Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Madukkarai Chellandiamman Temple, Mayanur

Prime Deity :    Chellandiamman
Thala Virutcham :    Arasu (Peepal) and Neem – Vembu
Theertham :    Cauvery river
Antiquity :    2000 years old
Town / Village :    Madukkarai (Mayanur)
District :    Karur
Taluk :    Krishnarayapuram
 State :    Tamil Nadu

Chellandiamman Temple located at Madukkarai  (Mayanur), Krishnarayapuram taluk, Karur district, Tamil Nadu, India.

Chellandiamman Thoranavayil
Cauvery river flows through Mayanur. There is a Thirumukkudal i.e, confluence of two rivers Cauvery and Amaravati near Mayanur. Here the river Cauvery is known as Aganda Cauvery (broad Cauvery) since the width of the river is around 1.5 km. Chellandiamman temple is located on the southern bank of the confluencing point. The temple is sorrounded by coconut groves and paddy fields and the Cauvery river flows on the northern side. The goddess ensures that  at this point in Cauvery the water flowing throughout the year. The temple draws water from Cauvery for ablution.

Prime Deity: The temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati (Chellandiamman) and in the sanctum sanctorum the prime deity is appear mounted on her lion. The goddess keep facing the holy river Cauvery as well as the Chola Nadu.

Guardian Deities: Separate shrines are allocated for the guarding deities (parivara devatas) like Lord Madurai Veeran Lord Kathavarayan and goddess Pechiyamman.  Out side the temple (east side) Chandana Karuppar riding a horse is protecting this temple. Lord Chandana Karuppar (Karuppannaswamy) found seated on the horse back and guards the temple from outside the temple premises . Lord Valampuri Vinayakar graces in the prakaram under a peepal tree (Arasa maram). From Karuppar shrine there are eighteen steps leading to the holy river. On the banks (near steps) Lord Shiva found seated under the banyan tree.

The Arya Rajan,  ruler of the kingdom of Madurai king was the staunch devotee of the goddess Madurai Meenakshi. He wanted to bring the holy water from river Cauvery for ablution of goddess Meenakshi. There is a legend about the construction of the road from Madurai to Madukkarai. The idols of Arya Rajan and his consort queen Chandanathammal are found at the left side of the sanctum of the prime deity.

Legend: The three rulers of Tamil Nadu - Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas - often waging war against each other to establish their rights over territorial boundaries. Since there were frequent wars their strength was getting weakened day by day, they wanted to come to an amicable agreement. They wanted to settle their disputes in the presence of a neutral personality. They even met a sage for arriving a solution. The sage was knowing that goddess Parvati was observing penance in a hill located north of Karur and directed them to approach the goddess. The kings with great effort met the goddess Parvati and sought her grace in solving the dispute. Goddess wanted to test their loyalty and directed them to go to Mayanur. The goddess also appeared before them at Mayanur in guise of a tribal girl. She listened to their territorial disputes and finally gave them a solution. Accordingly the land falling east to Mayanur went to Cholas (Chola Nadu); the land falling west to Mayanur was handed over to Cheras (Chera Nadu); and the land falling south went to Pandyas (Pandya Nadu). The boundaries were indicated clearly. The three kings accepted the justice rendered by the tribal girl. Soon they realized that the tribal girl rendering justice was only goddess Parvati. They prostrated before the goddess Parvati and prayed her to remain there as the guardian deity. The goddess also agreed to remain at Mayanur in the name of Chellandi Amman and was facing towards east (Chola Nadu). She also instructed Mother Cauvery would take care of their fortune.

It is also learned from the local people that after a long time after establishment of the above temple, The Chera, Chola and Pandya kings again prayed that they wanted the presence of goddess in their kingdom and wanted to construct Chellandiamman temple for her. The Goddess divided herself in to three pieces and the three kings obtained one piece each for the construction of temple. In Chellandiamman temple at Trichy, Urayur (Chola Nadu), only the leg (without body) was consecrated. In Chellathamman temple at Madurai, Simmakkal (Pandya Nadu) her head was consecrated and in Chellanamman temple at Noyyal (place of Noyyal confluence to Cauvery) near Karur (Chera Nadu) her torso is consecrated.

Evidence for Presence of Border Wall

The place was named as Madukkarai (Madhil = Wall + Karai = Border / Territories) since the territories of the kingdoms were earmarked with the construction of the walls. Wikipedia reports about Madukkarai wall as the historic border fortification as 'the stone and earthen fortification with a parallel parallel embankment in central Tamil Nadu. The wall was built during the Pre-Sangam period to demarcate the tri-junction of the Chera, Chola and Pandya.' According to local people the goddess Chellandiamman presided over the territorial dispute between the kings and rendered justice with construction of wall overnight by her supernatural act. It is also noted that the Karaipottanar river (tributary of the Cauveri river to the north) provides the border between Chera (Kongu) Nadu and Chola Nadu. An embankment running southwards across the Kulitalai taluk can be considered as the continuation of the boundary. The Chellandiamman temple at Mayanur is the culminating point of the wall. The wall is believed to be extending up to Madurai.

Wikimedia Common
 Wikimedia Common
 Wikimedia Common
It is also learned from the blog 'Madukkarai Sellandiamman(Mayanur)' http://karurtemple-selandiamman.blogspot.in/2011/08/recently-we-happened-to-discover-new.html that the author made an attempt to verify the Google area map for the presence of wall and noticed a straight line from Chellandiamman temple up to Kadavur hills. He was also convinced that, though the portions of the walls got destroyed, the mud bank remain intact and at some pockets the relics of six feet wide wall structure was also noticed.

Link with Ponnar Sankar Novel: The temple is linked with the 'Ponnar Sankar', the historical novel penned by Dr.Kalaignar M.Karunanidhi. The author stayed at Mayanur for long duration while writing the novel Ponnar Sankar.

Festival: Every year during August Adi-18 festival is celebrated in a grand manner by the surrounding villages and the people of Mayanur.

How to reach?:  Mayanur is located on "Karur-Trichy" main road (NH-37), 21 km from Karur city and 21 km from Kulithalai. Travel from Trichy 60 km; from Kulithalai 23 km; from Karur 19 km; Nearest Railway station: Mayanur.

  1. Chellandi Amman of Madhukaraihttp://villagegods.blogspot.in/2010/04/chellandi-amman-of-madhukarai.html
  2. Madukkarai Sellandiamman(Mayanur) - Picasa https://plus.google.com/photos/115259053500114967265/albums/5641754246382778577?banner=pwa
  3. Madukkarai Sellandiamman(Mayanur)http://karurtemple-selandiamman.blogspot.in/
  4. Madukkarai Wall. Wikipedia.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madukkarai_Wall
  5. Wikimapia: Madukkarai Sellandiyamman Temple at Mayanur http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=10.959962&lon=78.242719&z=16&m=b&search=madukkarai%20sellandiyamman

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Mettu Mahadhanapuram Mahalakshmi Temple

Thousands gather at  Mahalakshmi Temple, Mettu Mahadhanapuram, Krishnarayapuram Taluk, Karur District, Tamil Nadu, India each year on the 18th day of the Tamil month Aadi to have coconuts smashed on their heads in a plea to the gods for health and success.

Principal Deity:    Arulmigu Mahalakshmi
Theertham:           Cauvery
Agamam:             Vaishnava
Age of the
Shrine:                 More than 1000 years old
Raised by:            Emperor Sri Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara
Timing:                The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Festival:               Adiperukku during July-August is the famous festival of the temple.
Place:                   Mettu Mahadhanapuram Village, Mahadanapuram-639 106
Taluk:                   Krishnarayapuram Taluk
District:                Karur
State:                    Tamil Nadu

Temple: Flicker Raju's Temple Visits

Arulmigu Mahalakshmi Temple, Mettu Mahadhanapuram, Krishnarayapuram Taluk, Karur District was built by Vijayanagara Emperor Sri Krishnadevaraya (1509–1529) on the banks of river Cauvery. The presiding deity Arulmigu Mahalakshmi of this shrine is being worshiped as the family deity by Kannada speaking Kurumba community people, (shepherds by occupation) and certain sections (Mummudiyar Gotra) of the 24 Manai Telugu Chettiars. However the shrine is attracting all Hindus belonging to all communities.

 Temple: Flicker Raju's Temple Visits
Goddess Mahalakshmi is truly a goddess of wealth and protection In this temple there is a beautiful statue of Goddess Mahalakhmimi. She looks so beautiful and divine. We can really feel her caring eyes on us when we stand in front of her. The Sanctum sanctorum of Amman temple  is east facing and the temple has three prakaram or corridors and you will find many more shrines devoted parivara devtas. to Usually, a temple will have a Linga in the sanctum and Parivara Devatas in the temple around.

  Temple: Flicker Raju's Temple Visits


Once, a King by name Sivaperuman ruled over a small and happy kingdom called Perumizhalai region. Saivite Saint Kurumba Nayanar (one of the 63 Nayanars) was serving the King. Kurumba Nayanar has adopted Saivite Saint Sundaramurthy Nayanar as his Guru and was commanding respect from the public for his devotion to Lord Shiva. The name Kurumba Nayanar has strong association to his shepherd community and was born on Chithirai star day in the Tamil month of Aadi (July August). He used to take sufficient food and other essentials packed in a woolen cloth and dispatch it from the border of the place.

The Kurumbas or shepherds were grazing sheep. The woolen fabric was made from the hairs of the sheep. Nayanar was simple in nature and was noted for austerity by all. He held Lord Shiva in his heart and led a life dedicated to the Lord. As he was ever chanting the hymns of Sundarar, the Tiruthonda Pathikam in particular – the 10 verses in praise of all the Nayanmars at the Tiruvarur Temple, Kurumbanayanar attained the great powers mentioned in our scriptures as Ashtamasiddhis. He was also ever chanting the Five Lettered Mantra called Panchakshara – Na Ma Si Va Ya.

When Kurumba Nayanar came to know that Lord Shiva decided to recall Sundaramurthy Nayanar, his Guru to Kailash, Kurumba Nayanar decided to reach Kailash before his Guru with the help of Yogas as he could not live on earth in the absence of the Guru. This episode is described in the great Tamil Epic Periapuranam.

Sri Aadi Mahalakshmi was the family deity of Kurumba Nayanar. Sri Mahalashmi came into being when the milk ocean was churned by the Devas and the Demons. Lord Vishnu was distributing the Nectar to the Devas and the poison (both came from the milk ocean) to the demons. As demon Andhakasura was slipping away from the place to avoid the poison, he saw Mahalakshmi and was tempted to get Her. When Mahalakshmi ran away from him, he chased her up to Mettur Mahadanapuram where the Kurumbas were grazing their cattle. Mother Mahalakshmi hid Herself in a hole. Incidentally, Ravana was performing penance there. On seeing Mahalakshmi, Ravana was afraid that She had come there to kill him and immediately left for Lanka. Andhakasura chose the Ravana’s place for hiding.

Mahalakshmi was consuming the milk of the sheep which the Kurumbas noticed with surprise. They dig a wet place and found Mahalakshmi as a Swayambu (self manifested) . She begged the people to protect Her from the Demon to test their devotion which people also understood. They covered the Goddess in the woolen cloth. But the demon fought with them and also caught Lakshmi. People prayed to Lord Shiva but He did not listen to their prayers and did not turn up. As the three-eyed Shiva did not turn up, the devotees chose the coconut also having three eyes as Shiva and began to break it on their heads. Pleased with their determined devotion, Lord Shiva appeared and protected Mahalakshmi.

Stone Shaped Coconuts

Sometime back The villagers of the temple wanted to construct the compound wall around the temple. The marked place was cleaned and upon digging they found 187 numbers of coconut shaped stones. This event surprised the devotees and the stone coconuts are preserved and displayed in the glass case for devotees to witness.

Story of Trichy - Karur Railway Line Laying

When the British were trying to draw a railway line between Trichy and Karur. The railway line was planned  across the temple by the Britishers. This was against the wishes of the villagers of Mahadhanapuram.  Incidentally the Britishers happened to see the coconut shaped stones obtained beneath the earth. The Britishers wanted to test the devotion of the villagers and they came out with a proposal. The course of the railway will be changed if the villagers agree for one condition. They should demonstrate that  if they could break these stones with their heads, they would change the course of the railway line. The villagers broke the stones and the same was broken into two halves. As a result the line was shifted towards northern side and now running 1.5f km away from the temple.

Prayer and Offerings

Devotees pray to Mother Mahalakshmi for removal of obstacles in marriage alliances and for child boon and achievements in education. The annual Aadi festival of Sri Mahalakshmiamman Temple at Mettu mahadanapuram is being celebrated on ‘Aadipperukku Day’ i.e, 18th day of the Aadi month and on the 19th day of Aadi month the a traditional annual ritual of chief priest breaking coconuts on heads of devotees as part of their fulfillment of vow will takes place. This will be the main part of the second day function of ‘Aadipperukku’. Thousands of people from many parts of Tamil nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andra Pradesh will participate in this annual ritual. . The devotees will gather in front of the temple and a priest will smash a coconut each on every registered devotee’s head. As the coconuts broke into pieces, some devotees may rub their heads and some others may collect the broken pieces of coconuts as a holy offering. Occasionally bleeding was noticed over the heads of few devotees and they just apply the holy ash as remedy.

India TV: Coconut Breaking on devotees head
It is strongly believed that Goddess of Earth Mahalakshmi, the Goddess of wealth governs prosperity, happiness, beauty and love will bestows Her grace and love on her worshipers.

Goddess Mahalakshmi Gayatri

Om MahaDevyaicha Vidhmahe
Vishnu Patnyaicha Dheemahi
Thanno Lakshmi Prachotayaath

(This Mantra may be chanted during your prayers)

Om Hreem Shreem Lakshmeem HreemSaha Swaha

Lord Kubera Mantra

Om Hreem Yakshaya Kuberaya Vaishravanaya Dhana Akarshanaya Sarvaloka Vasigaraya Dhana Dhanya Adhipataya Dhana Dhanya Samrudhime Dehi Tapaya Swaha

Goddess Mahalakshmi Mantra

Om Shreem Hreem Kleem Shreem Lakshmir Agach Agacha Mama Mandir Tishtha Tishtha Swaha
Youtube Video by India TV

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hadimba devi Temple, Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India.

Hadimba devi temple is the ancient cave temple dedicated to goddess Hadimba Devi, a character in the epic Mahabharata. The temple is contructed over a huge rock jutting out of the ground, which was worshipped as an image of the deity. Temple is standing amidst cedar forest at the foot of Himalayas. This location is called as Dhoongri (Dhungiri) Van Vihar, a small village in Manali district. Therefore it is also called as Dhoongri (Dhungri) temple. This temple has appeared in the Indian (Tamil, Hindi) film 'ROJA.'

Prime deity: Goddess Hadimba Devi / Halima

Legend: The legend is associated with the legend of the Mahabharata. Hadimba devi was born in the demon (Rakshas) family and not much known about their parents.  Very brave and fearless Hadimba devi vowed to marry one who would defeat her brother Hadimb.

During Pandav's exile when they visited Manali, Bhima  (one of the five Pandava brothers in the Mahabharata) killed Hadimb, thus Hadimba devi married Bhima and they gave birth to a son Ghatotkacha.

When Bhima and his brothers returned from exile, Hadimba devi left Bhima. She stayed back and performed penance. It is believed that in this cave Hadimba devi did penance and attained the status of a goddess.

History: The temple was later built around this cave by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in her honour. Maharaja Bahadur Singh built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground in the year 1533. Do you know what is being worshiped inside this temple? It is a surprise - the imprint of the feet of the Goddess carved on a block of stone.

Architecture: The architecture of Hadimba devi temple is worth appreciating. The 24 m high four tiered pagoda type temple tower consists of three square roofs covered with timber tiles and a fourth brass cone-shaped roof at the top. The temple does not contain any idol. But there is an  imprint of the feet of the goddess carved on a block of stone and the goddess is worshpped in this form. The temple also has intricately carved wooden doors. The temple base is made out of whitewashed, mud-covered stonework. It is elaborately decorated with miniature depictions of Goddess, attendants, animals and stylized foliation. On the beams above the doorway appear the Navagrahas, female dancers an isolated scene from the Krishna story. An enormous rock occupies the inside of the temple, only a 7.5 cm (3 inch) tall brass image representing goddess Hidimba devi. A rope hangs down in front of the rock,and according to a legend, in bygone days religious zealots would tie the hands of "sinners" by the rope and then swing them against the rock. About 70 metres away from the temple,there is a shrine dedicated to Goddess Hidimba devi's son, Ghatotkacha who was born after she married Bhima. 

Festivals: The temple is also known for the fair held every year in north Indian (Hindi) calendar month of Sravan in the memory of Raja Bahadur Singh, who built the temple. The fair is popularly known as Bahadur Singh Re Jatar among locals. There is another fair too which is held on 14th May every year in the celebration of birthday of Hadimba Devi. Women around and from Dhoongri forest come and celebrate this fair with music and dance.

How to Reach?

The Hadimba Temple is easily accessible to the visitors and the tourists in Himachal Pradesh by roadways. They can avail a bus service to reach the temple.