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

Rural electricity in India

  • Approximately one-third of the individuals living in India do not currently have access to electricity, and most of these individuals reside in rural areas. More specifically, an estimated 45% of rural households remain without electricity.

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  • A promising approach to the challenge of rural electrification is to increase the deployment of decentralized energy generation through the use of microgrids, which refers to a smaller-scale electric grid combined with a local generation source.
  • Officially, 95% of villages in India are classified as electrified.The reason for this apparent disconnect is two-fold. First, villages are considered by the government to be electrified if at least 10% of their households are electrified and if their public structures such as schools and health centers are also electrified. Second, hamlets – or settlements on
    the outskirts of a village – are often not included in the statistics on the percentage of villages currently receiving electricity.
  • Most villagers in any region of India were could afford enough electricity to power two light bulbs and a cell phone charger.Even if their demand were to increase to a level that could power three light bulbs, a television, a fan, and a number of other appliances, which estimates that the average load for a rural household would amount to less than one-third of a kilowatt.If a rural village consists of 45 to 60 households, peak load demand would thus only total approximately 15 to 20 kilowatts. This poses a challenge for rural electrification because low demand makes it harder to recover the upfront investment needed to extend the central grid or to install distributed generation (DG) technologies in remote areas.
  • The cost of generating, transmitting, and distributing electricity from a coal thermal power plant to remote areas of the country to range between Rs. 3.18/kWh to Rs. 231/kWh for villages that are between 5 and 25 km away from the central grid.They find that for villages with about 20 households and a peak load of 5 kW that are 5 km from the grid, the cost of electricity is about Rs. 26/kWh. This cost of generation, transmission, and distribution increases to Rs. 95/kWh if the required grid extension is about 10 km.
  • In 2010-2011, India’s nationwide losses were 23.97%. In comparison, according to the World Bank, China had transmission losses of just 6% from 2009 to 2013. Most of the losses in India stem from three main causes: (a) theft and illegal use of electricity from the lines or tampering with the meters; (b) non-paying consumers; and (c) non/under-billing by the distribution companies.The losses can be even higher in some states. Research from Greenpeace shows that the transmission and distribution losses in Bihar, the state with the lowest electrification rates,
    are as high as 46.4%

Respect legends. FEDAL.

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Of late, I have seen posts and news articles proclaiming Stan Wawrinka as the new King of Clay. I strongly feel that these persons would have started watching tennis from this May onwards. No offences to Stan. Full credits to him for playing Roger & Novak the way it should be played. He deserved the 2015 Roland Garros crown. But…..is that sufficient enough to term him as the King of Clay.

A total of 9 Roland Garros. 8 consecutive Monte-Carlo & Barcelona titles. 7 Rome titles, 80-odd match consecutive match winning streak on clay and so on that I could hardly remember. Those “few” people, who say Stan is the new King of clay, you think without surpassing these records one can be crowned so. Is that crown so cheap? Please be sensible. These records would definitely be broken, but not in the near future. Even Rafa modestly, said, “If I can do it, anybody can do it”. But, it would take atleast a decade for someone to reach this level and I do not see anyone in the near future to break these.

The same insensibility occurred to Roger, when “few” after the 2008 Wimbledon final started terming Rafa as the “Greatest of all-time”, which Rafa still denies and he is right. Roger is a legend, who had dominated this sport like no other in history or in the near future. I am not a fortune teller, but winning 5 consecutive Wimbledon & US open is no easy task and the bigger task being his consistency. Nobody would dare to come near his excellence on those courts (barring clay) during the 2000s. No.1 for 300 odd weeks, I suppose. That is Greatness. That is sheer dominance. That is why he would be always the “Greatest” of all time and Nadal would be the person who stood firmly on Roger’s way from achieving even more. Rafa’s 23-10 head-to-head record shows hoe Rafa stopped Roger only and this in no way makes Rafa the “greatest”. Rafa might be “greater”. That’s all.

This period of 2000s is the Golden Age of this sport ever and a huge contribution has been put forward by these 2 legends, followed by Novak & Murray. I request people to start respecting legends and their legacy. I sincerely also request them to be more sensible in penning out their thoughts. Thanking you.

Always with you, Rafa !!

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“When did you last cry?”…had this question been asked day before yesterday, my answer would have been “No Idea? I hardly remember.” But if you pose the same question to me today, my answer would be YESTERDAY. The reason was you, Rafa.

Roland Garros 2015. Quarter final. Rafa vs. World No.1 Djoker. Djoker had everthing in him to win this and Rafa had nothing to defend with. A one-sided match.  Never lived upto the expectations of the viewers. But it is a day that I would never forget and you either.

No player in the history of tennis had been in such a career intertwined with injuries and miracle comebacks like you. I do not know what aspiring tennis professionals are learning from you, but we fans are learning the qualities of never-say-die and be humble attitude from you. This has been the greatest lesson you have taught me, not only through your matches, but also through your interview.

From Federer, the greatest in history, one can learn how to be classy. From you, Rafa one can learn on how to be gracious in victory and most importantly, in defeat.

The Greater King you are. Off-court. On-court, well, I leave this verdict to you all those people out there to decide it. I admire you for the person you are, rather than a player you were/are. My admiration towards you will never cease and in spite of all these defeats, I only see within me that I have been admiring you more and more. I have been terribly angry on you for the last 7 months for the performance that you gave. I have to vent my anger somehow, right. But I do realize that sitting within 4 walls and commenting on you is very easy than playing on a court with hundreds of fans surrounding you on all 4 directions. But still, I am sorry Rafa. I too am a human, right? Hope you understand me. But please remember Rafa, all this anger is only due to the profound and perpetual admiration that I always have on you.

I am skeptical whether you would make a comeback like how you did twice or thrice earlier in your career. Whether you would win a Grand Slam again, I am clueless. I have no idea whether you would achieve the La Decima in Roland Garros. But, I am definitely sure of the fact that nobody could ever win the hearts of millions and millions of people around the world like how you did and no other player can draw such an admiration than you, Rafa. Nobody can. Nobody will.

Love you the most, Rafa. Ever. Love you for what you were. For what you are and for what you would be. Still eager to watch you play on-court regardless of the results that it yields.

Keep inspiring. Always admiring.

Jodhpur: My Travel Register

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  • Jodhpur is strategically located at the centre of Rajasthan and any part of Rajasthan from here takes at the max. of 5-6 hours
  • 10 hours is the travelling time from New Delhi to Jodhpur in Mandore Express
  • It requires a maximum of 3 days to complete the visit to popular tourist attractions and a proper utilized trip would require a perfect 2 days. Nothing more. Nothing less.
  • Non vegetarian food is very uncommon in Jodhpur and in Rajasthan in general. So kindly do not waste time searching for one.
  • It is advisable to find an accommodation near the fort as this is the most centric attraction of Jodhpur
  • Do not forget to have a close look at the “so-called-well” near the fort where the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” was taken. (Remember the scene where Wayne comes out of the underground prison. You got it ???…Yup…it was shot here)

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  • Lots of economical accommodations are available in Jodhpur. So the issue of accommodation is not a threat at all. Check out lonelyplanet.com for a wide variety of choices.

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  • Trek your way towards the Mehrangarh fort instead of taking an auto/cab. This small trek of 2 to 4 km would be really amazing as it takes you through the alleys of Jodhpur. You would be able to listen to the voices (noises) of the true India
  • Rajasthan footwear, Jodhpur footwear in specific, is widely famous and it is a very good idea to purchase a pair or two while leaving Jodhpur. Search it out in streets, instead of malls.

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  • Flying fox, which is an adventurous sport, within Mehrangarh fort is definitely the #1 thing to do in Jodhpur. It takes hardly 75 minutes to finish the 6 zip line which stretches across the various directions surrounding the fort. Get ready for some adrenaline rush.

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  • Jaswant Thada, which is a stone’s throw away from Mehrangarh Fort, is definitely a place to visit but kindly do not waste much time there. For taking photography of the Mehrangarh fort, Jaswant Thada is the best place.

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  • Jodhpur has its own chain of classical luxury hotels. So luxury lovers are in a treat too. But, these are far away from the fort and you would be wasting your precious time in travel.
  • A Rajasthani Thali is a must try. Nirali Dhani (quite far away from the city) is one of the ideal places to experience it. Spicy food lovers may not find it amazing, as they are very less in spices.
  • Umaid Palace is an another place to watch out for. It is a private residence of a Maharaj, part of which is now functioning as a hotel. About 10 km away from the fort, this place enables you to experience a bird’s eye view of the city.

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  • Umaid Palace is adorned with a showcase of vintage cars. So car lovers, be ready for the joy awaiting you there.
  • Mandore Gardens which requires a 10 km travel is another popular tourist destination. In here you can see the memorials of various kings of the Mewar Region. It is also an popular film shooting spot and notably, Mr. Salman Khan (a popular Indian actor) was arrested at this place for hunting down an endangered species.

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