Divya Desam #76 & #77/Thirunavai & Thiruvithuvakode

In the month of May, I had traveled to these places. Back-to-back.  Having Coimbatore as my hometown proved very beneficial in visiting these temples. Traveling by car made it much more easier. The train conveyance, though available, is not so convenient to visit these two temples. You need to start at very early at 0330 hours to catch a train at Podanur Junction (This is a different station and is pretty far from the Coimbatore Junction).  Traveling by buses is definitely not a best option unless you are planning to have a night stay near the temple premises.

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Thiruvithuvakode Temple

 

The sacrament of the idols in the Thirumittakode temple is believed to have been personally conducted by the Pandavas. Each Pandavas have individually carried on rituals for their respective idols. This temple is situated near the banks of a river and this would be a scenic view for the devotees.

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Thiruvithuvakode Temple – Google View

 

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Another view of Thiruvithuvakode Temple

One big surprise or you may call it wonder is that, devotees need to enter the grabha griha (sanctum sanctorum) by crossing over a small stone barricade. Though the reason for this is unknown, it is believed to have been there since the time of the temple erection. This is the first time I have come across such a entrance for a temple.

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Thirunavai Temple

The other temple which is around 35 km far from Thiruvittakode is Thirunaavya. This too is situated across on the banks of Bharathapuzha river. This temple is pretty well-known, guessing by the footfalls I had seen during my visit. The former temple had very few footfalls.

From Coimbatore, it will take a minimum of 3 hours to reach to these two temples. Starting around 5 a.m from Coimbatore, would enable one to visit both the temples by afternoon.

One can very well rely on Google Maps to locate both the temples.

Another important thing that one must always keep in mind is that entry for men into any Kerala temple would be permitted only if he wears a dhoti with a towel wrapped around his shoulders. Sarees, salwars are the garments that would be accepted. Jeans, trousers and shorts would not be entertained.

Happy visiting,  kowthamkumark@gmail.com

Divya Desam #64/Thirukkadigai: My Travel Register

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The view of the temple from afar

This is the temple located far away from Chennai. You need to board a train to Arakkonam and from there you need to board another bus towards Vellore that passes through Sholinghur. This temple is located at the outskirts of the town and you can disembark near the temple.

  • One of the few divya desams in Tamilnadu, that is located on a hillock
  • Periya Koil (Big Temple): With a total of 1305 steps, this hillock is one exciting trek.
  • Chinna Koyil (Small Temple): It has around 400 steps and is situated adjacent to the big temple.
  • The chief deities in Big Temple and Small Temple are Yoga Narasimhar and Yoga Anjaneyar (Hanuman) respectively.

I had boarded a sub-urban train to Arakkonam from Chennai Central at around 06:15 hrs. The journey would be of 120 minutes. From Arakkonam railway station, I took an auto to the central bus stand. Buses to Sholinghur would be very frequent, say for every 5-10 minutes.

Sholinghur is 30 km away from Arakkonam and towards Vellore city. The journey towards SHolinghur would be a maximum of 40 mins. The temple is a very prominent spot and the bus would halt at the temple for a minute 0r two. So locating the temple would be an issue for the devotees.

A huge Anjaneyar (Hanuman) idol would be seen. It marks the spot of the entrance towards the temple. From the main road, one need to travel a distance of 1-2 km towards the hillock. Numerous share autos (fare of Rs.10/-) would be available for travelling this distance.

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The footsteps leading to the temple

From the above picture, you can very well see that the full stretch of the footsteps would be covered by overhead sheets. This is the best part. Considering the hot climatic nature of the town, this would be the greatest relief. Devotees can rest on the side walls and can continue the journey as per their convenience.

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The 300th step

One big precaution that must be taken is to safeguard yourselves from the monkey. You would be finding more monkeys than the devotees throughout the trek uphill. It is advisable not to carry any water bottles or eatables with you. However, if you happen to carry any pooja items make sure that you conceal it properly. Added to it, you can get a stick at the foothills which would be a perfect defence mechanism to be used against the monkeys.

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The temple would be open from 08:00 hrs to 17:00 hrs. There would not be any break in-between. So you can plan your trek accordingly. There is no escaping the scorching sun.

You would be treated with an awesome view of the landscape around. It would be a treater to watch.

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There would be numerous water bottle and food stalls along the trek. So one need not worry about it. The stalls would be found halfway through the trek.

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Resting places along the uphill trek. Cool breezes would help you have a quick refresh.

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Step No. 1305

For more details: Dinamalar & Official website.

Divya Desam #59/Thiruvallur-My Travel Register

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Veeraraghava Perumal Temple

Boarding the sub-urban (local) to Thiruvallur train would be the better option than traveling by buses. Trains to Arrakonam pass through this place. So, there wont be much constraints in conveyance.

The temple is around 4 km from the railway station. Numerous autos and buses would be available. However, share-autos would the apt choice as they would cost Rs. 10/-.

The temple is located in the heart of the city and a large pond is located nearby.

Unlike other Ragnantha Perumal where the right hand would be placed near the head, the deity in this temple is found extending the right hand outside the body of Adisheshan. A sage is seen supporting the hand by his head.

Legend:

  • The Perumal here is Veeraraghava Perumal and he is capable of curing diseases so he is called “Vaithiya Veeraraghavan”.
  • The god married the Thaayar, who borne in this sthalam as the daughter of King Dharmasenan and was named as “Vasumathi”.
  • There is another legend that Lord Shiva got rid of his Brahmahathi Dosha after worshipping Lord Vishnu in this sthala. There is a small Shrine for Lord Shiva in this temple premises.

For more details on timing and other, click here.

Happy visiting !

Myself & Divya Desams

Apologies for bringing up this article very late. Ideally this should have been my first blog post before introducing you to the various of my travel registers to Divya Desam.

I am totally surprised by my undertaking to visit all these 108 divya desams. It came as a flash on my mind while returning from Sri Rangam. I have been to Sri Rangam numerous times and never earlier had such a thought aroused. On the 3rd of April 2016, post-visit to Sri Rangam, this idea of visiting these 108 temples struck my head. Was it a random thought or destiny or God’s way; well, I have no idea what it was. But it had happened. I browsed through the temple list and I found it to be highly feasible to complete. Though temples in the north of India required extensive planning, the rest 80-90% of the temples are located in the southern part of India. So, hope was much bright and so I started this visit.

The initial start was difficult. Let it be anywhere or anything, it is the initiation that requires more attitude to pursue. Once started, the rest just flows with you. Following SriRangam, since I happened to be in Chennai, I started with the divya desams around the city.

Brief introductory details:

Location

  • India – 105
  • Nepal – 1
  • Celestial world – 2

Direction of deity

  • Facing East – 79
  • Facing West – 19
  • Facing North –  3
  • Facing South – 7

Postures

  • Kidantha Thirukkolam (Sleeping posture) – 27
  • Irundha Thirukkolam (Sitting posture) – 21
  • Nindra Thirukkolam (Standing posture) – 60

For more elaborate details: http://pedia.desibantu.com/divyadesams/

Happy reading, Kowtham Kumar K

 

Divya Desam #58/Thiruninravur-My Travel Register

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Located at about 32 km from Chennai (aprox). The most easy way for travel would be by the local (sub-urban) trains. Trains travelling to Arakkonam and Thiruvallur would pass through this place.

The temple is located within 2 km from the railway station. Numerous share-autos would be available. So, you would be facing much constraints for travel and it also becomes needless to draft an extensive travel plan.

Fairly small temple. Its historical significance is not so mighty unlike other temples in the divya desam list. Its a rather quiet temple operating without much fanfare. However, the most beautiful thing in this temple is that, you can see the main deity Bhaktavasala Perumal at close proximities. After Thirukadalmallai, I feel this temple to be the next most place where we can see the deity at close quarters.

On the inner walls of the temple, one can find the complete photos of all the 108 divya desams. Its good to have such a feature. It helps you in planning for further trips and also information is wealth. Nothing wrong in knowing about temples and deities.

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Before entering the temple, you would be welcomed by this huge tree. Seeing such massive  trees has been a rarity these days. One would wonder how old this tree would be. The cold breeze that this tree offered had filled the whole area. Absolutely mesmerising.

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Temple Timing : 7:30am-12 noon and 4:30pm-8:30pm. After having opening the temple, it usually takes 15-20 minutes to open the inner sanctum. So, kindly plan to reach the temple accordingly to avoid waiting.

For more details: PRTraveller / Dharsanam/ Aalayam Kandean

Happy visiting, Kowtham Kumar K