Make your own free website on Tripod.com

The Temples of Tamilnadu

Kottaimalai Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple

Home
Non Divya Desam Sthalams
Vishnu Sthalams
Navagraha Temples of Chennai
Navagraha Sthalams
Nava Thirupathi Divya Desams
Padavedu
Naalaayira Divya Prabhandham.

lalitha201.jpg
Sri Venugopalaswamy - Kottaimalai

Along with the other temples of Padavedu, this ancient temple for Sri Venugopala Swamy is also of the Sambuvarayar period. It opens only on Saturdays from 9AM to 4PM and is located on top of the Raja Gambeera Mountain popularly known as Kottaimalai at a height of about 2500 feet. The mountain is around 4 km away from Sri Renugambal temple on the western side. The only route available is a ghat road running through a thick and beautiful forest. A breath- taking journey to this temple for the devotees, is arranged through  a specially driven tractor. The tractor takes people to the foot of the temple, from where there are about 350 steps to climb. En route, one has to pass through a few iron bridges constructed around the hill which are engineering marvels.

Tractor Ride

One has to assemble in front of the TVS office, opposite to Indian Bank, on the way from Renugambal Temple to Ramar Temple. There are only two trips up the mountain to the Temple by tractor.  The first trip timings, up the hill by tactor, will be at 6:30 - 6:45 A.M.  and the second trip will be at 8.30 - 9.00 A.M. The tractor has a seating for 6 people at the front for weight balance and a specially made trailer to carry pooja items where people can stand also. Every individual abhisheha and annadhana items are loaded on to the tractor and the tractor proceeds to the Temple from TVS Office when there are enough occupants for each trip. A total of six persons can be seated in the front, 8 seated around the driver and about 8 could be accomodated by standing at the back in the trailer. 

Tractor - Ready to start Vasudeva Bhattacharyar in front of TVS Office from where the Tractor starts

Enroute is the Draupadhi amman temple junction where you could alight from the tractor to buy breakfast from a small hotel located there.  

Beautiful and Clean Village Atmosphere

Anjaneyar View from Veera Anjaneyar Temple Headless !

The Draupadhi Amman Temple junction is an important landmark since all the routes to different temples branches off here. Veera Anjaneyar Temple is located just near the junction; in one direction, we have Ramar temple, Vel Temple and Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar Temple; in another direction we have Renugambal Temple and the Subramanya Swamy Temple; in another direction. Near the junction we have Ammaiyappa Eswar Temple and in the other direction we have Chinna kottai Varadharaja Temple and Kottaimalai. Synonymous to the way all the temples are being maintained here, this junction is also very clean and we can  see people constantly cleaning the area throughout the day. It is a picturesque village scene with 2 mammoth Banyan trees with their large branches cut off evenly and the presence of an Anjaneyar idol under one tree; a headless village god sculpture, Draupadi amman temple and the Veera Anjaneyar temple.  A lovely place to have a village “Katta Panchayat” scene!

The real journey to Kottaimalai starts from this junction. There is about 2 kms of travel on the plains through beautiful paddy, sugarcane and plantain fields.

IMG_2942

The ghat road starts here and people coming in their own four wheelers park the vehicle here and continue either by tractor or by walk.

Start of ghat road Start of ghat road 1

The tractor journey is a further 4 kms around on the ghat road.  While going up on the very steep paths, the passengers in the front are invariably pushed back and there is little or no support at the back and the passengers will find it a bit difficult to maintain the equilibrium. One has to hold on tight, while passing through these steep pathways.  A tough, unforgetable and above all, an enjoyable experience indeed!

Tractor ride

It is a bushy and not-so-dense forest with plenty of trees. The path is also easily walkable and many people come by walk.  People can ride on their bikes as well.  You have to be little careful while coming by two wheelers because there is a chance of the bikes getting wheeled-up easily while climbing steep heights due to the  weight of the  pillion rider.

IMG_2924 IMG_2926 IMG_2931 IMG_2932 IMG_2937

At one point, the road is very steep along with a sharp hair-pin bend and it requires a really skilled driver for the Tractor. It is a little scary, to be true.

Midway there is a path leading to Shenbaga Thoppu dam, around 3 kms from there.

A sharp hair-pin bend that also got down steeply

Hill Climbing through Steps:

The tractor journey ends here and we have to cover the further distance by climbing through steps. After thanking the Gods here by lighting camphor for a safe passage [journey on Tractor], the passengers, along with the temple officials carrying the abishekam and annadhanam items, will have to start climbing through the steps to the mountain top.

End of tractor journey - Start of climbing through steps Carrying Abhisheha and annadhana items Iron Bridge Iron Bridge 2 IMG_2845 stitched 1

The highlight of the journey being the breath-taking view all the way during this climb through the steps.

IMG_2817 IMG_2822 IMG_2824 IMG_2839 IMG_2846

There are many trees grown over the rocks and the stone walls.

IMG_2840 IMG_2848

One should never forget to take binoculars - all the Padavedu temples are clearly visible from here.

IMG_2844

Beautiful view of the Shenbaga Thoppu Dam

Shenbaga Thoppu Dam Shenbaga Thoppu Dam 1

It is a great feeling on reaching the top. The climbing through steps takes about an hour, spending some time enjoying the breath taking views, the breeze and what not. It is not at all strenuous and undoubtedly, a very enjoyable journey all the way to the top. Roughly there are 500 steps to the top.

Well, the pleasure does not stop here…

Finally, at the top Temple entrance and the Stone Dwajasthambam

Mountain top

If at all we are tired, all the pain vanishes once we stand here for a few minutes. Since this is a a mountain standing alone amidst other mountains around and also due to the 2500 feet height factor, a very strong and cool breeze blows out here. One has to stand very carefully with a firm grip on the ground, else we will be easily thrown off. With the help of binoculars, one can spot a few tribe hamlets with beautiful and uniform housings.  A scenery so beautiful and definitely, a treat for the eyes! A helipad is also under construction.

IMG_2904 IMG_2905 IMG_2909 IMG_2912 IMG_2913

Will there be a better place to rest alone? One wonders.....

Nice place to sit alone

A cave like structure and a possible hide-out from the enemies.

Possible Cave

Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple Description

Periya Kottai Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple

            Exploring the Rich Temple Heritage of Tamil Nadu