built Abhisravana Mandapam.

Kulashekhara Mantapam:

Rulers of Madurai, the Nayaks are said to have contributed to the temple by adding stunning sculptures to the Kulasekhara mantapam, Prakaram (Chuttambalam) and Vimanam over the sanctum. Kulashekhara Mantapam was also known as Ayiramkaal Mandapam and Saptaswara Mantapam. It is supported by 28 pillars. The pillars are adorned with exquisitely carved figures in half and full relief. The pillars on the four corners can produce musical notes when tapped.

Sri Ugra Narasimha Swamy Temple:

Sri Ugra Narasimha Swamy temple is a part of Padmnabha Swamy temple-complex and called Thekkadom.

Sri Krishna Swamy Temple:

Sri Krishna Swamy temple is a part of the Padmnabha Swamy temple-complex and called Thiruvambadi. However, this temple has a separate Dhwajastambham. Festivals and processions are performed like an independent temple. Walls of the Garbhagriha in Sri Krishna Swamy shrine has Tamil Vattezhuthu inscriptions dating back to 1375 CE.

The granite idol of the Krishna was brought from Gujarat by 72 families of Vrishni Vamsa Kshatriyas. As these Vrishnis belong to the lineage of Lord Krishna, they are known as Krishnan vakakkar.

Lord Krishna also called as Partha Sarathy is a two-armed granite idol, with one hand holding the whip and the other resting on the left thigh holding the conch close to it, in a standing posture.

Other shrines in Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy Temple:

Shrines for Rama accompanied by Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman, Vishwaksena, Sage Vedavyas, Ganapati, Shasta and Kshetrapala are part of the temple-complex.

Thrippadi Danam:

In the year 1750CE, Maharaja Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma arrived in the Temple along with the male family members, his trusted Diwan and other officials and carried out the ultimate act of dedication. He submitted to Sree Padmanabha Prajapati, his entire State of Travancore by placing the royal insignia like the crown, royal umbrella, the Manikandha along with some Tulasi (basil) leaves on the Mandapam. He placed his famous sword in the steps of the Ottakkal Mandapam. This is known as Thrippadi Danam.

Festivals and Rites:

There are many festivals related to this temple. The major festivals are Alpasi festival celebrated in October-November period and the Panguni festival which is in Tamil month Panguni during March-April period. They are 10 day long festivals. On the ninth day the Maharajah of Travancore escorts the deities. The festivals culminate with the Aarat (holy bath) procession to the Shankumugham beach. Navaratri and Lakshadeepam are other important celebration in the temple.

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12Sep/19
Sri_Chandrashekhara_Bharati

Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Example

India is a Puja Room in the house of this great universe. India is blessed with a vibrant cultural heritage and a lineage of scholarly persons. Rishis, saints, ascetics, philosophers and outstanding scholars have taken birth in our country from time to time. Sri Adi Shankaracharya is one of the brightest luminaries in the annals of Hindu philosophy. The lineage of outstanding saint-philosophers adorning the Sri Sharada Peetha of Sringeri has only been kept alive with all grandeur and illumination. Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati, the 34th pontiff in that lineage, was one such outstanding person, who displayed miracles, involuntarily, on several occasions.

 

Birth of Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati:

Narasimha Shastri (former name of Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati) was born in Sringeri to the devout and pious couple, Smt. Lakshmamma and Sri Gopala Shastri on the Sunday of Ashvayujamas, Bahula Yekadashi, in the Nandananama Samvatsara, October 16, 1892. This brought a lot of happiness and delight to the household. Narasihma Shastri was an ardent devotee, a pious person and a very silent person during childhood days. He showed an inclination towards traditional, spiritual and Vedic studies than academics, though he excelled in both. He was taught by Maha Mahopadhyaya Vellore Subramanya Shastri. He also studied under Maha Mahopadhyaya Sri Virupaksha Shastri during his schooling in Bangalore.

Ascending the Sharada Peetha:

When the Majaraja of Mysore requested young Narasihma Shastry to ascend the Sri Sharada Peetha in Shringeri following the demise of Sri Narasihma Bharati Swamigalu, the former only said: “Do not load me with the administration of Sri Mutt. I will be confined to spiritual pursuit and nothing else.”

He was ordained into sainthood on Chaitra Bahula Navami during Paridhavi Samvatsara in April 7, 1912.

When he felt that the affairs of the Mutt required attention, the Jagadguru designated Sri Srinivasa, as his successor and ordained him into sainthood and named him as Sri Abhinava Vidya Tirtha Swami on May 22, 1931. The junior seer was proficient in learning and very soon gave considerable relief to the Jagadguru.

Vijaya Yatra:

Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati did two Vijaya Yatras (Knowledge Expeditions). Between 1924 and 1927, he undertook the first Vijayayatra. Again, between 1938 and 1940, Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati undertook his second Vijayayatra. Only during these knowledge expeditions, Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati was speaking to the people freely. Barring these two knowledge expeditions, Sri Chandrashekhar never used to indulge in ordinary conversations. He was always immersed in meditation.

Miracles:

Once, he went to Devakottai in Chettinadu of Tamil Nadu as part of Vijaya Yatra. The region was suffering from severe drought. Organisers, who had arranged for the visit of the seer, were thinking of shifting the venue solely for the drought conditions prevailing there. However, Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati went there and began reciting the Virata Parva of Mahabharata, along with the Pandits there. The same afternoon, it rained so much for nearly four hours that the organisers appealed to the seer to stop the downpour. The seer ordered for performing the Mangalarati and the rain stopped. By that time, all the small and big ponds and streams were overflowing.

Once, when he was offering worship to Chandramoulishwara, a big cobra came in, causing consternation and fear to devotees assembled. The seer extended a cup filled with milk to the cobra. It consumed all the milk and slithered away.

Videha Mukti:

The Jagadguru decided to liberate himself from the corporal body. On Sunday, September 26, 1954, the No Moon Day (Mahalaya Amavasya) of Bhadrapada Krishna Paksha in Jaya Nama Samvatsara. The anniversary of the day is performed on the Mahalaya Amavasya (No Moon day).

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11Sep/19

How Susheela was able to make Koundinya reach Anantha?

Pureprayer offers Greetings to all devotees for the occasion of Anantha Chaturdashee.

Please visit www.pureprayer.com for all your needs for Pujas-Homas-Pariharas, SpiRitual journeys and a many more Hindu Religious Services.

Once upon a time, a Sage named Sumant married Deeksha, the daughter of sage Agastya. They lived happily together and had a daughter Susheela. Sage Sumant decided to give his daughter’s hand to Koundinya, who was well educated.

Koundinya and Susheela started travelling looking for a suitable kingdom where the education of Koundinya would be appropriately employed. They stopped near a river bank to offer worships, as it was time for prayers. Susheela noticed a group of people celebrating. Curious, Susheela went to the group and wanted to know what they were celebrating.

A leader of the group replied saying they were celebrating the Vrat (Vow) of “Anantha Chaturdashee”. Susheela wanted to know the Vrat in detail and learnt, the Vrat to be performed for 14 years by newlyweds on the 14th day in bright fortnight of Bhadrapadmaas. She got the details of the Vrat and set about performing it. As a result of this, Koundinya was able to secure a place in the king’s court and rapidly their life saw a lot of improvement.

Koundinya once noticed a red colored string in Susheela’s wrist and wanted to know about it. Susheela explained in detail what she had learned from the group who celebrated near the riverbank. Hearing this, Koundinya whose time to seek Lord Vishnu had come, cut the string from her hand and threw it into the fire, saying whatever he had achieved so far was due to his intellect. Susheela tried to save the thread from burning. She stored the remnant in milk.

All bad things befell on the couple. They lost the king’s support, wealth and all the friends. Koundinya realized his mistake and went in search of Lord Anantha and soon ended up in deep woods.

Kaundinya saw many mystical sights while searching for Anantha. He saw a tree full of mangoes, but no one was eating them. The entire tree was attacked by worms. He asked if the tree had seen Anantha, but failed to elicit response. Then he saw a cow with her calf and a bull standing on grass field without eating. He spotted two big lakes joined with their waters mixing with one another. Further, he saw a donkey and an elephant. No one answered Kaundinya’s query about Lord Anantha. Desperate, he decided to give up his life by falling from a cliff or hanging.

Suddenly, an old man appeared before him and led him into a cave. At first, it was very dark. But then a bright light appeared and they reached a big palace. A great assembly of men and women had gathered. The old Brahmin went straight towards the throne.

Kaundinya could no longer see the old man but Lord Vishnu instead. Kaundinya realized that Lord Vishnu himself had come and that Vishnu was Anantha, the unending and the eternal One!

He confessed to his failing to recognize the eternal in the string on Sushila’s hand.

Anantha ordered that anyone who took the vow of performing Anantha Chaturdashee for 14-year period, such a person would be free from all his sins and would obtain all kinds of wealth, children, and happiness.

Koundinya sought explanation to the symbolic events that he came through before the old man led him to lord himself. The mango tree was a Brahmin, who in a previous life had acquired plenty of knowledge, but had not passed it on to anyone. Cow was the mother earth, who at the beginning had eaten all the seeds of plants. Bull was Dharma standing on the grass field. The two lakes were sisters who loved each other very much, but all their wealth was spent on each other and no one else. Donkey was cruelty and anger. The elephant was nothing but Kaundinya’s pride.

Ashamed of his behavior throughout his life, Koundinya promised to mend and atone for all his mistakes and performed the Anantha Chaturdashee with Susheela to attain Lord Anantha’s blessings and his abode.

Hearing this from Lord Krishna in Dwapara Yug, Yudhishthir performed this Anantha Chaturdashee vow for fourteen years when the Pandavas were dwelling in the forests due to the loss in the Game of Chances. Yudhishthir succeeded in getting back his kingdom and continue happily due to the benevolence of Lord Anantha.

Anyone who performs this Anantha Chaturdashee vow is certain to get Lord Vishnu’s benevolence!

Understanding Anantha:

Name Anantha appears in many stotrams and chants about Lord Vishnu. The name Anantha is repeated many times in Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam uttered by Sage Veda Vyas. Also, it is a part of Naamatraya Japam. Anantha is the one who is all pervasive, who is eternal, who is beyond all boundaries and for whom there is no limit either by space, time or location. 

Where is Anantha Chaturdashee Vrat mentioned?

The legend and the Anantha Vrat Katha are mentioned in several Puranas. Bhavishyottara Puranam is said to contain the Anantha Vrat Vidhi in detail. This is one of the sixteen important Vrats observed in India.

When to Perform Anantha Chaturdashee Vrat?

Anantha Chaturdashee is performed on fourteenth day of Bhadrapadamaas Shukla paksha (Bright fortnight) which is the 14th day of waxing moon in the month of September or October. The Vrat may be performed during the Navaratri of Ashvayujmaas too. 

What are the benefits of performing Anantha Chaturdashee Vrat?

  • You obtain healthy and long life. Your sorrows are removed.
  • Couples are blessed with happy married life and enjoy marital bliss.
  • Couples are assured of the continuance of the generation.
  • Gain of wealth and prosperity.

How to Perform Anantha Chaturdashee Vrat?

A brief Step-By-Step Puja Procedure has been mentioned below:

  • Take an early morning bath including a head shower.
  • Dress up in Puja formals.
  • Set up all the Puja materials like Haridra, Kumkum, Akshata, flowers, Gandham and others. Place sufficient numbers of 14 lined red silk thread or the ones with 14 knots known as Ananthadaram secured from Pooja materials Shop. You will need a pair per couple in the family.
  • Clean the floor and prepare an altar in the southern part of your home with suitable material and decorate with mango leaves and flowers.
  • Draw a 14 petalled Padma using rice flour on an altar prepared in the southern part of the living room or open space.
  • Prepare two Kalash one for Lakshmi and one for Vishnu. Some may have the practice of placing a single Kalash.
  • Place a coconut is smeared with turmeric and Kumkum on the mouth of the pot.
  • Place Anantha vastram behind the kalash.
  • Prepare a form of Adishesh with seven hoods snake using Durva or Darbham grass.
  • On one kalash, put yagnopaveetam and on the other, mangalya and jewellery.
  • Perform Sankalpam with recital of the Panchangam of the day.
  • Perform Yamuna Puja to the water stored in a decorated pot and fill the Kalash with the water from pot, used for Yamuna Puja.
  • Prepare sweetened Dosa made from wheat flour for Naivedyam.
  • Perform invocations to Ganapati and Adishesh, Sri Lakshmi and Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy.
  • Perform Shodashopachara Pujas to Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy.
  • Place the Anantha daram with 14 knots or 14 threads near the Kalash.
  • Offer Naivedyam
  • Tie them after initial Puja and Sankalpam. Tie Ananthaadaram to the right hand wrist for men. Tie Ananthaadaram to the left hand wrist of women. Some even tie on the arm.
  • Offer namaskarams to the installation of the deity.

Temples of Lord Ananthaha Padmanabha Swamy in India:

Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy is a prominent deity in India. There are many temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of Anantha. Triranga Kshetras of Srirangam, Shivana Samdura, and Srirangapattna are well-known for Sri Ranganatha Swamy reclining on Adi Shesha, and perceived as Lord Anantha Padmanabha Swamy. Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple in Tiruvanantapuram of Kerala is a very popular destination for devotees. Sri Kshetra kudupu in Mangaluru has Sri Anantha Padmanabha Swamy temple. Anantagiri situated about 75 km from Hyderabad has Anantha PadmanabhaSwamy temple.

Special celebrations are held on the auspicious day of Anantha Chaturdashee, at all those temples that are dedicated to Lord Anantha. Recital of Sri Vishnu Sahasra Nama Stotram, Purusha Suktam, Vishnu Suktam on this day is considered as highly meritorious. Homas and Pujas are performed.

Pureprayer is a leading App based and web based platform offering Puja-Homa-Pariharas and SpiRitual Journeys-Darshan and Puja packages to several important holy and sacred destinations.

Please visit our website www.pureprayer.com or call us on 9108630444, WA No: 9900821000 to learn more.

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05Sep/19

Thiruchendur Murugan Temple

Arruppadai Veedu is something that is sacred and very close to the hearts of devotees and followers of Murugan (Lord Subrahmanya). You can click here to know more about the Arruppadaiveedu Yatra presented by Pureprayer. Arruppadaiveedu are the places where Murugan conducted campaign against a demon king “Surapadman” and defeated him. This is popular as Surasamhara. In honor of Murugan’s victory, temples of Murugan have been built in these six places. The six sacred places are Palani, Swamimalai, Thiruttani, Thiruchendur and Palamudircholai and Thirupparamkundram.

Let’s continue our Yatra of SpiRitual Journeys with Thiruchendur Murugan Temple and learn about this Kshetra.

Where is Thiruchendur Murugan Temple?

Thiruchendur Murugan temple dedicated to Lord Subrahmanya is situated on the shores of Bay of Bengal about 60 km from Tirunelveli of Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) district in Tamil Nadu state. Thiruchendur temple is the only shrine among the six Aarruppadai temples situated on the sea shore. Another interesting aspect about the temple is, the Raja Gopuram is located to the western side of the temple-complex.

The proponent of Advaita philosophy Sri Adi Shankaracharya, is said to have had Darshan of Lord Subrahmanya in this temple and created the Subrahmanya Bhujanga Stotram. A stanza in the Subrahmanya Bhujanga Storam is like this:

O son of Parameshwara!
O merciful Lord,
When you have twelve large eyes stretching to your ears,
What can you lose by casting a side glance at me for a minute?

ವಿಶಾಲೇಷು ಕರ್ಣಾನ್ತದೀರ್ಘೇಷ್ವಜಸ್ರಂ

ದಯಾಸ್ಯನ್ದಿಷು ದ್ವಾದಶಸ್ವೀಕ್ಷಣೇಷು ।

ಮಯೀಷತ್ಕಟಾಕ್ಷಃ ಸಕೃತ್ಪಾತಿತಶ್ಚೇ-

ದ್ಭವೇತ್ತೇ ದಯಾಶೀಲ ಕಾ ನಾಮ ಹಾನಿಃ ॥

What is the legend of Sri Adi Shankaracharya visiting the Thiruchendur Murugan Temple?

Sri Shankaracharya was once going through a phase of ill health due to evil acts of a rival. He visited Tiruchendur Murugan temple as ordered by Lord Shiva of Tirukokarnam. Kokarneswarar Temple of Thirukokarnam is about five kilometres from the town of Pudukkottai in the Tamil Nadu. When he reached the Murugan temple sanctum, he saw a serpent worshipping the deity. Inspired by this devotion of the serpent he created the Subrahmanya Bhujangam. Also, he was cured of his physical ailments.

What is the history of Thiruchendur?

Sindhupuram, Jayantipuram, Thiruchentil are some of the previous names for Thiruchendur. The name Thiruchendur has been mentioned in the works of Arunagirinathar as early as 15th Century CE. Sindhupuram is due to the proximity of the sea. Jayantipuram may be due to the victory of Lord Subrahmanya over the demon Surapadma.

Puranic Background:

Skanda Purana is dedicated to the birth of Lord Kartikeya (Murugan) to conduct Surasamharam. Lord Subrahmanya (Murugan) conducted campaign against a demon king called “Surapadman” and defeated him at six places. The present day region of Thiruchendur was one of these. The sands of the region was so bloodied due to the fierce battle, the sand turned deep red. Hence the place was called Senthur (Meaning: Red colored).

Subrahmanya ordered the architect Maya to construct a temple for Lord Shiva in order to worship and consecrated ‘Jagannatha Shivalingam’ here. Maya carved the temple from a portion of Gandhamadana Parvat that fell here.

Historical Background:

Thiruchendur Murugan Temple is a very ancient temple whose origins take us back to Medieval Cholas. The temple has been constructed in Dravidian style. The temple endured Dutch occupancy in 17th Century CE. They even took away the Utsava Murthy (Procession deity) as booty. When they encountered bad weather in the high seas, they threw the idol into the sea. The seas calmed and the idol was recovered by Vadamalaiyappa Pillai a few years later.

Temple Architecture:

Thiruchendur Murugan temple is spread over an area of about two acres. The temple has been constructed in Dravidian style of architecture. The nine-story Mel Gopuram (Raja Gopuram) in the west that rises to a height of 137 feet was built in 17th Century CE. The temple has three Prakarams (Meaning: Corridors). Main entrance faces south direction. Shanmukhavilas Mantap is in the entrance tower. This consists of 120 stone pillars. A saint known as Mauna Swamygal renovated this Mantap with granite stones. First Prakaram is called Sivilli Mantapam. A shrine dedicated to Lord Venkatesha is in the Prakaram. Gaja Lakshmi is also installed here. Sri Ranganatha Swamy complete with Bhudevi and Neeladevi in the adjacent shrine. Brahma the creator appears on the lotus from Ranganatha’s navel. Vasanta Mantap is a recent addition to the temple-complex. Vasanta festival of ten days is celebrated here with the mantapa gaily decorated to suit the occasion.

There are four inscriptions erected during the rule of Pandyan dynasty. Two of them are from the period of 9th Century CE.  The other two belong to 13th Century CE.

Nazhi-Kinaru:

The Pond inside the temple premises is called Nazhi-Kinaru. This consists of two water-springs one inside the other. The inner spring is a source of fresh water with a delectable sweet taste. The water in the outer spring is saline in nature. It is said that, Murugan’s army was very thirsty during the Surasamharam campaign. They requested Murugan for drinking water. He used his weapon here and fresh water sprang up. The weary warriors quenched their thirst.

Valli’s Cave or Dattatreya’s Cave

A small cave temple dedicated to Srivalli is situated towards the sea shore attached to the temple walls. A beautiful Mantap built with 16 stone pillars is in the front of the shrine. Image of Srivalli has been carved on the cave wall in the passage.

When is the best time to visit the temple?

Winter period from October to February is said to be pleasant and highly conducive to visit Thiruchendur Murugan temple. However, devotees visit the temple throughout the year. Days with stars of Krittika, Vishaka and days of Shashthi, Karteekmaas among many others attract a lot of devotees to the temple.

What are the festivals in Thiruchendur Murugan temple?

Annual festival is performed during the Skanda Shashthi that occurs in Margasheershmaas (Tamil: Margali). This is a seven day event. Surasamharam is performed on the sixth day and Subrahmanya Kalyanotsav is performed on the seventh and concluding day. This apart, many festivities are performed throughout the year. Brahmotsavam performed during the Phalgunmaas (Tamil: Maasi) is a twelve day event. Three cars are pulled during this festival on tenth day. During Shravanmaas (Tamil: Avani), the festivals take place for twelve days with participation of devotees in huge numbers.

What is nearby Thiruchendur Murugan Temple?

Murugan temple of Kurukuthurai:

Murugan temple of Kurukuthurai located about 63 km from Thiruchendur Murugan temple is a must visit temple. It is believed that the main deity of this temple and that installed in Thiruchendur were the works of same sculptor. Also, when the Utsav Murthy stolen by Dutch was recovered from the seas, the newly made deity was sent to Murugan temple of Kurukuthurai.

This temple erected by Nayaks of Madurai is believed to have withstood the ravages of flooding by Tamraparni River many times.

Panchalamkurichi fort:

Panchalamkurichi fort is located about 64 km from Thiruchendur Murugan temple. This is a fort rebuilt in memory of Kattabomman Veera Pandyan. The original fort was destroyed by British. Kattabomman was hanged in the year 1799. The same year when Tipu Sultan of Mysore was slain.

Concludes

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01Sep/19

Without a miss, Twenty one Namaskarams!

Pureprayer offers best wishes on the occasion of Varasiddhi Vinayaka Chaturthee!

Let’s worship Lord Ganapati seeking his benevolence. Lord Ganesh is explained as the Muladhar Shakti (energy) represented by Beejakshar and Swastik in Tantra methods. He is said to be pleased by offering twenty one Namaskarams and sweet treats made from Bengal gram dal and jaggery.

This festival season, let us take Spiritual Journeys to get Darshan of twenty one special Ganeshas all over seeking the benevolence of the Universal One present everywhere.

Please visit www.pureprayer.com or call us on 9108630444, WA No: 9900821000 to learn more about the services offered in the sphere of Hindu religious practices.

In a small village near Kolhapur, A tall Ganesha idol made of concrete has been installed on a pedestal. Named as Chinmaya Ganadhish, the image is 66 feet high and the pedestal is 24 feet high. This is in the Sandeepany Chinmaya Ashram which is an organisation belonging to Chinmaya Mission. This was consecrated in the year 2001.

Ganesh is revered as Phra Phikaneth in Thailand by devotees. The other name is Phra Phikanesuan which could be a corruption of Vara Vighneswaran. His shrines are all over Thailand. Buddhists of Thailand worship Ganesh before any venture such as business, exams, overseas journey, constructions or even marriage. Elephant-headed god is incorporated into the emblem of Department of Fine Arts, can show the devotion, love and respect of Thais to Lord Ganapati. Massive celebrations take place at Shiva temple in Bangkok and Utthayan Ganesh temple in Nakhon Nayok worshipping the remover of obstacles.

Wat Saman Rattanaram is home to Thailand’s largest image of Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity. He reclines on a pedestal in the river bank, impressing devotees with sheer size (16 metres tall, 22 metres long) and color.

Tibetans worship Ganesh as Ganapati-Maharakta with an opinion of the color-complexion of the lord. He is worshipped with a reference to the letter GaH or GaM using red flowers. Ganesh is a three-eyed god with a goad, noose and tusk giving the assurance of Abhaya (Meaning: Protection). A large belly and red garment with rat present complete the image. He is even anointed with Rakta-Chandan (Meaning: Red fragrant paste). Ganapati Atharva Sheersha is a scripture on worship of Lord Ganapati, which mentions a procedure similar to this and states that a person who takes up such worship invoking the lord is bestowed with all the Siddhis.

The belief in Myanmaar (erstwhile Burma) is that Lord Ganapati is none other than Lord Brahma with an elephant-head. A Brahma called Arsi once lost a wager with Lord Songkran or Indra. Songkran decapitated Brahma.  However, the removed head requested the lord to attach some other head so the functions can continue. Songkran agreed to this and placed an elephant-head to Arsi’s body. The head cut off was thrown into the sea. The sea dried up. The head was thrown on the land, but the land was scorched. The head was thrown into air would produce flames, heat and smoke that troubled everyone. Songkran ordered that Brahma’s head be carried by Princesses taking turns every year. This is how Ganesh became the creator.

A Ganesha idol from the 1st Century CE was found on the summit of Mount Raksa in Panaitan Island of West Java.

Sanjaya kings of the present day Java built many temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, Ganesh and Goddess Durga during 7th and 8th centuries. A three metres high image of Lord Ganapati is worshipped in Bara temple of East Java. This temple was built in 1239 CE.

Close at home, Hampi the capital of Vijayanagar Empire has two shrines with images of Ganesh popular as Kadalekaalu Ganapati and Sasivekaalu Ganapati, which are much sought after places of visit. Kadalekaalu Ganapati (Meaning: Bengal Gram) is a 15 feet high image carved out of a boulder. Sasivekaalu Ganapati (Meaning: Mustard seed) is eight feet high image. He is sitting in Goddess Parvati’s lap. This can be seen only by going round the Mantap.

MahaGanapati of Gokarna in the Mahabaleshwara temple is connected with the great epic of Ramayan scripted by Sage Valmeeki. It can be recalled that Lord Ganapati tricked the demon king Ravan in handing over the Atmalinga.

This consecration of Lord Shiva’s Atmalinga is believed to have taken place in 23rd Tretayuga, when Star Vishakha was in Meena Lagnam and Solar month of Tula. It was a Sunday of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in Karteeka Masa of Ishwaranama Samvatsar.

Ganesh temple in the village Gulur near Tumakuru relates to an incident that took place when Sage Agastya visited the region. Lord Ganapati appeared in the dreams of a poor Brahmin and ordered him to carry out his worship. Sage Agastya helped the poor farmer in the worship for thirty days. The poor man built an image in clay from a nearby lake. This convention has been continued even in modern times at Gulur.  Work is begun collecting clay on Ganesh Chaturthi and the celebration is carried out on Bali Padyam and goes on for a month. Images of sage Agastya and Lord Ganapati can be seen in the temple of Gulur.

Shenbakkam near Vellore famous for Nava Brindavanam, has a very old temple where eleven self-manifest Ganapatis have been installed. The name of the region is believed to be a corruption from Swayambhuparshvam. The installation was found during the Maratha rule in the province. It is said that the axle of Thukoji’s chariot broke down here. He had to stay the night in the place. They discovered the temple tip hidden in the earth which caused the accident. The temple was unearthed and worships began again.

Pillayarpatti Vinayagar temple in Shivaganga district of Tamil Nadu is said to have the installation of a six feet tall Ganapati that belongs to 4th Century CE. Lord Ganapati is with to arms and in Ardha Padmasanam posture. There are 14 inscriptions in this rock cut temple of Pallava period. ‘Ekkattur Koon Peruparanan sculpted this image of Ganesh and Shiva’ is mentioned in an inscription. The lord is known as Karpaga Vinayakar as he grants the desires of devotees like the Kalpavriksh (Meaning: Sacred wishing tree).

Kutchery Vinayagar of Cheyyur is fond of concerts. The image of Lord Ganapati has been carved with his head tilted, as if he is listening to music. He holds Akshamaala in his hand against the norm of noose.

Kanipakam Vinayaka temple on the banks of Bahuda River situated near Tirupati was built by Kulottunga Chola during 11th Century CE. Kanipakam means water flowing into a wetland. A legend says that three brothers who were mute, deaf and blind came across the self-manifest image, while digging a well. When the tool hit a hard rock, blood stated gushing out and their deformities disappeared. They understood what must have happened. They gathered up fellow villagers who reported the matter to the king and a temple was built. Even now the presiding deity is in water as the sanctum is a part of the well.

A rare image of Ganesh found in a cave at Kombeng in Borneo is an idol with four arms. He can be seen holding a Parashu (Meaning: axe), Akshamaala (Meaning: beaded chain) and wearing a Jatamukuta in the head.

Khade Ganeshji in Rajastan is a three eyed version of the lord, which is believed to be a very ancient installation still in worship.

Many Ganesha images can be found in Afghanistan. A sixth century image of Ganesh is now seen placed in Darga Peer Rattan Nath in Kabul.

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