Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Kottaimalai Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple
Name : Kottai Malai (Padavedu)
Location : Padavedu is centrally located among Vellore, Thiruvannamalai and Arani in the Vellore – Polur route. While going from Vellore, there is a junction called Santhavasal at 32 km from Vellore town and from this junction you have to turn right and travel further for about 6 kms to reach Padavedu.
Description : The temple for Lord Venu Gopala Swamy is located on the top of Raja Kambeera Mountain popularly known as Kottaimalai. The temple opens only on Saturdays from 9AM to 4PM.
The only route available to this temple is a ghat road running through thick and beautiful forest. A breath taking journey to this temple can be performed sitting on a huge Tractor specially built to take the pilgrims and the materials to the temple. However the tractor takes us only to the foot of the hill. Rest of the journey is to be covered by walk for about an hour. En route we have to pass through few wooden bridges constructed around the hill. It is an engineering marvel.
All our pains vanish once we reach the sanctum where beautiful flute playing Lord VenuGopala Swamy is in a standing posture along with his consorts Rukmini and Satyabhama. The idols of this temple are known for their artistic beauty.
All the dwajasthambams seen so far are of either wood or metal and not made of stone. Here is a beautifully carved out stone dwajasthambam with the lightning arrestor at the top.
There are two water streams (sunai) on either side of the temple and water from one of them (right side photo) is very clean and is being used for drinking and abhisheham.
A temple not to be missed since this has something for all types/ ages of people - as a spiritual place and as a pleasure spot - so near Chennai.
Festivals : During a Purattasi Saturday, sun rays falls on the foot of the deity and raises to head during the early morning hours. Some say that this happens on the third Saturday and some say that no one knows on which Saturday of the month, this will happen. There will be 100s of people staying overnight to witness the event and the place wears a festive look with good lightings. Lot of Annandhanams by many people take place on the mountain top and along the way. The temple will be open for the entire overnight and the Abhishehams will be completed before 5:30 AM itself on that day.
Website : http://shanthiraju.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/kottamalai/