Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thirukkazhukundram Part 1

 Thirukkazhukundram is at a distance of 15kms from Chengalpattu on Chengalpattu Mamallapuram road. It is about 17Kms from Mamallapuram. Chengalpattu is at about 30kms from Chennai, Tamilnadu.

I went from Tambaram via Chengalpattu. Numerous buses ply from Chengalpattu to Mamallapuram Via Thirukkazhukundram.

I visited this place on 14th Jan 2011.

This small town houses a very ancient Siva Temple. Vedhagiriswarar and Tripurasundari are main deities. The hill is associated with the Four Vedhas and hence the name.


This Lord is believed to have been worshipped by Lord Vishnu and Brahma..

This temple has a number of other names Viz
  • Sangu Theertham
  • Pakshi Theertham
  • Rudrakoti
  • Nandhipuri
  • Indrapuri
  • Narayanapuri
  • Brahmapuri
  • Dhinakarapuri
  • Munighanapuri
Pakshi Theertham

This temple is associated with a very unique happening. Two eagles used to visit this temple daily at noon time to part take the temple Prasadham.  According to the legend these eagles are believed to be rishis who worshipped Vedhagiriswarar for salvation. They have attained salvation, perhaps, for they are not visiting this temple anymore..!

Sangu theertham


There is also another uniqueness to this place. There is one more Sivan temple Viz. Bhaktha Vatsaleswarar temple and the tank associated with this temple is known as Sangu (Conch) theertham. Once in twelve years a Sangu (Conch) appears from this tank.


It is normal that Conches are born out of Salt water..But this is somewhat unique.. Isn't it?. 
I didn't taste the tank water..I will do it next time..!

Rishi Margandeya was supposed to have performed penance near Sangu theertham and the Conchs were believed to be appearing once in 12 years from the time of Mangandeya..!


Conchs that appeared from Sangu theertham 


This  is photographed from a book. I could not see the conchs  at the temple. I need to visit it once again to see these..! The first conch is believed to be of the age of Sage Magandeya. For rest, the dates are mentioned in the picture.


According to the Sthalapuranam, Lord SHiva Himself has declared that this tank is the holiest of all, and as per His command, all the sacred waters in India meet here once in 12 years when Guru (Jupiter) enters Kanya Rasi. The event is conducted as a festival known as Sangu Theertha Pushkara Mela, for which there is a huge gathering from all parts of the country.This is the second biggest bathing festival in the South, next only to the Maha Maham of  Kumbakonam.









For some more interesting details consult wikipedia.

There are two temples with the main deity Sivan. One is on top of the hill (Vedhagiriswarar) and another at the Hill base-Bhakthavatsaleswarar I visited both the places. Both are extremely beautiful temples.

I will deal with Vedhagiriswarar temple, the one on the Hill top in this post.

Camera is allowed. Buy the ticket for Rs 10/- at the entrance. There is also facility to guard your chapels at the entrance..

The journey up the hill needs you to climb about 500+ steps and at least 100 of which are extremely steep. Iron railings are places on the walls at both ends to help pilgrims. Though, I panted a bit, did not feel any pain in the legs on return...! 



  




You will encounter a small temple on the right side of the steps. This temple (above) is called Kamba Nandhi..You will see Parvathi embracing lingam..!

Areal view from the top of the Hill is awesome..!

When you reach the top, you will agree with me that the climb is worth the trouble... The Moola Lingam is awesome.. One can feel the spiritual vibrations... and added to it the View from the Hill top is awesome too..!



There is a convenient open terrace (see above)  from where one can take areal pictures freely....! But try out  these (below) at your own risk..!





Return Path : 

There is another path for returning that runs almost parallel to the other, but slightly longer. It has more natural ambiance. There are couple of beautiful and divine Siva Lingams in the return path. The first one has an overlooking Nandhi...!

BTW, I forgot to tell, there is no Nandhi for Vedhagiriswarar..Normally all Siva temples have Nandhi..!





Sound Horn Please..!
The rock formation in this curve looks awesome..!

There is a small beautiful cave temple on the return path. The beautiful carvings on the wall of this cave temple resemble Pallava architecture and are  mutilated somewhat.This temple is protected by grill gates..So can't get in.. I clicked a few thru the grills..!

Small Cave temple


Full set of photos 




Videos


Will cover the Bakthavatsaleswarar at the Hill base in a separate post later..!