Tuesday, 17 December 2013

SRI NACHIAMMAN TEMPLE, at Devanampalayam, in ERODE DISTRICT

17, December 2013
Last week end on 15-12-2013, I had been to NACHIAMMAN TEMPLE, at Devanampalayam, which is a stone throwaway distance from my Native village Pappavalasu, in Erode district. This village has a single community of Mudaliyars.  Sri Nachiamman is a kula theivam for three subsets of Senguntha Mudaliars ( a weaver community - நெசவாளர்கள்  )  of Erode region. They are Kanjan kootam, Poontharayan Kootam and Bokkan kootam.  The temple has a long history too. The History goes like this….

The above sub sets of Mudaliyars ( relatives of uncle and brother in-laws மாமன் , மச்சான் ) used to go for business to far off places. After business while they were retuning heared a bell sound from a forest ( சோலை ). Went inside and happened to see a Brahmanar was doing a pooja to a box ( பேழை ). After seeing these three people the Brahmanar left the place after telling to Sri Nachiamman to make these three people to do pooja in future, since they had seen the pooja. ( The box -  பேழை  might be containing the moortham of Sri Nachiamman….,. Further history written was not visible to see )

The temple has sannadhi’s for Vinayagar, Subramaniyar and Navagrahas. Sudhai sipam of Shiva and Parvathi marriage is on the top of mandapam.  It is a Typical Village temple. As per a devotee, Nachamman is a santha soroobi, hence vahanam is a nandhi. ( It was learnt that ukkara devathais like Mariamman, Kaliamman. Etc., vahanams will be Simham –  may not be true, since  I had seen in many Ammans with Simha Vahanam, whether she is santham or ukkaram.)
Entrance view 
Moolavar vimanam with mandapam 
 Sudhai sipam of Shiva & Parvathi marriage 
Moolavar vimanam with Vinayagar sannadhi 
Nandhi with palipeedam 
 A Vinayagar temple near Sri Nachamman temple 


--- OM SHIVAYA NAMA ---

Friday, 6 December 2013

PAADAL PETRA SHIVA STHALANGAL – THIRU KETHEESWARAM AND THIRUKONAMALAI, SRI LANKA

6, December 2013
Since I had completed the dharshan of 274 Devaram Paadal petra Sthalangal and would like to cover the balance 2 Shiva temples in Sri Lanka also. My ambition of doing dharshan of all the 276 Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalangal  was fulfilled after the successful completion this  SRI LANKAN yathra. 

28-11-2013, THURSDAY, FIRST DAY.

I was more anxious for the SRI LANKAN yathra between 28-11-2013 to 02-12-2013, so could not sleep well on 27th night. Reached Chennai airport and joined with Super Yathra Agencies, of Kumbakonam to catch the flight to Sri Lanka. (   M/s Super Yathra Agencies, in turn  has arranged this visit through Srilankan Holidays, a Travel Agency of Sri Lanka and Chennai. Mr Denzil, our Guide explained the Srilanka’s History, Culture, Politics, Economy, Education, Religion, Business, etc., during the bus journey.  The details are written at the end of this article ).  It was a 5 days visit to Sri Lanka. After completing all the formalities we  boarded the flight, which took off  around  07.30 Hrs.  My long ambition has came to true when I landed at Colombo, Sri Lanka  through Air India Flight on 28th December 2013, around 09.00 Hrs.

Coming out of Airport at Colombo - Mr Siddque of Super Yathra Agency leads the group
AIR INDIA flight take  off from Chennai - CLICK HERE

We had travelled from West to East and North to South  through AC coach / bus staying at Anuradhpura, Kandy, Kadhirkamam ( Kataragama ) and Colombo.  First we started our Yathra from Colombo Airport  to Thiruketheeswaram. It was 17.30 Hrs, when we reached the temple. There  were not enough sign boards to reach the Thirukeetheeswaram and to the temple. This place was under the control of LTTE during the internal war. Houses were built here and there without any boundary. There is no big villages  and the Villages has very very thin population. The road was good and passes through the forests. We could notice the after effect of the war and in one place we had seen two damaged helicopters near the road.

The train route to Mannar is under reconstruction after removing the land mines laid by the LTTE. We could not see the peoples movement on the road. On the road side shops were open but nobody is there to buy. The name boards were  written in Singalese, Tamil and English. 

We are lucky enough to join the  evening pooja after travelling a distance of 215 KM from Colombo Airport.  There was not much crowd in the temple.  Regular poojas are conducted as per agamam. The river Paalavi is very near. Once it was a river and now like a pond and the water will be used to do abhishekam to Maha Lingam during Maha Shivarathri.  The details of the temple are as follows.

274 / 2. THIRUKETHEESWARAM.( திருக்கேதீச்சரம் )

This is the 274th Devaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 2nd Shiva Sthalam in Eezha Nadu, the present Sri Lanka. Thiruganasambandar and Sundarar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple.

Iraivan : Sri Thiruketheeswarar
Iraivi    : Sri Gowriambal.

Some of the important features of this temple are …...
  1. This temple is on north part ( North Province ) of Sri Lanka at Maanthai alias Maathotta nagar on the banks of Paalavi river ( Now it has become like a lake  )near Mannar. Once it was a port, used for business by the Greeks, Romans, Arabians, etc,. Maha Dhuvatta a deva thacchan worshiped Lord Shiva of this temple, hence this place was called as Mahadhuvatta puram and latter called as Maathottam.  Also Maanthai originally came from Maha Sandhai ( மகா சந்தை -  a daily or  weekly or monthly or yearly held market place is called as sandhai )
  2. The temple was completely destroyed by the Portuguese and was reconstructed latter.  Next to this are the Pappa Mottai, Maalikai Thidal, Vettaiyamurippu, Koyirkulam, Paddy field,  Coconut trees etc,. During Chozhas Period, Chozha King Rajarajasekaran’s son Rajendran called this place as Arulmozhithevan Valanadu. Also called as Maanthottathu Rajarajapuram. The Place Pappamottai once was a raised land occupied by the Brahmins who had done pujas to this temple and the Vettaiyamurippu  was used for conducting Thirukethareeswarar’s Vettai thiruvizha.
  3. The kalvettukkal got from the old temple site tells us the Chozhar’s thiruppani to this temple. In addition to this the kalvettukkal at Chidambaram temple also throws some light about the  thiruppani done by the Pandya King Sundara Pandian to this temple. 
  4. The temple was once under the control of  Chingaiyaria Kings who also controls the Rameswaram of Tamil Nadu.
  5. Even though the temple was destroyed the moorthams were  safely buried under the earth. This was informed by Sri la Sri  Arumuga Navalar who lived in the year 1872, through bit notices and he was the instrumental behind the bringing out of the temple details to this world after it was destroyed. 
  6. The temple is constructed in a 43 acres of land through an open auction to Rs 3100.00 by Thiru Rama. Aru. Palaniappa Chettiyar from the British Governor U Willams Duvanaima Durai  in a postponed 2nd time auction on 13-12-1893 ( First time went up to Rs 3050, which the Saivaites could not mobileze the money and was asked by Christians)
  7. The important people involved in reconstruction of this temple are Palaniappa Chettiar, Pasupathi Chettiar, Neeraviyadi Vai. Arumugam, Vaithiyar Ramu Pillai,  Raghava Pillai from Tamil Nadu and Latter for thirupani Somasundara Chettiar  ( 1952 )of Kulasekara Pattinam, 
  8. During reconstruction  the old  sanctum sanctorum, Artha mandapam, Pali peedam, Dwajastham installed places were unearthed. Damage occurred for the moola Lingam ( Maha lingam ) during excavation was installed in the prakaram. The estimated cost of the temple was Rs 22000 for moolavar and Ambal sannadhis. 
  9. Kumbhabhishekams were performed during 1903, 1910, 1948, 1956 ( Sri Soma sundaram Desikar, Madurai Aatheenam and  Pulioli Siva Patha Sundaram  are responsible ), 1960 ( Sri la Sri Arumuga navalar’s student  Kasi vasi Senthilnatha Iyer  with the help of Tamil nadu’s Sthapathis  thirupani ), 1971 and 1976 in various stages.. 
  10. From 14-09-1956,  the responsibility of maintenance of this temple was transferred to Eelam Sivanadiyar  from Nattukkottai Chettiars.  But still Chettiyars  participation is there.
  11. The Lord was worshiped by Kethu, Maha Dhuvatta, Sri Ramar, Agasthiyar, Ravanan. Since Kethu worshiped, the temple was called as Thiruketheeswararm
  12. The Samoaskandar is the largest in the world and was made at Ketheeswararm it self. The moortham was made of pancha logam of which nearly 112 grams of gold has been added.
  13. The Present Temple is facing east with a Rajagopuram with a mani mandapam in front. There is a big Siva Siva mandapam housing office, water tank, and shops.
  14. The nandhi is big in size.
  15. The outer prakaram is with Ponnachi trees and neem trees.
  16. There are lot of madams  on the east street some of them are Thiruganasambandar madam, Sundarar madam, Nattukkottai Chettiars madam, Amma madam, Pasumadam, Poonagariyar madam, on south street Swamy madam, Sivarathrimadam, Nesavu madam, Sirpikal madam,  on the west street  Gurukula madam and  on North street Naavalar madam, Viswakanma madam, Thirukkuripu Thondar madam, Annathana mandapam,
  17. The temple has 5 Chariots, of which moolavar’s is of big.
  18. At the entrance of Rajagopuram the nandhi is a old one and Ganapathi and Subramaniyar  sannadhis.
  19. In the inner prakaram sannadhi for Suryan,  Storage place, Yaga salai,  Thiruganasambanda moorthy,  Kethu, Santhanasiriyars, Thirumaraikal, Sathur vedhas, Urchava moorthams of Naalvar, Sekizhar Peruman,  63var,  Sundarar. Next is Vinayagar, Somaskandar, Vishnu, Mahalingam ( He was once a moolavar who was damaged during excavation ),  Subramaniyar,  Deva Saba, Saraba Moorthy, Nataraja Peruman,  Yaga salai, Bairavar,  Saneeswararn, Chandran.
  20. Adhikara nandhi is on left side of RajaGopuram.
  21. Navagrahas are in a Nirutha mandapam. Dwajasthambam is majestic.
  22. Ambal Sri Gowriambal is facing south. Malaysia  Tamilars, Yazhlpana periyavar Vsuvappa, Ponnoli udayar  Arulambalam,  Mannar  Asst  Govt official Arumugam  are responsible for thirupani to this temple.
  23. For this temple’s Devara Thirupathikam meanings are written by Sri Ponnambalaam Pillai, the son in law of Sri la Sri Arumuga Navalar.
( The Details were taken from the Temples' book released during recent Kumbhabhishekam, Paadal Petra sthalangal details book written by Thiru Pu. ma. Jayasenthilnathan of Kanchipuram Sankara Mutt and during actual visit to this temple. ) 
The 5 tier Raja Gopuram
Moolavar vimanam
The biggest Somaskandhar in the world ( 112 grams of gold was added while making )
Urchava moorthangal
Nandhi Mandapam
Maha Lingam ( This is the original  one. This was damaged during excavation and hence installed in the prakaram )

We could not see much houses near the temple. Since we are running short of  time we could not go around the temple and also we have to travel to Anuradhapura where we have to stay at Hotel Mirinday for next day’s travel to Thiriconamalai.

29-11-2013, FRIDAY, SECOND DAY.

The second day’s journey was a tough one and the total distance covered was 488 KM both up and down. The reconstruction of the road from Anuradhapura to Tirincomalle  is in progress after removing the land mines laid by LTTE during the war.

The temple is on a small hill near the sea shore. The bus dropped us at the base of the temple. A fort was built around the temple by the Portuguese after destroying the temple. Most of the people preferred Auto and a few people climbed up the hill along with me enjoying the beauty of the nature. We could see the lot of military peoples movement on the road.

Reached the Temple around 11.45 Hrs. The details of the temple are as follows.

273/1.THIRUKONAMALAI(Trincomalee-திருக்கோணேச்சரம்     திருக் கோணேச்சரம் கோயில்)

This is the 273rd Devaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 1st Shiva Sthalam in Eezha Nadu, the present Sri Lanka. Thiruganasambandar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple.

Iraivan : Sri Thirukoneswarar
Iraivi     : Sri Mathumayal
Some of the important features of this temple are....
  1. This temple has a history of 3287 years. This place was originally called as Thirikoodam. During that period there were three temples via one on the hill top,  one at the middle and third at the base of the hill.  The old temple was destroyed by the Portuguese after taking the drawings of Vimanams and Rajagopurams. It was told that the drawings are still available  in  Visben museum.
  2. The moorthams were saved by the devotees  and  dropped in the wells and ponds  to take out in the latter period during Portuguese war. 
  3. New temple reconstruction was started after independence in 1950 and Shiva Lingam was brought from  Kasi. The present temple was reconstructed  as per aagamam. The old moorthams of Sri Mathumayal sametha  Sri Koneswarar, Chandrasekarar,  Parvathy, Pillayar,  Asthiradevar taken from the wells and ponds were reinstalled.  (  This was found out when the Govt. authorities while excavating a well. )
  4. The temple has land  for burning of lamps with ghee and the Lotus thread was used.
  5. Artha mandapam, Snabana mandapam, Vasantha mandapam,  Yakasalai and Paagasalai  are in the temple as per aagamam.
  6. In Snabana mandapam Sri Sivakama Sundari Sametha Sri Natarajar.
  7. In Deva Saba  panchaloga moorthams of Sri Valli Deivanai Sametha Sri Subramaniyar, Somaskandar, Chandrasekarar are worth to see.
  8. In the Prakaram moorthams of  Suryan, Chandran, Naagar, Bairavar, Sandikeswarar.
  9. This temple is situated  in a beautiful atmosphere  with good water springs  and  near the sea bay of Bengal. Service institutions with residences are around the temple.
  10. Many Kings like Kulakottu King, Chozha Kings, Pandya king ( who came to this country afraid of Paranthaka Chozhan) had done services to this temple and to Aathi Thambalakama Temple.
  11. The  Kumbhabhishekams were performed  during 1963 and 1981.
  12. The festivals like Panguni Uthiram,  Maha Shiva Rathiri, Aadi Amavasai ( No Moon day ),  Mahamaha Theertha Vizha,  Panguni Urchavam,  Theppa Thiruvizha,  Thiruvenbavai vizha in Maarkazhi,  Aadipporam, Navarathri Sri Sakkara Pooja for Ambal are performed.
  13. There is a temple at Thambalakamam near Thirukonamalai  is related to this main temple since one of the moortham saved during Portuguese war was installed in this temple,  constructed by the Pandya king who came to this place afraid of  Chozha King Paranthaka Chozhan. 
A Poster of the temple at the entrance 
The Portuguese Fort
Entrance to the fort
The History of the fort
Banyan trees
Direction board to the temple
Banyan tree is swallowing the Palm tree
Black buck Deers are grazing
The guns may be used by LTTE
Entrance to the temple with Rajagopuram on the north side
Sudhai Sirpam of Lord Shiva
Ambal Sri Mathumayal Sannadhi 
Moolavar Vimanam
Natarajar Saba
View of moolavar from Dwajasthambam
West  side Rajagopuram
Urchava moorthangal
History of the temple
Sudhai sirpangal around Kal alamaram ( Banyantree growed in the rock)

Ravanan worshiping Lord Shiva - A sudhai sirpam 

As planned we could not see the Bathrakali Amman Temple ( Built during 11th century by the Tamil King Rajendra Chozhan ),  so we proceeded to Anuradhapura. On the way we had been to KANNYA Hot water springs. ( Once it must be a volcanic activity place ). It was believed that this 7 hot water springs / wells were created by Ravana for his mothers last rites. The water in the well have different temperature. The first one with high temperature an the last one will be less temperature.

KANNYA Hot water springs.

 The Seven Hot water wells

Also we had seen a dilapidated  structure partially excavated. It was told that the structure was built by two Kings who ruled that place. Since the structure is adjacent to the hot water wells, the structure might have been used to do the last rites. We could not find any inscriptions.
The excavated dilapidated  structure

Also there is a Shiva Lingam housed in a building, constructed recently. ( The Shiva Lingam must be an old one and might have taken from the dilapidated structure. Reached Anuradhapura Hotel around 19.30 Hrs.
  
Shiva temple

30-11-2013, SATURDAY, THIRD DAY.

Continued our third day journey From ANURADHAPURA to KANDY. First we went to a Murugan temple. There is no moolavar mootham, instead a Thirisoom is kept, There are sanndhi for Vinayagar, Murugan, Nagar, Lakshmi, Navagrahas, Natarajar saba. 

KANDY MURUGAN TEMPLE 
Front asbestos sheet mandapam
Our group
Moolavar Vimanam 
Sannadhis in the prakaram

On the way we had been to DAMBULLA a Buddhist temple. This temple was built during 1st century and has  5 caves with paintings like Ellora and Ajantha, in India.  Due to short of time we have not been inside.

Buddha Temple 


On the way to Kandy we have visited the Ranweli spice garden at Matale, where lot of spices were grown. There were about 23 varieties of medicinal plants. It was believed that a piece of Sanjeevini hill was fallen down, while hanuman brought from Himalaya’s to cure Lakshmanan ( Rama ). Guides explained the benefits of spices and medicinal plants. Massages are done using the herbs ( free and sample ). We had our lunch at Matale Spice Garden restaurant.

Jathi kai with jathi pathri.


Coco
Ladies are playing drums to entertain the tourists
Name Board

After Lunch at Matale Spice Garden Restaurant we went to Sri Muthumariamman Temple. This temple has a 9 tier Rajagopuram with a magnificent view. Kumbhabhishekam was performed recently. Most of the sudhai sirpangal was done by Yamil Nadu  Mamallapuram Sthabathis. The history of the temple goes like this. During British rule, Tamil people from India  were brought to Srilanka to work in the Tea Estates with heavy work load. People were  accommodated in a cramped shelter. Due to un hygienic conditions people got the measles. Then they worshiped Muthumariamman and got cured. To thank for relieving from the decease they constructed this temple  and expanded latter.

West side entrance 
The 9 tier Rajagopuram
The 9 tier Rajagopuram

South side entrance 
View of the temple complex

Since 30th November being a Saturday and Prathosham also coincides ( Sani Prathosam is an auspicious one for Shiva devotees ). We are lucky enough to have the dharshan of Lord Shiva at Kandy. We had spent  till the completion of Abhishekam to nandhi and alangaram.  The details of this temple are as follows.

LORD SHIVA  TEMPLE AT KANDY 

Iraivan : Sri Soma Sundareswarar
Iraivi    : Sri Meenakshi

The important features of this temple are….
  1. The Rajagopuram is of  5  tiers with a magnificent view.
  2. Pali peedam, Dwajasthambam and nandhi are after the rajagopuram.
  3. In the inner prakaram Bathrakali amman, Naalvar, Kalyana Venkatesa Perumal, Maha Ganapathy, Somasundarar, Rajarajeswari ( Urchavar), Kasi Viswanathar, Visalakshi, Pancha Lingam, Maha lakshmi, Arumuga swamy,  Navagrahas ( In sitting posture), Thillai Chirsabai.
  4. In Mandapam sannadhi for Dhandayuthapani, Selva Vinayagar, Pancha muga Vinayagar, Meenakshi Ambal and Palli yarai.
  5. In koshtam Dhakshinamoorthy, Lingothbavar, Brahma and Durgai.
  6. In mandapam paintings of Vinayagars.
  7. The temple and mandapam are built with stone by Nattukkottai Chettiars.
  8. Nandhiyam peruman in silver kavasam,   which is unique in this temple.

The 5 tier Rajagopuram
Pancha muga Lingeswarar
Thillai Chitrambalam
Vinayagar - Urchavar
Nandhiyam Peruman after abhishekam

After Dharshan of Lord Sri Soma Sundareswarar, we had been to a Buddha Temple – Sri Dalada Maligawa, Kandy. The temple has the relic  of Buddha’s teeth. The relic was kept at the centre of the building in first floor, which is made of wood with intricate carvings. There are lot of paintings and Murals. One such painting was about the function to get rain. Persons with chavukku, fire lamps,  Srilankan nadhaswaram and drums,  Elephant with relic goes in procession. This signifies the Thunder, Lightning, Wind and rain clouds ( Elephants ). The river Manavali flows around the city Kandy. The meaning of Kandy is Sanyasi City. ( Kandy – Senkatapura, Senkata = Sanyasi, Pura = City ). After visiting Buddha’s relic – teeth temple stayed at Hotel Senani, Kandy. It was interesting to note that Buddha had visited tree times to SRI LANKA.

SRI DALADA MALIGAWA, KANDY, SRI LANKA.
Entance to the Buddha's temple ( Security check will be done here )
View during Night - a beautiful lighting view 
Singala music is being played before opening the shrine

The Architecture  of the central mandapam where Buddha's relic is being kept - see the beauty of the mandapam kodungaikal
Painting of Buddha
Mural of Buddha
Some of the paintings 
Some of the paintings 
Some of the paintings 
Painting of the temple 1891

We had stayed at Hotel Senani. The garden at the hotel was maintained beautifully.

Thiruvodu tree

01-12-2013, SUNDAY, FOURTH DAY

From KANDY we proceeded to KATARAGAMA ( Kathirkamam ). On the way we have crossed the City NUWARA ELIA. This means City of Lights. Tea and rubber plantation are the important activities in this place. This place is also called as Little England, where British peoples stayed here during summer.

On the way we had seen the water falls called  Ravana Koda ( Thavalanthanna ). It was believed that Ravanan had taken bath in this water falls.
Ravana falls
Then we had been to Hanuman Temple on a small hill. The temple is about 2.5 KM off main road. Due to short of time we are advised to go by AUTO to Hanuman temple. The temple is being maintained by Chinmaya Mission. The Hanuman might be about 20 feet tall. It was believed that Hanuman visited this place first in search of Seetha. Special poojas are conducted every full moon day. On the base of this hill there is a small Vinayagar sannadhi  called as Sri Varadharaja Vinayagar.

SRI RAMA BAKTHA HANUMAN TEMPLE 
Sri Varadharaja Pillayar - at the base of the foot hill
Hanuman temple
Hanuman Painting at basement floor
A beautiful mountain view

After Hanuman’s Dharshan, we had been to GAYATHRI PEEDAM at NUWRAELIA. Also called as Gayathri Siddhar Peedam. There are 108 Bana lingas brought from Narmadha River of India,  is waiting for installation. It was believed that The Lingams are growing day by day due to regular poojas and sweating also appears on the banam. The Peedam was founded by Sri Sri Murugesu Swamigal and the managed by his disciple Sri Kannaya Swamigal.

It was believed that Ravanan’s son Meganathan ( Indrajith ) had done dhabas at this place to get victory for his father. To acknowledge his dhabas mumoorthikal  came to this place and blessed him. ( In spite of this Ravanan was defeated by Sri Rama is the real story ).

SRI GAYATHRI PEEDAM at NUWARAELIA.

Iraivan : Sri Mithrunjeya Devan
Iraivi    : Sri Gayathri Devi ( with five faces in sitting posture )

In the mandapam sila roopam of Mummoorthikal ( Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu ) along with Sri Vinayagar. In Gayathri Devi’s sannadhi Koshtam, Sri Rama Gayathri, Vishnu Gayathri and Krishna Gayathri. There are separate sannadhis for Sri Agasthiyar and Visvamithirar.

It was interesting to note that regular classes on Arulneri for the Tamil students on Sunday’s are being conducted from 08.00 Hrs to 12.00 Hrs. Saiva samayam, Nayanmars, Devaram, Thiruvasakam are taught to the students. ( Really great indeed. )
Entrance to the main shrine

Mummoothikal  - Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu
Agasthiyar
Vishnu Gayathiri

After lunch we had been to SEETHA ELIA – Seetha Amman Temple. In the main sannadhi both marble and Stone moorthams of Anjneyar, Lakshmanan, Ramar and Seetha.  There is a separate sannadhi for Anjenar. Guide showed us the foot print of Anjaneyar on the river bed. In the mandapam there are  painting of Ramayan Story.

SRI SEETHA AMMAN TEMPLE
Entrance from road side - Road at a higher level

Moolavar Vimanams
Moolavar Vimanam

Lakshman, Ram and Seetha ( Marble and Stone moorthangal )
Hanuman Sannadhi
Paintings of Ramayan story
Paintings of Ramayan Story
Hanuman's foot prints.
Ashoka vanam where Seetha was kept

Our previous plan was to have the dharshan of Kathirkamam Murugan on the fifth day. Since we have to travel to a long distance on the fifth  day decided to have the dharshan on the fourth day itself. So we straightaway  went to KATARAGAMA ( KATHIRKAMAM ) Periya Koil. A Buddha sannadhi was also constructed on the left of Sri Vinayagar Sannadhi. The details are as follows.

KATARAGAMA ( KATHIRKAMAM ) Periya Koil.
  1. In the main shrine sannadhi for Buddha, Vinayagar, and Sri Murugan.
  2. On the right side  separate sannadhis for Vishnu Koil, Bairavar,  Deivanai and Guru peedam where we can see the 7 Siddhar jeeva Samadhis.
  3. Valli Sannadhi, Bathrakali Amman, Sivan sannadhi are opposite to main shrine.
  4. It was believed that there is no moortham in side the sannadhi and we have to worship the screens printed the respective gods. ( Some people told that there is a chakkaram and soolam inside and poojas are conducted for that. )
  5. In the Murugan temple large size pictures of Sri Valli, Deivanai with  Murugan marriage. Once in a year Lord murugan will come out and marry Valli near Vallai Sannadhi. That time also moortham will not visible. Will be completely covered with flowers.
  6. The night pooja is being conducted by Muslims ( Do not know the reason )
  7. The hunter people are given importance in this temple since Valli belongs to Veduvar kulam ( Hunters ).
  8. In the entrance arch in neon light written as KATARA GAMA PERIYA KOIL ( The direction sign board also says that Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Dewalaya).

Direction board
Entrance arch to the Kathikamam Murugan Temple

Sri Murugan Sannadhi
Buddha's sannadhi
A Big Peepal ( Bodhi tree )
Must be Shiva Lingam
Valli's sannadhi
Valli is standing under the tree
Shiva Temple
The man in blue is Mr Srinivasan of Samrat Travels who had arranged for Kailash dharshan

02-12-2013, MONDAY, FIFTH DAY.

Today is the last day at Sri Lanka and we have to travel a long distance to reach Colombo. We have traveled along the sea shore. On the way we had spend some time in Galle beach. The tides were very high due to No moon day. We had seen many people surfing on the tides.

Galle beach
Video Taken at Galle Beach to see : CLICK HERE

Also we have crossed the Galle Fort constructed by Dutch. And opposite to that there is a Cricket stadium 
Fort built by Dutch

From Galle to Colombo we had traveled through Express High way with a speed of 100 KM per hour. The road was very good and we are able to cover the distance of 110 KM in an hour. The traffic is very minimum and we could not see any lorry movement. There is no intersection of roads through out the stretch. Sitting in the bus we had seen the Parliament, Parks and corporation building ( Like White house of USA ).

Convention hall 
White house -  Corporation Govt Building 
A Park 

Before going to shopping we had been to Sri Ponnambalavaneswarar temple. The temple was built about 150 years before by Nattaukkottai Nagarathars. Mr Ramanathan is one among those involved in construction of this temple.

Iraivan : Sri Swarna Sabeswarar swamy
Iraivi    : Sri Sivakami Ambal

Some of the important details of this temple are …..
  1. The outer prakaram is spacious with sannadhi for Anjaneyar. Muthumariamman and Naagar.
  2. The Rajagopuram is of 5 tiers
  3. Palipeedam, Dwajasthambam and Nandhi are in inner prakaram.
  4. Sannadhi for Moolavinayagar, Somaskandhar, Pancha Lingangal, Maha Vishnu, Valli Devasena Subramaniyar, Valli Devasena Subramaniyar Urchavars, Saneeswararn, Urchava Moorthangal, Bairavar, Swarna Bairavar, Navagrahas, Chandran Suryan, Yaga Salai and Naalvar.
  5. In the Maha mandapam Urchavar is kept inside screens printed like Shiva and Parvathy in Kailayam with motor operation.
  6. Ambal Sri Sivakami is in a separate sannadhi facing south.
  7. In Koshtam, Vinayagar, Dhakshinamoorthy, Lingothbavar, Brahma and Durgai.
  8. The prakaram lamps are similar to Thiruvannamalai temple.
  9. The temple was built with stone by Nattukkottai Nagarathars
                                     
                                      
The 5 tier Rajagopuram

Urchavar - Sri Valli Deivanai samedha Arumugar
Lingothbavar
Hanuman, Lakshman, Ram and Seetha  - Urchava moorthangal

Went shopping after dharshan. This is the last item of our visit to SRI LANKA. We had spent our fifth day’s night at Hotel Global Towers. This hotel was ceremonially opened during Aug 2004 by then Prime Minister Mahindra Rajapakshe.

Early morning around 05.30 Hrs reached Colombo Airport. Converted my Srilankan currency to US Dollars ( may be useful for future travel ).

Good bye to Sri Lanka.

After completing all the formalities the flight took off by 09.30 Hrs  and reached Chennai around 11.00 Hrs, After reaching Chennai scared of walking on the roads by seeing the traffic and people every where.

ABOUT SRILANKA – MY OBSERVATIONS.
  • The Name Lanka was obtained from the Great Ramayan Story and latter Sri was added.  The preset Capital is Kandy after Anuradhapura. The Capital will decided based on the place where the Buddha relic is being kept. The main language is Singalam. ( It was interesting to note that the  written language was done by 18 Tamil Scholars came from India ). The name Singalese came after a King, who ruled Sri Lanka was born to a  Bangali Princes and a Lion. Singa – Lion and Le – Blood, Blood of a Lion.
  • The important kings ruled are Chozhas and  Pandyas  from Tamil Nadu India. Latter by the British, Portuguese  and Dutch. 
  • The total population of Sri Lanka is 2  cores of which 80% are Singalese and 18% are Tamilians.   The major religion is Buddhism.
  • The main income to the Island is from Tea, Rubber, Spices and precious stones like Safire, Emerald, Topaz, etc., Coconut and lastly  Tourism.
  • The important jobs are Tea plantation, Agriculture ( paddy cultivation is by  direct sowing ) and fishing.
  • There are 5 main rivers. The climate is not so warm or not so cold. Sri Lanka gets rain from two monsoons via South East and North west. We can see greenish every where.
  • The roofs of the houses are built with tiles or asbestos except for multi story buildings.
  • Most of the peoples are energy conscious  and use energy efficient CFL bulbs and even street lights are fitted with CFL lamps.
  • Vehicles are imported from Japan and India.  Most of the buses are of TATA, Ashok Leyland and Isuzu. Four wheelers is of TATA, Maruthi, Toyota, Mahendra, etc,. In three wheelers Bajaj, TVS and Ape. Motor cycles are of Bajaj, Honda, Suzuki, TVS.
  • The cost of living is high since most of the materials are being imported.
  • The Autos are painted with Red, Green, Black, Beige depending  on the year of registration. The numbers are similar to our country starts with their provenance. The Autos are not fitted with meters, but are charging nominally.
  • The roads are very good for travel and drive. Has minimum Signals.
  • Peoples are very disciplined and used to cross  mainly in Zebra Crossings. The drivers stops their vehicles when the people crosses the road.
  • The crime rate is very low and the singalese are cordial and friendly. The people are afraid of Religion Law than the Laws enforced by the Government.
  • Education is Compulsory up to school and is free.
  • The important thing we noticed was there is no waste like, Plastic , paper etc strewn on the streets. Streets and roads are kept neat and clean.
  • Marriages are mainly arranged by the parents. It will be conducted in two days. First day it will be at Brides house and all the colors will be white ( Dress and all the materials used )  and mainly relatives of the brides will attend. The second day marriage will be in Bridegrooms residence  and the relatives of Bridegrooms relatives will be attending. The color of the dress and materials will be red. The main qualification to the Bride groom is, should run a business or in a Job and also should posses an own House. Mostly divorce and remarriages are avoided. The Girls after marriage will be given importance in the society,  if she gives birth to a child as early as possible.
  • Last but not the least is we could not see the real estates, advertisements in any form through out Sri Lanka.
----  OM SIVAYA NAMA ----

The Tour Operators may be contacted for further details

1.   Super Yathra Agency, Nageswaran Street, Kumbakonam.
Contact person : Siddque
          Contact numbers 9443875802, +914352400557

2.   Srilankan Holidays , No 9 North Bog Road, T nagar, Chennai 600017
Contact Person:  R C Shoba
Contact Numbers : 9789846615, 43546651, 45544242,43546641
E mail address : lsrsrilanka@gmail.com
3.   DENZIL K D D Wijesinghe, No 30 A 70, Rukmalgama, Pannipitiya, Srilanka.
Contact Numbers  0773519519, 0773948808, 0777615128

Email address : denziltourism@gmail.com 


Our Guide Mr Denzil
The Bus crew in front of a tea factory
The Luxury coaches ( costs 1 crore Sri Lankan Currency )
Room mates - Mr Thangaiya ( a Retired Professor, 84 years young,  Rajendran from Mayiladuthurai and self.
See the water droplets

---OM  SHIVAYA NAMA :---