Marudhamalai Temple (Coimbatore)

Marudhamalai Temple, Visit Marudhamalai Temple of Tamilnadu, Temple tour of Marudhamalai Temple, Religious place

About 12-km away from Coimbatore railway station is the Marudhamalai temple of Lord Muruga. The temple is situated on the Marudamalai (Maruda is the colloquial form of Marunthu which means medicine; Malai means mountain) mountain and is one of the most visited temples in the region, the reason being that the presiding deity, known as "Dandayuthapani" is believed to have performed several miracles here.

In the course of the epic fight to kill Ravana, Lakshmana, the younger brother of Lord Rama, was hit by Ravana's son, Indrajit, by a 'Nagastra' (also spelt as Nagashastra), probably by arrows dipped in snake-poison or by an arrow delivering a number of serpents. When Lakshmana was lying unconscious, Rama, much perturbed at heart, requested Anjaneya to fly to the Kailas (also spelt as Kailash) Mountain in the Himalayas to bring Sanjeevini, the medicinal herb and an antidote to all poisons.

Anjaneya reached the mountain but was unable to locate the particular herb wanted. So, instead of coming back empty handed, he uprooted the Gandamarutha Mountain and carried it with him, so that the required medicine could be taken, from it. It is said that while he was carrying the mountain, a chip of it fell down at this spot and it is known today as "Marunthu - Malai".

The peculiarity of this hill is that, even now, during the rainy season, many kinds of medicinal herbs, largely used in the preparation of medicines in Ayurvedic pharmacopea, grow on it. People believe that even the bitter leaves of trees and the ordinary grass that is found on the mountain tastes sweet when cooked. Anjaneya installed a Linga (also spelt as lingam) on this mountain, which is to this day devoutly visited and worshipped by pilgrims.


Triprayar located south of Thrissur, near Irinjalakuda bears a magnificient temple to Rama which is associated with many interesting legends. Associated closely with this temple are temples dedicated to Lakshmana at Tirumoozhikkalam (which is one of the 108 Vaishnava Divya Desam temples), Bharata at Koodalmaanikkam and to Satrugna at Payammel.

Legend related to the origin of the image
Worship services
Performing arts
The peacock legend

Legend has it that four images of the heroic brothers Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrugna were washed ashore and were discovered by a local chieftan Vakkey Kaimal and were installed at the sites mentioned above. All of these four images are those of Vishnu, but are referred to as Rama, Lakshmanaperumaal, Bharata and Satrugna. Offering worship at each of these four shrines on a given day, is considered auspicious.
Triprayar located south of Thrissur, near Irinjalakuda bears a magnificient temple to Rama which is associated with many interesting legends. Associated closely with this temple are temples dedicated to Lakshmana at Tirumoozhikkalam (which is one of the 108 Vaishnava Divya Desam temples), Bharata at Koodalmaanikkam and to Satrugna at Payammel.

Legend related to the origin of the image
Worship services
Performing arts
The peacock legend

Legend has it that four images of the heroic brothers Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrugna were washed ashore and were discovered by a local chieftan Vakkey Kaimal and were installed at the sites mentioned above. All of these four images are those of Vishnu, but are referred to as Rama, Lakshmanaperumaal, Bharata and Satrugna. Offering worship at each of these four shrines on a given day, is considered auspicious.
It is also believed that the portrayal of Rama with a garland held in the image's hands is also suggestive of aspects of Bhrahma and hence the deity is said to be a manifestation of the Trimurthis.

An unseen manifestation of Hanuman is worshipped in a mandapam across the hall from the sanctum. There is also a shrine to Ganapathi in this temple.

In the outer courtyard of the temple is a shrine to Saasta or Ayyappan. It is believed that the Saasta shrine was located originally at the site corresponding to the temples sanctum.

Architecture: This temple is rich in wood carvings. The namaskara mandapam which faces the circular sanctum (srikovil) has 24 panels of wood carvings and several ancient murals. The circular sanctum has several sculptural representations of scenes from the Ramayana.

History: The Triprayar temple was originally under the domain of the Zamorin rulers of Kerala. It later came under the posession of the Dutch, the Mysore sultans and the rulers of Cochin.
Daily worship services: Five worship services are carried out each day - (usha, etirthu, panthirati, uccha, athazha). A processional image of the deity is carried around the temple three times a day.

Festivals : The seven day Pooram festival is celebrated in the malayala month of Meenam (Tamil - Pankuni), and it concludes in the Pooram asterism (just one day ahead of Pankuni Utthiram in Tamilnadu).

The Ekadashi festival in the month of Scorpio (November - December) is also a festive occasion, along the lines of the Guruvayur temple. The day preceding Ekadashi witnesses a procession of Saasta, while the Ekadasi festival is marked by a procession of Rama flanked by 21 elephants and royal paraphernalia.

Performing Arts: Angya Koottu is a local theater form (pantomime) which is offered as a worship service in this temple, inside the temple premises. In the 12 day performance season in the month of Scorpio, episodes from the Ramayana involving Hanuman's bringing back a ring from Sita to Rama are enacted.

The peacock legend: Many legends unique to this part of the country prevail in this temple. It is said that when the image of Rama was discovered and was about to be consecrated, it was divinely ordained that a peacock would appear and mark the exact spot on which it was to be installed. Apparently the devotees installed the image in a spot where a devotee bearing peacock feathers appeared. It is said that they regretted their decision later when a peacock actually appeared at another spot. To make up for this deficiency the sacrificial altar or the balikkallu was installed at the spot marked by the peacock.

It is believed that the sacrificial altar kept spinning on its axis until a yogi stabilized it by hammering a nail through it amidst the chanting of mantras.

Thus, the fact that the image was not installed at the divinely ordained site, caused a dosham or a blemish. To make up for the blemish, images of Sridevi and Bhudevi were installed on either side of the deity. It is believed that Vilvamangalam Swami who is associated with several temples of Kerala, installed these images and shut the Western doors of the temple. The western doors of the temple remain shut even today.

Ernakulam- Legends

The city of Ernakulam is home to the Mahadeva - Shiva temple, which celebrates its annual festival in the month of January. Located in its vicinity are temples to Subramanya and Anjaneya.

A legend associated with this temple is believed to be related to the name of the city itself.

Legend has it that a rishi by name Devala killed a serpent by accident and was cursed by his guru. The curse turned his face into the hood of a snake and he acquired the name Nagarishi. It was ordained that a sustained period of Shiva worship would relieve him of the curse.
Nagarishi lived his life in prayer and had a vision in which he was blessed with a Shivalingam - the same Shivalingam which was worshipped by Arjuna in his quest for the Paasupat astram. (see legend - Kiraataarjuneeyam).

Nagarishi continued travelling throughout the land with the Shivalingam and came to the site of this temple and realized that the Shivalingam had gotten stuck to the ground and that it could not be removed.

He realized that his curse was about to be lifted and he bathed in a nearby tank, shed his mortal coils and disappeared.

This tank was referred to as the Rishinaagakulam; the name is said to have changed to Ernakulam gradually.

Vaidyanatha - Taliparamba

The Kanjiragat Shiva - Vaidyanatha temple is located at Taliparamba near Kannanur in northern Kerala.

In the local region, it constitutes one of the trinity of temples held in high regard, one being the Taliparamba Shiva temple and the other the Krishna temple at Trichambaram.

The Vaidyanatha temple regards Shiva as the divine physician or Vaidya (as in the Vaideeswaran temple in Tamilnadu, the Vaidyeshwara temple in Karnataka).

Shiva as enshrined here is said to bear the aspects of Aditya the sun God and hence, Sundays are considered to be of great significance in this temple.

The water from the abhishekam ceremony is offered as the prasadam here and is said to possess medicinal properties. It is believed that many suffering from diseases, find cure upon offering worship here.

It is said that in the Taliparamba temple, women were allowed to visit the temple only after the evening worship service, and that this temple was built to facilitate all visitors to offer worship at all times.


The Trichambaram Krishna temple is located near Taliparamba near Kannanur in northern Kerala. Three of the best known Krishna temples in Kerala are Guruvayur, Ambalappuzha and Trichambaram.

In the local region, it constitutes one of the trinity of temples held in high regard, one being the Taliparamba Shiva temple and the other the Vaidyanatha temple.

Historically, literary sources state that this temple was in existence in the 11th century CE. It has been renovated several times. Like many other temples in the region it underwent destruction at the hands of invaders and was renovated in the late eighteenth century.

The Trichambaram Krishna temple is a small one, with a two storeyed sanctum with four projecting gables on a pyramidal roof. The sanctum has beautiful carvings and murals from the 15th and 16th centuries.

In the temple complex, is also a tank with a shrine to Durga in the center.

Legends: Like many other temples in Kerala, this temple is said to have been installed by Parasurama. This temple is said to enshrine Krishna, exhibiting jubilation upon destroying the demon Kamsan. Prior to this, Kamsan had bid his royal tusker Kuvalayapidam to attack Krishna and Krishna had killed the attacking elephant.

In keeping with this legend, elephants are a taboo at this temple, despite the fact that elephants form an integral part of the fanfare that accompanies festivities in all Keralite temples.

Festivals: The annual festival at this temple is celebrated in the malayalam month of Kumbham. On the first day of the festival, an image of Balarama is brought into the temple from the nearby Dharmakulangara temple. Images of Krishna and Balarama are carried by priests who dance to the accompaniment of drums. Festivities are held for ten nights in a row. On the final day of the festival, the scene of Balarama bidding farewell to his brother Krishna is enacted (in a manner similar to the Vaikom festival).

Tiruvamundur (Tiruvanvandur)

Description Tiruvamundur is one of the five ancient shrines in the Chengannur area of Kerala, connected with the Mahabharatam. (Chengannur - Yuddhishtra, Tiruppuliyur - Bheema, Aranmula - Arjuna, Tiruvamundur - Nakula and Tirukkadittaanam - Sahadeva). It has been glorified by the tamil hymns of Nammalwar of the 1st millennium CE. It is located 6 km north of Chengannur on the Ernakulam Trivandrum railroad.

The temple: This temple has a circular vimanam - a namaskaramandapam and a gopuradwaram. Much of the present structure dates back to the 14th century CE.

The deity Kamalanathan is portrayed in a standing posture; the name Pambaniyappan which also refers to Kamalanathan arises from the fact the river Pampa cicrles the town (Pampa nadi appan). There is also a shrine to Gopalakrishnan here.

This temple dates back to the period of Kulasekhara Perumaal and was renovated by the Travancore kings (Moolam Tirunaal) in early 20th century. The image of Gopalakrishna was lost many years ago and was rediscovered in the 1960s and reconsecrated.

Legend has it that Nakula the Pandava prince built this temple. Narada is believed to have been blessed here with the duty of preaching the truth to humanity. Vishnu is said to have created a text describing the protocol to be adopted for worshipping him, at this shrine.

Aranmula (Tiruvaaranvilai)

Description Aranmula is a beautiful village located further inland from Chengannur, (9 km west) on the Ernakulam Quilon railroad. It is on the left bank of the Pampa river. ; it is from here that the sacred jewels of Ayyappan are taken in procession to Sabarimalai each year. Aranmula is also known for the watersports involving a spectacular procession of snake boats. It is also linked with legends from the Mahabharata.

Among the Krishna temples in Kerala, the most important ones are at Guruvayur, Trichambaram, Tiruvarppu, Ambalappuzha and Aranmula.

Aranmula is one of the five ancient shrines in the Chengannur area of Kerala, connected with the Mahabharatam. (Chengannur - Yuddhishtra, Tiruppuliyur - Bheema, Aranmula - Arjuna, Tiruvamundur - Nakula and Tirukkadittaanam - Sahadeva). It has been glorified by the tamil hymns of Nammalwar of the 1st millennium CE.

The temple has four towers over its entrances on its outer wall. The eastern tower is accessed through a flight of 18 steps. Descending 57 steps through the northern tower, one can reach the Pampa river.

Legend has it that the Pandava princes, after crowning Parikshit left on a pilgrimage of India, and in Kerala, each of these brothers installed Vishnu on the banks of the Pampa and nearby places and offered worship. (Chengannur - Yuddhishtra, Tiruppuliyur - Bheema, Aranmula - Arjuna, Tiruvamundur - Nakula and Tirukkadittaanam - Sahadeva). It is said that Arjuna built this temple at Nilackal near Sabarimalai. and the image was brought here in a raft made of six pieces of bamboo to this site, and hence the name Aranmula (six pieces of bamboo).

Legend has it that Arjuna built this temple, to expiate for the sin of having killed Karna on the battlefield, against the dharma of killing an unarmed enemy. It is also believed that Vishnu (here) revealed the knowledge of creation to Bhrama , from whom the Madhukaitapa demons stole the Vedas.

There is yet another legend associated with Parthasarathy here. On the ninth dayof the battle of Kurukshetra, the Kauravas reigned supreme under the leadership of Bheeshma, when krishna motivated Arjuna to take initative and vanquish his foe. Upon his hesitating to do so, Krishna jumped down in rage, and took up his discus; seeing this sight Bheeshma surrendered to him and Arjuna beseeched him not to kill Bheeshma, as it would bave been against Krishna's vow to take up arms in his battle. It is believed that it is this image of Krishna that is enshrined here, with a discus.

The Water Carnival: This temple is located on the banks of the river Pampa. This temple is associated with water carnivals - boat race during the Onam season. A tradition of sending an offering of rice and other material required for a feast from a nearby village, on a waterboat relates to the origin of this festival and this tradition is continued even today (this is related to a legend in which a devotee fed a hungry pilgrim, who directed him to send food to Aranmula and disappeared, revealing that he was none other than Vishnu).

Snake boats accompany the sacred boat. The boat race: Snake boats from 39 Karas from Chennithala in the west to Ranni in the east participate in the watersport Vellamkali. These boats assemble since dawn and sail in pairs for about 2 hours. A snake boat is about 103 feet in length. Each boat has about 4 helmsmen 100 rowers and 25 singers. After the watersport there is an elaborate feast in the Aranmula temple.

Another festival celebrated here is the Khandavanadahanam celebrated in the malayalam month of Dhanus. For this festival, a replica of a forest is created in front of the temple with dried plants, leaves and twigs. This bonfire is lit, symbolic of the Khandavana forest fire of the Mahabharata.

The malayala month of Meenam witnesses a festival where Aranmula Parthasarathy is taken in a grand procession on the garuda mount to the Pampa river bank, where an image of the Bhagawati from the nearby Punnamthode temple is brought in procession for the arattu festival.


Description Tirupuliyur is one of the five ancient shrines in the Chengannur area of Kerala, connected with the Mahabharatam. (Chengannur - Yuddhishtra, Tiruppuliyur - Bheema, Aranmula - Arjuna, Tiruvamundur - Nakula and Tirukkadittaanam - Sahadeva). It has been glorified by the tamil hymns of Nammalwar of the 1st millennium CE. Another of the Alwars, Tirumangaialwar has mentioned Tirupuliyur in one of his verses in his Siriya Tirumadal.

Legend has it that Bhima the Pandava prince built this temple and worshipped Vishnu here. A colorful legend regarding the saptarishis and a great famine that occurred in this area is associated with this temple. Other local legends associated with feudal warfare amongst the local rulers and the priests are also associated with this temple. It is believed that this temple lay without worship for a 200 year period after which it was consecrated and reopened.

At Malanad near Kollam there is a temple dedicated to Duryodhana of the Kauravas of Mahabharata. A local community known as Kuravas offers worship at the Duryodhana temple. It is widely believed by the Kuravas that harm would befall them if they spent a night at Tiruppuliyur housing the temple established by Bheema.

The food offerings made at the Tiruppuliyur temple are vast in magnitude. At least 400 measures of rice are used in the preparation of special offerings, acknowledging the hearty appetite associated with Bheema the builder of the temple.


Description Tiruchenkunroor is one of the five ancient shrines in the Chengannur area of Kerala, connected with the Mahabharatam. (Chengannur - Yuddhishtra, Tiruppuliyur - Bheema, Aranmula - Arjuna, Tiruvamundur - Nakula and Tirukkadittaanam - Sahadeva). Nammalwar describes Chenkunrur as a town where the smoke emanating from the vedic ritual yagnas fills the sky and as a place surrounded by rich lush vegetation (of bananas and coconuts).

The Chengannoor Mahadevar temple with a shrine to Bhagavati is of great significance in this town.

In its good days, this temple's annual festival in the malayalam month of Meenam witnessed elaborate celebrationss with performances of Chakkiyar koothy, Koodiyattam etc.

Legend has it that Dharmaputra (Yuddhishtra) offered worship to Vishnu, seeking pardon for his act on the battlefield, where he uttered the words 'Ashwattaama hatah kunjaraha' in an attempt to deceive Drona and lead him to a defenceless state where Arjuna brought his (Drona's) life to an end.

The Pancha Pandavas and Kerala

Legends from the Mahabharata are an intricate part of the cultural web of India, that transcends regional and linguistic affiliations. The southern state of Kerala is an outstanding illustration of this fact. While the historic sites of Indraprasta, Hastinapura and Kurukshetra are believed to be in what is now Uttar Pradesh in Northern India, the Kathakali dance form of Kerala is one of the best forms of expression of the legends from the Mahabharatam.

Kerala has a strong temple culture, and the temples of Kerala are noted for their austerity and strict adherence to age old worship protocols. Five temples of Kerala, dedicated to Vishnu (Krishna) are connected with the Mahabharatam. Legend has it that the Pandava princes set out on a pilgrimage throughout India, after installing Parikshit as the ruler of their vast empire. During their tour of Kerala, the five brothers built a temple each. These temples are:

Chengannur (Yuddhisthra)
Tiruppuliyur (Bhima)
Aranmula (Arjuna)
Tiruvanvandur (Nakula)
Tirukkodittaanam (Sahadeva)


Description: Tiru Anjaikkalam is the only Shivastalam in Kerala and in Chera Naadu which has been sung by the Nayanmars and is located in the vicinity of Kodungallur, near Thrissur. Kodunallur is well known for its famed temple to Bhagawati.

History: Cheraman Perumal, one of the 63 Nayanmars and a great friend of Sundaramoorthy Nayanar is said to have ruled with Kodungallur as his capital.Aadi Swathi (in the month of Cancer) is of festive significance commemorating Sundarar's association with the temple. Sundarar and Cheraman Perumal Nayanar are said to have left for Kailasam from here.The latter composed the Tirukkailaya Ula at Tirukkayilayam (Mount Kailash).

The Temple: In keeping with the Keralite architectural style, this temple has a conical copper plated Vimanam. This temple has a namaskara mandapam, and gopura dwarams on the east and the west. Cheraman Perumal's image is carved on the temple walls & there is a memorial to him nearby. A majestic tiered brass lamp adorns the temple. Dakshinamurthy, contrary to the name faces the East here. The sanctum is in the form of a chariot and there is no separate shrine for Ambal. Unlike most other Shiva temples in Kerala, there is an image of Nataraja here. Murals adorn the temple walls.

Thirupulingudi Divyadesam - Video


The Kumaraian temple is located at Melakodumalur, 24 km from Manamadurai and is held in great reverence locally. Javvaduppulavar has sung of this shrine. In addition, this temple has been glorified by the works of Nallamuthu Pillai of Mudukulattur (Pillaittamizh and Kuravanji).

Deity: The presiding deity Subramaniar is worshipped in the form of an imposing 6 feet high image in a standing posture. The temple has a single prakaram. It is believed that the image of the presiding deity was discovered under a tree and then installed in the temple.

Festivals: Panguni Uthiram is the annual festival celebrated. Muppazha Tiruvizha is celebrated in the month of Vaikasi.


Kazhugumalai is one of the ancient murugan temples in Tamilnadu known for its rock-cut images. Kazhugumalai has been revered by the Thirupugazh hymns of Arunagirinathar. Kazhugumalai is located on the road between Sankaran koil and Koilpatti near Tiirunelveli.

The Karnatic Music composer Mutthuswamy Deekshitar has sung in praise of this shrine. There are several literary works in praise of this shrine. The Ettappa Nayakar cheieftans are associated with several of the renovation efforts and endowments to this temple.

Kazhugaachalam is also known as Ten Palani. The presiding deity here is Kazhugachalamurthy (Aarumugaswami ) enshrined as a beautiful rock-cut image in a cave. The temple and the picturesque tank are located at the foothills of the 300 feet high hill. The temple dates back to the 8th century, of the early pandya kings as testified by inscriptions . However, the shrine to shiva and several other mandapams date back to the period of the king of Ettaiyapuram of the 16th century.

Legend has it that a Pandya ruler by name Adi Madhura Pandyan built this temple, upon seeing a cow empyting the contents of its udder into an anthill on this hill, where an image of Skanda on a peeacock mount was discovered.

Legend also has it that Rama performed the last rites to Jatayu at Pullirukkuvelur). Sambaadi, the brother of Jatayu regretted his inability to do the same, and upon Rama's direction worshipped Skanda at Kazhugumalai after bathing in the Aambal river. Legend also has it that Rama rested at Chaayamalai (Vaanarampatti) enroute to Srilanka with the army of Vaanaras.

Legend also has it that Agasthyar rested here enroute to Potikai Malai, and that Murugan's shrine faces southwest towards Potikai in acknowledgement of his worship.

The sacred ash is offered on a leaf as in Tiruchendur. The peacock mount is seen to the left of Skanda unlike the usual position on right.

Also enshrined here are Jambukeswarar and Akhilandeswari. There are also shrines to Somaskandar, Bhikshadanar, Veerabaahu, Natarajar, Manikkavaacakar and others. The water in the temple tank Valli Sunai is considered to be of medicinal value. The sculptural work in the Mahamandapam is of great value.

The Vettuvan koil (Vinayakar koil) is found on top of the hill. Several Jain carvings are seen on the hill.

Festivals: Six worship services are carried out each day here. Skandasashti is celebrated with great splendor. Thai poosam, panguni uttram and Vaikasi Visakam are the annual festivals celebrated here. Cattle fares in the vicinity

Kamakhya - in Assam

The Kamakhya Temple in Assam is one of the most venerated Shakti shrines in India, and is regarded as one of the Shakti Peethams associated with the legend of Shiva and Daksha Yagna.

Kamakhya is located on a hill - Neelachala Parvat or Kamagiri near the city of Guwahati in Assam. Shakti, residing on the Kamagiri hill is known as Kamakhya, the granter of desires. Assam traditionally has been known as the Kamarupa Desa and has been associated with Tantric practices and Shakti worship.

This temple was destroyed in early 16th century, and then rebuilt in the 17th century by King Nara Narayana, of Cooch Bihar. Images of the builder and related inscriptions are seen in the temple.

The Kalika Purana, an ancient work in Sanskrit describes Kamakhya as the yielder of all desires, the young bride of Shiva, and the giver of salvation.

Legend has it that following the destruction of Daksha's sacrifice and the Rudra Tandava of Shiva parts of Sati's body fell at several places throughout India, and these places are revered as Shakti peethas. The reproductive organ of Sati, (the Yoni) is said to have fallen here.

Legend also has it that the supreme creative power of Bhrahma was challenged by Shakti, the mother Goddess, and that Bhrahma could thereafter create, only with the blessings of the Yoni, as the sole creative principle. After much penance, Bhrahma brought down a luminous body of light from space and placed it within the Yoni circle, which was created by the Goddess and placed at Kamarupa.

The temple has a beehive like shikhara. Some of the sculptured panels seen here are of interest. There are images of Ganesha, Chamundeswari, dancing fitures etc.

There is no image of Shakti here. Within a corner of a cave in the temple, there is a sculptored image of the Yoni of the Goddess, which is the object of reverence. A natural spring keeps the stone moist.

Other temples on the Neelachala hill include those of Tara, Bhairavi, Bhuvaneswari and Ghantakarna.

Festivals: Durga Puja is celebrated annually during Navaratri in the month of September- October. It is a three day festival attracting several visitors. A unique festival observed here is the Ambuvaci (Ameti) fertility festival wherein it is believed that the Goddess (mother Earth) undergoes her menstrual period (also see Changannur Bhagawati in Kerala). During this period the temple is closed for three days and opened with great festivity on the fourth day. It is believed to be inauspicious to till the ground or to plant seeds, during this three day period.


Kalighat is located in the city of Calcutta on the banks of the river Hooghly (Bhagirathi). The name Calcutta is said to have been derived from the word Kalighat.

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Kaali is regarded as one of the principal deities of Bengal. There are other temples to Kaali - Sahasrabhuja Kaali, Sarvamangala, Tarasundari and Simhavaahini. Kaali is regarded as the destroyer or liberator and is depicted in a fearful form. Despite the terrifying form, she is considered to deliver bliss to worshippers. The Kalighat temple attracts numerous devotees throughout the year.

Kalighat is regarded as one of the 52 Shakti Peethams of India, where the various parts of Sati's body are said to have fallen, in the course of Shiva's Rudra Tandava. Kalighat represents the site where the toes of the right foot of Shakti or Sati fell. (see Daksha Yagna).

The Temple: The Kalighat temple in its present form iis only about 200 years old, although it has been referred to in Mansar Bhasan composed in the 15th century, and in Kavi Kankan Chandi of the 17th century.

Legend has it that a devotee discovered a luminant ray of light coming from the Bhagirathi river bed, and upon investigating its source came upon a piece of stone carved in the form of a human toe. He also found a Syayambhu Lingam of Nakuleshwar Bhairav nearby, and started worshipping Kaali in the midst of a thick jungle. This shrine grew to its present form over a period of time, thanks in particular to the Sabarna Roy Chowdhury family of Bengal.

This family is also said to have built the Chitreswari Kaali temple at Chitpur. It is believed that there was a pathway through the jungle between Chitpur and Kalighat, and this pathway is said to have become the Chitpur road of Calcutta.

Kalighat is also associated with the worship offered to Kaali by a Dasanami Monk by name Chowranga Giri, and the Chowringee area of Calcutta is said to have been named after him.

The Dakshineswar Kaali temple across from the river, near Belur Math, bears an image of Kaali worshipped by the spiritual leader Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, guru of Swami Vivekananda.


Kanyakumari is located at the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent. The small temple dedicated to Kanyakumari, or the youthful form of the primeval energy Shakti (Mother Goddess) is located on the seashore, in the town known by the same name. Kanyakumari was referred to by the British as Cape Commorin.

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Kanyakumari represents the site where the spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda spent days in meditation upon a rock off of the coast. A memorial built in his honor is accessible via ferry. There is also a recently built memorial to Tiruvalluvar, the author of the philosophical work Tirukkural - a treatise on the Indian way of life.

The Kanyakumari temple is an ancient one and has been mentioned in the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and the Sangam works Manimekalai and Puranaanooru. It is believed that the image of Kanyakumari was installed and worshipped by Parasurama, who is credited with reclaiming Kerala from the ocean, and building several shrines.

Legend has it that the demon Baanaasuran wreaked havoc on the inhabitants of this world, and that Mahavishnu requested the Gods and the humans to request primeval energy Paraasakthi to vanquish the demon. Answering the prayers of the oppressed, Shakti appeared as a young virgin girl at Kanyakumari and commenced penance with the desire of marrying Shiva at Suchindram.

Legend has it that the celestial Sage Narada, fixed the midnight hour as the auspicious time for the wedding. When Shiva's procession reached a site by name Vazhukkumpaarai, a rooster crowed, hearlding daybreak, and that Shiva assuming that the auspicious hour was past, returned to Suchindram. The disappointed Goddess decided to spend her life in Kanyakumari as a virgin, and that all the food prepared for the wedding was laid waste and that it turned into the colored sand seen on the southern shores of the subcontinent.

The demon Banaasuran upon hearing of Shakti's story proceeded to Kanyakumari to win her hand in marriage by force, and this led to a fierce battle in which he was slain by her.

The temple: The black stone image of Kanyakumari in the sanctum bearing a garland is an enchanting one. Of particular significance is the glittering nose ring that is visible from a distance. Legend has it that the light emanating from this nose ring misguided arriving ships and caused them to crash onto the rocky coast. There is a door now, to the east of the shrine which is opened only five times a year. There are also shrines to Vijayasundari and Balasundari, friends and playmates of the Goddess in her youthful form. There are a total of 11 theerthams associated with the temple in the ocean surrounding the area. The confluence of the seas, at the southern tip of the subcontinent has been held sacred for centuries.

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Festivals: Worship services are carried out here, throughout the day, in a manner similar to that in Keralite temples. It must be remembered that Kanyakaumari was a part of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom.

The Vaisakha festival is celebrated in the tamil month of Vaikasi where an image of the goddess is taken around town in procession on various mounts. The car festival, the Aaraatu (when the eastern door to the shrine is opened) and the float festival here are of significance.

The eastern door is opened also on new moon days in the months of Thai, Aadi (Capricorn and Cancer), during Navaratri and in the month of Kaartikai.

The Kalabham (sandal) festival in the month of Aadi is also of importance here, when the image is covered with sandal paste, and on the 13th day, ie. the last Friday of the month, vast crowds throng the temple as the image is covered with vast quantities of flowers brought in from several villages in the vicinity.

An image of the deity is held in worship at the Navaratri mandapam throughout the duration of Navaratri, and processions mark the festive celebrations on each of the nine nights.

The destruction of Baanasuran is enacted on Vijaya Dasami, the concluding day of the Navaratri festival, where an image of the deity is taken in procession on a horse mount to a nearby village - Mahadanapuram

Siddhatek Siddhi Vinayak

Siddhatekcha Shri Siddhi Vinayak is considered to be one of the Ashta Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra, celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha.

Legend has it Mahavishnu who was engaged in a serious battle against the demons Madhu and Kaitabha, was dismayed by his inability to bring the battle to a quick and decisive finish. Shiva advised him to propitate Ganesha. Upon doing so, Ganesha appeared on the battlefield, and his appearance strengthened Mahavishnu's resolve and abilities and enabled him to vanquish the demons with ease. Ganesha's appearance on the battlefield is marked by the Siddhivinayak shrine at Siddhatek, said to be capable of granting Siddhi.

Mahavishnu is worshipped as the destroyer of the demons Madhu and Kaitabha at Tiruvallur near Chennai in Tamilnadu, and as the restorer of the Vedas from the same demons, at Indalur in Mayiladuturai near Thanjavur again in Tamilnadu, both these temples being over 1200 years old.

The Temple: The Siddhatek Siddhivinayak temple is a hill temple, built by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar, who is also credited with rebuilding the Vishnu Pada temple at Gaya, the Vishwanath temple at Benares and several other temples. Ganesha is enshrined in a seated posture with his consorts Siddhi and Riddhi.


Description: This Shivastalam in the vicinity of Swamimalai (Skandastalam - Aaru Padai Veedu) near Kumbhakonam is a vast temple in a state of neglect, and is known more for the shrine to Valanchuzhi Vinayakar or Sweta Vinayakar. Tiruvalanchuzhi is considered to be the 25th in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located south of the river Kaveri.
Sweta Vinayakar (Vellai Vinayakar or Nuraippillaiyaar): A white colored image of Ganapati - Sweta Vinayakar is the center of worship here. Legend has it that the Gods (the Devas) fashioned this image out of the foam that was generated when the milky ocean (Ksheera Samudram) was churned by them, in their quest for the celestial nectar Amritam. Indra the King of Devas is said to have had this image in his possession after gaining immortality through Amritam, and during his penance at Swamimalai, set the image down at Tiruvalanchuzhi, after which it became rooted to the spot.

The Vinayakar shrine is encountered soon after entering the temple complex. The intricate stone windows and the delicately carved granite pillars in this shrine are of great merit. A ten day festival is celebrated here, during the time of Vinayaka Chaturthi.

Legends: This shrine is associated with Heranda Munivar as is another shrine in the vicinity Kottaiyur. Durvasa muni is said to have carried out a yagnam here, and the Devas who attended it are said to have established several Siva Lingams here. It is believed that Kaveri went back into the ground, and when Heranda Muni went after it to retrieve it, it came back to the surface in this shrine, and made a complete circle to the right, hence the name Valanchuzhi.

The Temple: This temple occupies an area of about 8 acres, has a huge tower decorating its entrance. There are shrines to Brihannayaki (Periyanayaki), Subramanyar, Dakshinamurthy, Herandamuni, Aarumugar and others.

There are several interesting sculptural features in this vast temple, now in a state of neglect. Images of celestial nymphs display enormous amounts of detail. Inscriptions reveal that Raja Raja Cholan had made several endowments here. There are inscriptions here from the period of Parantaka Chola I.

There are as many as 5 mandapams with intricately carved pillars and stucco images. Murals from the Nayaka period, now in a state of disrepair are also seen here; these images depict the dance of Shiva during the Pradosha worship. The sculptural work in the Valanchuzhi Vinayakar shrine here are of great merit. Mentioned must be made of the lavishly decorated pillars and the niche deities.Ambal's shrine is located to the right of Shiva's shrine here.

Festivals: Vinayaka Chaturthi, and a festival on the 6th day of the bright half of Margazhi (Sagitarius) are celebrated here. This temple is managed as a sub temple of the famed Swaminathar Temple (Subramanya) nearby.

Festivities surround this temple in the Tamil month of Pankuni, when an image of Subramanya is taken in procession from Swamimalai to Tiruvalanchuzhi, when episodes from Vallikalyanam (in which Ganapati the elder brother of Skanda is said to have come to his aid, while the latter attempted to gain Valli's hand in marriage).

Vatapi Ganapati

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The town of Tiruchenkaatankudi near Nannilam near Thanjavur in Tamilnadu is home to the Tevara Shivastalam Ganapateeswaram. It has been revered by the hymns of the Tamil Saivite Saints of the 1st millennium CE.

This temple also hosts an image of Vatapi Ganapati, an image of Ganapati brought back from Badami, the Chalukyan capital then known as Vatapi - by Sirutondar, a general of the then Pallava monarch (circa 7th century CE).

The famous kriti Vatapi Ganapatim Bhaje by the composer Mutthuswamy Deekshitar, in the Karnatic music idiom salutes this deity.

Legend has it that Ganapati worshipped Shiva here for the sin of having killed the demon Gajamukhasuran. The elephant faced demon Gajamukhasuran, who had received a boon of immortality (subject to certain caveats) from Shiva, caused untold suffering to humans from his self made capital at Matangapuram.

The elephant faced God Ganapati, vanquished the demon with his broken right tusk. The land here is believed to have turned red, thanks to the blood spilled by the demon, and hence the name Tiruchenkaattankudi in Tamil. Although the presiding deity here is Shiva, Ganapati receives the first place of honor.

Ganapati's worshipping Shiva is enacted in the form of a grand festival in the tamil month of Margazhi.


Description: Gowrikund is a popular Himalayan shrine at about 4000 Meters above sea level where it is believed that Gowri (Parvati) meditated upon Shiva. Surya and Chandra are also believed to have worshipped Shiva here.This shrine is located on the route between Rishikesh and Kedarnath.

The route between Kedarnath and Gowrikund is a picturesque one. Gowrikund has several hot springs. Gowri is believed to have taken a bath here after giving birth to Kartikeya. Legend has it that, at Triyuginarayan, south of here Shiva and Parvati were married. The fire kindled during their wedding is said to be burning at Agnikund. Also nearby, is the temple to Mundkatta Ganesh - without a head. Shiva is believed to have cut off the head of Parvati's son Ganesh and then revived him to life here.

Four shrines to Shiva in the Himalayas have been glorified by the Tevaram hymns of the Tamil Nayanmar saints of the 1st century CE. They are Indraneela Parvatam, Gowrikund, Kedarnath and Mount Kailash. Although none of the Nayanmars has visited this Gowrikund, Sambandar has sung about Gowrikundam from Kalahasti. Gowrikund or Anekatankaavadam is the first of the Tevara Stalams hailed by the Tamil hymns of the Nayanmars, located outside of Tamilnadu/Kerala/Karnataka i.e. in Vada Naadu (the northern lands).


Description: This is one of the 4 Shivastalams in the Himalayas praised by the tamil hymns of the Saivite Nayanmar Tamil Saints of the 1st century CE - the other three being Gowrikund, Kedarnath and Mount Kailash. A towering peak (6000 Meters tall) reached by a long trek from Kathmandu is revered as a manifestation of Shiva and a green rock is revered as a manifestation of Ambal. Indra is believed to have worshipped Shiva here. Arjuna, the Pandava Prince is believed to have worshipped Shiva here, and obtained the Pasupata Astram. This shrine has not been visited by any of the Nayanmars, although its praises have been sung by Sambandar from Kalahasti in today's Andhra Pradesh. Indraneela Parvatam is the first of the Tevara Stalams hailed by the Tamil hymns of the Nayanmars, located outside of Tamilnadu/Kerala/Karnataka i.e. in Vada Naadu (the northern lands).


Description: Sree Sailam referred to as Tirupparuppatham in the Tevaram hymns, near Curnool in Andhra Pradesh is a venerated Shivastalam, considered to be one of the 12 Jyotirlinga Shrines spread all over India, the Northernmost one being Kedarnath and the Southern most being Rameswaram. Sree Sailam is the first of the Tevara Stalams hailed by the Tamil hymns of the Nayanmars, located outside of Tamilnadu/Kerala/Karnataka i.e. in Vada Naadu (the northern lands).

This is a vast temple with several gopurams, on a hill which is said to be a manifestation of Nandi. This temple has been a site of Vijayanagar patronage, and is currently well visited and well endowed. Several other related Shiva temples are located in the vicinity of Sree Sailam.

Sambandar and Sundarar have sung its glories from Sree Kaalahasti. The image above is that of a gopuram at Sree Kalahasti. Adi Sankara is believed to have visited this shrine. The Bhramarambika Shrine within the temple complex is of great significance. Please visit the special


Description: Gokarna is a celebrated pilgrimage center on the coast of Karnataka, enshrining the Aatma Lingam Mahabaleshwar. It is regarded as one of the 7 Mukti Stalas of Karnataka, and it has been revered by the hymns of the Tamil Saints (Nayanmars) of the 1st millennium CE. Gokarna is located at a distance of 170 km from Mangalore, the nearest airport. The seven muktistalas of Karnataka are Udupi, Kollur, Subramanya, Kumbasi, Kodeshwara, Sankaranarayana and Gokarna. All these shrines are also known as Parasurama Kshetras, created on the land reclaimed from the sea by Parasurama. This is the only Tevara Stalam in Karnataka (Tulu Nadu) hailed by the Tamil songs of the Bhakti movement.

Legends: Vinayakar (Dwibhuja Vinayakar shrine) is said to have tricked the demon Ravana into leaving behind a Shivalingam here in a legend similar to that at Tiruchirappalli. In spite of the might exerted by Ravana (Maha Bala), the Shivalingam stayed fixed, hence the name Mahabaleshwar. The pull exerted by Ravana, is said to have caused the Shivalingam to resemble the shape of a cow's ear and hence the name Gokarnam. A very similar legend holds at the Vaidyanath - Jyotirlingam temple at Deogarh in Bihar.

The Temple: This west facing temple enshrines Mahabaleshwar, in a square Saligrama Peetham. A golden rekha on the peetham, and a small hole in its middle permits devotees to have a glimpse of the top of the Aatma Lingam. The six foot tall Shivalingam is encolsed inside the peetham, and it can be seen only once in 40 years, when the Ashta bandana Kumbhahishekam is performed. There are also shrines to Vinayaka, Chandikeswara, Aadi Gokarneswara and Dattatreya. Gokarnanayaki is also known as Taamragowri, and her shrine is behind the sanctum.

The sacred thirtham here is the Koti theertham. The image of Vinayaka bears a dent, said to have been caused when Ravana, enraged at the loss of the Atma Lingam had hit him.

Festivals: It is customary here to have a dip in the sea and then worship a Shivalingam made out of sand, before worshipping at the temple. Maha Sivaratri is of great significance in this shrine located in idyllic surroundings. Also located around Gokarna are Sejjeshwara, Gunavanteshwara, Murudeshwara and Dhareshwara. These four temples along with Mahabaleshwara are known as the Pancha Maha Kshetras.

Chintaamani Vinayaka

Thevoorcha Shri Chintaamani is considered to be one of the Ashta Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra, celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha.

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The legend surrounding this temple centers around the Chintaamani gem. Sage Kapila was in possession of a gem by name Chintaamani which was capable of granting one's desires. He was visited by a young prince (son of Gunavati and Abhijita) by name Guna. The sage invoked the powers of the gem and created a sumptuous meal for the prince. The prince enamored by the power of the gem, stole it from the sage. A hurt Kapila Muni prayed to Vinayaka for help. Vinayaka restored the gem from the prince, however the sage refused to accept it, and began to rever Vinayaka as Chintaamani Vinayaka.

Legend has it that Kapila Muni had received this gem from Shiva after worshipping him at Talaiaalankaadu near Thanjavur in Tamilnadu. It is believed that he had walked on his head to reach the shrine and hence the tamil name Talaiaalankaadu (talai - head). (Also see Kapilarmalai Murugan temple in Tamilnadu).

The Temple: An east facing image of Ganesha, is enshrined in this temple which has interesting features such as gold inlays. This temple is closely associated with the Maratha ruler Madhavrao Peshwa.

Aadi Kumbeswarar Temple at Kumbakonam

Deities: Kumbeswarar, Mangalambika (Shiva, Parvati)

This is an ancient temple dedicated to Shiva in the heart of the town. The Mahamakham tank where the Makham festival takes place once in 12 years is associated with this temple. The temple is said to be over 1300 years old. The Saivite Saints have sung its praise. The Chola and Naik Kings patronized this temple. The temple is in possession of two granite Nadaswarams (oboes).

Devi Puram Temple

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Devipuram temple complex located near Visakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India. Belonging primarily to the Shakta school of Hinduism, it is dedicated to the goddess Sahasrakshi ("she who has a thousand [infinite] eyes"; a form of Lalita Tripurasundari or Parvati); and her consort Kameshwara (Shiva).

Chidambaram Nataraja Temple

Chidambaram Nataraja Temple, Visit Chidambaram Nataraja Temple of Tamilnadu, Temple tour of Chidambaram Nataraja TempleChidambaram is located at a distance of 250 kilometers from Chennai the capital city of Tamil Nadu, South India. During your tours to temples of Tamil Nadu, India this is one temple town that you must pay a visit to. The Chidambaram Nataraja Temple is an excellent example of a unique amalgamation of a number of architectural styles. The innermost sanctum inside the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple has idols of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati. The Chitsabha inside the temple is an interesting piece of architecture. This shrine is built of wood and is supported with pillars that are also made of wood. The other fascinating and important shrine located inside the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple is the Govindaraja Perumaal.

Chidambaram is 250 Kms south of Chennai. It is on the railway main line. Roughly this is in the middle, between Chennai and Tiruchirapalli. Chidambaram can be reached by bus. Bus routes connect this town to various places in Tamil Nadu.

Glory of the legend !
Chidambaram Nataraja Temple, Visit Chidambaram Nataraja Temple of Tamilnadu, Temple tour of Chidambaram Nataraja TempleThis temple was concealed behind the veil of mystery for centuries,but its known sublimity in records begins with the visit of Hiranya Chakravarthi of Kashmir around 500 A.D. The king is believed to have been cured of his leprosy with a single dip in the temple pushkarini, Sivaganga thirtham . The four eminent saiva acharyas Appar, Sambandar, Sundarar and Manikkavachakar are bonded with this holy temple and produced master pieces eulogising their respective paths - Charya, Kriya, Yoga and Gnana. This kshetra is said to have given 'moksha' (liberation) to infinite devotees - notable amongst them are Nandanar, Tirunilakandanayanar, Vyagrapada, Patanjali.

Karaikal Ammaiyar Temple

Karaikal Ammayar Temple, Visit Karaikal Ammayar Temple of Tamilnadu, Temple tour of Karaikal Ammayar Temple, ReligiousKaraikal Ammaiyar temple is located in Barathiar Street, in the center of Karaikal. Malaiperumal Pillai constructed it in the year 1929. The main Goddess is Punithavati, also known as "Karaikal Ammaiyar". There is also a sanctum for Vinayaka (also spelt as Vinayak) inside this temple.

The Mangani Tirunal festival (the festival of the mango fruit) is observed in the month of Aani (June-July) on Pournami (full-moon) day. The belief is that Karaikal Ammaiyar gave Annam (food) to Bhikshatanar (Shiva) during his tour round the world begging alms, with curd rice and mangoes. To commemorate this incident, curd rice with mango is distributed on this festival day, in a big hall adjacent to the temple.

Karaikal Ammaiyar was the wife of a rich merchant of Karaikal named Paramadatta, endowed with heavenly gifts. Her own name was Punitavatiyar (the pure lady). She was very devout and especially careful to entertain all devotees of Lord Shiva that came to her door. One day, her husband received from some persons who had come to him on business, a present of two mangoes of a very superior kind, which he sent home to his wife. Soon after-wards, a holy devotee arrived at the house as a mendicant guest.

She had nothing ready to offer him except some boiled rice. She offered him boiled rice and as there was no other side dish, she gave him one of the mangoes. At noon, her husband returned and took his meal with the other mango. He was so pleased with the mango that he told his wife to give him the second mango of the two that he gave to her, His wife was perplexed, as she had already given the other mango to the mendicant. Immediately she offered fervent prayers to God, who never deserts those who serve Him. God heard her prayers and straightaway a mango was found in her hands. She served it to her husband.

As the mango was a divine gift, it was of wonderful sweetness. Tasting it, her husband asked her how she got the mango. At first she hesitated, but at last revealed what had happened.

Her husband did not give much credence to her words and asked her to get another mango in the same way. She went away and prayed to God and immediately she found another fruit, still lovelier, in her hands. When she carried this to her husband he took it in astonishment. But, behold! It forthwith vanished.

Utterly confounded by these wonderful happenings, he came to the conclusion that his wife was a supernatural being whom he dared not touch with carnal thoughts, and resolved to go away from her.

Her husband did not reveal his decision to anybody, but quietly equipped a ship in which he put in a great part of his wealth, and then, on an auspicious day, worshipping the God of the sea, with sailors and a skilful captain, set sail to another country, where he accumulated a fortune, and after some time, came back to India to another city in the Pandyan land. There he married a merchant's daughter and lived in great luxury. A daughter was born to him. To her, he gave the name of the wife with whom he dared not live, but had great reverence.

To this Paramadatta replied that his wife is not an ordinary lady, but a supernatural being. So, he ceased to look upon her as his wife and worshipped her as their tutelary deity and also dedicated his daughter to her.

Punitavatiyar pondered over the matter and prayed within herself to Lord Shiva to take away her beauty that she cherished up till now for the sake of her husband and give her the form and features of one of the demon-hosts ('Bhutaganas') who are attendants of Lord Shiva.

That very instant, by the grace of God her flesh dried up and she became a demoness, one of Lord Shiva's hosts. Then the Gods rained flowers on her. Heavenly minstrels sang her praises and her relatives, in fear and awe, paid her adoration and departed. So, she had now become a demoness and her abode was the wild jungle of Alangadu (forest of Banyan trees). Through inspiration from God, she sang several sacred hymns, which are preserved to the present day. Alangadu is 40 miles from Thanjavur.

Afterwards, she got an irresistible desire to see the sacred hill of Kailas. With inconceivable speed she fled northwards till she arrived at the foot of the mountain and realizing that it was not right to climb the heavenly mountain with her feet, she threw herself down and measured the distance with her head. Uma, the consort of Lord Shiva, beheld her thus ascending and enquired her husband about the demoness.

To this, Lord Shiva replied that the mighty demon-form was the Mother, who obtained this form by her prayers. When she drew near, Lord Shiva addressed her with the words of love calling her by the name of Mother ("Ammaiyar"), which she forever bears. As soon as she heard the word, she fell at his feet worshipping and ejaculating, "Father!"

She worshipped Lord Shiva to grant her a boon that she should no more be born on earth and if she did, then she should be born as a devotee of the Lord who in any form, at any time, will not forget The Lord and that when the Lord performs the sacred mystic dance, she should stand beneath the Lord's feet and sing in His praise.

Lord Shiva granted her the boon and asked her to stay at Alangadu. Then, the sacred Mother of Karaikal returned, measuring the distance still on her head, to holy Alangadu where she beheld her God's sacred dance and sang her renowned lyrics in His praise.

Mayiladuturai Temple

Mayiladuturai Temple Mayiladuturai Temple, Visit Mayiladuturai Temple of Tamilnadu, Temple tour of Mayiladuturai Temple, Religious placeMayiladuturai is a famous temple, which is well designed with a beautiful tank, several Gopurams and Mandapams, located in the town of Mayiladuturai (Mayuram). This is a temple of great religious significance, and is a hub in the temple belt of Tamil Nadu. Several Shivasthalams are located in the vicinity of Mayiladuturai.
Mayiladuturai is in the midst of several shrines with puranic significance. The Sapta Matas are said to have worshipped Lord Shiva at 7 of the temples in the vicinity including Vallalaar Kovil. Dakshinamurti's shrine in the nearby Vallalaar (Gurumoorti - Vadhaanyeswara) Koyil is of great significance. On the banks of the Kaveri, near the bathing ghats is the Kasi Viswanathar temple with Vimanams along the lines of those at Benares.

The temple was reconstructed with stone, during the period of Sembiyan Mahadevi (10th century); however renovations from the 19th century have destroyed the older structures and the inscriptions. Thankfully fine stone sculptures of Vinayaka, Nataraja, "Shiva-Uma-Alinganamurti", "Dakshimamurti", "Lingodbhavar", Brahma, Ganga Visarjanamurti, Durga and Bhikshatanar from the period of "Sembiyan Mahadevi" have been well preserved in their niches.

From available inscriptions it is inferred that the Avayambal shrine came into existence during the period of Rajaraja Chola III (13th century). Till then, there must only have been a "Bhogashakti" bronze image in the sanctum of "Mayuranathar", as was the practice till separate Ambal shrines were introduced during the reign of Kulottunga Chola I (1075-1120).

Legend has it that Dakshayani (Parvati) took the form of a peahen after her father's "Daksha Yagna" and worshipped Lord Shiva here. Shiva is said to have taken a peacock form, performed the "Gowri Tandavam" and united with her here. "Mayuranathar" is believed to have quelled the Kaveri floods to make way for "Sambandar" and 4 of the Vallalar shrines in the vicinity are said to be manifestations of Mayuranathar.

Mannargudi Temple

Mannargudi Temple, Visit Mannargudi Temple of Tamilnadu, Temple tour of Mannargudi Temple, Religious place of TamilnaduAbout The Temple
The famous Vishnu temple at Mannargudi dedicated to Sri Rajagopalaswami was built by the Chola king Kulottunga (1070-1120 AD). The temple is situated over an area of 6 acres of land that commands an imposing view and provides accommodation for thousands of devotees. After the Chola kings the Nayak kings of Tanjore took interest in the renovation of temples built earlier and as a result the temple at Mannargudi was improved with many Gopurams and outer Prakarams.

Festivals Celebrated
Bhramotsavam in Pankuni (March -April), Float Festival in Aani (June-July) And Aadi Pooram During July-August Mannargudi is a place of religious antiquity and legendary importance. In ancient times, Mannargudi was known by many names namely, Senbagaranyam, Vasudevapuri, Dakshina Dwaraka, Vanduvarapati and Swayambhu Sthalam, each name having a religious significance.

Temple Architecture
This is a massive temple with as many as seven Prakarams or circumambulatory paths surrounding the central sanctum. A 154 feet high RajaGopuram adorns the entrance to the outermost Prakaram. There are several beautiful pillared halls in the temple - such as the Thousand-pillared hall, the Vallala Maharaja Mandapam, the Yaanai Vaahana Mandapam, Garudavaahana Mandapam, Vennaithaazhi Mandapam and Punnai Vaahana Mandapam. The Shrine to Garuda on top of a 50 feet high monolithic pillar in front of the temple deserves mention. The saying 'Mannaargudi Madhil Azhagu' (the walls of the temple of Mannargudi are of great beauty) in Tamil, testifies to the grandeur of this temple.
Several teerthas (temple tanks) adorn this shrine. The Haridra Nadhi tank is located located near the temple, and popular belief has it, that a river was transformed into a big tank, and that Rajagopala performed the famed Rasa Leela in the tank.

The Deities
Mannargudi Temple, Visit Mannargudi Temple of Tamilnadu, Temple tour of Mannargudi Temple, Religious place of TamilnaduThe sanctum of this vast temple enshrines a 7 feet high image of Vaasudeva with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhoodevi on either side. Sri Rajagopalaswami is the processional deity with a commanding appearance standing in front of the cow, with Rukmini and Satyabhama. This idol is considered to be the most handsome and attractive among the images of Vishnu.

There is another idol of Lord Krishna as a boy lying on the serpent Adisesha, with his right toe in the mouth, known as "Santana Rajagopalan". This image is made of bronze and the workmanship is super-excellent. The worship of Santana Rajagopalan has got a special significance. Popular belief has it that cradling the image of Santanagopalakrishna in ones lap, would bless barren couple with progeny.

There is a shrine of Goddess Senbagavalli Tayar and on her sides are the shrines of Rajanayaki on the right and Dwaranayaki on the left. She has four arms. This shrine has separate Prakarams.

There are small shrines in the temple dedicated to Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Garudalwar, etc. The Garuda Stambha placed in front of the Lord's shrine is 54 feet high and is made of a -single stone.

The Vahanams In The Temple
There are many Vahanams in the temple of which Panchamukha Hanuman (Hanuman with five faces) is worth mentioning. Garuda Vahanam and Horse Vahanam are plated with gold and are said to have been donated by a European officer who was cured of his colic on offering worship to the Lord.

Seven worship services are offered during the course of a day, and this temple attracts pilgrims throughout the year. The annual festival (Bhramotsavam) is celebrated in the month of Pankuni (March 15-April 15) for a period of 18 days, when the deities are taken out in procession on decorated mounts. The float festival occurs in the month of Aani (June 15 - July 15). Aadi Pooram celebrated between July 15 and August 15 is another of the important festivals here.

Worship Services And Festivals
Seven worship services are offered during the course of a day, and this temple attracts pilgrims throughout the year. The annual festival (Bhramotsavam) is celebrated in the month of Pankuni (March 15-April 15) for a period of 18 days, when the deities are taken out in procession on decorated mounts. The float festival occurs in the month of Aani (June 15 - July 15). Aadi Pooram celebrated between July 15 and August 15 is another of the important festivals here.

Azhagar Koil Temple (Madurai)

Azhagar Koil Temple (Madurai) Azhagar Koil Temple, Visit Azhagar Koil Temple of Tamilnadu, Temple tour of Azhagar Koil Temple, Religious placeLocated 21-km northwest of Madurai is a Vishnu temple located on a picturesque wooded hill. Here Lord Vishnu presides as Meenakshi's brother 'Azhagar'.

The Pandya kings and later the Naick kings of Madurai were ardent devotees of Azhagar and spent huge amounts for proper maintenance of the temple and for constructing many Gopurams and Mandapams and conducting many festivals. The temple suffered a lot in the middle of the 18th century when it was looted and partly demolished by Hyder Ali and thus lost all its wealth donated by kings and rich patrons of the past.

All the twelve Alwars, the Vaishnavite Saints, who visited this place, have sung in praise of Azhagar and the beautiful hills. All these verses numbering 123 may be seen in the Nalayira Divya Prabandam (4000 holy verses), which is claimed to be the Tamil Veda of the Vaishnavites. The place is also known as "South Tirupati".
On entering the temple, one can see the life-size sculptures carved in the stone Mandapam built by Tirumalai Naicken. These are similar to those found in Madurai temple. The deity is known as "Kalazhagar" as he is the household deity of the Kallas, a low caste people.

From the western side of the temple there is a passage leading to the beautiful garden with fragrant flowers, coconut trees, etc and the passage leads to the tank where many mendicants take shelter during mid-day.

Beyond that, to a distance of about three miles the mountain is very green and there are fountains. Water from these fountains flows very near the temple precincts. The pilgrims use the water, which flows into a tank, for drinking and other purposes. In front of the temple also, towards east, there is another big tank for the pilgrims to take purificatory bath before getting into the temple.

Around the ancient temple there are ruins of an old fortified town. For going to the temple, one has to cross through the gateways of the ruined town. The famous Naicken King, Tirumalai Naicken, had a palace here generally known as "Azhagapuri", his favourite place of residence.

Legend narrated to the Rishis of Naimisaranyam by Sutamuni, a student of Vedavyasa, on the importance of this place, which is known as "Vrishapatri Mahatmyam", is as follows: -

Once upon a time Yama, the Lord of Death, while going on pilgrimage to all the sacred places on earth, was attracted by the beautiful panoramic view of this place and immediately sat down for meditation. He was in the form of Dharma Swarupa, Vrisha, and hence this place is known as "Vrishapatri".

Sri Narayana was pleased with the prayers of Yama and appeared before him and blessed him with salvation. Yama was not pleased with his getting moksham alone; he wanted that place also to prosper. Hence he requested Narayana to stay there and to bless the people, to which Narayana agreed.

By that time Yama noticed that a halo of the moor was spreading around the place and he ordered Viswakarma, the divine architect, to construct a Vimanam at that spot in the shape of a moon. Viswakarma executed it in no time. Narayana stayed in that Vimanam with Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi to bless humanity.

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Bhadrachalam Temple

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BHADRACHALAM is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Sri Ramachandra and situated on the banks of the sacred river Godavari. The Godavari river flows here quietly but gracefully. The uniqueness of the temple is that the idol of Lord Rama has a bow in one hand along with Shanku and Chakra, amalgamation of two avatars - Vishnu and Rama.

.This is the place where Lord Rama supposedly crossed the River Godavari to go southwards in search of Sita. Bhadrachalam Temple is an important pilgrimage for Hindus. The unique feature of this temple is an idol of Lord Rama, which is a blend of two avatars - Vishnu and Rama
One can reach Bhadrachalam, from Burgampad, from the northern side of the river Godavari. From Burgampad, boats ply over the river Godavari.

From Burgampad, boats ply over the river to Bhadrachalam. One can also reach it from Rajahmundry, which is an important railway station on the 40 miles or so by steamer over the river Godavari.
The temple cannot thus be reached by easy means of communication, and has to be reached only by a difficult boat journey over the river Godavari

This temple is intimately connected with the life of the saint composer Rama is said to have miraculously given the Sultan the money spent by Gopanna, after which he was released. Gopanna then became Bhadrachala Ramadasa, and went on to compose several songs in Telugu in praise of Rama.

Timings : Open from 5:30 am till 12:00 in the noon and reopens at 4:00 in the evening and again closed at 8:00 pm.

Alampur Temples (Alampur)

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NEAR the sacred confluence of theTunga- bhadra and the Krishna, and situated on the border between Kurnool and Maha- boobnagar Districts of Andhra Pradesh, is Alampur which houses a number of sacred shrines like those of Sangameswara and the Nava Brahma temples.

By road, one has to go to Raichur from Hyderabad and then go by the newly opened bridge over Tungabhadra.

From the Alampur railway station to the town proper, is six miles, and though transport facilities are a little difficult, still the beauty and the sanctity of the place are well worth the difficulties.
Alampur is still a place of sacred worship

Alampur near Kurnool is home to the very ancient Navabhramma temples dating back to the 7th century CE. Alampur is located at a distance of 200 km from Hyderabad. Alampur is measured to be the western gateway of Sree Sailam, the revered Jyotirlinga Shivastalam in Andhra Pradesh. The southern, eastern, and northern gateways are Siddhavattam, Tripurantakam and Umamaheswaram respectively.

The Tungabhadra and Krishna are in coming together near Alampur, which is also known as Dakshina Kailasam (as is Sree Kalahasti in Southern Andhra Pradesh). Nine temples here referred to as the Nava Bhramma temples are dedicated to Shiva.

The Nava Bhramma temples were built by the Badami Chalukyas, who ruled for about 200 years from the middle of the sixth century onwards. The Badami Chalukyas built several temples in Karnataka, and the Alampur temples in Andhra Pradesh.The Alampur site preserves archeological remains in the form of temples exhibiting a hybrid style of architecture - dating back to the 6th-7th centuries CE. Some of the images from this site are also housed in a museum nearby.

The Nava Bhramma temples are Taraka Bhramma, Swarga Bhramma, Padma Bhramma, Bala Bhramma, Garuda Bhramma, Kumara Bhramma, Arka Bhramma, Vira Bhramma and the Vishwa Bhramma. These temples are all enclosed in a courtyard on the left bank of the river Tungabhadra.

The Bala Bhramma temple is the principal shrine of worship. It dates back to the year 702 CE - per the inscriptions seen here. Shivaratri is celebrated in great splendour here.

The Taraka Bhramma temple is partly in ruins, and it has no image in the sanctum. It bears telugu inscriptions from the 6th-7th century CE. The Swarga Bhramma temple with an imposing tower is considered to be among the finest in Alampur, and is an excellent specimen of Chalukyan architecture and sculpture. It contains several sculptures in bas relief, and it dates back to the end of the 8th century.

The Padma Bhramma temple partly in ruins, contains a Shivalingam of clear stone with mirror like finish. The Viswa Bhramma temple is among the most artistic of the Nava Bhramma temples. The sculptural work here depicts scenes from the epics.

Also in the enclosed courtyard is located the Suryanarayana temple, dating back to the 9th century. This temple has bas reliefs representing the incarnations of Vishnu. There is also a Narasimha temple with inscriptions from the period of Krishna Deva Raya of the Vijayanagar Empire.

Near Alampur, is Papanasam with a cluster of over 20 temples of varying sizes and styles. The most important of these is the Papanaseswara temple.

According to rradirion there are four door ways to Srisailam. These entrances are themselves places of pilgrimage. To the east is Tripurantakam, to the South is Siddhavattam, to the North is Umamaheshwar and to the west is Alampur. The most famous temples here are the Nava Brahma Temples, a group of nine temples built by the Chalukyas of Badami.

The Nava Brahma temples of Alamput are situated within a fortress on the River Tungabhadra. On either side of the main temples of goddess Kamakshi and Ekamreshwari.

Sri Veeranarayana Temple (Warangal)

Sri Veeranarayana Temple, Sri Veeranarayana Temple tours, Visit Sri Veeranarayana Temple of Andhra Pradesh Sri Veeranarayana Temple is constructed in the Chalukyan style around 1104 AD. Located between Hyderabad and Warangal, Kolanupaka is famous for the 2000 year old Jain Mahavir Mandir, with its 1.5 meters high image of Mahavira. Besides the Jain temple, other temples at Kolanupaka are the Shree Veeranarayan temple, and the Shree Someshwara temple.

Lord Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy Temple (Annavaram)

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Annavaram is famous for Lord Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy temple, Located atop the Ratnagiri Hills on the banks of the river Pampa. One of the most popular temples in Andhra Pradesh. The temple is constructed in two storey, the lower one containing an Yantra and higher one housing of the Idol of the Lord.

Birla Mandir (Hyderabad)

The elegant modern Birla Mandir built of white marble stands on Naubat Parbat a little hill in the center of town where once the 'Naubat' or drums were sounded and royal proclamations read out. From top of the hill is another beautiful view of the town and at distance the rocky Golconda fort is visible. The prime diety here is Lord Venkateshwara and the idol in the temple is a copy of the one at Tirupati.

Overlooking the Tank Bund, the Birla Mandir presents an arresting sight when illuminated in the evening. This magnificent structure built completely out of marble from Rajasthan, stands atop the Kala Pahad, the twin hillock of the Naubat Pahad. Built by Birla Foundation over a span of ten years, the main temple is dedicated to Lord Venkatehwara.

Birla Mandir combines the architectural styles of the Southern and Northern Indian temples. The intricately carved gopurams (tower) at the base are in typical South Indian style, while the smooth sikhara (dome) at the top is in the North Indian Rajasthani style. The temple has beautiful marble carvings and some of them illustrating verses from the Ramayana. The inner shrine of the temple is a replica of the Venkateswara temple at Tirupati.

The Birla Mandir presents a colourful spectacular sight when illuminated at night. A trip to Hyderabad remains incomplete without a visit to the enchanting Birla Mandir

This is a modern temple (consecrated in 1976) built of white marble on top of a hill, dominating the skyline of Hyderabad. The Birlas (industrialists who have also built several temples in India in this century) built this temple. The presiding deity here is Venkateswara (Vishnu).

This temple displays a mixture of architectural styles. A Rajagopuram built in the South Indian style greets the visitors. The tower over the main shrine of Venkateswara called the Jagadananda vimanam is built in the Orissan style while the towers over the shrines of the consorts are built in the South Indian style. The brass flagstaff rises to a height of 42 feet.

Other shrines in the temple
The consorts of Venkateswara Padmavathi and Andal are housed in separate shrines.

Worship and festivals
Although modern in construction worship is carried out as per the traditional Agama rules, the Pancharatra Agama in particular.

A number of superior steps lead the visitor to the sanctum sanctorum. Along the winding path are many a marble statue of gods and goddesses of Hindu mythology located in the midst of verdant gardens, full of blossoms. The Birla Mandir presents a colorful spectacular sight when illuminated at night.

The Temple is open for Visitors from
7 a.m. to 12 noon 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. all days of the week.

Avudayar Koil Temple

Avadayar Koil, previously known as "Thiruperunthurai" is an important Shivasthala located 8 miles from the Arantangi railway station. The sculptural work of the temple is exquisite. It is perhaps the best architectural marvel in South India. Although the figures carved are seen everywhere in southern temples, still the workmanship and the vivid portraiture of this temple are worth seeing.

In times past, a Pandya king brought 300 priests from Benares to attend the temple services here and to honour them he wanted to present gold brocade shawls to them. While distributing he found one in excess and he searched for that priest in the crowd. An aged priest came forward and claimed that robe. On the next day, the king was astonished to find that garment, wrapped round the deity. Atmanadha was the priest who claimed that excess robe.

The king had given the priests lands of sustenance. But in later days a Kurumba chief Lundakshan seized those lands by might. The then reigning king wanted some proof to show that the land belonged to the priests. At that distance of time, no papers were available. Lundakshan merrily remarked that the proof that the land was his say in his intimate knowledge of the land, "Even if you dig to the length of a palm tree, you won't get a drop of water" he said. Just then an aged priest came forward and struck the earth with a crow bar. In the first stroke itself water gushed out. The king restored the land to the priests. It is needless to say that the aged priest was none else but Atmanadha.

In Avadayar Koil, the God is bereft of any form. After passing through several thresholds devotees stand before sanctum and peep in hoping to have a glimpse of the Linga (also spelt as lingam), as is the case in all other temples. But it is empty! Only a peeta is formed and devotees are asked to pay obeisance to it. The bottom most peeta is the Sakti peeta and it represents the fusion of Shivam and Skati for realization of the Supreme truth. Since no Linga (also spelt as lingam) or idol is consecrated here, the Lord is known by the name of Atmanadha- Lord of the Soul.

Inside the temple there is an idol of Lord Vinayaka (also spelt as Vinayak) with 11 hands, an idol of Goddess Kali and an idol of Lord Virabhadra with 8 arms holding the sula athwart his body. There is also an idol of Manickavachakar, which is worshipped with all ceremonial rites and rituals. Avadayar Koil is a saivite shrine.

The construction of this temple is that the rays of the setting sun always fall on the sanctum sanctorum although it is inside three Prakarams. Another important feature here is the Panchakshara Mandapam. It is also known as "Kanakasabhai".

In the first sector Panchakshara mantra is constituted. It is customary for pilgrims to repeat atleast 108 times the mystic syllable. In the next sector are 81 padams, 224 mantras arranged as a four petalled lotus. For those interested in Saivism, this temple offers a splendid opportunity.


Rail : The nearest railway station is Arantangi railway station.

Road : There are regular buses to the temple from Pudukkottai.

Accommodation is available at the Dharmashalas and the small budgeted hotels at the place.


This ancient temple dedicated to Shiva is one of the Pancha Bhoota Stalams (temples celebrating Shiva as the embodiment of the primary elements), air being the element in case here, the other five temples being Tiruvannamalai (Fire), Chidambaram (Space),Tiruvanaikkaval (Water) and Kanchipuram (Earth) respectively.

Kalahasti is located near the pilgrimage town of Tirupati and is visited by thousands of pilgrims. This temple is also associated with Rahu and Ketu, (of the nine grahams or celestial bodies in the Indian astrological scheme).

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Antiquity: This temple has been referred to in pre-Christian Tamil literature. The Tamil Saivite saints of the 1st millennium CE have visited this temple and sung its fame. The adjoining hill Dakshina Kailasam has many a fine Pallava carving.

The Tamil Cholas and the Vijayanagara Rulers have made several endowments to this temple. Adi Sankara is said to have visited this temple and offered worship here. There are Chola inscriptions in this temple which date back to the 10th century CE.

The Telugu poem 'Sri Kalahasti Satakam' explains the traditions associated with this temple.Muthuswamy Deekshitar, one of the foremost composers in the Karnatic Music Tradition has sung the glory of this temple in his kriti 'Sree Kaalahasteesa'.

Other works on this temple include the Sree-Kalattipuranam of the three brothers Karunapprakasar, Sivapprakasar and Velappa Deekshitar, Tirukkalattipuranam by Aanandakoottar of Veerainagar and Tirukkalatti Ula by Seraikkavirayar.

Architecture: The vast west facing Kalahastiswara temple is built adjoining a hill, and on the banks of the river Swarnamukhi. At some points, the hill serves as the wall of the temple. The temple prakarams follow the contour of the adjoining hill and hence the temple plan is rather irregular. North of the temple is the Durgambika hill, south is the Kannappar hill and east is the Kumaraswamy hill.

Krishnadevaraya built a huge gopuram, a few feet away from the entrance to the temple. The entrance to the temple is crowned with a smaller tower. There is an underground Ganapati shrine in the outer prakaram, while in the innermost prakaram are the shrines of Shiva and Parvati.

The present structure of the temple is a foundation of the Cholas of the 10th century, as testified by inscriptions; improvements and additions were made during the subsequent years of the Chola rulers of Tamilnadu and the Vijayanagar emperors.

The Manikanteswarar temple, also in Kalahasti dates back to the period of Raja Raja Chola I (early 11th century), and it was reconstructed in stone in 1196 by Kulottunga III. Shiva here is also referred to as Manikkengauyudaiya Nayanar. There is also a Vishnu shrine in this temple.

Legends associated with this temple: The legend here is similar to that of the Jambukeswara temple at Tiruvanaikka. Shiva is said to have given salvation to a spider, elephant and a serpent who were ardent devotees of the Shiva Lingam located here. The spider is said to have attained salvation in Kritayuga (the first of the four yugas in the Hindu tradition), while the elephant and the snake were devotees in Treta Yugam, the succeeding aeon. The elephant's devotional outpouring was a source of disturbance to the serpent's display of devotion and vice versa, resulting in animosity between the two, until Shiva's intervention gave both the devotees their liberation.

Kannappa Nayanaar, a hunter is said to have been a great devotee of Kalahasteeswarar. Legend has it that he offered his own eyes to the Shivalingam, and for this reason earned the name Kannappan (his original name being Thinnan), and the distinction of having his statue adorn the sanctum. Nakkiradevar, Indra, Rama, Muchukunda and others are believed to have worshipped Shiva at this temple.

Festivals: Maha Shivaratri which occurs in the Tamil month of Maasi (Feb 15 through March 15) is one of the greatest festival seasons here, and the celebrations are marked by processions of the deities. The fifth day of the festival in the month of Maasi coincides with the Maha Shivaratri.

Access and Accomodation: Tirupati (30km) is the nearest airport and is perhaps the most convenient base for visiting Kalahasti as it (Tirupati) is endowed with several modern lodging facilities. A one day trip from Chennai is also possible, as Kalahasti is well connected by road with Tirupati and with Chennai and is only a four to five hour drive from Chennai. If well planned, Tirupati, Tirumala and Kalahasti can be covered in a day's trip from Chennai by car.

Sri Sailam

This is one of the greatest Saivite shrines in India and it constitutes one of the 12 Jyotirlingam shrines of Shiva. The presiding deities here are Mallikarjuna (Shiva) and Bhramaramba (Devi).

This is an ancient temple with fort like walls, towers and a rich endowment of sculptural work. This huge temple built in the Dravidian style with lofty towers and sprawling courtyards is one of the finest specimens of Vijayanagar architecture.

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The Satavahanas of the 2nd century AD have referred to it and the Saivite Tamil Saints have sung its glory. The Kakatiyas and the Vijayanagar kings (esp Krishnadevaraya) have made several endowments here. This temple is of immense religious, historical and architectural significance.

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Antiquity The origins of this temple are buried in antiquity. The Skanda Purana has a chapter dedicated to it. The great religious leader Aadi Sankara is said to have visited this shrine and composed his immortal Sivananda Lahiri here. Praise of this temple has been sung by the Tamil Saint poets of the past millennium.

The shrine dedicated to Bhramaramba is considered to be of great significance. Legend has it that Durga is said to have assumed the shape of a bee and worshipped Shiva here, and chose this place as her abode.

Temples in the vicinity:

1. Tripurantakam to the east of Sree Sailam.

2. Siddavatam of Cuddapah district to the South

3. Alampur Navabhrama temples in Mahboobnagar district to the West

4. Umamaheswaram in Mahboobnagar district to the North.

5. Paladhara Panchadara - the spot where Adi Sankara is said to have meditated.

6. Hatakeswaram: another Shiva temple near Paladhara Panchadara where the lingam was originally made of gold.

7. Sakthi Ganapathi temple: It is considered important to visit this temple before visiting Sri Sailam.

8. Kailasa Dwaram: The main entrance to Sri Sailam for those trekking to the temple

9. Sikharam: There is a hill temple dedicated to Shiva at a height of 2850 feet above sea level in the Nallamalai hills

10. Patalaganga: is where the bathing ghats associated with Sri Sailam are located. (Krishna river).

Tripurantakam, Siddavatam, Alampura and Umamaheswaram are considered to be the four gateways to Sri Sailam.

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