Note: There is Walajabad near Padappai/Kanchipuram and people easily
gets confused with Walajapet and Walajabad. Hence please make a note of the same.
Visalakshi ammai sametha Kasi Viswanadhar temple
The temple is in Walajapet town. By visiting this temple, one can get
rid of fear of death. Kala bairavar and Sani are opposite to each other and this is a Sani dosha nivarthi sthalam.
Bala Murugan Temple at Rathinagiri
Rathinagiri is about 13 km from Vellore towards Chennai and is famous
for the Murugan temple on a hillock. There are 130 steps to the hillock top. Saint Arunagirinadhar had sung Thiruppugazh on
this temple. The temple belonging to the 14th century was under dilapidated conditions a few decades back and with
the efforts of Sri Swami Balamugan Adimai, the temple is now restored to its full glory with fantastic sculptural works, big
mandapams etc., to the extent of people calling this as the 7th Padai Veedu of Lord Muruga.
Swami Balamugan Adimai, who was called Sachithanantham in his early days
was working as a clerk in the Electricity Department and one day, while on his way to work, he climbed the Rathinagiri Hill
to offer his prayers. There was neither camphor nor incense available at the poor and dilapidated temple. He walked around
the shrine with a heavy heart and was suddenly overcome with divine awakening. He fainted onto the ground and on waking up
he was unable to remember his own self. He dressed himself in a loincloth and took a sacred vow not to leave until the temple
was restored to its former glory. This memorable event of Swami’s spiritual awakening took place on 20th March 1968
and he maintains silence all these years.
The official website is available here and also the temple is covered in Vikatan Publication’s ‘Nimmafhi Tharum Sannidhi’ part 2 book.
Murugar temple at Kangeyanallur
Location: Kangeyanallur is between Vellore and Katpadi.
Temple: Sri Kangeeswarar temple
in Kangeyanallur was built during the time of Chola rulers. The temple dedicated to Lord Muruga was built some 500 years ago.
Sculptures are artistically engraved in the gopuram depicting the Kandhapuranam and the six Padaiveedus of Lord Muruga. It
is said that the sculpturer who created the Thiruthani Murugan temple has created this as well. It is said that Lord Muruga
here is being worshipped by sages and celestial gods during mid-nights everyday. The temple was renovated by Sri Thirumuruga
Kirupanandha Variyar, a popular exponent of Hindu Scriptures and his father Sri Mallaiyadhas Bhagavadhar. When Mallaiyadhas
Bhagavadhar conducted the Kumbabhisheham in 1933, his son Srisailavasan fell from 50 feet but after intense prayer and applying
holy ash over him, he just woke up without any injury. An inscription about this incident is present in the temple.
Theertham: Saravana Poihai (created by Krupanandha Variyar)
Variyar’s Knowledge centre:
This is present opposite the temple where Kirupanandha Variyar was cremated. There is a 24 hours Moksha deepam burning here
facing the North direction.
Contact: Sri Thiruvadi 98423 11755; Office – 0416
More details are available in Vikatan Publication’s ‘Punniya Yathirai’ book
– Vallimalai – Ponnai ( Chithoor) NH4
Sri Vilvanatheswarar temple Thiruvalam
- One of the 275 sacred temples glorified by the Thevara hymns
- Considered holier than Kasi and is referred as a Mukthistalam
- Nandhi here is huge and is facing away from the shrine towards Kanjangiri
nearby and is said to be guarding the temple from a demon Kanjan of Kanjan giri.
- Ambal shrine is said to be of great significance here.
- Vinayakar is said to have obtained the celestial mango from Shiva here
after the circum ambulation of Shiva and Parvathi devi. That’s why the place is called Thiruvalam.
- Here, Lord Siva destroyed the yagna by Dakshan.
- Tamil poet Avvaiyar is said to be associated with this shrine.
Location: While traveling from
Chennai on the Bangalore highway, immediately after the tollgate at Walajapet, take the right road NH4 under a road over-bridge
towards Chithur (old Banglore road). Travel in the NH4 itself and you will pass through a rail 0ver-bridge and immediately
after, you can see a juction of two bridges. Take the old bridge on the left and the temple is just at the end of the bridge.
Thiruvalam is around 25 km from Vellore and while traveling from Vellore,
go to Katpadi, and take the road (towards east) to Thiruvalam at Katpadi bus stand. Proceed till you meet the Chennai-Chithor
NH4 highway and Thiruvalam is right at this junction.
Temple: This temple is on the
Western Bank of the Pennar river, the water of which was once known for its healing powers. The river is also called neeva,
shiva said “nee vaa” and the river sprang forth. This is a very huge and beautiful temple, built by the Pallavas
and Cholas. There are quite a few references of Rajendra Chola in the stone inscriptions. Although the presiding deity faces
the East, the temple entrance faces the South. Inscriptions reveal that this was a grand pilgrimage center in the past with
facilities for pilgrims travelling between Southern Tamilnadu and Benares (Kasi). A fine image of Perumal also adorns the
temple. There are idols for the 27 birth stars on the vimaanam of the sanctum sanctorum. Almost all the pillars are very nicely
decorated with some sculptures. The legend of Nandhi protecting the village from demon Kanjan is depicted in a sculpture.
There is a ‘100 pillars Natarajar Mandapam’ here which is extremely quiet. In the left side outer praharam, there
is a underground passage and no one knows where it leads to! The temple has highlighted all the inscriptions with white and
yellow paint and made it easy to read.
Sri Somnatheshwarar Temple at Melpadi
This is about 12 kms from Thiruvalam towards Vallimalai(Ponnai).
It is close to the shore of the Pennar river and was the border between Chola and Rashtrakuta kingdoms. The temple is
being maintained by Archeological Society of India. Arinjaya Chola (AD 956-967), the great grand father of Rajaraja chola
died here after the war at Thakkolam and so this temple was built in memory of it.
Sri Choleswara temple, the tomb shrine
of Arinjaya chola was built over the mortal remains of Chola Arinjaya by his grandson Chola Raja Raja I in the year
AD 1014. This is just opposite the Somnatheswarar temple across the road.
This beautiful hill is located at 16 km north of the Thruvalam en route
Ponnai, 4 km from Melpadi. Valli Malai is considered the birth place of Valli, one of the two consorts of Lord Muruga. The
stunning beauty of Valli Malai with its pools, fresh greenery, caves and unusual rock formations stands as mute testimony
to the continuing presence of the ever-youthful Goddess Herself. There is a natural rock formation like an elephant called
Ganesh Giri where Lord Ganesa has helped in the Valli Tirumanam.
There is a Subramanya Swamy Temple, Valli Temple and a beautiful and
clean Saravana Poihai temple tank at the base of the hill. At the top of the hill, there is a Subramanya Swamy Cave temple
which is being maintained by Archeological Society of India (ASI). There are about 500 steps to climb through a picturesque
path. At the top of the hill, there are many water streams (sunai) also.
There is another way to climb down and half way through that, there are
caves where Jain saints stayed and Jain Sculpture are present in the rocks which are also being maintained by ASI. Vallimalai
had been one of the important Jaina centers during the early medieval period. According to Kannada inscriptions, the natural
cavern was converted into Jaina adobe by prince Rajamalla of Western Ganga dynasty in the 10th century.
People cannot stop making a trip to Vallimalai if they happen to see
it in photos.
More details are available here and also here
Sri Ranganathar Temple at Erukkampet
Being maintained by Archeological Society of India (ASI), this
is close to Melpadi and Vallimalai on a lake bund. This is a 9th century temple and the main deity, Sri Ranganathar
is in Sayana posture but not sure whether it is a living temple with daily poojas.
Sorna Vinayagar Temple(also
called Navagraha Kottai) at Ponnai
This is a beautifully painted modern day temple glittering in gold and
the main deity is the ancient Swayambu Vinayagar. By the side of the main shrine, there is a small nandhavanam
with 9 Navagrahas in separate Sannidhis with their respective Viruksham(tree), Dhaanyam(grain), Cloth, colour
etc., There is also a shrine for Kasi Viswanathar temple behind the main shrine. This is about 2kms from the Ponnai
town and about 6 kms north of Vallimalai. This is a beautiful must-see temple but like all modern day temples – little
Sri Mouna Guruswamy Ashram at Thangal
Srilasri Mouna Guruswamy and Guriji Sundararam Swamigal Ashram is at
Shiva temple at Kanchan giri
Kanchan giri is connected to Thiruvalam temple by legend. The Nandhi
of Thiruvalam temple had destroyed the demon Kanchan of this hill and his flesh pieces around this hill had become Swayambu
lingas after the holy water was sprinkled on them. Knowing this legend, some ashram people from Coimbatore came here, researched
and collected all the Swayambu lingams and arranged them in one place. There are around 100 of them on a plateau on top of
Location: It is about 7 kms from Ranipet en
route Ponnai. After crossing a village called Agravaram you will reach a place called Lalapet. Kanchanagiri hill will be visible
from Lalapet itself. You can also come from Melpadi which is about 5 kms.