Unique Places|Temples|Sidhargal|Traditions

ARUPADAIVEEDU TEMPLES

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THIRUPPARANKUNDRAM is noted for its inner sanctum, which is cut out of hard rock. Lord Muruga gazes benevolently at his devotees with his consort, Deivayanai. The main temple is an early cave shrine, but the rest of the structure dates back to the Naik period. Traditional legend says that Lord Muruga married Deivayanai at Thirupparankundram Murugan Temple, which is also the first among the six holy abodes of Lord Murugan. A Muslim Durgah-shrine is located at the top of the hill which has the grave of an Islamic saint Hazrat Sultan Sikandhar Badshah Shaheed Radiyallah Ta'al Anhu. he came from Jeddah, with Hazrat Sultan Syed Ibrahim Shaheed Badushah of Madinah, during the early 13th century.

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PAZHAMUTHIR CHOLAI'S origin dates back to several hundred years.  Nakkirar, Arunagirinathar and Avvaiyar are among the Tamil saints who have made references to this shrine.  Legend has it that Lord Muruga appeared before Avvaiyar in a playful form as a young boy, to test her devotion. Pazhamudircholai is famous for fruits, vegetables and flowers. It is a dense forest where Valli was supposed to have lived. There is another small temple above Pazhamudhir Cholai atop a hill. Local tribes live here. On a fertile hill with many natural springs and herbs. Among the Arupadaiveedu, Pazhamudircholai is the last Padaiveedu. This Pazhamudircholai Lord Muruga is referred in old Tamil literature like Silappathikaram, Ettuthokai and Pattupattu.

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PALANI is dedicated to Lord Dandayutahpani. The temple is built at the top of a 140m high hill and can be reached either by using the steps or by the electrically operated winch. During the festivals of Panguni Utthiram and Adi Krithikkai, Kavadi dancers dance and walk their way from far and near and as they flock to the temple, in hundreds, often in a state of trance. It is a famous pilgrimage town and every year more than 7 million devotees visit the Temple and offer prayers to Lord Muruga. This temple draws the largest number of devotees in Tamil Nadu.

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TIRUTTANI hill temple has 365 steps indicating 365 days of the year. Here, Lord Muruga is in resplendent splendour with his consort Valli, whom he married after bringing her from nearby Vallimalai. The Tiruttani temple is known for its celebration of Karthikai festival every year. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishna, the first Vice President and second President of India was born in Tiruttani. He has donated his property to Sri Subramania Swamy Devasthanam.

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SWAMIMALAI is another famous and one of the six “Padai Veedugal” Battle Camps of Lord Muruga, Arupadaiveedu temples. It is the fourth among the Padai Veedugal. The sacred story associated with this temple is that Lord Karthikeya expounds the meaning of pranavam, AUM to his father, Lord Shiva, at this location. Hence, one can see Lord Karthikeya depicted as Guru, the teacher and Lord Shiva listening, as shishya or disciple in the raja gopuram. Lord Murugan imparts this universal mantra to his father. Lord Muruga is also known as Swaminathan and “Thagappan Swami” literally “Father God” - referring to the fact that Lord Muruga taught Pranava to his father and hence he was his father's Guru. Swamimalai village has the only school that teaches the art craft of making bronze icons.

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TIRUCHENDUR Murugan Temple - Tiruchendur means a sacred and prosperous town of victory. The gopuram is said to have been constructed by Desikamûrti Swâmi. It is said that the wages paid by the Swami was in the shape of pinches of sacred ashes or tirunîru and these pinches of sacred vibhûdhi were converted into cash, enough to recompense their individual exertion,actually performed during the course of the day! There is no other shrine in Tamil Nadu with such a beautiful natural setting. Taking bath in any of the nine teerthams is believed to confer miraculous benefits on the devotee. It is a well of 14 sq. feet in area. Inside this well, there is another small well, one square foot in area and seven feet deep. The smaller well is known as Nazhi Kinaru. The water in the smaller well is crystal clear and sweet to taste whereas in the bigger well it is highly sulphurous and brackish. After vanquishing Surapadman, Lord Muruga and his troops felt thirsty and wanted fresh water. Muruga planted his Vel on this spot and fresh water gushed out.

NAVAGRAHA TEMPLES

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VAITHEESWARAN KOIL means the Lord Doctor in the Tamil language. It is believed that prayers to Lord Vaitheeswaran can cure diseases. It is one of the nine Navagraha Temples and the planet Mars-Angaraka, is worshipped here. It is believed to be the site where Angaraka was cured of leprosy. This site is known for its Naadi astrologers. Thirunavukkarasar had severe stomach pain and his sister asked him to pray to Lord Vaidhyanatha Swamy to cure the illness. He prayed and his illness was cured. Lord Vaitheeswaran Swamy and his Consort Thaiyalnayaki Ambal gives darshan with the medicinal oil to cure the diseases of devotees. It is believed that Rama, Lakshmana and Saptarishis worshipped the Lord here. The ashes and Thiruchandu Urundai is supposed to cure all diseases. It is prepared from Homa Kundam. Another medicine given is Chandan or sandalwood powder with Saffron. People come here to offer Milagu-pepper and salt with jaggery in the Siddhamritam, to get rid of diseases. They also donate carved silver plated body organs in the Hundi vessel as offerings, to cure the diseases. In Vaitheeswaran Koil, there is a special shrine dedicated to Ankarakan or Chevaai-Mars.The belief is that offering prayers to Ankarakan will bestow valour, victory and strength. There is also a widespread belief that a visit here would remove obstacles which delay marriage.

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THIRUVENKADU is a famous Navagraha temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and the planet Mercury, one of the nine Navagrahas. There is a separate Sannidhi for Bhudhan, Mercury. The temple is quite large and all four important Saivite saints have sung in praise of this Lord. There is a reference to this temple in the Valmiki Ramayana.  The oldest part of the temple is more than 3000 years old.   Bhudhan is said to bestow wisdom and intellect. Budha Puja or Mercury Puja is dedicated to planet Mercury. Budha Puja on Wednesdays brings in manifold benefits like eliminating difficulties, healthy progeny, possession of fertile lands, etc.

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KANCHANOOR This Shivastalam is associated with Sukran - representing the planet Venus and is regarded as one of the nine temples of Navagrahas. This shrine is also referred to as Palaasavanam, Bhrammapuri and Agnistalam.  Brahma is said to have been blessed with a vision of Shiva's marriage with Parvathi here.  Men visit to pray for the well being of their wives. Shukra or Venus Puja is performed to appease planet Venus. Grah Shanti Shukra Pooja is recommended to those, having malefic Shukra or wrongly placed Venus  in their horoscopes.

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Temple for mental peace and to get rid of various diseases TIRUNALLAR is most popular for the shrine of Lord Shani in the temple. When the planet Saturn transits between zodiac signs, millions of people throng this shrine. The legendary King Nala was said to have been relieved of his afflictions, due to the malefic influence of Saturn, only after worshipping in this temple. Of the numerous tanks theertams, the Nala theertam is the most important one. By bathing here, it is believed that one is washed off all kinds of misfortunes and afflictions. Saturn occupies an important place. The “Shani Peyarchi” Festival, held once in two and half years to propitiate the malefic effects of Saturn is well attended. This is the only temple that is dedicated to Lord Shani or Planet Saturn. Shani Puja is performed to appease planet Saturn. Grah Shanti Shani Puja,is sought for mental peace and to get rid of various diseases.

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THIRUNAGESWARAM Thiru Nageswarar or Naganatha Swami temple. Naga in Tamil-Sanskrit means Snake and Natha means God. It is one of the nine celestial bodies of the Navagraha Temples.The milk abhishekam is performed daily during Rahukaalam. At this time, the milk that is poured on the statue turns blue when it passes over the body and once again to white after it reaches the floor.This is also the only place wherein one can view Rahu Bhagawan with his consorts. The mythological serpents Aadhi Seshan, Dakshan and Kaarkotakan worshipped Shiva here. Rahu Puja or the Dragon's Head worship is dedicated to planet Rahu. Grah Shanti Rahu Puja is recommended for those, having malefic Rahu or wrongly placed Rahu as per the horoscope.

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KEEZHPERUMPALLAM the Naganathar temple known as the Ketu Navagraha temple is located in the hamlet of Keezhperumpallam. Rahu and Ketu are associated with the legend of the churning of the milky ocean. There is a shrine dedicated to Ketu in this temple where worship services are offered. Ketu Puja is dedicated to planet Ketu. Grah Shanti Ketu Puja, worship of Dragon's Tail is recommended for those, having malefic Kethu or  wrongly placed Ketu as per the horoscope.

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ALANGUDI Sri Abathsagayeswara Swamy Temple, the sthalam of Guru Bagavan. Ambal undertook severe penance and married Lord Shiva and hence this place is hailed as Thirumana Mangalam. Fame, wealth and siblings are the beneficial aspects of Guru. Going around Sri Dakshinamoorthy, twenty four times and lighting twenty four ghee deepams, while worshiping, is believed to absolve all guru dhoshams and bring prosperity to one's life.   All Thursdays are special to Sri Guru, apart from New Moon Day or Amavasai, Full Moon Day or Pournami or Guruhorai or days falling on stars like Punarpoosam Visagam and Pooratathi are very auspicious for Sri Guru Bagavan.   It is believed that performing Sahasranama Archana, Sri Guru Homam and milk abishegam will bring prosperity and fame in arts and will ward off all dhoshams. Bhudan Bagavan is attired in green, offering full green moong dhal, white kanthal flower and green cloth is believed to bring Sasthra Gnanam to devotees.

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SURYANAR KOVIL is dedicated to the worship of Sun-God. It is stated in one of the inscriptions found in the temple that it was built during the reign of Kulottunga Cholan in AD 1060. Lord Surya is known as the giver of health, success and prosperity.  Every year in mid January, the harvest festival is celebrated as thanksgiving and to honour Lord Surya. Surya Puja or Sun worship is dedicated to Lord Surya. Grah Shanti Surya Puja or Sun worship is recommended to those having malefic Surya or wrongly placed Sun as per the horoscope.

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THINGALOOR The Kailasanathar temple known as the Navagrahastalam is associated with Chandra, the Moon God. Historians agree that it must have been in existence well before the beginning of the seventh   century AD.  Dedicated to the Moon or Chandra in Sanskrit and Thingal in Tamil, a visit to this temple is said to grant a comfortable and long life. In astrology, Chandra is the planet that removes stress and sorrow. This is an ancient Saivite shrine, associated with the life of Tirunavukkarasar. Legend has it that there lived a merchant Appoodi Adikal in the village of Thingaloor who was a devotee of Lord Shiva. Appoodi Adikal held Tirunavukkarasar in high regard and looked forward to the day when he would be able to host the saint poet. His son died due to  a venomous snake bite while the saint was being entertained. The Saint is said to have miraculously restored the boy to life due to the Appoodi Adikal’s Devotion.  Chandra Puja is dedicated to Lord Chandra, the Moon God. Grah Shanti Chandra Puja-Moon worship is recommended to those, having malefic Chandra or wrongly placed moon as per the horoscope.

FIVE ELEMENTS TEMPLES

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CHIDAMBARAM Nataraja temple is one of the panchabhoota temples representing space.The ancient Chidambaram Nataraja Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of the Cosmic Dancer and is the oldest temple in Southern India. The 1000 pillared hall, the Nritya Sabha or court is carved out like a gigantic chariot. Sambanthar, Tirunavukkarasar, Sundaramurti Swamigal, Manickavasagar and Nandanar attained Mukti in Chidambaram. Bharatanatyam dancers from different parts of the world offer their prayers to Lord Nataraja during the famous annual Natyanjali festival. A number of families are engaged in the gold and silver ornament-making business for generations. Most of the artifacts are hand created, which are rich in quality and artistry. Sri Raghavendra Swami was born near Chidambaram. Chidambaram is home to the Annamalai University.

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KANCHEEPURAM Ekambareswarar Temple is one of the famous temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, in Kancheepuram.  It is one of the five major Shiva temples or Pancha Bootha Sthalams representing the element - Earth. This vast temple is one of the most ancient temples in India having been in existence since 600 AD. The temple covers an area of over 40 acres. Rajagopuram is one of the tallest in  South. A notable feature of the temple is the hallway with a thousand pillars. The temple's inner walls are decorated with an array of 1,008 Siva lingams. Its sthala-viruksham is a 3,500 year old mango tree whose branches are said to yield four different types of mangoes.

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SRI KALAHASTI It is one of the important ancient Shiva Kshetras or Shiva Temples. It is fairly close to the famous hill temple of Lord Venkateshwara Tirupati.  This is where the popular textile painting art called Kalamkari originated. It is believed that Kannappa also known as Bhakta Kannappa, a tribal devotee worshipped Lord Siva at Sri Kalahasti.Brahma, the Hindu God of creation, is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva and bathed in the Swarnamukhi river to get rid of “Sisuhathya patakam” the sin of killing children. It is one of the panchabhoota sthalam - representing one of the five basic elements - Vayu Sthalam or Air Linga. There is a lamp burning inside the inner sanctum that constantly flickers despite the lack of air inside. The sanctum has no windows, and the lamp flames keep moving despite no air movement.  The linga is white and is considered Swayambhu or self-manifested.

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THIRUVANAIKAVAL is a famous Shiva temple in Tiruchirapalli. Thiruvanaikal is one of the five major  Panchabhoota Sthalams representing one of the five great elements. This temple represents the element of water. Jambukeswara is depicted sitting under a jambu tree, which grows over a small stream that engulfs the deity during the rainy season. The massive outer wall, known as the Vibudhi Prakara, stretches over a mile long and is two feet thick and over 25 feet in height. Legend has it that the wall was built by Shiva along with the labourers. The Sannadhi of the Goddess Akilandeshwari and the Sannadhi of Prasanna Vinayaka are in the shape of the pranava manthra called “Aum”. It is believed that people who go round the sannadhi, which is in the shape of “Aum” 12 times and for one full mandala, 48 days will get the blessings of the Goddess Akilandeshwari and lead a good, healthy and wealthy life. It is believed that the Amman in the temple was very angry and hence during one of Adi Sankara's visit he installed the Prasanna Ganapathy Idol right opposite her Sannadhi and thereafter her anger subsided.

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THIRUVANNAMALAI is home to the Annamalaiyar Temple. Thiruvannamalai has long been associated with many yogis and siddhars. Thiruvannamalai is one of the Pancha Bootha Sthalam representing the fire element.  On the day of Karthigai Deepam, a huge lamp is lit in a cauldron with three tons of ghee at the top of the Annamalai hill. Every full moon night, tens of thousands of pilgrims worship Shiva by circumambulating the Arunachala hill barefoot. Advaita Vedanta Guru Ramana Maharshi lived in Thiruvannamalai for 53 years until his death in 1950. Seshadri Swamigal  and Yogi Ram Surat Kumar are other great gurus who lived in this city. There were many hundreds of saints guru and sidhargal lived in Thiruvannamalai.

JYOTHIR LINGAM TEMPLES

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SOMNATH in Saurashtra Kathiawad,  Gujarat To worship the Lord with holy water, sandalwood scented water was brought from Haridwar, Prayag and Kashi every day. However, flowers for special festivities were imported from Kashmir. One thousand Brahmins are appointed for the routine daily worship. About three hundred and fifty dancing girls were appointed for the regular music and dance concerts that took place in the Temple courts. This religious place of worship was earning the produce of ten thousand villages. Among the twelve Jyotir Lingas, Somanath is considered as the primary one, since this deity is supposed to be Swayambhu self-manifested and is always awake. Lakhs of devotees visit this temple and consider themselves blessed. Offerings made by crores of devotees amounted to crores of rupees, which has kept the Temple always rich and abundant. Along with this, the Sun worshipping Parsi community also contributed a part of their profits to the temple treasury, thus keeping the treasury full.

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MALLIKARJUN in Srisailam Andhra Pradesh Bhramaramba Mallikarjunaswamy Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Srisailam is referred in the ancient Hindu Puranas and the epic Mahabharata. Shiva's sacred bull Nandi is said to have performed penance at the Mahakali temple till Shiva and Parvathi appeared before him as Mallikarjuna and Brahmaramba. Lord Rama himself installed the Sahasralinga, while the Pandavas lodged the Panchapandava lingas in the temple courtyard. The Mahabharata epic refers to Srisailam as Sri Parvata - the blessed hill. You can hear the buzzing of a bee through a tiny hole in the Brahmaramba temple, where Parvathi, in the form of a bee, slew the demon Mahisasura.  Srisailam caves are said to be the place where the most famous poet and social reformer Akka Mahadevi is said to have achieved salvation. It is believed that Akka Mahadevi did penance in this cave and worshipped the Sivalinga that naturally existed in the deep and dark end of the cave. Srisailam Dam is set amidst beautiful natural scenery - ghats, cliffs, craggy ridges, plateaus and dense forests.  Srisailam Sanctuary also boasts of one of the largest Tiger Reserves in India. These forests provide shelter to a range of animals like the tiger, leopard, deer, sloth bear, hyena, jungle cat, palm civet, bonnet macaque and pangolin. Hemareddy Mallamma Temple at Srisailam. The place where Hemareddy Mallamma lived with cattle. The place is visited by lakhs of pilgrims who offer prayers at this temple. It is believed that Shiva and Parvathi visited this place on Amavasya or new moon day and full moon day or Pournami, respectively. Visiting this Jyotir Linga not only blesses one with immense wealth, but also name and fame and fulfils all desires.

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MAHAKAL or Mahakaleshwar at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh - In the Mahakal Shiva temple on the banks of River Kshipra, puja is performed at 4 am and after Abhishek, Chitabhasm known Ash of Cemetery is applied all over Mahakal. According to the classics, Chitabhasm or human ash is considered as unholy and inauspicious. If anyone touches it by mistake, one is required to bathe in order to be purified. But this very ash becomes holy, by merely touching the body of Mahakal, because Shiva is Nishkam or lust-less. He is not touched by material desires. That is the reason Shiva is Mangalmay or auspicious. Avanti Nagar is Shiva's favourite town. Those who visit the Mahakal temple and have a darshan will never experience sorrow, even in their dreams. Those who pray for what they desire to the Mahakal Jyotirlinga, they would be granted all their wishes and attain salvation.

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OMKAR in Mammaleshwaram Omkareshwar is a beautiful self manifested Swayambhu Linga. From the Vindhyanchal mountain range in Madhya Pradesh, River Narmada, turns westward and flows in that direction. The deep wide river gives an impression that it has assimilated all the sins and sorrows of humans and released them from sins. This river which flows rippling from the mountains is also known as “Reva”. The smooth round pebbles found in this river are called “Bana Lingas”. On the banks of River Narmada, there is a huge island on which the fourth of the Jyotir Linga “Omkaram Amaleshwar” is situated. This island and the river are shaped like “OM” and that is how it derives its name. It is a natural occurrence. The devotees who go round the temple consider themselves blessed because they are performing a Parikrama or circumambulation of Omkara  and having Darshan of the holy Jyotir Linga. The banks of Narmada and the island are extremely beautiful. The beauty of nature here has to be seen to be believed. The houses are located on the terraced green and strong mountains. Apart from the temple, Kotiteerth located in the waterfalls and valleys like Chakrateerth are some of the places to be seen. One can see big fishes and also crocodiles in these waters. There are many trees with beautiful creepers all over them. Groups of monkeys live on these trees. There are a variety of birds. The temple towers look bright and shiny. The whole atmosphere echoes with the sound of “Om Namah Shivaya”. It is here that Lord Sankara had taken the forms of “Omkareshwara” and “Amaleshwara”, as Jyotir Linga.

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VAIJNATH in Parli Vaidyanath at Deogarh, Bihar - If one is to draw a line between Kanyakumari and Ujjain, Parali village can be clearly seen. This village is located on the slopes of Meru or Naganarayana Mountain. Parali is an ancient village located near three rivers, Brahma, Venu and Saraswati and is famous because of the presence of one of the twelve Jyotir Lingas of Shankara. This village is also known as Kantipur, Madhyarekha Vaijayanti or Jayanti. When the Gods and Demons combined their efforts in Amrit Manthan or Churning for Nectar, fourteen gems emerged. There were Dhanvantari and Amrit Ratnas. When the Demons rushed to grab Amrit, Lord Vishnu hid the Amrit and Dhanvantari in the Shiva Linga. When the Demons tried to touch the Linga, flames started emanating. The scared Demons ran away. But when devotees of Lord Shankara touched the Linga, there was a free flow of Amrit. Here, there is no discrimination between caste, creed or colour. Anyone can visit this place. As the Lingamurthy is supposed to have Amrit and Dhanvantari, it is also known as Amriteshwar and Dhanvantari. The mountains and jungles and the rivers, are full of useful medicinal herbs. That is the reason Parali Jyotir Linga is also known as Vaidyanatha. The Lingamurty at Vaidyanath is made of Saligram stone. It is beautiful and very smooth and is in a benevolent posture. On all the four sides of the temple, Nanda Deep's lights keep burning. Mahadev is offered Tulsi leaves and Vishnu is offered Bel leaves. This unique practice is seen only in Vaidyanath. Lord Ganesha's idol is seen without the trunk and in a sitting posture. It is a place of pride for Maharashtra.

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BHIMA SHANKAR in Dakini, Northwest of Poona,  Maharashtra   This Jyotir Lingam is situated on top of the Sahyadri hill temple.  Lord Shiva is considered to be taking rest here after the Trpurantaka Samharam.  The sweat drops of Lord Shiva are converted into a stream known as Bhimarati. Shivaji, the Maratha ruler had made rich endowments for the maintenance of the temple. Pandavas came here during their Vanvas or life in forests, and built a hermitage. Their cows used to graze in the same river bank and drank water from the river. After drinking water, milk used to flow into the river as if the cows were offering milk to the river. One day Bhima saw this miraculous event. He promptly told Dharmaraja about the same. Then Dharmaraja said, “Surely, some great God must be living in this river”. Then the Pandavas started removing the water from the river. The middle part of the river was so hot that the water there was boiling. Bheema lifted his mace and attacked the river thrice. The water gave way instantly. At the very moment, blood started oozing like a spring. Lord Shankara's Linga could be seen as the Jyotir Linga. Bhimashankar Temple is an ancient shrine, one of the 12 Jyotir Lingas of Shiva. Situated at the extreme end of the Sahyadri Ranges, it has a scenic view of the world around the rivers and the hill station around the temple. Endless stretches of virgin forests, lofty peaks that seem to reach out to the heavens and the whispering waters of the Bhima River, Bhimashankar, is one of God's choicest creations.Bhimashankar is definitely a pilgrim's paradise, a trekker's delight and a traveller's sojourn. Lord Shiva thus manifested himself in the form of the Bhimashankara Jyotir Lingam. It is believed that the ancient shrine was erected over a Swayambhu Lingam i.e. a self emanated Shiva Lingam.This temple is closely associated with the legend of Shiva slaying the demon Tripurasura with the invincible flying citadels, Tripuras. Shiva is said to have  taken abode in the 'Bhima Shankara' form, upon the request of the Gods, on the crest of the Sahyadri hills. The shrine consists of 22 holy water sources like Rama Teerth, Sita Kund, Jata Teerth, Lakshman Teerth, Kapi Teerth, Brahmakund, Galawa Teerth, Mangala Teerth, Kodandaram Teerth, Pandav Teerth etc.,The water at all these places is sweet and has a taste of its own. Each Teerth has a unique story attached to it

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RAMESWARAM  Taking the Ganga water to Rameshwar, is considered very auspicious and pious after a pilgrimage of the four holy shrines. After taking bath in River Ganga, the holy water is carried and offered to Lord Shiva at Rameswaram. A little sand from here is carried to Ganga and immersed there. Completing this ritual is believed to make one's pilgrimage complete and successful. Lord Rama completed this ritual. It pleased Lord Shiva who immediately appeared before Lord Rama and told him that he could ask for any boon which would be granted to him. Lord Rama said “If You want to grant me my wishes, please stay on this earth for the sake of all and make it holy”. Lord Shiva granted by saying “Evamastu” meaning “so be it”. He thus stayed there and came to be known as Rameshwara, in the form of a Shiva Linga and became popular. With the blessings of Lord Shiva, Lord Rama killed all the demons including Ravana and emerged victorious. Anyone who has a Darshan of the Jyotir Linga at Rameshwar and sprinkles the holy water of Ganga, attains salvation, Kailaya Moksha or Nirvana. At the place where the Jyotir Linga is located, a large and expansive temple has been built. It is famous in the world as a typical architectural example.On the tall stone pillars of temple, beautiful carvings can be seen. This wonderful temple built on the sand island, is a work of great art and is very impressive. Near a gold plated pillar, a river is carved on a monolithic stone  13 feet high and a foot wide. This is a typical example of beautiful sculpting. This island shrine consists of 22 odd holy water sources like Rama Teerth, Sita Kund, Jata Teerth, Lakshman Teerth, Kapi Teerth, Brahmakund, Galawa Teerth, Mangala Teerth, Kodandaram Teerth, Pandav Teerth etc., The water at all these places is sweet and has a taste of its own. Each Teerth has a unique story attached to it. Devotees have Darshan and feel cleansed by doing so. Every day, from 4 am till 10 pm, devotees keep coming to the temple and prayers are offered  throughout the day. After the Arathi at night, the Lord is made to sleep in a Golden swing i.e. the Bhoga statues of Shankara and Parvathi are put to rest. Aurangazeb was intolerant towards other religions and wanted to destroy this Hindu temple. When he tried, thousands of bees came out of the temple and attacked Aurangazeb and his army

Nageshvara-Darukavana-Maharashtra...61

NAGESHVARA Jyotir Linga is one of the 12 Jyotir Linga , The 8th is Naganath Nageshwar, in Darukavana, Maharaashtra. A demon named Daaruka attacked a Shiva devotee by name Supriya and imprisoned her along with several others in his city of Darukavana.This place was a city of snakes and Daruka was the King of the snakes. On the insistence of Supriya, all the prisoners started to chant the holy mantra of Shiva and instantly Lord Shiva appeared and vanquished the demon and resided here in the form of a Jyotir Linga. This powerful Jyotir Linga symbolizes protection from all poison and those who pray to the Nageshwar Linga become poison free. The architectural beauty of the Nagesh Temple is simply exquisite. This temple, built with stones during the Pandava period is strong. The four walls of the temple are very strong and the corridors are large. The court hall is supported by eight pillars and is oval shaped. This and the Nagesha Lingamurthy are located in the small internal Garbhagriha. There is no Nandi idol in front of Mahadeva. There is a separate Nandikeshwara shrine behind the main temple. On the four sides of the main temple, smaller temples for the twelve Jyotir Lingas are constructed. Apart from these, Vedavyasa Linga, Bhandareshwar, Nilakanteshwar, Ganapati, Dattatreya, Muralimanohar, Dasavatar temple and idols etc., are present. In all, there are 108 Shiva temples and 68 shrines are located here. The structure of the Naganath temple is very beautiful. Inside, there is another shrine called Runamochan Teerth. Both shrines are called “Mother-in-law- Daughter-in-law”. Every 12 years, at the time of Kapila Shashti, Kashi Ganga offering is performed as “Padarpan”, At this time, water in the Teerth Kund looks crystal clear. Again at a specific time it becomes 'Shivala Yukt”. At a huge corner, there is an idol of Parvathi, who is sulking while Shiva tries to pacify her. This statue is amazing to look at with its stunning features. It is unmatched in its expression of emotions. Aurangazeb was intolerant towards other religions and wanted to destroy this Hindu temple. When he tried, thousands of bees came out of the temple and attacked Aurangazeb and his army. He left the demolition work midway and went away. The devotees rebuilt the broken temple. Sometimes snakes with their hoods open can be seen standing guard on the Naganath Linga idol.  Nobody knows  when they drink the milk left in cups. The Lord himself has declared this spot as his Royal residence.

KasiVishwanath-Varanasi-Uttar Pradesh...62

KASI Varanasi, Viswananth Swamy Temple - Kasi is amongst the holiest spots to visit, by the Hindus.  It is believed that a visit to Kasi ensures liberation and hence religious Hindus seek a visit during their lifetime.  The Lord himself has declared this spot as his Royal residence. Goddess Parvathi's mother felt ashamed that her son-in-law had no decent dwelling.  To please Parvathi Devi, Shiva asked Nikumbha to provide him with a dwelling place at Kasi. On the request of Nikumbha, Aunikumbha a brahmin made Divodas to construct a temple for the Lord here.  The pleased Lord granted boons to all his devotees.  But Divodas was not blessed with a son.  The angered Divodas demolished the structure. Nikubha cursed that the area would be devoid of people.  When the place was emptied Lord Shiva once again took residence here, permanently. The Lord along with Parvathi Devi once again started blessing his devotees with wonderful boons. Parvathi Devi was so pleased that she offered food, annam, to one and all and hence is worshipped as Annapoorani.  The Lord himself is seen with a bowl in his hands asking for annam from the seated Devi at the Devi's shrine adjacent to Viswanathar's shrine. The Shiva lingam is placed in a square shaped brass plated pit. Devotees are permitted to offer worship such as abhishekam with holy Ganga water, garlanding the Lord, Karpoora Aarathi, etc. personally to the Swaymbhu Lingam. There are several smaller shrines around the main shrine. Each ghat has a Shiva Linga shrine.  The Lord can be seen placed on a pedestal at every location in the city, even if there is no shrine. Cures any illness, relief from bad times and dosha for killing a Cobra boon to childless couples and overcomes financial crisis.

Triambakeshwar-Nasik-Maharashtra...62

TRIAMBAKESHWAR Jyothir Lingam - Of the twelve Jyotir Lingas of Lord Shiva, the tenth one is known as Triambakeshwara. This great Jyotir Linga, on the banks of Gautami, has a unique form. The Lord in this temple's Grabhagriha is not worshipped with Abhisheka, with water. Unlike other temples the sanctum is below the level of the temple surface more or less on the ground level. Unlike other Shiva Lingams the bottom portion is a circular shaped pit in which, there are three Lingams, shaped like the thumbs, hence known as Triambakeshwara. Of these three Lingas, the Linga of Mahesha has a constant shower of water from an orifice above. It is a natural source of water coming down as Abhisheka for the Lord. The Shivalingam is seen in a depression on the floor of the sanctum, water from Godavari, known as Godavari Ganges constantly oozes out from the top of the Shivalingam. Godavari River is the longest river in peninsular India. The extraordinary feature of the Jyotir Linga located here, is its three faces embodying Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Due to excessive use of water, the linga has started to erode. It is said that this erosion symbolizes the eroding nature of human society. The Lingas are covered by a jeweled crown which is placed over the Gold Mask of Tridev, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The crown is said to be from the age of Pandavs and consists of diamonds, emeralds, and many precious stones. This place is famous for lots of religious rituals or vidhis. Narayan Nagbali, Kalsarpa Shanti, Tripindi Vidhi are done here. Narayan Nagbali puja is performed at Triambakeshwar and the three days puja is performed on special dates since some days are not suitable to perform the puja.This puja is performed for many reasons, to cure illness, going through bad times because of killing a Cobra Naga, childlessness, financial crisis. The Shiva idol of the temple consisted of the world famous Nassak Diamond. It was appropriated by the British and has changed hands, ever since. Thediamond presently lies with Edward J. Hand, a trucking firm executive from Greenwich, Connecticut.  Anjaneri mountain, the birth place of Lord Hanuman, is 7 km from Triambakeshwar. The Triambakeshwar Jyotir Linga is a unique and a wonderful place of pilgrimage. The temple is closed for the winter due to snowfall after lighting a ghee lamp, when the temple doors are opened after 6 months the lamp “Nanda Deepa” still keeps burning.

Kedharnath-Uttarkhand-UttarPradesh...62

KEDARNATH Among the twelve Jyotir Lingas of Bhagwan Shankara, the one at Kedarnath is located in the snow-covered mountains of the Himalayas. This Jyotir Linga can be visited only for six months in a year. The month of Vaisakha to Ashwin Ashwiyaja is the time when pilgrims can make the journey to this place. The rest of the year is too cold because of the snow clad Himalayas and the Kedarnath temple remains closed for pilgrims. During the month of Karthik, November, due to snowfall, Sri Kedareshwar idol is brought out of the temple after lighting a ghee lamp, “Nanda Deepa”. Then the temple is closed for the winter. From the month of Karthik to Chaitra-November to April, Sri Kedareshwar's abode is shifted to the Urvi Math, which is in the valley. In the month of Vaishakh, May, when the temple doors are opened the lamp “Nanda Deepa” still keeps burning. People come to see this glorious lamp and the Shiva devotees consider themselves blessed. A little farther from Gaurikund, near the snow-clad mountains, on the banks of River Mandakini, the Kedarnath temple of the glorious Jyotir Linga of Lord Shankar, becomes visible. This is where Lord Shankar had made His abode. The Shivalinga here is self-manifested and not installed by anyone. It is said that this is the rear portion of Mahisha , the he-buffalo. By visiting Kedareshwar, one does not experience sorrow even in one's dreams.By worshipping Shambara Kedareshwar, Pandavas got rid of all their sorrows. Badri-Keshwar's darshan rids one of the material ties. Whoever gives Daan, alms, at Kedareshwar, just gets assimilated into Shivaroopa. Around the main temple, there are many holy places. Behind there is the Samadhi of Shankarachrya. A little further up, there is a dangerous cliff called Bhariguptan Bhairav Udan. One has to pass through dreadful, and life threatening circumstances. But what one gets is not Mrityu, Death, but Moksha, Salvation. On all the eight sides of the temple, there are eight shrines. In short, it is to say that in order to visit Kedarnath Jyotir Linga, one has to go through a treacherous route. But when people are determined and dedicated, they never get tired. Everyone keeps chanting “Jay Kedarnath! Jay Kedarnath!! ”. Gives Darshan to devotees in his Jyotir Linga swarupam at the same spot where Kusuma immersed the Lingams.

Grishneshwar-Visalakam-Maharashtra...62

GRISHNESHWAR in Visalakam near the Ellora caves, Maharashtra. Jyotir Lingam exists at Devagiri near Ellora.  The Lord is known as Kusumeswarar or Grushmeswara or Grishneswara There once lived a pious brahmin and his wife.  He was a great devotee of Shiva.  He was not blessed with a son.  At the persuasion of his family, he got married to Kusuma, in order to give him a son. Kusuma was an even greater devotee of Lord Shiva.  Every day she would make one Siva Linga, worship it and then immerse it in the temple tank.  Soon she was blessed with a baby boy.  The first wife was seething with jealousy and ill treated Kusuma. Putting all her faith in the Lord, Kusuma bore all the sufferings humbly.  When the boy grew older, they planned his wedding. The jealous first wife killed the boy with an axe. Kusuma was deeply grieved, yet did not stop her daily worship of Lord Shiva.  She continued to make the Lingam, worshipped and immersed it in the tank.  To the surprise of one and all, her son rose out of the water one day, coming back to life. Lord Shiva appeared before them and blessed them.  He declared that he would give Darshan to devotees in his Jyotir Linga swarupam at the same spot where Kusuma immersed the Lingams. This Jyotir Lingam is considered to exist in two places, one at Devagiri near Ellora and the other at the Kailash temple at Ellora.

UNIQUE TEMPLES

AHOBILAM...64

AHOBILAM It is a major pilgrimage site and is one of the 108 Vaishnava Divyadesams. According to legend, this is where Lord Narasimha blessed Prahlada and killed the demon Hiranyakaship. There are nine temples around the Nallamala Forest range. A few temples can be reached through trekking. Some temples are inside the cave. Some temples are very difficult to trek. The Nallamala hills are personified as Adisesha with his head at Tirumala, middle at Ahobilam and the tail at Srisailam. According to legends it is believed that when the Devas saw the manifestation of Lord Vishnu as half-lion and half-man, they shouted “Ahobala”, meaning great strength as well as “Ahobila” meaning great cave, where the sanctum is situated. Hence, this place could be called either “Ahobalam” or “Ahobilam”. Belief is that the navagrahas attained their power of being the planets, by worshiping these deities of Narashimha. People having malefic effect of any planet could get some reprieve by worshiping Narasimha. Sri Ahobilam Mahatmyam, The Lord Narasimha is a vara prasaddhi, one who bestows blessings readily. The exact legend has it that the Almighty took a form of a creature with the body of man and head of a lion, with super human strength. God's motive was to kill the demon and save his devotee. The pillar, from which the God appeared, is marked by its base stone and can be accessed after an almost vertical climb up the hill. It is believed that the entire mountain split up into two, due to the impact of the pillar getting shattered by God and His rising from it, The pillar's base is thus, on the edge of the cliff. In between the two hills, is a deep gorge, like a cleft.  There are only a few families residing in Ahobilam,  whose livelihood is to collect honey and bamboos.

Mahanandhi-Navanandhi-AP...64

A peculiarity of the water source is that it has a constant flow irrespective of the change of seasons for the last 1500 years. MAHANANDI - It is a picturesque village surrounded by thick forests. Within 15 kms of Mahanandi, there are nine Nandi shrines known as Nava Nandis. Mahanandi is one of the Nava Nandis. The Mahanandiswara Swamy Temple, an important shrine, is located here. This ancient temple dates back to more than 1,500 years. A festival is held here annually during February and March to celebrate Maha Shivaratri, the Great Night of Shiva. The temple is famous for its fresh water pools, called Kalyani or Pushkarni. The architecture of the pools and temple show the skill of the Vishwakarma Brahmins. The main temple is surrounded by three pools, two small pools at the entrance and one big pool inside the temple itself. The inlets and outlets of the tank are arranged so that the depth of the water is constantly kept at five feet, thus enabling pilgrims to bathe in the holy waters. A peculiarity of the water source is that it has a constant flow irrespective of the change of seasons. The water source originates at the Garbhagriha or inner shrine just below Swayambhu Linga. One can touch the water near the Shiva Linga as a part of prayer of Shiva. The devotees can offer prayers and touch the Shiva Linga. This is unusual, because traditionally in temples, the main deity is kept away from the touch of the devotees. The water is famous for its crystalline and healing qualities and is ever tepid. The outgoing water irrigates 2,000 acres of fertile land, surrounding the village. The surrounding areas produce rice, fruit, vegetable and flower gardens.

Ramachandraswamy-Bhadrachalam...64

Dismissed from service for misappropriation of revenue collected for constructing the temple and was jailed for 12 long years. Constructed a hermitage and spent his exile with his consort Sita and brother Laxmana. Agastya had selected this spot for Rama  SRI SEETARAMACHANDRA SWAMY Temple, Bhadrachalam  is famous for "Sri Seetaramachandra Swamy temple" which is a unique temple in India dedicated to Lord Rama. Presently it is the biggest kshetra of Sri Rama after Ayodhya. Bhadrachalam is most picturesquely situated in an area, which once formed part of the Dandakaranya forest, visited by Sri Rama, Sita and Lakshmana during their exile - vanavasam. The jungle in the vicinity of the temple was the actual site of Rama's retreat and it was at parnasala that he built a hut for himself and Sita and from where Sita was abducted by Ravana. The idols of Vaikunta Rama, Laxmana and Sita were found by Pokala Dhamakka. One fine night, she had a darshan of Rama in her dream who said "the saints and sages are worshiping my embodied moorthy settled on Bhadragiri" and asked her to trace them, perform puja and attain salvation. She poured hundreds of pots of Godavari water on the ant-hill which slowly dissolved and gave way to the hidden Deities. Bhadrachalarama temple was constructed by Kancharla Gopanna, popularly known as Bhakta Ramadas in the year 1674 A.D. He was appointed as the Tahsildar of 'Palvoncha Paragana of Qutub Shahi Kings. He discharged his official duties earnestly and collected revenues due to the Qutub Shahi Kings in continuation of daily preachings, Chanting of 'Ramanama' and feeding the poor at his house. Ramadasa visited Bhadrachalam. He found the deities in an amazing form. Ramadas, then asked the villagers to contribute liberally for the construction of the temple. The contributions were found to be insufficient, so the villagers appealed to him to spend the revenue collections for the construction of the temple with a promise to repay the amount after harvesting the crops. Accordingly, Ramadas constructed the temple with an amount of Rs 6 Lakhs collected from the land revenue without the permission of the Qutub Shahi King Taneshah. When the temple was nearing completion, he had a problem of fixing the 'Sudarshana Chakra' at the crest of the main temple. He was deeply distressed and fell asleep. On the same night, Rama appeared in his dream and asked him to have a holy dip in the river Godavari where he would find it. Next day Gopanna did so and found the holy Sudarshana Chakra in the river without difficulty. He presumed that Sudarshana Chakra itself was shaped with the divine power of his beloved God Rama. Soon after the construction, his miseries started. He was dismissed from service for misappropriation of revenue for constructing the temple and was jailed for 12 long years in Golkonda Fort and was tortured. Unable to withstand the miseries, Ramadas implored Rama to relieve him by singing with praising emotional songs of Rama which became popular. Rama and Laxmana repaid Rs 6 lakh Mohurs, gold coins, revealing themselves as Ramoji and Laxmoji, servants of Bhakta Ramadas to release their devotee from prison. King Tanishah who woke up the next day morning realized that the divine looking persons Ramoji and Laxmoji were none other than Rama and Laxmana and made arrangements to release Gopanna and prayed to forgive him by placing all the Gold Mohurs received the previous night at the feet of Gopanna. But Gopanna refused to take them back except two mohurs as a mark of divine significance. Those two gold coins can still be seen in Bhadrachala at Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy devasthanam. Parnasala - This is supposed to be the exact spot where Rama, during his vanavasa in Dandakaranya, constructed a hermitage and spent his exile with his consort Sita and brother Laxmana. Agastya had selected this spot for Rama. The picturesque display of some scenes of vanavasa can be seen at Parnasala. One can see the footprints of Sita Devi, mosaic sculpture of Maarecha in the guise of golden deer and Ravana in the guise of Sanyasi for Bhikshatana. Also found in the vicinity, are Sita Vaagu-where she had bathed and collected the turmeric and kumkum from nearby stones and the marks of her saree on the rock. The tracks of the chariot of Ravana while kidnapping Sita can be seen on  the mountain on the other side of the river bank at Parnasala temple. Jattayu Paaka-Yetapaka - According to Itihas, the bird Jatayuvu, a devotee of Rama had blocked Ravana while he was proceeding on the chariot after kidnapping Sita. After a fearful battle with Ravana, the heavily injured bird waited at this place for Rama. One of the wings of this bird fell at Rekkapalli. Dummugudem - Here Rama is called the Atmarama. The story is that Rama killed 14,000 demons headed by the brothers, Khara and Dushana. The village was built upon the ashes of these demons. Gundala – This is where springs of hot water can be traced on the river banks wherever we dig a pit in this area. It is believed that the divine trios “Brahma Vishnu Maheswara’ had their dips in winter season according to the Brahma Purana.

Raghavendraswamy-Mantralayam-65

SRI RAGHAVENDRA of Manthralayam met the Nawab of Adoni. The Nawab decided to test his spiritual skills, so placed before the Swamiji, a plate of non vegetarian delicacies completely covered with a piece of cloth. Swamiji took some water from his Kamandala, meditated and sprinkled it on the covered plate, as part of his regular practice of purifying any food before consumption. He then opened the plate. It contained fresh fruits. As an apology, Nawab offered land around Manchale, present day Mantralayam. Many years later, he told a devotee that it was the land where King Prahalada had performed his yagnas to Lord Rama during the Dwapara Yuga and was hence an extremely holy land. Jeeva Samadhi “Without right living, right thinking will never come”. Social work done for the good of worthy people should also be considered as conducting puja to the Lord. “Always keep away from people who merely perform miracles. Have devotion for the Lord. Blind faith is not devotion”. After this speech in brief,  Sri Raghavendra entered the Brindavana specially constructed for him with stones brought from Madavara village, near Manchale. Following his advice these stones were sanctified by Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana’s footsteps. He had advised his disciples to start arranging slabs around him once the japamala rolling by fingers in his hand became still. He began reciting the pranava mantra and slipped into deep samadhi. Once his japamala became still, his disciples arranged the slabs up to his head and then, as per his earlier instructions, they placed a copper box containing 1200 Lakshminarayana saligramas that had been specially brought from Gandaki River in Nepal. Then they placed the covering slab over it and filled it with earth. They poured twelve thousand varahas, abhisheka, over the Brindavan.Thus Sri Raghavendra Swami attained Jeeva samâdhi in 1671. It is believed he would live for 76 years physically, on the Earth, 300 years in the Brindavana through his literary work among the people, 400 years in the Brindavana without a physical form. Totally 700 years in the Bridavana helping the society and the mankind to come-out from troubles and miseries.

AnjanaParvatham-Hampi...65

The place where Anjana the mother of ANJANEYA-HANUMAN undertook her penance for the birth of anjeyneya. ANJANA PARVATHAM, Hampi - A warrior of Vanara kingdom undertook penance to ask Lord Shiva for a child who would be invincible, powerful, intellectual and immortal. Lord Shiva appeared before him and told him his destiny of the present Janma and did not grant his wishes. However, for his penance he granted him a boon to have a female child who will deliver a male child of the qualities he wished for. The Vanara warrior had a female child whose name was Anjana. She grew up and was later married to a great warrior of another Vanara Kingdom but she too did not have a child for some time. Worried by this, she undertook a penance to please Lord Shiva. One day, two monkeys in a tree were playing and on seeing this, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi assumed the form of Monkeys and played in the trees. During the course of play, a fruit fell down from the tree. Anjana who thought it to be a usual one, ate it. At that time Vayu Bhagwan announced that she had just eaten the Prasad of Lord Shiva and that she would deliver a male child who would be invincible, scholarly and immortal. The Child born to Anjana was Anjaneya. The place where Anjana undertook her penance is called Anjana Parvatham which is near Hampi in Karnataka.

Nagamangala-Karnataka...65

NAGAMANGALA, Karnataka: Panchjanya is the Conch-Shangu of Lord Vishnu. In all Vaishnavait temples one can see Lord Vishnu holding the conch in the left hand but he is holding in the right hand only in Nagamangala, Karnataka. Before the onset of the Kurushetra war, Lord Krishna was apprehensive about the strengths of the warriors like Karna, Bhishma and others and their potential weapons like Nagasthra, which could harm Arjuna. He then blew his Conch to declare the commencement of war but while doing so, he brought all the Doshas of astras like nagastra and other Dur Doshas into his conch and neutralized them. Thus the doshas of such astras were confined to the war field and did not affect the universe. Hence, the conch is considered as holy and effective quencher of all evil doshas of Nagas caused by Raghu and Ketu. As he blew the conch, holding it in his right hand, the Moola vigraha in Nagamangala retained the same posture and the Swamy here is called Sree Sowmyakesava Perumal. Worshipping in this temple wards off all the ill effects caused by Naga Doshas, evil mantras and societal ill effects.

Sabarimala-Kerala...66

Ayyappan is a Bramachari Celibate   SABARIMALA is believed to be the place where Ayyappan meditated after killing the powerful demoness,  Mahishi. Lord Ayyappan's temple is situated here amidst 18 hills. The temple is situated on a  hilltop and is surrounded by mountains and dense forests. Temples exist in each of the hills surrounding Sabarimala. Sabarimala is the largest annual pilgrimage in the world with an estimated 45–50 million devotees every year. Females between the ages of 10 and 50 are not allowed to enter the temple, since the story attributed to Lord Ayyappa prohibits the entry of the women in the menstrual age group. This is because Ayyappan is a Bramachari Celibate. The devotees are expected to follow a viratham, 41-day penance prior to the pilgrimage. This begins with wearing of a special Mala, a garland made of Rudraksha or Tulasi beads. In general they refrain from meat, fish, alcohol, tobacco, sex, using foul words, hair cutting and shaving. They should visit the local temples regularly and only wear plain black, blue or saffron coloured traditional clothing. The Travancore Devaswom Board has insured the Ayyappa's shrine for a value of Rs 30 crore and also introduced a free-of-cost accident insurance project for pilgrims visiting the holy place. During the season from November to January it is estimated that Sabarimala provides 10,000 crore rupees to the Kerala state economy. Neyyabhishekam- This significant ritual involves pouring sacred ghee brought by pilgrims in their Pallikettu or Irumudi, a two compartment bag made of handwoven cotton cloth used to bear the offerings for Lord Ayyappa carried on their heads while on their pilgrimage to Sabarimala.

Gunaseelam -Prasanna VenkatesaPerumal …66

Gunaseelam PRASANNA VENKATESA PERUMAL Koil A 5000 year old temple that helps cure all kinds of diseases and rehabilitates mentally challenged people, Lord is said to protect devotees from evil forces and is believed to instill positive energy. Thaalpiya Maharishi along with his disciple Gunaseela Rishi once went to the Himalayas and on his way back, Gunaseela Rishi stayed back at Tirupathi and was so attracted to Lord Venkatachalapathy that he wanted the Lord to appear in Gunaseelam and bless the devotees. He returned and bathed in the Cauvery and undertook severe penance here in the ashram in Gunaseelam. Impressed with his sincerity, the Lord appeared before him along with Goddess and promised to remain here till the end of Kaliyugam. Later Chola King Nyana Varma, who ruled this place with Uraiyur as the capital, visited Gunaseelam regularly. An invisible voice wanted the King to dissolve the pit by pouring milk. The King brought in his army and used 1000s of litres of milk to complete this exercise. Once dissolved, Vaikunta Vasudevan is said to have appeared before the King as Prasanna Venkatesan. As per the King’s wishes, the Lord agreed to remain here till the end of Kaliyugam and help fulfil all the prayers of the devotees, who visit this temple. Delighted by the darshan of Lord Prasanna Venkatesan, the King shifted from Uraiyur to Kallur, as the place was then called ‘Badra Chakra Pattinam’ near Gunaseelam and built the beautiful Gunaseelam temple and laid down the process of the daily pujas. He also allocated land for the temple as well as funds to undertake the daily puja formalities. One of the special features of the Gunaseelam temple is the power of Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal to cure people from all kinds of diseases. The Lord is also said to help childless couples, if they bathe in the Cauvery and offer prayers for 48 days at Gunaseelam. It is believed that the Lord protects devotees from evil forces and keeps away enemies with the stick he wields in his right hand. It is also believed that sincere prayers to Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal will help remove any negative energy of the devotees. Sacred water is splashed on these mentally challenged people each day during Uchi Kaalam-noon and Artha Jaamam-night for 48 days as the belief is that one will get cured if prayers are offered sincerely. Since Tirupathi Lord himself appeared before Gunaseela Maharishi, it is believed that those who are not able to go to Tirupathi can visit Gunaseelam and all their wishes are said to be fulfilled.

Hanumanthapuram -Agora Veerabadhrar…66

SRI AGORA VEERABADHRAR. Hanumanthapuram has an ancient temple where the main deity is Sri Agora Veerabadhra Swamy and Goddess Sri Kaalikaambal. Dhakshan, son of Sri Brahma and father of Parvathi performed a Yagnya. He had invited all the Devas and the Gods for his Yagnya except Lord Shiva, whom he disliked because Lord Shiva married his daughter Parvathi without his knowledge. Knowing this, Lord Shiva was furious and released a power from the drops of His sweat and gave it a form and named him Veerabadhrar. Goddess Parvathi, who was equally upset with Dhakshan’s attitude, created a Shakthi called Kaali and made her accompany Veerabadhrar in his mission to defeat Dhakshan. Sri Veerabadhrar went and chopped Dhakshan’s head with ease. It is believed that Dhakshan was defeated by Sri Veerabadhrar in this place. This very unusual temple attracts a lot of devotees, during new moon and full moon days. This place is said to cure people with mental illness. Many mentally challenged people are brought here and prayers are offered to Sri Agora Veerabadhrar. It is believed that Sri Agora Veerabadhrar blesses them to recover from their mental illness.

Chennai -Kalikambal…66

Chatrapathi Sivaji worshipped Kalikambal. He returned to his kingdom and won a battle. It is interesting to note that he attached the prefix Chatrapathi to his name only after worshipping the deity Kalikambal Temple at Chennai is a very ancient shrine situated in the densely populated Thambu Chetty Street, which is one of the oldest settlements in Chennai. The port cities of Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai are named after the Goddess who is consecrated in a temple on the sea shore. Chennamman lent her name to the capital city of Tamil. She was the presiding deity of Chennaikuppam, an old settlement in the 17th century. The area where the temple now exists was called the   Maratta town or Chennamman Kuppam. More than 500 years ago Viswakarmargal worshipped her as their family deity. The Telegu and Kannada speaking population called her Chennamman. It is really surprising to note that the temple of Kalikambal was originally in Fort St. George known as the White Town. The East India Company bought Chennaikuppam, Madraskuppam and Vadavarukuppam in 1639. In Madraskuppam, the British built a fort and called it the White town.Since the fort was regarded as a security zone, worshipping goddess Kalikambal was rather difficult. Realizing this, the British requested Viswakarmar to consecrate the deity in a place of their choice. They were also assured that the cost of the entire project would be borne by the British. Thus Viswakarmar shifted the deity to Thambu Chetty Street and built a temple for her.  She was smeared with Chenthuram red powder and was called Chennanmman. The place was named after her as Chennakuppam and later on came to be called as Chennai. The deity Indra, Kubera and Viswakarma worshipped the Goddess. It is Shiva Sakthi Sthala. Mahalakshmi and Saraswathi adorn the Goddess as her eyes.  Kalikambal symbolizes TRINITY-Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Parvathi. Adi Sankarar a religious preceptor has placed an Artha Meru at the feet of the Goddess.She resembles Goddess Lalithambikai in all aspects. Several  rishis and devas have worshipped the deity. Vyasar, Arasarar, Agastyar, Angreesar and Varunan are said to have appeased the Goddess. The God of wealth, Kubera is believed to have worshipped the deity, who is said to have blessed him with wealth and prosperity. Chatrapathi Sivaji worshipped Kalikambal when he visited Chennai on October 3rd 1677. He returned to his kingdom and won a battle. It is interesting to note that he attached the prefix Chatrapathi to his name only after worshipping the deity. Though Sivaji’s ishta devata was Bhavani Amman, he attached special significance to Kalikambal. When Subramanya Bharathiar used to work in the Swadesamithran he made a ritualistic visit to the temple. He is supposed to have sung many songs here. Yaathumakininrai Kali is one such fine song.

Chennai -Moti Baba Dargha…67

A Saint of great spiritual heights ‘MOTI BABA DARGA’, popularly known as ‘Moti Baba Darga’ is the final resting place of the Muslim Saint Hazrat Khaja Gulam Dasthagir Moti Baba. His Title is Qutub- E - Aqtab Moti Baba.It is one of the most important dargas. Moti Baba became a friend of Hazrath Kader Wali of Nagore and came to Chennai from Nagapattinam & lived with Janab H. A. G. Dastagir Sheriff & Family. He breathed his last here in 1959. A Saint of great spiritual heights, he devoted his life for the upliftment of mankind. His anniversary of Kandoori Urs known as ‘Sandana Koodu’ is celebrated during Hijra Era Dul-Haj month on 25th & 26th every year. Special prayers are held every Thursday & Sundays in the Darga at 7 PM.

Mylapore-Sri Adikesavaperumal…67

People who have Professional dreams come here and worship the Thayar SRI ADIKESAVAPERUMAL Mylapore- The main deity here is Sri Adikesavaperumal and Sri Mayurvalli Thayar. The temple is located near the famous Mylai Kapaleeswarar temple. In this sthala, Sri Mahalaksmi Thayar was born to Bhrigu Rishi and blessed Sri Periazhwar. In this temple Thayar is significant for puja and rituals. Another specialty about this temple is being a Vaishnavait temple, Thayar has Archana performed using Vilvam leaves which predominantly is used in Shivait temples. Every Friday, Sri Sukta homam is conducted in the morning and vilvam archana in the evening. People who have professional dreams come here and worship the Thayar and tie two bells in the temple as part of their prarthana.

Nenmeli-Shri Lakshmi NarayanaPerumal…67

People do not give Thithi or perform tharpanas, due to which the families are devoid of the blessings of the ancestors. Nenmeli, SHRI LAKSHMI NARYAYANA PERUMAL - It is said in Vedas, that the reasons for most of the problems prevailing in a family is due to the disrespect to the ancestors of the family. People do not perform Thithi or tharpanas due to which the families are devoid of the blessings of the ancestors. In the current world, there are very limited facilities and scopes for such offerings for various reasons. In this temple, on behalf of those who do not offer Pindas to the Pithrus, every day during the Kudapa Kala 12.00 hours to 1.00 pm offerings are made to the principal deity of the temple to comfort the souls of the forefathers, Pithrus. Therefore this place is also called Pundrega Nallur or Pindam Vaitha Nallur. Those who are unable to make such offerings can participate in the puja and get the benefits of having done so.

Periyapalayam-Bhavani Amman…67

A thousand watts vision is necessary to withstand the power of Amman’s eyes - BHAVANI AMMAN Temple, Periyapalayam near Chennai attracts many devotees. Bhavani Amman is the main deity of the temple and people throng here in thousands, on weekends  in the months of Aadi and Avani. According to the legend, people refer to Amman as the sister of Lord Krishna who managed to escape from the clutches of Kamsa, the demon king and after warning Kamsa about his death,  decided to settle in this place in the name of Sri Bhavani. In the Moolasthanam, Amman is seen with a sangu and a chakram in the upper hands while a sword and the amirtha kalasam are in her lower hands. A thousand watts vision is necessary to withstand the power of Amman’s eyes. Crossing the moolasthanam, Utsavar Amman welcomes us sitting in a well decorated seat. Kungumam and Theertham are offered as prasadham which is known to cure many ailments in the human body.

Suruttapalli-Pallikondeeswarar…67

The whole Kailasam assembles here, a scene which can not be seen in any other temple. All the gods and goddess assemble during Prodhosham PALLIKONDEESWARAR Shrine, Suruttapalli  The name Suruttapalli comes from the fact that Lord Shiva is rested on the lap of Goddess Parvathi feeling little dizzy after consuming poison during the churning of the milky ocean – Palli means resting, Surutta means a little dizzy. Usually Lord Shiva is seen only in the form of a lingam in the sanctum sanctorum and only the Urchava Moorthy will be in human form. But here He is seen in human form and in a reclining pose. The granite sculpture of the reclining Lord is huge, about 16 feet, as also the image of the seated Parvathi.  The Sun God and the Moon God are present on either side of Goddess Parvathi, Lord Maha Vishnu, Brahma, Lakshmi, Sage Markandeyar, Sage Agasthiar, Sage Valmiki, Indran, Sage Naradhar, Sanagathi Munis, Nandikeshwarar, Lord Subramanya with His Consorts, Lord Ganapathy and many devars and rishis are present in the sanctum sanctorum as sculptures. The whole Kailasam is assembled here, a scene which cannot be seen in any other temple. Here Vibudhi or holy ash is not given as prasadam like the other Shiva temples, instead holy water is given as prasadam and the blessings are done with Chadari, like a Vaishnavite temple. Pradhosha Abhishekam - This is the place where Pradhosham was started and the Pradhosha Nandhi is present in a big open mandapam that can hold a big crowd in a way that all can have a clear dharshan. Pradhosham - Legend- Once Devas and Demons churned the milky ocean with snake Vasuki as the rope, to get nectar to increase their longevity. Unable to withstand the pressure, the snake spilled poison. In order to save everyone, at the behest of Lord Shiva, Nandhi and Sundarar brought the poison and Shiva shaped it like a round naval fruit and swallowed it. If he swallowed it, the whole world would perish, if he did not then the Devars and Demons would perish. So Goddess Parvathi held his throat gently and the poison stayed there. As such, He felt a little dizzy and rested on the lap of Parvathi. On waking up, He found that everyone was happy and feeling relieved because a big disaster had been averted. So, happily, He began His cosmic dance accompanied by Devendran playing the flute, Mahalakshmi singing, Brahma playing the jalra and Maha Vishnu playing the mridangam in the presence of all the Devars and Rishis. This is what is celebrated as ‘Pradosham’, every fortnight. Pradhosha worship procedure: Pradhosha time is between 4:30 PM and 6:30 PM .All the Gods and Goddesses assemble during Pradhosham. So Pradhosha worship gives the blessings of all these Gods and Goddesses. One should not go in between Shiva lingam and Nandhi in any temple in normal time itself and especially during the pradhosha time.One should first worship Nandhi, then Shiva through the gap in between the two horns of the Nandhi.Since Nandhi is the one who carries one’s prayers to Shiva, one can tell his wishes and prayers in the ears of Nandhi. Very sacred to chant Rudram during Pradhosham. Aruhampul garland and Kapparisi neivedyam to Nandhi are very sacred. Types of  Pradhosha: It is believed that each day of the week has different benefits during Pradhosham: Sunday: Subha mangalam. Monday: Good thinking. Tuesday: Removal of poverty. Wednesday: Blessing of child, Knowledge and education. Thursday: Divine blessings through the Pithrus, elimination of all dangers.  Friday: Nullifying Opposition. Saturday: Promotion, recovering lost wealth. Pradhosham comes in the Thrayodhasi day every fifteen days. Maha pradhosham comes yearly during the month of Masi before Maha Sivarathri. The pradhosham on Somavaram- Monday is called Soma pradhosham. Monday is a special day for Shiva. Saturday is the day when Shiva swallowed poison and this is called Sani Pradhosham. It is categorized into three types depending upon the month of the Pradhosham: Uthama Sani Pradhosham Maximum power - The Sani Pradhosham that comes during the Tamil month of Chithirai, Vaikasi, Ayppasi and Karthikai during the growing lunar cycle or Valar pirai, i.e., New moon to Full moon period. Mathima Sani Pradhosham Normal power – The Sani Pradhosham that comes during the Tamil month of Chithirai, Vaikasi, Ayppasi and Karthikai during diminishing lunar cycle or Thei Pirai, i.e., Full moon to New moon period. Athama Sani Pradhosham Minimum power – All other Sani Pradhoshams. If the Maha pradhosham is on Saturday, it is called Sani Maha Pradhosham. One who worships” A Pradosha” will benefit equivalent to worshipping a Shiva Temple daily for one year. One who Worships “A Sani Pradosha” will benefit equivalent to worshipping a Shiva Temple daily for five years.    Continuous 120 Pradhosha worships give limitless benefits and salvation. It is believed that seeing a Pradhosham at Kutraleeswarar Temple at Koyampedu, would fetch the benefit of seeing 1000 Pradhoshams.

Thirninravur-Hridayaaleeswarar…68

People get Magical Remedy from Heart Disease and Ensure the Longevity Thiruninravur, IRUTHAYAALEESWARAR Heart alias Irudayam is an independent but yet important organ of the body whose function decides the life and death of living beings. When one suffers a heart attack, he has to undergo a lot of trauma on a daily basis staring at death every moment and life becomes an uncertainty. For those who suffer such trauma, blessings come in the form of Iruthayaleeswarar at Thiruniravur. It is Lord Shiva who has assumed the form of Iruthayaleeswarar or Lord of Heart and blesses the people who worship him, with magical remedy and ensures longevity in life. The Pallava King Rajasimhan was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva who built the Kailasanather Temple in Kanchi. When he was about to conduct the Kumbabishekam, he remembered his dream on the previous day of the function. Lord Shiva came in the dream and said he wouldn’t be at the Kumbabhishekam as there was another similar function at Tiruninravur and he would only go there. Surprised by this, the King wanted to know who had built the temple and in what way was that temple better than his effort and thus visited Tiruninravur. When, he found no temple or construction, he enquired  the people and they pleaded ignorance of any such temple or event. Finally, he found a Rishi sitting under a tree and  enquired he temple had been built and the Kumbabhishekam had been performed”. When the King asked about the whereabouts of the temple, the Rishi pointed his heart and said the temple was built in his heart. He was Poosalar Nayanar. The King paid obeisance to Poosalar Nayanar and built a temple at that place and installed Irudayaleeswarar in the temple. Since then, the principal deity is worshipped as Lord of the Heart and whoever comes with ailments related to heart gets cured of his sufferings.

Kaveripakkam-Thiruparkadal…68

Out of 108 Divya Desams, only 106 are situated on Earth. Thiruparkadal is 107 and 108 THIRUPARKADAL Temple - Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal Temple, is the rarest of the rare temples in the country where the Idol stands above the Shivalinga to show the world, the amalgamation of Vaishnavism with Saivism. There are two temples in Thiruparkadal. The second temple is Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. There are 108 Divya Desams for Perumal. Out of 108 Divya Desams, only 106 are situated on Earth. Thiruparkadal 107 and Paramapadam 108 are said to be situated on the Extra terrestial universe. God wanted all the devotees to visit all the 108 Divya desams and hence created ‘Sayana position’ at Thiruparkadal. In the second temple, the Lord is reclining on Adisesha. Devotees believe that the 107, 108 Divya Desams are Thiruparkadal and Paramapadam which are not reachable by human beings. This temple place is called Thiruparkadal. According to Sri Nandakumara Bhattachariar, the second temple, Sri Ranganathaswamy temple priest, those who worship the Lord would be relieved of their sins and thus freed from the fear of punishment from Yama, the God of Death. The Lord here is known as Sri Ranganatha and Goddess Ranganayaki in the temple fulfils the prayers of the devotees for progeny and happy marriage. There is a separate shrine for Anjaneya and those who want to get rid of Apamrityu Dosham, offer him a garland of pumpkins. Since the presiding deity in the temple is  found  as in the heavenly Milky Ocean with Sridevi and Bhoodevi sitting by His side and Brahma seated on the lotus flower rising from the Lord's navel, the place gained the name of Thiruparkadal, according to the temple priest. The idol of the Moolavar is made of Thaaru wood like the idol of Athi Varadar in Kancheepuram.

Thiruvallur-Sri Veeraraghavaswamy…68

SRI VEERARAGHAVASWAMI Temple,Thiruvallur - Veeraraghavar, the physician. Those suffering from incurable diseases, stomach pain, pain in the hands and legs, fever are cured if the patient devotee visits the Lord for three new moon days of Amavasya. Devotees come here for marriage finalization, children, for relief from hardships and for gaining prosperity. Devotees offer upper shawl  known as Angavastram. Nine yards silk saree is offered to Mother Goddess as a prayer of commitment.  To get cured of  boils and prickly heat problems people dissolve milk and jaggery in the tank and place salt and pepper in the temple mandap. The water in the tank is considered more sacred than that of the Ganga. A dip in the tank relieves the devotee even from sins he committed in mind though not in action. Abishek to the Lord is done only in sandalwood oil. The deity is in a lying position on a stage 15.5 feet high. The temple was built during the Pallava period.

Thiruvanmiyur-Lord Marundeeswarar…68

Thiruvanmiyur MARUNDEESWARAR Temple is a magnificent temple built for Lord Shiva. In his incarnation as Lord Marundeeswarar, he is said to have the power to heal. He taught sage Agastya about some magical medicine. Since then this temple has been a place of worship for people with diseases and various health problems. It is said that even Sage Valmiki, who wrote the Ramayana, came to this temple to worship the Lord. After this incident, this place was known as Thiruvalmikiyur. There is also a temple built for Sage Valmiki in the middle of the East Coast Road which is  very close to the Marundeeswarar temple. This temple also attracts a lot of people from far and wide.

Thiruverkadu-Sri Vedapureeswarar…69

SRI VEDAPUREESWARAR, Thiruverkadu - The sthala tree is Vel Velam. People belonging to Kumbha Rasi should worship this tree as the Tree of their Rasi which would give them enormous cosmic power to succeed in life. It is believed that, Lord Vishnu worshipped Lord Shiva with thousand flowers every day. One day he got a flower short, so he plugged out his own eyes and decorated Lord Shiva. Pleased by this Lord Shiva gave back his eyes and all his weapons and named him as Kannan, as described by the Sthala Purana. Also it is believed that Sage Agasthya had the Darshan of Lord Shiva in his married posture in this sthala.

Thiruvidaichuram-Gnanapureeshwarar…69

Jyoti is  reflected from the lingam GNANAPUREESHWARAR, Thiruvidaichuram or Thiruvadisoolam, is a paadal petra sthalam. There is an ancient Shiva temple here, known as Gnanapureeshwara. The temple has a maragatha lingam and it is said that when pure honey is offered for abhishekam, a jyoti is reflected from the lingam. The temple is small and is not an archealogical marvel but it carries an air of divinity around it.

Thiruvidanthai-NithyaKalyanaPerumal…69

Unmarried people find life partner immediately  Thiruvidanthai NITHYA KALYANA PERUMAL -Lord Narayana came here as a Brahmachaari to answer the prayers of Kaalava Rishi. He married 360 young daughters of the Rishi, in one year. On the last day, he is said to have merged them all into one and had given darshan with Goddess on his left side. Hence the Goddess here is called ‘Agila Valli Thaayaar’. Having married one girl a day here at this temple, the Lord is called ‘Nithya Kalyana Perumal’, being the place where the Lord married every day. it is believed to be a very auspicious temple relating to marriage. Legend has it that unmarried people will immediately find their life partners if they visit this place and offer their prayers to Nithya Kalyana Perumal. The temple priests confirm that they have been witness to the Lord’s answering the prayers of unmarried men and women and their parents, instantly.  One finds the Lord in a unique standing posture facing East. While one leg is on the ground, the other is on Adhiseshan and his wife Goddess Agila Valli on his left thigh. Raja Raja Chozha is said to have celebrated a 7 day festival during the Tamil calendar month of Aavani and a 9 day festival for Panguni Uthiram. He is also said to have fed a number of Brahmins here. Vijaya Rajendra Chozha is said to have donated this entire village to the Thiruvidanthai Lord.

Thiruvudai - Vadivudai - Kodiyudai Amman…69

THIRUVUDAI AMMAN ICHCHAA SAKTHI .VADIVUDAI AMMAN GNAANA SAKTHI .KODIYUDAI AMMAN TEMPLE KRIYA SAKTHI. The forms of the Devi in all three temples are identical. It is considered auspicious to get darshan of all three sakthis one after the other on the same day, especially on a full moon day. Full moon day falling on Friday is very auspicious day to visit the three Amman temples. The Sakthi to be visited first, early in the morning is Thiruvudai Amman or Ichchaa Sakthi, the Devi who will fulfill devotees’ wishes. Yellow saree & mangoes are offered as neivaedhiyam.  This place was once a forest, full of trees & shrubs with sweet smelling flowers and was known as Suganda Vanam, Suganda-indicating sweet smelling, vanam-forest. People from neighbouring villages found a grazing cow showering its milk into a shrub. They found a Lingam Suyambu - self-formed within the shrub. They worshipped the Lord as Sungandavaneswaran. In due course the name changed to Thirumanangeesar. There are sannadhis for Appar, Sundarar, Manickavasagar, Suryan, Bairavar and Veerabadrar. The Sakthi to be visited second, in the morning is Vadivudai Amman or Gnaana Sakthi the Devi,facing south who blesses us with Gnanam. Amman Sannadhi is to the left of Lord Shiva's sannadhi. Special prayers are offered to this Devi by offering red saree & jack fruit for neivaedhyam. The Lord is Thyaagaraaja Swami. Sundarar, one of the four saivaite saints married Sangiliar at this temple with the Maghizhamboo tree as witness. The tree stands to this day. The wonder of the temple is that it is worshipped by ‘Saivas’, ‘Vainavas’, ‘Smarthas’ ‘Otcher’ ‘Adi Saiva Gurukkal’ and ‘Namboodrigal’, Kerala Brahmins. From the hillocks of the Himalayas, the Gowdy Brahmins and the Saiva worshippers came and installed Gowdeeswarar, within this temple and hence it is also called ‘Gowdeeswarar Sannathi’. From the time of the installation, the sound ‘Pranava’, is being heard. The great poet ‘Kambar’ while composing ‘Ramayana’ stayed here, along with his disciples. At the same time Kannagi who consigned ‘Madurai’ to flames arrived at this temple with the burning stick in her hand, which was a light in darkness for the poet ‘Kambar’. Adi Sankarar consecrated the deity ‘Kannak’ with his ‘Mandra’ and ‘Yandra’ Sakthi which is still present in this temple. Now, it is called Vattapparal Amman. Ramalinga Swamigal worshipped and got the occult power to write a great ‘Arulperumjothi’. Tradition holds that this Shiva sthala was the first temple ever on the face of the earth and was called ‘Adipuri’ ‘the primordial town’. In the same vein, the moolavar here is called Adipureeswarar. He is also present as a swayambu lingam covered with a kavacham removed only on the occasion of the Karthikai Full Moon. The Ficus Tree "Atthi Maram" is the sthalavriksha. An interesting story is told about this tree. Once, in devaloka, the five heavenly tharus trees, Sandanam, Devatharu, Karpagam, Mandharam and Parijadham were re-considering their life at devaloka. They were distressed and dejected because of the constant trouble created by the asuras. They wanted to leave heaven and go to some place, quiet and peaceful. As they were thinking, they heard some sages discuss the glory of Thiruvottiyur. The five tharus came to Thiruvottiyur and sat in meditation with great devotion. Shiva appeared before them and asked them their desires. The five tharus replied – We would like to touch your feet and stay here worshipping you for ever.” Shiva answered with a smile “My manifestation at Thiruvottiyur as Padampakka Nathar is a form which should not be touched by any hand, mortal or immortal. You can stay here as a Magizha maram and I will be glad to stay under your shade”. On hearing this, their joy knew no bounds. The five tharus became the Magizha maram that one sees today at the Thiyagarajaswamy temple. Even today, they stand singing the praise of Shiva. The tree is seen as a manifestation of Shiva Himself. Tradition holds that those who climb the tree will have committed endless sin and offence. But if flowers fall on their own accord, devotees may wear them. They will be blessed in this life and the next. The Sakthi to be visited third, in the evening is Kodiyudai Amman or Kriyaa Sakthi the Devi who assists us in all our actions. Special prayers are offered to this Devi by offering green saree & bananas for neivaedhiyam. The temple is known as Maasilaamaneeswarar.  When Thondaiman was the ruler of Thondai Mandalam, people were tortured by unruly gangsters. The King set out to destroy them. But they were very powerful having gained the support of negative forces, by means of mantrams & tantrams. On his way back, the King's elephant caught its leg in a Mullai creeper. The King tried to cut the creepers with his sword. Blood started sprouting from the spot.The King cleared the spot & found a Swayambu Shiva Lingam. The king was very upset that he had hurt the Lord & so raised his sword to cut off his own head. Lord Shiva appeared along with Uma Devi, Nandi Devar & his ganas and blessed the King. He sent Nandi Deva along with the King to destroy the gangsters. The grateful King constructed a temple for the Lord. Since the Lingam was cut, a medicinal herbal sandal paste is applied to the Lingam i.e. Sandana Kaappu. The Devi sannadhi is seen to the right of the Lord’s Sannadhi. The Nandi idol instead of facing the Lord is seen facing the entrance of the temple. It is believed that he is on the alert looking to vanquish the bad elements. There is a Sanndahi for Thondaiman.

Chidambaram-ThillaiKaliamman…70

Goddess Kali is a deity in anger and her anger was pacified, ARULMIGU THILLAI KALI AMMAN Temple, Chidambaram - There is an interesting story about the construction of this temple in the outskirts of the town. It seems there was an argument as to who was superior between Lord Shiva and his wife Shakthi. In order to clear this doubt, Shiva decided to perform a dance at Chidambaram, in front of Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. Both Shiva and Sakthi were performing when Shiva was about to be defeated, he performed "Oorthava Thandava" one of the positions in dance where one raises his leg above his head. This could not be performed by Sakthi due to her shyness. Since she could not do it, she accepted her defeat and in anger went to the extreme end of the town. Her idol at Thillai Kali Temple is a deity in anger and has four faces. Her anger was pacified by Brahma's chanting and singing praises of her and thus 'Kali' calmed down. People whose birth star sign is Magha Nakshatra should visit Arulmigu Thillai Kali Amman Temple at Chidambaram.

Perur-Patteeswaraswamy…70

Pay homage to their ancestors and it is believed that the mortal remains of the dead turn into white stones afetr 144 days - PATTEESWARA SWAMY Temple, Perur  is situated on the banks of the holy river Noyyal. Pilgrims visit from far and wide to pay homage to their ancestors at a spot near the temple, on the river bank, and  believe  that the mortal remains of the dead turn into white stones after about 144 days. While the Perur Patteeswara Swamy Temple was built by King Karikala Cholan, the temple's sanctum was the joint efforts of the Chola, Hoysala and Vijayanagara rulers during their respective reigns. The Perur Patteeswara Swamy Temple's greatest attraction is the 'Kanaka Sabha'. Built on the characteristic style of Dravidian architecture, the Kanaka Sabha is a golden hall which is adorned by a gold plated statue of Nataraja bestowing blessings upon the two sages - Gowmuni and Pattimuni. The gopurams and pillars of the hall are bedecked with exquisitely carved sculptures. References extolling the importance of Perur Patteeswara Swamy Temple can be found in the poetry written by Arunagiri Nather and Kachiappa  Munivar.

Erode-Sri Bannari Amman…70

Many types of old customs are performed like “ Theechatti” - fire pots carried on head Safeguards the traders, protects the pilgrims, wards off the terrible effects of epidemics  Sri Bannari Amman Temple, Erode The cowherds used to extract milk from the udder of each cow and handed over the milk to the owners of the cows. One particular cow did not allow the cowherd to get milk, nor did it allow its calf to go near it. The cowherd had his own doubts about that particular cow and decided to watch. He allowed the other cows to graze and pursued this particular cow secretly. It went alone near a Vengai tree and stood beneath it. Milk began to flow from its udder automatically. The news spread like wildfire to the villagers. Next day they were on the  spot to witness the wonder and found the cow repeating the same behaviour. Milk oozed out of the teats of its udder on that particular spot, on the grass. They removed the thick growth of the grass and shrubs in that area and, to their surprise, they found a sand-hill and Swayambu Linga near it. Linga is a special divinity and so they felt that the spot beneath the Vengai tree should have a celestial significance. They prayed to the Linga with folded hands.  Among the devotees present, one got into a trance. According to his words, it was understood that the deity safeguarded the traders from Kerala who passed by, on their way to Mysore, to sell their goods, the deity was enamoured by the picturesque beauty of that place and she decided to stay there to bless and protect the pilgrims. Moreover, she wanted a temple to be constructed so that the people in and around that place, would be able to pray to Her in the name of Bannari Mariamman. Thus Bannari became the permanent abode of the Goddess. Pujas are offered with great devotional fervour. Many types of old customs are performed like ‘Theechatti’- ‘Fire-Pots’ are carried on the head, to the temple, to the accompaniment of Instrumental Music by fulfilling their vows which lures huge crowds to this temple. The Goddess is invoked particularly to ward off the terrible effects of epidemics and they are relieved from their ailments without any hospital cure. The temple has vast courtyards to hold thousands of devotees, who prepare Pongal, in improvised ovens, to offer as Naivedyam. One British officer in charge of forestry did not allow the people to cut tress for kundam festival. All of a sudden, he began to suffer from vomiting and dysentery. He realized his mistake and prayed to the goddess to forgive him. His health was restored by the holy ash and water fetched from the temple. Then he allowed the people to prune trees from the forests for the festival. Another British officer who was staying in the Traveller’s Bungalow did not like singing, dancing and playing the drums on festival days. He passed an order to put an end to such activities. The next moment he had an awesome vision in which he saw two maidens with snakes around their necks. He realised his mistake and prayed to the goddess to bear with his fault. Then he revoked the orders and allowed the music and dance to go on as usual. Yet another British officer aimed his Gun at the walls of the temple and fired. Consequently he lost his vision. He prayed to the goddess and begged Her for forgiveness. His vision was restored by the holy water which was fetched from the temple and sprinkled on his eyes.

Coimbatore-MundhiVinayakar…70

Largest Idol in Asia, MUNDHI VINAYAKAR Temple, Coimbatore. Largest Ganesh Idol in Asia at Coimbatore. The presiding deity in the temple is a 10-feet tall idol, which has been carved out of a single black stone. Weight of the idol is 110 tons. Ganesh Chaturthi is the biggest festival celebrated in the Mundhi Vinayakar temple. Mundhi Vinayagar is worshipped with 16 different rituals, 108 litres of milk, coconuts, sandal powder, curd, butter, cheese and turmeric. Three tons of flowers are used to decorate the idol.

Thiruvanthipuram-Sri Hayagriva…70

Good Education and Knowledge SHRI HAYAGRIVA,Thiruvanthipuram - As per the Hindu Mythology, the world undergoes Apocalypse on completion of four Yugas and is recreated by Brahma on the principles of the four Vedas. During one such Apocalypse, Mahavishnu ordered Brahma to recreate the world. At that time two asuras by name Madhu and Kaidabars, stole the Vedas from Brahma and changed it to a female horse and hid it in Pathala Loka. Mahavishnu assumed the form of Hayagriva with the head of a horse above the neck of the human body and killed the asuras and restored the Vedas to Brahma. He also preached the Vedas himself to Brahma and blessed him with Gnana  as such he is worshipped as God of Gnana and those who need good education and knowledge should worship Shri Hayagriva. It is believed that Markandeya and Boomadevi undertook penance to please Shri Hayagriva in this place and had the darshan of the Lord. The small hill, on which the moola sthana is located, is believed to be the place of Sanjeevi Parvatham carried by Anjaneya.

Anthiyur-Bhadrakali Amman…71

One of the most powerful temple in India.Anthiur Erode BHADRAKALLIAMMAN Temple - This is one of the oldest temples in Tamil Nadu. Every year, in April the temple festival is celebrated where more than 100,000 people gather. People believe that this is one of the most powerful temples in India.

Manapad-True Cross Of Jerusalem…71

This church has a original portion of the TRUE CROSS OF JERUSALEM Manapad One of the first places visited by St. Francis Xavier, in 1542. This church has a portion of the True Cross of Jerusalem. A Portuguese trading vessel, while sailing around the Cape of Good Hope on its way to the East, encountered a violent storm splitting its sails and breaking the hind mast. The captain made a vow that he would construct a cross from a portion of the broken mast and have it planted on the shore, if they reached safely. The vessel after having sailed for several days reached safely the well known town near Manapad. A miracle is said to have occurred at Manapad, when the cross was still in the form of a log, cut off from the broken mast. An inhabitant of the village, who stamped on filth soil, had cleansed his foot on this log. No sooner than he wiped his leg he felt a pain in his leg, which also started swelling. That night the man had a vision in which, it was revealed to him, that he was suffering as he had polluted the log that was intended for a sacred purpose. The next morning, the patient was carried to the log and to the amazement of the crowd he wiped the filth soil from the log and applied oil on the log, then applied the same oil to his leg. The man was cured immediately and was able to walk back home unaided. St. Francis Xavier chose a cave, “Valli’s Cave”, at this site of Manapad “This cave, the dwelling of a salivate sanyasi, has been sanctified by the prayers and penance of St.Francis Xavier”.One day at dawn, when Augustine was on his way to the Captain’s Cross, where Xavier offered the Eucharistic Service daily, he saw his companion Anthony lying still and frothing at the mouth, and a cobra crawling away. Augustine approached Anthony and tried to rouse him, but upon finding no pulse, ran to the saint’s place. Xavier raised his head towards heaven and offered prayers and rushed to the scene. Blessing Anthony’s body, he called upon Anthony to get up. To the amazement of all who gathered, Anthony not only got up, but followed the saint and assisted him at the Holy Mass as usual. Church of the Holy Cross - After many more miracles, the Church of the Holy Cross was built in the year 1581, encasing the Captain’s Cross. Relic Remains of the True Cross - With the erection of the church, Rev.John de Salanova decided to possess relic remains of the True Cross. In 1583 he appealed to Rome for the relic remains of the True Cross. Pope Gregory XIII obliged and the relic was received at Cochin after displaying it for three days for the veneration of the faithful. The relic remains of the True Cross reached Manapad. Manapad is one of the few places in the world which has a piece of relic remains of the True Cross, in which Jesus Christ was crucified 2000 years ago.

Sankarankoil-Sankara Narayanan…71

The sand is capable of curing all diseases. Sacred tank has a miraculous power to heal those who bathe there. SANKARA NARAYANAN temple, Sankarankovil Once the devotees of Lord Hari or Vishnu and Lord Shiva quarreled with each other to determine whose God was more powerful. Lord Shiva appeared as Sankaranarayanar to make his devotees understand that both Hari and Shiva are one and the same. The temple houses the deity by the name Sankara Narayana, which is half Lord Shiva and half Lord Vishnu. The deities of this temple are Sri Sankareswarar, Sri Gomathi Amman and Sri Sankara Narayana. The general belief is that the holy sand- “Puttrumann” Puttru Ant Hill, that one gets from this temple is capable of curing all diseases. Devotees believe that Sankarankovil‘s Nagasunai or thesacred tank have been dug by the King of Serpents, which has a miraculous power to heal those who bathe here. It is believed that all devotees who pray to the Goddess Gomathi Amman have always found solace. Sri Pambatti Siddhar Samadhi is situated at Sankarankovil.

Keralapuram-Sri AthisayaVinayakar…71

Miracle Ganesha The idol changes its color every six months with black and white - SRI MAHADEVAR ATHISAYA VINAYAKAR Temple, Keralapuram - A very powerful and extremely rare Lord Ganesha temple built in 1317 existed here for many centuries ‘Adisiya Vinayakar Koyil’ literally translates to ‘Miracle Ganesha Temple’. Lord Shiva here is known as Mahadevar. The sacred sanctum is not an enclosed chamber, as the Lord is placed outside under a huge banyan tree. The Ganesha idol here changes its color every six months. The King, who ruled Keralapuram, went on a pilgrimage to Rameswaram. A Ganesh idol was washed ashore while the King and his men were washing their legs at the Rameswaram beach. The King then gifted it to his Rameswaram counterpart ‘’Sethu Mannan’’. Sethu Mannan was overwhelmed by the love and affection; however he returned the gift back to the Keralapuram King. In his opinion and belief the finder should keep it. Along with the idol, the Rameswaram King gifted another huge emerald idol. The Moghuls later looted the emerald idol during their invasion. They could not take the Ganesha idol which was found in the beach as it was stuck to the ground. So, the idol was left behind. Though, the temple was built in the 12th century, idols here are older than 2,300 years. The idol found at the Rameswaram beach is worshipped here. It is believed that those who are looking for their soul mates or married couples wishing to have kids throng this temple. The colour of the idol changes to black and white, every six months. During Dakshiyana - July to Feb the colour of the idol changes to white and in utharayana - March to June, it is black in colour. There is another miracle associated with this temple. There is a well inside the temple complex and the colour of the water also changes every six months. When the idol is white in colour, the water changes to black and when the idol is black in colour, the water changes to white. Though there is no ‘’fall season’’ in the tropical states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the temple’s banyan tree has a unique nature of shedding leaves during dakshiyana and new leaves start to sprout from March. This is not a typical behavior of a Banyan tree.

Kizhamangalam-Sri Kalahastiswarar…71

The Lord of Education,Shri Dakhsinamurthi idol is installed to face eight directions - Dishas for eight different causes  SRI KALAHASTISWARAR, Kizhamangalam - This temple is situated near Pasuvanthanai of Thuthukudi district. Generally the idol of Sri Dakshinamurthi, the Lord of Education, faces south. Here, Shri Dakhsinamurthi idol is installed to face eight directions (Dishas) for eight different causes. In the East it is Sri Gnana Dakshinamurthi, North-East it is Shri Yoga Pattabirama Dakshinamurthi, South-East it is Sri Shakti Dakshinamurthi, South it is Shri Yoga Dakshinamurthi, South-West it is Sri Asina Dakshinamurthi and in the North it is Sri Vara Dakshinamurthi. Those who are weak in education or have memory problems and who want to do well in exams, who want to go abroad for professional reasons can visit this temple and get their wishes fulfilled with the blessing of the Lord. Visit this temple with family to get the darshan of Dakshinamurthi as well as Sri Gnana Bairvaer (6 feet tall in a pose of preaching to Lord Shani Bhagwan), Sri Adisandeswarar with four faces, twelve eyes sitting on a white Lotus, for general well being of the family.

Tiruvanchiyam-Vaanchinathar…71

Temple to reunite husband and wife, cure nervous disorders, liberate Naga Doshas and Brahmahatti Dosham - Srivanjiyum - VAANCHINATHAR Temple Tiruvaanchiyam is sixteen times more sacred than Varanasi. The presiding deity of this sacred temple Vanchinathar is a Swayambu Lingam and the oldest, the most ancient of the 64 Swayambhu Siva Lingams in the world.  A prominent feature of this temple is that Yama, the God of Death has an exclusive shrine for himself and is given preference in the daily worship. A separate shrine for Bhairavar in a yogic posture is another rare feature of this temple. The unique feature of this temple his that the shrine for both Rahu-Kethu his carved out in one composite sculpture and  when milk is poured over this Rahu-Kethu sculpture, it turns blue in colour. Worshipping at this shrine is said to bless devotees with marriage and progeny and cure nerve disorders. Worshipping Mahishasuramardhini with 108 lotus flowers during Rahu kalam is considered special. A holy dip in Lakshmi Theertham is said to reunite a person with his separated family. A holy dip in Naga Theertham is said to liberate one, of all Naga Doshas. A holy dip in Chakra Theertham absolves one of Brahmahatti Dosham. Devotees are also cured of illness after a bath in the Gupta Ganga, According to the Puranas, a holy dip in the Gupta Ganga is equal to the ones in Varanasi, Rameswaram and the Maha Maham Tank at Kumbakonam. Lord Vinayakar on the banks of the Gupta Ganga is to be worshipped first, before taking the holy dip.  According to legend, Yama, the God of Death, was worried about himself and the consequences of taking away so many lives and wanted to atone for this. Brahma allayed Yama’s fears and asked him to meditate on Lord Shiva for answer. Yama went to Gandhaaranyam, the fragrant forest and sat there to perform his penance. Sure enough, Lord Shiva appeared before Yama and  asked him to build a temple. Yama built the temple and also stayed on here, as the vehicle for the Lord. The Lord also told Yama that here a temple would be built for him and that devotees, who visit the Lord, should first offer prayers to Yama. A dip in the Gupta Ganga Tank is supposed to be a blessing and frees one, of all sins and rebirths. The Moorthy-Lingam is supposed to be thousand times greater than the Holy Kasi. Here, even a death does not impact the routine Pujas, conducted in the temple. Normally, if there is a death in the village, the temple remains closed until the last rites are completed.

Ananthamangalam-VeeraAnjaneya…72

Temple to get happiness, to eradicate defects, to fade away sins, sufferings to disappear, for generations to flourish, for prosperity to set in, for marriages to get fixed immediately, for businesses to flourish, to get rid of all dosams, to gain knowledge, improvement in confidence and relief from speach defects, fear and diseases. THRINETHRA CHADHURBUJA VEERA ANJANEYAR, Ananthamangalam  After the death of Ravana, in the battle at Srilanka, Sri Rama was returning to Ayodya along with Sita, Lakshmana and Anjaneya. They stayed in the house of Bharathwaja Maharishi. After sometime Narada came to the house. Sri Rama prayed to Narada. So Narada blessed him and then told Rama that though the Srilanka battle was over he had more wars to fight. Even though Ravana had died, the demon generations were still alive. Their generations had vowed to avenge the war. Asuras namely Ragtha Bindhu, Ragtha Rakshagan were doing penance under the sea and If they successfully completed their penance, they would attain strong powers, to destroy the world. So he must kill the Asuras. But Sri Rama told him that he could not delay his going to Ayodhya, else Bharathan would take the ‘Firegundam’. Narada then asked Rama to send his brother Lakshmana instead, but Sri Rama said that Lakshmana was like his shadow therefore Lakshmana, must be with him. Subsequently, Rama, ordered Sri Hanuman to kill those two Asuras. Lord Vishnu offered his ‘Conch’ and ‘Chakra’ and Goddess Sakthi offered her ‘Thirusoolam’, Lord Brahma offered ‘Bramakapalam’, ‘Pasangusam’ and Manthrashtakam’, Lord Rama offered his bow and arrow and Lord Krishna offered ‘Sattai and Butter’ to Sri Hanumam, to kill the Demons. Sri Hanuman displayed his prowess with 10 hands. Finally Lord Shiva offered his ‘Netrikan’. With these skills Sri Hanuman killed those two Asuras and danced with joy in this place. Hence this place is called ‘Ananthamangalam’. One gets happiness, freedom from defects, sins and sufferings. Marriages are fixed at once, lost wealth is restored and generations flourish by Santhanakrishna Prartham.  Since all the Navagrahas are in the tail of Anjaneyar, the devotees pray to Lord Anjaneyar and are relieved of dosams, gain knowledge, improve confidence and relief from fear and disease and speech defects. Prayers of the devotees to Lord Anjeneyar are equal to praying to all the Gods.

Karupoor-Pettikaliamman…72

The palanquin rocks, shakes, swings, and moves to and fro on the streets of the village and devotees carrying the palanquin run all around without any aim on the streets ARULMIGU ABIRAMI AMMAN& SUNDARESHWARASWAMY TEMPLE, PETTIKALIAMMAN, Koranattukkaruper, Karupoor It is one of the ‘Panchakrosha Sthalas’ on the banks of the river Cauvery. Brahma installed a Sivalinga in a dense forest containing Pathiri trees and worshipped the Lord, daily. He was blessed with Gnana Upadesa, that is, initiation into the mysteries of Wisdom by the Lord. Agasthiyar, Vakkilliyar, Kanva and other sages worshipped the Deity. Indra came with his vehicle Airavatha or the white coloured elephant and worshipped the Deity. He got deliverance from the curse on the Full Moon Day of Chithirai month. Hence the Bramotsava is celebrated these days during the month of Chithirai. Petti Kali Amman - Korannatu Karppoor - A big box, containing a beautiful wooden idol half portion-hip to head of the Goddess Kali was floating on the river Cauvery, drifted ashore at Thiruppadalavanam. The devotees placed the box under a thatched roof and later on shifted to Sundareswaraswamy temple and placed it on the eastern side of the main shrine. She was named Sundara Ma Kali or Beautiful Great Kali. She has eight hands. She has fiery eyes and two fangs. Her graceful reddish face attracts thousands of devotees from all parts of the country. She is decorated with unguent civet and sacred ash at the time of worship. The priest does not return the saffron powder, Lemon and flowers that are offered by the devotees. One should worship the Goddess by performing Pallaya puja before opening the box. Once in a year, during Uththarayana Kala period of the Sun’s progress towards the north for six months from Thai month, the terrific, ferocious but kind Goddess is taken in a procession with all Divine belongings playing folk instruments such as Tharai – long brass musical instrument and Thappattai – headed drum, in a palanquin. Palanquin means that the Goddess is placed in a seat and carried on poles held parallel to the ground on the shoulders of four people or a number of devotees and the divine miracle is that the palanquin rock, shake, swing, and moves to and fro on the streets of the village and the devotees carrying the palanquin run all over without any aim on the streets. The festival is unique and the Goddess gives great energy to people witnessing the procession.

Konerirajapuram-Umamaheshwarar…72

Temple of Miracle healing - Cancer, Brain tumor, Organs failure Konerirajapuram UMAMAHESWARA Temple with His consort Dehasundari or Angavalanaayaki. The Temple is famed for the Swayambhu Nataraja of metal, about five and a half feet high. Chozha king wanted a Nataraja made out of Panchaloha, five metals which he described to the Sthapathi. The sthapathi, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva was very happy with the King’s order. But three casts of Nataraja were rejected by the King, who gave an ultimatum to the sculptor that if he did not deliver before the stipulated time, he would be sent out of the Chozha Desa or have his head chopped off. The depressed sculptor set to work. With just a day left to present his work, he was still at work. He had a pot full of molten metal and wondered whether to start the casting. As he was praying to the Lord to create which would appeal to the King, an old man and his wife approached him for some water, to quench their thirst. The Sculptor in no mood for hospitality told the old couple “There’s no water. If you want, drink this molten metal” and was stunned and horrified to see the old man taking the pot and drinking the contents and giving a little to his wife. Slowly, in their place there emerged two Vigrahams, one of a majestic Nataraja and by his side a very beautiful Sivakami. The King walked in at that time and was extremely happy to see the icons. The Sculptor was shivering with devotion at the Lord’s magnanimity and related the episode and denied having made the Vigrahams. The King was furious and raised his sword, which struck the lifted right foot of the Deity. Blood spurted out and splashed on the King, who developed leprosy. The Lord then appeared to all who were present there, as Vrishabharoodar and told the King “I am here in the form of Lingam as Vaidyanatha. Offer prayers to me and perform abhishekam and you will be cured”. He did as told and was cured. And so are many, today, who are cured if they repose full faith in him. The icon of Lord Nataraja is truly realistic. His arms, feet, fingers, lips, eyes and every other part, breathe life. There is a mole under the left arm. The nerves and muscles are visible. The priest says there are tiny hairs which drop during the abhishekam on Thiruvathirai. The scar on the right foot where the king’s sword had struck is still visible. And the amazing smile captivates the soul. The Goddess standing beside him is just as beautiful. Many diseases, even cancer is believed to be cured by this Lord. There are devotees from far off places like Canada, who have been cured of terminal cancer, by performing Abhishekam and special pujas here. An experience of a devotee is as follows, “I was going through a peculiar pain in my right leg for about three months, which would start in the dead of the night and vanish only around the next morning after two hours of work in the kitchen. It used to be terrible and no applications of any cream gave any relief. The previous day too, I had experienced it in the hotel room in Kumbhakonam. As I took the abhishekam’s milk in my palm, I spoke to the Lord silently, “if you could really cure my pain I would be grateful.” That night, I did not wake up in pain. I woke up at 5 a.m. only when the hotel’s wake up call was made. And to this day, I have not experienced any pain. A month later, my sister telephoned me and I was shocked to know that she had cancer. I turned to Dr. Vaidyanatha Swamy and arranged for an abhishekam and a special puja in her name and the priest sent her the prasadams by courier. Later we came to know that she had been cured. So, was a cousin of mine, who is in the US and was diagnosed with brain tumour. Though it was removed surgically, he was warned that it could recur any time. It was a serious case. After similar pujas he is now progressing very well and even drives his car. A little girl, our friend’s niece, was admitted to the hospital with a sudden rise in body temperature and was in the ICU with all the organs failing, gradually. An abhishekam to the Lord… and improvement started the very next day and she is fine”.

Koothanur-Sri Saraswathi…73

Goddess of Learning and Education  SRI SARASWATHI Temple, Koothanur the only ancient temple for the Goddess of Knowledge. It is believed that the Supreme Mother resides as the Goddess of Valour, Durga and Kali in Kolkata, Goddess of Wealth, Mahalakshmi, in Mumbai and the Goddess of Learning, Saraswathi in the South at Koothanur. With the grace of Goddess Saraswathi, the speechless have been able to speak and people have been blessed with the ability to write and compose poems. Devotees can purchase notebooks, pencils and pens, which are kept at the Devi's feet for blessings. It is believed that students using these articles will get the blessings of Goddess Saraswathi. Musicians sing here and many even choose to perform here first. Many parents prefer that the education of their wards begin on Vijayadasami Day, after the initiation ceremony at this temple. It is believed, that students appearing for Exams should write their Name and Roll number on a piece of paper and drop it in the hundi kept in this temple after praying and eventually they are blessed with good marks.

Valangaiman-Sri MahaMariamman…73

Mother Parasakthi took away the heat from the world and provided Rain to protect the lives on the Earth. MAHA MARIAMMAN Temple, Valangaiman - Some People believe that Mother Parasakthi took away the heat from the world and provided Rain to protect the lives on  Earth. They thought that Mother Parasakthi appeared in this world as Mariamman. Some thought that Mariamman was Renuga mother of Parasuraman. Others thought that Mariamman was Sakthi who destroyed Marasuran. Some thought that the worship of Kannagi later on changed into the worship of Mariamman yet people believe that Mariamman is part of Parasakthi. There are temples in every place for this Mahasakthi and she has been creating wonders in all these places. In Valangaiman, Varadharajanpettai's Mahamariamman has a wonderful historical background. In Valangaiman Varadharajanpettai, about 200 years ago, there lived Kathagounder and his wife Govindammal who were devotees of God. Kathagounder was a farmer. His wife prepared eatables and sold them in the nearby villages. Her eatables were sold in a village called Pungancheri, South East of Valangaiman. One Friday, Govindammal went to Pungancheri for her business. She got a lot of money, paddy and then went to a tank to bathe. There she saw a Brahmin couple with their child who went towards Adaikkalam Katha Ayyanar Temple. After bathing Govindammal heard the weeping of the child from the side of the Ayyanar temple. Govindammal hurried to the spot and found the girl child crying there. She called the neighbours and the people from the street ran towards the temple. They searched for the persons who brought the child, but there was nobody. Govindammal took the crying child and immediately the child stopped crying and laughed beautifully. All the people in the street were attracted by the beauty of the child. And they wanted to bring up the child themselves. Finally the people decided that the leader in the street or Nattamai should bring up the child. Govindammal felt sorry that she did not get the child. She returned to her house and for three days did not go to Pungancheri for selling. where suddenly fowls, sheep and cattle died and many people suffered due to small pox. The child from the Ayyanar temple was also infected by small pox. There was confusion everywhere at that time and a furious man said that the child should be given to Govindammal and further said that only then everything will become normal in the village once again. Immediately they called Govindammal and gave the child to her. Govindammal got the child and named her as 'Sithala' to bring her up. But on the 3rd day due to acute small pox the child passed away. Govindammal and her husband with a sorrowful heart completed the funeral behind their house. Some believed that the child lived for seven and half years in Govindammal's house and had done many wonders and died subsequently. Later on people  came to know that it was Mariamman who had come to the house of Govindammal in the form of the child. They built Sithala Devi Mahamariamman temple and considered the Goddess as Mother Parasakthi.

Marudanallur-Karuvalarcheri…73

Two sacred temples for growth and protection of the foetus - “Karu Valarkkum Nayagi” for healthy growth of the foetus and “KARU KAAKKUM NAYAGI” for protection of the foetus Karuvalarcheri Temple MARUDANALLUR is one of the most important temples of the Agasthiar Siddha Lineage. Mother Sri Akilandeswari is known as “Karu Valarkkum Nayagi” the Goddess who blesses the foetus with growth. The Universal Mother in this temple gives the blessing of development, to the foetus. A few miles away is the “Garbha Rakshambika” temple. Mother Garbha Rakshambika is “Karu Kaakkum Nayaki” i.e. the Goddess who protects the foetus. There is a simple procedure of worship at these two temples and the temple priests help devotees with the rituals.

Kumbakonam-Mahamaham…74

Taking bath in Mahamaham that would wash off all the sins. MAHAMAHAM, Kumbakonam is a festival celebrated once in every 12 years in Kumbakonam and consider that taking a holy dip at the Mahamaham tank on the day of Mahamaham is sacred. The last Mahamaham was celebrated on March 6, 2004. People wash their sins in holy rivers like Ganges, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Sarayu, Godavari, Mahanadi, Narmada ,Pavoshnl and Kaveri.These rivers wanted to get rid of their sins and approached Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma advised these rivers, if you meet together and take bath in Mahamaham that would wash off all the sins. Hence, during the time of Mahamaham festival, it is also believed that devotees taking bath in the holy stream of water from the famous rivers like Ganges, Yamuna, Sarasvati , Sarayu, Godavari, Mahanadi, Narmada , Pavoshnl and Kaveri , which are mixed together in Mahamaham tank, would get rid of sins During this festival, thousands of Hindu devotees come to Kumbakonam, and take bath in a tank named Mahamaham tank, generally followed or preceded by a dip in the Kaveri river at Kumbakonam. The tank has 20 holy wells. These wells are named after 20 holy rivers flowing across India. People get themselves drained in these wells. These wells are also called as "Theertham".Pralayam- Kumbakonam At the end of every Yuga, the destruction of all the living beings through floods takes place on the earth which is called Pralayam. Lord Shiva collected a sample of seeds of living organisms in a pot Kumbham filled with amirtham nectar and kept it atop the Kailash mountain, as a backup in a safe vault!. When Brahma Pralayam started, it killed all living creatures on the earth. The flood water level rose so high that it reached the pot kept in Kailash and it floated for years. Eventually when the Pralayam stopped, the pot settled in Kumbakonam and got its name as the Kumbham settled here. Then Shiva took the form of a Hunter and split open the pot with his arrow. Life on earth started flourishing again. So, this is where life on earth restarted, after the Pralayam. Significance of Kumbakonam: There is a popular saying in Sanskrit “Kumbakonam is more sacred than Varanasi or Kasi”. A sin committed at some ordinary place is washed off by a visit to a holy place, a sin committed in a sacred spot is washed off by going on a pilgrimage to Varanasi. If one dares to commit a sin in Varanasi then that sin is wiped off at Kumbakonam and then finally any sinful act done at Kumbakonam, it is washed off there itself.
Kumbakonam also spelt as Coombaconum in the records of British India, was ruled by the Early Cholas, Pallavas, Medieval Cholas, Later Cholas, Pandyas, the Vijayanagar Empire, Madurai and Thanjavur Nayaks and the Thanjavur Marathas. Kumbakonam is known as the “temple town” due to the prevalence of a number of temples here nd is noted for its Mahamaham festival which attracts people from all over the globe. The main products produced are brass, bronze, copper and lead vessels, silk and cotton cloths, pottery, sugar, indigo and rice. The most important temples in Kumbakonam are the Sarangapani temple, the Kumbeswara temple and the Ramaswamy temple.

Pasupatheeswarar – Avoor…74

Only temple to visit on birthday the sacred water cures leprosy.  PASUPATHEESWARAR Temple, Avoor  -  Brahma Theertham lies to the north of the temple and it is also known as Kushtarogha Nivaarana This sacred water cures leprosy. Avur Pasuptheeswara temple is well known for its Deity, Sthalam and Theertham sacred water. This Holy shrine is situated in the fertile land surrounded by canals and trees.There are separate shrines for the Gods and Goddesses. Brahma, Saptharishis, Navagrahas, Thirumal, Indra, Aadithan, Skandarras, Dasaratha, Kamadenu, Yashar, Kinnarar and Devaganas worshipped the Lord here. Devotees who have a holy dip in Brahma Theertham on the days of Uttarayanam, Dhakshinayanam, Grahanam, the first day of every Tamil month, Chitra Pournami or full moon day and Sivarathiri will be blessed with all the prosperities in the world. Dasaratha is said to have worshipped the Lord at this temple and formed a lingam. King Dharmathurajan was liberated from leprosy by the grace of Lord Shiva. Only Temple to visit on Birthday to Sail Smoothly Life Once Sage Vashist wanted to conduct a Yagna for global wellbeing. He had invited the Devapasu-COW Kamadenu to be part of the ritual. But Kamadenu declined to participate. Irked by this, Sage Vashist cursed Kamadenu to become an ordinary cow and live on earth. Kamadenu pleaded by apologising to the Rishi. Rishi Narada asked Kamadenu to conduct a puja for Lord Shiva in this place and seek for reversal of the curse. Kamadenu did the same and got her curse reversed. Narada asked the Sage Vashist also to conduct a remedial puja at the same Sthala so that he could ward off the ill effects of cursing a cow. Sage Vashist did the same and neutralised the ill effects. Since a cow- Aa in tamil worshipped in this village, this village is called “Aa”voor. it attains significance because it had the glory of being visited by all the sages and devas for worshipping Pasupatheeswarar. Also the temple is adorned by Panja Bhairavar who is responsible for the five important factors of a day which is displayed in Panchangam i.e. Day, Week, Thithi, Karna and Yoga which determines the life of living beings from birth. Everyone is born in this Universe with all the five factors and cannot decide their own destiny to be born. In order to have a smooth life one needs to visit this temple on his BIRTH DAY and take the blessings of Lord Shiva and Pancha Bhairavar.

Vembu Amman – Kuttalam…74

VEMBU AMMAN, Kuttalam: In this temple in Kuttalam near Kumbakonam, the principal deity is Vembu Amman. The leaves of the Vembu tree - Neem are spread like peacock feathers and is white in  colour while the other leaves are in green colour which is very unique, mysterious and divine.

Rajagopalaswamy – Mannargudi…74

The Lord at the sanctum sanctorium slightly leaning towords the cow RAJAGOPALASAMY Temple, Mannargudi - It is difficult to recount the beauty of the Lord at the Sanctum & Sanctorum, which is slightly leaning towards the cow, with a single garment.  The beauty and bounty of Sri Vidya Rajagopala is unparalleled. Much of the historical glimpses are established in an area of six square acres with gigantic, sprawling seven circumambulatory paths, sixteen majestic towers and the typical grandeur of the stately Rajagopuram, towering upto 154 feet. Some of the circumambulatory path like Tiruvunnazhi prakaram, Garuda prakaram, Champaka prakaram, Kasi prakaram and Nacchiyar prakaram are enormously spacious and extensive and unique in their appearances. The seven vast splendid halls like the Vallala Maharaja Mandapam, Thousand-pillared mandapam, Garuda Vahana mandapam, Yanai Vahana mandapam, Lattice-window mandapam, Palakani mandapam, Butter and Pot mandapam-Vennai Thazhi mandapam, Mast – Wood vehicle mandapam and Punnai Vahana mandapam add to the captivating pervasive expanse of the temple prakaras.There are twenty-four shrines including the Perumal and Thayar shrines in the temple. The mast wood tree Punnai is the sacred tree of the temple adorned with special devotion as it is dedicated especially to the Lord. Along the Gopala Samudram car street just opposite to the temple there is a magnificent granite monolithic Garuda pillar which welcomes the devotees. At the crest of the column is a small shrine dedicated to Garuda who stands facing west with folded hands. It is indeed the grace of the deity that sustains this column unimpaired and unimpeded from the ravages of nature for several centuries. On the northern side of this pillar there is a mandapam which houses the big chariot of this temple, which is next to the chariot of Tiruvarur in its display of pomp and majesty. The festival of chariot procession is unique and nowhere else does such a kind of festival to the deity is seen. Sri Sengamala Thayar, the incarnation of Sri Mahalakhmi with four arms and two effluorescent eyes like Neelotpala, adorned with Kundalas at the ears, decked with Keyura haras and golden necklaces, decorated with a white floral garland, with a countenance dazzling with the lightning of a smile amidst the coral-like red lips, with the bright tilaka on the forehead, with the locks of curling hair dense dark in hue, with the lustrous complexion flawless white in hue like pearls originated from bamboos, worshipped by all the celestials, resplendent and fulfilling all the aspirations on the votaries. Sri Rajagopala decorated with the feathers of a peacock at the locks of hair dressed as a coil, with the lustrous tilaka of musk illuminating at the forehead, with a single ear-ring in one ear and a kundala at the other, dazzling with the moon light of a smile amidst the bud like pink lips embellished with numerous ornaments, adorned with fragrant sandal paste, holding the golden rod of the whip, enjoying the beloved company of Gopis, holding the lotus in the left hand, seated on the throne studded with Navaratna gems and having Champakaranya as the permanent abode. Brahma set up this temple. Once upon a time, Brahma lost his sense of serenity and balance.  He was refurbished. He regained clarity of thought and vision. He got a big temple established for the Lord with the help of the celestial artisan, Visvakarama. He himself set up the idols with all the ceremonial observances. Lakshmi was satisfied with the rigorous penance of Brighu and manifested at the Lotus tank in the northeast of this Kshetra.  Brahma suggested Agni to penance in Champakaranya. Accordingly Agni came to this Kshetra and performed rigorous penance at the banks of the Gopralaya tank and finally with the grace of the Lord of this Kshetra, he regained his heat and light.

Karaiyapuram-Sri Karaiveeranathar…75

Girls get good partners and achieve their desires. SRIKARAVEERANATHER Temple Karaiyapuram is very famous for its puja during Amavasya days i.e. “new moon day”. The principal deity here is Lord Shiva in the form of Srikaraiveeranather. Girls who look for good partners worship here to achieve their desires and are granted wishes by the Lord and it is still believed that one who worships in this temple will get married very soon. The great Sage Gautama Muniver carried out vigorous penance and Lord Shiva appeared before him. He asked for a boon to worship him till the end of his life and mingle with him permanently. Lord Shiva granted him the boon and it is believed that Sage Gautama has mingled with the Linga and blesses the worshippers. It is said that the Moolavar, Srikaraiveeranather is very powerful which is evident from the fact that during Amavasya puja days, one can witness perspiration-sweating  on the walls in the form of tiny droplets of water in the moolasthana

Mayiladudurai-Kali…75

If one visits all the five temples on a single day and worship, they would be blessed with all the Wealth of life KALI Temple, Mayiladurai - This temple is located in a village called Kali previously known as Srinivasapuram. Centuries ago, people in this village were dying of a mysterious illness. At the same time there was heavy flood in the villages and all their agricultural fields were inundated and destroyed. Grief stricken, the villagers assembled and took asylum in the Ellai Amman temple on the outskirts of the village and prayed to her. Heeding to their prayers Kali Amman appeared in different forms and gave her merciful blessings to the villagers. Miraculously all their problems were solved and the villagers were happy and erected a temple at that place and installed all the four Vikrahas of the Kali Amman in four corners of the village. On one side she is Durga Devi and in another she is Sri Mariamman, in another she is Vadakaliamman or Vekkaliamman and in the fourth she is Sri Bhadra Kaliamman. In the centre of the village a Durga Devi Amman temple is installed and remains as the family deity of the entire village. If one visits all the five temples on a single day and worships, they would be blessed with all the wealth in this very birth.

Nallur-Sri KalyanaSundareswarar…75

Bring peace and happiness, The Main Shiva Lingam, PANCHAVARNESWARAR. Nallur changes its colour every 2 ½ hours - This 2300 years old Shiva temple is built at an elevation and this hillock is referred to as Sundaragiri. The Shivalingam here is believed to manifest itself in five different colors in a day and hence called Panchavarneswarar. Agasthiyar is said to have been blessed here. Bhringi Muni and Narasimhar are said to have worshipped here. Thirunallur is also referred to as Dakshina Kailasam. Legend also has it that Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas bathed at the Saptasagara theertham. There is an idol of Kunti in the temple.  It is also  believed that Muchukunda Chola associated with Thiruvarur, placed the idol of Thiruvarur Thyagaraja at this shrine, enroute to Thiruvarur, for a three day period and offered prayers here. The lingam itself is unique, for it is made of an unknown material which changes colours five times a day and thus is known as Panchavarneswarar. The lingam has 3 portions – the lower portion which joins the Avudaiyar and is smooth, the middle portion, which is rough and the top, which is again smooth and is the most prominent part of the lingam. Each of these parts change colour every 2 ½ hours. If you plan to visit the temple, give yourself at least 3 hours for this temple alone, so that you can really see the colour change. From sunrise to sunset, the colour of the top portion of the lingam changes every 2 ½ hours.  6AM to 8:24AM - Copper colour. 8:25AM to 10:48AM - Light Red the colour of sunrise. 10:49AM to 1:12PM - Molten Gold. 1:13PM to 3:36PM - Emerald Green .3:37PM to 6PM - a colour the devotee has in mind and wants to see. The middle portion alternates between shades of blue and green. This part is somewhat rough and seems pock-marked. The lower portion remains black at all times. At the entrance is a beautiful idol of Ucchishta Ganapathy - Ganesha with Neela Saraswati on his lap - a rare idol. This temple is a Parihara sthala and is famous for Jhathaka Dosham. A visit to this temple brings peace and happiness to the devotees.

Patteeswaram-Thenupureeswarar…75

All desires are fulfilled, relief from the inflctions of Rahu and Ketu dosha, get good marriage alliance, lead happy marital life and get children, relief from fear of enemies, get cured from ailments, poisonous bites, dog bites etc, ensures total peace of mind, get employment opportunities, develop  business and to get promotion in jobs  THENUPUREESWARAR Temple, Patteeswaram  This is a Shiva shrine and famous for “Shantha Swaroopi” Vishnu Durga. Unlike other Durga temples, the Durga here is very soft in her looks and very graceful, called - Shanta Swarupi. Saint Gnanasambandar came to Patteeswaram. It was summer. The Sun was at his peak. To protect Gnanasambandar from the scorching Sun, Lord Shiva sent a Pearl Umbrella, Muthupandal, through his Bhudaganas. The Lord wanted to enjoy the childish walking movement of the child saint  Gnanasambandar and ordered Nandi to move from his place. Sri Rama was relieved of Sayagathi dosha for killing Vaali. Goddess herself performed penance here. It was in Patteeswaram that Rishi Viswamitra was admitted to the company of Brahma rishis with the backing of the Gayatri Mahamantra. Markandeya worshipped here. All the Navagrahas here, face the Sun. The Goddess is so powerful that since her arrival at this temple, the original temple has lost its prominence and people throng for blessings only from her. It has been a common experience of the devotees that after they worship in this temple, however frustrated the parents are in their attempts to get their daughters suitably married, their desires get fulfilled instantly. Goddess Durga in the temple is miraculously powerful to relieve the devotees from the inflictions of Rahu and Ketu, She also responds to prayers for good marriage alliance, happy marital life and getting children. People throng the temple during Rahukalam. The Bhairava in the temple is believed to be very powerful and protects his devotees from their enemies, cures them from ailments of poisonous bites, dog bites, etc. Lord Patteeswara ensures total peace of mind, employment opportunities, business development, promotion in jobs and other benefits. The Chola kings including the Great Rajaraja Chola were staunch devotees of Durga Devi. She was the protecting deity of the Cholas in the Northern side of their palaces, centuries ago. Lord Vinayaka, Lord Muruga and Lord Bhairava were also protecting the kings from other entrances. When the kings had to take some important decisions or face a war, they worshipped Durga for her grace before venturing out. After the end of the Chola regime, the Durga was installed at this Patteeswaram temple. Cholas were so powerful because they were ardent devotees of Durga. With the blessings of Goddess Durga, the Chola princes were able to construct 1000 Shivalinga temples and the Chola kings have left an unforgettable mark in the history of India by their architectural contribution.

Kumbakonam-Prathyangara Devi…76

Protects against black magic, accident, sudden death, protect from enemies, even punishes enemies and wins over enemies, PRATYANGIRA DEVI, Kumbakonam - The Pratyangira aspect of the Divine has been a bit of a secret for most of by gone ages. Many believed that direct experience with this energy was reserved for Saints and Rishis. Seeing Pratyangira in any form was considered an enormous blessing. Pratyangira comes from a very deep place within the Divine Mother, an area simply known as the Void where there are no thoughts of fear, pain, loss, want, time, or even space, just the warmth of the Mother's love. As Pratyangira energy manifests, it's often a very swift and sometimes ferocious current. Many of the Saints, who have seen its energetic expression, have described it as half lion and half human. She is always by the side of Her devotees. The Siddha Masters and great Maha Rishis like Sri Dhurvasa Munivar and Puli Paani Siddhar have been devotees of this mother. Pratyangira may look attractive because she radiates power. However, power comes with responsibilities, duties and maturity. Pratyangira sadhana, chanting Moola Manthram, prayer and Puja are performed mainly to protect oneself from attacks of black magic and to prosper in life. Advantages of this sadhana are too many. Tremendous Vak siddhi, Karya siddhi, healthy body and full protection from accidents, sudden deaths and people who are dumb are also benefitted. Vasikaram and forecasts are possible too. Our innermost desires will be fulfilled. If you are a gruhast sadhak, with family, practicing this sadhana improves family affairs, kids and sex life too. Long life with no diseases, Moksha or Final Liberation is also possible. This sadhana should not be used for petty reasons as it is an ugra sadhana. She punishes the enemies of her devotees. The temple was built amidst eight cemeteries, burning ghats and no archanai or abishekam is performed in this temple. Only homam is done on “no moon nights” and the main ingredient for the homam is dried chillies thrown in tones, in the homan fire, but it is surprising to note, that the chillies never harm any one participating in the homan while it is burning in the fire. Normally the red chillies smoke while burnt in fire harm human beings and cause cough non stop. But it will not happen while tons of chillies are thrown into Homam fire at this temple. Performing yagams, homams and prayers to the Goddess, protects true devotees from enemies and even punishes enemies and wins over their evil plotting. If you are a true devotee she is the most wonderful mother. She is Mahashakthi and she is also Lord Narashimha's wife Narashimee, which is another form of Maha lakshimi.

Rajendrapattinam- Neelakanteswarar …76

Blessed with children Rajendrapattinam SRI NEELAKANTESWARAR - King Raja Raja Chola was blessed with children after worshipping in this temple and Raja Rajendra Cholan got married after praying in this temple. Lord Muruga, to remove all his Dosha, undertook penance in this sthala. The Pushkarani here is said to have been created by Lord Muruga himself and bathing in this, is considered to be very sacred.

Sikkal-Singaravelan…76

Muruga’s face sweats - Temple Cures all diseases - SINGARA VELAN Temple, Sikkal is one of the most popular Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Muruga. It is one of the rare traditional Hindu temples that has both Shiva Navaneeteswarar and Vishnu Vennaipperumal deities in the same complex. Devotees throng the Singaravelar temple at Sikkal believing that all diseases would be cured. Sage Vasishta made a sivalinga out of butter obtained from the milk of the divine cow Kamadenu, for worship. After puja, the sivalinga could not be shifted and got stuck and hence the name sikkal in Tamil for this place. During the Tamil month of Ipasi, Skanda Shashti is celebrated in a grand manner for the main ruling deity Singaravelavar. Tradition tells us that the Lord received the Vel at Sikkal and killed Surapadman at Tiruchendur, the next day. During Skanda Shashti, Lord Singaravelavar will receive the Vel one day prior to Surasamharam from his mother to destroy the demon Surapadman. After receiving the Vel even today, one will find Muruga’s face full of sweat, which is a miracle. The sculptors of this temple have made three similar statues the other two being at Ettukkudi and Enkan.
The sculptural work is something marvellous without its parallel to be found, anywhere in the world. Minute details such as nails and veins are intricately carved. The peacock can be seen holding a snake in its mouth and the snake curving with a hole. The Lord is six-faced with twelve hands with usual weapons in ten hands and the other two displaying varada and abhaya hasta. The peacock, Lord Muruga and the Tiruvakchi are all made of a single piece of granite.

Sivapuram-Sri Bhairavar…76

Protection from bombs, biological and chemical poisons and evil influences, remedy to overcome debts  SRI BHAIRAVAR, Sivapuram Sri Bhairava is the guardian deity of the abode of Lord Shiva. The term Bhairava means 'Terrific'. Sri Kala Bhairava represents the protective energy of Lord Shiva. He is the manifestation, who oversees the demonstration of time. Time cannot be altered, because Lord Kala Bhairava makes it so. As the saying goes, “time lost is lost forever”, there's nothing more precious than time. So intelligent humans should use every moment of time effectively and be conscious of the spiritual path with the divine help of Lord Kala Bhairava. It is very important to worship Lord Kala Bhairava in this Kali Yuga. He offers protection from bombs, biological and chemical poisons and other evil influences. The Siddhas say that those who are connected with the Punya Bhoomi of Bharata, India, have a God-given responsibility to pray for the entire world. One of these requirements is Sri Kala Bhairava puja for the welfare of the entire world. Runa-Vimochanam -Prosperity If you want to get rid of your debts you need to do an introspection of how you got into those debts in the first place. According to the Siddhas, the debts can be classified into three types and they suggest powerful remedies to eliminate them so that you can begin a new life. One way of getting into debts is that you spend and acquire more than you could earn or pay for yourself. The root cause for all these debts is that you would have enjoyed possession of someone else's property illegally in one of your previous incarnations. In this birth, this comes back to you in what they refer to as 'Runa' where 'Runa' refers to debt.  The Siddhas advise remedies like prayers made to Lord Kala Bhairava with a special substance from wild cats called Punugu. The use of Punugu is a closely guarded secret among the Tamil Siddhas. The wild cats are not harmed in extracting the perfume-like substance from the rear portion of the cat. Harming the cat negates the power of the punugu. Another way of getting into debts is through losses from unexpected natural disasters, market fluctuations, supplier issues etc. The reason that you manifest this kind of debt is that in your previous birth, you would not have handled your money and assets with adequate care. Special remedies include butter and pomegranate offerings to Lord Kala Bhairava to overcome your debts. The third and last way of getting into debts is by indulging in gambling, indiscriminate drinking, inappropriate and illegitimate relationships. You are forced into all these, due to your previous karmic tendencies which include abducting others assets illegally and causing damage to temples or churches. The effects of this can be minimized by special offerings to Lord Kala Bhairava, another form of Shiva, who controls time or Kaal with the special Punugu perfume and a special oil offering. In addition to this, you are also advised to perform your ancestral rituals regularly so that your ancestors bless you with prosperity and happiness. As one may not be sure what misfortune might befall you in the future, it is advised to perform remedies for all types of debts, as advised by the Siddhas at this temple Kalabhairavar.

Kumbakonam-Kalyanasundareswarar…77

INDIA - A LAND OF WONDERS AND MIRACLES - witnessed by devotees IN 2010 – Solar Eclipse day - Cobra performing archana for the Siva Lingam with Vilvam leaves – SRI KALYANA SUNDARARESWARAR Temple,Thepperumanallur Kumbakonam. At this temple, large numbers of devotees witnessed the miracle of a Cobra performing archana for the Siva Lingam with Vilvam leaves. It is customary, in this temple, to perform archana with Rudhraksha. Just before the Solar Eclipse, at about 10:30 a.m., Sivachariar Satish, the priest of the temple, noticed a Cobra coiled on top of the Siva Linga. The snake slowly descended and wound its way to the Vilvam tree which is the Sthala Viruksham – the holy tree of the temple. The Cobra climbed the tree, picked a Vilvam leaf and returned to the temple Sannadhi. It hissed at any devotee trying to come near it. The snake climbed onto the Siva Linga and opened its hood and dropped the Vilvam Leaf. Though there were different trees in the temple premises, the Cobra chose and plucked only the Vilva leaf and surprisingly from the tree and not from the ground. This miracle was witnessed by a sea of astonished devotees. The Cobra repeated this twice. As the news spread, hundreds of villagers rushed to the temple to have a Dharshan. Normally a Cobra senses these vibrations and glides away, but it only hissed at the devotees – often making sharp sounds, as a sign that it could sense the vibration, but strangely, never disappeared. No part of the world has witnessed this kind of a miracle. The spiritual power of the Indian temples was demonstrated by this miracle. What makes the event even more unusual is, that it happened on the day of a Solar Eclipse which occurs only once in 100 years. This also proves that the auspicious timings fixed by our religious scholars are meaningful and correct.

Thiruvarur-Thilatharpanapuri…77

Ceremony to satisfy the soul of ancestors and parents and also ceremonies that have never been conducted for ancestors.ADHI VINAYAKAR TEMPLE, Thilatharpanapuri Thiruvarur is the holiest place in South India. Thilam, a sanskrit word means Gingili, which has close association with Thila-Tharpana-Puri and Lord Saneeswara. All religious functions performed by using Gingili or Sesame have a wonderful effect if it is performed in this place, particularly in Mahalaya Packsham, a period of 15 days starting from the very first day after the full moon day in the Tamil month of Purattasi which is called Prathamai Thithi. During this time, every Hindu male who has lost a parent or parents, must perform Tharpana in this temple.  This is supposed to satisfy the soul and it blesses those who perform the ceremony.  In this Shethra Tharpana or ceremony must be performed on the banks of the river Hari Nadhi, adjacent to Sethalappathy Agraharam where the river travels north to south and is called Utharavaini, which is a very rare phenomena.  According to the Puranas, one bath here is equal to so many krichnams & one krichnam is equal to 1000 ‘gou’ or Cow Dhanams. Lord Rama performed “thilatharpana” here for his loving father, King Dasaratha, the King of Ayodhaya and also for King Jadayu, the bird who had informed Lord Rama that King Ravana had kidnapped mother Seetha to Lanka. Three types of ceremonies can be done here Tharpana, Hiranya, Agni Roopa Sirardham and Thila Homam. Ceremonies can be performed here for a person for whom no ceremonies had been performed earlier or there was a break in performing the ceremony, or for people who had died young, in an accident, committed suicide or for those who had died due to Pithur Sabam.

Thirubuvanam-Sri Khambaheswarar…77

Defeat enemies - get rid from the evil effects of black magic and fear SRI KHAMBAHESWARAR Temple, Thirubuvanam The great Lord Narayana manifested as Lord Narasimha to rid the Universe of the evil that was Hiranyakaship. To protect the natives of the Universe and to give the evil one his due, Lord Narayana manifested into his wrathful, aggressive Narasimha man-lion form. Lord Narasimha consumed every drop of Hiranyakaship’s blood and then wore the demon’s mangled body as a garland. The inimitable man-lion roared and performed a terrifying dance. The Universe shook at this aggressive form of the Lord. Lord Shiva, with the full support of Lord Soolini and Prathyankira Devi and their respective entourages, manifested his supremely aggressive Sarabesvara form. He embraced Lord Narasimha, cooled him down and made him accessible to all beings.Lord Sarabesvara is the Lord in his unique manifestation as the Conqueror of evil forces everywhere. He is the Great Protector, Motivator and well wisher of all beings. He destroys negative forces and showers us with positive spiritual energy. Praying to him steers people away from evil, particularly by performing pujas at Rahukalams on Fridays and Sundays is very auspicious.  Pujas can be performed to defeat enemies, get rid from the evil effects of black magic and fear.

Thirucherai-Rinavimochanar…77

Remedy for debt related problems RINAVIMOCHANA LINGESWARAR, Thirucherai - Rina – Debt, Vimochana – remedy, a deity for remedy of debt-related problems. Rinavimochakar neutralizes not only the previous birth’s sins but also removes poverty of the present birth and blesses the devotee with a prosperous life. One may possess intelligence, capacity, beauty and health but if he is poor, poverty will deprive him of the enjoyment he’ll get from these factors. The deity in Thirucherai removes this poverty. It is 1,500 years old. On 13, 14 and 15 of the Tamil month Maasi, the rays of sun fall directly on the lingam and the feet of the Goddess. Durga is portrayed in three forms – Sivadurga, Vaishnavi and Vishnudurga in the same sannadhi. On the lines of the devaram song sung by Appar, Lord Shiva is been portrayed here in the form of Bhairava, who blesses one with success in his endeavours and also neutralizes navagraha dosha. Rinavimochana Lingeswarar, installed by saint Markandeya for removing the poverty of the people, has His sannadhi in the west prahara. As people benefit by His blessings, this sthalam is referred to as ‘Kadan Nivarthi Sthalam’. Maavilangai is the sthalavritcham of this temple. This tree will have only leaves for four months and pure white flowers for the next four months and will be without flowers or leaves for the remaining four months. Worship procedure for Rinavimochana Lingeswar - Rinavimochana Lingeswar is portrayed here as blessing the devotees with immediate prosperity! After performing archana to Him, we should offer prayers to Goddess Mahalakshmi and Jeshta Devi. By offering archana on 11 Mondays and completing our prayer by performing abhishekam on the 11th Monday, our debts will be cleared and prosperity would set in. The deity will bestow whatever form of wealth one prays for. Good married life, children, education, wealth etc. are the benefits the followers look for.

Thirukarukavur-Garbarakshambigai…77

Child Birth - Safe Delivery - Protection of Foetus During Pregnancy GARBARAKSHAMBIGAI temple, Thirukarukavur-Lord Shiva- Mullaivananathar's consort is Garbarakshambigai or Karukathanayaki. The Goddess protects the foetus during pregnancy and hence the name Garbarakshambigai or Karukathanayaki.  The Goddess not only protects the foetus but also blesses the childless with progeny.  Pregnant women come here to pray to have a problem-free and easy delivery.  The Shiva lingam is a Swayambhu or self manifested lingam.  When one visits the temple, a request is made to the priest to conduct the deeparardhana and one can see the marks of the jasmine creeper on the lingam.  Vinayakar and Nandhi are also Swayambhu in this temple.  Generally the Navagrahas are Vakramurthys, that is, they face different directions.  Here the other eight planets face the Sun. Couples seeking progeny, buy ghee and hand it over to the priest to recite the mantras.  The priest duly recites the necessary mantras and places the ghee at the feet of the Goddess before returning the same to the couple. The instructions given by the priest needs to be followed and the couple should eat a little of this ghee every night, for 48 days.  It is believed that within a short span of time, the woman conceives. Similarly, pregnant women are given oil as prasadam which they apply on their abdomen during pregnancy.  Many couples seek blessings of the Goddess and many come for thanksgiving. Obstacles in marriages are believed to be removed if one worships in this temple.

Thirukkadaiyur-Sri Amirthakadesvarar…78

Sashti Aptha Poorthi and Sathabishekam- 60th, 80th, birthday celebration for longevity and  healthy life.Perform Mruthyuinji Jaya Homam in the temple to avoid premature death, achieve victory over mrithyu or death. Ayushya Homam on every birthday, to avoid untimely and unfortunate death. SRI AMIRTHA KADESVARAR Temple, Thirukkadaiyur Markandeya, son of sage Mrikandu was predicted to live for only 16 years. As advised by his father, Markandeya worshipped Amritaghateswarar in Tirukkadaiyur, bringing the water from the Ganges, through an underground passage to the temple. On the destined day, Yama appeared with his noose. Markandeya sought refuge in the Lord and embraced the Siva Lingam. The Lord warned Yama not to touch Markandeya as he was under his protection. Yama did not listen and threw the noose that bound Markandeya and the Lingam together. Angered by this rash action, the Lord kicked Yama with his left leg and held him under his left foot, making him immobile. Markandeya was blessed with an ‘ever sixteen’ boon. Abirami Patter has sung 100 hymns about Goddess Abirami. This is called Abirami Anthathi. The last word of the previous song will be the first word of the next song.  At dawn, almost every day, hundreds of pilgrims throng the temple to celebrate their 60th or 80th birthdays, called as Sashti Aptha Poorthi and Sathabishekam, respectively, as it is believed to increase the life span. It is believed that Lord Siva diminished Kalan or Yaman in Thirukadiyur. So Lord Siva in Thirukadiyur is called Mritunga Jaya Murthi. Devotees completing 59 years and starting sixty have to perform Ukira Ratha Santhi, those completing sixty years have to perform Sashtiyapatha Purthi. Those completing sixty-nine years have to perform Beema Ratha Santhi and those starting eighty have to perform Sathabishekham and Ayusha Homam. According to astrology devotees can also perform Mruthyuinji Jaya Homam. Age and Necessary Shanti Puja - At the age of 59 one has to conduct Ukratha Shanti. At the age of 60 one has to conduct Shastiaptha Poorthi. At the age of 70 one has to conduct Bheemaratha Shanti. At the age of 75 one has to conduct Sahasra Nakshatra Shanti. At the age of 80 one has to conduct Sathabhishekam. At the age of 80 and 8 months one has to conduct Sahasra Chandra Darisana Shanti. At the age of 100 one has to conduct Kanakabishekam

Thirukollikadu-AgneeswaraKoil…78

Saturn is called Pongu Sani and Mangala Sani as he blesses the devotees, abundantly, Severe sani dosham will get reduced by worshipping the Sani Bhagavan AGNEESWARAR Koil-Thirukollikadu - A shrine for Saturn  Worshipping Pongu Sani, severe sani dosham gets reduced, improves one’s social status, earnings by honorable means increase, regain any property or wealth lost due to dishonesty. Agni was under the grip of Ezharai Sani “sani dosham” when he lost some of his power. Agni prayed to Lord Shiva here, to get back his power who  obliged him and is hence known as Agnesswarar.  Thirukollikadu is a temple dedicated to Agneeswarar and Saturn. Sun God, Agneeswarar ordained Saturn to be the most important planet of the Navagrahas and declared that Saturn will punish people according to their misdeeds. Ezharai Sani or the seven and a half years period when the planet casts its malefic effect on the native of the horoscope is a terror period as Ashtama Sani, which is also feared. Instead of worshipping Saturn, people started fearing his anger.  Saturn himself felt disturbed by the turn of events and the people’s worries, requested Agneeswarar that he should be like any other God and bless mankind. Saturn, one of the nine planets in the navagrahas, proceeded to Agni Vanam - Thirukollikadu and did severe penance so that celestials and human beings would worship him. Happy with the penance, Agneeswarar appeared before him in the form of Agni and blessed him. Thus Saturn took another incarnation as Pongu Sani with a plough and a flag with a crow embossed on the flag.  Lord Shiva was pleased with Saneeswaran and conferred him the title Saneeswaran, here.  No other planet has the tag Easwaran attached with it.    He directed Saneeswaran to stay back at this temple as Pongu Sani and bless the devotees. He is consecrated in a separate shrine. Bhairavar, Saturn’s Guru is also installed in front of Saturn. Saturn is called Pongu Sani and Mangala Sani as he blesses the devotees, abundantly. Severe sani dosham will get reduced by worshipping the Sani Bhagavan at Thirukollikadu. The Lingam here is one of the 64 Swayambhu self-manifested Lingams. After he was relieved of the Sani dosham at Thirunallar, Nalan came here and sought the blessing of the Lord.  He was reunited with his family and got back his royal status. King Harishchandra also was a beneficiary of the Divine grace of Pongu Saneeswarar. The Navagrahas are usually seen as Vakramurthys, i.e. they face different directions. The Navagrahas here are uniquely placed.  They form a ‘ L’ shape here. Worshipping in this temple will improve one’s social status.  The devotees will earn through legal and righteous means and will also regain any property or wealth that was earlier lost due to deceit.

Thirukolakka-Sapthapureeswarar…78

Temple cures Speechless or Hearing impaired children and Stalled or Postponed or Called off Weddings gets organised SIVA temple, Thirukkoolakka  - This historical Temple is associated with Thirugnanasambandhar. His father brought him to the Siva Temple at Thirukkolakka. Thirugnanasambandhar saw the beautiful Temple Tank and started singing a song, clapping his hands at the tender age of 3 years. The Lord concerned that the little hands may be hurt by constant clapping, offered him a pair of Thaalams, small cymbals of pure gold. The pure gold thaalams could not create any sound and hence the Devi stepped in to bestow her favour. She empowered the gold thaalams with the ability to produce sound.  The idol of Devi is about four feet high and is very beautiful. It is believed that any wedding that has been stalled, postponed or called off, would take place after praying to Mahalakshmi, in this temple. Here, kids who are unable to speak or hear get cured miraculously. During the past couple of decades, a few hundreds of kids have been blessed with speech and hearing after offering special worship to the Devi here….the Osai Kodutha Nayaki.

Thirumanancheri-Kalyanasundarar…78

'Kalyana Sthalams', Marriage temples. Six auspicious temples that need to be visited to get married and lead a happy married life Thirumanancheri This village is believed to be very auspicious to conduct a marriage ceremony as it is believed to ensure a long married life. Legend-Shiva was once angry with Parvathi and cursed her to be born as a cow. When she pleaded with him, he assured her that her brother Vishnu would arrive to help her to be reunited with him. Accordingly, she was born as a cow at Thiruvavadudurai, where she spent her time offering her milk to Shiva and praying to him. In due course, Vishnu arrived as a cowherd and met Parvati at 1...Therazhundur. She finally attained a female form at 2...Thiruvavadudurai and was accepted as a daughter by Bharatha Maharshi where she grew up 3...Thiruthurutthi Kuttalam. When she was of marriageable age, Shiva arrived to marry her, and was received by the sages at 4...Ethirkolpadi. He performed the Vratham - rites before getting married at 5...Velvikudi and finally the marriage itself took place at 6...Thirumanancheri. The divine couple left for their abode from the bride’s home at Thiruthurutthi. These 6 places are huge temples dedicated to Shiva and Parvathi and are collectively known as “Kalyana Sthalams” or   Temples for Marriage.

Thirumeeyachur-Lalithambigai…79

Great miracle that occurred 12 yrs ago - The goddess appeared in a Bangalore devotee’s dream and asked her to adorn an anklet, but the priest refused as he was not aware of the hole space in the Idol of Goddess Lalithambigai a thousands of years old statue to perfectly hold the anklet, LALITHAMBIGAI, Thirumeeyachur As per legend, Arunan the charioteer of Surya Bhagavan wanted to go to Kailasam to worship Lord Shiva. Surya Bhagavan did not allow him to go. Hence Arunan took the form of a girl and was on his way to Kailasam. On the way Surya saw this girl and outraged her modesty. Lord Shiva was very angry with Surya Bhagavan for such misbehaviour and cursed him to get a dark complexion. The whole world plunged into darkness. A repentant Surya Bhagavan pleaded for mercy and as per Lord Shiva’s advice came to Thirumeiyachur and worshipped the Lord here and did tapasya – penance, here, for 7 months. Surya Bhagavan then attained papa vimochanam i.e. Absolution of Sin. Surya started screaming after he regained the colour of his body after showing such devotion. The Goddess Parvathi who was alone with Lord Shiva got disturbed by Surya’s scream and was about to curse him. Lord Shiva requested her to be in her peaceful form, as “Shanta Naayagi”. Since Shiva himself asked Lalithambigai to be calm, the angels called “vasini” emerged from the mouth of Lalithambigai and sung the 1000 holy names in praise of the Goddess, which came to be known as Lalitha Saharanaamam. In the outer praharam or circumambulatory path of Shiva’s shrine there is a sculpture of Kshetrapuraneswarar, depicting this. Lord Shiva is seen holding the cheeks of his consort and pacifying her. If you observe this beautiful sculpture from the front, you can see a smile on the left side of Her face and anger on the right side of Her face. Hayagrivar conveyed Lalita Sahasranamam to sage Agasthiyar. As told by him, Agasthiyar came to this temple and worshipped the God in the Amla Phaladi Krana Puja, as done by the Sun and saluted Sri Lalithambiga. Sage Agastya is believed to have sung Lalita Navaratnamala in praise of the Goddess. This sculpture may also signify that in a marital relationship, when the wife loses her temper the husband should stay calm and vice versa. In a Hindu marriage, the mantra “Samaya Varte Savadhan“is repeated by the groom after the priest. The meaning of this mantra is – Be cautious and act as per the situation.” Only the groom is asked to chant this mantra because women, by nature, are generally calm and are expected to be so. Husband and wife should be a calming influence on each other for enjoying a harmonious marital life. Asthabhujanga Durga-On the right hand of Durga is a parrot. Devotees, who want their prayers to come true, convey the same to Lalithambigai through this Durga. The parrot is supposed to be taking the message to Lalithambigai. Some lucky devotees can see the spectacle of, a parrot flying from the top of the Durga’s shrine to the Dwajasthambam opposite Lalithambigai’s shrine. Something interesting happened in 1999. A devout woman from Bangalore had recurring dreams of Ambal asking her for a pair of gold anklets or Golusu. This woman went in search of the Goddess and visited various temples. She chanced upon one of the issues of “Alayam” magazine in which Lalithambiga Temple appeared, as the cover story and immediately recognized the Ambal as the one, from her dreams. She had the anklet made and visited the temple. She told the priest of her dreams and wanted the Goddess to be adorned with the Golusu. The priest said that there was no way for the Golusu to go around Her feet and it would not be possible. On her insistence, the priest decided to give it a try and to his surprise, could find a soft spot in the idol’s ankle and he could actually pass the Golusu through it. Later, it is said that they could find holes in Her nose which is now adorned with mookuthi-nose pin. Oddiyanam, roughly translated as waist belt around Her waist is also adorned to Goddess Lalithambigai now.

Thirumangalakudi-Prananatheswarar…79

Long Life & Well Being Of Husband - PRANANATHESWARAR temple, Thirumangalakudi Once King Kulothunga's minister Alaivanar was building a temple from the tax collected without obtaining the King's permission. The King had him beheaded when he came to know about this. As his last wish, the minister requested that he be cremated in Thirumangalakudi.  His wife prayed to the Mangalambikai at Thirumangalakudi and brought back her husband to life.  So women pray to the Goddess here, for the long life and well being of their husbands. Method of Worship: Devotees are first required to have the darshan of Prananatheswarar and Mangalambigai at Thirumangalakudi, before visiting the Suryanar Koil.  This temple is just 1 km from the Suryanar Koil.  The method of worship is very systematic.  After taking bath in the temple tank or at least a prokshanam, one should first worship the Kol Theertha Vinayakar. Then the devotee has to worship the Natarajar in Narthana Mandapam, move on to worship Visalakshmi & Kasi Visvanthan before worshipping Sivasuryanarayan, at the main sanctum. After worshipping Suryan, one needs to worship Guru Bhagavan who is facing Sivasuryanarayan.  The circumambulation procedure is very different from other temples.  One must go in an anticlockwise direction and worship Saneeswaran, Budhan, Angarakan, Chandran, Kethu, Shukran and Rahu before worshipping Chandikeswarar and then proceed in a clockwise direction and return to worship Kol Theertha Vinayakar.  Finally, prostrate or do a namaskaram near the Dhwajasthambam.  Nine pradarshanams of the outer praharam is recommended.

Thirunangur-SreeNarayanaPerumal…79

The darshan here is equal to having darshan at Badrinath  SREE NARAYANA PERUMAL, Thirunangur It is the fervent wish of every devout Hindu to visit Badrinath in his her lifetime and have the darshan of Badrinarayana. A visit to Badrinath in ancient days used to be equated with moksha as the rigours of the Himalayan journey, usually claimed the lives of the devotee. Lord Badrinarayanan is very much a resident in Tamil Nadu, in a similar majesty as in his snowy abode. The temple of Sree Narayana Perumal where Lord Vishnu is in the same avathar as in Badrinath, is the main shrine in this little hamlet which nestles with six of the 108 Vaishnava divya deshas! In this temple one can see Lord Narayana in a sitting posture, a commanding vigraha which exudes the omnipotence of the supreme godhead. Here the consort of the Lord is Pundareekavalli Thayar. Legend has it that the Vaishnavite saint ThirumangaiAzhwar accompanied by his wife Kumudavallithayar walked through the paddy fields to the 11 divya desas in and around Thirunangur and finally reached the temple of Narayana Perumal to celebrate the Garudotsavam. Azhwar was said to have sung verses in praise of all the Gods and performed aradhana for each of them. It was also held that since Azhwar had walked on the paddy fields the harvest was an abundant one. The Gods who assemble in Thirunangur Sree Narayana Perumal temple for the Garudotsavam are 1.Sree Kudamadukoothar with Sree Amuthakadavalli, 2. Sree Semponnarangar with Allimamalaral, 3. Sree Lakshmiranganathar with Alarmelavalli, 4. Sreenivasaperumal with Alarmelmangai from Thiruvellakulam, 5. Sree Venpurushothaman with Purushothamanayaki, 6. Sree Varadarajaperumal with Sreedevi and Bhoodevi from Thirumanikoodam, 7. Sree Vaikuntanathar, 8. Sree Madhavaperumal with Madhavanayaki from Thirudevanarthogai, 9. Sree Parthasarathy with Senkamalavalli from Thiruparthampalli 10. Sree Rajagopalan with Rukmini and Sathyabhama from Thirukavalambadi. The night of the Garudotsavam at Thirunangur is to be seen to be believed. Eleven Gods atop the Garuda vahanas can be seen one beside another. It's a divine constellation without parallel. The teeming crowd, bright illumination and the general air of devout wonder, invest the place with a transcendental quality. People vie with each other to worship the assembled Gods one after another and patiently wait for the procession of the Gods on the Garudas to begin. The priest says that having darshan here is equal to having darshan at Badrinath.

Thirunariyur-NaachiyarKoil…80

Kal Garuda answers the prayers and husband listen to wife's words. Only 4 people carry Lord Garuda out of his Sannidhi but the weight of the Idol increases while crossing each prakaram necessating 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 people to carry the Idol and the weight starts decreasing while the Idol is taken back to the Sannidhi after completion of the procession. NAACHIYAAR Koil, Thirunaraiyur - Lord was of the view that in Kaliyugam men would have to listen to women; husband would have to listen to wife's words. Hence, much before that, he decided that he would first serve as an example and listen to the Goddess here. On all occasions, the first rights are reserved for the Nachiyar. Even the food is first served to the Nachiyar and only then to the Naraiyur Nambi. Being a temple where Goddess has prominence, one can see the Lord slightly by the side and the Goddess is the one who has the prominent position inside the sanctum. Even from the entrance of the temple, one gets a glimpse of Vanjulavalli Nachiyar. Also, interestingly, Thiru Naraiyur Nambi is seen leaning forward slightly to indicate the initiation of Pancha Samaskaaram. Thirumangai Mannan looked to Thirunaraiyur Lord to give him the Vaishnava identity and help him secure the hand of Kumudhavalli. Thirunaraiyur Nambi is said to have initiated Thirumangai Mannan with the Pancha Samaskaaram, which is the true identity for a Vaishnavite. Thus, Thiru Mangai Mannan Neelan became Thiru Mangai Azhvaar. Kal Garuda - Garuda made of stone, the vehicle of the Lord is of special significance at this temple. As the story goes, a sculptor who was creating an idol of Garuda suddenly found the idol flying, after he had made its wings. Shocked at this sudden action, the sculptor threw a stone at Garuda and struck him on the nose. Garuda came falling down and decided to settle here at this place and bless the devotees. A huge Lord Garuda is seen, just next to Lord Srinivasa's Sannidhi. In the Tamil month of Aadi, Thirunaraiyur Nambi makes a visit to Garuda's Sannidhi. A magical event during Garuda Sevai - Garuda increases in weight manifold. During street procession in Margazhi and Panguni, an unbelievable event takes place at the Nachiyar Koil. While only 4 people carry Lord Garuda out of his Sannidhi, as the Lord goes out of each layer of the prakaram, he is said to increase in weight so much that 8, 16 and at times 32 people are required to carry Lord Garuda out of the temple. Finally, when the Lord is taken outside the temple, Garuda increases in weight so much that 128 people are required to carry the Lord. On his way back, it is said that Garuda miraculously decreases in weight and finally when he is back in the Sannidhi, only 4 people are required to carry him. Kal Garuda is said to answer the prayers of devotees immediately and remove all Doshams. Childless couples, unmarried women, people with Naaga Dosham etc will also be relieved if they pray to the Kal Garuda at Thirunaraiyur temple. An old Brahmin wanted to see all the Divya Desams. However, he could not visit because of his old age. The old Brahmin prayed before Thirunaraiyur Nambi, who is said to have given the idols of all the 108 Divya Desam Lords, to the Brahmin. This is the only Divya Desam where the idols of all the 108 Divya Desams can be seen. Another unique feature at this Divya Desam is that the Vimaanam above the Sanctum Sanctorum is like a tower. This is the only Divya Desam where one finds a 10 feet Brahma in a standing posture within the sanctum. In other Divya Desams one finds the idol of Brahma only on the wall.

Thirundudevankudi-Karkadeswarar…80

Cures Chronic Illness KARKADESWARAR Temple, Thirundudevankudi  is a fairly big temple surrounded by a moat.  It is in the midst of paddy fields.  According to the temple legend, Lord Indra worshipped this Lingam here with 108 Lotuses everyday.  Lord Varuna was given the task of creating those flowers in the temple moat.  Lord Indra ran short of a flower during the puja one day.  He enquired with Lord Varuna who was very confident that he had created 108 flowers.  When this continued for a few days, Lord Indra himself decided to keep a watch on the flowers. He noticed one of the flowers moving. The flower moved out of the water and into the garba graham or sanctum sanctorum through the drain onto the top of the Shivalingam. On closer scrutiny, he saw that it was a crab that had brought the flower from the waters.  As he was about to hit the crab, it made a hole right on top of the Shivalingam and disappeared into it.  Since then He came to be known as Karkadeswarar - Karkata means Crab.  The idol of a golden crab, as well as the hole, created by it can be seen on the Shivalingam during the ablution rituals or abhishekams.  Thirundudevankudi is the imprecise version of Thiru Nandu Devakankudi, Nandu meaning crab.  It is believed that this Crab was a Yaksha who teased Sage Dhurvasa. He mimicked the walk of the Sage and said that it was like the crawl of a crab and ridiculed him.  The Sage who was well known for his short temper, cursed the Yaksha to turn into a crab.  Quickly realising his folly, the Yaksha apologised to the Sage and sought a remedy. The Sage advised him to worship Lord Shiva at this temple for the absolution of his sin. This place was originally an Aushada Vanam or forest of medicinal herbs.  During ancient times this place could have been an Ayurvedic Dispensary.  Lord Shiva here was originally called Aushadeswarar. Another legend is that of Shiva, who in the guise of an old man cured a devout King of his painful affliction.  Hence He got the name Arumarundu Devar, the Lord of Medicine and Healing. He then showed him the spot where the Shivalingam is currently found. There are two shrines of Ambal here,  Arumarundu Nayaki and Apoorva Nayaki. The idol of  Arumarundu Nayaki was once stolen.  The stolen idol was recovered within a day of installing the replacement idol.  Hence the original idol then came to be known as Apoorva Nayaki. The moat surrounding the temple is the Tirumaruvum Poikai. The Karkadeswarar temple is for Kataka Rasi and Ahilyam Nakshatram in particular. It is believed that people born under this rasi and nakshatram should visit this temple regularly and benefit from His blessings.  People not born under this star or Rasi, can also worship to be cured of any chronic illness.

Thirunindriyur-PadikkasuAlithanathar…80

Relief from financial crisis PADIKKASU ALITHANATHAR Temple, Thirunindriyur is also called Arisirkaraiputhur or Seruviliputhur, in the ancient age. Pugazhuthunai Nayanar, a Saivite Brahmin was born here. Everyday he performed pujas and rituals to Swarnapuriswarar according to the scriptures of the Shiva Agama Sastra and continued doing so even after growing old and becoming virtually immobilized. He continued to bring the holy water from the Arisialar and bathing the Moolavar everyday. Apart from the fact that he was growing old, he was also troubled by the drought in the area which resulted in poverty and suffering.  One day while doing the abishekam, unable to hold the vessel, it fell on the Lingam. On seeing this, Pugazhuthunai Nayanar fell unconscious, fearing he had hurt Lord Shiva. In his dream, Lord Shiva appeared and blessed him saying he would give one gold coin every day with which he could eliminate poverty and continue his rituals unhindered till the drought was over. It is believed that Lord Siva answers prayers and helps devotees in times of financial crisis.  When Nayanar woke, he found one gold coin at the feet of Lord Siva. From that day onwards, he got one gold coin every day and he continued his worship to Lord Siva till he attained Mukti. For this very reason, the Sthala Nather is also called as Padikasu Alitha Nathar.

Thirupampuram-Paampuranathar…81

Protection from snake bites and no history of snake bites in and around the temple area. Relief from Rahu Ketu doshas. Paampuranathar Temple, Thirupampuram - The name of the Lord Siva here is Paampuranathar, also referred to as Seshapureeswarar. The King of Serpents, Nagaraja, is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva here. The name Paampuram comes from the association with Nagaraja. It is said that, 3 days a week, a snake is seen near the God or Goddess. The temple history suggests that snakes are present at this temple  every Sunday, Tuesday and Friday. Fragrance of Jasmine and Thazhampu is also prevalent. There is a legend that people do not die of snake bites at this place and there is no history of snake bites although a lot of snakes are seen in this area. Once Lord Vinayaga was offering prayers to Lord Shiva. At that time the serpent around the neck of the Lord thought that he too was worshipped by Vinayagar. Coming to know of this, Lord Shiva got angry and cursed the serpents to lose all their power or Shakthi. In order to retrieve it, Aadiseshan and other serpents came to earth on one Maha Shiva Rathri and offered prayers to 1...Kudanthai Nageshwarar in the morning, 2...Thirunageshwaram at noon, 3...Thirupamburam Pambureswarar in the evening and 4...Nagoor Nageshwarar at night and got the blessings of the Lord. Pujas for Rahu Ketu doshas is done here. There is a belief that following the same routine of worship at these four temples is of special importance. Poojas for Raghu Kethu Doshas is performed at this temple to get relief from Raghu Kethu, Naga Dosham and people who do not have children come here and offer prayers to the Lord. It is believed that by visiting Thirupampuram one gets the benefits of visiting Thirunageswaram, Keezhaperumpallam and Kalahasthi.  Rahu and Kethu are present here as a single physical entity. There are separate shrines for Aaadiseshan, Bhairavar, Brahma, Malaiyeeswarar, Mahavishnu, Surya, and Saneeswaran. On 26-5-2002 a snake had dropped its skin on the Shiva Lingam like a garland.  This is still preserved at the temple and can be seen at the Lord’s Sannidhi.

Thirupugalur-Agnisvarar…81

Prayer conducted with bricks for the construction of new house AGNISVARAR Temple, Thirupugalur  for Vastu Pujas  The temple is also known by the following names – ‘Komesam’, which symbolizes that the lingam here has a slight slant. The specialty of this temple is that there are two separate shrines for Lord Shiva. Both these shrines symbolize two different aspects of the Lord, Agnisvarar and Varthamaniswarar. It is a popular belief that blessed are those who worship the Lord here. In the inner ‘prakaram’ of the temple, there is a shrine for Agni, which has two faces, three legs, seven flames and seven hands. This is a very rare idol of Agni. The temple has many rare idols, one such being that of Thirunavukkarasar. He is gifted with the faces of a man, bird and a pig. The Nandi in this temple is another treat to the eye. He is taken out in a procession during festivals along with the deity, with the head of a bull but with the body of a man. He is also called ‘Adikara Nandi’. Before commencing the construction of new houses and new buildings people place the bricks in the temple and conduct Vasthu Pooja and pray to the Lord to fulfil their desire of the constructions. Among the Saiva Samaya Kuravargal, Sundarar who relaxed here with brick stones as his headrest found to his pleasant surprise that the brick stones had turned into golden bricks. Interestingly Panchavanmadevi’s maid gave nine Golden Flowers to Appar in this temple. Further, the other Samaya Kuravar Thirunavukkarasu at the age of 81, is said to have been liberated here from his mortal life on earth.

Thirupuvanam-Sarabeshwarar…81

Cure and help for Mentally Disturbed Vakra Kali, Thiruvakkarai The presiding deity is Lord Shiva known as Sri Chandrasekarar with his consort Vadivambigai. The centre of attraction of this place is the temple of Vakra Kali. This is not a big shrine but is one of the most potent goddess temples in the region and specially recommended for the persons with mental distress. Vakra Kali is one of the few well-known Kali temples in India. The idol of Vakra Kali is of magnificent size and has its inherent divinity. The eight-armed Vakra Kali’s right hands are adorned with weapons like Paasam or rope, Chakkaram or wheel, Vaal or sword and  Kattari or knife and left hands are adorned with Udukkai or hand-drum, Kedayam or shield and Kabalam or human skull. The Goddess wears a garland made of skulls of vanquished enemies. The garland is worn in the form of a sacred thread worn by Brahmins like a cross belt, from the left shoulder down to the right hand stretched below. The garland of human skulls is three dimensional and can be seen from the back, too. She has large sized teeth and big eyes filled with anger, looking downwards. A visit to this temple is supposed to bring a lot of mental peace. This is supposed to be an ideal place for those who undergo hardships in life because of the unfavourable Vakra position of the planets or Grahas. On the day of the full moon those suffering from mental woes, visit the temple for solace and divine peace.

Thiruvakkarai-Vakrakali Amman…81

Cure and help for Mentally Disturbed Vakra Kali, Thiruvakkarai The presiding deity is Lord Shiva known as Sri Chandrasekarar with his consort Vadivambigai. The centre of attraction of this place is the temple of Vakra Kali. This is not a big shrine but is one of the most potent goddess temples in the region and specially recommended for the persons with mental distress. Vakra Kali is one of the few well-known Kali temples in India. The idol of Vakra Kali is of magnificent size and has its inherent divinity. The eight-armed Vakra Kali’s right hands are adorned with weapons like Paasam or rope, Chakkaram or wheel, Vaal or sword and  Kattari or knife and left hands are adorned with Udukkai or hand-drum, Kedayam or shield and Kabalam or human skull. The Goddess wears a garland made of skulls of vanquished enemies. The garland is worn in the form of a sacred thread worn by Brahmins like a cross belt, from the left shoulder down to the right hand stretched below. The garland of human skulls is three dimensional and can be seen from the back, too. She has large sized teeth and big eyes filled with anger, looking downwards. A visit to this temple is supposed to bring a lot of mental peace. This is supposed to be an ideal place for those who undergo hardships in life because of the unfavourable Vakra position of the planets or Grahas. On the day of the full moon those suffering from mental woes, visit the temple for solace and divine peace.

Thiruvalanchuli-Vinayakar…81

A special sculpture with aesthetic interest VINAYAGAR Temple, Thiruvalanchuli - The river Cauvery changed its course to the right and the place came to be known as Thiruvalanchuli. Generally Lord Vinayaga and Lord Muruga are seen at the entrance of temples as Dwarapalakas. In Kumbakonam, a city of temples, Lord Muruga at Swamimalai and Lord Vinayaga at Thiruvalanchuli are guardian deities at the entrance. Before commencing any good work it was customary to pray to Lord Vinayaga, but when the milk was churned to secure nectar, the Devas overlooked worshipping Lord Vinayaga. As a result they obtained only poison instead of nectar. Realising their mistake they created an idol of Lord Vinayaga with Sea Foam and worshipped it and hence the deity came to be known as Sveta or White Vinayaga. Appar and Sambandar have sung about this God. Devendra, a Chola king, Eranda sage, Adishesha, Parasakti, Brahma and Python have been blessed by this God.  Set amidst green groves watered by ponni and arisil the natural scenery is bewitching. Kapartheeswarar is the name of the God here.  Cauvery is the holy theertha here along with Arisil.  Jada theertham within this temple is another sacred theertha. The temple is famous for it artistic structure. The lattice work in the Vinayaka shrine is very famous as they are delicately carved and they are a challenge for artists. The granite rafters of Avoodaiyarkoil are incomparable. In short Thiruvalanchuli offers a special sculpture for those with aesthetic interest.

Ranganathapuram-Thiruvaneswarar…81

Lead a trouble free happy life THIRUVANESWARAR Temple, Ranganathapuram near Thirukattupalli is the temple to be visited by people born under Pooratadhi nakshathiram at least once in a year for leading a trouble free and happy life. This temple was built by Kochengat Cholan and is believed to be at least 1800 years old. There were a few attacks by Mohammedans led by Malik Gafoor on Srirangam.  Srirangam was under Mohammedan rule for some time, the main idols at Srirangam and Thiruvanaikaval temples were brought to this village and kept hidden.  Those idols were returned to the respective temples after Pandyas defeated the Mohammedans and regained control over Srirangam.  As commemoration of these events, this village has since then been known as Ranganathapuram Iravatham, Indra’s elephant was once in deep penance here.  Indra who came in search of Iravatham was angry and used Vajrayutham on the elephant.  By the grace of Lord Shiva the weapon fell on the ground harmlessly. Water sprang from the place where the Vajrayudham fell which then became Vajra Theertham.  The well, inside the temple is known as Indra Koobam.  Indra regretted his act and sought forgiveness. Kanchi Acharya, His Holiness Chandrasekhara Saraswathy was captivated by the beauty of the place and stayed here for a few days.  The Vinayakar is Valampuri Vinayakar.  He is seen as though he is resting his left hand on the ground and rising to His feet.  There is a shrine for Murugan along with Valli and Devayanai.  There is also a shrine for Mahalakshmi.  In the North East corner there is a separate shrine for the navagrahas.

Thiruvarur-Sri Thiyagaraja…82

The peculiar feature about the Lingam is that its shadow can be seen only in the eastern direction and it is also said that this shadow will not be visible to a man who is going to die within a period of six months. THIYAGARAYA Temple, Thiruvarur.The temple of Thiyagaraja became all the more famous by the visit of a galaxy of Gods and angels like Brahma, Dasharatha, Rama, Arjuna, Dharmaputra, Kings Nala and Harishchandra and Maharshis like Vasishtha and Vishwamitra. Each installed a Shiva linga. A big temple was constructed at Thiruvarur by King Viswakarma. Then the King installed a Shiva Lingam, now known as Achaleeswar, in a portion of the temple and worshipped it for many years. The peculiar feature about this Lingam is that its shadow can be seen only in the eastern direction and it is also said that this shadow will not be visible to a man who is going to die within a period of six months. King Amsa installed a Shiva Lingam in the temple and conducted penance for many years. The Lingam came to be known as Siddheesar. Siddhi means success and Eesar means God. By worshipping this Lingam one can get whatever one desires in this world. In this temple there is the Maragatha Lingam obtained by King Muchukunda from Indra along with the idol of Sri Thiyagaraja. The palanquin of Sri Thiyagaraja is made of gold. The Prabha is decorated with diamonds. Thiruvarur became very famous in the last century due to the birth of three great Carnatic musicians, viz., Muthuswami Dikshitar, Syama Sastri and Thyagaraja. Thiyagaraja composed his songs in Telugu, and they are considered to be the gems of Carnatic music, Thiruvarur is very famous for the shrine of Thiyagaraja. The temple is gigantic in structure. On the western side of the temple there is a famous tank known as Kamalalayam where Goddess Kamala, Lakshmi took her birth. It is considered to be the biggest tank in the whole of South India, having an island temple in the middle dedicated to the Goddess. Besides the tank, a peculiar musical instrument called Panchamukha Vadya and Sivalingam made of sapphire and called Marakathalingam are worth seeing. The musical instrument has five faces and is ornamental with a serpent, the swastika and the lotus on three faces. The fourth face is plain without decorations. The central face shows the face of a deer. It is said that Nandi played on this when Siva danced. In this temple where Thiyagaraja's idol is worshipped, the Navagrahas are placed in a line looking at the shrine. It is a peculiar feature.The actual history of Thiruvarur Periya Kovil, Thiyarajar Temple, goes back to more than 30th century BC. And the temple was praised by saints Thirugnana Sambanthar, Tirunavukkarasar and built by Kings at stages, in the last centuries by, Muchukanta Chola, Manuneedhi Cholan, Aditya Chola I, Rajaraja Chola I. Rajendra Chola I, Nayaks, Vijayanagar kings and Marathas. This temple is one of the biggest in the country and this has the biggest temple chariot in Tamil Nadu. Thiruvarur Bakthavathsalam a notable mrindangam maestro was also born here.

Thiruvelliankudi-Sri Narayana…82

The miraculous Red Banana Tree, Chevvazhai, which is the sthala vruksham, grows on a stone slab just next to the garbhagraha Temple cures Eye Ailments SRI KOLA VIZHI RAMAN, Thiruvelliankudi - The temple has existed for 4 yugas. Sri Sukra after loosing his vision in the vamana avatar came here to seek pardon and regain his vision from Lord Sriman Narayana. The kind Lord bestowed Sukracharya’s vision and also asked him to ask for any boon. The humble Sukracharya asked for the following boon. The Lord should always be present as Sriman Narayana in this place. The Lord should marry his daughter Sri Maragadhavalli. He should cure all eye ailments and other problems in the life of any devotee who comes to this temple and those visiting this temple should get the benefit of visiting all the 108 divya desams and other theertha kshetrams of Lord Sri Hari Vishnu. The Great Lord Sriman Narayana granted all the boons requested by Sri Sukracharya. Mayan wanted to challenge the deva architect Vishwakarma who had already built a temple for the Lord in Sri Vaikunta. He wanted to build one more beautiful in the world which which would beat the beauty of Sri Vaikunta. Mayan built the temple as ordered by his Acharya, Sri Sukra. Pleased by his service, the Lord granted a boon to Mayan who wanted the Lord to give dharshan as Sri Rama or Sri Kola Vizhi Raman, the avatar the Lord would be taking later. Mayan also asked the Lord be present in the same form for all 4 yugas and give dharshan to all the devotees who visit the temple. Even today the Lord gives the same dharshan to all the devotees visiting the temple who are bestowed with the fruits of visiting all the 108 divya desams. This is the only divya desam that has this distinction. The miraculous Red Banana Tree, Chevvazhai, which is the sthala vruksham, grows on a stone slab just next to the garbhagraha.

Thiruvidaimarudur-Mahalingaswamy…82

Cures Mental Disorders  MAHALINGA SWAMY Temple, Thiruvidaimarudur is one of the Panchakrosha Sthalas. The presiding deity is Mahalinga-Great Linga because Shiva worshipped Himself.  Varaguna Pandiya’s horse accidentally crushed a Brahmin and killed him. So this sin known as Brahmahathi followed wherever he went. The king came to this temple. The Brahmahathi could not enter and waited outside. The king went out by another entrance. The Brahmahathi kept waiting outside. The king was relieved of his Brahmahathi dosham. People inflicted with mental disorders go round the circumambulatory path and get redress. The temple has one of the biggest Temple Car-chariot.It measures 89 feet from the top tip of the Kalasams to the ground level. The chariot was donated to the temple by Amarsingh’s son Pratap Singh from Simha in 1800 AD. He had presented a silver Ratha, chariot. Ammuni Ammal, lover of Pratap Singh, donated a Pavai Vilakku, a lamp in the shape of Ammuni Ammal and lit one lakh lamps. The lamp measures 120 cm height, 411 ¾ ‘sher’ weight in brass. The Sivalingam in Thiruvisalur was regularly offered Puja by the Maharaja of the area with 108 lotus flowers brought from the Tamarai Kulam, nearby. One day the temple tank was without any lotus flowers. Annoyed by the sight, theDhiwan ordered the temple Shivacharyar to find out who was removing the flowers. That night the Shivacharyar saw a crab cutting the flower from the tank and crawling into the temple with the flower through the Gomukham opening for abhiseka theertham in the temple. When the Shivacharyar tried to crush the crab, it ran into the temple and climbed the lingam and hid on top of It. The crab got mukthi. Even now there is a small depression on top of the Shivalingam.

Thiruvisanallur-Sivayoginathar…82

Prosperity and advancement in business or career, cure of diseases, peaceful family life, protection from evil spirits and jealousy, recover lost property and wealth SIVAYOGINATHAR Temple, Thiruvisanallur - Eight Shiva yogis after severe penance to Lord Shiva, merged with the Lingam and hence the name Shivayoginathar.   Chatur Kala Bhairavar is famous and worshipping here will solve problems for an entire lifespan. Gnana Bhairavar bestows good education and good employment to his devotees. Swarna Akarshana Bhairavar blesses his devotees with excellent growth in career and material gains. Unmattha Bhairavar blesses for good health, financial stability and good luck. Yoga Bhairavar attains salvation i.e. moksham or liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Devotees who worship Chatur Kala Bhairavar during the 8th day of the waxing period, Newmoon, Ammavasai, Ashtami of Sukla Paksham or Valarpirai, gain in prosperity and advancement in business and career. Devotees who worship during the 8th day of the waning period i.e. Full moon or Pournami, Ashtami of Krishna Paksham or Theipirai, get cured of their diseases, peaceful family life, protection from evil spirits and jealousy. Lighting oil lamps with black pepper on eight consecutive Sundays during Rahu Kalam, 4.30 pm to 6.00 pm at Bhairavar's sannidhi results in recovering lost property and wealth.
“OmKaalakaalaaya Vidhmahey Kaalaatheethaaya Deemahi Thanno Kaala Bhairava Prachodhayaath.”  Once a man who was a habitual sinner was about to be taken away by Yama.  He had indulged only in evil deeds and had not done anything good to anybody all his life.  He ran into the temple to escape from Yama and started shouting and pleading to Lord Shiva to save him.  Nandi strained his ears towards the entrance of the temple to hear the cry of the man and informed Lord Shiva of the same.  Though, this man was a habitual sinner, Lord Shiva blessed him with papa vimochanam or absolution of sin because he had come to Shiva with total devotion. One can see the idol of Nandi with its head turned one side. It is believed that those who pray to Him here during the Pradosham or Twilight period in the evening of the 13th day of every Lunar fortnight will be absolved of all their past sins. Worshipping Lakshmi Narayanan on Saturdays is considered special. Devotees who light 6 oil lamps and offer Tulsi garland to this deity for six consecutive weeks are blessed with progeny, peaceful family life, removal of obstacles in marriage and general prosperity. This is the temple for Rishabha Rasi.

Thittai-Vasishteeswarar…83

Long lives of husbands. Architectural delight and divine architectural wonder VASISHTESWARAR, Thittai temple Showers - Water drops on the Shiva Linga once in every 24 minutes throughout the day and night irrespective of summer and winter, protecting everyone on earth and also for the long lives of all husbands. Thittai temple is dedicated to Guru Bhagwan, one of the planets in the Navagrahas. Though the presiding deity is Vasishteswarar, many devotees flock this temple to appease Guru. Presiding deity- Vasishteswarar is self- manifested or Swayambhu. It is believed that Yama, God of Death, got rid of a curse after worshipping this deity. There is a popular belief that a damsel, Sugantha Kunthala lost her husband and prayed to this Goddess who blessed her and brought her husband back to life. Ulaganayaki is worshipped here for not just protecting everyone on earth but also for the long life of one’s husband. Guru Bhagwan is consecrated in a separate shrine inbetween the presiding deities. Usually in all the temples Guru Bhagwan’s Adi Devata - Dakshinamurthi assumes significance. In this hallowed shrine he poses in a separate enclosure as a Raja Guru. There is an Utsava Murthi for Guru. This is one of the main Guru Parihara sthalams. The annual Guru Peyarchchi festival is celebrated in this temple with grand festivities for Guru. Special pujas and homams are conducted during the period. Pancha Linga Kshetra - There are four Lingas consecrated in all the four corners of the temple. The fifth linga is the main deity which is self manifested. It is called the Pancha Bhootha Kshetra as it is a combination of all the Pancha Bhootha Kshetras - Kalahasti, Tiruvannamalai, Tiruvanaikoil, Chidambaram and Kanchipuram. The temple is an architectural delight. The Vimanam, at the top of the sanctum sanctorum is made of Surya Knatha Kal and Chandra Kantha Kal. Chandrakantha Kal absorbs the rays of the moon, Chandran, and converts the rays into water and showers drops of water on the Shiva Linga once in every 24 minutes. It adds to the uniqueness of the temple. It is a divine centre and an architectural marvel.

Vennikkarumbar-Venninathar…83

PRALAYAM KAATHA VINAYAKAR Temple,Thirupurambiyam.  Pralayam Kaatha Vinayakar Temple, literally translated as the Ganesha Who Saved the World from Pralaya Great floood. The Ganesha at this temple is unique from all others and his importance is paramount. During the Krita Yuga, Lord Siva asked Lord Ganesha to save the world from the Great flood caused during the gestation period of Rahu. Lord Ganesha created a well on the east side of the temple tank and channeled all the 7 seas into that well and controlled the flood and saved the world. This well is known as Yezhu Kadal Kinaru. Lord Varuna created an idol of Lord Ganesha from sea shells and other materials obtained from the sea and worshipped Him as Pralayam Katha Vinayakar. This Idol of Ganesha is still worshipped in this temple. On the night before Ganesha's Birthday, a special abishekam is being performed for this Ganesha idol only with honey. This –Thenabishekam-is performed all through the night for twelve hours once a year. During the abishekam it is a wonderful experience to watch that all the honey that is being poured on the idol is being drawn into the idol. At the end of the abishekam the Ganesha deity turns to pink color. No abishekam is performed during the rest of the year. The place is sung in the Thevaram hymns of Thirugnanasambandar, Sundarar and Thirunavukkarasar.

Thirupurambiyam-PralayamKathavar…83

Abishekam with honey is performed all through the night for twelve hours once a year. it is a wonderful experience that all the honey that is being poured on the idol is being drawn into the idol PRALAYAM KAATHA VINAYAKAR Temple,Thirupurambiyam. Pralayam Kaatha Vinayakar Temple, literally translated as the Ganesha Who Saved the World from Pralaya Great floood. The Ganesha at this temple is unique from all others and his importance is paramount. During the Krita Yuga, Lord Siva asked Lord Ganesha to save the world from the Great flood caused during the gestation period of Rahu. Lord Ganesha created a well on the east side of the temple tank and channeled all the 7 seas into that well and controlled the flood and saved the world. This well is known as Yezhu Kadal Kinaru. Lord Varuna created an idol of Lord Ganesha from sea shells and other materials obtained from the sea and worshipped Him as Pralayam Katha Vinayakar. This Idol of Ganesha is still worshipped in this temple. On the night before Ganesha's Birthday, a special abishekam is being performed for this Ganesha idol only with honey. This –Thenabishekam-is performed all through the night for twelve hours once a year. During the abishekam it is a wonderful experience to watch that all the honey that is being poured on the idol is being drawn into the idol. At the end of the abishekam the Ganesha deity turns to pink color. No abishekam is performed during the rest of the year. The place is sung in the Thevaram hymns of Thirugnanasambandar, Sundarar and Thirunavukkarasar.

Namakkal-Anjaneyar…83

Namakkal Anjaneyar Temple

dates back to 1500 years. The Fort of Namakkal is guarded by a giant called Anjaneya. The idol is so famous that it has been known as Namakkal Hanuman. Anjaneya is in the Digambara temple, with sky as the roof, facing and worshipping Lord LakshmI Narasimhaandthe Saleegramam. The Anjaneya in this kshethra is eighteen feet tall having darshan of the Lord Lakshmi Narasimha about 250 feet away. The eye of Anjaneya is in a straight line with the patha or lotus feet of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha. One can witness Anjaneya having the darshan of the Lord's Lotus feet from the Garudalwar sannathi even today. The imprint of the footsteps of Anjaneya Swami is seen in the Kamalalayam tank steps.

Namakkal-Karuppannasamy…83

Sufferings and business problems are addressed and remedial measures obtained NAVALADI KARUPPANNASAMY, Namakkal - This temple is over 2000 years old. People submit their sufferings and business problems in the form of an application and place it before the deity and pray. By doing this it is firmly believed that all their problems are addressed and remedial measures obtained.  The Deity is believed to be swayambhu in nature.  The Sellandiamman Sannathi is believed to be very powerful. The puja and rituals contain only non-vegetarian items.

Ayyalur-VandiKaruppannasamy…84

Safe travelling achieving success VANDI KARRUPPANNASAMY, Ayyalur - Ages ago people from Kerala used to cross this path in carts with their merchandise. Once while crossing the site, all the carts stopped and the bulls refused to pull further. People found the stone in one of the carts had fallen and from which evolved the Karuppanasamy vikgraha. A temple was erected at the same place and Karuppanasamy named as Vandi Karuppanasamy, is still being worshipped by all passing by merchants. It is firmly believed that if one worships Vandi Karruppanasamy, travel would be safe and successful.

Azhagarkovil-Karuppu Sami…84

Protects the poor, ensures justice, safeguards from all evils KARUPPU SAMI, Azhagarkovil 18th Padi Karuppu Sami is one of the regional Tamil male deities and one of the 21 associate folk-deities of Ayyanar and hence is one of the so-called Kaval Deivams of the Tamils. Padi means steps. Karuppusami is considered to be the most prominent among the Karuppu system. In the ancient Tamil society, people respected the warriors and had the formless stones known as Veera Kal or Nadukkal erected, in their memory. These fallen warriors or any person who sacrificed his life for a good cause his believed to be protecting the welfare of the society or the community. Karuppanar is believed to be protecting the poor and ensures justice and self-discipline among his believers. It is also believed that he is a violent warrior who never forgives those who sinned or those who commit crimes. It is believed that he drives away all evils from entering the village. He masters all land and is a warrior, who blocks all evils, crossing a boundary. The most famous temple of Karuppusami is worshipped as Pathinettampadi Karuppu or 18 steps Karuppu.  He is considered as the guardian deity. He has an “Aruval” which is a long form resembling, a sword, sometimes a lance, a trident and a small knife. The Aruval is a very significant weapon in Tamil Nadu and is considered as a symbol of Karuppanar himself. The most important musical Instruments liked by God Karuppanan are Tappu, Tharai, Kombu Tharai, Otha Thamukku, Pambai, Udukkai and Urumee. Karuppanar worship is a very ancient ancestral clan-based worshipping system. Most officiating priests are non-Brahmins from a local family that had initiated the religious group, generations ago. During the festivals, oracles get into a trance like state. Saami Aadudhal delivers counseling messages to the group assembled there, without bias. The normal problems addressed are family problems, financial troubles and local social issues.

Koyambedu-Kutraleeswarar…84

Bestowed with all his desires, especially marriage wishes, reunion of couples and a happy peaceful married life. KUTRALEESWARAR, Koyambedu Chennai - Kubera the God of wealth is at the entrance instead of Dwarabalakas with his consort Sanganidhi on the left side and Paduma Nidhi on the right. Subramanya with his consorts Valli and Deivanai is present facing south, which is the direction of Yama, the Lord of Death. So it is believed that worshipping him will remove one’s fear of death. Next to him is the Rajamathangi shrine and it is believed that there is an underground passage going to Kalahasthi which is now covered completely erasing any sign of it. The speciality of this temple is that all its deities are present with their consorts. The main deity is Valmikeeswarar in an unusual triangular shaped Swayambu lingam. It appeared when Sage Valmiki was in penance before he started writing the Ramayana and thus the name Valmikeeswarar. In front of the Valmikeeswarar shrine, to the left is present a stone with many footprints of kids. When Kanchi Mahaperiyavar camped here for 40 days in 1976, he indicated a particular place and asked people to dig it. When they did, they found this stone and Mahaperiyavar disclosed that the footprints where those of Rama’s twins – Lava and Kusha.The special roopam of ‘Dhambadya Dakshinamoorthy’ is very beautiful, powerful and a must-see. By worshipping him on Thursday, one will be bestowed with all his desires, especially marriage wishes, reunion of couples and a happy and peaceful married life. Seeing a Pradhosham at Kutraleeswarar temple of Koyambedu will fetch the benefit of seeing of 1000 Pradhoshams.

Kollamkudi-KaliammanKovil…84

Criminals, Thieves, Cheaters, Liars, Rowdies, who cheat the poor and innocent, those who are unjust, those who do not repay the borrowed money get punished by Kollamkudi Kali and those affected are intantly benefitted. Punish the wicked and Protector of the Innocent - Kollamkudi KALIAMMAN KOIL Sage Agasthiar once did penance to change barren land to fertile lands for the benefit of the people. Goddess Kali appeared and changed the land into a prosperous area by bringing regular rains. People get blessings and remedies by worshipping Kali Amman. Criminals, thieves, cheaters, liars, rowdies who cheat the poor and innocent, those who are unjust, those who do not repay the borrowed money, get punished by Kali and the victims are benefitted, if any one of the affected persons come to the temple and prays to Kali Amman. An actual incident that happened 75 years ago involved three thieves who planned to steal the jewels of Kaliamman. After stealing the jewels they decided to scale the wall to come out of the temple. The first thief fell down from the top of the wall and broke his leg. The other two managed to climb down safely. The injured one, however, advised the other two to return the jewels and surrender to Goddess Kali. Not heeding his warning, the other two thieves rode away on their cycles. While crossing the village border they were hit by a lorry and died on the spot. The bag containing the jewels was found hanging from the handlebar of the cycle. The incident can be found in the police records even now. Kaliamman is considered to deliver justice and worshipped by devotees from all over the world.

Mannadimangalam-NarassimhaPerumal…84

Relief From hurdles in marriage - Mannadimangalam SRI NARASIMHA PERUMAL Temple Hiranya, the demon King performed a severe penance seeking boon from Lord Shiva that he should not be killed by any force like Devas, men, animals or birds. Lord Shiva granted him the boon. He brought everybody under his control and ordered that he alone should be worshipped as God. While every one obeyed, his son, Prahladha ignored him and worshipped only Lord Narayana. Provoked by the attitude of his son, Hiranya treated him cruelly but the little boy tolerated it with willpower and dedication. Hiranya demanded that he show the Lord to him. The time was twilight, neither day nor night called Sandhya. The Lord appeared from a pillar with the face of a lion and a body of a human and killed Hiranya with his nails as the weapon. Lord Narasimha with a lion's face and human body is the presiding deity of the temple. Narasimha gave darshan of Narasimha form Avatar for Anjaneya at Sholingapuram and for Garuda at Ahobilam. Anjaneya and Garuda are the Dwarapalakas or security guards in the temple. There is no flag post or Vimanam in the temple. Human life is controlled by the nine planets. Planet worship is part of the religious life of the Hindus. They offer special prayers to a particular planet that is disadvantageously placed in their horoscopes. There are deities connected with each planet.  Lord Narasimha is linked with all the planets in different places. In Mannadi Mangalam, Lord Narasimha rules over Mars. Therefore, men and women with a problem related to Mars come to Mannadimangalam Narasimha Swami temple, for remedies, most particularly to get relief from hurdles in marriage. Lord Narasimha, known for his furious nature, appears here in a sublime form– Shanti. One would be very lucky to see a pillar in the temple having all the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu with a lion and elephant – Gaja Kesari performing penance. The temple complex has three trees – mango, jackfruit and plantain. The Andal Shrine has the Tulsi plants and a water tub, as in Srivilliputhur. The devotee can also see Valampuri Vinayaka, Nagaraja, Santhana Gopalakrishna and Durga in the temple. People offer Thirumanjanam and jewels to the Lord for elimination of obstacles in marriages, the evils of Mars, for begetting children and family peace.

Nattarasankottai-Sri Kannudainayagi…85

Eye and related disorders can get cured SRI KANNUDAINAYAGI, Nattarasankottai - Many centuries ago, a merchant from Tanjore lost his eye sight. He was an ardent Shiva devotee. An astrologer saw his horoscope and advised him to travel south and worship all the temples on the way to get his eyesight restored. The merchant undertook the pilgrimage and reached the Nattarasankottai where he found a pool of water. It was a dark night. He decided to stop for the night and went to wash his face in the pool of water. At that time he had an amazing vision of Sri Kannudainayagi and instantly had his vision restored. He then built this temple and installed Sri Kannudainayagi Vigraha and worshipped her. The first Tuesday in the Tamil month of Thai, is a special occasion and all the women belonging to the Chettiar Community, prepare Pongal in this place and offer it to the principal deity. Those with eye related disorders, come here and offer prayers to the Goddess to get the blessings of Sri Kannudainayagi.

Anaipatti-VeeraAnjaneya…85

Water can be seen oozing perennially and hence is also called Jalakanta Anjaneyar. VEERA ANJANEYA, Anaipatti - Nilakottai - The temple is beautifully constructed on the hill amongst the greenery of the forest in Anaipatti. This temple was built in the 16th century by the Zamindar of Ammaiya Naikanur. Once Shri Anjaneya came in his dream and pledged to protect him, his family members and his descendants.  When he went to  the place spotted by Anjaneya, he found a statue of the Veera Anjaneya; he built a temple in the same place. Water can be seen oozing perennially and hence is also called Jalakanta Anjaneyar. It is believed that when Pancha Pandavas were undergoing Vanavas, they came here and stayed for some time and Bhima had a darshan of Anjaneya on this hill.

Othakadai-Sri Yoga Narasimhar…85

Good education - No fear of enemies - No fear of death- removal of hurdles in marriage proceedings - An angry husband becomes calm holding his wife in his  heart -SRI YOGA NARASIMMHAR Temple, Othakadai - The presiding deity Yoganarasimmhar with Mahalakshmi appears facing west and Narasingavalli Thayar facing South. The Girivalam is very important in this temple as in Thiruvannamalai. Pradosham is followed here too as in Shiva temples, because this incarnation took place during the new moon period i.e. Pradosha day. Yoga Narasimha grants good education to his devotees and helps remove fear of enemies, fear of death. Narasingavalli Thayar prevents hurdles in marriage proceedings. An angry husband becomes calm holding his wife in the heart. The Narasimha Pradosha Puja is performed with all devotion. Those desirous of witnessing a Pradosha Puja in a Vaishnava Temple as in the Shiva temples should not miss the opportunity in the Othakadai Yoga Narasimha Temple. Sage Romasa, after a dip in the Chakkara Theertha, commenced a yaga, seeking a boon for a son. He wanted to have the darshan of the Lord in the same form when he appeared as Narasimha for his devotee Prahalada. Perumal also appeared in the same furious form. The world could not bear the heat that emanated from the Narasimha. All approached Prahalada to help calm down the Lord when he came to the place. But he too could not calm down the Lord completely; hence, Mahalakshmi came to free the Lord completely from his anger. At the sight of Mahalakshmi, the Lord calmed down. He became Yoganarasimha and continues to bless the devotees who approach him.

Thiruvathavur-Thirumarainathar…85

When rain is scarce, people pray with burnt coconut ashes. VEDANAATHAR, Thiruvadhavoor Temple - Manickavasakar, the author of Thiruvasakam poems, was born here.Though called by several other names this place is now called Thiruvathavur. Thiruvadhavoor contains the deities, Vedanaathar and Vedanaayagi. A number of references in praise of this place are found in the writings of Kaivartha Puranam, Thiruvaasakam, Devaaram, Thiruppugazh and other books. Miracles - When rain is scarce, people pray with burnt coconut ashes.

AvudaiyarKoil-Athmanathaswamy…85

The sculptors workmanship is incomparable. Huge stones werw made in to thin layers offering Naivedeyam to deity is unique, ATHMANADASWAMY, Avudaiyar Koil - This temple was built out of state funds misused by a minister. A young boy of Thiruvadhavur exhibited amazing intelligence and mastered the trade, by the time he was sixteen. The Pandya King Arimarthana Pandiyan heard of his distinction and promptly took him as his Minister and he grew in rank to become the Prime Minister. When the King heard of a shipload of excellent Arabian horses being dispatched for the Chola Kingdom, he assigned him the responsibility, with a huge reserve of gold, to purchase the consignment for the Pandya kingdom. When Thiruadhavoorar reached Tiruperundhurai, he witnessed a miracle. He saw Shiva sitting in the form of a shaivite sage under a tree elucidating His pupils. His senses were immersed into Shiva and he sung his first verse hymns to the Glittering Feet of the Lord, offering his body, belongings and soul, to the Lord. Lord Shiva heard the songs and blessed him with the name Manikka Vasakar and then ordered him to build an abode and disappeared. This divine sanction made him misuse all the King's gold and build this splendid temple for the Lord.  The temple has no Lingam in the sanctum; instead it has only the base, Avudayar.  Even the stone in this temple is a treasure trove of stone craft. Some of the structures dwell in the realm of impossibility. Only a magician could have even attempted to sculpt them. In one corner of the ceiling is a fantastic snake carved, as if, undulating, coils into the ceiling stone. It is unbelievable that it is a twisted stone but is like a rod. The sculptor wanted to showcase this as a veritable explosion of his skills. The crowning pieces in the ceiling, the pillars and the carvings in the ceilings are amazing. Fantastic sculptures adorn this huge temple. Rope-like designs have been chiselled in stone. A very intricate style of work with delicate workmanship, highlights the smallest details, like the face of the rudraksham worn by Saivite saints. While building temples during the olden days, the sculptors entered into a contract with the ancient rulers and the standard format of the contract was worded as follows that their work will be comparable to other artisans images except that of Avudaiyar Koil”, which meant that the Ayudaiyur Koil workmanship was incomparable. Such was the rare feat of the artists who built this temple. Huge stones were made into thin layers by polishing and chiselling; by the artists.This temple of Lord Shiva does not have a Nandhi and Dwajasthambam. Brahma was taught the Gayatri Mantra here, by Atmanathar. Even the offering to the deity is unique here, hot boiled rice, cooked with bitter gourd and greens are poured in a big load on a platform, in front of the sanctum and the steam going up from this offering is offered as Naivedyam.

Devakkottai-Saibaba…85

Holy ash i.e. Viboodhi falling from the Sai Baba statue and the miracle still continues SAIBABA Temple, Devakkottai Some years ago Justice Shri A. R. Lakshmanan and his wife Smt. Meenakshi Achi visited the Sai Baba temple built by Shri Sunil Swamiji at Top Slip near Pollachi.  At that time he was presented with a small statue of Sai Baba. Justice Shri A R Lakshmanan installed it in his puja room and worshipped the deity, everyday. One day a miracle happened. It was observed that holy ash was falling from the Sai Baba Statue. The miracle still continues and has been witnessed by thousands. This inspired the Justice and his family to build this Sai Baba Temple at Devakottai, their native town as per the Agama Sastra. The temple stands as an example to the excellent culture and traditions of the Nagarathars and their devotion to Vedic sastras.

Narthmalai-Muthumariamman…86

Lot of rare exotic medicinal plants are available which are rare and exotic MUTHUMARIAMMAN, Narthanmalai -This temple is located in Narthmalai, Pudukkotai. When Sri Anjaneya was carrying the Sanjeevani Parvatham, the broken parts which had fallen off were said to be parts of the Parvatham. One can see a lot of rare and exotic medicinal plants in these hills which are rare and exotic. It is believed that Sage Narada came and stayed in this hill and hence the name. The Amman here is very powerful and those who are childless would be blessed with the boon of children, if they come and worship here.

Ponnamaravathy-Kadalivaneshwarar…86

The Linga was tread by a horse leg of a Pandya King who lost his eye sight when he saw blood oozing out of the Linga. KADALIVANESHWARAR, Thirukulambur - Ponnamaravathy - This temple is believed to be over 1000 years old. There is also another Shiva temple situated opposite this temple. As per the Sthala Purana, a Pandya King of Madurai was travelling on his horse when he suddenly found a banana plantation amidst a deserted area and a small Vinayagar temple. Surprised, he went inside the plantation and his horse crushed a Linga. He saw blood oozing out of the Linga and lost his eyesight. He prayed to God and Lord Shiva assumed the form of an old man and used some medicinal plants to bring back his eyesight. Back in his kingdom, he ordered his minister to build a temple at that place. His minister could not locate the exact point but built a small temple nearby. On the day of Kumbabhishekam the King found that the temple was not in the original place where the incident occurred and ordered for construction of another temple at the exact location. That temple is Kadalivaneshwarar and because the Linga was tread by a horse leg, the place is called Thirukulambur. Sage Valmiki stayed in this place.

Pudukkottai-Sri Mariamman…86

Even today the miracle is talked about and the whole village worships as the Goddess who saved them and continues to do so. Pudukkottai Konnaiyur SRI MARIAMMAN - The Principal deity of the temple is Sri Mariamman. Long ago, this place was reeling under severe drought and people were also affected by strange diseases. The misery continued for quite some time and the people were afraid that their entire habitation would be wiped out, and prayed to Sri Mariamman. In the village, an old man used to carry milk to the village on a daily basis and one time he tripped and fell over a Konrai tree and the milk spilled over the roots of the tree. It started happening every day. The old man felt it strange and tried to cut the root of the tree with an axe and found blood and milk oozing out of the root. Immediately the villagers gathered to see the phenomenon and to everybody's surprise, it started raining heavily. People realised that it was an act of God and raised a temple at that place and started worshipping the tree and later installed a Mariamman Vikraha there. Even today the miracle is talked about and the whole village worships Mariamman as the Goddess who saved them and continues to do so.

Kumaramalai-Baladhandayuthapani…86

Lord Muruga appeared in his dream and informed that he resides in a hill next to his village and he could come and worship intstead of Palani. SRI BALADHANDAYUTHPANI, Kumaramalai - People from Chettinad and its surrounding villages, used to walk to Palani for Thaipoosam, starting a week before, to reach on time. One such devoted person was Sethupathi Devan. He was a regular for the Vridham and visited the Palani temple often. At the age of 90, he became disabled and was crying to Lord Muruga about his inability to visit due to his ailments. Lord Muruga appeared in his dream and informed that he resides in a hill next to his village and he could come and worship him there instead of Palani. Sethupathi Devan was surprised by this and went in search of Lord Muruga in the hill. He found a small vigraha of Baladandayuthpani in a bush and erected a temple for him. Every year thousands of devotees visit this temple and get the blessings of Lord Muruga.

Thirukottiyur-UragaMelianayaan…86

18 th Time when Ramanuja said “Adiyen Sri Ramanujan Vanthurukiran..!” which means “Beloved student Sri Ramanuja is here” he was allowed to enter. “NAMBI” resident to learn great mantra. 17 times he was rejected as he showed his  ego by saying and introducing ‘I am Ramanujam’ SRI URAGA MELLANAYAAN PERUMAL Temple, Thirukshotiyur  - This place has a special importance among Vaishnavites.  Brahma, Shiva, all Devas and the Saptha Rishis decided to meet at one place to discuss the plan to kill the asura Hiranyakashipu at Thirukoshtiyur. They formed a group and hence the name Thirukoshtiyur and Koshti means a group or team.  Thriukoshtiyoor is the birth place of Thirukoshtiyoor Nambi, who was also named as “Selva Nambi”. He was the guru of Sri Ramanuja, who was preached with the “Ashtakshara Mantram”.  Ramanujar travelled 18 times from Srirangam to Thirukoshtiyur to learn the “Ashtaksuchara Manthram” “Ohm Namo Narayanaya!!” from the Thirukoshtiyur Nambigal, but the meeting was ultimately rejected by Nambigal. This happened 17 times and the 18th time, when Ramanuja said “Adiyen Sri Ramanujan Vanthurukiren..!” which means “Beloved student Sri Ramanuja is here” he was allowed to enter. Ramanuja was denied 17 times as he had blindly introduced himself as “I am Ramanuja..” The words “I am” showed his egotism, for which he was rejected. Thirukoshtiyur Nambigal blessed Ramanuja with the 'sacred 8 letter hymn' Astachara Manthram “Ohm Namo Narayana!!” and warned him not to preach to anyone otherwise he would go to hell. Ramanuja rushed climbing to the top of temple, summoned the entire village population and delivered the Ashtaksuchara Manthram. The act enraged Nambigal, who on being questioned, Ramanuja replied “It is my great fortune to show the path and guiding people of thousands to heaven, I'm glad in going to hell for the act alone ” These words affected Nambigal to the extent that he just prostrated in front of Ramanuja.  Therefore, Selva Nambi called Sri Ramanujar as his Emperumaanar. We can find two separate statues made up of bronze for Thirukoshtiyur Nambi and Sri Ramanujar, in this temple. If any one circumbulate the inner passage path with devotion for 7 times, the wishes are granted by Lord without fail.

Devipattinam-Navagraha Planets…86

Relief from sins from the past birth. Offer prayers for the salvation of the departed ancestors and perform Srardha for them NAVAGRAHA NINE PLANETS, Devipattinam is an ancient Thilakeshwar Temple, popularly known as Navagraha Temple. Prince Rama in-exile had prayed to Navagrahas, nine planets at Devipattinam before embarking on his journey to Lanka, the then kingdom of the demon King Ravana, who had abducted Rama's wife, Sita. Rama placed nine stones as symbols of Navagrahas or nine planets under the sea at Devipattanam. Those stones can still be seen partly submerged in the water close to the beach near a bathing place or Ghat of the Thilakeshwar Temple. Rama performed the ritual so that the nine planets would shed their auspicious light on him in his battle with Ravana, to rescue Sita. As per Hindu mythology, the planetary conditions have a major effect on human lives and thus by worshipping them their impact can be reduced. While Lord Rama was worshipping here, he was disturbed by waves. He prayed to Lord Vishnu, who stopped the waves. Devotees visit this shrine for relief from the sins from the past birth and offer prayers for the salvation of the departed ancestors and perform Srardha for them. People also seek boons for children, marriage, education, longevity and prosperity. Devotees offer nine varieties of grains, paddy, wheat, dal varieties, pulses, dil ellu etc. They go round the deities and perform pujas to the Navagrahas or nine planets.  This is also the place where Rama Himself was relieved of Saturn effects. This Navagraha temple in the midst of the sea is a divine wonder since the Puranic days.

Idaikattur-Sacred Heart Of Jesus…87

Father  refused to tell lies to construct a Church, and said “Lord Jesus - Let his Will be done” SACRED HEART OF JESUS – Idaikattur - Birth place of Siddhar Edaikadar- This unique church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was built in the year 1894 AD, by a French missionary Fr. Ferdinand Celle SJ. This is a replica of the Rheims Cathedral in France. The donor, a French Anglican lady named Mary Anne was suffering from severe heart ailment. She met three Roman Catholic ladies who advised Mary Anne to have a Novena prayer for the sacred heart of Jesus for nine days. When doctors abandon a patient, God's grace is the only source for curing, if the patient completely believes in Him. With this conviction and confidence she had a novena prayer to the sacred heart of Jesus. After praying for five days she got completely cured. Immediately, to show her gratitude to the sacred heart of Jesus, Mary Anne wanted to build a church. Idaikattur was a village which had a small chapel with a thatched roof. The parish priest Fr. Ferdinand Celle SJ went to his native country France to collect funds. When Mary Anne came to know about the arrival of Fr. Ferdinand Celle SJ, in France, she requested him to build a church for the sacred heart of Jesus in his parish Idaikattur in south India with a donation of 2000 francs.  At the start of this work a dispute arose between the Father and the village Hindus. By mistake the priest had encroached on the land of Hindus to an extent of 10 X 150 feet for the construction of the northern side of the building. The villagers got irritated and filed a suit against the priest in the court of law. The Priest too hired an advocate to contest in the court. The lawyer met the Priest and told him that the records favoured the villagers, so the lawyer advised the Priest to tell a lie that the disputed land was in the possession of the Church for the past twenty-six years so that the judge may give enjoyment rights in favour of the Father. But the Priest refused to tell a lie saying that he was constructing the Church for Lord Jesus. Let His Will be done. A commission of advocates was appointed to inspect the site. The leader of the commission had a dream on the previous night of his arrival at Idaikattur. In his dreams he found a big building being built by hundreds of angels in full swing. When he looked at the church after reaching Idaikattur, he was astonished because it was the same building he saw in the dream.  The leader met the father and explained his dream and asked him to continue his work as it was chosen by God Himself and constructed by Angels. Then the leader of the commission called the villagers and told them about the dream. He asked them to donate the place occupied for the construction of the Church. The villagers convened a meeting and discussed the problem. They too were convinced of God's presence in the place. Finally they passed a resolution unanimously to donate a space of 25 X 150 feet which was beyond the Church limit. It is a holy land where a famous Siddhar Idaikadar lived and hosted Navagrahas during a famine. A small navagraha temple stands there as a testimony. Idaikattur is the place where Siddhar Idaikattar lived and set the Navagrahas - the pattern followed by later temples. The small temple stands testimony to this important event in the history of temple architecture.

Thirupullani-JagannathaPerumal…87

The Arasa Maram tree has trunks, which is a rare growth and mystery, SRI ADHI JAGANNATHA PERUMAL - Thirupullani Majority of the devotees throng the temple, seeking boon for children. Bathing in the Sethu Theertham relieves the devotee from the sins of the past birth and they are relieved of the adverse effects of the planets. Offering saris to Mother Goddess, Tulsi garlands to Perumal, feeding the visitors, distributing the nivedhana to the visitors are practiced as these actions are considered the real prayers. Those seeking boons to have a child need to have a dip in the Sethu Theertha, do abishekam and bathe the Naga, the snake idol, given from the temple. They need to fast throughout the day and stay in the temple at night. Next day they have to install the Naga snake idol in a proper manner as guided by the priests.After performing the puja, they need to take the prasadam – the milk payasam. Thirupullani has a close link with the epic of Ramayana. This is the place where the messengers of Ravana, Sugan and Savanan, met Lord Rama. This is the place where Rama held talks with the monkey army and built the Sethu Bridge. Certain centres in India have a special significance. Varanasi to shed sins, Thirumananjeri for marriage alliances and Thirupullani for getting children. Sri Rama statue is in a lying posture, in this temple. The bed is made of Durba’s grass where Rama gave darshan to all. King Dasaratha got the child boon mantra from this place. The Nagalingam installed by King Dasaratha is still preserved in this temple. A century old, Arasu tree is also found here and it is the only banyan tree grown with trunks. But can anyone believe that even a sacred fig tree or Arasa Maram has similar aerial support roots like a banyan tree trunk. This rare phenomenon can be seen only in the temple of Adi Jagannatha Perumal temple at Tirupullani, where the Arasa Maram has trunks. When the trunks touch the ground, the root of the mother plant will die and the trunk will become the mother plant.  This sthala tree has been there for ages, and this strange growth still remains a mystery.

Uthirakosamangai-Mangalanathar…87

The ‘Maragatha’ Nataraja idol is kept closed for the whole year after applying sandal on it Uthirakosamangai MANGALANATHAR and Goddess “Mangalambikai”- In this temple there is a famous “Nataraja” idol made of “Emerald” known as “Maragatha Natarajar”.  Lord Shiva is believed to have explained the secrets of the Vedas to His consort, Parvathi, at this holy place and the word Utharakosamangai”, signifies it. The great Saiva saint “Manikavasagar” composed the famous “Thiruvasakam” in this temple. Annual ritual: Abhishekam being performed on Lord Nataraja. The ‘Maragatha’ Nataraja idol is kept closed for the whole year after applying sandal on it. During ‘Arudra Darisanam,’ the Nataraja idol is opened for ‘darshan’. Special pujas are performed to the Nataraja idol, after the sanctum sanctorum is opened amidst chanting of mantras, ‘archakas’, milk, sandal and other ‘abhishekams’, to the idol.

Kodumudi-Magundeshwarar…87

There are about 500 to 600 families here, of which almost 90% of them are performing the Parikaram parikarama work  ARULMIGU MAGUDESHWARAR AND VEERANARAYANA Temple, Kodumudi - Brahma with the Vanni tree without flourishing and ripening, is the miraculous feature of this temple and Vishnu is named as "Veeranarayana Perumal". Agasthiyar is said to have worshipped here. In a test of strength between Adiseshan and Vayu, 5 gems are said to have scattered from the head of Adisesha. A red stone landed at Tiruvannamalai, an emerald at Eengoimalai, a blue diamond at Pothikai, a manikkam at Vaatpoki and a diamond here. Lord Vishnu here is in the same position as in the Srirangam temple. The Vinayagar here is named as "Kaveri Kanda Vinayagar". The Cauvery River in this town joins two other rivers, within a few kilometers away. There are about 500 to 600 families here, of which almost 90% are involved in the Parikaram parikarama remedy work. Kodumudi is very famous for the Dosha parikaramas. Here Sevvai Dosha, Raghu Dosha, Kethu Dosha, Kalathira Dosha and lot more Dosha parikaramas are carried out around the 3000 year old Vanni tree. The last week of Aavani Tamil month and the first week of Panguni Tamil month are for Special Period. During this period the sunlight enters through the aperture of the Rajagopuram Entrance Tower and reaches the Swayambulingam i.e. the Lord Surya joins with Lord Magudeshwara. This event occurs twice in a year and Lord Magudeshwara blesses Surya. People whose birth star is Dhanishth Nakshatra have to visit Arulmigu Magudeshwarar and Veeranarayana Temple, Kodumudi. This is the birth place of the famous singer Mrs. K.B.Sundarambal. You can see her photograph in almost every shop.

Tiruchengode-Ardhanareeswarar…88

Water springs at the foot of the idol which is divinely manifested ARDHANAREESWAR Temple, Tiruchengode - It has numerous holy ponds and enjoys popularity and prosperity. Great poets and saints like Nayanmar Thirugnanasambandhar, Arunagirinathar, Ilango Adigal, Kaviraja Pandithar amongst others have eulogised this holy place in their divine poems. The idols of Birungi Munivar and Arunagirinathar are found inside the temple. This ancient hill temple according to the inscriptions on the walls must have been built about 2000 years ago. The town has a hill, which is about 650 ft high. He gives salvation to all souls, from this hill top temple. Lord Arthanareeswarar has a unique form here, which combines half male and half female forms. The Lord is also known as Madhorubagan and Ammayappan. It is claimed that this rare posture of the Lord as the prime deity can be found only in this temple throughout Asia. The hill top temple can be reached by climbing 1206 steps, made of stone. People whose birth star sign is Satabisha Nakshatra have to visit the Ardhanareeswarar Temple at Tiruchengode, one of the 64 manifestations of Shiva, the man-and woman form, with Parvathi constituting the left half of Shiva. True to the name Nagagiri, there is a 60 ft long snake carved on the hill. A majestic idol of Ardanareeswarar adorns the sanctum. There is a water spring at the foot of the idol which is said to have been divinely manifested or Uli Padaa Uruvam. There are inscriptions here from the times of Parantaka Chola, Gangaikonda Chola, the Vijayanagar and Mysore Kings and the Nayaks.

Punnainallur-Mariamman…88

Cures her devotees of all physical ailments. Mud replicas of different parts of the Human body are placed in the temple as offering and plea to the mother god for cure. Punnainallur MARIAMMAN Temple - History states that, before waging a war with the demon Tanja of Tanjore, Lord Shiva stationed the Ashta Shaktis, eight powers, one at each of the eight directions, and the one stationed at the eastern direction, is now the presiding deity of this temple. In the year 1680, when the Maharashtra King Venkoji Maharaja Chatrapati of Tanjore was on a pilgrimage at Samayapuram, Trichy where there is a famous temple dedicated to Kali, Mariamman appealed to the King in his dream and told him that she the idol was in a forest of Punna trees at a distance of about 3 miles from Tanjore. The King lost no time in rushing to the spot and recovered the idol from the jungle. Originally the Amman was in the form of white-ant hill Putru. The Great saint Sadhasiva Brammendra Swamy shaped the white-ant hill Putru into a form of Mariamman and also installed a powerful Chakra. The Goddess cures her devotees of all physical ailments. A charismatic yet considerate form is seen here. Mud replicas of different parts of the human body are placed in the temple as offering and a plea to the mother for cure. The temple was constructed at this place and the idol installed, hence the deity of this temple is known as Punnainallur Mariamman. It is said that the daughter of Tulaja Raja of Tanjore, who lost her eyesight in an illness, regained it, by worshipping at this temple.

Tanjore-Vajrapureeswarar…88

Wards off any ill effects for husband and blesses Husband for his prosperous growth SRI VAJRAPUREESWARAR, Olimathi Tanjore - Dakshan got his 27 daughters married to Lord Chandra and these 27 are the Nakshathras found in our horoscope. One of the daughters is Rohini and Lord Chandra had showered added affection on her. Other daughters went and complained to Dakshan about the discrimination by Lord Chandra and the enraged Dakshan cursed Lord Chandra who lost his brightness for ever. Repenting later, all the 27 daughters went and prayed to Lord Shiva for reversal of the curse and undertook penance to please him. Lord Shiva appeared before them and reversed the curse but told them that Chandra would remain as an example to the world that everything would have bright and diminished phases in life. To exemplify that, Chandra  has a growth phase and then a diminishing phase every month. Because Lord Shiva was able to reverse the curse on Chandra on the Tapas undertook by his wife in this place, it is believed that he will ward off the ill effects of the husband for every woman and hence women throng this temple to get the blessings of Lord Shiva and ward off any ill effects on their husbands.

Tiruttani-Mahishasuramardini…88

The neem tree leaves are not bitter here,SHRI MAHISHASURAMARDINI temple, Tirutanni - In 1962, the Arakkonam-Renigunta second broad gauge railway line work was being carried out. Near Saktimedu, while digging with a crow bar, a statue of Shri Mahishasuramardini was found and the villagers immediately erected a temple nearby and installed the statue. The Nadi-palm leaves astrology of Agastiya and Kaushika do mention about this Amman and the ways to conduct rituals. Neem is the holy tree in the temple and uniquely the leaves of the tree are not bitter.  Devotees eat the leaves of the tree as part of their prayers to get the Goddess' blessing

Kanipakam-Vinayagar…88

Swayambhu idol the self-manifested idol of Lord Vinayaka emerged from the swirling waters and is still growing in size. An ardent devotee had offered a Kavacham or Armour for the Lord, 50 years ago but today it is out of size and does not fit the Idol. VINAYAGAR Temple, Kanipakam is a small village on the banks of Bahuda River. "Kani" means wetland and "Pakam" means flow of water into a wetland. According to the legend of the temple there were three brothers and each one had a handicap, Viz., dumb, deaf and blind. They were earning their livelihood by cultivating a small piece of land. In olden days water was drawn from the well by way of 'Piccota System'. As one of them irrigated the field through the channels, the other two plied on the Piccota. On one such operation, they found that the water in the well had dried and they could no longer continue their job. One of them got into the well and started digging it. He was taken aback to see the iron rod hitting a stone like formation. Later, he was shocked to see blood oozing out from it. Within a few seconds the entire water in the well, turned blood red in colour. Startled by this divine sight, all the three became normal, getting cured of their defects. As soon as the villagers came to know about this miracle, they thronged the well and tried to deepen the well further. But their attempt proved futile because the 'swayambhu' idol i.e. the self-manifested idol of Lord Vinayaka emerged from the swirling waters. Ultimately they offered many coconuts with prayers- modestly kneeling before the new idol and performing the "Mangalaharathi". The coconut water flowed into the channel to a distance of more than one and a quarter acres. Even today the idol is in the original well and the springs of the well are perennial and everlasting. The holy water from the well overflows occasionally even now. Another striking and strange feature of the idol is that it is still growing in size. At present, we can see the knees and the abdomen of the idol. Smt. Lakshmamma, an ardent devotee had offered a 'Kavacham' or Armour for the Lord, fifty years ago but today it is out of size and does not fit the idol. The holy water from the well is offered to the devotees as theertham. Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaga, Up-holder of 'Truth'. Day to day disputes between people is resolved by taking a 'special oath'. The people involved in the dispute take a holy dip in the temple tank and swear before the Lord. It is taken as the gospel truth. There are instances where the person who commits a crime voluntarily admits it as soon as he has the dip and much before entering the temple itself. It seems the Lord gives a warning invisibly to the sinner and makes him repent & feel guilty for his sinful deeds. Thus the glory of Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaga spread far and wide and the honorable courts upheld the 'special oath' in their judicial pronouncements.

Manapparai-VeppilaiMariamman…89

The Legend behind Bahuda River - Long ago there lived two brothers Sankha and Likhita. They were on a pilgrimage to Kanipakam. As the journey was tiring, the younger brother Likhita felt hungry. Disregarding the advice of the elder brother he plucked a mango from the mango grove. Sankha felt bad and reported this to the ruler of that area and pleaded for punishment for the sin committed during the pilgrimage. So Likhita was punished severely and both his arms were chopped off. Later they took bath in the river near Kanipakam temple. Lo Behold! The chopped arms were restored to Likhita as soon as he had a dip in the sacred waters of the river. These incidents lead the ruler to rename the river as 'Bahuda' -Bahu means human arm.The neem tree was fully burnt down and Miraculously, the tree started sprouting new leaves again VEPPILAI MARIAMMAN, Manapparai - Once, this area was filled with hard rocks, shrubs, thorny bushes, etc. At that time there was a neem tree which was surrounded by some Bamboo trees. An old man from the village tried to cut down the bamboo tree and while doing so, his axe fell on a rock under the neem tree and it started bleeding. A mysterious voice said that Veppilai Mariamman dwelled there and she needed a temple to be built around her. The villagers built a temple and started worshipping her. In the early 70s the villagers were infested by chicken pox and suffered an epidemic. At that time there was a fire in the temple and the neem tree was fully burnt down which caused concern to the villagers. Miraculously, the tree started  sprouting new leaves again and slowly the diseases in the village also vanished.

Perambalur-Ekambareswarar…89

Auspicious to visit this temple on one's Jenma Rasi day and conduct abishekam for their respective Rasi Kuberar for wealth and prosperity SHRI EKABARESWARAR Temple, Chettikulam - Perambalur - Once upon a time, this place was covered with forest of multiple trees and gardens. Because of the beautiful atmosphere and peaceful nature, many rishis and sages used to stay here and pray. Once, a merchant happened to pass by the forest. It was night time and he decided to stay in the forest. Around midnight, he woke up with a strange feeling and found a mysterious light and suddenly Lord Shiva appeared and he saw a vision of Sages having darshan of Lord Shiva and praying to him and then everything disappeared. In the Morning, he went to the King Parathaga Cholan and explained to him about what he saw. The King and his ministers came to this place and searched for the Shiva Linga. At that time, an old man with a stick in his hand appeared and showed them where the Linga was. Later people realized it was Lord Muruga himself who guided them to Lord Shiva Linga. The King built this Shri Ekabareswarar temple. The temple is very divine and has some special features. It has the Sannadhi of Maha Kuberar along with 12 different Kuberas for 12 different Rasis. It is considered to be auspicious to visit this temple on one's Jenma Rasi day and conduct abishekam for their respective Rasi Kuberar.

Pettavaithalai-MadyarjuneshwararKoil…89

Temple Cures women's health issues like menstrual problems, menopause problems and pregnancy. Pettavaithalai MADYARJUNESHWARAR Koil This temple was built by the Chozhan (Chola) King Kulothunga Chozhan (Cholan) about 800 years ago. Kulothunga Chozhan had built 64 Shiva temples to get rid of his Brahmahaththi dosham. In a pillar there is the relief of Pottralam Poovai Siththar, who was an ancient medic and found several medicines especially related to women's health. Till date, it is believed that a sincere prayer to him would cure women's health issues like menstruation, menopause and pregnancy related issues. Hymns were sung on this temple by Saiva Nalvar. The placement of their sculptures is perfect in front of a low window in the Ardha Mandapam which appears like a halo behind them.

Thiruchendurai-Chandrasekara…89

The jackfruit tree is still mysterious and  there  are only twenty seeds inside every jack fruit and no one is supposed to eat the fruit. The jack fruit tree bears fruit only during season but this temple tree bears throughout the year. Jack fruit bears fruit from branches or from root but, this temple tree bears from both branches and root. CHANDRASEKARA SWAMY, Thiruchendurai - Trichy – The first Chola King, Paranthaga Cholan of Uraiyur, once ventured into the forest for hunting. He saw a beautiful deer and chased it. The deer went and hid inside a jackfruit tree. The entire forest was full of jackfruit trees. On noticing this, the King shot an arrow and it hit a tree which started bleeding. From the tree, he heard a voice which said “I dwell here. Build a temple around me”. But the king could not fulfil his desire as the area was sandy in nature. His daughter completed the temple by bringing stones from Kollimalai and Pachai Malai. The jackfruit tree is still mysteriously there and no one is supposed to eat the fruit from the tree. The Lord himself takes the form of jackfruits and gives darshan to his devotees. Generally, jackfruit tree has a season for bearing fruit and also some trees give fruit on the root and some on the branch. Here one can see jackfruits throughout the year, both on the root as well as the branches. There are only 20 seeds that can be found inside every jackfruit tree.

Thirupparaitturai-Tharugavaneshwarar…89

Several Rishis lived here  PARAITHURAI NATHAR, Thirupparaitturai - Long ago, Tharugavana Hermits became arrogant and unmindful of Lord Shiva. They thought that they could be all powerful through their own spiritual powers. They chanted innumerable prayers and performed a number of pujas and sacrifices. They slighted and forgot Lord Shiva completely. Knowing this, Lord Shiva sent Lord Vishnu in Mohini Avatar a beautiful woman to set right the hermits who had gone astray. All the Tharugavana Hermits were drawn towards Mohini by the silken bonds of love. They felt irresistibly attracted towards the infinite charm and exquisite beauty of Mohini. They all forgot their prayers and pujas. Lord Shiva went as Pitchadanar, a handsome youth, to the ladies of Tharugavana hermits. They also fell in love with Pitchadanar and lost their purity. At this Tharugavana Hermits felt enraged and performed Homas and Yagas. They brought  a Tiger by the strength of their Tapas and sent it to kill Lord Shiva. But Lord Shiva slaughtered the tiger and wore the skin as his dress. Lord Shiva took their thrisul, as his weapon. Their baby deer was placed on his left hand. Their snakes were worn as ornaments by Him. Lord Shiva, otherwise piously called Tharugavaneshwarar or Paraithurai nather is worshipped by large number of people since 7th Century A.D. Paraithurai Nathar is also called as Tharukavaneshwarar. A specialty here is that in the Tamil month of Purattasi, on the 18th day, sunlight directly falls on the lingam in the Sanctum Sanctorum thus giving it solar power. This place was an Eden with many 'Paraai' trees and this forest was called Tharukaavanam. Several Rishis lived here. There were many Rishi Pathni's or wives of Rishis' who were so beautiful that the Rishis were very proud of them. Lord Shiva set right their false pride in the incarnation of Bikshadanar. The Sanctum Sanctorum of Tharukaavaneshwarar has a suyambu lingam i.e it was created by itself and not man-made. All of the Saiva Nalvars have sung hymns on this temple. The shrine of Dakshina Murthy is awesome with intricate works. The 'Simhathoon' or pillars are exquisitely carved with lions that hold the whole pillar, and the leaves on the tree behind Him, are also intricate. Care has been taken to show each and every leaf instead of a tree as a whole. This shrine looks amazing and stands out from the rest, despite the unusual darkness.  There is a 'Chakra' – a cyclic relief on the ceiling. It is called the 'Rasi Chakra' or the Moon-Sign cycle. It is believed that if one offers prayer to Paraaithurai Nathar standing below their respective Moon-Sign, their wishes will come true.

Thiruthiyamalai-Ekapushpapriyanather…90

Wards off all impediments in Business and Accelerates Progress in Life. Wards off all bad luck in business and enhances progress.  KAPUSHPAPRIYANATHER, Thiruthiyamalai - Shagambari Devi is the Goddess of flowers in this Universe who created them. Flowers that blossom at a particular period and at a particular HORA have its own significance to the living beings of the Universe. Lord Shiva was attracted towards one particular flower that blossomed at a particular HORA and personally came down to earth to adorn it Himself. The name of the flower is called Deva Argyavalli. It is believed that what punya or blessings one gets by conducting 100 pujas on Arasa tree, 1000 pujas on Banyan Tree and one lakh pujas on  Vanni Tree, can be got by just seeing this flower blossoming and being decorated on Lord Shiva. One would even get Moksha if they could manage to see this sight. Sage Agasthya told Sage Bringhi that birds would know when this flower would blossom and so he should listen to the birds' language and understand it to find out the exact date of blossoming of these flowers. Sage Bhringi followed his instructions and had the Darshan of Lord Shiva in this place and attained Moksha. It is believed that if one has a darshan of Lord Muruga with Deivanai, in this temple, they would ward off all their bad luck in business and enhance progress in life. If one worships Lord Shiva in this form, they would have all their sins weaned away and would have peaceful life forever.

Tirupattur-Brahmapureeswarar…90

Lord Brahma rewrites the destiny of His devotees visiting this temple Tirupattur, BRAHMAPUREESWARAR - It is very rare to find temples where the Holy Trinity – Brahma Vishnu and Shiva are worshipped in the same temple premises.    The fact is that there are not many temples dedicated to Brahma.  But it is also to be noted that there is no temple without a niche of Brahma.  Thirukandiyur near Tanjore and Bitchandar Koil near Trichy are two such holy places where the Holy Trinity is present. There is an interesting story behind Brahma not having many temples dedicated to Him.  In the course of His pilgrimage, Lord Brahma also visited this temple and installed 12 lingams around Bramhapureeshwarar and worshipped Shiva here for a very long time.  Shiva, on Parvathi's recommendation liberated Brahma from the curse and restored the power and responsibility of creation to Brahma. Shiva also blessed Brahma that He would have a separate shrine at this temple. He also instructed Brahma that since Brahma himself had His destiny rewritten here for the better, Brahma should rewrite the destiny of His devotees visiting this temple. While Shiva was absolved of the Brahmahatti dosham at Bitchandar Koil and Thiru Kandiyur, Brahma was absolved of His sin here. The 12 Lingams of Lord Shiva which were installed by Brahma are housed in separate shrines are seen around the Brahma Theertham.  Brahma Theertham is the pond from which Brahma took the water for performing puja to Lord Shiva. Since Lord Shiva absolved Brahma of His sins, He is known as Brahmapureeswarar in this temple.  The lingam here is a Swayambhu self manifested lingam.  His consort here is called Brahma Sampath Gowri - The one who gave Brahma's wealth back or Brahma's shrine is in the circumambulatory corridor of Brahmapureeswarar's shrine.  The 6 ft tall deity with an eternal covering of turmeric paste or manjal kappu can be seen in padmasana posture on a lotus. The Jeeva Samadhi of Patanjali Munivar is located near Brahma's shrine.  A pathala lingam is also located close to the shrine. Patanjali is a great Sidhar.

Udaiyalippati-MuniswararKoil…90

Blessed for good health, marriage, child birth, construction of new houses and good education by praying Lord Muniswarar. SRI MUNISWARAR Koil. Udaiyalipatti This is a village deity and is known as the protection deity of the village. No temple has been built, but only the virgin land with 400 year old tree is identified by the locals, as the temple area. Moreover, only one person known as “Pandaram” visits the land occasionally, to pray. All others including the villagers never ever visit the temple land area and never even walk around it for fear of the Lord's power which would punish the bad people instantly. It is a virgin land as no dishonest person has touched the land, even accidently. The forest trees that grow now in the temple land are mostly holy trees and most of the trees are the “favourite trees” of Lord Muniswarar. Holy trees grow on their own in this holy temple land. There is a banyan tree which is 400 years old and the main trunk of the tree has withered. However, there are still two branches which have life in it. Prayers are being conducted and there seems to be life in this tree. Even though the branches have fallen, nobody dares to touch the same and feel them since they are afraid of the Lord. The fallen branches are kept in the four corners of the land. No one has stolen the planks in fear. The huge base of the tree is still seen and is retained at the same place. To everybody's surprise there is a formation of Lord Ganesha at the base of the tree “like a panel”. A photograph of the Lord Ganesha's panel is printed in the ARRT booklet. There are 250 acres of land bought by Welcome Tours and Travels around the Lord Muniswarar Temple lands and developed for the use of Indian origin foreigners of Malaysia and Singapore under the guidance of Dr. Khadar Ibrahim, the great scholar who taught meaningful way to have interesting lifestyle with a proposal to build a huge Pyramid for the benefit of mankind. While the land was being excavated, there was positive energy emerged after prayers to Lord Muniswarar. In fact, when work was started on this land, the tractors did not start and also the computer system got shut off automatically. Then it was decided to pray to the Lord by offering flowers after which cleaning of the land was started and pujas were conducted regularly with complete rituals and even involved the pilgrims to this temple. Lord Muniswarar allowed to do the work in and around the temple only after pleasing the Lord with prayers and offering of flowers. More than 100 trees and flowering plants were planted with the assistance of people from Malaysia and Singapore. This work of cultivating the land into a beautiful garden still continues. The energy of the Lord has been proven by the quick development that has taken place in the land than what was planned. It is believed that building a small ashram has motivated to build a huge Pyramid for all types of spiritual activities of Lord Muniswarar. All wishes of good health, marriage, child birth, protection, developing business, constructing house and education are fulfilled.

Woriyur-Vekkali Amman…90

Her devotees tried several times to construct a roof, but all attempts failed.  Vekkali, Uraiyur. Whoever visits Vekkali, with a pure and sincere heart, would be granted boons from her. If you go to the Vekkali temple you will notice that the deity is standing under the open sky. There is no roof to protect her. Her devotees say that they tried several times to construct a roof, but all attempts failed. The visit to this temple gives you strong vibrations & you leave with strong impressions. History and spirituality are inextricably inter-twined with Uraiyur. The Amman faces north. It is believed that Gods and Goddess who personify valour and chivalry and facing north will bless the Kings with victory in a war. Thus all the Kings used to propitiate Vekkali Amman before proceeding to the battle field. Sarama Munivar had an exotic garden and used to offer the flowers to Lord Thayumanavan and adorn the deity with garlands. Paranthakan, a florist, was enchanted with the variety of flowers and decided to give it to the King to create a rapport with him. Paranthakan, without the permission of Sarama Munivar, kept supplying the flowers to the King. The sage found that the flowers were missing from his garden and kept a vigil. To his utter shock he found that Paranthakan was the culprit. The sage told the King that the flowers were meant only for Lord Thayumanavan. The King turned a deaf ear to his appeal and encouraged Paranthakan to pluck the flowers from the garden. The sage pleaded with Lord Thayumanavan to put an end to this. The Lord, unhappy with the King’s behaviour, decided to punish him. A severe sandstorm hit the place and thousands were rendered homeless. Not knowing what to do, people surrendered to Vekkali Amman and invoked Her blessings. The Goddess made the King realize his mistake. Though the sandstorm died, people did not have a house to live. It is believed that the Goddess also decided to reside in a roofless temple with only the sky as the roof. This incident has been narrated by a Tamil poet Ottakoothar.

Woriyur-Valaikappu Amman…91

Women who are pregnant and newly married couples participate in the ritual and offer prayers to the Goddess. VALAIKAPPU AMMAN, THANTHONREESWARAR temple, Uraiyur - The Kumkumavalli Amman here, is the Valaikappu Amman. Once upon a time a Chola King by the name Sooravathitha Cholan saw the Seven Naga Kannigas, who were the daughters of Adiseshan in Sage Sarama's garden. He fell in love with them and wanted to marry them but they rejected his proposal. Later he obtained the permission from Adiseshan and married Gandhimathi, one of the Sevan Kannigas. She was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and worshipped him daily and continued even when she was pregnant. Once she fell unconscious due to the heat generated in the area and Lord Shiva appeared before her and gave darshan. Since Shiva appeared on his own will, he is called Thanthonrinathar and the temple was built in that place. Every year in the month of Thai, on the third Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the month, a Valaikappu function is conducted for the deity Shri Kumkumavalli Thayar.  Women who are pregnant and newly married couples participate in the ritual and offer prayers to the Goddess.

Trichy-UttamarKoilKarumbanur…91

Enrichment Of Business And Blessings For Childless Couple UTTAMAR KOIL, Trichy in Karumbanur is one of the most famous shrines in 108 Vaishnavik Padalshtalam. Here is the temple where the Lord Creator – Brahma, the Lord for the well being of the universe – Vishnu and the Destroyer of the universe – Shiva take their abode. One should worship in this temple, to enrich business.   One can see a blend of Vaishnavism and Saivism here. While as per Vaishnavism legend, Shiva came as a beggar to get liberated from his curse, as per the Saivaite belief, Shiva was born here as a beggar to get rid of the arrogance of the rishis. It is believed that childless couples who pray here will be blessed with children.  Dasharatha himself performed a yagna here, before Rama was born. Legend has it that Vishnu ordered Brahma not to refuse anything to devotees who come here to pray to  him. Shiva is known as Bitchandar at the Bitchandar Koil. Shiva's consort here is Soundarya Nayaki or Vadivudai Nayaki. Vishnu is known as Purushottamar and His consort is Poornavalli Thayar. There are also separate shrines for Brahma and Saraswati. This is a rare temple where the Holy Trinity is present with their consorts in six separate shrines.  Brahma himself is present as Guru.  All the seven Gurus viz Brahma Guru, Vishnu Guru, Shiva Guru, Sakthi Guru, Subramanaya Guru, Deva Guru and Asura Guru are present here.  This is also a very important temple for worshipping Gurus.

Padaiveedu-Goddess Renukambal…91

Cures chickenpox, small pox, all other ailments, relief from the ill effects caused by black magic, grant boons, offers all kinds of wealth besides curing the ailments, early marriage, issueless parents beget children and relief from physical and mental sufferings. Padaiveedu GODDESS RENUKAMBAL - The sacred ash distributed to devotees in this temple is not prepared using conventional methods. During Aani Thirumanjanam, the sacred ash is collected once a year from a place where Saint Jamathakni performed penance on the banks of Kamandala river.  Those who apply this sacred ash are cured of Chickenpox, small pox and all other ailments. They are also relieved of the ill effects caused by black magic. Goddess Renukambal not only grants required boons to her devotees but also offers all kinds of wealth besides curing ailments. Those who pray for spouses get married early and issueless parents beget children. Through prayers the devotees get relieved of their physical and mental sufferings. As soon as their prayers or wishes are fulfilled, devotees visit this temple again to fulfill their vows. Goddess Renukambal is self-manifested in this place, indicating “Sakthi is everything in this world” and gives her blessings along with Brahma, Vishnu and Lord Shiva.  In this place a number of sages performed penance and attained salvation. The existence of Banalingam and Nanakarshna Chakra consecrated by Adi Sankarar is the speciality of this place, where Saint Jamathakni did penance and attained salvation.  Here as instructed by Lord Shiva, Mother Renukambal kept her Sirasu for the devotees to perform puja and to give them her blessings. She took her body to Swarka Loga or Heaven along with Saint Jamathakni.

Vallimalai-Lord Murugan…91

SIDHAR Variar Swamigal used to say and repeat this in almost all his lectures that every person born in this world should visit Valli Malai  at least once and have a darshan of LORD MURUGAN,  Vallimalai Valli Malai is considered the birth place of Valli, one of the two consorts of Lord Muruga. The stunning beauty of Valli Malai with its pools, fresh greenery, caves and unusual rock formations stands as mute testimony to the continuing presence of the ever-youthful Goddess. There is a natural rock formation like an elephant called Ganesh Giri where Lord Ganesa has helped in the Valli Tirumanam. There is a Subramanya Swamy Temple, Valli Temple and a beautiful and clean Saravana Poihai temple tank at the base of the hill. At the top of the hill, there is a Subramanya Swamy Cave temple which is being maintained by the Archaeological Society of India. There are 444 steps to climb through a picturesque path.  At the top of the hill, there are many water streams or sunai. There is another way to climb down and half way through that, there are caves where Jain saints stayed and Jain sculptures are present in the rocks which are also being maintained by ASI. Vallimalai had been one of the important Jain centers during the early medieval period. According to Kannada inscriptions, the natural cavern was converted into Jain abode by Prince Rajamalla of Western Ganga Dynasty in the 10th century. People cannot stop making a trip to Vallimalai if they resist to see it in photographs. Vallimalai Sri Satchidananda Swamigal popularised Valli Malai all across South India during the early part of the 20th century. On the steps there are a number of resting mandapams. Out of the many canopies one of them is still not renovated.  Mr.  Arunachalam, Mr. Apathurai and Kripananda Variar tried to remove the stone, they smelt smoke coming from the chamber below the stone and had visions of siddhas and rishis seated in yoga posture. All the three suffered a shock and became unconscious. Since then the stones were closed and this particular canopy has not been renovated. There are a number of stories about this. Valli Malai Shakti Peetam-Iccha Shakti Many siddhas lived on this hill hence it is even called Siddha Bhumi. On top of Valli Malai near the ashram there is a place where Valli made a paste of turmeric for taking bath. Lord Murugan took the form of a tree near this place. Vallimalai Sachidananda Swami was a great devotee of Lord Muruga and his consort, Shri Valli. Sachidananda Swami sought Seshadri Swamigal of Tiruvanamalai as instructed by Sri Ramana Maharshi. Sri Seshadri Swamigal directed Swami to go to Vallimalai, the famous abode of Lord Murugan and His Consort Sri Valli, as explained in Kantha Purânam. One day while Vallimalai Satchidananda Swami was walking on the hill he met Valli in the form of a little girl who sang Virakara Nokkiyam. Swamigal was astonished and felt very happy. He asked the girl who she was. She said, “It does not matter who I am, but did you not feel very happy in your mind upon hearing my music?” From that time Valli Malai Swami started singing with râga and tâla. He gave the name Pongi to Valli. He consecrated her on a rock called Pongi Parai. Tiruppugazh Ashram is situated near the Valli Malai rock temple. Swami Satchidananda accepted Tiruppugazh as the Veda Mantra and taught music to all.  Swami stayed at this place for more than 38 years for his spiritual sâdhana as well as to bless devotees irrespective of caste or creed, young or old, rich or poor. Ultimately Swami had a rare experience at Vallimalai culminating in the darshan of Lord Murugan and Sri Valli. His attachment towards Devi Sri Valli was very great. On 22nd November 1950, he attained samadhi through the Ajna Chakra, when blood spurted out from the point between his eyebrows. This samadhi is made of a single rock. Shiva-Vishnu - On the top of the hillock there is a Siva lingam called Tirumal Gireeswara. Here Vaisnavism and Shaivism merge. After the puja the priest blesses the devotees with sadari proving that this is a Vaishnava site. On the west of the ashram, there is a spring which is called the Suriyan Kanaa Cunnai, meaning the pond that does not see the sun, i.e. the sun's rays never touch it. Legend has it that Lord Murugan came as an old man and asked Valli to give honey and tinai maha millet flour to eat. On eating the same he had hiccups and asked for water from a pond which does not get either sun rays or moon rays. The water is perennial and is considered as Ganges water. There are references about this spring on palmyra leaf sources. Young women sprinkle this water on their head and pray to Valli for a good husband. Variar Swamigal used to say that every person born in this world should visit Valli Malai at least once and have a darshan of Lord Murugan.  He stressed this in almost all his lectures.

Vrichipuram-Margabandheeswarar…92

Protector of businessmen, travellers and childbirth and also for Upanayanams to start education MARGABANDHEESWARAR Temple, Virichipuram - It is a 1300 years old temple, the oldest and the largest. Lord Brahma was born as Shivasarma here in a priest family. When Shivasarma’s father died in his early days, Shivasarma was to undertake the puja responsibilities as a small boy. Shivasarma’s relatives had planned to take away the priest’s rights and also his land from him and so they warned him against dire consequences, if he did not perform the puja when his turn came. Shivasarma’s mother prayed to Lord Margabandeeswar. The next morning, Shivasarma took bath in the Brahma theertham and Lord Shiva appeared as an elderly person and conducted the Upanayanam, Brahmopadhesam and Shiva Dikshai on behalf of Shivasarma and disappeared as the Mahalingam in the temple tank bund. The small boy was then paraded on an elephant with the holy water pot and the temple door opened automatically to everyone’s surprise. As if he was well versed with the puja procedures, he conducted the puja activities for Swarna Ganapathy. While attempting to do the abhishekam for the Margabandheeswarar, as he was a small boy, he was unable to reach the head of the lingam. He then submitted his inability to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva then bowed his head to accept the abhishekam. Thus the Margabandheeswarar lingam can be seen in a slightly tilted position here. Dhanabalan, a Kundala desa pepper merchant lost his loads to thieves. He prayed to Lord Shiva who came as a soldier on a horse and not only retrieved the pepper loads but also accompanied Dhanabalan till Kanchipuram. Due to this he is called ‘Vazhi Thunai Nathar’ in Tamil and Margabandu in Sanskrit - Marga meaning way and Bandhu meaning friend. The business people have this Lord Shiva as the protector of their business. This is the birth place of Sri Appayya Dikshithar, the greatest interpreter of Advaitha Sidhantha after Adhi Sankara. His Margabandhu stotram on this Margabandheeswarar is for the protection of people while on journey. By reciting this, one can have Lord Shiva with them as Marga-bandhu, throughout their journey. The childless couples take dip in all the three theerthams of the temple, stay overnight with the wet cloth to receive the Lord in their dream and get the boon of a child. Since Lord Shiva had conducted the Upanayanam and Dikshai to Lord Brahma here, this is a holy place to have Upanayanams, to get Dikshai and to start education. As a rare sight, there are two Dwajasthambams in this temple, one for the main shrine and the other exclusively for the Amman shrine.

Pallakacheri-Ramanatheswarar…92

Childrens Longevity and Well-being is Blessed Pallakacheri, RAMANATHESSWARAR Temple - As per the Sthala Purana, it is stated that, after killing of Ravana, Rama was ruling Ayodhya with all his goodness to his subjects. Suddenly it was found that children of his country were dying at a young age and he enquired Narada about the cause behind the events. Sage Naradha told him that there was an Asura by name Jambukasuran who was doing penance on the tip of a needle and because of its intensity, Devas were suffering. To make Rama realise their problem, it was the work of Devas and if Rama would kill the Asura, all the young children would come back to live. Searching for the Asura, Rama came to this place and found the Asura in a penance and assumed his original Vishnu form and killed him and later gave him Moksha. To alleviate the dosha of killing an asura in penance, Rama conducted a Yagna here to please Lord Shiva as advised by sage Agastiya. Rama installed a swayambhu linga and performed puja in this place. The same Linga is now worshipped as Ramanatheeswarar. The Amman here is Theertha Nayagi. The temple was later built by Pallava Kings. Those who wish for the longevity and well being of their siblings children should come here and worship the Lord Ramanatheeswarar. This sthla is also respected and worshipped on par with Rameswaram Temple.

Virudhachalam-Kolanjiappar…92

Fulfillment of grievance and prathu. Several miracles occurred because of this Prathu and lakhs of people were benefitted. Virudhachalam, Manavalanallur- KOLANJIAPPAR Temple Speciality of Temple: Neem Oil - Those with Chronic diseases visit and spend 48 days here at the temple by taking the holy Neem Oil internally and externally which is sanctified in Shree Kolanjiappar’s Sanctum Sanctorum and they return perfectly cured. The fresh air coming through a powerful medicinal tree namely “Erazhanchi” can also cure many skin diseases. This tree is typically a Mooligai Tree or Medicinal Tree. It is one among the unusual trees found in the World.  It usually grows in hot places.  The seeds of this unique “Erazhanchi Tree” after falling down on the ground and within a short span of time will stick again to the tree itself.  Usually the seeds, epidermis or bark are used as medicines to cure skin diseases even to cure leprosy. It also acts as anti-poison medicine.

mumbai-ShaniDevaalayamDeonar…92

'Swami' listens to them all with rapt attention with closed eyes and intense silence and offers them Prakshalana, or "cleansing". Thousands have claimed that their prayers have been answered by "Shaneeswara" through 'Swami'.SHANI DEVAALAYAM in Deonar, Mumbai - The Presiding Deity of this Temple is Lord Shaneeswara. Many devotees who have Shani Dosham or people who are passing through Shani Maha Dasa, throng the temple, for doing Tailabhishekam. Tailam means oil in Sanskrit, Telugu and Malayalam. Every Saturday approximately at 10:30 in the morning, as soon as the priest performs Arati, Lord Shaneeswara is said to descend upon the main priest. Suddenly, the whole atmosphere in the temple change. One can see and feel the charged atmosphere in the temple. The priest sits on a chair which has a seat made of very sharp, long iron nails pointing upwards. The foot rest and hand rest are also fully fitted upward facing, sharp long iron nails. When Lord Shaneeswara descends on the priest, he sits on this chair throughout the day, most of the time with his eyes closed. On some Saturdays he may sit upon the chair for a continuous stretch of 12 to 13 hours without ever indicating any pain or discomfort. The devotees silently sit in front of 'swami.'  They are asked to bring and keep a pair of yellow lemons in their hands, waiting for their turn. Swami signals one by one in turn, to come near him. People place the pair of yellow lemons in front of him. He listens patiently to their problems, agony or distress and whatever they say. Then he explains the reason or cause of their agony, problem and distress. It could be 'Prarabdham', consequences of their past karmas, deeds which are carried over to present janma or as Swami explains; their problems could be the result of actions, deeds of his or her present birth itself. In some cases it could be handy work of Vamachara Tantra or black magic by their enemies and ill-wishers. There are other types of cases where it is believed that Aatmas or spirits of the deceased have occupied the sufferer's body causing misery and trouble. 'Swami' listens to them all with rapt attention with closed eyes and intense silence and offers them Prakshalana, or "cleansing" Praayaschitam or "repentance" through procedures such as yagna, puja, dana, abstinence,etc. Thousands have claimed that their prayers have been answered by "Shaneeswara" through 'Swami'.

ShaniShignapur…93

No house in the village has doors. Despite this, no theft is reported in the village.  Shani Shingnapur is a village known for its popular temple of Shani, the Hindu God of the planet. Shingnapur is also famous for the fact that no house in the village has doors only door frames. No theft is reported in the village. Villagers never keep their valuables under lock and key. Villagers believe that the temple is a “jagrut devasthan”. It is an “alive temple”, meaning that the God here is very powerful. They believe that God Shani punishes anyone attempting theft. The shrine for Shani consists of a five and a half feet high black rock installed on an open-air platform, which symbolizes the God Shani. Devotees bathe Lord Shani's idol with water and oil and offer flowers.

12 RASI’S
TEMPLES AND NAKSHATHIRAM TEMPLES

Temples to be visited for 12 RASI'S or 12 lunar zodiac signs...93

Mesham - Ramanathaswamy Temple at Rameswaram

Rishabam - Sivayoginathar Temple at Thiruvisanallur

Mithunam - Murugan Temple at Palani

Katakam - Karkadeswarar Temple at Thirundudevankudi.

Simham - Vanchinathaswamy Temple at Sri Vanchiyam

Kanni - Vedagireeswarar Temple at Thirukazhikundram

Thulam - Subramaniya Swamy Koil at Thiruttani

Vrichikam - Ekambareswarar Koil at Kanchipuram

Dhanush - Mayranathar Temple at Mayavaram

Makaram - Natarajar Temple at Chidambaram

Kumbham - Thilakeshwarar temple at Devipattinam

Meenam - Vaitheeswaran Koil near Sirkali

Nakshathiram Temples or Birth Star Temples...93

Ashwini - Piravi Marundeeswarar Koil, Thiruthuraipoondi and Dharbaranyeswarar temple, Thirunallar.

Bharani - Agneeswarar Koil, Nallaadai and Vadaranyeswarar Temple,
Thiruvalangadu.

Karthigai - Gaathra Sundareswarar Koil, Kanjanagaram and Naganathar Temple, Nagapattinam.

Rohini - Pandava Dhootha Perumal Koil, Kanchipuram and Sivayoginathar Temple, Thiruvisanallur.

Mirugaseerisham - Adi Narayana Koil at Enkan Murugan temple near Tiruvarur and Vana Durga Devi Temple, Kathiramangalam.

Thiruvadharai - Abhaya Varadeeswarar Koil, Adhiramapattinam and Agneeswarar Temple, Thirukollikkadu.

Punarpoosam - Athitheeswarar Koil, Vaniyambadi and
Abathsahayeswarar Temple, Alangudi.+

Poosam - Akshayapureeswarar Koil, Vilangulam and Karkadeswarar
Temple, Thirunandudevankudi.

Aayilyam - Karkadeswarar Koil, Thirunandudevankudi and Subramanya Swamy Temple, Thirupurankundram.

Magham - Mahalingeswarar Koil, Thavasimadai and Thillai Kali Temple, Chidambaram.

Pooram - Hari Theertheswarar Koil, Thiruvarangulam and Sri Kalyanasundara Swamy Temple, Thirumanacheri .

Uttiram - Mangalyeswarar Koil, Edaiyathumangalam and Kucchiamman Temple, Poovalur.

Hastham - Kripakupareswarar Koil, Komal and Thyagarajaswamy Temple, Tiruvarur.

Chitirai - Chittirairatha Vallabha Perumal Koil, Kuruvithurai and  Thyagarajaswamy Temple, Tiruvarur.

Swaathi - Prasanna Kundhalambika and Tantreeswarar Koil, Sittukadu and Jambukeshwarar temple, Thiruvanaikaval.

Vishakam - Kumaraswamy Koil, Thirumalai and Pralayanathar Temple, Cholavandhan.

Anusham - Lakhmsipureeswarar Koil, Thiruninriyur and Mahalingaswamy temple, Thiruvidaimarudhur.

Kettai - Varadaraja Koil, Pasupati and Angalaparameswari Amman  Temple, Palladam .

Moolam - Singeeswarar Koil, Mappedu and Meenakshi Amman Temple,
Madurai.

Pooradam - Akasapureeswarar Koil, Kaduveli and Bhakthajaneswarar
Temple, Thirunavalur.

Uttiradam - Brahma Pureeswarar Koil, Keezhapungudi and Dharmapuram Durga Temple, Mayavaram.

Thiruvonam - Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal Koil, Thiruparkadal and Rajakaliamman Temple, Chetpet in Chennai.

Avittam - Brahma Gnana Pureeswarar Koil, Korukkai and  Magudeshwarar Temple, Kodumudi.

Sadayam - Agnipureeswarar Koil, Thirupugalur and Ardhanareeswarar
Temple, Thiruchengode.

Pooratadhi - Thiruvaneswarar Koil, Ranganathapuram -Thirukattupalli and Adishesha Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram.

Uttiratadhi - Sahasra Lakshmeeswarar Koil, Theeyathur and  Panchanatheswarar Temple, Thiruvaiyaru.

Revathi - Kailasanathar Koil, Karukudi and Pranavavyaghrapureeswarar
Temple, Tattayangarpettai.

SIDHARGAL

Jeeva Samadhi...95

The Body will never decay whether it is thousand or ten thousand years old JEEVA SAMADHI of a person is filled with everlasting life force. Conceptually, by spiritual practices, life is not allowed to leave the body. The seed cells in the body never get damaged. Such a person stops the functions of the body after completion of the mission by his own will. The mind is fixed with the Almighty and the body stops functioning. The body is then buried and will never decay whether it is thousand or ten thousand years old, because the magnetic force in the body itself acts as a life force in the body. As “unseen masters” or they guide the human race to wisdom. 'Jeevan' the soul of life remains in 'Samadhi' forever with no activity, no decay or growth, and the time limit for the 'Samadhi' status depends upon the saint's bio-magnetic strength, which may vary in terms of hundreds of years. Until then, the soul in samadhi stage will continue to bless the devotees. The place around the Jeeva Samadhi has very high spiritual magnetic force and this can be sensed by the 'gnana' aspirant. If these places are maintained properly, they can become 'energy banks'. In India there are many Jeeva Samadhis. All the popular temples in India have one or more 'Jeeva Samadhis' and they accord relief to people visiting them. The temples formed around these shrines are also believed to have powerful and intense magnetic fields.

Agastya...95

Given description and instructions for the creation of medicines for fever, cancer, impotency, brain problems, eye problems and bone problems. AGASTYA was a Vedic Siddhar or sage. Agastya and his clan are also credited to have “authored” many mantras of the Rig Veda, the earliest and most revered Hindu scripture. In his book, he gives description and instructions for the creation of medicines for fever, cancer, treatments for impotency, abdominal problems, brain problems, eye problems and bone problems. Reputedly, his medicines give quick results without any side effects. He is considered as the first and foremost Siddha and Guru of many other Siddhas. He made contributions in the field of Medicine and Astrology -especially Nadi astrology. He is said to have lived for over 5000 years and that one of his medicinal preparations, Boopathi Kuligai, is so powerful that it can even bring the dead back to life. Agastya Statue as a bearded, pot-bellied Hindu sage is located in the archaeological museum at Prambanan, Java and Indonesia and probably date back to the 9th century A.D. Agastya was one of the divinities worshipped at Candi Shiva, the main temple at Prambanan. Agasthiar Ashram – Papanasam. A small temple connected with the sage Agasthiar near the falls also attracts a large number of people on full moon day of the Tamil month Chithirai. The devotees worship the altar after a bath in the falls.

Mata Amritanandamayi...95

Embraced more than 29 million people throughout the world Mata Amritanandamayi Ashram  Mâtâ Amritanandamayî Devî is a Hindu spiritual leader and teacher, who is respected as a saint by her followers, also known as “Amma”, or “Mother”. She is sometimes referred to as “The Hugging Saint”. “For Amma, removing the sorrows of others is as natural as drying the tears from her own eyes. The happiness of others is Amma's happiness. The security of others is Amma's security. The rest of others are Amma's rest”. This is Amma's vision. Countries in which Amma has held programs include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Dubai, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritius, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States of America. Amma says, “People come and tell me their troubles, they cry and I wipe their tears. When they fall weeping on my lap, I hug them, the next person followed and thus this habit continued.” Amma's organization, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, claims Amma has embraced more than 29 million people throughout the world. She accepts the various spiritual practices and prayers of all religions, for the single goal of purifying the mind.

Bhogar...95

The shrine at the top of the hill, Palani temple was created by BHOGAR a South Indian by birth, belonging to the caste of goldsmiths. In Bhogar's Saptakanda he reveals details of various medicinal preparations to his disciple Pullippani. According to the last wish of his guru, Bhogar proceeded to China, to spread the knowledge of siddha sciences and his journey is said to have been made with the aid of an aircraft he demonstrated to the Chinese, the details of the making of aircraft and later he built a sea-going craft using a steam engine for them. The details of these and other experiments demonstrated by Bhogar in China are clearly documented in the Saptakanda. Bhogar's guru, Kâlângi Nâthar, is believed to be a Chinese who attained siddhi in South India and thus became included among the Eighteen Siddhars. The emergence of Lao Tse with his theory of duality of matter and the journey of Bhogar to China seem to have taken place about the same time and it is believed that it was quite possible that Bhogar himself went under the name of Lao Tse in China, like another Siddharishi Sriramadevar, who was known as Yacob in Arabia. The shrine at the top of the hill, Palani temple was created by Bhogar. It was maintained after him by sage Pulippani and his descendants, almost as their personal and private temple. During the time of Thirumalai Nayak, his General, Ramappayyan handed over the puja rights to the new Brahmin priests. The descendants of Pulippani were compensated for the loss of this right.

Bodendra Saraswati Swamigal...95

People who stay overnight at the Samadhi have seen mahan, circumambulating the Samadhi and chanting the Rama Nama. They visit Sri Bodendra Saraswati Swamigal's Samadhi with problems and sufferings in their heart and pray with devotion tide over their problems SRI BHAGAVAN NAMA BODENDRA SARASWATI SWAMIGAL, Govindapuram - One day, Sri Bodendra Swamigal was camping in a village called Perambur in Needamangalam. A couple came for his darshan and invited him for lunch to their home. Sri Bodendra Swamigal arrived at the couple's residence. He sat down to eat. A plantain leaf was laid and food was served. He noticed a little boy in the house and asked him to sit down beside him and eat. In spite of his repeated requests, the little boy did not respond. The parents slowly explained to the Swamigal that the boy could neither hear nor speak. He was deaf and dumb from birth. Hearing this, tears rolled down Swamigal's eyes. He cried uncontrollably because, he had made a proclamation in one of his works that one would escape the fear of death if he sings or hears the Taraka Nama at least once. He had thought that the Nama would be heard by everyone and thus all would hear the Divine Name knowingly or unknowingly at least once during their lifetime. He felt sad for this little boy because he could neither utter nor hear the Lord's Name. At the tearful pleadings of the hosts Sri Bodendra Swamigal had three handfuls of food and then took leave of them. The couple reverentially accompanied the Swamigal to the entrance of the village. Being hungry, the boy reached out to the leaf that Swamigal had eaten from and ate the leftover food. No sooner had he eaten the 'Uchchishta' from Sri Bodendral's leaf that he began singing the Names of the Lord! When his parents returned to the house, they could not believe their eyes seeing their deaf and dumb child jumping with joy and crying out Bhagavan Nama, in devotion. The Uchchishta of the great saint had performed this miracle! One evening, in a place called Govindapuram, next to Tiruvidaimarudur, Sri Bodendra Saraswati Swamigal sat on the banks of river Cauvery after his regular 'anushtanas'. He watched small kids playing and joined them. He asked them to bury him in the sand and said that he would come out of another place. Fascinated by this play, the kids wanted to do it again and again. This continued for some time. At one point, Swamigal was covered with sand and he did not come out of the other end. The kids panicked and called the elders nearby. The elders rushed in and decided to dig the ground in search of the Swami. Just then, a voice came from inside asking them not to do so and that Swamigal had gone into Jeeva Samadhi there and wished to be so, forever. Even today, we have Bodendra Saraswati Swamigal's Jeeva Samadhi in Govindapuram. It is said that Bodendra Swamigal lives there chanting the Rama Nama all 24 hours, all round the year. Devotees who go there and chant the Taraka Mantra in His Samadhi can hear Rama Nama emanating from the Samadhi when they spend their night there. A few can even see the form of the Mahan in Danda and Kamandala circumambulating the Samadhi chanting the Rama Nama. Those who visit Sri Bodendra Saraswati Swamigal's Samadhi in Govindapuram with problems and sufferings in their heart and pray with devotion tide over their problems. That is the greatness of Sri Bodendra who achieved Jeevan Mukthi on the banks of river Kaveri in 1692 AD-310 years ago.

VeeraBrahmendraSwami...96

Miracles and wonders that Brahmendra Swami’s predicted proves to be true even today. SRI POTULURI VEERA BRAHMENDRA SWAMI, Cuddapah offers a glimpse of events and trends, destined to take place in the future. He restored eyesight to Acchamma’s son, Brahmanandareddy by suggesting a retribution for Reddy’s sins of past life. While visiting the temple in a nearby hamlet, Pedakomerla, Veeram Bhotlayya chanced to come across a funeral procession. Going near the bier, Veeram Bhotlayya sprinkled holy ash alias Vibhuthi on the dead body and to the amazement of everyone, the dead man, one Mr. Reddy, got down and bowed at the feet of Veeram Bhotlayya. Veeram-Bhotlayya began to be worshipped by devotees as Veeram - Brahmam. One day a fifteen year old Muslim boy, Sheik Saheb came to the Ashram to become a disciple of Sri Brahmam. Brahmendra Swami’s sons refused to allow him in, because he was a Muslim. Brahmendra Swami scolded them for their intolerance and allowed the boy to enter.  He renamed the boy Siddhayya who turned out to be the most loyal and devoted of his disciples. Brahmin couple fell at the feet of Swamiji and begged him to cure the terrible disease of leprosy. Brahmendra Swami not only cured him but gave the couple initiation, blessed them and sent them home. Once a group of thieves who entered the Ashram at the dead of night to loot it, lost their eyesight. Next day taking pity on the blind robbers, Swamiji talked to them about the importance of honesty and right living and restored vision to them. Swamiji’s wife Govindamma cooked payasam to be offered to Goddess Poleramma, Swamiji made the deity come in person to partake the offering. On the last day of his earthly existence he deliberately sent Siddhayya on a task to collect flowers for the worship of God because he knew that Siddhayya could not bear the sight of his beloved Guru dying. When Siddhayya came to know of Brahmendra Swami’s death, he was overcome by grief and tried to commit suicide. Taking pity on him Brahmendra Swamiji came out of the grave to present him with his sceptre, sandals, ring and cane. As in the scriptures like Bhavishyapurana, Bhagavatham and Harivamsam, his predictions were mostly about the historical, geographical and social changes that would take place towards the end of Kali Yuga. As is supposed to be the case with the western forecaster Nostradamus, Brahmendra Swami’s predictions also have proved to be true. His predictions include, anticipatory references to British rule in India, the disintegration of the caste system, rapid steps in science and technology, invention of trains and automobiles, growing dependence on electricity and electronic gadgets, the arrival of Mahatma Gandhi, widow remarriages, social acceptance of divorces, the fall of aristocracy and the mounting prominence of weaker sections of society, power in the millennium will be in the hands of women and actors. Society will witness a propagation of fakes and quacks and that there will be a general declining of moral values and that honest  people would be at the mercy of criminals and rowdies, class distinctions and caste divisions would be eroded and the gates of opportunity would be thrown open to all the rich and the poor, men and women.

Chitra Muthu Adigal...96

Established in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and London CHITRA MUTHU ADIGAL Ashram, Panaikulam is a large village located in the eastern part of Ramanathapuram district. During the nineteenth century, opportunities present in Malaya, now called as Malaysia, attracted Panaikulam people and many of them went to Malaya, to earn money. Chitramuthu Adigal was born in 1900 in Panaikulam. He became a disciple of Jeganathar in India, before going to Malaya in 1922, 1940, and 1951. He stayed in Ceylon in 1953. and established many missions in India and Malaya and the Atma Santhi  Nilaiyam in his hometown, Panaikulam. The whole village had abstained from consuming meat which was a great feat indeed. Muthu left for Malaya in 1922, staying in Kuala Kangsar, Perak. He worked as a toddy tapper for six years before returning to India in 1928. He met Swami Jeganathar in Malaya and Jeganathar took him as his disciple and called him Chitramuthu. Jeganathar helped Chitramuthu realize his true self, his full potential and his mission in life. Chitramuthu Adigal preached at the Sree Dhandayuthapani Temple in Penang, the Aruloli Murugan Temple in Penang Hill, the Maha Marimman Temple in Ipoh, the Court Hill Pillaiyaar Temple in Pudu, the Scott Road Kandaswami Temple in Brickfields, the Athi Eswaran Temple in Sentul, the Sree Maha Marimman Temple in Jalan Bandar, the Shiva Temple in Jalan Sungei Besi Kuala Lumpur and the Mariamman Temple in Singapore. He established the Athma Shanti Nilayam in Alagan Kulam PANAIKULAM was built by Chitra Muthu Adigal in 1958. The Athma Shanti Nilayam became the Thaiveedu where the Deepa Dharisana Thiruvizha is celebrated annually on the 7th day of the month Chithirai to commemorate the birth of Chitramuthu Adigal. The Aruloli Mandram was formed in 1960 under the patronage of Tun V. T Sambanthan, a Minister in the Malaysian Government. The Malaysian Government donated a piece of land in Ipoh where on completion of the building the then Chief Minister of the state of Perak Datuk Sri Haji Kamaruddin bin Haji Isa officiated its opening of the building on 11th February 1973. Aruloli Mandrams have since then been established in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and London. He built and completed his Samadhi Mandapam and had Shivasri Muthu Kumara Shivachariar perform the Kumbhabishekam of the Shivaraja Gopuram in the year 1991. Chitramuthu Adigal went into Samadhi on Sunday, 5th May, 1995.

Sri Gorakkar…97

To get rid of problems “Nava Bhashana Bala Dhandayuthapani” in palani temple was made by Gorakkar and Bohar, GORAKKAR SIDDHAR Ashram, Vadakku Poigai Nellur. At the Palani temple a moolaver statue of Lord Murugan, also known as “Nava Bhashana Bala Dhandayuthapani”, was sculpted by Gorakkar and Bohar.  Lord Murugan's statue at Palani was made with 20 salt stones, 9 nava logam, 9 navaratinam, 9 nava bhashanam and 120 leaves of herbs. Gorakkar and Bohar had built a Siva temple in China.  The Gorakkar Ashram and Gorakkar Samadhi are popular among pilgrims.  People believe that if they visit 3 times on 3 full moon days, they will get married and get rid of their problems. Gorakkar sayings are recorded in a book known as “Chanthrarekai” and some of the predictions mentioned in the book are, that the Britishers will leave the country, India will be ruled by a widower, Tamil Nadu will be ruled by a party having a sun flag for about 36 years and among them there will be people from the cine field . Government will force people to go in for family planning. People from Harijan caste will be educated and come to power. Brahmins will stand before lower cadres and eat non-vegetarian food. Many temple statues will be smuggled to foreign countries. Duplicate samiyars and siddhars will cheat society and make money. Girls will be smuggled to foreign countries. Caste wise Sangam Association will be promoted. Sri Gorakkar ruled Kollimalai. He holds an outstanding place among the Sidhars. He prepared live medicines offering longevity of several thousands of years.He possessed eight mystic powers in full force. With Opium or Ganja as the basic herb, he was able to prepare medicines capable of curing diseases. Thus, the herb opium is specially called as Gorakkar herb. He used his medicines for four kinds of human needs namely Vaithyam or curing diseases, Vaatham alchemy, yogam or divine physical practice and gnaanam or spiritual knowledge. The Arappaleeswarar temple in Kollimalai hills is very ancient. This temple is also associated with Matsya Muni believed to be a Siddhar. Kollimalai is a village where kota tribes live. The tribal culture and language are rich. An added attraction of this village is its marvelous vegetation with lofty mountains, dense forests, sprawling grasslands and miles and miles of tea gardens. Sree Gorakkar, who lived in the sacred abode at Kollimalai or Kolli hills, skillfully prepared several thousands of live medicines. Siddhar kuligais solidified Divine mercury and palm leaves that contain the Divine secrets. He then made seven separate boxes and kept the Divine materials in them. Ultimately, he buried the boxes in a secret place called Sree Gorakkar Gundam.

Marudu pandiyar…97

Not afraid of English bullets, MARUDUPANDIYAR MEMORIAL - Marudupandiyar was not afraid of the English Britishers bullets and fought for the Independence of his beloved country. The Maruthu brothers are the descendants of Sivagangai Velu Nachiar who were great rulers. For the welfare of their citizens, they surrendered to the Britishers during 1801 and then were hanged. Periya Maruthu was born on 1748 and Chinna Maruthu was in 1753. Both were hanged to death on 08-10-1801. Maruthupandiyar's memorial is located in Sweedish Mission Hospital Campus, Tirupathur, in an area of 414.80 sq metres.

Pasumpon Muthuramlinga Thevar…97

Whenever he stood for an election, nobody could defeat him.Pasumpon MUTHURAMALINGA THEVAR AYYA known for his spiritual affection and majestic influence over the people of Southern regions of Tamilnadu was an amazing personality. This energetic freedom fighter fought against the British rule from 1935 and made a strong alliance with the Bengal Tiger, Nethaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Gandhiji used the power of non-violence but Nethaji was eager to show physical power. These two views confused the Indian National Congress. Gandhi's opinion was to solve the struggle through peace, whereas Nethaji stressed on war as the only weapon to free India. Nethaji founded the Indian National Army and Pasumpon Thevar Ayya was elected as the Forward Block Chief in Tamilnadu. Nethaji strengthened his Indian National Army by enrolling a lot of brave Tamilians to handle firing machines and participate in the International war. Ayya was always victorious. Whenever he stood for an election, nobody could defeat him. This Indian was admired by all freedom fighters of North India. He had been arrested several times for instigating the people against the British Government. Later he refused to join the cabinet ministry.

Mahan Parajothi…97

His simple and most loving word, SANTHOSHAM became a holy mantra that he anchored worldwide. MAHAN PARANJOTHI Ashram - Chennai Gnanavallal Paranjothi Mahan was born in a well-to-do and respectable family in a village in Ramnad district. In his mind the foremost thought was to seek the knowledge of the Truth of Life. He attended many places of worship and devoted himself to religious practices. On January 7, 1938 at 11.11 pm he met his guru Haribullah Kamil Syed Ibrahim, of BAJAWAPORE, DECCAN who initiated him into the practice of the Tantrik system of Yoga. Soon he attained enlightenment and related that he had big ideas and the knowledge of self-awareness. His devotees who came to see him began to call him “Paranjothi Mahan”, which means “The One Illuminated” or “A Great Man of Divine Wisdom”. His simple and most loving word, SANTHOSHAM became a holy mantra that he anchored worldwide. He entered Mahasamadhi, a yogi conscious exit from the body, on January 7, 1981 in Pondicherry.

Pattinathar…97

A king discarded all his grandeur clothes, wore a kovanam left his kingdom and followed.

PATTINATHAR, Chennai - The Siddha, Pattinaththar was travelling through the country. He was on the outskirts of the capital city of Chennai and found a small old temple there. He soon went into a deep meditation near a beautiful pond. This pond was occasionally used by the royalty. On that particular day, the queen was bathing there. Even though there were armed guards everywhere, a thief sneaked into the tent where the valuable jewellery of the queen was kept and stole the royal pearl necklace. Once he came outside, he was immediately spotted by the guards and was chased. The thief ran as fast as he could. But he soon realized that he could not outmatch the guards as they came from every direction.  On his escapade, he passed the small temple, and saw Pattinaththaar there, sitting with closed eyes.    The thief had a brain wave and threw the pearl necklace around the neck of the silent figure of Pattinaththaar and went in the direction of the soldiers. As he did not have anything incriminating, they let him go. Some of them went and found Pattinaththaar in the temple, with the royal necklace around his neck. The soldiers took him and imprisoned him. The news reached King Bhardruhari. When he was told that the necklace which was stolen had been recovered and the thief caught with the necklace around his neck, he immediately ordered that the miscreant be run through upon the kazhu. The kazhu was a very cruel and painful form of death penalty. It was a ridge of wood or iron. One end is very sharp. It was planted in the ground vertically, with the sharp end pointing upward.  The tip was well-oiled with castor oil which served as a lubricant. The sentenced victim would be stripped naked and hoisted up onto the tip of the stake. He would then be placed with his anal orifice resting on the tip. Then he would be pressed down. The body by its own weight would slide downward with the lubricated ridge going up through his anus until it came to a stop somewhere within the body or came out through some soft part of the body.  The death would be a slow and painful one. This was the punishment that King Bhradruhari imposed on the innocent Pattinaththaar who was lost in meditation and was not aware of what was going on.  When Pattinaththaar was brought to the kazhu maram and realised what was happening, he simply uttered a sentence. ”Whatever bad karma was done in the past, has it come hither and flared up?  When he uttered those words, the kazhu maram flared up in flames. The guards ran to the King and reported the matter to him. The King, Bhardruhari ran to meet Pattinaththar, realising that he had sentenced an innocent man believing his guards, without even seeing him or questioning him. He realised the folly of Kingship and realised that the power of the Siddha was the truest power. In front of it, all other powers were in vain. He discarded all his kingly clothes, wore a kovanam, left his kingdom and followed Pattinaththaar.

Mattreya Budha Dhana Viswalayam…98

Meditation in pyramid is thrice more powerful Maitreya BUDHA DHANA VISWALAYAM - PYRAMID, Bangalore For the first time, Meditation is available to the rural masses and to the urban elite alike, on a scientific basis! Pyramid Energy has been connected to meditation, on a massive scale. Under the extraordinary training of Patriji, thousands of pyramid masters have totally dedicated themselves to the great task of spiritual globalization. Pyramid Masters are spreading, on a war-footing, the science of anapanasati meditation and the message of vegetarianism all over the country. Pyramid meditation, around the world, for the first time, was established by Patriji. Meditation when done inside a pyramid, is thrice more powerful.

Sri Ramadevar–Yacob…98

Known as the Mandira Siddhar. SRI RAMADEVAR-YACOB RAMADEVAR is one of the 18 yoga siddhas. He was initiated by Pulastiyar and Karuvoorar. He is also known as the Mandira Siddhar. Some of his works include 24 known works: Mantra shastra, medicine etc. He had attained samadhi at Alagar Malai.

Jothi Ramalinga Swami…98

Acquired extraordinary powers that he Could turn water into oil RAMALINGA SWAMIGAL Ashram, Vadalur also known as Jothi Ramalinga Swami was a Tamil saint of Vadalur and is considered as one of the greatest Tamil poets. When he was a child of five months his parents took him to the Chidambaram temple. It is said that this infant laughed aloud when the priest offered the traditional 'Deepa Aradhana' to the Lord. Later he said of the experience: “No sooner was the light perceived, than happiness prevailed on me.” Ramalingam acquired certain extraordinary powers and it is said that he could turn water into oil. He continued his work, opening a temple at Vadalur in 1872, called the “Sathya Gnana Sabha”, a Hall of True Knowledge, and ensured it was entirely secular. No offerings of fruits or flowers could be made and no blessings were given. It was open to people of all castes except those who ate meat, who were only allowed to worship from the outside. He died at 51 on January 30, 1874, locking himself up in a room and telling his followers not to open it. He said that even if they did open it, they would find nothing. His seclusion spurred many rumours and the Government finally forced the doors open in May after 4 months. The room was empty, with no clues. His religion was Universal Brotherhood and his mantra 'Jivakarunyam' compassion to all living beings and “Thaniperumkarunai” supreme compassion.

Sri RamanaMaharshi…98

Purest form of his teachings was his powerful silence SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI, Thiruvannamalai - After having attained liberation at the age of 16, Sri Ramana Maharshi left home for Arunachala, a mountain considered sacred by the Hindus, at Tiruvannamalai and lived there for the rest of his life. Sri Ramana maintained that the purest form of his teachings was the powerful silence, which radiated from his presence and calmed the minds of those who were tuned to it. He gave verbal teachings only for the benefit of those who could not understand his silence. His verbal teachings were said to flow from his direct experiences of the Consciousness. When asked for advice, he recommended self-enquiry as the fastest path to moksha. Though his primary teaching is associated with Non-dualism, Advaita Vedanta, and Jnana yoga, he recommended Bhakti to those who were fit for it and gave his approval to a variety of paths and practices. He urged people to practice self-enquiry, to look inwards for Realization. Sri Ramana remained in the same place for 54 years, offering spiritual guidance to anyone, with any background, who came looking for him, asking nothing in return.

Sadashiva Brahmendra…98

The Jeeva Samadhi of SADASHIVA BRAHMENDRA, Nerur. a mystic saint of India, is the major attraction of the village. Right from his birth, he proved himself different from other people. Siva Rama Krishna did not change even after his marriage as his parents assumed. On the river banks of Cauvery in Mahadhanapuram he was asked by some children to be taken to Madurai which was more than 100 miles away, for an annual festival. The saint asked them to close their eyes and few seconds later they were asked to open their eyes to find themselves in Madurai. After the festival they all returned to the banks of the Cauvery, the same way. He was mostly in a trance. Once he was meditating in the middle of the river when suddenly a flood submerged him. People thought that he was drowned. After many months when the flood subsided, they found the saint in the same posture still meditating. It was in this state of trance that he once walked into a Nawab's harem. The news reached the Nawab who ordered his men, to cut off both his hands. Sadashiva Brahmendra walked along silently as if nothing had happened. The Nawab got scared, picked up the hands that had been cut off, ran to the Sage and offered them in total sorrow. The sage stopped walking and the hands that were cut off were restored. At Nerur, Brahmendra resolved to shed his body. He gave directions as to how his Samadhi should be raised. On the appointed day, he sat in the pit in the yogic posture. It was filled with sacred ash, camphor, salt, turmeric powder and powdered brick and the top was covered. As per Brahmendra's prediction, a bilva shoot grew on the ninth day and a Banalinga arrived from Banaras on the twelfth day. A Linga was installed twelve feet away from the Samadhi. The bilva tree was left exposed to the sky. Another instance that marked the disorientation of the body with the self in the case of Sadasiva Brahmendra was that, when he once fell between two bundles of straw, the farmers not noticing him loaded bundles after bundles of straw, over Him. When after nearly a year, the bundles were cleared; Brahmendra got up and moved on, as if nothing had happened. Maharaja Vijaya Ragunatha Thondaiman, the then ruler i.e. between 1730 and 1768 hearing about this, rushed to bring Brahmendra to the palace to honour him. Brahmendra did not break his silence. The ruler set a camp in Tiruvarankulam, Pudukottai and served the sage. Brahmendra answered his prayer by writing Sri Dakshinamoorthi Mantra on sand. Ragunatha Thondaiman gathered the sand in his angavastram and took it to his palace. Worship to the sanctified sand is offered to this day at Pudukottai. Sadasiva was once relaxing near a heap of grains when His usual meditative mentality overpowered Him. He lost Himself, in so deep a meditation, that the farmer who owned the grains mistook Him for a thief. As he raised his stick, to strike Sadasiva, he became a lifeless statue with the raised stick until the next morning when Sadasiva came out of His meditation and smiled at Him. The farmer with his restored life fell at the feet of the Master and asked for forgiveness. On one occasion when he met his past associate Sridhar Venkatesa Ayyaval, the latter remarked that it was laudable to be a mauni in worldly matters; and questioned what prevented him from singing the praise of the Almighty. Sadashiva Brahmendra saw reason in the argument. He thereafter created a series of musical compositions. He used the mudra “paramahamsa”.

Alangudi Periyavaa…99

A Snake suddenly wound its way through the audience and moved below the swamy seat Sri Swayamprakasananda Saraswati Swami also known as SRI ALANGUDI PERIYAVAA – A deep wound had formed on the Swami's leg due to the bite of a crocodile. At the request of his disciples the Swami agreed to treat it. He asked them to collect some herbs and boil it in oil, and then asked them to pour it hot over the wound! No disciple came forward. The Swami told them, “Hey, ignorants! Why do you fear? Have I not repeatedly told you that the Atma is different from the body? If it were true how would I, the Atma, suffer? Also, how would the body which is really inert, suffer?” Uttering these words he removed the boiling oil from the oven and poured it over his wound and laughed loudly! This brought tears to the eyes of the devoted disciples. The leg healed within a few days. Once, the Swami gave a discourse in the woods of Koothanur village. The day was quite hot. A snake suddenly wound its way through the audience and moved below the Swami's seat. Some of them requested the Swami to move away. The Swami said, “A man becomes eligible to embrace the ascetic life only when he earns the Gnana that all forms are verily the Lord. There is no difference between my body and that of the snake. It is actually Lord Narasimha who is the Atma in both. Why fear? All of you sit quietly and listen to the Lord's story.” But it was not possible for the people to forget the presence of the snake and listen to his discourse. So, the Swami, through his yogic power, held their attention. The people totally forgot about the snake and were engrossed in the discourse. At the end of the discourse the Swami asked one of them, “Where is the snake? See if it is still here?” The man was afraid of lifting the seat. The Swami laughed and lifted the seat only to find the snake gone. All were wonderstruck. The Swami said, “This is not surprising at all. The snake went back the way it came but all of you were totally engrossed in listening to the Bhagavatam and did not notice it!” The people at once prayed to him to bless them so that their minds would always be engrossed in the Lord's stories. The Swami thus passed his days wandering from village to village conducting hundreds of Bhagavata Saptaha Yajna and preaching Bhakti to the people. He became old. He had not spent his life working for his family. Shunning worldly comforts he had spent his days thinking of the Lord. The Swami's eye sight failed and the disciples arranged for a surgery. Dr.Mahalinga Iyer was at first very indifferent towards the Swami. But soon he realised that the Swami had come to him with the excuse of a treatment, only to bless him. The Swami refused to have anaesthesia. He said that one could lose body consciousness without anaesthesia. When he did so, the doctor could perform his surgery. The Swami then lay in 'savasana' and lost consciousness of his body in yogic state. The doctor performed the surgery with deep reverence and devotion. All through the surgery the Swami lay without any movement. The doctor was simply amazed. He realised that the physical state of Gnanis were beyond their medical world, that the surgery he had conducted was only for his own good and that the diseases of Mahans were only their Lila. The vision of the Swami was restored and the doctor earned spiritual vision! 'Alangudi' Periyava, fully aware of the day when he would shed his mortal coil, arrived at Mudikondan village. The fortunate ones there served him in various ways. The Swami decided to celebrate Lord Narasimha Jayanti during the Vaikasi month in 'Yuva Varusha', grandly. He celebrated Narasimha Jayanti every year. A Bhagavata Saptaham was arranged in this connection. He gave discourse on the Bhagavatam in his own unique way. On the day of Sri Narasimha Jayanati, celebration of Sri Rukmini Kalyanam came to an end in the evening. It was the last day of Bhagavata Saptaham. At the end of the discourse, 'Alangudi' Periyava gave a brief discourse on Prahlada Charitra, as it was the day of Lord Narasimha Jayanti. He was narrating the scene of Prahalad, offering his prayer to Lord Narasimha. When the Swami was speaking on the verse that said, “Oh, one of such great glory! Self-illuminating, verily the Time, holding the Universe within Thee, Thou shines with splendour without being affected by 'prakriti'. Here am I suffering, being caught in the wheels of life. Hey, Narasimha, My Lord! Please take me unto Thy Feet!” A divine light 'jyoti' shot out of the top of his head. A few spiritually evolved people were blessed to witness this. The pure body of 'Alangudi' Periyava was buried as per the scriptural injunction, laid down for a sanyasi.

Sathguru Seshadri Swamigal…99

Disappearing from a locked room where his family tried to keep him bound to family duties SATHGURU SESHADIRI SWAMIGAL, Thiruvannamalai. is one of the greatest saints of all times. He has guided great Gurus like Ramana Maharishi, Vallimalai Sachidananda Swamigal and many others in their spiritual journey. He stayed in the crematoriums at Tiruvannamalai. He took food in the same leaf along with beggars and dogs and never bothered about rain or sunshine and lived with nature. At the age of four, on his way to the Varadaraja Perumal Swami temple in Kanchipuram, the little boy ran up to a shop keeper and asked for an idol of Lord Krishna. Pleased to see so much devotion in a child, the shopkeeper gave it to the boy. That day, to the man's amazement, he sold a hundred such idols, when normally he would not be able to sell even half the number during the entire festival. Stuffed with such incidents the young child grew into a young sage of infinite realization, disappearing from a locked room where his family tried to keep him bound to family duties, manifesting yet again, his spiritual greatness. He journeyed to the sacred Tiruvannamalai and remained for 40 glorious years, until his Maha Samadhi. Guru and Master to hundreds of disciples who made their way to him in pain and found solace in his presence. He performed innumerable miracles to help his committed disciples, remaining to this day a guiding light in their lives. After his Maha Samadhi the Sathguru proved yet again that the body is only an instrument to the true Master.

Shri Shrdhara Venkatesa Ayyawal…100

All of a sudden the Ganges gushed out from the well in full flow and flooded the entire Thiruvisalur village SHRI SHRIDHARA VENKATESA AYYAWAL, Thiruvisalur was designated the Diwan to Mysore Maharajah, which earned him wealth and respect. But Shridhara Venkatesar's mind was tuned to the path of Shiva Bhakthi and he developed a desire to leave all the mundane wealth and position. Shridhara Ayyawal left and resorted to ardent rituals and lived a very simple life in Trichy. Everyday he used to walk to the River Cauvery and perform the morning karmas and return at noon. Once on his way back he found a child dead in the Agraharam. The child was bitten by a snake. Ayyawal woke the child up with his touch and vibhudhi. Ayyaval left Trichy and reached Thiruvisalur, which is a quiet village on the banks of River Cauvery near Thiruvidaimarudhur. Every day he used to cross the River Cauvery and have the dharshan of Mahalingeswar of Thiruvidaimarudhur. Once there was absolutely no rain and the people of Thiruvisalur proposed to Ayyawal, to pray for water in the Cauvery. Ayyaval composed the Karkatakeswarar Ashtakam, and sang to the glory of Lord Shiva, who had both the Katakam Crab and Chandran on his head in this temple. Immediately there were thunder showers and the Cauvery was flooded. Ayyaval stood on the banks of the Cauvery unable to cross and have the Ardhajama Dharshan of Mahalingam in Thiruvidaimarudhur. Totally depressed at having missed the Ardhajama Darshan that day, Ayyawal was still waiting on the banks thinking as to how to cross the river Cauvery. At that time the Shivachariar of the temple met him and gave the Vibhudhi prasadam to Ayyawal. Ayyawal wondered where he was and unable to cross the river, how the Shivacharyar was able to hand over Vibhudhi to him by crossing the same river. Next day, Ayyaval enquired with the Shivacharyar about this but got a negative reply from him. Then Ayyaval realized that the Shivachariar whom he met the previous day was none other than Mahalingeswarar, himself. On the shrardham day of his father, while returning from the Cauvery after a bath, Ayyawal met a Chandalan suffering from hunger. He immediately served the shrardham Annam to the poor man. On seeing this, the Brahmins of Thiruvasalur were annoyed and decided not to participate in the shrardham performed by Ayyawal. Ayyawal pleaded in vain to the Vipras Brahmins. Even his wife had prepared separate food for the shrardham. Finally Ayyaval performed the shrardham with the Koorcham and Parameswara himself came as Vaisvanara with the Pithrukkal and Svayam Mahavishnu as well, came on the occasion. The Brahmins who were waiting outside Ayyaval's house were surprised to hear the shrardham slokas, when no one went inside. After the shrardham was over the devas and pithrukkal disappeared. One year passed by and Ayyaval was kept away from the village by the other brahmins. When the next shrardham approached Ayyaval appealed to the brahmins to advise Prayaschitham, for the fault committed by him allegedly. Immediately the brahmins sarcastically advised Ayyaval to have Ganga snanam and then perform the shrardham. Those days going to the Ganges or Kashi was very difficult and would take at least one year. Ayyaval recited the Ganga Ashtakam standing near the well in the rear side of his house. All of a sudden the Ganges gushed out from the well in full flow and flooded the entire Thiruvisalur village. Even the Mangala Dravyams like pushpam, chandanam, kumkumam offered in Ganga Puja at Kashi, crab and fish wriggled in the Ganges water. Astonished and frightened by the sight the Brahmins of the village climbed on top of their terraces and pleaded to Ayyaval to call back Ganga to his well. One day, while Sri Shridhara Ayyaval was on his way to visit the temple of Lord Shiva, he discoursed to his devotees emphasizing the glory of divine names and love for the Lord. Sri Shridhara Ayyaval looked unusually bright and glowing that day. In the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord, with tears in his eyes, he prayed to the Lord through many verses. Overwhelmed by the pangs of separation from the Lord and unable to stand it any longer, Sri Shridhara Ayyaval rushed to the Sanctum of the Lord in order to embrace Him. While the priests attempted to stop him, Sri Shridhara Ayyaval ran and disappeared into the Sanctum of the Lord. The Lord, in the form of Linga, shone brightly like a sun for some time. The awestruck devotees stood looking on, as this wonderful incident happened and shed tears. Sridhara Ayyaval is reported to have vanished after entering the Sanctum Sanctorum of Madhyarjuna Shiva temple at Thiruvidaimaruthur.

SingamPunariMuthuVadugesar…100

Siddhar Muthuvadugesan still lives and blesses all the people who visit his holy shrine. Singam Punari MUTHU VADUGESAR Chitthar muthu vadugu “vathiyar Ayya” Kovil is a famous temple in Singam Punari. At the “Vathiyar Ayya” temple, special pujas are organised every full moon day exactly at the stroke of midnight. A grand festival is celebrated for “Chitra Pournami” day every year. Special pujas are also conducted during every “Amavasai”. Singam Punari is a place of divinity. Siddhar Muthuvadugesan still lives and blesses all the people who visit his holy shrine. On all Fridays his grandson worships the Holy mother Annai Varahi singing songs in praise of her written by Ayya Siddhar. It is believed that, every Mahasivarathiri all the people in and around Singampunari who participate in the function will be showered with the blessings of Ayya. Just opposite the puja hall in Ayya's house, there is a termatorium in which a cobra used to reside. People in and around the place are known to have seen the cobra crossing here and there. Every month a moulded skin of cobra can be seen above the store house where paddy is stored.

UNIQUE INDIAN TRADITIONS AND PRACTICES

Meditation...107

Indians knew this medicine “Meditation” which checks high blood pressure and cardiac problems for anyone. Who looks for liberation from miseries and sorrow in life, meditation is the only medicine. Even centuries back Indians knew this medicine. The modern man is subject to all sorts of tensions and stresses that in turn, causes high blood pressure and cardiac problems. Even these ailments can be cured if one practices meditation. When one observes meditation, the energy collected in different centers of the body gets dispersed to the relevant areas. This regularizes the rhythm of the body. It is a known fact based on the scientific research, that when one is fully absorbed in meditation, the beta waves of the brain raise themselves to the wavelength of gamma and delta. The sages of ancient India chose to sit under the banyan tree to do meditation as it helps the body to extract all negative energies and replace them with positive energies.

Crataeva Tree…107

Lord Shiva's holy Crataeva tree & its leaves have great medicinal value, to cure diabetes, rheumatism, phlegm, vomiting, tuberculosis, diarrhea, ear pain and pus. Crataeva tree is considered one of the favorites of Lord Shiva. All parts of the tree have excellent Ayurvedic medicines. Foreign agricultural universities foster crataeva due to its medicinal values. Diabetes, rheumatism, phlegm, vomiting, tuberculosis, diarrhea, ear pain, pus in the ear and all such ailments can be cured using crataeva. In the treatment of diabetes, crataeva has a unique role. One should not pluck the crataeva leaf on new moon and full moon days. Scientifically, changes in nature during the full moon and new moon days affect the tree and hence there is a restriction in plucking its leaves on these days.

Turmeric…107

Indian cooking is incomplete without turmeric being added sufficiently. Why? Down the ages, Indians have given much importance to turmeric in cooking and in spirituality. Turmeric is not merely a coloring agent. It is used in religious prayers. If turmeric is added to food, it cures all skin diseases, urinary diseases and kills germs in the intestine. Sometimes poison and filth enter our body through food and turmeric acts as an agent to curb such elements instantly. Turmeric is a proven cure for gas trouble and burning sensation in the stomach. If you apply turmeric paste on the skin, it softens the skin and gives it a glow. Thus turmeric is found to be immensely useful both internally and externally.

Ginger Curry…107

An Indian feast without ginger curry is incomplete and unscientific, says our tradition. It is not simply incomplete, but rather unscientific. Our Puranas and epics hail the glory of ginger. The first curry served at the extreme left on the leaf is that of ginger. The last to taste is also ginger! This tradition is still relevant. The medicinal value of ginger has been accepted by modern medical science as well. Ginger acts as a purifying agent for both the intestines. Ayurveda reveals that piles can be avoided if you consume ginger curd regularly.  Condiments, stale food stuffs, undigested bits of food get easily digested in the presence of ginger curd. The modern science of cookery admits that a heavy meal without ginger curry does not digest  properly.

Indian Food…107

Indian food are never prepared without using the below mentioned ingredients. These ingredients are scientifically researched and found to address all diseases. Indian food itself is a medicine. Ginger, fights against cold and flu and relieves headache. Coriander is rich in vitamins and minerals. Contains calcium phosphorous, iron, few vitamins from vitamin B complex group and vitamin C. Black pepper improves digestion, promotes intestinal health and stimulates the taste buds in such a way that, an alert is sent to the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid secretion, thereby improving digestion. Garlic reduces cholesterol and blood pressure and reduces risk of heart attack and heart diseases. Cumin powder has healing effects for nausea, infection, inflammatory problems, autoimmune disorder, high blood pressure, cholesterol levels and digestive disorders. Cardamom helps in reducing flatulence and strengthening digestive activities. It activates our appetite by acting on salivary secretion. It is a time-tested medicine for nausea, dry vomiting, motion sickness, vertigo and indigestion, in general. Turmeric Powder works as an antioxidant thus preventing the formation of cancer cells & is capable of controlling Alzheimer's disease. Cinnamon has favourable effects on brain function and memory. It soothes the stomach, helps prevent ulcers, reduces blood sugar and increases insulin levels.

Coffee…107

Indians start the day with coffee to promote memory power. Yes, says our tradition. An average Indian starts his day with a cup of hot coffee. This drink keeps him fresh throughout the day. A study conducted by Arizona University reveals this amazing property of coffee. It has a chemical by name 'Caffeine' that contributes to the memory power of people even past their sixties. In aged people, memory power fluctuates. In the early hours of the day, they hold good memory power and afterwards it slackens. The presence of 'caffeine' balances this fluctuation.  It is hoped that regular use of coffee can defend the onset of Alzheimer's that destroys the brain cells and reduces memory power. Coffee thus enhances memory power. Our forefathers adopted and recommended this drink for the future generation, not merely as a drink, but also as a defence to safeguards one’s brain.

Bath After Attending A Funeral…108

Compulsory in India to enter the house only after taking a bath and drenching the dress after attending a funeral - It is customary that on return from a burial or cremation, one must take bath with the clothes still on, otherwise the spirit of the deceased would disturb you, says the belief. This of course is a superstition. But the secret behind this is a convincing one. Once a man is dead, his dead body emits large numbers of venomous germs into the atmosphere. Those who touch the dead body or go near it are all exposed to these germs. In order to wash them off and avoid chances of getting diseases, it is better to take bath. A shower in the cool water can restore the energy, whose waves start from the brain and spreads to the whole body, killing the germs. As the dress can also spread diseases, the tradition insists on their drenching and in turn washing them too. This belief observed here is driven by a strong sense of cleanliness and for the purpose of immunization against diseases.

Planting Of Flowers…108

Sages in India insist planting of flowers and medicinal plants in houses and temples. The older generations insisted on growing a collection of medicinal plants in every house. They served the purpose of first aid for common ailments. Some of them are treated as panacea for certain ailments as indigenous medicines. A flower by name coronaria, the favourite of Lord Vishnu, Lord Sankaranarayana and Lord Sastha, is in fact a medicinal shrub to cure eye diseases. Lotus, the favorite of the Mother Goddess too, has medicinal value. Crataeva leaf that pleases Lord Shiva and others used in the puja of all deities, are all in fact medicinal plants. Basil leaf helps the digestion process. Crataeva leaf is used for the treatment of diabetes. The neem tree and the margosa are other plants that adorn the home gardens have high medicinal value.  Hibiscus reinforces the uterus of women. Its leaves are squeezed and the juice is used as shampoo. Jasmine is a major ingredient in certain Ayurvedic medicines. The flower of the plant by name Ixora Coceinea is an effective cure for scury in children.

Fasting…108

Indian tradition of fasting helps in the purification of blood, digestive organs and clear urea and fat. All our Puranas and epics recommend fasting as a means of realization of God. Ekadesi Vrutha or fasting on a particular day is hailed as the most auspicious fasting. Simply sitting and avoiding food is not fasting. Instead, fasting should mean meditation and complete submission to God Purity of mind is a condition for the observance of fasting. Otherwise it is nothing other than starving. Full fasting is recommended twice a month on Ekadesi days and partial fasting again, twice a month on Shashti days. Modern science admits that fasting is advantageous to both body and mind. Prayers, meditation and virtuous thoughts cheer up the mind and give power of concentration and confidence. As for the body, fasting helps in the purification of blood and digestive organs. If you eat more, your intestines always remain full. A timely fasting clears these organs of waste materials. Digestive organs can enjoy the rest needed. The blood gets purified and clears off urea and fat.

Washing Feet And Removing Shoes…108

Indian traditional families insist on washing the feet, removing the shoes and keeping them outside the house. A small pot with water at the entrance of the house in fact conveys a message. It silently asks the visitor to have clean feet and hands, to enter the house. A home is what gives refuge to us. Hence it should be treated as sacred a place as that of worship. When you come back home after an outing, do wash your feet, hands and face before stepping inside the house. It is quite logical to insist on this because it is part of hygiene. The person who comes from outside may bring germs of diseases and all sorts of filth on his body, especially on his feet. Washing them off using clean water, saves him as well as prevents others from these germs. We live in a modern world, advanced in every sense of the word, but the sense of cleanliness observed in Indian traditional families far excels what we have in other parts of the world. These healthy practices had great effect on the hygiene and health of our ancestors.

Mango Leaves…108

Indian folklores are aware of the scientific use of mango leaves. A newly built house, before being occupied, is adorned with mango leaves, especially during a house warming ceremony. There is a scientific aspect behind this custom. During the house warming ceremony, Guests in large numbers are invited who visit the new house to celebrate the ceremony. Naturally, the air circulated there, becomes impure. The mango leaves are said to have a property of purifying the air. That is why mango leaves are used for decoration. Our forefathers realized this and hence they used mango leaves in several other ceremonies. They used mango leaves to clean the teeth, because they knew these leaves can kill germs. Those who step into the wells in order to clean them are advised to lower a branch of mango tree with leaves into the well, swing it round within the well for a short time. The poisonous gases inside the well get purified.

Prohibiting Footwear Entry To Prayer Places…108

Our Indian system strictly prohibits entering prayer places, temples and residences with footwear Modern medical science hails the arguments in favour of walking barefooted. Walking barefooted helps in effecting proper blood circulation of the body and ultimately leads to a healthy life. As one walks along a rough surface, pressure is incurred under the feet directly. This stimulates the functioning of the body, according to modern science. The nervous system under the feet that extends from the toe to the heel is directly connected to the internal organs such as brain, heart, kidney and liver. Therefore the stimulation received under the feet enhances the functioning of these parts.  Acupuncture, the Chinese method of treatment in which needles are pricked under the feet is familiar to us. The effect of walking bare-footed is better than the acupuncture treatment.  Hindu tradition thus prescribes entering sacred places, bare footed. We consider the premises of the temple a holy place and which have a high degree of positive energy. The ground is charged with magnetic power. Radiation of magnetic power into human body is good for health. The temple yard is exposed to leaves of medicinal plants and flowers that emit positive energy. The holy water used in the worship and bathing of the idol, falls on the ground that enriches and sanctifies the premises. Hence, placing one's feet on such a floor will have a positive effect on the devotee. A magnetic therapy, as termed by modern science, takes place while walking bare footed in the sacred places.

Indian Tilak…108

Indian tilak mark on the forehead absorbs the medicinal elements from the sunrays and transfers to brain. Indian tilak mark on the forehead with sandal wood paste, saffron and holy ash absorbs the medicinal elements from the sunrays and transfers them to the brain. A tilak mark on the forehead represents spiritual enlightenment. We usually put the mark on the lower forehead, between the two eyebrows, where Lord Shiva's third eye is supposed to exist. We use saffron, sandalwood paste or holy ash to put as tilak mark on the fifth energy centre in the body located in the middle of the forehead. A psychotherapist applies hypnotism, concentrating this portion. As one wears saffron here, it absorbs the medicinal elements from the sunrays and transfers it to the brain. Scientific studies in relation to sunrays and human body reveal that wearing sandalwood paste, saffron and holy ash at dawn or in the morning and in the evening respectively, helps in the healing of ailments and keeping the nervous system alert.

Vibhudhi Or Holy Ash…108

Indians wear Vibhudhi or “holy ash”. Pure Vibhudhi has many scientific qualities and is a preventive medicine for many ailments. Most Hindus apply Vibhudhi mark on the forehead, before chanting the prayers. Medicinal value justifies this practice. To obtain pure Vibhudhi, first collect dung of a cow that eats only grass. Burn it in the husk on the Shivarathri day and obtain the ash. Wash it in water, dry it again and offer it to Lord Shiva. This Vibhudhi is to be kept in a clean and holy place. Vibhudhi is used either wet or dry. It is capable of absorbing the swelling on the body and controlling the body temperature. Wet Vibhudhi applied on the forehead of a person suffering from fever, reduces his temperature.  As per Hindu belief, applying holy ash on the body pleases Lord Shiva. One is supposed to apply Vibhudhi on the forehead, neck, shoulders andelbows.  If Vibhudhi is applied on the forehead, it absorbs the moisture there. If it is put on the hind neck, again it absorbs the moisture and possible allied ailments.Ears - Seventy two thousand nerves join together and accretion of fat or swelling is possible in each nerve, in turn, it would lead to arthritis. But the presence of holy ash cuts short this possibility. Thus Vibhudhi is a preventive medicine for many ailments.

Visiting Temples With Wet Clothes…109

Indians visit temples in wet clothes. Modern medical science approves dressing in wet clothes lessens the heat in the stomach, thereby promoting digestion. It was believed that being dressed in wet clothes causes pain in the stomach. Many temples have tanks and rivers nearby and people visiting temples after a dip in them for purity of mind and body, was a regular sight till recently. In fact, wearing wet clothes is beneficial to the stomach. The food we eat and the liquids we drink contain several poisonous elements and they accumulate in the stomach. This poses a threat to proper digestion. Lack of easy excretion causes high temperature in the stomach, which in turn leads to diseases. Modern medical science therefore approves of being dressed in wet clothes as a means to lessen the heat in the stomach, thereby promoting digestion.  Our ancestors prescribed it in the appearance of Godliness and their far sighted clever prescription has proved useful in safeguarding the body health.

Upper Garments Not Worn By Men...109

Indian men should not wear upper garments while entering temples. In certain temples, it is a practice that men should not wear a shirt or other upper garments.  It is believed that Godly grace fills in him as he stands at the door facing the idol, with folded hands. The rays emitting from each part of the idol from head to foot, reaches the devotee and enters each and every part of the body. Hence it is advisable for men to avoid the upper garments, while praying in a temple. Visiting a temple in wet clothes and a wet body helps the devotee absorb the divine grace more effectively. For women, it is not practical to resort to this practice. It would be humiliating motherhood. Exposure to the morning and evening sunlight has another advantage. It makes the body healthier by absorbing Vitamin- D in abundance.

Preventing Women During Menstruation…109

Indian tradition prevents women from entering temples during menstruation Indian tradition prevents women from entering temples and offering prayers during the menses period. Men should not be blamed for this, for it is not discrimination imposed on them. On the other hand, it is part of concern and recognition for them. In olden days women were given an exclusive bed and a room to stay in, during menstruation. The period was counted as days of impurity. She was denied permission not only to visit a temple, but even to come to the doorstep of the prayer room of the house. She was not allowed to go near medicinal plants as well. She could not approach even her husband. Men, who observed fast with a view to visit certain temples, stay away from home, cook food themselves and avoid the presence of women during this period. The body temperature of the women varies during menstruation. If they visit temple at this time, this difference in the temperature can have an effect on the idol. It is in order to avoid this adverse effect on the divine grace of the deity that this taboo is observed. It is scientifically proven that the presence of women during their period, cause the death of silk worms in the fields. Silk worms cannot bear a sudden change in the temperature, even by a little degree. The presence of women undergoing menstruation can transfer a lower temperature from their body and thereby affect the lives of worms. The position of the silk worm in its pupa is left as if absorbed in deep meditation. Therefore this taboo is quite valid.

Wearing Tulsi And Drinking Tulsi Water…109

Indian sages prescribed wearing Tulsi behind the ear, drinking Tulsi water as healthy and today's science has accepted the same. Traditionally, our ancestors wore a tulsi leaf behind their ears while offering prayers and even afterwards. Today we know that it has great scientific relevance. The most powerful point of absorption in the human body is right behind the ears. This medicinal element of the leaf is easily absorbed by the skin behind the ears. Therefore Tulsi, basil, is planted and grown with respect. Tulsi is considered holy and hence it should not be touched when one is impure. One should go round the plant chanting specific hymns. While plucking leaves or flowers, one is supposed to utter certain hymns. The holy plant should be left intact on Ekadasi, on Tuesdays, Fridays and in the evenings. A visit to a temple followed by consumption of holy water has certain advantages. Holy water when added with Tulsi leaves becomes more effective. It has the effect of medicine.  In foreign countries, there is a type of pure water that is used, called 'clustered water'. American scientists have found out clustered water to ward off the dangers of widespread pollution. This is highly purified and includes minerals that keep the body healthy and alert.Two drops of clustered water added to a glass of ordinary water is a sure- shot health drink. Tulsi water has the same properties as clustered water. Celebrated Indian scientist Dr. T.P. Sasikumar has researched on this. He collected the Tulsi water, used to bathe the idol of the deity and conducted experiments on it. He found that this water had all the properties ascribed to the clustered water. Our sages knew the advantages of Tulsi water and hence they insisted on drinking it.

Circumnutate The Banyan Tree…109

Our ancestors insisted on circumnutating the banyan tree for a valid scientific reason.    Banyan trees are grown in the premises of all famous temples. Sages have made it a rule to circumnutate the tree when you visit the temple.  Banyan tree lets out oxygen in abundance. The huge tree provides a cool shade too. Going round the tree exposed to fresh air is indeed a good exercise.Apart from oxygen, banyan tree produces ozone in a small quantity. As the density of ozone is higher than that of air, the ozone remains under the tree. Ozone purifies the air and destroys the germs in the lungs.

Women Banned to Prostrate Before Deity…109

Indian woman is banned from lying prostrate before the deity while offering prayers, as this act causes dislocation of uterus in women. A prostrated worship requires the use of eight factors namely the chest, forehead, word, mind, cupped hands, eyes, knee and feet. While lying prostrate, toes of feet, knees, chest and forehead alone are supposed to touch the ground. Thus, one should lie down, stretch the hands above the head, fold them in salutation offer prayers, chant hymns, see the deity with the eyes and meditate on him, in the mind. This observance does not befit the body structure of women. Modern science too points out that this observance can cause dislocation of uterus in women and hence is not advisable for them. However simply kneeling before the deity and praying, will not harm them. Instead, it acts as an exercise.

Gayanthri Mantra…109

Scientists admit that the chanting of the Gayathri Mantra makes a man brilliant and bold, fills him with abundance of positive energy and strength. It is believed that Gayathri manthram chanting contributes to one's intellect. In India only a specific group of people observed this manthram. They deliberately propagated an unwritten law that they were the sole authority on Gayathri chanting. But later on every section of people including the women folk started chanting this mantra. Apart from Indians, people all over the world now experience the potency of this mantra and enjoy its benefits. Om Bhur Bhuvah Swaha , Tat Savitur  Varenyam,  Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi,  Dhiyo Yo Na Prachodayat. This is the Gayathri mantra. This mantra is called Devamatha, mother of gods. 'One who observes this mantra properly undergoes many positive changes and one becomes morally and physically strong enough to overcome all difficulties in life. Studies and experiments on the potency of this spell are being conducted worldwide. But the scientific aspect of this spell has already been proven. The amazing fact revealed in this regard is that Gayathri mantra can rouse the wisdom glands in the brain. The person who chants this mantra experiences continuous vibrations in his brain which keeps him vigilant all the time. This makes all his endeavours successful. When a person chants Gayathri Mantra once rhythmically in the prescribed way, about one lakh energy waves are aroused around his head. Scientists agree that exposure to gayathri mantra chanting makes a man brilliant and bold, fills him with over abundance of positive energy and strength.

Flowers To Be Used For Worship…110

Indian sages identify the flowers that can be used to worship God. Thaazhampoo flowers are not used in pujas. This pretty, sweet smelling flower is banned in pujas!   There is a legendary story behind this ban. Thaazhampoo is said to have acted as an eyewitness to Lord Shiva. But she had lied. Hence she was duly punished and could no longer be used in pujas. But there is a scientific reason why the flower is kept in 'exile'. The flower lets out negative energy in abundance. When we examine the flowers used for puja, we find that they all have positive energy emitting from them. Our sages in the past knew that only such flowers could be included in the worship of God! One can get divine grace even from a deserted temple courtyard. This is owing to the style of construction of the temple. The premise of the temple emits geo energy in abundance. A person who steps into the courtyard receives positive energy. Dr. Prabhat Kumar Poddar has written in Sukritheedra, Oriental Research Institute Journal in October 1999. He conducted his research in an abandoned temple in Mamallapuram near Chennai. It was a Shiva temple with a broken Shivalinga or idol left without being typically worshipped.

Burning Of Camphor…110

Inspite of the neglect the courtyard of the temple showed the presence of a flow of positive energy. It is this energy that activates the devotee and fills him with a positive attitude and confidence. Burning camphor destroys poisonous germs. Indian sages realized this and recommended the practice for the benefit of mankind. In pujas, burning camphor and moving it in a clockwise direction around the idol of the deity is a common practice. Incense sticks are also burnt and placed before the deity.  Atheists strongly argue that these are mere superstitions. Theists think these are performed in order to please the deity. But the fact is different. The smoke emitted from burning camphor and incense sticks lets out abundance of positive energy waves. The smoke of the camphor can destroy poisonous germs which in turn enhances the grace of God. The sages, who realized this long ago, recommended these practices for the benefit of mankind.

Sleeping Without Clothes….110

Sleeping without clothes not recommended Even in a closed private room, it is not correct to sleep naked according to Indian ethics. This ban was strictly imposed on women in particular.  Gandharvas or celestial beings would visit them during the night and sleep with them, if they lie naked.  Modern science also insists that it is not correct to sleep naked. It is pointed out that several chemical changes takes place during the night. A naked body is fully exposed to these changes. It can harm the body, especially the genitals. Hence medical science warns against sleeping naked.

Bathing Directions….110

Ancestors in India advised the bathing directions Our forefathers gave instructions regarding how, when and facing what direction, one should take bath. In olden days, bathing was mostly a matter of taking dip bath in rivers or fresh water tanks. People avoid taking bath facing the west. Planets and stars move around the Earth from east to west. The magnetic power also moves around the earth from east to west. As you take a dip bath facing the west, the magnetic power will have its effect on your back. On the contrary, if you are facing the East, the magnetic power flows into the front side of the body, thereby magnetic power is received by the heart and other organs positively. Our forefathers urged us to dry the back first after a bath for a scientific reason. Old tradition says that two deities abide and reside within our body known as Sreedevi, the deity of gracefulness and Moodevi, the deity of inauspiciousness. As soon as we pour water on our head to take bath, both the deities leave the body and wait. They keep fighting as to decide who should possess the body first. The part of the body which is dried first is held by Moodevi, the deity of inauspiciousness. Hence if the back is dried first, the evil deity enters there and Sreedevi, the deity of gracefulness has no other option but to assume the face, thereby turning it graceful the whole day. Otherwise, if Moodevi abides in the face leaving the person looking gloomy, lazy and short - tempered. Apart from this legendary story, there is a scientific reason behind this belief. While taking bath, our body experiences cold on all parts. But, the most affected part is the backbone. If the backbone is exposed to cold, it will lead to ailments. Hence, immediately after bath, one needs to dry the back. This belief holds good only in the case of a dip bath in the cool waters of the river, in the early morning.

Betel Leaf…110

India glorifies the use of Betel leaf and also labels it auspicious Betel leaf is traditionally considered an auspicious sign. It is unique since it implies all deities. At the tip of the betel leaf abides Sree Mahalakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, in the middle, Sree Saraswathi, the embodiment of all knowledge, Jyeshta Bhagavathi stays on the foot stalk, on the left side of the leaf abides Parvathi, on the right Bhoodevi. Goddess Earth, on the foreside Lord Siva and overleaf Lord Vishnu. Apart from these deities, Sukra, Indra, Soorya the Sun God and Kamadeva  all find their place in the leaf. In fact the presence of these deities represents high properties of the betel leaf.  Indians insists that it is auspicious to chew betel in the morning, at noon, in the evening and at night. One Is not supposed to chew betel on days of fasting. In India, betel is used to remove worms. According to traditional Ayurvedic medicine, chewing areca nut and betel leaf is a good remedy against bad breath or halitosis. They are also said to have aphrodisiac properties. In Malaysia they are used to treat headaches, arthritis and joint pain. In Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and China they are used to relieve toothache.In Philippines, they are used specifically as a stimulant and are believed to strengthen the teeth and gums. In Indonesia they are drunk as an infusion and used as an antibiotic. They are also used in an infusion to cure indigestion, as a topical cure for constipation, as a decongestant and as an aid to lactation. Almost all Indonesian women use sirih betel leaves in bath water after giving birth as it shrinks the vaginal canal.  It also counters unpleasant smells. The Indonesian government has endorsed betel leaves daun sirih as a natural medication against vaginal discharge.

Thoppukaranam…111

Our culture makes us proud to know that the world is trying to learn what our forefathers had introduced several thousands of years ago. Thoppukaranam It is the Indian tradition to invoke the blessings of Lord Ganesh before starting anything. It is strongly believed that Ganesha removes any stumbling block in our endeavour. It is a centuries old tradition, to pray to Ganesha, by performing what is called 'Thoppukaranam' in Tamil. 'Thoppukaranam' is performed by holding the left ear with right hand fingers  and the right by left hand fingers and simultaneously sitting and standing. This is repeated several times. Many Indians have been doing this since childhood without knowing the purpose for which it is done. Of course, we do believe that this 'Thoppukaranam' will bring a lot of good to us. Each and every routine action followed by Hindu culture is backed by some scientific truth. Unfortunately our forefathers have not passed on the secret or scientific truth to the next generation. Every exercise is mixed with religious belief and convention. Probably this is because our elders would have thought that these things can be enforced only under the guise of religious formalities or conventions. One such thing is 'Thoppukaranam'.  We have come across several occasions where a person fulfils his 'prarthana' by performing 18 or 108 or even 1008 'Thoppukaranams' before Lord Ganesha. Yale University School of Medicine has introduced' Thoppukaranam' by naming it as 'Superbrain yoga'. According to sources, 'Thoppukaranam' activates the acupuncture points at right and left ears thereby activating the right and left brains.  Fifteen minutes of 'Thoppukaranam' increases the brain power immensely according to sources. Such is the depth of the great Indian meaningful Sastras and Sambradayas.  If we follow these age old practices we stand to gain in the long run. Let us be proud of our culture and hold our head high. It makes us proud to know that the world is trying to learn what our forefathers had introduced several thousands of years ago.

Importance Of Direction East…111

What is the importance of the direction East? East is the most important among the directions. Among the two magnetic circles around the earth that exerts its influences are from South to North and from East to West. The latter is healthier and congenial to human beings. The sun, planets and stars bestow their magnetic power around the Earth through this latitudinal circles and thus make these magnetic circles, fit for the existence of living beings. These circles account for seasonal changes, the richness of the soil and diversity of the flora  and fauna . It is a healthy practice to lie with the head towards the East, while sleeping. The lamp for the morning prayers or during auspicious occasions, should face eastward. Buildings should have their main entrance facing the East. Shrines  could be better installed in this direction in the premises. Sweeping the courtyard should begin from the East. It would be the ideal direction for setting up a stable. All auspicious ceremonies should be observed facing the East. This holds good with respect to   marriage, birthday feast and wearing of new clothes. Wells and tanks are dug in this direction.

Do's And Dont's Of Food Habits…111

Indian tradition recommends the Dos and don’ts of food habits. Never consume honey and ghee together since their combination has the effect of poison if consumed at the same time. Curd or butter milk should not be accompanied by banana. Meals comprising rice should not be accompanied by fruits because the minerals in the fruits get neutralized. Vegetables consumed along with butter, harms the body. Do not consume milk or curd immediately after eating fish or dry fish, it entails a possibility of  white leprosy. Rice from boiled paddy is recommended for people with a lean body. Wheat food is recommended for people with a fat body. Asthmatic patients have accumulation of phlegm in their body. Therefore they should avoid tomato, ash gourd and radish. Do not apply anything cold on head while taking bath. Those suffering from piles should not eat egg, meat and highly pungent food. Do not keep ghee in bronze vessels. Do not drink tea or coffee on an empty stomach in the morning. First drink a glass of water. Those suffering from ulcer or jaundice should avoid chilly or pickles in their food. Women during their periods should not eat sesame, pumpkin or papaya. Those suffering from skin diseases should avoid snake gourd, ground nut, fish, dry fish, pungent food, sour food, beans etc. Do not eat wheat food prepared with gingili oil. Those suffering from knee pain or arthritis should not eat meat and egg.

Best Combinations Of Food…111

In India some of the best combinations of food that contribute to our health.  Milk and plantain. Spinach and chilly. Red chilly and coriander seed. Groundnut and jaggery. Beaten paddy and milk or ghee. Black gram vada and honey or ghee or banana. Jack fruit and honey. Rice and pounded pigeon pea or ghee. Green chilly and coriander leaf. Cucumber and salt and chilly power.

Food On Plates Of Different Materials…111

What are the effects of serving food on plates made of different materials  Eating food served on silver plate adds to one's beauty. Since it emits positive energy, it contributes to a positive mental disposition. Plates made of bronze will harm the user. Aluminum is also harmful to the body. Plastic plates and vessels should not be used at all. If you eat food, served on plantain leaf, bilious complaints, skin diseases and rheumatism will  be cured. It adds to the span of life as well. If you eat rice gruel using a spoon made of jack leaf, certain elements in the leaf help develop your intellect.

Ring Should Be Worn On The Left Hand Finger…111

Why should we wear a ring in the finger of the left hand - Our sages have recommended wearing a ring in the finger of the left hand for scientific reasons. There is an important part in our brain called cerebellum. This part contributes to the efficiency of all our activities. There is connection between our ring finger in the left hand and the cerebellum through blood vessel. If we wear a ring studded with Navarathnas nine gems, it absorbs the energy of the sunrays and assimilates the required power of the planet befitting our body. It empowers our body. The ring helps the cerebellum work efficiently and keeps both our body and mind alert and active.

1750000 Year Old Man-made Bridge- NASA. USA…111

India - Rameswaram. Discovery of a 1,750,000 year old man-made Bridge by  NASA, USA Proved Indian purana epic is true - This was built by Lord Rama of Ramayana between Rameswaram and Sri Lanka. In the Ramayana, Rama carried out an incredible, romantic and duty-bound undertaking to rescue his wife from Ravana, a magnificent King and religious Shaivite Brahmin, whose fascination for Sita caused his downfall. Kidnapping Sita, he flees India, forcing Rama to go abroad on a long journey to another ancient and foreign land, Lanka. Hundreds of temples mark the route, each a stop where Rama sought answers, guidance and spiritual strength to achieve his lofty purpose. This route, well documented in the Ramayana with descriptive geography, has been interpreted and mapped by Prof. H. Daniel Smith and Sitharam Gurumurthi. Many believe the Ramayana to be a true life story, a historical record of an ancient time, in India. Others discredit this theory and degrade the epic as a mere work of fiction. However, there is an interesting worldwide stream of research in the Absolute and Cultural Sciences, that is discovering more and more of the pieces of this ancient secret. Scientists mapping the Earth with satellite and other technologies are finding truth in ancient times claims Astronomers and physicists are beginning to discover links between the origin of the space and the Hindu concept of time and creation.  Ecologists who believe in evolution are tracing parallels between the avatars and the stages of development. Rama’s existence is gaining credibility and validity with recent scientific mapping and research.  In this regard, one of the latest finding of NASA USA is ‘Adam’s Bridge or Rama’s Bridge which is 30 km long, in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. According to Ramayana the great Hindu epic, the bridge was built to transport Rama and his team, hero of the Ramayana, to the island, to rescue his wife from the demon King Ravana. NASA Images Found 1,750,000 Year Old Man-Made Bridge. The NASA Shuttle has imaged a mysterious ancient bridge between India and Sri Lanka, as mentioned in the Ramayana. NASA recently discovered a bridge, currently named as Adam’s Bridge in the Palk Straits between India and Sri Lanka which reveals a mystery behind it.  NASA says that the bridge’s unique curvature and composition by age, reveals that it is man-made. Legend as well as archaeological studies reveals that the first signs of human inhabitants in Sri Lanka dates back to the primitive age, about 1,750,000 years ago and the bridge’s age is almost equivalent. Rama is said to have lived in the Treta Yuga of our current Maha Yuga cycle. This puts his existence somewhere roughly between 869,103 and 1,296,000 years.

Get Away From Death…112

“Get away from death” - In Indian traditional prayer room, incense sticks and camphor cubes used on a regular basis and faith in such worship saved a devotee from the worst industrial accident and unprecedented death toll caused by the leaking of the MIC gas from the Union Carbide factory at Bhopal. Many who ran out fell dead on the way. One family was not affected by the gas; ‘Chottanikarai Amman’ guided them to the safest place in the house, “the puja room” where the atmosphere remained purified by the burning incense sticks and camphor cubes. True story follows - Shankar was woken up by the continuous knocking on his door. It was 2 a.m. Outside he heard some commotion. The knocking continued for some more time. Who could be the intruder at this hour of the night, Shankar thought for a while.  The knocking stopped abruptly. He heard the main door creaking open. Shankar was sure that he had bolted and locked ‘the door before he went to bed. He could still feel the keys below the pillow. No one could have opened the door without his knowledge. His wife was still sleeping by his side. There was no one else other than them, in the house. Then who opened the door and permitted the stranger inside the house? He heard steps approaching the bed room. Soon he felt the presence of someone looming over him. It could simply be a vision due to a tired brain, he thought. In his tiredness and half asleep state, he might have been dreaming. But when he wiped his eyes to have a clear look at the intruder, the realisation came in a shocking flash of certainty. Somebody was standing at his bedside! The figure dressed in white was signaling to him to get up and to follow him! He rubbed his eyes again to confirm that he was not dreaming. The gentleman was still there, as real as his own existence. He could see the books he had left open on the table, could see the calendar hanging beyond on the wall. Shankar sat up and covered himself with a shawl and followed the figure.  Though a bit scared, he followed the vague figure, as he wanted to know what trouble it intended. The figure led him to the drawing room and then to the verandah. Once outside, it enlarged in size and dissolved into thin air! Shankar stood breathless, suddenly feeling exhausted. Luckily, the supernatural figure did not harm him. By then, his wife had also come out complaining of suffocation. “What is happening? Why is there a commotion outside?” she asked. Outside, people from their colony were running, shouting “get away from death, there has been a disaster.” All types of vehicles were racing in mad haste crowded with passengers, all shouting “bhago”. It appeared as though some major explosion had occurred nearby. “Let us also get out of this place,” he told her “I too am feeling suffocated.” “Before making any decision, better make a phone call and find out what is happening” she advised him. The telephone was dead. He came back not knowing what to do. “Let us pray to ‘Amma’. She will guide us and keep us away from danger” she told him. “There is no time to waste”, he told her. “Do you want to die in this house inhaling poison when all sensible people are rushing out of their dwellings to keep away from death?’ “What guarantee is there that we would be safe outside?” she asked. “It is better to seek Amma’s blessings when we do not know what to do”. Both went to the puja room to pray. They remained there in the closed room praying till dawn, comforted by Her presence. At 6 in the morning, the telephone rang. Shankar came out to attend the call. “Are you still there?” Gautam, his cousin from Hoshangabad asked. “The whole colony of yours is bereft of any soul except you. How come you stayed on?” “We just remained here not knowing what to do”, he replied. “By the way, what caused the turmoil? Any bomb explosion?” Gautam replied, “It was the worst industrial accident the country has ever witnessed”. Gautam narrated all that had happened the previous night, the unprecedented death toll caused by the leaking MIC gas from the Union Carbide factory at Bhopal. The tragedy had also left an unaccountable number of people seriously affected. “You were lucky to have taken a decision to remain indoors” he continued. “You are the only family not affected by the gas. Many who ran out fell dead on the way. I am told that Ramesh and his family staying next to your residence had a tragic end last night while driving to escape the gas effect.” Shankar could not believe that their decision to stay in the house saved them. He narrated the conversation to his wife. Lila thanked ‘Amma’ for having guided them away from the lurking danger to the safest place in the house “the puja room“ where the atmosphere remained purified by the burning incense sticks and camphor cubes. Luckily, they were not exposed to the killer gas by being insulated within its serene environment. It was not the first time that he got such a guidance which saved them from instant death, Shankar remembered. It had happened before too, in entirely unbelievable circumstances. “At least now you will have to believe that ‘Amma’ is taking care of us” Lila said. “It was just a chance” he responded to tease her. “Fate did not want us to die so early”. He laughed as if enjoying a joke at her expense. “You can believe  in chance and fate, but not on the grace of ‘Amma’?” she asked losing temper. “You still consider that life is controlled only by opportunities and chances and not by a Supreme power? Just because it is beyond your comprehension, you have no right to treat it as a laughing matter.” I agree that it was all due to the blessings of ‘Amma’” he said in a conciliatory tone. The incident did not have any logical explanation to offer, just like several other incidents in his life, Shankar recollected. Could it be just a chance that he woke up and followed that formless figure to find out the lurking danger outside? Or could it be due to the ardent faith his wife had in ‘Amma’ that saved his family from tragedy?

Sloka For Lighting Lamp…112

Sloka for lighting lamp - Light is considered as a symbol of auspiciousness, prosperity and abundance in the Hindu religion. Light brings brightness with it and removes the darkness. Light makes it possible to see things clearly. Following Sloka can be recited while lighting the lamp. This prayer is also known as ''deepa shlokam''. "Subham Karoti Kalyanam - as Arogyam Dhana Sampadah - Shatru Buddhi Vinashaya - Dipa Jyotir Namostute. Meaning: "I fold my hands before the light that brings prosperity, auspiciousness, good health, abundance of wealth and destruction of the enemy's intellect". Here, Darkness symbolizes enemy's intellect and with the arrival of light, darkness disappears. Likewise, Light, symbolizing God's Grace, destroys darkness which is enemy's intellect. "Deepajyothi Parabrahma - Deepajyothi Janardhana - Deepo Me Hara Tu Paapam - Deepaa Jyothir Namostute" Meaning: "I fold my hands before the Lord, the maintainer of this creation, in the form of this Light. I adore this Light, which destroys all the pains resulting from my omissions and commissions".

Eating On A Banana Leaf…113

Prevents cancer - digests food, Eating on a banana leaf - When hot cooked food is served on a banana leaf, the upper layer produces chlorophyll which prevents cancer. And the sweating from the leaf due to the hot food being placed on the leaf, also helps digest the food. The banana tree is also considered to be very sacred in the Hindu religion and in the same way the banana leaf is used to offer food items to the god. The banana leaf is the cleanest leaf among all leaves. It is said that the banana leaf is coated with some particular chemicals on the top.  This coating of the chemicals make the food very tasty and when they are consumed along with the food, it improves the digestion process and gives us ample energy. The banana leaf can be easily disposed as the dogs clean up the remaining food present in the leaf after eating and the cow eats the whole leaf that is disposed. Hot food served on a banana leaf absorbs the nutritional and medicinal values of the banana tree. The leaf is bio-degradable unlike plastic plates. Ghee and oil do not stick to the banana leaf and so enjoying these flavours are easier. It is advised to use fresh tender leaf as the dust and germs are minimized. Using banana leaf is eco-friendly and also enhances the taste. Banana leaves are used in functions like marriages, weddings, birthday celebrations and other celebrations at home. Food served to guests on a banana leaf is considered humble and respectful. The major advantage of the banana leaf is the space that is available in it. The basic Items like salt, pickle varieties, chutneys, dry sweet, aviyal, thuvayal, poriyal -and the main courses dal, kootu, curry, sambar, rasam, tamarind curry and curd, payasam, poppadom and vada, can be well accommodated in it. Banana or plantain is usually served at the end. If one eats on banana leaf regularly, the face and skin would be radiant. Fire victims, who have third degree burns, are made to lie on this leaf as it cools the person. The heat of the burn will be minimized to a greater extent. Thus banana leaf has a great part to play in the day-to-day life of people in South India.

Sashtiapthapoorthi And Sathabidhekam…113

Do we have celebrations like Sashtiaptapoorthi, Sathabhishekam for women too Certainly - These functions are not gender based. Basically these are conducted to ward-off certain doshas one accumulates by living a long life and to purify the souls from such doshas. Hence, these are not gender oriented and who ever completes the age of 60 or 80 or 100 should conduct these rituals. It is our ignorance that these rituals are only for men, which is not true. Our vedhas and rituals have never discriminated women in any form.

Cannot Conduct Homams In Singapore ?...113

As per the laws in Singapore and in most other countries we cannot conduct Homam in the house. How do we conduct Grahapravesham in Singapore?  Without Vasthu homam, Ganapathy homam and Navagraha homam how can the function be complete? It is inevitable. If one has to gain something one should be prepared to lose something. Earlier we were prevented from settling abroad. But today it is not possible as the world has become one small village and one has to venture out in search of wealth and knowledge. But as per Dharmasastra, you can still live abroad and should adhere to the rules and regulations of that country. However, whenever one finds an opportunity to come to our country they should conduct these rituals in temples or public places and complete the Prartha Karma.

Darbai Grass…113

Darbai grass significance - In ancient times, people used to have ceilings made only of Darbai grass. Darbai has a special medicinal value. It can keep snakes and poisonous pests and insects away from the house and keep the house cool. It has the capacity to remove the urea and creatinine in the blood. It has high conductivity and that is why it is being used where gold and silver are used. Owing to its intensive repulsive character, darbai grass is placed during Grahana days on food items to prevent the food from getting spoilt. Darbai grass is an important pooja item for prayers and Homams.

Sanskrit…113

Language of the Gods and Sages. Mantrs are chanted in Sanskrit. When Scientists of NASA were attempting to develop a computer machine-friendly language to suit the programming for demanding operations, they found out that Sanskrit perfectly suited every requirement of their expectation  – A surprising Factor for NASA, USA America -  1,000 years old living spoken language with considerable literature of its own. Besides works of literary value, there was a long philosophical and grammatical tradition that has continued to exist with undiminished vigour until the present century.  Sanskrit has long been termed as the language of the Gods and Sages and is supported with facts. Today, everybody requires scientific facts and support for any claim. The word “Sanskrit” means “complete”, that is, it suits every element and occasion in the universe. When Scientists of NASA were attempting to develop a computer machine-friendly language to suit the programming for demanding operations, they found out that Sanskrit perfectly suited every requirement of their expectation without having to intervene in the grammatical exchange of words. For example, if one has to Say “Lisa reads a book”, exchange the words in any other language would render different meanings and sometimes meaningless like “book reads a Lisa”. But Sanskrit is the only language in the whole world, where exchange of words refers to the same meaning all the time. Any interchanging of words in an expression of Sanskrit would literally mean the same and hence is quite easy to use it for machine language as they are generally built and based on matrix arrangements. Usage of Sanskrit means fewer matrixes and hence faster programming. While vested interests groups claim that Sanskrit is an extinct language, is still practiced as conversing language of many especially a place in Karnataka where around 5000 people of a particular sect practise Sanskrit as their mother tongue. All the prayers are conducted in temples and outside and the mantras are chanted in Sanskrit language, so it has been turned as the language of the gods and sages.

Coconut…113

Coconut – is a very important item for the pooja and prayer conducted in temples. There is no pooja, prayer, festival and function conducted in India without coconut. The first and far most required holiest item for any auspicious occasion is coconut. The Scientific Research on coconut has yielded amazing findings. The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, cancer, dental care and bone strength. Due to the various health benefits of coconut oil, though its exact mechanism of action was unknown, it has been extensively used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicinal system. Hair care: Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrition ingredient for hair. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged hair. Stress relief: Coconut oil is very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying coconut oil to the head followed with a gentle massage helps in removing mental fatigue. Skin care: Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil for the skin as well. Coconut oil forms the basic ingredient of various body care products such as soaps, lotions and creams used for skin care. Heart diseases: There is a misconception that coconut oil is not good for the heart as it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. However, coconut oil contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as it happens in case of other vegetable oils. It does not lead to increase in LDL levels. Weight loss: Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight.  Digestion - Used for cooking, Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and prevents various stomach and digestion problems including irritable bowel syndrome. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Healing: When applied on infections, it forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and virus. According to the Coconut Research Centre, coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, etc. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia and gonorrhoea. Coconut oil helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases. It also helps in dissolving kidney stones. Diabetes: Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar and improves the secretion of insulin Bones: Coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals like calcium and magnesium which are necessary for development of bones.  Dental care: Calcium is an important element present in teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in getting strong teeth. HIV and cancer: It is believed that coconut oil plays an instrumental role in reducing viral susceptibility of HIV and cancer patients. Finally, coconut oil is often preferred by athletes and body builders and by those who are on diet. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains lesser calories than other oils.

Rudraksha…114

Rudraksha Beads have been worn by mankind for thousands of years for good health, religious attainment and fearless life One can escape from untimely death by wearing Rudraksha, The Tears of Lord Siva that are Rudraksha, the original Vedic Beads of power worn by the yogis of India on the Himalayas for thousands of years to maintain health and to gain self empowerment and fearless life on their path to Enlightenment and Liberation. The Electromagnetic Properties of the Rudraksha Beads improve concentration, focus and mental stamina. Due to these same properties it was found that wearing these Beads around the heart reduced and controlled stress levels, blood pressure and hypertension resulting in the feeling of tranquility and calmness. Rudraksha Beads were found to be ideal for focused Meditation and other Spiritual Practices. Research has proven that Rudraksha have powerful Electromagnetic, paramagnetic and Inductive Properties that vary from the different Mukhis or facets, the different number of divisions found on the surface of each Bead. They also found that wearing or performing Japa with a particular Mukhi or set of Mukhis of the Rudraksha Beads created specific electrical impulses that are sent to the brain through the process of galvanic skin response stimulating certain brain centers that transfer information. This Bioelectric Stimulation affects the Biochemical System in the brain creating a positive impact on the activity of neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin levels that is evidenced by the positive transformation in the personality, mindset, outlook, charisma and the confidence of the wearer. It was also found that those wearing Rudraksha Beads were able to experience reduced stress reaction to unexpected levels that were normally possible only with continued doses of tranquilizers. The Alpha State produced in the brain boosts the confidence and inner strength of the wearer significantly and as a result the heart beat, circulation, function of endocrine glands and activity of neurons and respiration is normalized in the physical body. It was proven that wearing of Rudraksha controlled heart beat and had a positive effect on Blood Pressure, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Palpitations and Lack of Concentration. It was also found that Rudraksha Beads have anti ageing properties based on their Electromagnetism.Generations who have worn authentic Rudraksha Beads have repeatedly confirmed that they have experienced considerable relief from the debilitating effects of high blood pressure, stress, hypertension, depression and other mind related problems. The Vedic Puranas also show, there are more powerful Rudraksha Beads from 1 Mukhi to 21 Mukhi each capable of aligning our mind and the positive energies around us to specific aspects of health, happiness, spiritual fulfillment, prosperity, creativity, intuitive ability, material fulfillment, family harmony, attraction, self empowerment and fearless life. A man with meditation and perseverance and a wise man who wears Rudraksha gets rid of all the sins and attains the supreme goal of the human life. It means that Rudraksha mala must be worn at the time of worshipping Lord Shiva. A man who performs Vedic rituals, chanting mantras, yajnas etc without wearing Rudraksha, gets no virtue of fruit. The wearer of Rudraksha not only makes Lord Shiva happy but pleases Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, Ganesh, Kaartikeya, Durga, Indra, Aditya and the ruling deities of the nine planets. Rudraksha Beads have been worn by mankind for thousands of years for good health, religious attainment through Japa and fearless life. Wherever Rudraksha is worshipped the Goddess of wealth always stays there. One can escape from untimely death by wearing Rudraksha. Rudraksha assists in awakening of Kundalini the self pleasure point. Rudraksha is helpful for worldly and heavenly attainments. Rudraksha can make the whole family live together in peace and harmony. Rudraksha is best known for its biomedical properties and in controlling stress, Hypertension and blood pressure. Rudraksha help increase Self power and invoke Self love. They also enhance the Charisma of the wearer. Rudraksha can cure various dangerous diseases like small pox, epilepsy, whooping cough etc. and heal the most poisonous wounds, if used as a prescription, in a specified method. It gives peace of mind to the wearer, stimulates the mind and sharpens the intellect. Rudraksha bead is a divine gift from Lord Shiva to mankind for helping them to combat their miseries and sorrows. Therefore these divine beads can be worn by any body irrespective of age, sex, caste, creed, culture and location. However it is desirable that certain precautions be taken while using Rudraksha since it is a divine gift and therefore very pious. While purchasing a Rudraksha one should make sure that he is purchasing a genuine Rudraksha. The beads do not work at all if not strung correctly. While wearing a Rudraksha for the first time, it is advisable to get them energized with a proper Puja. Rudraksha beads are worn as pendants and bracelets on wrist or Upper arm. They may also be kept in the Puja room for benefit of the entire family. A Rudraksha mala, Bracelet or a pendant can be made using gold, silver or copper or simple thread. A Rudraksha mala should be cleaned once a month after soaking in tap water for 15-18 hours. Use a hard plastic brush to remove any dust or impurities. Avoid wearing beads during bath as the soap and grime enters the pores of beads and are difficult to clean. One may periodically apply sandalwood oil to the Rudraksha bead so that they remain shiny and perfumed. Children may also wear Rudraksha depending on the nature of their emotional and health concerns. Rudraksha should not be worn while attending a funeral. It is recommended to avoid wearing beads during sexual intimacy. The best way is to keep the Rudraksha in Puja place before going to sleep and wear the same next morning only after taking a bath. Worn while eating non veg, drinks, toilet hours, menstrual cycle for ladies provided the beads are kept in hygienic state and one does not touch the beads with soiled fingers.Family members should not keep interchanging Neck Malas, Japa Malas or Rudrksha beads.

Essential Food For Human Life…115

Food is essential for human life. However, humans view food as much more than basic sustenance. Many people like certain foods better than others and some people love their ethnic food. Most Indian cuisine is identified by similar usage of spices and use of a greater variety of vegetables compared to other cuisines. Flavours and aromas unlike any other cuisine, characterize Indian cooking and Religion. Geography and climate influence the cuisine as well. Indian cuisine is considered to be spicy by many. Most Indian dishes contain a delicate blend of spices. The basic spices are ginger, garlic, chilli powder, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander powder and cumin powder. Other items are mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, dried red chillies and curry leaves. Sweets are very popular all over India and are usually made with ingredients rich in fat like sugar and ghee or melted butter. ‘Jalebis’, luscious pretzel shaped loops fried till golden crisp and soaked in saffron sugar syrup can be had from any street vendor in North India. ‘Kheer’ or ‘payasam’ are equivalents of the rice pudding and ‘Kulfi’ is an Indian ice cream made in conical moulds and frozen. Tea is drunk as a beverage in India. Tea from the hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong are boiled in milk and water and served with a liberal dose of sugar. Filtered coffee is a favourite among South Indians and is a very sweet, milky version of coffee. Paan is served as a digestive after some meals. The dark-green of the betel-pepper plant is smeared with little bit of lime and wrapped around a combination of spices like crushed betel nuts, cardamom, aniseed, sugar and grated coconut. It is an astringent and is believed to help clean the system.   One of the main influences on Indian cuisine is the Hindu religion. In this religion there is much emphasis on vegetables because many Hindus are vegetarians for ethical reasons. Over the years, Indians have used a vast range of different vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, cauliflower, potatoes and green beans to make different vegetarian dishes. Some other popular Indian vegetables include eggplant, okra, cluster beans, beetroot, cucumber and white radish. For example, Brahmins, in the Hindu religion are strict vegetarians. They do  not eat either fish or eggs. In addition, most Hindus do not eat beef. Cows are considered sacred in India and are worshipped by Hindus.  Pork is also not eaten much because pigs in India are not raised in good environments, so eating pork can lead to different diseases. Most of the people in villages do not eat pork. Indian cuisine changes across the geography of India. Most of the coastal areas use fish and coconuts in cooking. The desert states, Rajasthan and Gujarat areas, use an immense variety of dals and achars to substitute for the relative lack of fresh vegetables. Another state, Andhra Pradesh, located in the southern part of India, is unfairly accused of using excessive amounts of chillies. In the coastal states of West Bengal and Kerala, the people consume a lot of fish. All along the northern plain, from Punjab through Uttar Pradesh, to the eastern side of India, the main crop cultivated is wheat. People from these areas use wheat flour to make chapattis Indian bread and other closely related breads. Rice is served with almost every meal in India, so Indians have created a variety of ways of cooking it. The aim is to produce dry, separate grains. The basmati rice and sonamasoori are different kinds of rice, which cook really well and give a nutty result. Indian food is also very unique compared to other cuisines with regard to spices, aroma, and way of cooking. There are many more kinds of styles under Indian cuisine. These are just the basics of Indian cuisine. There is a lot more to Indian food, so the best idea is to try out the food! Visiting an Indian restaurant for dinner is a unique culinary experience. When you walk through the door, the fragrance of Indian spices fills the air, subtly teasing your taste buds and whetting your appetite. Many Indian restaurants even offer a buffet where you can choose among a variety of freshly cooked food. Although you may have come for the taste, Indian cuisine can also be quite healthy. Indian food helps cure arthritis. Many Indian dishes are seasoned with curry, a mixture of of healthy spices. One spice prominent in curry is turmeric which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. A study published in the journal “Arthritis and Rheumatism” confirms that this brilliant orange spice reduced joint swelling in arthritic rats. Although, large scale human studies are needed to confirm its effects on people, some patients have reported significant improvement in their arthritic symptoms after adding curry based foods, to their diet. Turmeric is also being investigated as a possible treatment for brain ageing and cancer. High in fibre - Indian recipes frequently use chickpeas and lentils, both of which are high in fibre and resistant starch. The fibre found in legumes helps to lower cholesterol levels and promote a healthy heart. Most Americans don’t get enough fibre in their diet and Indian food is a tasty way to boost fibre intake. Owing to their fibre and resistant starch, legumes are one of the most filling and satisfying foods available. Indian desserts are healthier overall - Indian desserts are usually made with whole grains and fruit which make them healthier than traditional American desserts. Some Indian desserts are lentil based which means they are higher in protein and iron than traditional American desserts. Many Indian desserts use yogurt instead of ice cream or heavy cream; but choose Indian desserts carefully as some can still be high in fat and sugar.

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