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The Temples of Tamilnadu

Temples In And Around Vellore (contd)
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Vellore – Ambur – Vaniyambadi

Sri Margapandeswarar Temple at Virinchipuram

This temple is located at around 15 km from Vellore.

Significances:

> 1300 years old temple – the oldest and the biggest temple of Vellore district

> The temple is famous for its prahara walls and the sculptures. ‘Virinchipuram Madhil Azhahu’ is a popular saying

> There are miniature Rajagopurams on the temple wall itself on two sides. If a small Rajagopuram itself can be built on the temple wall, the grandeur of the temple wall can be imagined. Also, this has a sacred significance that the Siddhars, Sages and Celestial Gods are believed to come here for worship during the nights through these exclusive entrance for them where the normal humans can not enter.

> Aadhi Shankarar had done the Beejakshara Pradhishtai to the Simha theertham of the temple

> Lord Brahma who could not reach the head of Lord Shiva once was born here and Lord Shiva bowed his head to accept the abhisheham from him as a small boy

> Arunachala Puranam, Siva Rahasiyam, Kanchi puranam and many other holy books have described this temple

> Sung by: Appayya Dikshithar, Thirumoolar, Pattinathar, Appar, Sambhandhar, Arunagiri nadhar and many others

> This is the birth place of Sri Appayya Dikshithar (1520-1593), the greatest interpreter of Advaitha Sidhantha after Adhi Sankara. His Margabandhu stotram on this Margabandheeswarar is for the protection of people while on journey. By reciting this one can have Lord Shiva with them as Marga-bandhu (protector during journey) along their journey.

Uthira Ranganathar temple at Pallikonda

Location: The temple is 23 km from Vellore, 1km inside from the Pallikonda junction towards Gudiyatham.

Significance: It is considered that if you stay for 3 nights at Kanchi, you get salvation but here if you stay just one night, you get salvation.

Legend: Indhran’s Brahma harthi dhosham got cleared here.

When there was a fight between Saraswathi and Lakshmi on who is bigger, Brahma declared Lakshmi is bigger. So Saraswathi deserted Brahma. When Brahma conducted an yagna, Saraswathi refused to join him. So Brahma married another lady called Savithri and conducted the Yagna. Saraswathi’s anger grew more and she tried to disturb the yagna with the help of demons by creating a flood in the Palar. Then he prayed to Lord Narayan and He just lied across the Palar river in 3 places to stop the flood. The places are Pallikondan (called Vadavarangam), Thiruparkadal and Yadhothkari at Kanchipuram.

Temple: Temple is inside a fort like structure. People getting married at this temple will get all the 16 types of wealth.

Note: The temple is under Balalayam (Feb 2009) for the renovation work.  So you may want to check before you go.

Sri Mahadevar temple at Mahadevamalai at Kankuppam village

This temple is located on the Katpadi-Gudiyattam route at around 14kms from Katpadi, 13 km to the east of Gudiyatham and to the north of Virinchipuram. This is a beautiful hilltop temple for Lord Shiva and there is a motorable ghat road till the hilltop.

Sri Subramanya Swamy Temple at Kailasagiri

This scenic hill temple for Lord Muruga is about 10 km north of Ambur; 15 km south of Pernampet; 32 kms from Gudiyatham on the Gudiyatham – Ambur route at a place called Kailasagiri. This is also Known as Gadambur temple. One can find this place next to Omarabad junction which is a popular place, there is a arch which welcomes us to the temple, one has to travel 2kms on the Ghat road and then climb nearly 300 steps to reach the temple. Caves and ponds(sunai)can be found at the top of the hill. Plan you visit in the mornings because the priest visits the temple during morning hours to perform pooja and gets down in half an hour.

Legend says that this is previously a shiva temple and during Mughal period the idols were thrown at the nearby pond. A few decades later during the British period Murugar idol has been installed in the temple and thus it came to be known as Murugar temple.

The place has ruins of a Mughal fort and water streams surround the temple area.

Ambur

Sri Periya Anjaneyar Temple

Location: This Vijayanagara period temple is located in the midst of Ambur town.

Significance: Sri Anjaneyar is found in a posture of stamping his leg on Sani bhagavan.

Legend: During the time of Sri Rama – Ravana war, Hanuman flew to get the Sanjeevini herbal to save Lakshman. All the nine Navagrahas were under the control of Ravana and were present as the nine foot steps in the Ravana’s palace, So, Ravana, sent Sani bhagavan to catch hold of Hanuman to stop bringing the Sanjeevini herbal. Hanuman, while bringing the whole Sanjeevini mountain, was stopped by Sani bhagavan and said that he was sent by Ravana to stop him. Hanuman got angry and chanting the Rama Nama, put the entire mountain on Sani bhagavan’s head. Unable to bear the pain, Sani bhagavan cried and Hanuman took off the mountain and stamped Sani bhagvan with one of his legs. Finally, Sani bhagvan apologized and pleaded to set him free. Hanuman ordered that he should not clutch any of his devotees who chant the great Sri Rama Nama and not even his sight should fall on them. Sani bhagvan agreed and finally got freed up.

Temple: The Hanuman deity is huge, about 11 feet high with Sani bhagavan being stamped under his leg.

Worship Benefits: Devotees who are much affected by Sani bhagavan can visit this temple to minimize the effect. Marriage prayers are answered.

Sthala viruksham: Nelli

All the Saturdays are special days to visit this temple.

The official site of the temple is this: http://www.periyaanjaneyartemple.org

Note: About 5 km from this temple, there is a small village named ‘Aanai madugu’, where the footprint of Sri Anjaneyar’s right leg is found. Every year, during Pongal, great utsavam is done and the utsavar of the Ambur temple visit here and great alankara utsavam is performed.

Sri Bindhu Madhava Perumal temple at Thuthipattu

This temple is located on the main road 2 kms before Ambur on the Gudiyatham-Ambur Road. The Rajagopuram of the temple is 45feet height the temple is rich in architecture.

Sri Nageswarar temple

Ancient temple located in the heart of the Ambur town, seems to be a Parihara Sthalam.

Gudiyatham

Gangai Amman temple

This is a very popular temple at Gudiyatham. Every year festival happens during the 1st of Vaikasi (approx. May 15). Lakhs of people from neighbouring places and Chennai gather here for the festival. Amman’s Sirasu (head) is carried around the town (ancestrally done by a potter’s family) and fixed on the body at the temple. Its carried by the person from the potters family itself on his head. Later, again the head is removed from the body and dissolved in water. Amman’s Sirasu is believed to be too happy while reaching the temple, as it will be fixed to the body. Again when its removed and it reaches the river for immersion you can see the Amman in a sad mood. Vanavedikkai (fireworks) is very popular during that night.

This fixing of head and removal is connected to the legend where Parasuramar was asked to chop his mother’s head by his father Jamadagni. Padavedu Renugambal Temple is connected with this legend.

People worship Gangai amman to keep them without any water scarcity as these places are dependant on rains. Temple’s Ther (Chariot) festival happens one day before Sirasu festival. The next day after Sirasu, there is another Chariot floated around the town which is fully made of flowers. It is called Pushpa Pallakku and is a feast to eyes to see Amman coming around on Pushpa Pallakku. I take this opportunity to welcome everyone to this Thiruvizha at Gudiyatham [as Gudiyatham is my home town].

Sri Kasi Viswanathar temple

Sri Devi Masupada Amman temple

Sri Karupaleeswarar [sivagama sundari bala Saarduleeswarar temple]

Ancient temple with beautiful sculptures and has a legendary connection to Virinchipuram temple.

In and Around Vaniyambadi

  • Athitheeswarar Temple at Vaniymbadi
  • Alaguperumal Koil at Vaniyambadi
  • Kethandapatti (Kethandapatti Sugar Mills) – Varadar Temple (constructed by Kethandapatti Swamigal – Vadagalai Sampradayam)Thanks to Sri.Sundera Raman for providing the details

Arani – Arcot

Arani is a religious centre with several temples for Sri Kesava Perumal, Sri Rama, Sri Anjaneya, Sri Kailasanathar and more, as also in the surrounding villages. There are many Jain temples as well. Arani is a Junction for several road routes and is an ideal place to stay for covering these areas.

Other Temples nearby are:

Perumal Temple at Thamaraipakkam

[Details not available]

Kasi Viswanathar temple at Mosur

[Details not available]

Murugan temple near Thimiri

[Details not available]

Spatiga linga temple at Thimiri.

[Details not available]

Temples In And Around Thiruvanamalai

Temples In And Around Vellore

            Exploring the Rich Temple Heritage of Tamil Nadu