Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Linga Temple at Ooty


A beautiful temple, in the enchanting hills of Ooty, built out of sheer devotion and love for Lord Shiva, by the people in the surroundings. It seems that the temple was decided to be built by the people, who collected the money from the neighbouring villages.

The temple stands majestically in the form of a linga, and blesses the devotees. It is believed to be 10 years old.

An interesting aspect to this blog ==  A friend of ours - Dinesh Kumar, was visiting Ooty and came across this temple. He clicked these awesome pictures for the rest of the world to know of its existence. 

He has also clicked on the following picture - an ancient Shiva temple at Valparai, near Pollachi. Totally breath-taking, taking us to the serene world.

We thank Dinesh Kumar and wish him the very best.

Om Namah Shivaya !

Monday, 22 August 2011

A song from Thiruvasagam ( Sacred Utterance ) on Lord Shiva


A great video presentation, showing the worship in ancient Dravidan Age. The song is again a wonderful composition by Illayaraja on a hymn from Thiruvasagam, a great work by ancient scholar Manichavasagar, sung in praise of Lord Shiva

-- Abirami Varma

For those who want the lyrics ..

பூவார் சென்னி மன்னன்னெம் புயங்கப் பெருமான் | சிறியோமை
ஓவா துள்ளம் கலந்துணர்வாய் உருக்கும் வெள்ளக் கருணையினால் (2)
ஆவா என்னப் பட்டன் பாய் ஆட்பட் டீர்வந் தொருப்படுமின்
போவோங் காலம் வந்ததுகாண் பொய்விட் டுடையான் கழல்புகவே

புகவே வேண்டா புலன்களில்நீர் புயங்கப் பெருமான் பூங்கழல்கள் |
மிகவே நினைமின் மிக்க எல்லாம் வேண்டா போக விடுமின்கள் (2)
நகவே ஞாலத் துட்புகுந்து நாயனைய நமையாண்ட |
தகவே யுடையான் தனைச்சாரத் தளரா திருப்பார் தாந்தாமே |

தாமே தமக்குச் சுற்றமும் தாமே தமக்கு விதிவகையும் |
யாமார் எமதார் பாசம் யார் என்னமாயம் மாயம் இவைபோகக் |
கோமான் பண்டைத் தொண்டரொடும் அவன்தன் குறிப்பே குறிக்கொண்டு |
போமா றமைமின் பொய்நீக்கப் புயங்கன் ஆள்வான் பொன்னடிக்கே |
புயங்கன் ஆள்வான் பொன்னடிக்கே |

அடியார் ஆனீர் எல்லீரும் அகல விடுமின் விளையாட்டை |
கடிசே ரடியே வந்தடைந்து கடைக்கொண் டிருமின் திருக்குறிப்பை |
செடிசே ருடலை செலநீக்கிச் | சிவலோகத்தே நமைவைப்பான் |
பொடிசேர் மேளிப் புயங்கன்தன் பூவார் கழற்கே புகவிடுமே |

விடுமின் வெகுளி வேட்கைநோய் மிகவோர் காலம் இனியில்லை |
உடையான் அடிக்கீழ்ப் பெருஞ்சாத்தோடு உடன்போ வதற்கே ஒருப் படுமின் |
அடைவோம் நாம்போய்ச் சிவபுரத்துள் அடியார் கதவ டையாமே |
அடைவோம் நாம்போய்ச் சிவபுரத்துள் அடியார் கதவ டையாமே |
புடைபட்டுருகிப் போற்றுவோம் புயங்கன் ஆள்வான் புகழ்களையே

நிற்பார் நிற்கநில் லாவுலகில் நில்லோம் இனிநாம் செல்வோமே |
பொற்பால் ஒப்பாந் திருமேனிப் புயங்கன் ஆள்வான் பொன்னடிக்கே |
நிற்பீர் எல்லாந் தாழாதே நிற்கும் பரிசே ஒருப்படுமின் |
பிற்பால் நின்று பேழ்கணித்தாற் | பெறுதற் கரியன் பெருமானே
பெறுதற் கரியன் பெருமானே |

பூவார் சென்னி மன்னனெம் புயங்கப் பெருமான் | சிறியோமை
ஓவா துள்ளம் கலந்துணர்வாய் | உருக்கும் வெள்ளக் கருணையினால் |
ஆவா என்னப் பட்டன் பாய் ஆட்பட் டீர்வந் தொருப்படுமின் |
போவோங் காலம் வந்ததுகாண் பொய்விட் டுடையான் கழல்புகவே |
போவோங் காலம் வந்ததுகாண் பொய்விட் டுடையான் கழல்புகவே |
பொய்விட் டுடையான் கழல்புகவே ……

( People who are keen to know the meaning of this song - kindly look for Poovar Senni Mannan - Song of Thiruvasagam )

                                                                             ----  Abirami

Lord Meenakshi Sundareswarar - Madurai


Lord Shiva as Lord Sundareswarar

As the ancient scripts says , Lord Sundareswarar ( Lord Shiva ) meaning handsome, married his consort Meenakshi Devi ( Goddess parvati ) at Madurai – city of temples, in Tamilnadu. This temple design and layout is believed to be drawn by lord Shiva himself.

It is a historic temple, forming the lifeline of 2500 year old city – Madurai. The beauty of the temple towers can be seen aerially , which are so magnificent and stands tall for the praise of ancient architecture. Overall 14 Gopurams / temple towers are seen, including the two golden Gopurams for the main deities. All literatures have praised and sang the glories of these temple towers and the way it decorates the temple and the deities.


Goddess Parvati was born as Meenakshi, to the second Pandya King, Malayadwaja Pandya and his wife Kanchanamalai as a boon to their prayers. But this birth is different, the goddess appeared herself as a small girl from the Yagna that was performed. But everyone were shocked admist happiness, as she had three breasts. But at the same time, the heard an Oracle, that the third breast would vanish, when she meets her future husband. She was trained on all 64 shastras. She was a great warrior. She conquered all the worlds. Her parents found it difficult to find a suitable bridegroom for their victorious daughter. But Meenakshi consoled her parents, saying she will travel across the world and find the right person for her. When she came to Mount Kailash, and saw Lord Shiva, she immediately fell into shyness, and her third breast vanished. She also realized that she was an incarnation of Goddess Parvati.

The marriage was supposed to be the biggest gathering on earth, with gods, saints, rishis, and people travelling from all three worlds. The wedding lock – Thirumangalyam was specially made from the south town of Madurai. This Meenakshi Kalyanam is an important festival is celebrated in April every year.

Lord Shiva is said to have played many of his Thiruvillayadal ( Divine Plays )  in Madurai, and at this temple. The Porthamarai Kullam – Pond with a golden lotus, is a holy site for devotees, which is inside this temple. No marine animals are grown here as per the word of Lord Shiva. It is suppose to be a place for judging literature, where the poorly written works will sink and the scholastic ones are suppose to float.

Thousand Pillar Hall

Another attraction at this temple, is the 1000 carved pillars, which is of great cultural importance is maintained by the Archeological Society of India.

Each pillar is carved and is a monument of the Dravidian sculpture. There is a Temple Art Museum in the hall where icons, photographs, drawings, and other exhibits of the 1600 years old history are displayed. Just outside this mandapam, towards the west, are the Musical Pillars. Each pillar, when struck, produces a different musical note. The kalyana mandapa, to the south of the pillared hall, is where the marriage of Shiva and Parvati is celebrated every year during the Chithirai Festival in mid-April.
The temple is the geographic and ritual center of the ancient city of Madurai. The temple walls, streets and finally the city walls (ancient) were built around the temple in concentric squares. Ancient Tamil classics mention that the temple was the center of the city and the streets happened to be radiating out like the lotus and its petals. It is one of the few temples in Tamil Nadu to have four entrances facing four directions.
Temple is a massive structure measuring 254 by 237 meters. The temple is surrounded by 12 towers, the tallest of which, the famous Southern tower, rises to over 170 ft (52 m) high.


This temple is a complex of many deities. The Shiva shrine lies at the centre of the complex, suggesting that the ritual dominance of the goddess developed later. Outside the Shrine, lies huge sculpture of Ganesh carved of single stone and there is a shrine for a giant Ganesh temple, called the Mukuruny Vinayakar. This deity is believed to have been found during an excavation process to dig the temple lake.
The Meenkashi shrine is on the left of the Shiva shrine and is prayed devotees who throng each day from all parts of the world. It is believed to be in sculpted in greens stone ( emerald )

There is also a Vibuthi Pillaiyar, who is decorated or rather bathed in ashes by every devotee, a belief that he needs to be prayed in that way, for all the prayers to be answered.

It is not only a visual treat for ancient architect seekers, but a great admiration that is won by every devotee who visit this temple. It seriously raises many questions, as to how this temple was built in such a sprawling acres of land, with majestic towers in four directions, and the whole layout enfolds as lotus petals, with 1000 pillars surrounding, and with a golden pond, and the most important of all the whole city of Madurai just surrounding it. It shows the true presence of divine powers during the Pandya king rule, and the way their devotion led to such historic value and treasure. It’s a true evidence that stands tall, that Lord Shiva have given his devotees, whose greatness is still composed after thousands of years by scholars around the world. 

                                                                      - Abirami

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Magnificent Brihadeeswarar

                                    Millenium Celebration with 1000 Dancers performing Bharatnatyam

The magnificent  Brihadeeswarar Temple, is one the greatest glories of Indian Architecture. The temple tower or the Vimana, which stands majestically speaks of its wonder and have led the scholars debate for centuries about its reflection on the ground.This is the first complete granite temple in the world, and a proven site for Chola King’s splendid architecture and their devotion to Lord Siva. Built by Raja Raja Chola I, this temple for Lord Siva is a part of UNESCO world heritage site.

The temple tower is around 220 ft ht and among the tallest of its kind in the world. There is a big statue of Nandeeswarar ( Bull – Vehicle for Lord Siva ) carved out of a single rock. Its magnificent architecture and huge temple walls have earned the name Big Temple. It recently completed 1000 years of existence in the year 2010, which was celebrated in grandeur.An axial and symmetrical geometry rules the temple layout. This temple also depicts, the power and wealth, and artistic expertise of the Chola Kings. Its been built with a style, which still cannot be replicated in any part of the world.

There is also a saying, that Lord Siva appeared in the dreams of the king, and gave instructions to built such a temple. This temple also depicts the love for Lord Siva by the king and his family. Everyday poojas are conducted in a style devised by the King, even today.The temple gave lot of importance to fine arts like music and bharatanatyam, and taught the glory of gods through these arts. Evidence by the inscriptions is found in the temple walls, about the dancers who excelled in the traditional dance form of Bharatnatyam.

Lord Siva is also known as the Lord of Dance, who has many temples built in dancing postures – like the famous Chidambaram. And this temple has many details on Bharatnatyam, and to celebrate the 1000 years, a special program was organized with 1000 dancers who spoke on the glory of the gods. Lord Siva lives as a huge stone linga of 60 metres ht in this temple. The entrance is highly decorated, and the inner sanctum ( karuvarai ) is only for the priests to enter. The garbhagriha is square and sits on a plinth, its location calculated to be a point of total equilibrium and harmony as it is representative of a microcosm of the universe. In the center is placed the image of the deity. 

The circumambulation around the massive sivalingam in the inner sanctum is repeated in an upper story, presenting the idea that King Cholas freely offered access to the gods. The inner mandapa leads out to a rectangular mandapa and then to a twenty-columned porch with three staircases leading down. Sharing the same stone plinth is a small open mandapa dedicated to Nandi, Shiva's sacred bull mount. Brahadeeswar temple is one of the rare temples which has statues for "Ashta dik paalakas" (Lords of all Eight Directions) [Indra, Varuna, Agni, Eesana, Vayu, Niruthi, Yama, Kubera], each of which is a life like status i.e. approximately 6 feet tall.
All hindus and devotees of Lord Siva can proudly say and feel the serenity of this temple, surrounded by splendid architecture, and the greatness of Lord Siva, which doesn’t exist in any part of the world. Everyone must visit this temple atleast once in a lifetime.


Thanjavur can be reached easily by road, rail and air. Tamil Nadu State Government runs frequent public buses from nearby Trichy, Chennai, Kumbakonam, Pudukkottai, Pattukkottai, Tirunelveli, Karur, Nagapattinam, Coimbatore and many other cities in the state. From the State capital Chennai, a National Highway (NH 45-A) linking Chennai with Chidambaram, Mayavaram, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, and Nagappatinam provides convenient access to tourists who come to visit Thanjavur and the adjoining towns. There are also several buses operated by private bus operators.
Rail services are run by Indian Railways from many cities across India including Chennai, Trichy, Tirunelveli, Madurai and Nagore. The train station is named "Tanjore Junction." Trichy Airport is the nearest airport, located 65 km away.

Festival :

The day of the Ruling star, satabhishag is treated as a festival day every month as it symbolizes the ruling star at the time of birth of Rajaraja. The annual festival is held for 9 days in the month of Visaka or May according to the English calender. The deity is bathed with the water soaked with the fragrant Champaka flower. All the major festival days for Lord Siva is celebrated grandly at this temple.

Greatness of this temple

1000 Currency note released by Reserve Bank of India on 01 April, 1954 to honor the historic Brahadeeswarar Temple, a UNESCO World heritage site. Later during the period of Late PM Indira Gandhi, in 1975, these currency notes were stopped, in an effort to curtail 1000 rupee currency note.

But in 2010, A Indian Rupee symbol.svg5 Special Commemorative coin released by Reserve Bank of India to mark the Millennium year celebrations of the famous Brihadeeswarar Temple built by the great Chola ruler Raja Raja Chola I

- Abirami 

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Sankarankovil - Famous Aadi Thapasu Festival

Sankarankovil, as the name suggests hosts the very famous ancient temple for Lord Siva.
It is a small town near Tirunelveli. A temple which proves the fact that God is one, be it Siva or Rama. Around 10th century, a sivalingam was unearthed in a sand dune ( Putthu ), and a temple was constructed for the same by then ruler Ukkrapandian. This sand, which still exists as Putthu mannu, has healing properties, and all devotees collect a small amount and keep in their homes.

The presiding deities are Lord Siva, Lord Sankaranarayana ( form of half Siva and half Vishnu ), and the beautiful Gomathi Amman, which is indeed the pride of this place. The famous festival, during the month of Aadi – called Aadi Thapasu, is celebrated gloriously for 10 days. It is believed that Goddess Gomathi does penance in the Thapasu Mandapa, and Lord Siva appears himself and takes her. But he appears in the form of Lord Sankaranarayana, and so the goddess refuses and goes back to Thapasu Mandapa. Then he re-appears as Lord Sankaralingam in the middle of night ( the second festival on the Thapasu day, around mid-night ) and takes his consort. Both of them blesses their devotees, who celebrate this festival as a grandeur.

This temple is very famous among Saivites ( people who worship Lord Siva ) and Vaishnavites
( people who worship Lord Vishnu ), as the Lord presents himself as Sankaranarayana, proving the oneness. As the famous saying of Saint Sankaracharya goes – Hariyum Sivanum Onnu, Ariyathavan Vayil Mannu  ( Hari and Haran is one and the same )
This temple is located about 14 Km from Puliangudi and is accessible by government buses. Tourist cars and vans can also be arranged from Puliangudi.
  • MainDeity : Sankaralingeswarar,Sankara Narayanar
  • Goddesses : Gomathi Amman
  • Theertham : Nagasnai
  • Holytree : Punnai
This temple is also considered to be representing one of the five elements (Nilam/Land/Prthivi) in this area, the other being Nallur (Agni) ,Tharukapuram (Neer/Water/Jal) ,Thenmalai (Vayu) and Devathaanam (Agayam/Sky/Akash) .It was built by Ukira Pandiyan BC 900.
The Annadhanam scheme is being conducted in the temple when daily noon meals are being provided for around 100 devotees. It is believed that all devotees who pray to the goddess Gomathi amman have always found solace.

Key festivals
  • Chithhirai Bramotsava ( 10 days ) Every April
  • Adi thapasu festival ( 12 days ) August
  • Iyppasi Thirukkalyanam festival ( 10 days ) October
  • Theppam floating festival - Thai last Friday ( Every February )

It is a must see temple for all devotees of Lord Siva and Vishnu, especially during the Aadi Thapasu festival. Thousands throng every year to get a glimpse of the Lord, and worship them. Inspite of the massive crowd, people don’t fail to celebrate every year with the same grandeur. It is a beautiful sight to see Goddess dressed in penance waiting for her Lord, and Sankaranarayana appearing during the first phase of festival in the evening, and then dressed as Lord Siva around midnight. It is a fact that people will be blessed and will achieve great heights in all spectrums of life, with the blessings of lord Sankaranarayanar and Goddess Gomathi Amman. 

- Abirami