Divya Desam #60/Thiruvallikeni: My Travel Register

  • The closest divya desam to the city of Chennai. Infact, it is in the heart of the city. The chief deity, Paarthsaarathy sports a moustache. This makes this temple unique as this is the only perusal temple in the world with such a facial feature.
  • The idol is said to have war scars on its face depicting the wounds that Lord Krishna had earned during the Kurukshetra battle. These scars were believed to have caused by Bhishma’s arrows

Personal experience:

  • One of the very few divya desams where you can easily and clearly see the chief deity the moment you step into the garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum). From the moment you step in, till the moment you leave the chamber, you can easily view the idol. One of the best things that you can experience in this temple.
  • Since the location is within the city, minimal plan would enable you to a good visit

Other divya desams that can be visited having Chennai as the focal point:

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Divya Desam #63/Thirukkadalmallai: My Travel Register

This temple is spot on the Mahabalipuram bus terminus. Arjuna’s penance is right behind this temple. The Shore temple is a few kilometre from this temple too. So, if you happen to be in Mahabalipuram, this temple is a definitely must-visit place and it can easily be located too. The most unique point of this temple is that the chief deity Ranganathar is in his recline position but without his Adisheshan.

Name: Sthalasayana Perumal Temple

Deity: Sri Ranganathar

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Legend:

Mamallapuram sea region was once dense with forests.  Sage Pundareeka was performing penance here.  He saw lotus flowers in a tank nearby and wanted them to be placed at the feet of Lord Narayana in the Milk Ocean-Tiruparkadal.  Picking up the flowers, he proceeded to Tiruparkadal but the sea obstructed his march.  To make way, he began to dry the sea by removing the water day and night.  This went on for years.  Tired, he cried “Oh Lord Parandhama, if I am your true devotee, let the sea dry and make way for me and till such time I reach you these flowers should not fade off.”  His mind was completely set on Lord.  Perumal appeared before him as an aged man.

The old man asked the sage to get him food as he was hungry.  He also advised him to stop his impossible task and do something worthwhile.  The sage asked the old man to hold his flower basket and wait till he brought food for him saying that he was determined to see Perumal in Tiruparkadal, place the flowers at His feet  and would not rest till then.  The sage went to bring food for the old man.  Before he returned, Perumal wore all the flowers on His Thirumeni – body – and was in his reclining posture.  It was a pleasant shock for the sage to see his Lord and begged His pardon for making Him carry the flower basket and also begged to allow him at His feet.

As Lord gave darshan in His reclining position, He is praised as Sthala Sayana (reclining) Perumal.

Other divya desams that can be visited having Chennai as the focal point:

58-Thirunindravur

59-Thiruvallur

60-Thiruvallikeni

61-Thiruneermalai

62-Thiruvedanthai

64-Thirukkadigai

Happy visiting, Kowtham Kumar K

References:

www.divyadesam.com

Dinamalar-Divya Desam

Divya Desam #62/Thiruvidanthai: My Travel Register

Name: Nithya Kalayana Perumal Temple

Location: 25 km from Chennai (Towards Mahabalipuram)

Travel: Bus or Car from Chennai or Mahabalipuram. Train conveyance is not possible.

If travelling by bus, boarding buses travelling towards Mahabalipuram from Thiruvanmyivur is the ideal choice.

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Legend I:

During Thretha Yuga, Bali the son of king Meganathan was ruling the kingdom in a righteous way.  Demons Mali, Malyavan and Sumali and others sought the help of Bali to fight against the devas.  Bali simply declined to help them.  The demons  fought alone were defeated by the Devas.  They came again to Bali for help which he obliged this time.  Bali won the war but was afflicted with Brahmmahati dosha.  He came to this place for relief and performed penance on Lord Perumal.  Pleased with his penance, Perumal appeared before Bali and granted darshan in Varaha Rupa.

Legend II:

Sage Kuni and his daughter performed penance on Lord Narayana to reach Sorga-Paradise.  Kuni alone reached Sorga but not the daughter.  Maharshi Narada told the young girl that she could not reach Sorga as she was not married.  He requested other sages to marry her.  One Kalava Maharshi married her and got 360 female children.  He performed penance on Lord Narayana begging Him to marry his daughters.  Narayana did not come.  A brahmmachari – bachelor came one day there saying that he was on a Divyadesa Yatra.  As he was very handsome as Nayarana, the sage requested him to marry his daughters.  He agreed and married one each day.  On the last day, He showed what He was.  He was but Narayana in the form of Varaha.  He fused all the daughters into one and had them on His left lap.  As Perumal had them together in one form on His Left Lap (left in Tamil is Idam) the place came to be known as Tiruvidavendhai which later changed as Tiruvidandhai.

Uniqueness:

Of the celebrated 108 Divya Desas of Lord Vishnu, this is the only temple, where the Wedding Festival is celebrated throughout the year – all the 365 days of the year. Men and women facing delays in their wedding are advised to pray to Mother in the temple.

Other divya desams that can be visited having Chennai as the focal point:

58-Thirunindravur

59-Thiruvallur

60-Thiruvallikeni

61-Thiruneermalai

63-Thirukadalmallai

64-Thirukkadigai

Source:

Official temple website

Nithya Kalyana Perumal-Dinamalar

Divya Desam #61/Thiruneermalai: My Travel Register

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  • Following Thiruvallikeni Parthasarathy Temple, this temple is the next closely located temple from the city of Chennai
  • This temple is less than 5 km from places like Pallavaram, Chrompet & Anakaputhur
  • The complex is in two parts one at the base of the hill for the Staladhipadhi Neervanna Perumal (Ninran-Standing Posture), housing shrines of his consort Animamalar Mangai thayar, Kalyana Ramar and Andal. Shrine for Anjaneya (Hanuman) is to the right as one climbs up to the hill shrine.
  • The other temple complex located on the hillock has three shrines for Lord Ranganatha (Kidanthaan – in reclining posture), Trivikrama (Nadanthaan – in walking posture), Lord Narasimha (Irundhaan – sitting posture) and a Shrine for Ranaganayaki Thayar (facing East)

UNIQUE FEATURES

  • The Vishnu Avatar can be seen in all 4 postures (Standing, Sitting, Reclining & Walking)
  • Eight Vishnu temples in India are considered very important praised as Swayam Vyaktha Kshetras of which this Tiruneermalai temple is one. Others are Srirangam in Tiruchi district, Srimushnam in Cuddalore district, Tirupathi in south and Salagramam, Naimisaranyam, Pushkaram and Naraanapuram in north

LEGENDS

  • Temple was surrounded by water way back in time and hence the name ThiruNEERmalai (in Tamil: Neer-Water; Malai-Hill).
  • Saint Tirumangai Azhwar came to this place for Perumal’s darshan. He could not see Perumal as the mount was surrounded by water. Azhwar decided to wait and have the darshan of Lord and stayed in the opposite hill. Though days moved, water level did not recede. He was steadfast in his determination and waited till the water level lowered, had the darshan.
  • Though Lord Narasimha is known for his furious appearance, He is smiling and cool here. After killing Hiranya to save his devout son Prahlada from his tortures, He was still furious. Boy Prahlada was very much afraid of Lord’s fury. To make His devotee happy, Lord Narasimha shed His fury and appeared before Prahlada as a smiling boy Himself. He thus became Bala Narasimha. There is a shrine for him in the hill temple. Behind Bala Narasimha is Ugra (furious) Narasimha with two hands. We can worship Narasimha in two forms Bala and Ugra. .
  •  Sage Valmiki, author of the celebrated epic Ramayana, desired to have the wedding darshan of Lord Sri Rama. He came to this place and performed penance to achieve his aim. Lord Rama appeared before the sage as he wished with Mother Sita and brothers Sri Lakshmana, Sri Bharatha and Sri Satrugna. The sage wished the Lord to stay in the place for the benefit of all devotees and Lord was happy to oblige him.
  • After the darshan of Lord in Srirangam in reclining posture, sages Markandeya and Brugu were returning to their places. The darsahn at Srirangam was afresh in their minds. They prayed to Lord to grant them darshan again at this place. Lord granted the darshan as Boga Ranganatha in reclining posture in this place and continues to bless from the hill top His devotees.

TRAVEL TIPS/SUGGESTIONS

  • 200 steps to reach the temple from the foothill. So it is advisable to visit the temple early in the morning/evening to escape the scorching heat and feet burns, as you need to scale up the hillock without any footwear.
  • It’s a relatively very small temple and as the two temple complexes are nearly, you can very well wrap up the visit in an hour.
  • The options for food and accommodation is very limited. So, carry with you the necessary refreshments
  • Thiruneermalai is 4 kms from Chennai Pallavaram. Buses are available from Tambaram bus stand. Also one can reach Thiruneermalai by electric train from Egmore to Pallavaram and continue by bus. Nearest Railway station is Pallavaram and airport Chennai Meenambakkam.
  • Temple Timings: 8 AM -12 Noon and 4PM – 8 PM

Other divya desams that can be visited having Chennai as the focal point:

58-Thirunindravur

59-Thiruvallur

60-Thiruvallikeni

62-Thiruvedanthai

63-Thirukadalmallai

64-Thirukkadigai

REFERENCES:

Dinamalar-Thiruneermalai Temple

Thiruneermalai Temple Website