Spine-Tingling Trip to SabariMala

Hi, this post is bit special. It’s my 100th post.. Thanks for your support all the time.. Feel free to comment..

It was the most enticing and thrilling jaunt in my life. So many problems prevailing in between TN and Kerala Government and reflection is made only on clean-handed iyappa devotees. It was the two days journey to Sabari and i kipped only 2 hours in the whole trip. Although Kumili,theni route is shortest for us, we are obligated to take some other route to stay away for the persisting problems.

Sabarimala is located in Western Ghat ranges in kerala. Lord Ayyappan is belived to be present in 18 Hills. this temple will be opened only in particular dates. From mid November to December end, Jan 14th, April 14th and First 6 days in Malayalam month. For men, there is no restriction for visiting temple. Women below 10 years and above 60 years are only allowed inside temple since Ayyappan is a Celibate(Brahmachari).

There are certain rules and regulations to be followed for visiting this temple. We need to follow vratha for 41 days before visiting this temple. One should not eat meat, shouldnt drink , avoid sexual intercourse and should not use slippers and allowed only to wear traditional clothing of blue, black and safron colour. One should take bath in morning and afternoon and should visit any temple. After 41 days, in a temple irumudi function will take place. Each Ayyappa bhaktha has to take a bag called irumudi (containing 2 compartments). In that bag we take essential items for the devotee in one part and another part is for Lory Ayyappa. ie. One denoting Jeevathma and other denoting Paramathma. Ayyappa darshan is based on “AHAM BRAHMASMI”. ie. You are the god.. Ayyappa devotees call each others as swami and after devotees take irumudi disregarding the age difference everyone gets blessings from the devotee..

Crossing the 18 sacred steps(which denote 18 hills in which Lord Ayyappa is residing) and pouring Ghee which we brought in Irumudi bag is considered to be more important than seeing Sabari Malai’s Lord Ayyappa. Only those who carry irumudi with them are allowed to cross that 18 steps otherwise there is a sepreate gate. For around first 5-8 years Ayyappa devotee’s take the shortest Path. ie. they start from holy river Pamba. Have to climb 8 kms upslope to reach Lord Ayyappa. Those who can walk for a long distance start from Erumeli and will take a forest path of 52 kms to reach Pamba. It would take 1 and half days to reach pamba. I have no experience in this route. But, i heard that, this route will cure any of the disease you have because we cross through the medicated trees.

40-50 Million people visit Sabari Mala every year. This year, due to TN-kerala issues devotees were less in number. Everyday Nei Abishekam(Pouring Ghee on Ayyappa brought by devotee) took place till 11 o clock. So, its better if we start very early(around 2 a.m) so that we can do NeiAbishekam before 11. Or else start previous night and stay up in the hill. Because of the TN-Kerala dam issue, we took Sengottai route.. Through Madurai, Kuttralam, Sengottai we reached there. At once we entered Kerala border things are different. A van from our street started 4 hours before us. Near punaloor some strangers made a hit and run. Glasses were broken. Once we got this information we stalled for 2 hours in Sengottai to make an early morning drive to avoid problems. Around 50 kms, those who were in the front seats where not even able to blink eyes. It was around 2 o clock. Everyone was keen to looking if any strangers available in road. Even at 2 some tea shops were open. By god’s grace , we didnt face any problems there.

We started climbing from Pamba at 8 and finished Dharshan and all formalities before 11. But, this time the majority were A.P and Karnataka people.. Crowd was absent. Its better to climb in early morning so that we can finish Nei Abishekam on the same day. Or it would be wise if we start in evening and spent a full night in Sabarimala.

I wondered! so many superstitions followed in this Sastha workship. While coming out of our home, we have to face opposite side(face looking your house ) and we should walk in reverse till we go out of the house. Once we go out of the house, we should not say that we are going. Next one is in the irumudi function. We will pour ghee in the coconut. It is to be believed that based on your involvement in this the coconut will intake ghee in it. If you are much involved in this workship, when you were pouring small amount of ghee, it will spill out of the coconut. And, next one is when they open the irumudi bag. They will break the coconut in which we have filled ghee. If it is in solid state you have followed this workship with full involvement. If it is in too liquid state, your involvement is low. I was not able to find the reasons for the above superstitions.

Visiting sabarimala will reduce the impact of Sani(Saturn) in your life. Lord Ayyappa is believed to be one of the powerfull god. 41 days fasting will make your body and soul fresh. So, if you get chance visit the temple and get blessings from Lord Ayyappa.


Navagraha Temple – Pazhur

Pazhur is located in Trichy to Karur highways road. Its in 9 km distance from Trichy bus stand. Navagraha temple in pazhur is an unheeded temple which has a bundle of forte. Chiefly, this temple is famous for navagraha(9 planets) but the main idol of this temple is Kasi Vishwanathar(Lord Shiva) and Goddess Visalakshi(Lord Parvathi). The below picture shows Lord Shiva and Parvathi in Rishabha Vehichle(Cow is the vehicle for Lord Shiva)

Though the temple looks small it is prominent among the navagraha temple.This temple was buit by an Pandian Emperor. The speciality about this is, Trichy was the capital of Chola Kingdom. And Hostility existed between Cholas and Pandians forver. Still its a mystery that how the pandian temple was built in Chola’s place. In the temple wall Pandian’s have established their sign. The fish sign in the wall denoting that the temple was built by Pandian Emperor.

Another mystery in this temple is, the main god is Lord shiva but the temple was built by Sri Vaishnavas who workship only lord Vishnu.. I got this information from Priest who is maintaining this temple.
The temple timings are shown in the picture :

We would have seen Navagraham’s in every Shiva temple. But only in this temple, Each Navagraha God(Sun,Jupiter,Mercury,etc) has appeared with their spouse. And we can see all the Navagraha gods residing in their vehicle(like Bull is the Vehicle for Saturn,etc.). All the Navagraha god has weapon in their hand. Each Navagraha god has its own Chakra encrypted in the sculpture.

According to astrology we have been controlled by the effects of 9 planets. In a particular period, certain planets will do good for us and others will do the converse . In order to alleviate the negative effects of those planets we have to chant some mantras. kolaru thirupagam is one of those. First three line in the image saying that “One who chants this kolaru thirupagam mantra regularly will get escaped from the negative effects of the planets. Make use of it”

Thirupattur Brahma Temple and Shiva Temple

Today, we had a trip to Thirupattur which is located around 30 kms from Trichy.. We picked Trichy-Chennai National Highways route which appeared to be seamless.. Diverting from NH we have to travel 4 kms to reach Brahma Temple and from there its 2 kms to Shiva Temple.

Brahma Temple:

The temple name is Brahmapureeshwarar Temple. Main idol is Lord Brahma. There are so many specialities for this temple.

1. The idol of Lord Brahma is of 6 feet height with full thejas(brightness) in face.

2. There are totally 7 praharams for this temple.. Thrice in an year sun ray will cross all these praharam and will fall directly on the idol. Amazing construction by our ancestors..

3. The umbrella made of rudraksham for nandhi is grand and special

4. There are 8 popular Shiva Lingam idols in the outer praharam of the temple.. Jambukeshwarar, Kailashanathar, etc..

5. Pathanchali Munivar’s jeeva samathi is in this temple.

6. . Last one is very special.. Visiting this temple will change your fate..(A  board near brahma saying – UNGAL THALAI VIDHIYAI MATRUM KOIL)

7. The above photo shows the Narashimha Vadham(Lord Narasimha killing Hiranyakashipu)

Shiva Temple:

This temple is located 2 kms from Brahma temple. Very ancient temple. The road to this temple is not too gud.. Since its a small distance we can adjust. Lord Shiva as Kasi Vishwanthar and Lord Parvathi as Visalakshi.   The specialites of this temple was written in the wall. The following photos will explain those.

Gangai Konda Cholapuram Temple

Gangai Konda Cholapuram Temple

Gangai Konda Cholapuram temple’s visit is one of the fascinating trip that i have ever experienced.. It was so special because i drove car for hundredth distance.. Gangai Konda Cholapuram is around 110 KM from Thiruchirappalli. First i would like to share some specialties of that temple.

Gangai Konda Cholapuram temple was built by Rajendra Cholan(Son on Raja Raja Cholan). Gangai Konda Cholapuram temple and Brahadeeshwara temple(built by Raja Raja Cholan) are of kindred spirits.. Lord Brahadeeshwarar(Siva),Godess Brahadeeshwari(parvathi), Lord nandhi are in both temples. Lord nandhi’s statue in Gangai Konda Cholapuram is bigger than that of Brahadeeshwara. I have attached the photo of nandhi below..

Gangai Konda Cholapuram temple's Nandi

Godess Brahadeeshwari’s height in Gangai Konda Cholapuram temple is 10.5 feet and Lord Brahadeeshwar is in the form of lingam which is around 13 feet. The height of God, Goddess and nandhi is heigher than that of Tanjore Brahadeeswara temple but not the tower. To be frank, the temple is being maintained well by the authorities.. Very greenish.. There is a secret pathway to Tanjore from this temple used in ancient times. Now it’s closed, but we can view the entrance. The snap of the entrance is here.
Secret Pathway

Secret Pathway to Tanjore

We are so blessed to visit this temple during Annabishekam. Annabishekam festivel is celebrated once in an year here in this temple. Tonnes and Tonnes of rice are boiled and presented to Lord siva in the form of abishekam. We entered the temple in mid of the day. Lord Siva was almost fully immersed in rice(13 feet full of rice)..Wow! Very amazing to watch.. From evening the rice will be presented to people in the form of Annathanam(free meals). Annathanam was presented in nearby mandapam(about 5 mins walk). To be frank, this time food was okay.. This time it looked overcrowded and have to wait for an hour for meals.
Thats it from the best side of this.. Must visit this temple if you get a chance..

Here comes the worst part. The route we followed to reach Gangai Konda Cholapuram from Trichy.. We headed through lalgudi, dalmiapuram, ariyalur route.. One of the worst route .. Don’t ever think of driving in these roads.. OMG! ***.. I have one alternate pathway which we followed while retuning from there.. From Gangai Konda cholpuram head straight to reach Jayamkondam. Near bus stand there will be two roads splitting from a point. One will lead to Ariyalur thro Dalmiapuram which one is the worst .. The other one is NH route which heads through Sendurai.. Sendurai is located around 30 Kms from there. It will link to Perambalur.. No need to enter Perambalur City.. 5 Kms before Perambalur we have to turn to connect Chennai-Tiruchi National Highways..we have to travel 25 Kms extra in this route.. But its more comfortable and takes the same time(even less time if you drive fast in NH) as the other route.. So, i request you people, if you are going from Trichy to this place pls pls pls dont follow the Lalgudi route… Anyway, it became an unforgettable trip in my life in both aspects

Vittala Panduranga!

I am very lucky to visit Govindapuram temple for second time this week. It was an awesome journey. Govindapuram is located near kumbakonam. Mr. Jaya Krishna Deekshadhar popularly known as Vittaldas Maharaj built this temple. His mentor asked him to built a temple for Lord Krishna who is in pandaripuram. But the condition was, He should not lend money from others for building the temple. The money should be collected only by doing bhajan. After decades of hard work, by doing bhajans at various places he saved money and built this temple.

Salient features of this temple

1. Since it is located in the NH between kumbakonam and Mayiladuthurai , bus facilities are good. There are so many local busses available too.
2. The temple is completely built in north Indian style. Unimaginable art works are done in the temple.
3. For the past 20 days they are doing continuous bhajans and provided food for 24 X 7. The food they provide is excellent.
4. Lots and lots of rooms are built around the temple . So that people coming from long distance can book rooms near temple.
5. Temple is located near river Kaveri. So no water scarcity!
6. We can touch and workship pandurangan and rukmini as like kasi and other north Indian temples.
7. Doing a continuous bhajan of 160 hours this temple created a record
8. There is no other pandurangan temple with much popularity present in tamilnadu. This is the first one.
9. They are maintaining a Goshala , where there are lacks of cows. With the help of donations they are maintaining it!

Temple timings

Morning 8.30 to 12 noon
Evening 4.30 to 7

For more details visit http://www.vittalrukmini.org

Vittala Panduranga!