Showing posts with label lord shiva. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lord shiva. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Utrakosamangai Temple - Lord Shiva’s Birthplace

It is believed that the first Shiva Linga idol on Earth came up in this small quaint town in present day Tamil Nadu and was established by none other than Lord Brahma himself. The town is named Utra-Kosa-Mangai as per ancient Tamil scripture. Utra means secret; Kosa or Gosha is the “Pranava Mantra” and Mangai means lady / woman. This is the place where Lord Shiva explained the meaning of the Pranavakara to Goddess Parvati and further proceeded to Madurai for their celestial Marriage. 


The idol of Shiva Linga is estimated to be 3,000 years old – somewhat coinciding with the establishment of Kali Yuga. The deities here are known as Goddess Mangala Nayaki and Lord Sri Managala Nathar and the temple premises is spread over 20 acres! Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple was built and managed by the Pandiya Kings and the town has also been their Capital for a brief period. The temple and premises are currently being managed by the Ramanathapuram Samasthanam. 

 This holy place is said to be the native town of Lord Shiva as He was established first here. In former times, this place has been celebrated as Southern Kailasa, Chaturvedi Mangalam, Elandhi Kaipalli, Badrika Kshetram, Brahmapuram, Vyakpuram, Mangalapuri, Badrisayana Kshetram, Adi Chidambaram, etc. It is believed that praying at this kshetra will help the devotee to attain Moksha either in the present birth or the next. 

The idol of Lord Nataraja is made of Maragatha (Emerald) stone and is one of it’s kind in the world. His right side represents the male form of dance and left side displays the female form. This is the temple where the first ever Bharatha Natya form of art was ever performed and displayed by Lord Shiva and it is said only after this, He performed the dance form at Kailasa. Abhisheka is performed on Lord Nataraja only once a year on the Pournami (full moon day) with Arudhra star day of Margaseerha Maasa (Dec. / Jan.). After the abhisheka is completed, the lord is ordained with Sandal Paste which remains on Him for the whole year.  


It is said that King Alauddin Khilji tried to steal the Emerald Nataraja idol when his force claimed and destroyed hundreds of temples in South India including the one at Srirangam but in vain. Lord Ganesha and Lord Shanmuga who’s shrines are located outside the Temple entrance are seen having swapped their places. The vahana for Lord Shanmugha here is an Elephant, apparently the Airavatha gifted by Lord Indra, as per the holy text of this place, Adhi Chidambara Mahatmiyam. It is said that Goddess Parvathi worships Lord Shiva here everyday. 


The fish found in the temple tank are those that thrive in salt water and not in fresh water! This is perhaps the temple is very closely located to Sethu Samudram - the place where Lord Rama and his Vaanara koota commenced their journey through the sea to rescue Mother Sita at Lanka. 


The Sahasra Linga idol here has been established and offered prayers by 1,000 sages who attained Moksha from this temple. There are 11 Ganesha idols within the premises. There is a separate shrine close by which houses Goddess Varahi who’s said to have helped a woman for her childbirth. Due to the menstrual reasons associated with delivery, the goddess is located outside the main temple with Her own premises. Among the most Varahi shrines in the world who is said to be a boon giver to whoever prays to Her wholeheartedly. 

Located 20 kms from Ramnad or Ramanathapuram, it is 6 kms from Thirupullani Lord Sri Adi Jagannatha Swamy Temple and about 80 kms from Rameswaram

Though 1,000s of pilgrims visit Rameswaram everyday and millions every year, hardly a few visit this temple. This is because a human cannot decide to visit this temple on their own. One needs divine grace to visit the first ever Lord Shiva temple on Earth. Let’s pray the Almighty that the reader of this article gets an opportunity to visit Him and seek his abundant and infinite grace and blessings!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

A Pandemic and Prayers

It’s been over 3 weeks since I visited a temple. The longest in the last few years that I haven’t ever been to one for any reason. My love for visiting temples have at times preceded my devotion to the Deity. Rather, I would undertake trips to simply visit a temple rather than praying at that place. Such is the love and devotion that I have for a temple precinct. I get a sort of vibration when I visit temples, many of them. For Ex. When I am inside the Sanctum Sanctorum of our family deity at Parikkal – Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy; inside the Tirumala Tirupati shrine; atop the holy Ahobilam Hills; closer home when I see Lord Sri. Parthasarathy or Goddess Karpagambal on close proximity and many such instances. I undergo a certain chemical reaction inside my brain and body which cannot be explained. And I am not the only one, for I know many who feel so when they visit their favourite temple. 

Due to the ongoing Corona Virus lockdown, most of the temples have shut down for devotees and visitors across the world and India are no exception. Note, that the temples are closed for visitors and not to the Priests who perform their duties daily. It came as a shock when the most populated Hindu Temple on the basis of number of visitors everyday decided to close the doors – Tirumala Tirupati. An estimated 70,000 devotees throng the hill temple on an average day which peaks to 300,000 during festival periods such as Brahmotsavam. So, when the TTD authorities informed that the temple doors would be locked in tune with the nationwide 21-lockdown announced by the Union Government of India in March, many devotees were disturbed if the pandemic has reached disproportionate proportions. On 14 April, the PM extended the lockdown until 3 May 2020.

Most non-believers and many from other faiths mocked at Hindu temples, the culture ordained in our Sanathana Dharma and the very concept of “Idol Worship” calling it as “Idle Worship” since we devotees cannot even visit a temple, the most holy place for Hindus and purportedly the Lord within the confines of His & Her Sanctum Santorum is insecure to the extent that He / She cannot handle this pandemic and stop the spread. While there has been enough war of words on the social media and the internet space on this, I have personally refrained from explaining even once why our temples would remain important to us, during and after this Crisis.

Let me explain briefly here, my own limited understanding of why we visit Temples.

The Lord created this world and manifested Himself into various incarnations and forms. The first form is that of the Para-Rupa which can be seen at his eternal celestial abode – Sri Vaikuntam. He is seated there on the Adisesha, the snake along with his consort Mahalakshmi, Bhoo Devi & Neela Devi. Then He manifests in the Vyuha Rupa – on the Ksheerabdi where He is seen reclining on Adisesha on the divine Viraja River. Next is the Vibhava Rupa during which He manifests Himself in the form of various incarnations. Contrary to popular belief, the Lord doesn’t restrict himself to a mere 10 incarnations; rather his forms or manifestations are uncountable. Next, He resides inside every being which has been created by him in the form of Antaryaami, where the Paramatma resides next to the Jeevatma and guides the soul.

Lastly, in this Kali Yuga, the Lord manifests himself in a scripture – on stone or on the wood from a tree bark and is mostly seen in Temples which have been built over 1,000s of years ago by various people, mostly Kings and Emperors due to their wealth and largesse. At the end this Yuga, a Pralaya is expected, after which all creations would be wiped away – as per calculations, we are now 5,120 years young and we have another 426,000 years to complete this Kali Yuga. The Hindu Vedic Calendar doesn’t consist of 365 days, rather it differs based on movement of the Moon around the Sun.  

Since we mortals cannot see how Lord Narasimha or Rama or Krishna existed in their respective Yugas of Krita, Treta or Dwapara, the Lord has manifested Himself in a particular form in this Yuga. Devotees throng to see the Lord in the respective temples in that particular form and not just to enjoy the beauty of the architecture, something that the Western World has pushed as an agenda even on believers of Sanathana Dharma. The external features are merely to showcase the artisanship of the artists and not necessarily to make the Lord or the Deity feel more superior. The Big Temple at Tanjore or the Bhooloka Vaikuntam at Srirangam are edifices to this aspect. 

Therefore, we Hindus visit Temples not just to pray but to see the Lord (and the Goddesses) in various forms that He has manifested in. Each form has a reason and a meaning; they also accord blessings to devotees with a certain purpose. So, no form of the Lord is inferior to another which many devotees keep scrambling with their ideologies all the time claiming which Deity is more powerful or superior.

So, the Temples closing during the lockdown is not to protect Him, rather protect ourselves from spreading the viral infection to each other. As humans, we have withered away from following basic cleanliness measures which have been the basis of our Dharma. A bath before performing austerities, not touching one another’s food while eating and practicing highest levels of self-hygiene, more commonly known as “Madi-Acharam” in today’s times have become a joke during the past 100 years. 

However, the West, WHO, all and sundry are imparting the public to follow the same steps that have been mentioned in our holy texts such as the Vedas and Upanishads on personal hygiene. What was once considered a taboo – washing one’s hands after touching another and a necessity such as washing hands before consuming food, have now become the most fashionable norm. A warm hug or a peck on the cheek are finally accepted as the fastest ways of transmitting viral infections, which has been the very basis of following isolation more popularly known as “staying Madi”. Once a son has been ordained “Yagnopaveetham”, even his mother is not allowed to feed him – the optimal age for this is 7 years, which is when medically it has been proven that kids start building their own immunity and bacteria. Many such things which have been well explained in our scriptures have been side-lined, thanks to the advent of various faiths which have unfortunately derogated our practices while eulogising theirs. Sad.

This lockdown period and self-quarantine is a blessing in disguise for us to look back at even some of our healthy practices which was followed by our grandparents, as late as the 1950s or 60s in India. Apart from praying at home – where many of our households adorn photos of deities of various forms, we also get time to chant our favourite slokas and mantras which we may know or would like to learn. A simple rendition of Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam which is said to encompass a thousand names of the Lord is good enough if at all one can spend 29 odd-minutes for ourselves once a day. This particular sloka is said to have various health benefits, including streamlining blood pressure to increasing memory. For me, personally this one sloka is an all-time favourite and one stop remedy, whether I am undergoing severe Migraine or sleeplessness, invariable stress or just to simply while away time. 

Goddess Parvati asks during the rendition of the Sahasranamam, what is a faster way to finish saying a thousand names to which Lord Shiva replies – a mere chanting of “Sri Rama” is good enough. 

So, this lockdown period, fret not that we are unable to visit temples or perform rituals. At least for another 4 lakh years, the Temples will remain and so would we. Yes, we will eventually die this birth only to be reborn again. And Again and again, something that has been very aptly propounded in Bhaja Govindam sloka by Sri Adi Sankaracharya – Punarapi Maranam, Punarapi Jananam. We are born to die to be born yet again. So, fret not for we shall visit our favourite temples again, soon. The Lord is eagerly awaiting for us to return so we can once again get ecstatic looking at His form on stone and wood. 

This too shall pass by. Let’s pray for the Corona Crisis to end soon. My prayers are more so, that I can drive down to a Temple thereafter. Actually, I need a short vacation of a few weeks to visit some of my favourite temples across the Southern States. With the guidance of our beloved Gurus without whom we cannot reach the Almighty, we are eagerly awaiting the Lord’s grace to visit Him soon. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Pitru Kariyas by Lord Rama

Sriman Narayana has innumerable forms, names and incarnations. But the ones that are closest to the humankind in this Kali Yuga are only a handful. And among them, the most respected and revered is the form the Lord took in Treta Yuga as Sri Ramachandramurthy, S/o King Dasaratha.

Even as the Honourable Supreme Court of India is discussing the existence of Ram Lalla, a final debate is scheduled after the Court’s Dasera holidays after which a verdict on Ram Janmabhoomi is in the anvil (quite ironical since it was during Dasera that Lord Rama is said to have returned to Ayodhya and His pattabhisheka or ascending the throne is celebrated as Deepavali by believers of Sanatha Dharma all over the world), we showcase two temples of utmost spiritual significance and associated with the Ramayana, revered as an important Purana. 

While Lord Rama walked all the way to the southern tip of India to go to Lanka to rescue Goddess Sita from the captivity of King Ravana, he faced a number of hurdles. Among others, he was asked to pray to the Nine Planets who govern the life of every individual. Even though the Creator created Lord Brahma to create mortals like us across the yugas and has absolute control of our lives, He was perhaps the most benevolent CEO cum Founder of His times to delegate work to the Team. So, the Navagrahas who monitor our past lives and accordingly teach us lessons so we don’t repeat the mistakes (although many of us don’t learn and keep repeating for the love of being reborn!) govern each and every step of our lives and must be appeased from time to time for our prosperity.

Lord Rama, reached the seashore, invoked the Navagrahas and installed nine structures using Navapashanam, a unique mix of nine medicinal minerals such as Veeram, Pooram, Rasam, Jathilingam, Kandagam, Gauri Pasanam, Vellai Pasanam, Mridharsing and Silasat. It is said that one would need at least 30 years in today’s time to learn the art of making Navapashanam from an Expert (who doesn’t exist by the way), which is said to have miraculous medical impact for people suffering from various ailments. The water soaked on the Navapashanam structures and consumed is said to relieve people of pain and diseases. The Navagraha structures at Devipatnam can be seen only in the early mornings and thereafter, they get immersed by the sea water! 

When Lord Rama was installing the Navagrahas, sea waves came up heavily. So, Rama prayed to Lord Sri Adhi Jagannatha at Thirupullani close by and therefore He came here and stopped the rising waves. He’s seen seated facing the Eastern direction with Abhaya Hastha and has the name “Kadal Adiatha Perumal” – one who stopped the sea.  This part of the Sea doesn’t have waves, therefore and one must see this to believe. 

Closeby is Sri Thilakeswarar Temple where Lord Rama prayed to Lord Shiva for the sake of His forefathers and performed puja with Thila, Til or Ellu to appease Lord Maheshwara, hence His name. The shrine is famous for pitru dosha nivarthi since Lord Rama is said to have performed a number of pujas associated with His Ikshvaku clan of the Surya Dynasty. This is the lord associated with Kumba Rashi as well as the Pradhan'a deity of Lord Shanaischara and all types of rituals to invoke the pitru-shapa & nivarthi are performed here.

Thila Homa is performed near both these temples by learned Priests as well as near Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple at Rameswaram town which is about 50kms from Devipatnam.

Thousands throng to The Navagraha Shrine at Devipatnam everyday but only a few - very few souls who are blessed by the Lord get to enter the Vishnu & Shiva Shrines close by and seek their blessings. 

Sarathy, your friendly Travel Companion will be able to arrange trips to these Temples soon. Bookings open soon. Stay tuned. Share this Page and spread the word.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Sri Pallikondeeswarar Temple

Amrutha. Kurma Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Neelakhanta. Pradosham.

All of the above seem four different aspects of the Puranas. But there’s a temple which brings all of the above together. How interesting are the Lord’s acts. 

Sage Durvasa once gave a garland which he had received as prasada from Goddess Mahalakshmi, to Lord Indra, the King of Devas who in turn gave it to His vahana, the celestial Elephant known as Airavatha. The Elephant disliked the scent of the garland, threw it on the floor and trampled it by mistake which enraged the Sage who cursed the Devas led by Indra. Due to this episode, the Asuras led by King Mahabali took over the world. The Devas went to Lord Vishnu to rescue them, to which the Lord asked them to enter into a compromise with the asuras by way of sharing the divine nectar, Amrutha. Mount Manthana was used to churn the Ocean of Milk while the celestial serpent Vasuki was used as the rope, the tail with the Devas and the Head with the asuras. 

During the churn, the entire earth was about to be destroyed, which is when Lord Vishnu assumed the Kurma Avathara and held Mother Earth on His back. At the time, poison emanated from the churning and Lord Shiva agreed to consume it and save the world. When the poison reached his throat, Goddess Parvati stopped it by holding his neck and thus His name come to be known as Neelakantha. He felt dizzy at the time and lied down on the lap of Goddess Parvati to take some rest. The Devas were worried upon the Lord lying down and gathered around to see Him. When they came to see the Lord, The celestial Bull Nandi asked them to wait. The time the Lord emerged to give them Darshan is known as the Pradosha kala.

This is the Temple where the devotees can see the divine posture of Lord Shiva in a reclining form. Perhaps, the only such temple in the world. The temple also has a separate shrine for Sri.  Maragathambikai, a form of Parvati accompanied by Lord Valmikeswara, where the Sage Valmiki is said to have seen His divine form upon performing penance. Pradosha at this time is performed every month with great devotion and fervour. 

There’s another marvel in this Temple. 

Lord Dakshinamurthy who’s always seated on to the right side of the Lord Shiva Shrine is seen here with His consort, Sri. Taara on his lap. This is a marvellous posture of the Lord to see by His devotees since such a shrine doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. 

The temple shrine is located at Suruttupalli, 53kms off Chennai and 3 kms outside Uthukottai town. This is also an alternate route to reach Tirupati from Thiruvallur, through Puttur (without passing through Tiruttani). 

Sarathy, your friendly Travel Partner will be able to arrange trips for visiting this temple. Bookings open soon. 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Garbha Rakshambikai Temple

Being a Friday, I pray my obeisance to the Goddesses – Durga, Lakshmi & Saraswathi who reside with their respective consorts all the time and bless us all the time. 

Today, I would like to share with you about Goddess Garbha Rakshambikai.

Legend has it that an ardent devotee of Goddess Parvati by the name Vedikai who was childless, prayed at this Mullai (a variant of jasmine flower) forest and the Goddess blessed her to conceive. However, at the time of delivery, Vedikai was almost about to lose her foetus, which is when the Goddess herself descended in human form and helped Her devotee to deliver the baby safely. Ever since, She resides here as “Sri Garbha Rakshambikai” and blesses Her devotees who even think of Her, not necessarily at her shrine particularly. 

“Sri Mullai Vana Nathar” is the name of Lord Shiva shrine here which is a svayambu idol made of a type of clay. Till date, there is no abhishekam that is performed on the Lord and only the paste of Punugu (Civet) is applied on the Lord’s Linga form on the 13th day after Pournami (new moon day), what is known as Valarpirai Pradosham day. The Punugu thus removed from the Lord’s idol is then distributed as prasadam to His devotees which is said to have a remarkable healing power for skin diseases among others.

Many people from all over the world visit Her to seek blessings for Child Birth. Again, one doesn’t have to visit Her in person, rather praying to Her will satisfy the Goddess and She shall bless the couple with fertility. There are thousands of Her devotees all over the world who narrate miraculous stories about Her benevolence and blessings towards child birth. 

Upon request and a payment made at the temple, the Priest performs pooja and offers Blessed Castor Oil to Her devotees which is said to help the woman for a safe delivery. The oil must be applied on the lower abdomen in the third trimester. The Woman can pray wherever she is and the Goddess shall bless her. The Oil can be requested either in person or through anyone else and there is no compulsion for the woman to visit Her in person during the Pregnancy. 

After child birth, the couple may visit the temple along with the new born baby and offer the bundle of joy on a cradle which is present at the temple premises and circumvent Her shrine. There are three cradles, wooden, silver and golden and one can anyone of them as per their wish and there's a small fee charged by the temple for this. It is ideal that this offering is completed before the baby turns One year old. 

The link above is the most popular Music Album eulogising Her sung by noted singer and Padmashri awardee Smt. Sudha Raghunathan. Hearing the songs and slokas during pregnancy is said to have healing effects on the foetus in the womb and the child can recognise the songs once they’re born as well. Nothing short of a miracle, indeed. 

Even after conception and child birth, continued prayers to “Sri Garbha Rakshambikai” is said to ensure well-being of the families and their children all their lives as well as being blessed in abundance. 

Here's a link to hear Her songs online as well.

The Temple is located at the holy place of "Thirukarugavoor", 15kms off Kumbakonam and is reachable comfortably by road through Public Transport as well as private vehicles.

Your Sarathy would be able to arrange a trip to visit Her and seek Her blessings. 

Bookings begin soon. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Lord Shiva’s Native Town

*உலகின் முதல் சிவன் ஆலயம்* 
*அதன் சிறப்பு தகவல்கள்*

சிவனின் சொந்த ஊர், உலகிலயே முதல் நடராஜர் தோன்றிய ஊர்,
உலகின் உள்ள அனைத்து ரிஷிகள், முனிவர்கள், சித்தர்கள் வந்து வழிபாடு செய்த கோவில். 

நவகிரகங்கள் தோன்றுவதற்கு முன்னரே உருவான கோயில். நான்கு யுகங்கள் தோன்றுவதற்கு முன்னரே உருவான ஆலயம். ஆயிரம் சிவ  அடியார்கள் ஒரே சமயத்தில் மோட்சம் பெற்று சகஸ்கர லிங்கம் உருவாக்கிய ஆலயம்.

3000 ஆண்டுகளாய் பூத்து குலுங்கும் இலந்தை மரம் உள்ள ஆலயம். 

*தென்னாடுடைய சிவனே போற்றி எந்நாட்டவர்க்கும் இறைவா போற்றி* என்ற வாக்கியம் உருவான இடம்.

மரகத நடராஜர் சிலை உள்ள ஆலயம். இப்படி பல அதிசயங்களையும், ஆச்சயர்களையும்   தன்னகத்தே கொண்டு சாந்தமாய் இருக்கும் ஆலயம் அதுதான் இராமநாதபுரம் மாவட்டத்தில் அமைந்துள்ள திருஉத்ரகோசமங்கை மங்களநாதார் மங்களநாயகி திருக்கோவில்.

தவறாமல் இத்திருக்கோவிக்கு ஒருமுறையாவது சென்று வாருங்கள்.

இராமநாதபுரம் மாவட்டதில் அமைந்துள்ள உத்தரகோச மங்கை புனித தலம் பற்றிய 60 சிறப்பு தகவல்கள் :-

1. உத்தரகோச மங்கையில் உள்ள மூலவர் சுயம்பு லிங்கம் மூவாயிரம் ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்பு தோன்றியதாக கணிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.

2. உத்தரகோச மங்கை கோவில் சுமார் 20 ஏக்கர் பரப்பளவில் அமைந்துள்ளது.

3. உத்தரகோச மங்கையே சிவபெருமானின் சொந்த ஊர் என்று அழைக்கப்படுகிறது.

4. இத்தலத்துக்கு உமா மகேசுவரர் சன்னதி முன்பு நின்று வழிபாடுகள் செய்தால் தம்பதியர்ஒ ற்றுமை பலப்படும்.

5. திருவிளையாடல் புராணத்தில் வரும் 'வலை வீசி மீன் பிடித்த படலம்' இத்தலத்தில்தான் நடந்தது.

6. உத்தரகோச மங்கை கோவிலில் முக்கிய திருப்பணிகளை பாண்டிய மன்னர்களே செய்தனர். பாண்டிய மன்னர்கள் ஆட்சி அதிகாரத்தில்சிறந்து இருந்த போது, அவர்களது. தலைநகராக சிறிது காலத்துக்கு உத்திரகோசமங்கை இருந்தது.

7. ஆதி காலத்தில் இந்த தலம் சிவபுரம்,'தெட்சிண கைலாயம்', சதுர்வேதி மங்கலம், இலந்தி கைப் பள்ளி, பத்ரிகா ஷேத்திரம், பிரம்மபுரம், வியாக்ரபுரம், மங்களபுரி, பதரிசயன சத்திரம், ஆதி சிதம்பரம் என்றெல்லாம் வேறு வேறு பெயர்களில் அழைக்கப்பட்டது.

8. மங்கள நாதர், மங்கள நாயகி இருவரையும் வழிபடும் முன்பு அங்குள்ள பாண லிங்கத்தை தரிசனம் செய்தால் முழுமையான பலன்கிடைக்கும்.

9. இத்தலத்தில் வழிபாடுகள் செய்பவர்களுக்கு இம்மையில் அனைத்து நன்மைகளும் கிடைக்கும். மறுமையில் முக்தி கிடைக்கும்.

10. மங்கள நாதர் தலத்தில் திருமணம் செய்தால் நிறைய மங்களம் உண்டாகும் என்பது ஐதீகம். எனவே முகூர்த்த நாட்களில் நிறைய திருமணங்கள் இத்தலத்தில் நடைபெறுகின்றன.

11. மூலவருக்கு மங்களநாதர் என்ற பெயர் தவிர மங்களேசுவரர், காட்சி கொடுத்த நாயகர், பிரளயாகேசுவரர் என்ற பெயர்களும் உண்டு.

12. இறைவிக்கு மங்களேசுவரி, மங்களாம்பிகை, சுந்தரநாயகி ஆகிய பெயர்கள் உள்ளன.

13. இறைவி மங்களேசுவரி பெயரில் வ.த. சுப்பிரமணியப் பிள்ளை என்பவர் பிள்ளைத் தமிழ் பாடியுள்ளார். 1901-ம் ஆண்டு வெளியான அந்த நூல் 1956-ம் ஆண்டு மறுபதிப்பு செய்து வெளியிடப்பட்டது.

14. இத்தலத்தில் உள்ள கல்வெட்டுக்களில் ராவணனின் மனைவி மண்டோதரி பெயர் இடம் பெற்றுள்ளது. எனவே இத்தலம் ராமாயண காலத்துக்கும் முன்பே தோன்றியதற்கான ஆதாரமாக இந்த கல்வெட்டு கருதப்படுகிறது.

15. இத்தலத்தில் வேதவியாசர், காக புஜண்டர், மிருகண்டு முனிவர், வாணாசுரன், மயன், மாணிக்கவாசகர், அருணிகிரிநாதர் ஆகியோர்வ ழிபட்டு ஈசன் அருள் பேறு பெற்றுள்ளனர்.

16. இத்தலத்து பஞ்சலோக நடராஜர் மிகவும் வித்தியாசமானவர். இவர் வலது புறம் ஆண்கள் ஆடும் தாண்டவமும், இடது புறம் பெண்கள் ஆடும் நளினமான கலைப்படைப்பாக உள்ளார்.

17. கோவில் வாசலில் விநாயகப்பெருமானும், முருகப்பெருமானும் இடம் மாறியுள்ளனர்.

18. இத்தலத்து முருகனுக்கு வாகனமாக யானை உள்ளது. முருகப்பெருமானுக்கு இந்திரன் தனது ஐராவதத்தை இத்தலத்தில் அளித்தான்என்று, இத்தலமான்மியமான 'ஆதி சிதம்பர மகாத்மியம்' கூறுகிறது.

19. ராமேஸ்வரத்தில் இருந்து 83 கிலோமீட்டர் தொலைவிலும், ராமநாதபுரத்தில் இருந்து 18 கிலோமீட்டர் தூரத்திலும் இவ்வாலயம் இருக்கிறது.

20. சங்க இலக்கியத்தில் குறிக்கப்படும் "இலவந்திகைப் பள்ளி" என்பது உத்தரகோச மங்கையைக் குறிக்கும் என்கிறார்கள். மேற்குறித்த கல்வெட்டில் இலவந்திகைப் பள்ளித்துஞ்சிய நன்மாறன் பெயரும் செதுக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.

21. மாணிக்கவாசகருக்கு உருவக் காட்சிதந்த சிறப்புடைய தலம்.

22. இலந்தை மரத்தடியில் எழுந்தருளிய மங்கைப்பெருமான் என்று இப்பெருமான் போற்றப்படுகிறார்.

23. இத்தலத்தில் சுவாமியை அம்பாள் பூசிப்பதாக ஐதீகம்.

24. சொக்கலிங்கப் பெருமான் பரதவர் மகளாகச் சபித்துப் பின் சாபவிமோசனம் செய்து அம்பாளை மணந்துகொண்டு இத்தலத்திலேயே அம்பாளுக்கு வேதப்பொருளை உபதேசம் செய்து, பின்னர் அம்பிகையுடன் மதுரை சேர்ந்ததாக மதுரைப்புராணத்தில் சொல்லப்பட்டுள்ளது.

25. ஆதிசைவர்கள் வசமிருந்த இத்தலம் பின்னரே ராமநாதபுரம் ராஜாவிடம் ஒப்படைக்கப்பட்டது. அதுமுதல் இன்றுவரை ராமநாதபுர சமஸ்தான ஆளுகைக்கு உட்பட்டதாக இருந்து வருகிறது இத்தலம்.

26. உட்பிரகாரம் நுழையும் பொழுது அழகிய வேலைப்பாடுகளுடன் காணப்படும் யாழிகளில் இரண்டு யாளிகள் வாயில் கல்லால் ஆன பந்தை கொண்டுள்ளது. நாம் கையை நுழைத்துக்கூட பந்தை நகர்த்த முடியும்.

27. இத்தலத்து கோவில் குளத்தில் வாழும் மீன்கள் நல்ல நீரில் வாழும் மீன்கள் இல்லை. கடல்நீரில் வாழும் மீன்களாகும்.

28. பிரதோஷத்தன்று இங்கு தாழம்பூ வைத்து வழிபடுகின்றனர்.இந்த கோவிலில்சிவனுக்கு அம்பாளுக்கு தாழம்பூ மாலை கட்டிப்போட்டால் அனைத்து தோஷங்களும் நீங்குவதாக ஐதீகம். இதனால் திருமணம் உடனே கைகூடும்.

29. இங்கு ஆதிகாலத்து வராகி கோவில் உள்ளது இங்கு ஒவ்வொரு வெள்ளி,செவ்வாய்.ஞாயிறு தினங்களில் ராகுகாலத்தில் பூஜை தொடர்ந்து செய்தால் தீராத பிரச்னைகள்,திருமண்த்தடை போன்றவை விலகுகின்றன.

30.ராமேஸ்வரம் வருபவர்கள் இந்த கோவிலுக்கு செல்லலாம்.

31. டெல்லியை தலைநகராகக் கொண்டு 1300-ம் ஆண்டு ஆட்சி செய்து வந்த அலாவுதீன் கில்ஜி, உத்தரகோச மங்கையில் மரகதகல்

நடராஜர் சிலை இருப்பதை அறிந்து அதை கொள்ளையடிக்க முயன்றான். மங்களநாதர் அருளால் அவன் முயற்சிக்கு வெற்றிகிடைக்கவில்லை.

32. இத்தலத்தில் தினமும் முதல் - அமைச்சரின் அன்னத்தானத்திட்டம் நடைபெறுகிறது. ரூ. 700 நன்கொடை வழங்கினால் 50 பேருக்குஅன்னதானம் கொடுக்கலாம்.

33. காகபுஜண்ட முனிவருக்கு கவுதம முனிவரால் ஏற்பட்ட சாபம் இத்தலத்தில்தான் நீங்கியது.

34. சிவனடியார்கள் 60 ஆயிரம் பேர் இத்தலத்தில் தான் ஞான உபதேசம் பெற்றனர்.

35. இத்தலத்தில் உள்ள மங்களநாதர் சன்னதி, மங்களேசுவரி சன்னதி, மரகதகல் நடராஜர் சன்னதி சகஸ்ரலிங்க சன்னதி நான்கும்தனிதனி கருவறை, அர்த்த மண்டபம், மகா மண்டபம், கொடி மரத்துடன் தனித்து இருப்பது குறிப்பிடத்தக்கது.

36. நடராஜர் மரகத கல்லில் இருப்பதால் இத்தலத்தை சிலர் ரத்தின சபை என்கிறார்கள். ஆனால் உலகின் முதல் கோவில் என்பதால்இது எந்த சபைக்கும் உட்படாதது என்றும் சொல்கிறார்கள்.

37. காரைக்கால் அம்மையாரும் இத்தலத்துக்கு வந்து ஈசனை வழிபட்டு சென்றுள்ளார்.

38. உத்தரகோசமங்கை கோவிலின் கட்டிடக்கலை திராவிட கட்டிடக்கலையை அடிப்படையாகக் கொண்டு கட்டப்பட்டதாகும்.

39. ஒவ்வொரு மாதமும் அமாவாசை, பவுர்ணமி, பிரதோஷம், கிருத்திகை, சதுர்த்தி நாட்களில் இத்தலத்தில் சிறப்பு பூஜைகள் நடத்தப்படுகின்றன.

40. சித்திரை மாதம் திருக்கல்யாண வைபவம் வைகாசி மாதம் வசந்த உற்சவம், ஆனி மாதம் பதுநாள் சிவ உற்சவம், ஐப்பதி மாதம்அன்னாபிஷேகம், மார்கழி மாதம் திருவாதிரை விழா மாசி மாதம் சிவராத்திரி ஆகியவை இத்தலத்தில் நடைபெறும் முக்கிய விழாக்கள்ஆகும்.

41. தினமும் இத்தலத்தில் காலை 5.30 மணிக்கு உஷத் காலம், 8 மணிக்கு கால சாந்தி, 10 மணிக்கு உச்சிக் காலம், மாலை 5 மணிக்கு சாயரட்சை, இரவு 7 மணிக்கு இரண்டாம் காலம், இரவு 8 மணிக்கு அர்த்தஜாம பூஜைகள் நடத்தப்படுகிறது.

42. மங்களநாதருக்கு தினமும் காலை 6 மணிக்கு, மதியம் 12.30 மணிக்கு, மாலை 5.30 மணிக்கு அபிஷேகம் நடத்தப்படுகிறது.

43. இத்தலத்தில் அதிகாலை 5 மணி முதல் மதியம் 1 மணி வரையும் பிற்பகல் 4 மணி முதல் இரவு 8 மணி வரையும் சாமி தரிசனம்செய்யலாம்.

44. மரகத கல் நடராஜர் மீது சாத்தப்பட்டு எடுத்துத் தரப்படும் சந்தனத்தை வெந்நீரில் கரைத்து குடித்தால் தீராத நோய்கள் கூட தீர்ந்துவிடும் என்பது நம்பிக்கை.

45. இத்தலத்தில் மொத்தம் 11 விநாயகர்கள் உள்ளனர்.

46. மங்களநாதர் சன்னதியை சுற்றி வரும் போது இடது பக்க மூலையில் மகாலட்சுமியை வழிபடலாம்.

47. இத்தலத்தில் உள்ள ராஜகோபுரத்தில் சர்பேஸ்வரர் சிலை உள்ளது.

48. உலகத்தில் முதலில் தோன்றிய கோவில் என்ற சிறப்பு உத்தரகோசமங்கை தலத்துக்கு உண்டு. இந்த ஆலயம் சிதம்பரம் கோவிலுக்கு முன்பே தோன்றியது.

49. நடராஜர் இங்கு அறையில் ஆடிய பின்னர்தான் சிதம்பரத்தில் அம்பலத்தில் ஆடினார்.

50. இது அம்பிகைக்கு பிரணவப்பொருள் உபதேசித்த இடம்.

51. இங்குள்ள மங்களநாதர் லிங்க வடிவில் உள்ளார்.

52. தலவிருட்சமான இலந்தமரம் மிகமிகத் தொன்மையானதும் இன்று வரை உயிருடன் உள்ளதும் பல அருள் தலைமுறைகளையும்முனிவர்கள் தரிசித்த தல விருட்சம் ஆகும். இந்த இலந்த மரம் 5000 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்பு உள்ளது.

53. வேதவியாசரும், பாராசரும் காகபுஜண்டரிஜி மிருகண்டு முனிவர்கள் பூஜித்த தலம்.

54. உலகில் உள்ள 1087 சிவாலயங்களிலும் இருக்கும் அருட் சக்திகளைத் தன்னகத்தே கொண்டு விளங்கும் சகஸ்ரலிங்கம் இங்குள்ளது.

55. ஆண்டுக்கு இரண்டு திருவிழா இங்கு நடத்தப்படுகிறது. ஒன்று சித்திரைத் திருவிழா, இன்னொன்று மார்கழித் திருவாதிரைத் திருவிழா

56. இத்திருத்தலத்தில் ஒன்பது தீர்த்தங்கள் உள்ளது.

57. சிவபெருமானால் பரத நாட்டிய கலையை உலக மக்களுக்கு முதல் முதலில் அறிமுகம் செய்யப்பட்ட திருத்தலமாகும்.

58. ஈசன் ஈஸ்வரி பிறந்த ஊரான உத்திரகோச மங்கையில் ஒரு முறை பக்தர்கள் வந்து மிதித்தால் சொர்க்கம் செல்லுவது நிச்சயாமாகும்.

59. உத்தர கோசமங்கை திருத்தலமானது ஸ்ரீராமருக்கு ஈசன் சிவலிங்கம் வழங்கி சேது சமுத்திரத்தில் பாலம் போட உத்தரவு வழங்கிய இடமாகும்.

60. இத்தலத்தில் மாணிக்கவாசகர் பாடிய பொன்னூஞ்சல் பாடலை குழந்தைகளை தாலாட்டும்போது பாடினால், குழந்தைகள்
உயரமாகவும், உன்னத மாகவும் வாழ்வார்கள் என்பது பக்தர்கள் நம்பிக்கையாகும்.

*ஒம் நம சிவாயா*

Ramanatha Swamy

While the whole epic of Ramayana celebrates the birth of Lord Rama on a supposedly inauspicious Navami day, his childhood valor, his marriage to Sita Devi and his 14 year’s in the forest followed by His search of Goddess Sita and finally the epic battle of Lanka, very less is often said of the antagonist Ravana. 

Sriman Narayana incarnated in the Thretha Yuga as Sri Ramachandramurthy and was born to King Dasharatha with three brothers, among whom Lakshmana is considered to be the sarpa rupa (the celestial snake) who always accompanies the Lord in all His incarnations and is upon whom the Lord is resting at Vaikunta. Brothers Bharatha & Shatrugna also have their important places in the epic Ramayana. 

Ravana, however was a very learned scholar. He is said to be a great devotee of Lord Shiva who, mighty impressed by Ravana’s various penances has granted several boons. Like most people endowed with special skills and powers, Ravana too became arrogant over time. What triggered him the most was when his sister Soorpanaka was insulted by Lakshmana and to take revenge, Ravana kidnapped Sita Devi from the forest where she resided with Rama. 

Lord Rama set-out on foot in search of Sita Devi and with the assistance of Lord Hanuman and the entire Vanara Sena (Monkey Army), decided to proceed to Lanka which was ruled by Ravana where Sita was kept hidden in captivity. After a protracted battle, Lord Rama killed Ravana and gave him Moksha after which Ravana’s brother King Vibhishana was ordained as the King of Lanka. 

Although Ravana took the wrong approach, he was a devout Brahman. He is said to have mastered all the Vedas, knew all the 64 Life Skills, was a benevolent ruler of his Kingdom and an affable person too. Among the worst of all sins is to abuse a Brahman, as per the Vedas. So, when Lord Rama had to kill Ravana in the ensuing war, he had no choice but to do the pariharas which, he is said to have performed at this temple after praying to Lord Shiva who is considered to be the most merciful of all Gods and grants any wish that His devotee seeks with fullest devotion. Lest, he would be cursed with Brahma-Hatti Dosha (killing a Brahmin).

So, why would the Lord, who is the creator of this Universe, the one who looks after everything ever created in this world need to do all this? Well, it is for us mortals to know how to deal with unsavory things in life which we end up doing. His acts are nothing but directions the celestial way. In our day today life, knowingly and sometime unknowlingly we commit various sins and these guidances are His way to show how to seek pardon for our mistakes. Hence the set of guidelines laid down by the Lord Himself. 

One is expected to take a dip in the sea early morning (in empty stomach) followed by a dip in all the 20 wells within the Temple precincts one after the other in a particular sequence. Although the wells are deep within the ground and so close to the sea, the water is not salty which is a miracle unfounded till date. After completing the holy shower, one should dry themselves, change clothes and then seek the blessings of Lord Shiva who is said to absolve one’s lifetime sins. It is preferable to take the guidance of the temple priests who help perform the rituals of taking the holy dip. Food must be consumed preferably only after the rituals are fully completed. 

Main Festivals;
Siva Rathri 

Temple Timings: 
6am to 12.30pm; 4.30pm – 8.30pm

Google Link

How to reach: 

Rameswaram Railway Station (3 kms)
Madurai Railway Station (140 kms)

Bus Stand: 
Rameswaram Bus Terminus (1 km)
There are plenty of buses that ply from all over Tamil Nadu. The closest city with multi-modal connectivity is Madurai. 

Madurai Airport (160 kms)

By Road:
Rameswaram is actually an island off the mainland of India. While driving towards the town, one has to cross the Sea through the eponymous Pamban Bridge. There are parallel bridges for road users and trains. The road is narrow, be design. Once can view the train passing by the bridge from the road (bridge) although selfies can be life-threatening with vehicles of all shapes and sizes passing by at great speeds. 

There are road from three main directions entering into Rameswaram – one from Trichy in the North, Madurai in the West and Tuticorin in the South. All these three roads join the road towards Rameswaram and then it is just one straight for about 20 kms all the way up to the temple precincts. 

Dhanushkodi, the last village of India is located about 16 kms from Rameswaram. The once popular trading hub was washed away during the 1964 Tsunami which saw the city losing all it’s sheen and no one ever dared to live there, ever after. The road leading to Dhanushkodi is scenic with ocean on both sides and terminating at the tip where the ocean can be experiences in its full glory. Private vehicles can go all the way till the “Land’s End” and one can have a great time there. 

Summers are very harsh although that’s the most crowded season due to tourist rush. The town also gets quite a monsoon, once between June & July again between November & December. However, end December until March as well as July – November are supposedly great times of the year to visit.