27, October 2013.
This week end temples visit was to Kutralam and Thirunelveli on 26-10-2013. This visit was planned two months before and booked the train tickets on both ways travel. During this visit didn’t stayed anywhere. My plan was starting from Chennai Egmore to Thenkasi through Podhigai Express and return to Chennai From Thirunelveli after visiting Kutralanathar’s temple at Kutralam and Nellaiappar Temple at Thirunelveli on the same day. So both the nights were spent in the train itself. Also Planned to visit Sivasailam Shiva temple. I could not make it for want of time, since I have to take a diversion form Thenkasi via Alwarkuruchi and the frequency of the public transport was limited. This time’s temple visit was a thrilling experience, starting from my residence.
A thrilling experience to catch the train Podhigai super fast express at Chennai Egmore, The story goes like this….…
After the close of work at office reached home around 17.30 hrs on 25-10-2013, and thought of starting from home around 18.30 hrs to catch the train Podhigai Express at Egmore which scheduled to depart at 20.10 Hrs, calculating the EMU journey time of 30 to 35 minutes from Guindy to Egmore. But Iraivan’s calculation was on the reverse. There was an intuition in me to start little earlier. So Started from home around 17.50 Hrs and reached Guindy railway station around 18.30 Hrs, after leaving my motor cycle at my old office SPIC House. There was a huge rush at Guindy railway station and I did not know what for. The 18.30 hrs Electric train arrived at 18.49 hrs and moved slowly up to Saidapet. The train stopped more than a minute, which was unusual.
The same thing happened at Mambalam also. After Mambalam the train stopped before Kodambakkam station and people were talking there might be problem with signal. The time was 19.15 Hrs and there was no sign of starting. After 15 minutes the train started once again and reached Kodambakkam station. Also I had seen the 18.49 hrs train from Guindy over took us on the other track and stopped at Kodambakkam station. At the station it was announced that the train to beach was stopped due to derailment of a goods train near beach station and will be announced latter about starting. Already the time was 19.30 Hrs, my blood pressure was shooting up. Decided to get down and go to Egmore through an Auto.
Out side Kodambakkam station many people were asking for an auto to go to Egmore and central. Since it was two days holiday many IT people were travelling to their native. Many autos refused to ply to Egmore or Central. After walked away from the station an auto agreed to drop me at Egmore and the Auto driver pacified me ( to sit calmly on the back seat ) that he will reach station before the train’s departure. Lost the hope of catching the Podhgai Express around 18.50 Hrs when I was still travelling in the auto in Nungambakkam area. Every time the Auto stops for the Signal my blood pressure started shooting up. Started chanting of Thiruvasakam to reduce my tension. Also there was a diversion for about 2 KM by the traffic police, which tested my patience.
After crossing the hurdles and hoping the train will start at least 10 minutes late landed at Egmore railway station exactly by 20.05 Hrs. The auto charged me Rs 109 as per meter and I gave Rs 120 & thanked the driver for dropping me safely at station. Enquired the porters about the platform and told me the train is on the platform no 8 and it may start at any time. Hurried with walk & run boarded the train at 20.07 Hrs after climbing up the foot over bridge and climbing down to platform. The train was on 9th platform and not on the 8th, luckily 8th and 9th platforms are adjacent. Searched my coach and sat down on my seat and the train started moving exactly by 20.10 Hrs. Confirmed with the co-passengers whether I boarded in the correct train or not, by asking when the train will reach Thenkasi and if the answer is negative thought of getting down at Thambaram. Since the answer was positive I was relaxed. My breath came to normal after 10 minutes.
( The goods train derailment news I came to know during my auto travel and in detail in the Hindu on 27-10 2013. Many people who travelled along with me in EMU might have missed their train and their total plan might have spoiled. )
The Podhigai express reached Thenkasi around 8.45 Hrs on 26-10-2013, late by an hour. Reached old bus stand to catch bus to kutralam through an auto, which charged me Rs 40.00. The bus to Kutralam was limited during non-seasonal time. After reaching Kutralam, searched to take a bath at any of the lodge. They suggested me to go to Main falls where locker facility is available. The locker at the main falls charged Rs 20 for an hour and had a nice bath. Since it was a non season there was not much crowd. There was also a moderate water from the falls. Many Shiva Lingam reliefs chiseled on the rock, which many people may not aware, who visits Kutralam only during the season. Changed my dress and went to Sri Kutralanathar temple which is about 25 meters from the main falls.
Shiva linga reliefs chiseled on the rock - see the water falling from audayar
Water is falling on Lord Shiva
257 / 13. KUTRALAM
This is the 257th Paadal Petra Shiva sthalam and 13th Shiva Sthalam in Pandya nadu. Thiruganasambadar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple.
Iraivan : Sri Kutralanathar, Sri Kurumbalaeesar, Sri Thirikoodachalapathy, Sri Thirikoodaleswarar.
Iraivi : Sri Kuzhalvai Mozhiammai , Sri Venuvaakkuvahini.
Some of the important features of this temple are….
- This temple has two parts. One is this temple and the other is Chitra sabai which is about ½ a KM from the main temple.
- The temple is of 2000 years old and there are lot of old tamil inscriptions on the prakaram walls.
- Pattinathar, Manikkavasakar, Arunagirinathar has sung hymns about this temple.
- It was believed that the sage Agasthiyar has transformed the Shiva Lingam from Thirumal moortham. Moolavar is small.
- The temple is in the shape of conch ( Sangu ).
- After entering through a 3 tier Rajagopuram there is a big mandapam called vasantha mandapam. The rajagopuram has lot of cute sudhai sirpams with 3 kalasams on the top.
- In the outer prakaram sannadhi for Ambal with a Nandhi in front ( a separate Koil with steps – Kailasa nathar and Durgai are in the ambal temple’s pakaram ) on the right side of moolavar sannadhi, Kurumbala nathar ( from here we could hear the sound of main falls ), 63var, Nannagara perumal, Paabanasar with Ulakamman, Nellaiappar with Gandhimathi, Manakolanathar, Naarumbunathar, Sankaralingam, Paalvannanathar, Sokkalingam with Meenakshi, Dharmasastha, Mathunatheswarar with Aramvalarthamman, Agasthiyar, Vaasuki, Somalingam, Maha Lingam, Sakasralingam, Kashi Viswanathar with Visalakshi, Shivalaya Munivar ( 2 steps below the ground level ), Parasakthi Peedam and Navagrahas. Near one of the sannadhi on the south side the main falls top is visible.
- Then comes the mandapam with Dwajasthambam, Nandhi and palipeedam. In the mandapam pillars Chinna Pattar and Periyapattar Kings reliefs on the pillars who had built this temple.
- In the inner prakaram sannadhi for, Kumbamuni, Brahma, Sabtha mathakkal, Suradevar, Ayyanar, Brahmi, Thurayanar, Mahavishnu, Narasimhar, Kanni Vinayagar, Chandran, Vanmeekanathar, Sambukeswarar, Annamalaiyar, Kaalathiappar, Thirumoolanathar ( Very small moortham ), Ramalingar, Subramaniyar, Sandikeswarar, Saneeswarar and Suryan.
- In koshtam Dhakshinamoorthy ( not in the nitch ), Mahavishnu in place of Lingothbavar.
- In the artha mandapam Urchavars and Natarajar Saba. The moolavar is small.
HOW TO REACH:
- The place Thenkasi is on the bus and train route to Senkottai from Thirunelveli, Madurai, Chennai etc.
- Podhigai express passes through Thenkasi.
- Lot of Town and mini buses are available to Kutralam from Thenkasi during Chaaral season and frequency is less during non season.
- The temple is open between 06.00 Hrs to 12.00 Hrs and 16.30 Hrs to 20.00 Hrs.
- The phone numbers of the temple are 283318 and 283398 and mobile number is 9488374077.
After peaceful dharshan of Sri Kutrala nathar, had been to Chitra Sabai, which is about a ½ a KM from the main temple after climbing steps to a distance of 50 meters. The Saba was open to public and the entrance fee was Rs 10. The caretaker did not allowed me to take photographs. After my repeated requests he allowed me to take only the dwarabalakar on the right side.
Some of the features of this sabai are….
- There is a mandapam with a Gopuram at the center of thirukulam in front. There is no pictures in front mandapam of Citra sabai.
- Learned that the Chitrams were drawn using the natural herbs.
- The Sabai is in the form of a temple with thamira plated roof with 8 kalasams on the top.
- Some of the chitrams / drawings are Shiva’s Oorthuva dhandavam, Kaali, Murugan, Shiva with Paarvathi, Soorabathman, Singamugan, Thaaragan, Manmathan , Rathi, Gajenthra moksham, Shiva’s Thiruvilaiyadals, Shiva and Paarvathi marriage, 63var, bairavar, Sanibhagavan, Iraniyan’s samkaram, Kutralanathar who gave dharshan to Agasthiyar, etc.,
- Wooden reliefs / sirpam of Vinayagars can also be seen.
After dharshan at Chitra Sabai took a bus to Thenkasi. From a distance I could see the magnificent view of the rajagopuram standing tall and called me. Got down from the bus before the bus stand. When I entered through the rajagopuram I could feel the heavy flow of the wind. The entrance must be 40 feet high and I had seen the 4 pillars on the side walls with out any joint up to the ceiling.
Iraivan : Sri Kasi Viswanathar
Iraivi : Sri Ulakamman
Some of the important features of this temple are…..
- The temple has connection with Uthrakashi in Uthrakand state. The temple is more than 2000 years old and has a lot of old tamil inscriptions.
- The rajagopuram is of 9 tiers
- At the entrance under a mandapam with Palipeedam. The mandapam pillars has large size reliefs / sirpangal of Kaali, Rathi, Shiva’s Thandavams, Mahavishnu ( must be Krishna – since playing the flute ), Manmathan, Agora veerabathrar.
- The nandhi is little big.
- In the outer prakaram sanndhi for, Ulakamman, Sri subramaniyar in between moolavar and Ambal sannadhi, Naagars under peepal tree, sannadhi with lamb ( Might be a Lingam inside the flowers ), Sahasra Lingam, Parasakthi Peedam similar to Kutralam, Sokkanathar with Meenakshi and Bairavar.
- In the inner prakaram sannadhi for, Naalvar, 63var, Suradevar, Sabtha mathakkal, Kanni Vinayagar, Pancha Lingams, Iyannar, Chandramouleeswarar, Mahalakshmi, Shunmugar, Gajalakshmi, Saneeswarar, Natarajar ( Stone moortham) and Suryan.
- In Koshtam Dhakshinamoorthy, Maha Vishnu and Brahma.
- Moolavar is in an elevated position looks so beautiful.
The magnificent view of the 9 tier Rajagopuram
It was around 12.30 Hrs when I came out of Thenkashi Shiva Temple. Had my lunch in one of a mess near bus stand. Enquired the bus route to Sivasailam. The people suggested me to go to my next Temple Visit of Sri Nellaiyappar, since there is no frequency of bus to Alwarkurichi a big place near Sivasailam and the temple will be opened only after 16.00 Hrs. It will become too late to reach Thirunelveli and I will miss the Nellaiappar temple’s visit, if I had been to Sivasailam. So skipped Sivasailam and boarded a bus to Thirunelveli.
It was too early when I reached Thirunelveli around 14.30 Hrs. Spend time up to 16.00 Hrs sitting in front of the temple’s office.
258 / 14. THIRUNELVELI
This is the 258th Devaram Paadal petra Shiva Sthalam and 14th & last Shiva Sthalam in Pandya nadu. Thiruganasambadar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple.
Iraivan : Sri Nellaiappar, Sri Venuvananathar, Sri Nelvelinathar
Iraivi : Sri Kanthimathiammai.
Some of the important features of this temple are…..
- The name Thirunelveli came after Lord Shiva put a fence ( veli ) to the rain for the safety of the paddy meant for Lords Thiruamudham. Vedhapattar was behind the story of this temple.
- Mutrum Kanda ramakon was the instrumental for finding Lord Shiva’s moortham under the bamboo tree while he carries milk to the king.
- This is one of the pancha sabai called Thamirasabai, since the river Thamiraparani is flowing through the place. The river water contains some amount of metal called Thamiram, hence called a Thamirasabai.
- The temple has 8 Mandapams and 5 Rajagopurams. The entrance mandapam on the eastern side Rajagopuram has an old wooden mandapam with lot of wooden relief works.
- There are two Durgai amman sannadhis in this temple.
- Pali peedam with a Big size Sudhai nandhi under a mandapam is at the east side entrance. The pillars has beautiful relief works.
- In the 3rd outer Parakaram, sannadhi for Naalavar, Subramaniyar, Dhakshinamoorthy ( On the opposite, way to Ambal Kanthimathi Amman Temple ), Sankaranayinar swamy, Gomathi Amman Sannadhi, Aarumuganayinar sannadhi ( 6 faces and can go around the moolavar to see the back side of the face ), Vinayagar ( with sudhai vinayagar on the top) – on the western side, Kasi Viswanathar with Visalakshi, Vayu Lingam, Vanniyadi sastha, Kaala bairavar and navagrahas.
- At the entrance of the 2nd outer prakaram on the left, moorthams of Vedha Pattar, Adhikara nandhikeswarar, Namasivaya moorthy.
- In the Second outer prakaram sannadhi for, Suryan, Naalvar Urchava moorthangal, Thiyagarajar sannadhi, 63var in brass, Agasthiyar, Suradevar ( with three faces, three hands with thandam, mani and soolam, three legs ), Theyu Lingam, Polla Pillayar, 63var moortham in stone, Somaskandhar in the upper level with steps to climb, Vayu Lingam, Vinayagar, Mutrum Kanda Ramakon, Aagasa Lingam, Nellai murugan with Valli devasena, Santhana sabapathy ( sandle paste is applied throughout the year ), Gajalakshmi with Ashta lakshmis on both sides, Sani Bhagavan, Sahasralingam, Sabamandapam and Chandran.
- In koshtam Dhakshinamoorthy.
- Moolavar is suyambu and a scar can be seen on the top due to the sword hit the moolavar while cutting the bamboo tree. It is believed that the aavudayar visible is 21st and there are 20 aavudayars still below the ground level.
- Perumal in Anantha sayana posture is on the left side of moolavar ( Right side when we stand in front of moolavar ).
- Musical pillars are special attraction in this temple. Different musical notes sounds can be heard when tapped.
- Many old Tamil inscriptions are found in the temple.
HOW TO REACH:
- Lot of buses available from various parts of Tamil nadu.
- 3 KM from Junction and Town buses available from old bus stand.
- The temple opens between 07.00 Hrs to 13.00 Hrs and 16.00 Hrs to 21.00 Hrs
LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE : CLICK HERE
Rajagopuram on the eastern side
Kandhimathi amman sannadhi rajagopuram
The relief of a King, who built this temple
West side Rajagopuram
West side Vinayagar sannadhi
Corridor looks beautiful is it not?
Chariot kept at the north side entrance
Isai thoonkal ( musical pillars )
Shiva and Parvathy relief on the inner prakaram wall
Urchava moortham with sudhai moorthangal on the back
Entrance to the main shrine
Suradevar with three heads, three hands and three legs.
Santhana sabapathy - santhanam ( sandle wood paste is applied throughout the year )
Some of the relief in the corridor
The big sudhai Nandhi
SRI KANTHIMATHI AMMAN SANNADHI
- Ambal is in a separate temple with a rajagopuram in front.
- Except at the entrance there is not many reliefs.
- In the inner parakaram sannadhi for Kanni moola Ganapathy, Sri Valli deva sena Subramaniyar.
- Sannadhis in the interconnecting corridors between Lord Shiva and Ambal Temples are A Shiva Lingam, Kasi Viswanathar, mahalingam, Murugan with Valli devasena, Manjanavaravu Amman.
Thirukkulam with neerazhi mandapam between Nellaiyappar and Kanthimathi amman sannadhi.
The entrance to Kanthimathi amman Sannadhi with Musical pillars
After peaceful dharshan of Lord Nellaiappar, thought of buying Halwa from irruttukadai. Learnt the shop will be open around 18.00 Hrs and the people started standing in Q, since 15.00 Hrs. I do not want waste time, standing in the Q, came to old bus stand and purchased halwa from Sri Lakshmi Sweets shop. The Train Nellai Express was on the platform No1, when I reached railway station an hour earlier around 17.50 hrs. From Thirunelveli the train started late by 15 minutes ( 19.05 Hrs ) and reached Thambaram around 7.00 Hrs on 27-10-2013. Reached home after taking my bike from SPIC House.
---- OM SIVAYA NAMA: ----