Friday, October 12, 2012

Pazhaiya Seevaram Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar

Name : Pazhaiya Seevaram Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar

Location :

Pazhaiya Seevaram is a small village located about 20 kms from Kanchipuram on the road going towards Chengalpattu. While going from Chengalpattu, one can reach Pazhaya Seevaram 5 kms before Walajabad.

Legend :

According to the Sthala Puranam, once in Naimisaaranyam, a Rishi by name Vishnu Siththar enquired with the other Rishis about a best place where he can get the Dharshan of Lord Vishnu as result of the penance. 

Another Rishi called Mareecha Muni explained the him about the existence of such a place on the earth, where one’s penance (Thapas) will get fulfilled with the Dharshan of Lord Narayana and guided him to this place which was called Padmagiri. He also told the story of Athri Rishi, who got the Dharshan of the Lord in this place in the form of Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar, after his severe and dedicated penance. It is said that, Athri Rishi, after having Dharshan of the Lord, prayed the Lord to stay in this place and bless the people worshipping here. The Lord accepted his wish and stayed here in the same form to bless the mankind.

Description :

Pazhaya Seevaram has an ancient temple for Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar, amidst picturesque location. This temple is located on a small hill on the banks of the river Palar. It is said that 3 rivers namely, Palar (Ksheera Nadhi), Cheyyar (Bahu Nadhi) and Vegavathi (Saraswathi) merge here to become one and it is called Triveni Sangamam. It is considered equally sacred as Ganges here.

The hill on which the temple is located is called Padmagiri. There is a motorable road to ascend the hill. The temple is not located on the hill top. While ascending the hill, one can find the temple in a few hundred metres itself on the midway.

The main deity, Lord Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar is having the Goddess Lakshmi seated on his lap and is cool and calm, hence also called as Shaanthamoorthy. Though the temple is facing east, the Lord in the sanctum is facing west towards Kanchipuram.

Festivals :

According to the legend, there is a link between this temple and Kanchipuram Sri Varadaraja temple. Every year, during the Thamizh month of ‘Thai’, on Kaanum Pongal day, the Lord Sri Varadharaja Perumal from Kanchipuram is brought to this hill temple which is popularly called ‘Paarvaettai’ or ‘Malai Urchavam’ (hill festival). On that day, the Urchavar of Sri Varadharajar from Kanchi, is kept in a stone Mandapam on top of the hill, from where he gives dharshan to the people. This event is very popular here. There are steps to reach the top of the hill from the place where the temple is located. It is said that the stone Mandapam too is facing towards Kanchipuram on the west.

From the temple one can see the scenic view of the river Palar and the surroundings.

Websites :

Arulmigu Maruntheeswarar Thirukovil, Thirukkachur

Name :  Arulmigu Maruntheeswarar Thirukovil, Thirukkachur

Location : 

This temple is located in 3 kms from Singaperumal kovil on the way to Sri perumpathur. Singaperumal Railwaystation lies beween chennai- chengalpattu train route.

There is a motorable road that leads to the temple on hilltop.

Legend :

When Aswini Devas were in search of medicinal herbs in this mountain, Lord shiva and Godddess helped them show herbs,hence the name “Irul neekithayar” and Maruntheeswarar. So it is believed that worshipping Lord here will solve problems with their health.

Description :

This is a beautiful temple which is said to be built by Kulothunga Chozha, where the main deity is Sri Oushadheeswarar (in Sanskrit ‘oushadha’ means medicine) also called Marundheeswarar and Goddess Andhaka Nivarani Ambaal (also called Sri Irul Neekki Ambaal).

It is said that Sage Agasthiyar worshipped Lord Marundheeswarar both at Thiruvaanmiyur and Thirukkachur and enriched his knowledge on Herbal Medicines.

The people believe that the soil of this place itself is medicinal (மண்ணே மருந்து) and would cure one from ailments. There is a small pit near Dwajasthambha filled with mud. This mud is considered sacred and medicinal, which devotees apply on their forehead like Vibhuthi.

There is an ancient well at the north eastern side of this temple. This serves as the Theertham for this temple and is called 'Oushadha Theertham'. This water too is believed to have medicinal properties.

This well is made in such a way that, one can enter the well and reach up to the surface of water through the steps. This steps start at a distance from the well and goes inside the well even below the water level. It is said that there are 60 steps to this stair case. A very unique and a 'well designed well’.

Sundara Murthy swamigal describes this Lord as “Maalai MathiyeMalai mel Marundhe”.

Girivalam is very popular here. Devotees undertake Girivalam on Pournami (full moon) days and Tuesdays praying the Lord, to get cured of their illness.

Holytree : Verpala (Jack Tree)
Darshan Time : Morning 7am – 10 am Evening 6pm -8pm

Websites :

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Unakoti hill

Name :  Unakoti hill

Location :

Unakoti lies 178 km to the northeast from Agartala which has the closest airport, and 8 km to the east from Kailashahar, district headquarters of North Tripura District. The nearest railway station is about 20 km away at Kumarghat on the Lumding-Agartala line.

Legend :

Once lord Shiva was going to Varanasi along 1 crore god and goddesses including him.On the way they thought of taking rest and shelter on this hill for night, before going to bed lord Shiva strictly warned them to get up at the dawn before the sun rises and leave for Varanasi.The following morning only lord Shiva got up and nobody else woke up being in angry mood he cursed them to become stone sculptures or images and stay there forever and ever.Since then we are having images numbering less than one crore sculptured on unakoti hill

According to the regional people, there was a sculptor & potter named Kallu Kumhar.The local tribals believe that it was Kallu Kumhar who had carved all these images. He was a devotee of Parvati and wanted to accompany Shiva and Parvati to their abode on Kailash Parvat. On Parvati’s persuasion Shiva agreed to take Kallu to Kailash if he would sculpt a koti images of Shiva in one night. Kallu worked as a man possessed. But as the dawn broke the number of images was still one less than a koti. Shiva who was keen to get rid of this nuisance called Kallu, used this excuse to leave behind Kallu Kumhar and his images at Unakoti.

Description :

Unaloti literally meaning one less a crore in Bengali, hosts an ancient Shaivite place of worship with huge rock-cut images and stone idols of Lord Shiva and dates back to 7th – 9th centuries if not earlier. While the marvelous rock carvings, murals with their primitive beauty form the chief attraction, natural beauty including mountain scenery and waterfalls are an added bonus..

Iconography :

The images found at Unakoti are of two types: namely rock-carved figures and stone images. Among the rock cut carvings, the central Shiva head and gigantic Ganesha figures deserve special mention. The central Shiva head known as Unakotiswara Kal Bhairava is about 30 feet high including an embroidered head-dress which itself is 10 feet high. On each side of the head-dress of the central Shiva, there are two full size female figures - one of Durga standing on a lion and another female figure on the other side. In addition three enormous images of Nandi Bull are found half buried in the ground. There are various other stone as well as rock cut images at Unakoti.

Festival :

Every year a big fair popularly known as Ashokastami Mela is held in the month of April which is visited by thousands of pilgrims. Another smaller festival takes place in January.

Websites :

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wu Hill, Hangzhou

Name :  Sky Wind On Wu Hill

Location : 

Wu Hill is located southeast of the West Lake. It consists of the Purple Sunlight Hill, Cloud Sojourn Hill, Gold Land Hill, etc. There are more than ten small peaks, about 100 meters high, several kilometers long extending all the way to the city proper.

History :

Rebuilt in the Ming Dynasty, Town God’s Temple was dedicated to Zhou Xin, an upright provincial inspecting commissioner. He was honest and free of corruption, good at solving criminal cases, and dared to rid corrupt officials. He was, however, murdered in cold blood. In order to appease popular indignation, the emperor conferred upon him the title of Town God of Hangzhou. Ever since then, the temple had large hordes of pilgrims to worship him day after day. Wu Hill has long between known as Town God’s Hill. During temple fairs, tourists crowded there, and people in special lines aslo came. Among them were fortune tellers, physiognomy practitioners, word-solving practitioners, jugglers, acrobats, ballads singers, story tellers, dog-skin plaster sellers and men of all trades, turning the fair into living exhibition of folk customs in Hangzhou.

Description :

In October 2000, the scenic area of Town God’s Pavilion was rebuilt in the God Land Hill. A new seven-storied 41.6 meters high Town God’s Pavilion stands erect on the ruins of the old one. The relief on the 1st and 2nd floors tells stories and anecdotes of the history of Hangzhou.From the 3rd to7th floors people can take a look at the view around sipping at tea. To the right of the pavilion are such structured as Zhou Xin’s Temple, theatrical stage, Wen Chang Pavilion, stele pavilion, and a poetry galley. The whole place coverd an area of 8.03 hectares. The old Town God’s Hikk has taken on a new look.

Scattered among the hills are ancient trees, springs, grotesque rocks, ancient temples, and historical relics. In front of Panoramic View Pavilion and Medicine King Temple are fifteen 400 to 500 years old camphor trees. The oldest one, ” Song Camphor”, is more than 800 years old. Gingkoes, Chinese plums, sweet osmanthus and other evergreens are grown on the hill.

A strange cluster of rocks stands on the slope on the southwest of God Land Hill. According to their different shapes these rocks are referred to as the ” twelve animals stones in Chinese Zodiac”.

The River and Lake View Pavilion stands on the top of Purple Sunlight Hill, commanding a view of the West Lake on the left and the Qiantang River on the right.

A couplet on the pillar by Xu Wei of the Ming Dynasty reads:
” The 800-li lakes and mountains can tell when the landscape was painted;
Tens of thousands of average homes owe all they have to this pavilion.”

The Cloud Sojourn Hill is located southwest of the Purple Sunlight Hill. A trail leads to the Monument to the Revolutionary Martyrs. On the way there you come to Justice Accumulation Pavilion and Cloud and Pine Pavilion, where you can take a rest break to enjoy the beautiful scenery around over a cup of tea.

After Wu Hill extended into the city proper, it has been accessible in all directions, either to go up or down the hill. Early at daybreak, people flock there, carrying bird cages in their hands, dancing, playing tennis and badminton, doing shadow boxing, practicing qigong, playing the sword and singing local operas. There are huge crowds of people every morning on the hill.
Wu Hill serves as the city lung, where people hope to get longevity and happiness. It offers special charm of its own.

 The tower has a wax museum containing 28 figures of historical importance. The hill is covered with gingko and camphor trees that always are green. Some of the camphor trees are really ancient - about 400-500 years old, the oldest is nearly 800 years of age. One of the reasons Wu Hill is so popular is because everyone up there have such enormous pleasure watching flowers and trees blossom there and follow how the scenery changes during the different seasons of the year.

Websites :


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