Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ashtalingams around Thiruverkadu

Vedapureeswarar Temple (Photo Courtesy: Dinamalar)
Devotees who perform the Giri valam around Tiruvannamalai worship the eight lingams around Arunachaleswara, one for each direction, namely
Varunalingam and
to maximise the benefit of worship and to be bestowed of the grace and blessings of these lingams installed and worshipped by the lords of the eight directions.

Not many of us are aware that similar Ashtalingams, one for each direction, are found around the Vedapureeswarar Temple in Thiruverkadu. These lingams are located over a radius of 24 kms around this temple and several people undertake to visit all eight lingams on special days like Full Moon days, New Moon Days, Mondays and Monthly Sivarathri. Performing this Pradhakshina on Wednesdays is said to bring all sixteen elements of prosperity to the worshipper.

History of the Ashtalingams:

Kulothunga I (Anabaya Cholan)
When Sage Agasthya was going down South to balance the Earth during the celestial wedding of Lord Siva and Parvathi, he installed Shivalingams at several places. Since he could not participate in the wedding, Lord Shiva agreed to grant him the vision of the divine marriage at will. When Agasthya came to worship at Thiruverkadu, he sought to see the Lord's marriage there. So the Lord appeared before him along with Goddess Parvathi in the Marriage Kolam as Vedapureeswarar. Goddess Parvathi teased the Lord saying that while he immediately manifested in whatever form the Sages wanted, what would he do for simple devotees? With the smile, the Lord manifested himself in the form of Lingams on all eight directions around Vedapureeswara, much to the delight and happiness of Goddess Parvathi. King Anabaya Cholan (Kulothunga II) had constructed the Vedapureeswarar temple as well as temples for eight lingams around it.

However, with the passage of time, and several invasions, the temples have become lesser known shrines.

1. Indra Lingam - Vallikollaimedu

Sri Indrasenapatheeswarar Temple, Vallikollaimedu

Indralingam - Sri Indrasenapatheeswarar 
The Indrasenapatheeswarar Temple is to the East of Vedapureeswara Temple at Vallikollaimedu, which  is quite close to the Karumariamman temple at Thiruverkadu. This lingam is said to have been worshipped by Lord Indra to regain his status as King of Indraloka. People worship this lingam to gain promotion at work and to obtain or complete Government related work or orders.
Google Map Link

2. Agni Lingam - Noombal
This temple is found to the South East of the Vedapureeswara temple and is found on the opposite side on NH4 behind Gajalakshmi Kalyana Mandapam.This temple has been recently reconstructed and several new shrines like Navagraham, Murugan, etc added. The original shrine of Agnilingam known as Agastheeswara worshipped by Sage Agasthya is over 2300 years old.

Sri Anandavalli Samedha Sri Agastheeswara Temple at Noombal
Agni Lingam - Sri Agastheeswara
The trustee and priest of the temple Mr Bhadrachalam lives opposite to the temple and is happy to facilitate worship at any time of the day. He can be contacted on 98401 23464. The Agni Lingam is worshipped to be rid of enemies and to find lasting happiness.
Google Map Link

3. Yama Lingam - Senneerkuppam

The Yama Lingam is found to the South of the Vedapureeswara Temple and can be found on the Poonamallee - Avadi Road. There are a number of temples close to this temple and it is right in the middle of a residential locality so one has to check by both names, Yamalingam as well as Kailasanatha to find the place.

Sri Maragathambigai Samedha Kailasanatha Temple, Senneerkuppam

Yamalingam - Sri Kailasanatha
Worshipping at this temple is said to help one stand steadfast by the truth, and be rid of Ezharai Sani, Kanda Sani, Padha Sani and Janma Sani (the various ill effects of Saturn). Iron merchants can also benefit immensely in their trade by worshiping this Lord.
Google Map Link

4. Nirudhilingam - Parivakkam

Sri Balambigai Samedha Sri Paleeswarar Temple

Nirudhilingam -Sri Paleeswarar
By turning right at RRB Energy on Poonamallee High Road, towards Pattabhiram, you will reach Parivakkam and the temple is quite easy to find. There is an arch at the beginning of the road to the temple, which will be found on your left when you go from Poonamallee High Road. This 2320 year old temple, located to the South West of the Vedapureeswara Temple is very well maintained. It has Subramanya as the prime deity in its Swamy Vimana and it is interesting to note that the Goshta Devathas are duplicated at all levels of the Vimana on each side. The temple although lesser known, celebrates Manickavasagar Vizha for ten days every year.The temple is open from 9.30 to 11.00 am. The resident across the road is very helpful in opening the door for those who arrive before or after this time. The priest Mr Balaji can be contacted on 98403 35378.

Worshipping the Nirudhilingam helps one recover debts, and the Lord is known to save and protect those who are hapless and have no one to support them.

Not very far from this temple, is the Sithukadu Dhatriswara Temple, a temple where Lord Shiva has been installed and worshipped by Siddhars. This temple is the first project of Aalayam Kanden Trust and we are happy that the reconstruction is now complete and the Kumbabhishegam is to be performed on July 9, 2014. Article on Sithukadu temples can be found on Aalayam Kanden here.

5. Varunalingam - Mettupalayam:

Close to Parivakkam, near the Christian Graveyard at Kaduvetti, is found the Varunalingam. This lingam must have once been housed in a majestic temple, but today is found inside a very humble shed. This shrine is to the West of Sri Vedapureeswara Temple.

Sri Jalakandeeswari Samedha Sri Jalakandeswarar Temple
Varunalingam - Sri Jalakandeswara
Worshipping this lingam is said to protect one from diseases, help with a good yield in agriculture, and grant boons of childbirth and prosperity.
Google Map Link

6. Vayulingam - Paruthipattu
This temple is found to the North West of the Vedapureeswara Temple. This is the only temple that closes at 10 am and opens only at 5 pm. All the other seven can be worshipped even if the priest is not around. This temple is found in Paruthipattu on Avadi Road and is quite well maintained.

Sri Viruthambigai Samedha Vayulingamoorthy Temple
It is believed that in days of yore, there were cotton plants in plenty around the temple,and the cotton flowers would burst and send cotton flying into the temple. The Lord would very often be covered by cotton and hence the place came to be known as Paruthipattu. Worshipping here rids one of airborne diseases, and helps regain lost property.
Google Map Link

7. Kuberalingam - Sundaracholapuram

Sundaracholapuram, named after King Rajaraja I's father, is not very far from Paruthipattu. There are two temples here, both of them equally beautiful. The Kamakshi Samedha Sri Somanadheeswara Temple comes first as we enter Sundarachola puram. Though this temple is not part of the Ashtalingams, we were drawn to visit by the really ancient Ganesha found under the Peepal tree.

The Ganesha at Somanadheeswara Temple

Sri Somanadheeswara at Sundaracholapuram
Somanadheeswara sits magnificently in the Sanctum Sanctorum. A few hundred metres away from this temple is our destination - the Kuberalingam which is found to the North of Vedapureeswara Temple.

Sri Vembunayaki Samedha Kuberalingeswara
Worshipping Kuberalingeswara brings lasting riches and prosperity. The contact numbers of the temple are
98847 89835, 97104 47760, 93833 85400.
Google Map Link

8. Eesanya Lingam - Chinnakoladi

The Eesanya Lingam is found on the North Eastern side of the Vedapureeswara Temple. Easanya Shivan is the provider of Mukthi which is not easy to attain for mere mortals. Similarly, finding this Shiva was not easy for us. We had to go around in circles around Koladi and Chinnakoladi asking for directions at different places. Even those who stayed a few hundred metres away from this, by far the most magnificient among the Ashtalingams, did not know the location. Finally when we found the place, we were shocked.
The Lord, a favourite diety of the Cholas, who started any new task only after worshipping him, is found in the middle of the fields, in a thatched roof. The size of the lingam can help one well imagine the size of the temple, once built by Anabaya Cholan would have been.

But today one has to wade through ankle deep slush, that sometimes threatens your balance, to reach him.

Sri Gnaneswari Samedha Easanyalingam
This temple is referred to as Gnaneswari Samedha Easanya lingam. But all you can see of the temple is what you see in the picture. Gnaneswari is now visible to those who have "Gnanakan" (divine vision)!
Worshipping this Shiva brings removes hurdles and barriers, brings success in life and grants liberation.
Google Map Link

Except for Vayulingam, all other lingams can be worshipped at any time of the day. It is better to complete the visit before dark,as a couple of lingams like Varunalingam and Easanyalingam are not in very approachable locations. The Ashtalinga Sivanadiyargal Sangam is trying to create awareness about these magnificient and divine shrines so that there is better patronage and these temples are first able to sustain themselves and slowly regain their lost glory.

We started the trip at about 10 am and were able to complete it by about 3.30 pm. We also visited Sitthukadu, Karumari Amman Temple at Thiruverkadu and Somanadheeswara Temple at Sundaracholapuram during this period. The time taken could reduce much if one had a GPS enabled phone as I have now marked all the locations on Google maps. The office bearers of the Ashtalinga Sivanadiyargal Sangam are also willing to guide anyone interested in visiting these shrines and can be contacted at the mobile numbers below:

Mr. M Periasamy - 99400 54455
Sri K. Kumara Sivachariyar - 91765 39026
Mr V Mahendran - 93808 02626

Let us worship the Yen Kailayam in Chennai and be blessed with all the prosperity in life!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Pillai Kaaragan Swamy @ Melvenpakkam!

The Swayambu Sri Lakshmi Narayana Temple, Melvenpakkam
Time and again I have mentioned in my articles about planning to visit a place for a long time, which suddenly came true or alternatively, visiting a temple all of a sudden because an invitation came out of the blue. Now I have come to understand that everything moves as per the divine plan and we must just play our pre destined part. Therefore, I was not surprised when I received a call from Mr Manivannan, Principal Trustee of the Melvenpakkam Sri Lakshmi Narayana Swamy temple just a couple of days before our scheduled visit to Kanchipuram. I immediately agreed on the time and date of the visit.

The Lakshmi Narayana Perumal Temple at Melvenpakkam

This temple, in a non-descript village off the Chennai - Bangalore Highway, hardly comprises of a sanctum sanctorum and an Artha Mandapa. Two tiny shrines have been recently constructed to house the Periya and Siriya Thiruvadis. A temple that once had its own 11 tier Rajagopuram, Mada Veedhis and several acres of land, has been reduced to this status with passage of time, invasions and encroachments. It used to be earlier known as Mahalakshmi Kshetram with individual sannathis for all the eight lakshmis.

Dhampathya Anyonyam: The Lord within the humble temple, is a great Karuna Moorthy. He is said to date back before three Yugas, measuring 12 feet in the Kritha Yuga, 8 in the Thretha Yuga, 4 in the Dwapara Yuga and now 2.5 feet in Kaliyuga. The Narayana and Goddess Mahalakshmi are seen as one form. Usually one can see the Lakshmi seated on the left lap of the Lord either facing him or even if she is facing the devotees there is a gap between the two dieties. However, here both are found in an Änyonya Bhavam with their faces close to one another and no gap in between.

Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal at Melvenpakkam
Photo Courtesy: Mr D Manivannan
This form is unique and worshipping the Lord in this form has brought harmony into many a family were the couples were suffering from lack of understanding and harmony. Mr Manivannan says there is ample evidence in the temple of families reunited through worshipping the Lord sincerely and with faith and devotion.

Pillaikaaragan Swamy: The Lord is also called Pillaikaaragan Swamy. Mr Manivannan narrated his own experience with a lot of emotion. He and his wife had lost two children soon after their birth and were not blessed with a child for thirteen years. Not knowing the reason, and heartbroken at having lost their new borns, they visited several temples. Through Prasnam, they came to know of the Melvenpakkam temple which had been locked up for sixty years without worship. They made efforts to have the temple opened and worship resumed. Soon afterwards, they were blessed with a healthy child. Till date, over three hundred families have visited and been blessed with children. A special  Thirumanjanam is performed on Friday mornings at 7 am with Sri Lakshmi Narayana Hridayam chanting and Paal Payasam Neivedhyam . This prasadam is then given to the childless couples and they are soon blessed with Santhana Prapthi.

Brahma Hathi Dosha Nivarthi: Usually Adhiseshan can be found as the Asana or bed for Lord Mahavishnu. However, in this Kshetram he can be seen as a Vyjayanthimala around the Lord's neck. The serpent circling the Lord's neck twice and lifting up his hood on his chest can be seen very clearly during Milk Abhishekam. This form is said to rid one of Doshas like Brahma Hathi Dosha, Naga Dosha and Rahu Kethu Dosha. It is believed that Lord Hanuman worshipped Sri Lakshmi Narayana Swamy for three months to be rid of the Brahma Hathi Dosham from killing the Asuras who guarded the Ashoka Vana.
Jyothisha Chakravarthy Shri A M Rajagopalan, has been recommending this Kshetram as a Parihara Sthalam for Marital Harmony and for those born under Dhanusu or Mithuna Rasi and based on his advice, a Nagabaranam (Adhiseshan) has been made and adorned to Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal on the Pradhistaa Dhinam - 15 June 2014.

The Lakshmi Narayana Perumal adorned with Nagabharanam
In 1957, Paramacharya of Sri Kanchi Sankara Mutt has spent three days and nights in meditation in front of this Lord and it remained one of his favorite temples.

Uthratadhi Homams: Every month on Uthratadhi star, special poojas are performed at this temple.A very holy Homam known as Sree Lakshmi Narayana Nava Kalasa Homam is performed approximately around 8.45 am. This homam has immeasurable power against all Doshas. During this homam, the very holy Sree Lakshmi Narayana Hridayam is chanted and Thirumanjanam is performed with the sanctified water from the Homam with the nine Kalasas that had been placed in the Homam.People seeking good alliance, marital harmony, childbirth and relief from disease attend this homam and are immensely blessed.

Sri Lakshmi Narayana Nitya Parayana Sloka: Chanting this sloka which forms part of the Shree Lakshmi Narayana Hrudayam, in the Atharva Rahasyam, Uththara Bagham, 28 times in the morning and evening is said to bring all sixteen elements of prosperity into one's life.

Swarna Vridhdhim Kuru mae Grihae Shree:

Sudhaanya Vridhdhim Kuru mae Grihae Shree:

Kalyana Vridhdhim Kuru mae Grihae Shree:

Vibhuthi Vridhdhim Kuru mae Grihae Shree:

The temple is in the process of construction of Maha Mandapa and Dasavatara Mandapa for which contributions are invited from the public. Please send your contributions to : Melvenpakkam Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal Charitable Trust (Regd), No.11, 4th Main Road, Ram Nagar, Nanganallur, Chennai 600 061 or through bank transfer to SB A/c No. 01013962, Corporation Bank, Kellys Corner Branch, Chennai 600 010. IFSC Code: CORP0000123

How to get here: (Details Courtesy Mr Manivannan)
Google Map link

From Chennai:

By Bus:

This temple is approximately 84 kms from Koyambedu and 67 Kms from Tambaram.

If commuting by bus from Koyambedu, please board bus bound for Arcot and get down at Baluchetty Chaththitram bus stop and again board a bus bound to Panapakkam and get down at Check Post Stopping. From there, every 10th minute, you will get a share auto to drop you in the temple. (or) You can board straight buses from Koyambedu. Bus Numbers: 150 and 107, both bound to Panapakkam and get down at Panapakkam and catch a share auto to the temple. ( It takes 3 hours from Chennai).

Also, you can come to Kanchipuram and catch a bus bound to Panapakkam via Damal and get down at Check post and catch a share auto.

By Train:

People coming from Chennai, can board the electric train bound get down at Thirumalpur, go to Panapakkam from there and catch a share auto to Melvenpakkam.(but this travel will be very tedious from Thirumalpur to Panapakkam, though the distance is just 9 Kms)

From Kanchipuram:

This temple is situated at 22 Kms from Kanchipuram in the Madras - Bengaluru Highway, towards Vellore. Any bus bound to Panapakkam, via Damal, can be boarded and you have to get down at Check post and take a share auto. T3, T3A, T3B, T49, 150, MBD and Balaji are the bus routes plying between Kanchipuram and Panapakkam.

From Vellore:

This temple is 56 Kms away from Vellore (via, Arcot, Ranipet, Walaja, Kaveripakkam and Ocheri). You can board the bus bound to Panapakkam, get down there and catch a share auto to the temple.

From Arakonam:

​Devotees coming from Bangaluru, Coimbatore, Salem etc, by train, can get down at Arakonam Railway Junction and board a bus to Panapakkam (24 Kms) and from there, catch a share auto to the temple.
There are plenty of buses from Kanchipuram, Vellore and Arakkonam.

Travelling by Car from Chennai:

This temple is just 4.5 Kms away from the Madras - Bangaluru National Highway.

After crossing Baluchetty Chaththiram and Damal take a right turn to Panapakkam. A Board depicting the name Melvenpakkam Sree Lakshmi Narayana Peumal Sannadhi will be visible under the blinking orange light kept in the highways.Take a right turn and within one km, you will find a big banyan tree to your left and from there, take the right turn, that is opposite to the tree. There also you will find the name board. From here, it is just 4 Kms, into the villages along the paddy fields and the third village is Melvenpakkam. You will find this small temple next to a water tank.

Travelling by Car from Vellore:

From Vellore, come on the national highway via Arcot, Ranipet, Walaja, Kaverpakkam, Ocheri and approximately 8 Kms from Ocheri, you will find the Name board of the temple below the blinking orange light and you have to take a left turn after which follow directions as above.

Contact Details:

Mr D Manivannan, Principal Trustee - 9003177722/9383145661/9444970066

Temple Website: