Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The divine Dance stage-Chidambaram

                 After listening to the discourse of Sri Samavedam Shanmukha Sarma garu named "Chidambara Rahasyam", Sreeram was very keen to visit Chidambaram. I don't know when The Lord had said "Tathastu", but, soon after finishing the series of those pravachanams, we had a blessing to touch that holy land. The 3rd day of the 3 day tour was that lucky day.
                             The temple has a very big complex and a very big tank named Shiva ganga. Before starting the trip, we felt like taking a dip in the holy water, but time didn't permit us. Anyways, this time we were satisfied with the sprinkling of water on the head.Image result for chidambaram temple photos
There are many Upa-alayams in the very huge temple complex. We see few of them adorned with golden dome. That sanctum houses the Natraja Murthy, Amman and Chidambara rahasya sthanam. One can take ticket and go to the top stair to see the Lord from a lesser distance. There is Sphatika Lingam also receiving worship here which is believed to be brought by Adi Shankaracharya from Kailasam directly presented by Lord Shiva. The other Lingas brought along with this were placed and being worshipped at other temples.                                                     
                      Image result for Chidambaram Natarajar
                       There are particular times of the day when they perform Aarathi to the Nataraja murthy. At the same times, they open the veil to bless with the Darshan of Aakasa Lingam. We find jut a Vilva mala hanging on the wall, which is also not clearly seen through the holes of the door. Legends say that as there is no limit to the sky, we can't limit the form of God thus indicating the Aakasa Tatwam of the Lord Shiva. Thus this is the one among the Pancha Bhoota Lingams. If a person is knowledged enough to witness the God in such a way spread all over the universe, then that is the correct way of living and that is believed to be the state of Moksha referred in the sloka which states "Darshanat Abhra Sadasi".
                              We were lucky to be present in the temple close to the time when the curtain was opened. Though we are not capable or eligible to understand the concept and pursue Darshan in that way, we just offered Pranam and proceeded further to cover the remaining part of the temple.
                                       The idol of Govinda Raja Swamy in the same complex tries to teach the devotees the oneness of Shiva and Kesava for the Sadhakas. If we stand at one point, we can see both Nataraja and Govinda raja at a time. This was explained to us by an elderly person in the temple, who patiently explained us a lot about the temple and it's history. We were lucky that he could speak English.
                      The back side of the sanctum of Nataraja hosts the actual Moolasthana lingam which is Swamyambhu. The 2 great devotees related to the sthala purnam of Chidambaram Patanjali and Vyaghra pada did penance here at Moolasthana linga to receive the grace of the Lord. Many divine souls did penance here at this place as per the directions of the almighty in their sadhana. If we request the Pujaris of the temple, they can take us to the top floor to have Darshan of Sthoola Aakasa Lingam. The Aagama Sastra of this temple is totally different from the other Shiva temples. So, the management of the temple is also separate and maintained by an individual trust. So the Pujaris keep asking us to subscribe for some sevas.
             There is a separate complex for Siva Kama Sundari and a very huge Vinayaka. There are many other prakaras hosting all the swaroopas that appear in the story behind this temple, like Thiru Jnana Sambandhar, Appar, Lord Subrahmanya and many more. There are actually 5 Sabhas mentioned in the puranam. If you are lucky to be a Telugu person, please do listen to Sri Samaedam Shanmuhkha Sarma garu's discourse before you visit this temple. That really keeps us on a truly happy and satisfactory note.
                    The temple of the Tillai Kali Amman is located in the outskirts of the village where the are 2 forms of the Goddess, one shanta murthy and the other being the roudra Murthy.
                              Image result for chidambaram thillai kali amman temple
                         We have to stay a longer time to actually get the total contended Darshan in Chidambaram. May god bless us to progress in sadhana to make Darshanam in the proper way in the Abhra sabha.

Thirukkarugavur, Thiruvarur and many more

                          Almighty is the only power that decides when, where and how things should happen. Though we came to know about the temple of Thirukkarugavur very long back, we were waiting for the Goddess's call for visiting the temple. At last the destined time arrived and we, along with our friend's family arrived at this holy place on 28th of May, 2016.
               We started early in the morning at home and on the way had the blessings of Sri Prasanna venkatachalapathy at Gunaseelam. The Perumal here is believed to be equally powerful as the Perumal of Thirupati.  Being Saturday, there was a little crowd, but the Darshan was very great. The next stop for us was at Thirukkarugavur.
    The Temple of Garbha Rakshambika here is famous for granting progeny as well as securing the infants when women face pregnancy related problems. The name of the Lord here is Mulaivana Nathar, which is Swayambhu. The temple reopens in the evening at 4PM, so we were waiting in the ousude Prakaram. There are separate tickets and puja kits for devotees depending the type of seva one wants to perform.  We took the one for granting progeny, which contained some oil lamps, a little container of ghee, flowers and other puja items. We were asked to lit some lamps at the Lord and the remaining in the presence of Goddess. The couple after having Amman's Darshan, wife should apply some ghee on the mahadwara in the Goddess' presence and should draw a small rangoli on that as per the priest's direction. After the puja gets finished, the couple will be given the ghee which should be consumed for 48 days continuously. The directions were given in the booklet given in the puja kit. 
      The Goddess Garbharakshambika is one of the most beautiful forms of all the Goddesses witnessed till date. It feels as if a very beautiful traditional housewife (muttaiduva) is standing before our eyes. The charm just left me spellbound. Even the Lord Mullaivana nathar murthy is a beautifully decorated swayambhu murthy bearing the sign of a jasmine's creep on Him. Thus the darshan of the Adi dampatulu left us in boundless joy. 
          Thus finishing all the darshans in this temple, we headed towards Kumbhakonam for the night stay. As this was the 2nd time we were halting in Kumbhakonam, we could find a decent hotel quickly. By that time, all the temples were closed and as we decided to leave in the early hours of the next morning, we were not able to visit any temple in the town of temples this time.
                     Early in the next morning, we started and the first halt was at Swami malai for the blessings of Lord Subrahmanya swami. The darshan was very peaceful and heart-filling. We spent considerable time in the temple and took leave for the next glorious place Thiruvarur, Kamalalayam being its name in the spiritual terminology. As per the Shastra, taking birth in this place grants Moksha,the other 3 being, Death in Kasi, Smarana of Arunachalam (Thiruvannamalai) and Darshan of Chidambaram. (Jananat Kamalalaye)
                        This is a very big temple hosting Lord Shiva as Tyagarajeswara and the Goddess Kamalambika. The sangita trayam Tyagaraja, Shyama Sastry and Muttu swami Deexitar all 3 were born in this place indicating that they are the divine souls. We can spend minimum 2 hours to study the temple in detail. We were even blessed to touch the holy birth places of the sangita trayam now monumented in the same village. Out of the 3, we were explained in detail at the house of Sri Shyama Sastry garu and that in-charge person felt really happy that we turned up there even in such hot summer. But that was our luck that we could step on that holy land. The houses of the other 2 legends were locked. but we could go there , do pranam and proceeded further.
   The keys of the 3 houses were kept t the neighbor's places for the convenience of the visitors. So, though the door looks locked, one can inquire with the neighbors to get that opened.
             Thiruvarur is well known for its biggest chariot of the temple. We could see the dismantled Ratham in the streets that is going to be assembled during the Rathothsavam. The other unique feature I noticed was the posture in which the Gddess is seen. Goddess Kamalambika is found sitting cross legged like no where else.
 The next temple was Nachiyar Kala Garudan temple about which I mentioned in detail in a previous post of our Tamilnadu trip. Thirukkadayur was our next destination where the Lord and Goddess bless the devotees in the form of Amrutha Ghateswara and Abhirami amman respectively. We missed the darshan of teh Lord the previous time we visited this place, but this time we were so blessed to have great and divine time in this temple. Shiva is also found as Kala samhara murthy and anugraha murthy in the same premises indicating the story of Markandeya. According to some myths, this is the place where Markandeya was saved from the jaws of Yama to be blessed with Deerghaayu. So people come here to perform the Shashti purthi function to be blessed with a happy and healthy life further.
           The next place Sirkazhi was again a revisit. This is the abode of Sri Thiru Jnana sambandhar. The very huge temple complex has Lord Shiva and Parvathy and Hari Hara murthy on the top depicting the Shiva-Kesava abedha. Even we can find Lord Shiva in a big idol form here which is very rare. More details about Sirkazhi are available in my previous posts of Tamilnadu tour.
   The next unexpected destination was the abode of Ketu, Keezhaperumpallam. This is again a beautiful and divine place where we could attend the Aarathi and alankara seva by the grace of God.
Thus concluding the day's visits and darshans, we headed towards the most awaited "Darshanat Abhra sadasi'' place, Chidambaram for a night stay. Details of that kailasa in the next post......

Friday, June 10, 2016

Kamalashile and Sringeri with Sri Samavedam Shanmukha sarma garu

                           This time, the tour was initiated with the blessings of Goddess at Kamalashile. This place was found very interesting by my husband and as we were planning for a stay in Sringeri for a week, to listen to the purifying pravachanams of Sri Samavedam Shanmukha Sarma garu in the divine presence of Sri Saradambal, we included this place in that itenary.
              The surroundings of the temple really left us speechless. The beauty of the nature around was just awesome. Sreeram immediately planned for another visit to this place. We reached there in the late evening and were lucky to participate in a special seva arranged by some devotee that day. 
The goddess here is Durga parameshwari and the details are as follows:
Sthala puranam:
According to Skanda Purana of Sahyadri Kanda, a Beautiful lady by name Pingala was a court dancer who performed in front of Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvathi in Kailash Mountain. One day because of her ego, she refused to dance and was cursed by Goddess Parvathi. She lost her beauty and was born as ugly women(Kubja) in Bhu-loka.
  Realising her mistake, when Pingala pleaded for mercy, Goddess Parvathi told her that She will be coming down to Bhu-Loka to put an end to all the evil deeds of Khararatasura and she will be showing up in the form of Linga in front of Raikwa Rushi ashram in sahyadri forest and the linga will be in the form of Kamalashile.
  Goddess Parvathi told Kubja to go near suparshwa cave and do penance  till goddess gives her moksha. Later Pleased with Kubja, Goddess Parvathi appeared in the form of Kamalashile (linga) at the Sangam of River Kubja & Naga theertha in front of Raikwa Rushi ashram. Kubja was told to go to Mathura and wait for Sri Krishna and she would get relieved of her curse by the touch of Lord Sri Krishna. Goddess also told her that the river which originates from sahya forest & flows towards western coast to be named after her (Kubja) and the river to flood every year to clean the Linga. 
It is said that Kamalashile (Goddess Sri Brahmi Durga Parameshwari) Linga appeared
at the same time when the world was created.
Initially the Kamalashile (Linga) was worshiped as Brahma Lingeshwara, Later people
got to know that it was actually Sri Brahmi Durga parameshwari. 


                      That night we stayed there and enjoyed the annadana of the temple like nowhere else. The head of the temple was an old man who supervised the dinner arrangements personally to see that everyone was served well. The hot and delicious food with numerous varieties was incomparable with any other temple. Thus the day’s strain of driving long was vanished with great darshan of the goddess as well as great prasadam served.
                   The next day, on 27th of March 2016, we had a good darshan of all the deities in the temple complex and set out for the other sacred places around. Our first destination in this stretch was Kollur where Goddess Mookambika blessed us with all her grace. From there we proceeded to the unique Vinayaka temple in Hattiyangadi.
Hattiangadi is well known for its Siddivinayaka Temple, which is supposed to have been constructed around the seventh or eighth century. The Lord Ganapathi Temple is situated on the bank of River Varahi. It is the only Temple in India, where the idol of Lord Vinayaka sports a jata-hair. The idol itself is carved of a Saligrama stone and is 2.5 feet high and Vinayaka’s curly hair is left loose at the back. The trunk is bent towards the left.
It is believed that the idol may be in standing posture. The deity’s right hand is situated inside the basement and holds a vessel full of Modakas in its left hand. According to experts, the deity is of Bala Ganesha, which has just two arms and various ornaments are also found on the idol. The statue grows in size every year and this is visible from the fact that it has outgrown the silver casting. The entire shrine is carved from black marble. Since the God is supposed to grant the wishes of the devotees, the title ‘Siddi’ is conferred on Lord Vinayaka.
The next form of god was Lord Shiva at Koteshwar followed by Anegudde Vinayaka. The vinayaka temple is in the village Kumbhasi. This is a very famous place in Karnataka the details of which can be found at
After saluting Sri Krishna at Udipi, we left for Sringeri for a stay of a week there. 
                          The stay in Sringeri was a memory for a lifetime for us. God blessed us to the fullest by making us come in contact with the great scholar Pravachana karta Brahmasri Samavedam Shanmukha sarma garu. He is such a down to earth person that we really feel surprised if this is the same person who roars like a lion on the stage preaching the tatwam of God in the best way. He is an ocean of knowledge and flow of energy, but while talking personally, He is just affection personified. I was searching for words how to express our gratitude for blessing us with such great discourses. 
               There was a group of people accompanying Him from Hyderabad and other places. So, every morning, when we went for Saradambal's darshan, it was a feast for eye to see His devotees sitting in every corner of the temple doing japam of the Mantras, doing Anushtanam and other parayanas. That was really inspiring. The whole day was just spent in thought of the next session's pravachanam. The discourses were arranged twice a day and during the other time, we went for darshan of the peethadhipatis. We were very lucky that both the sadgurus were in Sringeri for the entire period of the week and blessed with their divine presence daily. We were blessed to attend the Chandramouleeswara puja for almost 4 days. Sri Shanmukha sarma garu attended that puja every day without fail, such was His devotion to the Jagadgurus.  The last session of His discourse was conducted in the divine presence of both the Jagadgurus and that ended up in an awesomely divine way. Sri Sri Sri Bharati Teertha swami gave Anugraha Bhashanam and blessings to the scholorly Shanmukha sarma Garu. I was excited to see the child like joy of Sarma garu when He was informed about how well the session went on and the response of the Jagadgurus. Such humility made us bow down at His feet.
           We were very fortunate to get introduced to many elderly couples spending their lives in just Bhagavat seva. They all really inspired us a lot to transform our lives in more spiritual way. Every day, we visited the local temples of Sringeri taking along with us an old couple. That at last left us build relation with godly people. The best part was, Sri Shanmukha sarma garu boarded our 'ratham' to bless us with the chance to take the pujya dampatulu around all the 4 temples and the very attracting Surya narayana temple. Guruvu garu really liked all the temples and we both were just on 9th cloud for this enexpected grace. I was just speechless. I followed them in an auto, not to miss the chance to visit those powerful temples along with such a powerful sadhaka. This is the best part of our life, in fact, best of all our journeys. I was just falling short of words when He was enquiring "are you happy?", "is it ok?", "hope you are totally happy" etc..... Everytime when He looked with a smiling face, He reflected divine affection which was leaving me totally content. 
        Whatever I write in this regard is just a drop of the ocean of happiness we experienced. 
    The last day, accompanied by one more couple, we drove back to Bangalore, on the way paying our pranams to Annapurneswari in Hornadu and Kalaseshwara in Kalasa. 
   Thus, the trip left us with uncountable memories to be treasured for a life time. That ecstasy  lasted for a long time for both of us. We are indebted to God all the time for all such grace and blessings.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sringeri-in depth

                         Though god blessed us with the darshan of Sringeri Maha Kshetra many times, this time was special since we were still blessed to visit all other temples there, less known to many people.
      The temple of Sri Saradambal, Sri Vidya Shankara and other many temples in the premises of Devasthanam was completed initially. Then we came to know that Sri Adi Shankaracharya also installed four kshetra palaka devatas in the four directions of the main temple of Saradambal.
They are Kalabhairava, Kali, Hanuman and Vanadurga.
                      They are located very near by to the main temple and are maintained by the Sarada Peethem only. One can go by auto to cover all the four temples. The temple of Kala bhairava can be approached from the Guru nivas also. In the vanadurga  temple, Lord Shiva is Swayambhu.
   The place where Sage Rishya Srunga performed His penance is Rishya Sringa pura and His father Vibhandaka Rishi performed penance where now stands the temple of Malahanikareswara. These two place are really powerful as they are treasured with the tapo-shakti of the two great sages. We can have the darshan of Stambha Ganapati in the temaple of Malahanikareswara. 
                    One more very interesting temple in Sringeri is the temple of Lord Suryanarayana, the direction for which can be found while going for a visit of the above mentioned temples. The peethadhipati comes here every year to perform the puja on the day of Ratha saptami. The Lord here is found in Dhyana mudra, not a very common one for Surya Narayana Murthy.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Some great temples of Kerala and Tamilnadu

                         This time, god blessed us in a bit happier way by making us stay in Kalady, the very pious place where the Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya took birth and spent His childhood. We spent there 4 days spending time doing parayana, Pradaxinas, and visiting some temples nearby. God’s grace was miraculously showed by offering us room for 4 days in the Sringeri Shankar Mutt. Thus our dawns there were welcomed with bath in the Purna River and proceeded with some seva in the temple. First 2 days we stayed in Kalady completely and the other 2 days, we went for temples around for half a day and the rest half was again in the temple premises. There are many sevas in the Kalady temple like Ganapati Homa, Rudrabhishekam, Sahasra namarchana etc. The stay in Sringer Shankar Mutt was really a boon since we can dedicate the whole time to the sacred environment, just by the side of the temple.
 The 3 rd day, our temples visit started with the famous “Nalambalam” which consists of darshan of Rama, Bhratha, Laxmana and Shatrughna. We altered the order a bit as per the convenience of the route from Kalady. We stated with Laxmana temple of Thirumoozhikkulam which is the only Divya Desam among the four. The order continued as Rama at Triprayar, Bharata at Irinjalkuda and Shatrughna at Payammel. All are really great temples with almost similar decoration to the main deities. Namma Alwar and Thirumangai Alwar mentioned DivyaDesam Thirumoozhikkulam in their prabandhas. The Rishi named Haritha penenced here thus making it more pious. All these 4 temples have Krishna in an Upalayam since these were the idols worshiped by Lord Krishna in Dwapara yuga. 
After paying pranams to Laxmana, we moved towards Mother Mookambika of Paravur, the unique temple where a pond was surrounding the main sanctum of the temple.

 Though the idol of the mother is small in size, it looked amazing. Unlike the mother here, the goddess of the next temple Bhagavathy located in Kodungallur is really striking in size as well as appearance. Mother appears stunningly powerful here. This is a huge temple complex.
Temple - Kodungallur Bhagavathi Temple Photos
 From here we proceeded to Rama, bharata and Shatrughna temples. The temples of Shatrughna closes by 11.30AM.  Unaware of that information, we scheduled it in the last as it makes our route back to Kalady simpler. So we missed the darshan of the youngest of the brothers. But, no regrets since that was a sign that god takes us there again. Thus on 9th of February, 2016, the momentum of the tour took initiation by the blessings of the divine brothers.
                       To make us more amazed, the next day temples were also started with a Divya Desam hosting Lord Vamana, in whose name the state festival of Kerala Onam is celebrated. The Trikkakkara Vamana temple is a huge complex with Lord Shiva also worshiped inside. The rule is that one should first visit Shiva before going to worship Vamana in this temple. Luckily GPS had shown us the route in such a way that we approached the temple from the side of Shiva temple. One can see the peetham of Bali chakravarthy in the temple complex while coming from Vamana to Shiva’s place. 
The next destination was Trippunithura which is famous for its Purnatrayeeswara temple, the Lord popularly known as Santana Gopala Swamy. Here the Lord is found in sitting posture on the huge Sesha vahana. The view of the Lord with full Alankara was just stunning.
Sthala puranam: The God in the temple is believed to be Santhana Gopala Murthy . It is believed that Arjuna during the Mahabaratha days promised a Brahmin to prevent the death of the yet to be born child of a Brahmin and promised to him that if he was not able to do it , he will commit suicide. When he was not able to do it, Lord Krishna helped him to recover the soul of the baby from the clutches of God of death. After this Lord Krishna gave him his idol in the form of “Santhana Gopala Murthy” . When he neared his death Arjuna gave the idol to Lord Ganapathy and requested him to find a suitable place and consecrate it. Lord Ganapathi came across the “Poorna Veda Puram” and liked it so much that he himself sat there. It seems Arjuna hearing this pushed Lord Ganapathy away and consecrated the idol of the “Santhana Gopala Murthy there”. Due to the push the Ganapathy’s idol fell facing south and even today in this unique Ganapathi temple, the idol faces the southern direction. Later a temple got built and the Cochin kings adopted it as their family deity .        
As the place was bounded by mustard fields, Arjuna used some mustard seeds to get oil for lighting lamp. You can see a Valia Vilakku situated in front of the idol. Folks say that the burnt oil of this traditional lamp contains medicinal value. On the back side of Sreekovil, there is a small window from where devotees can get a close look at the idol of Santhana Gopala Moorthy of Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple. Devotees can also have a look at the idol of Lord Ganapathi on the extreme south side of the sanctum-sanctorum. It must be noted that, besides the idol of Lord Ganesha, no other Upadevatas are worshipped at Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple.
                   After this, now Lord Shiva called us to Vaikom to bless us in the form of Mahadeva.
Sthala Puranam: Kharan, the demon upon receiving the advice from his Guru, went to attain Moksham. He reached Chidambaram and immersed fully into deep prayer to Lord Shiva. After months or years even of undisturbed prayer, Lord Shiva was pleased and appeared in front of him. Lord Shiva gave whatever he asked and also gave three idols. The lord asked Kharan to worship those powerful idols to attain Moksham. Kharan was satisfied with that and also, Lord assured him that, He will be always present in those idols. Kharan returned to his place with three idols (Shivalingams) one in his right hand, one on left and one under his neck with his chin holding it. When he had crossed almost three by fourth, he felt tired and decided to sit for a while. After taking a short period of rest, when Kharan tried to lift those idols, they were found to be not moving from the places. Kharan understood Lord's intention and he heard from his inner soul that could be the time for his Moksha and the three idols should be taken care well by someone. Maharshi Vyaghrapaada was following Kharan all the way behind, saw him and Kharan asked the sage to worship, take care of those three idols and attained Moksham. The idol which was on Kharan's right hand is believed to be at Vaikom and the left is at Ettumanoor temple. The one which had carried is at Kaduthuruthi. Surprising but, have to believe that, the distances from the midpoint Kaduthuruthi to Vaikom and Ettumanoor are the same. Some people say that, Kharan had brought the idol at Kaduthuruthi was between his teeth and the place's name was "Kadichchiruththi" Kadichu(Bitten)+ Iruththi (Made to sit) before and, as time passed it became Kaduthuruthi. In Vrischikam, the malayalam month, on an Ashtami day, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi appeared to Maharishi.  The Vaikkathashtami is celebrated during Vaikom temple festival in Vrischikam. Devotees believe that, Lord Vaikathappan appears in three forms. Every morning as Dhakshinamoorthy, Noon he becomes Kiratha Moorthi, Shivashakthi Panchakshari during the evening.
            We felt very much blessed to cover the other 2 Shiva temples also the same day. Thus the next stop was at Kaduthurthy Shiva temple and while going to the 3rd one Ettumanoor, the other great temple we visited was of Mahaganapathy at Malliyur.
   Ettumanoor Shiva is in fearceful form, demolishing the Durgunas in the devotees. 
After consecrating all these three temples in the same day, Khara is believed to have become a deer and was doing service to the Gods. It is believed that the God in Ettumanoor took the deer in his hand and held it there, Because of that, this place was called Udhruthaina Puram, which translated to Malayalam became Ettumanoor (The place where the deer was lifted).
The major worship in this temple is lighting of lamps. An ever glowing, very big lamp can be seen as soon as you enter the temple. The devotees pour oil on to this lamp. Lately, since the oil is being received more than needed for the lamp, a vessel has been kept nearby where if the lamp is full, devotees can pour the oil they have brought into it. There is apparently, a story behind this. It appears a brass metal worker once made a huge bronze lamp, brought it to this temple and pleaded with its management to buy it from him. They simply laughed at him and informed him that the temple had no necessity to buy a lamp since they already had sufficient lamps. Crest fallen, the metal worker pleaded with the Lord consecrated there and lo ! suddenly a big storm started around the temple. The temple management realized that God was angry at their behavior and bought the lamp and installed it there. From that time the lamp has been constantly burning in front of the deity.
                           The visit to all these temples was finished in half a day as we started at 5 in the morning. So, by afternoon, we were again at the feet of Lord Adishankaracharya and in the evening again we spent time in chanting stotras, parayana and pradaxinas as usual.
                         The next day’s visits started was a unique form of Lord Narasimha swamy. Here we find the Lion headed god in normal human form only. Lord Krishna is also worshiped here in the temple of Chelamattom located just 5 KM away from kalady.
 The next temple followed was of Bhagavathy in Irinjole where the temple is located in once a dense forest.
Iringole Bhagavathy temple, also known as Iringole Kavu, is dedicated to the Bhagavathy who, in the form of a baby girl, took the place of Lord Krishna, to protect him from the hands of evil Kamsa. It is believed that the power of the goddess still remains in the thick dense forests at Iringole. 
              The next destination was to our family diety Lord Subrahmanya at Koottumadam. The idol of the swamy was very cute and small leaving us with a very pleasant darshan. Thogh not much information  is known about his temple,  the Lord here is worth a visit. The other temples of the day were Kallil Bhagavathy temple built on a rock, Kuvappadi Maha Ganapathy temple and Kidangoor Bala Murugan.
Sthala puranam of Kidangoor: It is believed that the idol of Subramanya Swami came out of the ‘Kamandulu’ or pot carried by maharsi Gauna when it tiled and the water lowed out. According to the legends the Gauna Nadi(Meenachil river) starts from the Kamandalu of Gauna Maharshi like the river Kaveri from Agasthya Maharshi's Kamandalu. Hence this river got the name Gauna Nadi. Gauna Maharshi filled his Kamandalu with Sapthanadi Theertham (water from the 7 holy rivers - Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswathy, Sindhu, Narmmada, Godavari and Kaveri). A beautiful idol of Lord Subrahmanya was also kept in his kamandalu. He was eagerly waiting for the Darshan of Lord Sree Rama in his return journey to Ayodhya after killing Ravana. Sree Rama was accompanied by large number of devotees like Vibhishana, Sugreeva, Hanuman and Angada in the Pushpaka Vimana. So Maharshi Gauna could not see Lord Sri Rama and Sita Devi properly. So the angry Gauna threw the kamandalu away and the idol of Subrahmanya Swami came out. These incidents occurred on a hill and since then the hill is known as Kudamuruttimala. This flow of water became a river and thus the present Gauna nadi was formed. Along with the flow of the water, the idol was carried away to the Vishnu temple in Kidangoor and was later installed in a new sreekovil. This is the present Kidangoor Subrahmanya Swami Temple. So the water in Gauna river is as holy as the Sapthanadi Teertham.
    Then by afternoon we were again in Kalady to spend the evening in parayana. Thus the visits to temples associated with stay in kalady went on very smoothly as the temple manager in Kalady agreed to extend our room there for 2 more days despite being it a busy season.
                After a very happy stay in kalady during the stating of Magha masa, we unexpectedly drove towards Trivandrum, just by god’s grace. So, by the evening of 12th of February 2016, we stepped into the holy treasured land of Lord Anantha padmanabha swamy.  
Sthala puranam: The sage Vilvamangalathu Swamiyar, who resided near Ananthapuram Temple in Kasargod District, prayed to Lord Vishnu for his darshan or "auspicious sight". The Lord is believed to have come in the guise of a little boy who was mischievous. The boy defiled the Idol which was kept for Puja. The sage became enraged at this and chased away the boy, who disappeared. After a long search, when he was walking on the banks of Arabian Sea, he heard a pulaya lady threatening her child that she would throw him in Ananthankadu. The moment the Swami heard the word Ananthankadu he was delighted. He proceeded to Ananthankadu based on the directions of the lady of whom he enquired. The Sage reached Ananthankadu searching for the boy. There he saw the boy merging into an Iluppa tree (Indian Butter Tree). The tree fell down and became Anantha Sayana Moorti (Vishnu reclining on the celestial snake Anantha). But the edifice that the Lord assumed was of an extraordinarily large size, with His head at Thiruvallom, navel at Thiruvananthapuram, and lotus-feet at Thrippadapuram (Thrippappur), making him some eight miles in length. The Sage requested the Lord to shrink to a smaller proportion that would be thrice the length of his staff. Immediately the Lord shrank to the form of the Idol that is seen at present in the Temple. But even then many Iluppa trees obstructed a complete vision of the Lord. The Sage saw the Lord in three parts – thirumukham, thiruvudal and thrippadam. Swami prayed to Padmanabha to be forgiven. The Swami offered Rice Kanji and Uppumanga (salted mango pieces) in a coconut shell to the Perumal which he obtained from the pulaya woman. The spot where the Sage had darsan of the Lord belonged to Koopakkara Potti and Karuva Potti. With the assistance of the reigning King and some Brahmin households a Temple was constructed. Koopakkara Potti was made the Tantri of the Temple. The Ananthankadu Nagaraja Temple still exists to the north west of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple. The Samadhi (final resting place) of the Swamiyar exists to the west of the Padmanabha Temple. A Krishna Temple was built over the Samadhi. This Temple, known as Vilvamangalam Sri Krishna Swami Temple.
We were blessed with pleasant company of my brother and sisiter-in-law in Trivandrum and even visited the Kovalam beach.
The next early morning, we started flying towards the most awaited Thiruchendur, the last one to be covered among Aaru Padaiveedu. On the way, the temple of Suchindram was found to be at distance of just 8KM from Nagacoil. We couldn’t miss that wonderful temple. 
Suchindram temple is unique in the whole of India in that it is dedicated to three different deities represented by one image in the sanctum and is called Sthanumalayan (Sthanu-Shiva; Maal-Vishnu and Ayan-Brahma) kovil. The temple is rich in sculpture and architecture and a visitor to this temple is amply rewarded with the sight of such exquisite art of hundreds of years old.
Suchindram temple history:
There are many legends associated with this temple. Anasuya, the wife of Atri Maharishi was famous for her chastity and her devotion to her husband - an embodiment of a Hindu wife. She could perform miracles by sprinkling the 'paatha theertham' (water with which she washed her husband's feet) to bring rain to a parched earth or to transform objects to her desire.
When the three Devis, - Goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswathy and Parvathy(athishakthi) heard through Sage Naradha the powers of this earthly woman they wanted to test her chastity. They approached their husbands Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to test Anasuya's devotion to her husband. The three Moorthys transformed into three old mendicants and went to the hermitage where Anasuya was living and sought alms from her. When Anasuya was about to serve them food they told her that they had taken a vow whereby they could not accept alms from a person wearing clothes. As it was a sin to refuse alms to mendicants she prayed to her Lord and sprinkled a little 'paatha theertham' on the three old beggars. They were all immediately transformed into babies and throwing off her clothes she offered them food.
The Goddesses learning what had happened pleaded with Anasuya to grant them 'maangalya biksha' (gift of married life) and to give them back their husbands. Anasuya showed them the three babies. The Devis ran to the cradle and picked one baby each. Anasuya then prayed to her Lord to restore them back to their original form. Lo and behold! Brahma was in Lakshmi's embrace, Siva in Saraswathy's lap and Parvathy cuddling Vishnu. They accepted that Anasuya's fame as the chastest woman on earth was justified. Thus the Thrimoorthy came to be represented by the Lingam at Suchindram; the bottom represents Brahma, the middle represents Vishnu and the top Shiva.
There is another lore associated with this temple. Once Indra was infatuated with Ahalya, the wife of Rishi Gautama. One night he came to the hermitage where Gautama was living and crowed like a cock indicating the approach of dawn. Rishi Gautama thinking that dawn was imminent awoke from his sleep and went to the river for his ablutions prior to commencing his prayers. Realizing that it was too dark for dawn and too early for morning to break he returned to his hut. In the meantime Lord Indra took the physical appearance of Rishi Gautama, approached Ahalya and satisfied his desire. Rishi Gautama returning from the river was enraged when he saw his wife in another man´s embrace and cursed the man's entire body be covered with 'yoni' (the female organ) and his wife Ahalya to become a statue of stone. Lord Indra in order to get rid of this curse went to Gnanaranya and prayed to the Three Moorthys to rid him of this curse. When he was rid of his curse and transformed into his original form he built a temple and installed the Lingam to represent the three Moorthy - Thanu-Maal-Ayan, and the name of the place came to be known as Suchi-Indran (the place where Indran was purified).
The temple has quite a few sculptures and art. In the 'Alankara mandapam' adjacent to the Northern corridor there are four large pillars each formed by a group of smaller pillars all carved from a single stone. Two of these large pillars have 33 smaller pillars and the other two 25 each. These are the famous musical pillars. Each of these smaller pillars produce a different musical note when tapped. Unfortunately these pillars are surrounded by iron grills to prevent vandalism.
Step out of the 'Alankara mandapam' and you come face to face with a gigantic figure of Hanuman.
The figure is 18 feet high and depicts 'visuvaroopam'. There are other carvings and sculptures on every pillar and panel throughout the temple, which are a feast to the eye and the imagination.
                         Last and the best was Thiruchendur, the abode of Lord Subrahmanya. The puranic name or historical name for this temple is jayanthipuram.It is also one of the Arupadaiveedu (six major abodes) or Six sacred temples of Kaumaram religion. It is the only one among the Six sacred temple complexes to be situated near the sea shore. Other five are situated in mountain region.
It is one of the largest temple complexes (by area) of India and it is one of the most visited temple complex in India (devotees from countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, England, Australia). It is the only temple in Tamil Nadu which has a separate bus terminal. The sannathi street of this temple is the longest of its kind among the temples of Tamil Nadu. This is the only temple where Raja gopura is situated in western gate. This temple is the largest temple among all the temples built by saints. This temple is not constructed by Kings, it is built by three holy saints. It is one of the richest temple (by wealth) of Tamil Nadu. This is the only Hindu temple which has no Eastern gateway. This temple is the fourth Hindu temple in Tamil Nadu to get ISO certification. This is the only temple in Tamil Nadu where sanctum sanctorium is below the ground level.The 133 feet Rajagopura,built in the shores of Bay of Bengal,very near to the sea,just within 200 meters is still a mystery and an outstanding example for the Tamil temple architecture and an example for extreme civil engineering of Ancient Tamils.
Many thousands of years back, the Tamilans worshipped Nature as Muruku (a Tamil word meaning: 'youthfulness, tenderness, fragrance, etc'). Temples were constructed in natural settings -- around forests, hilly areas, waterfalls and seashores. Tiruchendur temple is one among them, but it has a special significance. It was here that Lord Murugan arrived with his band of warriors to fight against the Asura, Soorapadma. So a temple was constructed at Tiruchendur for Lord Murugan in rememberance of this.
Soorapadma was a very powerful Asura who was causing immense hardships to Devas and mankind alike by his wicked deeds. The Devas appealed to Lord Shiva to spare them from the tortures of Soorapadma. Lord Shiva in response to their appeal told them that He would produce a Son from His Sakti to annihilate Soorapadma.
Lord Shiva generated six powerful sparks from His third eye called Netrikkan. Lord Vayu (god of air) and Lord Agni (god of fire) carried these sparks to river Ganges. Goddess Ganga carried them to Saravana Poygai, a holy pond.The sparks became six divine small male babies. By God's grace, six divine water nymphs (the six Krittikas) nurtured these babies.
When Lord Shiva and Parvati Devi came to earth to behold these babies, Goddess Parvati embraced all the six infants at once and made them into a single child with six faces and twelve hands. From Goddess Parvati Devi's anklets, nine shaktis appeared. Veerabahu and lakhs of soldiers emerged from these Nava Shaktis. These men headed by Veerabahu became the warriors of Lord Murugan. Lord Shiva for His part gave Lord Murugan a vel (spear) called Vetrivel destined to give success at all times (Vetrivel - spear of success). He also endowed him with eleven Rudras. Eleven Rudras were changed into eleven arms.
With the blessings of His divine parents, Lord Murugan came to Tiruchendur with His armed group. He immediately sent Veerabahu as an emissary to Soorapadma and asked him to release all the Devas imprisoned by him. But the Asura refused. So Lord Murugan had no option but to wage war against Soorapadma and his legions. It lasted for ten days.
Lord Murugan defeated the Asuras and converted Soorapadma into a peacock and a cock. The peacock or Mayil became the vehicle of Lord Murugan. Therefore He is also called Mayilvahanan. Ceval or cock adorned his flag.Hence,He is called Ceval kodiyon.
The guru (teacher) of Devas Lord Brihaspati, Lord Indra, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and all the Devas hailed Lord Murugan's victory and worshiped him nine times (Nava Kala Pooja). Lord Murugan in turn worshiped Lord Shiva in the form of Linga called Sivalinga. Since Lord Murugan and the devas emerged victorious at Tiruchendur, it is also called as Jayanti Nagar as Jaya means victory.
Lord Murugan blesses everyone who worships Him. He extends His arul or supreme grace to all those who pray before Him. He removes all the ills of people who come to Him. He never lets down His disciples. Worship Lord Murugan at Tiruchendur and seek His blessings. He will present everything to you. He will bless you with a blemishless and peaceful life. 

                           we came to know much about this temple Lord from the discourses of Sri Chaganti Koteswara rao garu as well as Sri Samavedam Shanmukha sarma garu. the Vibhuthi given here as Prasadam is said to posess magical and divine powers. When we went for Darshan, we were blessed to see the Lord Murugan just having finished Abhishekam with vibhuti and He appeared really divine and sacred. That was just amazing.
Thus finishing the tour, we drove towards our sweet home, packing with us blessings of God in all forms to be treasured for a life time.