The Rockfort Temples, Tiruchirapalli

While staying in Tamil Nadu, we went on a roadtrip through the most of Tamil Nadu, to visit certain temples – among these where the Panchabootha Sthalas and Aarupadaiveedu.

From Mylapore – Chennai, we went directly to Trichy (Thiruchirapalli), which took about 6 hours by car. Here, we stayed at a hotel, as we were very tired. We stayed at PLA Residency. It is a 3 star hotel, but it was a very neat and a nice place, with a very good restaurant. We could actually see the Uchi Pillaiyar Temple from the hotel. We went to Uchi Pillaiyar Temple the next morning.

The temple is from the 7th century CE, dedicated to lord Ganesh, built on the Rockfort. The rock is 83 m tall. There are 2 temples built on the rock, while Uchi Pillaiyar Temple is on the top, while the other one – the Thayumanaswami Temple, is located close to the base. These 2 temples make the Rockfort Temples. Continue reading “The Rockfort Temples, Tiruchirapalli”

Brihadishwarar Temple, Thanjavur

Brihadishwarar Temple, named Rajarajeshwaram in it’s earlier days, is a temple dedicated to lord Shiva, built by the king Rajaraja Chola I and his sister, princess Kundavai, between year 1003-1010 AD is one of the greatest examples of Tamil architecture. It is built of granite, around 60,000 tons of granite is said to be used to built the temple. According to the insriptions, that are to be seen at present day, the engineer and architect behind the temple was Kunjara Mallan Raja Raja Perumthachan, a archari from that time, from Kerala. The interesting part is, that even the present successors of the achari still practice Vastu Sastra. Continue reading “Brihadishwarar Temple, Thanjavur”

Arulmigu Subramanya Swami Temple, Thirupparankuram

Thirupparankunram is a town in the district of Madurai, and this was the temple we visited after Meenakshi Temple, that is located in Madurai.

Thirupparankunram is the first of the 6 Abodes of lord Murugan, the Arupadai Veedu, but this was the 5th of Arupadai Veedu that we went to. This is believed to be the place where lord Murugan married Goddess Deivanai, the daughter of Indra. The temple here is actually a cave-temple, situated 1050 feet above sea level, built in a hillock. The temple was built by king Maravarman Sundara Pandyan in the 8th century CE, though the temple is believed to be much elder, from the 6th century, where the Murugan temple was converted to a worship place for Jainists by Jain monks, and then later reversed to Hinduism in the 8th century, where the Pandya king built it.  Continue reading “Arulmigu Subramanya Swami Temple, Thirupparankuram”

Subramanya Swami Temple, Thiruthani

There are 6 special temples in Tamil Nadu, dedicated to the god Murugan, mostly referred as the Tamil God and as the god of the mountains/hills. These 6 temples are known as Arupadai Veedu (The Six Warhouses -The Six Abodes of Murugan), very important in the hindu sect Kaumaram (the sect that worship lord Murugan only). Lord Murugan is usually referred as the son of lord Shiva.  The six places are important places, and takes part in the Skanda Purana (and other tamil litteratures), that describes the story of Murugan, and how he fought against the demon, Surapadman and other important incidences.

The places/temples are listed by sequences in the story, Skanda Purana:

  1. Thiruparankunram
  2. Thiruchendur
  3. Pazhani
  4. Swamimalai
  5. Thiruthani
  6. Pazhamudhircholai

Thiruthani, known as Thiruthanigai in earlier times, is located 87 km from Chennai, on the hill Thanigai. Thiruthani is actually the 5th of Arupadai Veedu of the lord Murugan, but was the first Arupadai Veedu, that we visited. It is also the first tempe we went to outside Chennai (except Mahabalipuram, which is more a tourist place now than an actual temple). From here, we went to Srikalahasthi.

Thiruthani is known as the place, where Murugan married Valli, and he eventually met her in a place nearby. This was also the place, where he took rest and gained inner peace after defeated the demon, Surapadman. This hill/temple has 365 steps, referring to the 365 days of a year. Thiruthani is mentioned in one of the earliest tamil sangam literature, Thirumurugaatrupadai, written by Nakkeerar. Continue reading “Subramanya Swami Temple, Thiruthani”