Category:

Pudupakkam Anjaneyar Temple

October 19th, 2023 by

Pudupakkam Anjaneyar Temple is dedicated to the monkey god, Anjaneyar/Hanuman. It stands atop the Gajagiri hills in Pudupakkam village, on the Kelambakkam- Vandalur road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. One can reach the temple by climbing 108 steps while enjoying a panoramic view of the surroundings. The hill is densely forested with many kinds of trees and plants, and the ambiance is very serene. The temple is very important to devotees of Anjaneyar. The Pudupakkam Anjaneyar Temple is also called Sri Veera Anjaneyar Temple. Devotees feel that it is a place of positive vibrations and energy.

Pudupakkam Anjaneyar Temple

Anjaneyar/Hanuman is an important deity in Hinduism. He plays a major role in the Ramayana epic and helps Rama rescue his wife, Sita, from Ravana’s clutches. He was also instrumental in saving Rama’s brother, Lakshmana’s life when he was injured in battle. Anjaneyar is the very embodiment of devotion and loyalty. Hindus believe that the best way to get Rama’s blessings is by worshipping Anjaneyar, such is the bond between Rama and his greatest devotee, Hanuman. Many people worship Hanuman to gain strength, confidence, and courage and for protection from negative energies like witchcraft, evil eye, black magic, etc. They also worship him for protection from Planet Shani’s adverse effects.

Legend behind Pudupakkam Anjaneyar Temple

In the Ramayana, Anjaneyar is the only one who visits Lanka thrice. On the first occasion, he went in search of Sita and found her as a captive in the Ashoka Vanam. He showed her the Kanayazhi (wedding ring) she had given Rama to identify himself as Rama’s envoy and, in turn, received her Choodamani as tangible evidence of having met her. He also met Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, and tried his hand at diplomacy by asking Ravana to hand over Sita Devi back to Rama with all honor. But when Ravana refused and tried to imprison him, Anjaneyar set fire to Lanka and caused widespread destruction. This was also a warning to Ravana as well as a display of his might.

His second visit happened during the march of the Vanara Sena (monkey army) and the construction of the Sethu Bridge. On this occasion, Anjaneyar arrived in Lanka, accompanied by Rama and his brother, Lakshmana.

The third time, he returned to Lanka after bringing the miracle Sanjeevani herb to revive an unconscious Lakshmana, who was wounded by the magical arrow of Indrajit (Ravana’s son) that was applied with a serpent Mantra. This happened during the battle between Rama’s and Ravana’s forces. While he was returning to Lanka with the entire Sanjeevi mountain, Anjaneyar offered Sandhyavandanam (evening prayers). For this, he halted at Pudupakkam, where the temple is located on the Gajagiri Hills.

Significance of Pudupakkam Anjaneyar Temple

The Pudupakkam Anjaneyar temple has a 6 – foot- tall statue of Anjaneyar. His head faces the North direction, towards the Sanjeevi mountain, and his body faces the East. His right leg is planted on the ground, and his left leg is poised to take flight. His hand shows the Abhaya Mudra, assuring devotees of his protection. One can see a bell at the end of his tail raised above his head. This is a unique feature of the Anjaneyar statue in the Pudupakkam Anjaneyar Temple.

There are other deities, too, at the Pudupakkam Anjaneyar Temple. They include Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana, who are directly opposite the sanctum sanctorum. It is said that the Madhva saint Sri Vyasatirtha built 108 temples for Anjaneyar, and that is why the temple has 108 steps.

Devotees who visit the temple perform Vennai Kappu- Hydration Pooja with butter and offer betel leaf garlands to Anjaneyar. The temple is closely associated with the Nitya Kalyana Perumal Temple in Thiruvidanthai. There is an annual tradition whereby certain things are carried in procession from the Pudupakkam Anjaneyar Temple to the Nitya Kalyana Perumal Temple on festival days.

Benefits of Worshipping at Pudupakkam Anjaneyar Temple

Devotees worship Anjaneyar for relief from evil spirits, chronic health problems, marital problems, and mental or psychological issues like fear, depression, and anxiety. They believe that by offering prayers here, they can overcome negativity, bad habits, and gain courage and confidence. They also believe that Anjaneyar’s grace can help them realize all their wishes in life.

Festivals at Pudupakkam Anjaneyar Temple

Hanuman Jayanthi festival is grandly celebrated at the temple. It is the birthday of Hanuman, that is, the day he appeared on earth. Rama Navami, the birthday of Rama, is celebrated in March- April. These are the major festivals at the Pudupakkam Anjaneyar Temple.

 Mahadeva Malai Temple, Vellore

October 19th, 2023 by

Mahadeva Malai Temple is a Shiva temple that is located in the Mahadeva Malai Hills in Kankuppam village, Vellore district, in Tamil Nadu. The temple lies west of Katpadi. It stands on the hill-top and is built of a single stone. The Mahadeva Malai Temple was built by a trader of the Pandya kingdom and is said to be 500 years old. Shiva’s consort here is in the form of Goddess Kamakshi.

 Mahadeva Malai Temple, Vellore

The Legend behind Mahadeva Malai Temple
Once, there was a merchant who was a great devotee of Shiva. He wanted to have a Darshan of Shiva and offered prayers. He was told to go on a pilgrimage to Kalahasthi on the day of Maha Shivratri. The merchant left soon after. En route to his destination, he reached a place called K.V. Kuppam, and as he was unsure of the route, he made enquiries about the route to Kalahasthi and learned that he was quite far away from his destination.

But Maha Shivratri was on that day. The merchant was deeply disappointed when he realized that he would not be able to reach Kalahasthi in time. As he was wondering what to do, an elderly man approached him and promised him a view of God. The two men then went to a hill, where the elderly man revealed his true form. He was Shiva himself! The merchant was overcome with awe and delight. Shiva told the merchant to build a temple in that spot. The village where Shiva met the merchant later came to be known as Keezh Vazhi Thunai Kuppam.

History of Mahadeva Malai Temple

Mahananda Siddha was a merchant who traded in turmeric. He was born in Dharmapuri district on December 6, 1930. When he was 35 years old, he undertook the task of renovating several temples across Tamil Nadu. He also started the practice of Annadaanam (feeding the poor) at the Lokuvakulam Bhradwajeeswarar temple at Kalahasti (in Andhra Pradesh).

Shiva appeared to him in a dream on the night of December 25, 2002. He told Mahananda that he was very fortunate to have been born a Siddha and that he would live for 1000 years. He then told him to proceed to Mahadeva Mount and dwell in a cave. Shiva vanished after saying, “Worship me and protect devotees.”

So, Mahananda Siddha made his way to Mahadeva Mount, where Shiva appeared before him once more. The deity told him to cleanse himself only on the first day of Chithirai month. He also told him not to seek alms from anyone as there was a lot of wealth there. Mahananda Siddha’s task was to protect the living creatures on the mountain from diseases and suffering. He was also to refrain from eating any food or drinking water. Then Shiva vanished again.

Mahananda Siddha is still living here without taking any food or water. He has been like this for many years. He meditates by lying on fire to receive Prana (life force), and Amrit (nectar) flows from his mouth. This is his sole food. He worships the idol of Shiva with fresh flowers and leaves. Mahananda Swami’s head resembles a serpent with five heads, the one on the head of Shiva. The Siddha built steps to enable devotees to ascend the hill and worship Shiva at the Mahadeva Malai Temple. He also offers food to large numbers of devotees daily.

The Architecture of Mahadeva Malai Temple
The Mahadeva Malai Temple is in the Dravidian architectural style. Shiva is the presiding deity. There is a huge idol of Dakshinamoorthy here and also an idol of Kali Amman. The Dwajasthambam stands in front of the Mandapam, and there is a meditation hall as well. One can see a temple tank on the premises.

An arch welcomes devotees and visitors to the temple at the 19th kilometer on the Gudiyatham highway. From Gudiyatham town, the welcome arch to the Mount is 11 km on the way to Katpadi.

Significance of Mahadeva Malai Temple
The Shiva Lingam, which is the presiding deity, and the Nandi (Shiva’s mount) are both Swayambu (self-manifested). The temple has a serene atmosphere, and devotees experience a sense of peace at the temple. The positive vibrations within the temple premises makes them feel that their prayers will be heard by the deity.

Benefits of Worshipping at Mahadeva Malai Temple
Devotees believe that by visiting and worshipping at the Mahadeva Malai Temple, they can gain Moksha (salvation). Shiva is regarded as the divine healer. So, those who are suffering from various ailments come to the Mahadeva Malai Temple and make offerings to Shiva, hoping to be cured of their ailments. Also, those who are facing financial problems like debt and bankruptcy visit the temple and worship Shiva to get relief from them. There are also people who pray for blessings like knowledge and academic success. Some offer prayers and Pooja before they buy a vehicle.

Festivals at Mahadeva Malai Temple
The Maha Shivratri festival is celebrated grandly in February-March every year at the Mahadeva Malai Temple.

Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple

October 19th, 2023 by

Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple, located in Vidyaranyapura, Bangalore, is dedicated to Goddess Kalika Durga. The temple is one of the older temples in the Garden City of Bangalore and underwent renovation in 1988. The late Sri. Ramu Shastry, an ardent devotee of Goddess Durga, was the man behind the renovation. The main attraction of the Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple is the temple tower or Gopuram. It stands near the main entrance of the temple and is almost 108 feet high. The Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple is an iconic temple in Bangalore and is often referred to as Swetha Kshetra.

Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple

The Legend Behind Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple

Once, a heavy drought ravaged the place where the temple stands. The earth was completely parched as the rains failed, and the waterbodies ran dry. The crops also withered, and there was a terrible famine in the land. Sage Jabali, who had gained immense spiritual powers due to the austerities he had performed over many years, realized that the demon Arunasura was the reason for the natural calamity.

He managed to escape when Goddess Kali tried to kill the demon Shambasura. Sage Japali wanted to put an end to the suffering and took the advice of Indra. He also wanted the sacred cow Kamadhenu to be a part of the Yagna. However, Nandini, the daughter of Kamadhenu, did not wish to come to earth and take part in the Yagna. Since she refused to help the suffering people on earth, Sage Jabali cursed her. After a while, Nandini realized her mistake. She agreed to take the form of a river and come down to earth. The Goddess incarnated as Durga Parameshwari in the form of a Lingam in the middle of the Nandini river. In this manner, Nandini got redemption from her curse. She was also given the privilege of washing the Goddess’s feet forever.

Arunasura had received a boon from Lord Brahma, which made him invincible. As per the boon, anything with 2 or 4 legs could not hurt him. So, the Goddess took the form of a beautiful maiden and appeared before him. The demon was instantly smitten with her. Then, the Goddess turned into a rock. Arunasura tried to break the rock. But, to his chagrin, the rock turned into a huge swarm of bees that stung the demon and killed him.

Sage Japali then worshipped the Goddess by bathing her in tender coconut water. Her anger dissipated, and she calmed down. She got the name Bramarambhika, the queen of bees (‘bramaram’ means ‘bees’). Goddess Durga then manifested as a calm and composed deity. The place came to be called Kateel, where ‘Kati’ denotes the center, and the word ‘eel’ refers to the area. To celebrate this victory, sages and saints on earth performed special pujas and established the Durga Parameshwari Temple in Kateelu.

The Architecture of Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple

Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple is one of the most exquisite temples in Bangalore. The magnificent Gopuram at the Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple is 108 feet high. The temple is the abode of over 9 different avatars of Goddess Durga – Shailaputri, Chandraghanta, Brahmacharini, Kushmanda, Kartyayini, Skandamata, Kalaratri, Siddhidhatri and Mahagauri.

There are also shrines for deities like Ganesha, Narthana Krishna, Muruga, and Narasimha, all found in one cluster. One can also find the Navagrahas in this temple. The other deities here are Goddess Vijaya Durga, Saneeshwara, and Goddess Navadurga, all installed in independent sanctum sanctorums.

The Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari temple also has an idol of Goddess Yakshini, who is known to be a wish-fulfilling deity. Devotees write their wish on a piece of paper and tie it on the Goddess’ idol. The entire temple is filled with beautiful sculptures depicting the stories of Shiva and Parvati. A specialty at this temple is the Golden and Silver Lizard.

Festivals at Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple

Many festivals are celebrated here. Simhamaasa is one of the major festivals which draws hordes of devotees. Goddess Durga has great importance here, so Durgashtami and Navratri are celebrated grandly. Other festivals include Deepavali and Ugadi. Brahmakalashotsava is the annual festival of the Sir Kalika Durgaparameshwari Temple. It falls during January-February.

Benefits of worshipping in Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple

Being the abode of 9 incarnations of Goddess Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Parvati, the Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple is believed to have great spiritual and mystical powers. People believe that the Goddess will grant many boons and fulfill their wishes. People who seek progeny blessings and marriage blessings come to the temple and offer prayers to the Goddess. Special Poojas are performed for those who want to excel in the fields of arts and science. Goddess Durga also protects her devotees like an amulet and helps them overcome all challenges.

Rituals at Sri Kalika Durga Parameshwari Temple

There are many kinds of Poojas for the Goddess at this temple. Every other day, the devotees are offered a hot and delicious free noon meal after the Maha Mangalarathi is over. The meals include Sambar, Rasam, Buttermilk, and Rice.

Devotees from various parts of Bangalore also come here to witness the Maha Abishekam on Sundays. There are special Poojas during Dassara and all Ashtami days. The Palki Yatra of Sri Kalika Durga every 6 pm evokes awe. Special Pooja and Aarti are performed on every Amavasya/New Moon day and Tuesday/Friday/Sunday during Rahu Kalam.

Varahi Amman Temple, Trichy

October 19th, 2023 by

Varahi Amman Temple is in Mangal Nagar, Woraiyur in Tiruchirapalli district, Tamil Nadu. The temple enshrines Varahi Amman, who is one of the Sapta Matrikas, a group of seven Mother Goddesses. The Varahi Amman Temple was founded by Sri Varahi Daasar Boopathi Swami, a great devotee of the Sapta Matrikas.

The worship of Varahi Amman, a Hindu goddess, is more common in South India, especially in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. She is associated with Varaha, the boar incarnation of Vishnu.

Varahi Amman is a fierce goddess with the face of a sow and the body of a woman. She rides a buffalo or a boar. She is a Goddess who protects and bestows blessings. Varahi Amman is a powerful Goddess who bestows strength and positivity to her devotees. She can protect one from evil eyes, accidents, and Doshas. In some traditions, she is also associated with fertility, and women who wish to conceive pray to her for a successful pregnancy. She is also a healer.

The worship of Varahi includes the offering of flowers, fruits, etc., and the recitation of Mantras and prayers. Her worship is often performed along with other Mother Goddesses, like Durga or Kali.

Varahi Amman Temple, Trichy

History of the Varahi Amman Temple

The Varahi Amman Temple was supposedly built during the Chola period in Tamil history. The Chola kings, who were great warriors and conquerors, were followers of Varahi Amman, who is associated with mental and physical strength. Before they left the kingdom to wage wars or military campaigns, the Cholas were known to worship her and invoke her blessings. The story goes that when the Varahi Amman Temple was being built, the Goddess appeared before her devotees and told them that they should never build a roof over the shrine.

Hence, even now, there is no roof over the temple. It is said that Amman did not want humans to suffer, but due to their karma, they cannot avoid suffering. So she wanted the shrine to be roofless in her place of worship until all her devotees had a proper shelter.

The Architecture of Varahi Amman Temple

The Cholas were famous not only for their feats in battle but also as excellent builders and administrators. They were great patrons of the arts and often brought talented craftsmen, sculptors, musicians, and dancers from other regions to their kingdom. It was during their reign that some of the most magnificent temples in Tamil Nadu were built. The Varahi Amman Temple is one of them. 

The temple has a shrine with the Vekkali Amman idol at the center. The shrine is in the shape of a chariot. It was made using the silver and gold that the devotees donated. Inside the shrine, one can see the idol standing on one leg while the other is placed on a demon. Obviously, this posture needs a person to be really strong; hence, devotees believe that she is the symbol of power and strength as well as kindness and grace. The temple is in the North direction, the direction that supposedly bestows victories.

Important Festivals of Varahi Amman Temple

The Chithirai festival is one of the important festivals at the Varahi Amman Temple. It takes place on the first day of every month. 

There is another festival in the month of Aadi when elderly ladies visit the temple and perform a ritual for girls. They offer prayers for their well-being and also give them bangles and Prasadam.

Navaratri is also celebrated grandly at the Varahi Amman Temple. It is held in Aani month (June-July). This festival goes on for 9 days and nights. On this occasion, devotees offer the Goddess different kinds of rice.

Benefits of Worshipping in Varahi Amman Temple

Varahi Amman is an extremely powerful Goddess but one who is also very kind and compassionate. She protects all her devotees from harm and bestows many blessings on those who worship her with devotion and sincerity. Worshipping Varahi can eliminate all the planetary Doshas and their evil effects.

Praying to Varahi Amman protects one from accidents and can also cure any illnesses. She blesses devotees with prosperity and happiness. She helps us overcome our enemies and also bestows peace and salvation.

Varahi Amman is believed to safeguard her devotees from evil spirits and negative energies.

She has healing powers and can cure various diseases.

Varahi Amman can bestow wealth and prosperity. Worshipping her can bring success and financial stability.

Varahi Amman is also a source of knowledge and wisdom. By worshipping her, we can gain spiritual progress and understanding.

Being a fierce goddess, Varahi Amman represents courage and strength. She helps her devotees surmount obstacles and face challenges with courage and determination.

Varahi Amman is also associated with the energy centers/Chakras in the human body. By meditating on her, we can activate and balance the Mooladhara or Root chakra, which can bring stability and material success.

Putlur Amman Temple

October 19th, 2023 by

It is very rare to find a temple’s main deity in the form of a natural anthill. But one can see this amazing sight in the Putlur Angala Parameswari Amman Temple near Chennai.

The Putru or anthill resembles a woman. It has a lovely face, benign eyes, parted lips, curved eyebrows, hands, legs, etc. But the most unique feature is the pregnant belly.

This temple is popularly known as the Putlur Amman temple. The temple is in Ramapuram, Putlur, a village on the outskirts of Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu. Putlur is a village in Tiruvallur district, around 38 km west of Chennai. It is 850 meters away from the Putlur railway station. The village got its name from the temple. “Putlur” means “the town of anthill” (the Tamil word ‘putru’ means “anthill”).

 Putlur Amman Temple

Who is Angala Parameshwari?

Angala Parameswari is a form of Goddess Shakti. She is worshipped in this form mainly in Melmaruvathur and Villupuram district in Tamil Nadu. She is the daughter of Parvatharajan (the lord of mountains), whom the inland fisherman in Tamil Nadu regard as their ancestor.

She is supposedly Adi Shakti who created the entire universe and Hindu Trinity, as well as the wife of Shiva. She manifests on earth to destroy Adharma.

As per legend, it was she who got rid of the skull or Kapala from the palm of Shiva. The Kapala was actually the fifth head of Brahma, which Shiva had chopped off.

The Goddess’ preferred spot is the cremation ground. A temporary image of the Goddess is fashioned on the cremation ground, using ashes, bones, and mud on the occasion of festivals. Permanent structures made of cement and stone are also found in places where she has a large following.

In some temples, there is a murti or idol of the Goddess. In this form, she holds a trident, sword, kapala (skull) and damaru (drum). Worshipping her can bring progeny blessings and also cure mental and physical illnesses.

Features of the Putlur Amman Temple

Locals believe that Goddess Angala Parameshwari, an incarnation of Parvati, took the form of a large anthill resembling a pregnant woman. The main deity of the Putlur Amman Temple is also called Poongavanathu Amman. The Goddess resembles a woman going through labor, lying supine with her mouth open. As Shiva is present inside the sanctum sanctorum, an idol of Nandi is also found in front of the sanctum instead of a lion, which is the Goddess’ mount and is usually found in a Devi temple.

One can also find shrines to Nataraja, Ganesha, and the philosopher-saint Valluvar near the sanctum sanctorum. Nataraja has the name Thandavarayan. The Sthala Vriksha of the Putlur Amman Temple is a neem tree that stands in the outer corridor. Other shrines in the outer corridor include those of Goddess Karumari, Ganesha, and the Nagadevas (snake gods) under the sacred tree. There is also a sacred anthill as well. Devotees come here seeking progeny blessings mostly. But it is also said that the Goddess will grant all the wishes of her devotees.

The Legend behind Putlur Amman Temple

Once, a poor villager by the name of Ponmeni, who had borrowed money from a moneylender called Mahisuran, was unable to repay it. Mahisuran said he would kill Ponmeni unless he tilled the rocky land of Poonkavanam in one night and made it fit for cultivation. In those days, Poongavanam was a jungle in those days and was infested with evil spirits. Ponmeni had no choice, so he began to till the land, praying to Goddess Angala Parameshwari all the while.

As he was tilling, a man and a pregnant woman approached him and asked for some water. But, by the time he returned with some water, the couple had vanished. The farmer continued to till the land when he noticed blood oozing from the ground. Suddenly, he heard a divine oracle saying that the couple were actually Shiva and Amman and that the latter would be present there permanently in the form of an anthill. To his surprise, an anthill emerged from the ground. Amman blessed Ponmeni with immense wealth, as he was responsible for revealing her presence.

Locals believe that Goddess Angala Parameshwari, an incarnation of Parvati, took the form of a large anthill resembling a pregnant woman. The main deity is also called Poongavanathu Amman. The Goddess resembles a woman in the throes of labor, lying supine with her mouth open. As Shiva is present inside the sanctum sanctorum, an idol of Nandi is also found in front of the sanctum instead of a lion, which is the Goddess’ mount and is usually found in a Devi temple.

One can also find shrines to Nataraja, Ganesha, and the philosopher-saint Valluvar near the sanctum sanctorum of the Putlur Amman Temple. Nataraja here has the name Thandavarayan. The Sthala Vriksha here is a Neem tree that stands in the outer corridor. Other shrines in the outer corridor include those of Goddess Karumari, Ganesha, and the Nagadevas (snake gods) under the sacred tree. There is also a sacred anthill as well. Many devotees come to the Putlur Amman Temple seeking progeny blessings mostly. But the Goddess supposedly grants all the wishes of her devotees.

Another legend claims that Shiva and his consort Goddess Shakthi were going towards Ramapuram (now Putlur), which was a dense forest full of Neem trees. It was then known as Poongavanam.

Feeling tired, the Goddess sat down to rest and asked Shiva to fetch her some water. As it was raining heavily, Shiva could not return immediately.

So, the Goddess settled down on the ground, and slowly, an anthill grew over her. Later, when Shiva returned with the water, he found her in the anthill form. Hence, he decided to stay by her side in the name of Thandavarayan. He got this name because when he could not find Amman at the place where he had left her, he was upset and performed Thandavam.

Female devotees who visit the Putlur Amman Temple to pray for progeny blessings buy 5 lemons and bangles from the shops outside the temple. One lemon is used by old ladies in the temple complex for removing the evil eye, and 3 lemons are impaled on the Trishul or trident inside the temple. The devotee also ties a piece of cloth to it. Yet another lemon is given to the priest, who smears it with kumkum and places it at the feet of the Goddess, along with the bangles.

When the lemon rolls down, the priest offers it to the devotee as Prasad, and she takes it home. The bangles are given to other worshippers as Prasad. Devotees who conceive often come here to perform the Seemantham (bangle ceremony for pregnant Hindu women during the 7th month of pregnancy). After childbirth, devotees also offer saris, bangles, jadai (hair braids), lemon, and many kinds of rice and Pongal to Amman.

Hordes of women devotees visit the Putlur Amman Temple daily to pray for childbirth as well as other wishes. Once their wishes are granted, they tie their saree pallu or a miniature cradle near the anthill or offer bananas/jaggery, weighing the same as their children.

The overnight Pooja at the Putlur Amman Temple on Full moon days is very famous. Important festivals at the temple include Shivarathri, Masi Magam, Aadi Velli (Fridays in the Tamil month of Aadi), and new moon days. The annual festival here takes place in Aadi month (July-Aug). There is a special event called Iruttu Kumbam during this time, when all lights in the Putlur Amman Temple are turned off at night, leaving it in total darkness.

Most Famous Temples in Haridwar

April 28th, 2023 by

Haridwar, located in the state of Uttarakhand in India, is a city that holds immense spiritual and religious significance. Known as the “Gateway to God,” Haridwar is home to several temples and ashrams, attracting thousands of devotees every year. One of Haridwar’s most popular and revered temples is the Haridwar Temple, also known as the Mansa Devi Temple.

Temples in Haridwar

The Haridwar Temple is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi, a form of Shakti, the Hindu goddess of power and strength. The temple is situated atop the Bilwa Parvat on the Shivalik Hills, and the shrine can be reached by a ropeway or by climbing a series of stairs. The temple complex consists of two temples, one dedicated to Mansa Devi and the other to Maya Devi, another form of Shakti.

Legend has it that Mansa Devi, the goddess of snakes, emerged from the mind of Lord Shiva to slay a demon. The goddess is said to have granted the wishes of her devotees, and hence, the temple is believed to be a place where one’s desires are fulfilled. The temple also holds significance for newlywed couples, who visit the shrine to seek blessings for a happy married life.

The Haridwar Temple is an architectural marvel, with its intricate carvings and vibrant colors. The temple walls are adorned with beautiful paintings depicting the goddess and her various forms. The temple also houses a beautiful idol of Mansa Devi, decked in jewelry and finery. The temple is known for its aarti, which is performed every morning and evening, and the chanting of mantras that fill the air with a sense of devotion and piety.

Apart from the temple, the surroundings of the Haridwar Temple are equally captivating. The temple complex is surrounded by lush green forests and offers a panoramic view of the city. The sound of the ringing bells, the fragrance of the incense sticks, and the sight of the colorful offerings and decorations create an aura of spirituality and devotion.

The Haridwar Temple is also a popular destination during the Navratri festival, which is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm in Haridwar. During this nine-day festival, the temple is adorned with flowers and lights, and the aarti is performed with even greater vigor. Thousands of devotees visit the Haridwar temple during Navratri to seek the blessings of the goddess and offer prayers.

In addition to the Haridwar Temple, several other temples and ashrams in Haridwar are worth visiting. The Chandi Devi Temple, located atop the Neel Parvat, is another temple dedicated to Shakti and is accessible by a cable car or a trek. The temple is believed to have been built by Adi Shankaracharya, the great Hindu philosopher and reformer.

The Maya Devi Temple, located in the heart of Haridwar, is another important shrine that is believed to be one of the Siddhapeeths, the 51 sacred places in Hinduism. The temple is dedicated to Maya Devi, the goddess of illusions, and is believed to have been the site where the heart and navel of Goddess Sati fell when Lord Shiva was carrying her body.

Haridwar is also home to several ashrams, where one can learn yoga and meditation, and experience the spiritual and cultural richness of India. The Parmarth Niketan, located on the banks of the Ganges, is an ashram where visitors can attend yoga and meditation classes and participate in the daily aarti.

The Haridwar temple, with its stunning architecture and serene surroundings, is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking spiritual and religious experiences. Its significance during the Navratri festival, when the temple is adorned with flowers and lights, adds to its beauty and grandeur.

Apart from the Haridwar temple, the city of Haridwar itself is a delightful experience for visitors. The city is famous for its vibrant markets, where one can find everything from religious artifacts to souvenirs and local handicrafts. The markets also offer delicious street food, which is a must-try for anyone visiting the city. Haridwar is also famous for its Kumbh Mela, which is a major pilgrimage event that takes place every 12 years. The Kumbh Mela is considered to be the largest congregation of pilgrims in the world and attracts millions of devotees from around the world. During the Kumbh Mela, the city of Haridwar comes alive with festivities and religious rituals, making it a truly unforgettable experience.

In conclusion, the Haridwar Temple is a symbol of the rich cultural and religious heritage of India and is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking spiritual and religious experiences. The temple, along with the other shrines and ashrams in the city, offers visitors a glimpse into the spiritual and cultural richness of India. With its vibrant markets, delicious street food, and opportunities for adventure sports, Haridwar is a city that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.

Temples in Uttarakhand

April 28th, 2023 by

Uttarakhand, often referred to as the “Land of Gods,” is home to numerous temples and shrines that attract a large number of devotees from around the world. The state is known for its spiritual significance and religious heritage, and the Temples in Uttarakhand has been a popular destination for pilgrims for centuries.

Temples in Uttarakhand are known for their architectural beauty and their cultural and religious significance. Many of these temples are situated in breathtakingly beautiful locations, surrounded by the majestic Himalayas, serene rivers, and lush green forests. In this article, we will discuss some of the most famous temples in Uttarakhand.

Kedarnath Temple: Situated at an altitude of 3583 meters, Kedarnath Temple is one of the most important temples in the Hindu religion. The temple, one of the Chota Char Dham Yatra’s four sacred sites, is devoted to Lord Shiva. The Pandavas, who lived at the time of the Mahabharata, are thought to have constructed the temple. The temple is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and offers a mesmerising view of the Kedarnath peak.

Badrinath Temple: Located on the banks of the Alaknanda River, Badrinath Temple is one of the important temples in Uttarakhand. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple is one of the four shrines of the Chota Char Dham Yatra. The temple is believed to have been established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century. The temple is surrounded by the Nar and Narayan mountains and is famous for its hot springs.

Yamunotri Temple: Yamunotri Temple is situated at an altitude of 3293 meters and is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. The temple is one of the four sacred shrines of the Chota Char Dham Yatra. The temple is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and is situated at the source of the Yamuna River. The temple is believed to have been built by Maharaja Pratap Shah of Tehri Garhwal.

Gangotri Temple: Gangotri Temple is situated at an altitude of 3042 meters and is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. The temple is situated at the source of the Ganga River and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The temple is believed to have been built by General Amar Singh Thapa in the early 18th century. It is also one of the famous temples in Uttarakhand and is one of the four sacred shrines of the Chota Char Dham Yatra.

Tungnath Temple: Tungnath Temple is situated at an altitude of 3680 meters and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is the highest Shiva temple in the world and is one of the Panch Kedar shrines. The temple is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and offers a breathtaking view of the Kedarnath peak. The temple is believed to have been built by the Pandavas during the Mahabharata era.

Mansa Devi Temple: Mansa Devi Temple is located in the holy city of Haridwar and is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi. The temple is situated on top of the Bilwa Parvat and offers a panoramic view of the city. The temple is believed to fulfil the wishes of the devotees who tie threads on the branches of the trees surrounding the temple.

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple: Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is located at an altitude of 1330 meters and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is situated on top of a hill and offers a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains. The temple is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva consumed the poison that emerged during the churning of the ocean, as described in Hindu mythology.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple: Kashi Vishwanath Temple is located in the holy city of Uttarkashi and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to have been built by Sage Parshuram and is surrounded by the majestic Himalayan mountains. This temple in Uttarakhand is famous for its architecture and is a popular destination for pilgrims.

Hemkund Sahib: Hemkund Sahib is a Sikh shrine located at an altitude of 4632 meters. The shrine is dedicated to Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru. The shrine is situated near a glacial lake and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The shrine is believed to be the place where Guru Gobind Singh meditated and achieved enlightenment.

Rudranath Temple: Rudranath Temple is situated at an altitude of 2286 meters and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is one of the Panch Kedar shrines and is believed to have been built by the Pandavas during the Mahabharata era. The temple is surrounded by dense forests and is famous for its natural beauty.

Apart from these temples in Uttarakhand, the place is home to numerous other temples and shrines that are of great religious and cultural significance. Some of these temples are:

Jageshwar Temple: Jageshwar Temple is located in the Almora district of Uttarakhand and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is famous for its intricate carvings and is believed to have been built in the 9th century.

Baijnath Temple: Baijnath Temple is located in the Garhwal district of Uttarakhand and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is famous for its architecture and is believed to have been built in the 12th century.

Naina Devi Temple: Naina Devi Temple is located in the Nainital district and is dedicated to Goddess Naina Devi. This temple in Uttarakhand is situated on the banks of the Naini Lake and is famous for its serene beauty.

Baleshwar Temple: Baleshwar Temple is located in the Champawat district of Uttarakhand and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to have been built in the 16th century and is famous for its architecture.

Kainchi Dham: Kainchi Dham is a famous ashram located near Nainital and is dedicated to Neem Karoli Baba. The ashram is famous for its spiritual significance and is visited by thousands of devotees every year.

In conclusion, Uttarakhand is a land of spirituality and religious significance. The shrines and temples in Uttarakhand are an integral part of its cultural heritage. These temples not only offer a glimpse into the rich history and architecture of the region but also provide a peaceful and serene environment for the devotees. A visit to these temples is a must for anyone who wants to experience the spirituality and cultural richness of Uttarakhand.

Angala Parameswari Temple in Melmalayanur

April 28th, 2023 by

Melmalayanur is a small town situated in the Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu, India. The town is famous for its ancient Angala Parameswari Temple, which is believed to be one of the most powerful and sacred temples in South India. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Angala Parameswari, who is worshipped as the goddess of love, prosperity, and protection.

The Angala Parameswari Temple is believed to have been built during the reign of the Chola dynasty, and it has a rich history and tradition that dates back to several centuries. The temple is situated on the banks of the river Varaha, which adds to the serene and spiritual ambiance of the temple.

One of the most unique aspects of the Angala Parameswari Temple is its architecture. The temple is built in the traditional South Indian style, with a towering gopuram (entrance tower) that stands at a height of 78 feet. The gopuram is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures of various gods and goddesses, and it is a sight to behold.

Inside the temple, there is a sanctum sanctorum (garbhagriha) that houses the idol of Goddess Angala Parameswari. The idol is made of black granite and is about 6 feet tall. The goddess is depicted as having eight arms, each holding a different weapon or symbol. Her eyes are closed, and she wears a serene expression on her face, symbolizing her divine nature.

The temple also has several other shrines dedicated to various gods and goddesses, including Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan, Lord Vishnu, and Goddess Durga. There is also a separate shrine for Lord Shiva, who is worshipped as the consort of Goddess Angala Parameswari.

One of the most significant festivals celebrated at the Angala Parameswari Temple is the Panguni Uthiram festival, which is held in the month of March/April. During this festival, devotees from all over the country visit the temple to offer prayers and seek blessings from the goddess. The festival is marked by various rituals, including a procession of the goddess around the temple, and the performance of traditional dance forms like Bharatanatyam and Koothu.

Apart from its spiritual significance, the Angala Parameswari Temple is also known for its medicinal properties. It is believed that the water from the temple tank has healing powers and can cure various ailments. The temple tank is also used for performing ritual baths, which are believed to purify the soul and bring good health and prosperity.

In conclusion, the Angala Parameswari Temple in Melmalayanur is a symbol of India’s rich cultural heritage and spiritual traditions. It is a place of immense significance for devotees of Goddess Angala Parameswari and is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring India’s spiritual and cultural roots.

Chennai’s Most Famous Murugan Temples

March 6th, 2023 by

Murugan is a Hindu deity who is the son of Shiva and Parvati. He is also the patron deity of Tamil Nadu. Skanda, Kartikeya, Shanmukha, Subramaniam, Kumara, and other names have been bestowed upon him. He is a revered figure among Tamil Hindus, as well as among the Tamil diaspora in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and other countries.

Murugan was the supreme commander of the devas, and he led them to victory against Surapadman’s demons. The six war camps known as the Arupadaiveedus are where Murugan stayed throughout his conflict with Surapadman. The villages are named Tiruttanikai, Swamimalai, Tiruvavinankudi (Palani), Pazhamudirsolai, Tirupparamkunram, and Tiruchendur. All of these locations have ancient Murugan temples extolled in Tamil literature from the Sangam period.

Muruga is Ganesha’s older brother as well. Muruga, on the other hand, is less well-known and popular outside of South India, whereas Ganesha is well-known and beloved in other parts of India, particularly the north. Nonetheless, he is regarded as the most beautiful of the Hindu gods, possessing numerous celestial characteristics. Muruga is revered at a number of well-known temples in Tamil Nadu.

In Chennai, there are many beautiful temples dedicated to Lord Muruga. Here are some of the most pristine, beautiful, and well-visited Murugan temples in Chennai.

1. Vadapalani Murugan Temple

Vadapalani Murugan Temple was constructed in 1890 and was just a straightforward shed constructed by a Murugan devotee named Annaswami Nayakar, who worshipped a Murugan painting. During his worship, he felt a special power enter his body, which helped cure people and help people get married. It is now regarded as an auspicious location for a wedding. Today, it is a magnificent temple that hosts numerous weddings. This temple witnesses at least 7,000 marriages each year.

2. Arupadai Veedu Murugan Temple

Legend has it that the demon Soorapadman tortured the Devas before being defeated by Lord Shiva’s son Kartikeya. Kartikeya, known as the god of love and war, was born for this purpose. The temple interiors are extremely ornate and detailed.

3. Kundrathur Murugan Temple

It is an ancient temple in Tamil Nadu’s Kaanchepuram district. According to legend, Lord Murugan stayed on this hill on his way from Tiruporur to Tiruthanigai. Lord Murugan can only be seen with one goddess at a time inside the temple, despite the fact that he is with two. The architecture is cutting-edge, and the wall depictions and murals are stunning.

4. Arulmigu Murugan Temple

This temple in Chennai is one of the oldest Murugan temples. It was constructed many years ago. The interior of the temple is worth seeing. People come here seeking Naga Dosham and Chevvai Dosham remedies.

5. Siruvapuri Bala Murugan Temple

Siruvapuri Bala Murugan Temple is 500 years old. The legend claims that there once was a woman who would constantly chant Murugan’s name, which enraged her husband because he did not like how devoted his wife was to Murugan. He became so enraged that he severed her arm, but she continued to chant the Lord’s name, causing the Lord to come down and repair her arm himself.

6. Kumuran Kundran

Kumuran Kundran is a 40-year-old temple dedicated to Lord Murugan. It has many beautifully decorated idols on each floor, and the temple itself is built on a hill. Legend has it that when Saint Kanchi Mutt visited Chromepet and saw the hill, he suggested building a temple for Lord Murugan.

The saint had already left, but work on the temple was slow, and no one knew why the sage had advised it. However, after 20 years, a lance—Lord Murugan’s primary weapon—was found, and work on it accelerated.

7. Thiruporur Kanaswamy Temple

This temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Murugan, and legend has it that Murugan fought and defeated demons at three different locations: the sea, land, and air. When a sage came here, Murugan was as impressed with him as he was with Murugan, and his name Porur was added to the place name. Together, they ruled the city, but it was soon engulfed by the sea. Sage Adigail, who has a separate shrine in the temple, then saved it.

8. Siva Subramanya Swami Temple

Siva Subramanya Swami Temple is dedicated to Sri Murugan and his consorts Vallinayaki and Deivanayaki. West Saidapet is the nearest railway station. It was founded after Lord Murugan won Deivanayaki through war and Vallinayaki through love. The murals and intricate designs on the walls are beautiful.

9. Vallakottai Subramaniyaswami Temple

Legend has it that the celestial deities were being troubled by a demon by the name of Vallan. Lord Murugan sympathized with the people who had been destroyed by the demon and eventually slew the demon to bring peace back to the region. The temple has a five-tiered rajagopuram, a gateway tower, and a granite pillar hall. The sanctum faces east, which is considered auspicious, and the presiding deity stands tall.