Saturday, March 19, 2016

Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple,Srirangam, Trichy

Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple is situated at Trichy/ Tiruchirapally in Tamil Nadu State.This is  at 'Sri Rangam' of Trichy which is  an islet  formed by river Cauvery.This beautiful enormous Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and it is the first and foremost temple among the 108 abodes of Lord Vishnu known as   'Divya Desams'.
Sri Ranganatha Swamy (Lord Vishnu) and his consort Ranga Nayaki (Lakshmi Devi) are the main deities worshiped in this temple but there are sub deities of other incarnations of Lord Vishnu such as 'Chakrathazhvar,Narasimha,Rama,Hayagreeva, and statues of 'Acharyas' like 'Ramanujacharya,Dhanwanthari, are also in this temple.
The temple sprawls in an area of 156 acres and the sanctum  is surrounded by seven concentric walls.The outermost wall has a perimeter of 3 km.There are 21 beautifully sculptured majestic towers which are called as 'Gopurams'.All the Gopurams  have carved and painted  statues of characters from Hindu epics like Ramayana, Mahabharatha etc.
The main deity Ranganatha Swamy is in reclining posture as like that of Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram.He is reclining on the serpent 'Adi Sesha'.Images of 'Brahma,Hanuman,Vibhishana,Rama,Garuda,and symbols of Vishnu such as Conch and discuss are seen inside the sanctum.
Ranganatha Swamy temple is famous as 'Bhooloka Vaikundam' suggesting that this is similar/equal to the celestial anode of Lord Vishnu.'Vaikunda Ekadasi' is an important festival at this temple.
There is a legend regarding the origin of this temple.The idol of this temple  was once  belonged to Sri Rama who worshiped it previously at Ayodhya and  it was presented to 'Vibhishana' by Sri Rama after winning the war against Ravana which he fought  at Sri Lanka.Vibhishana also accompanied Rama when he  returned back to Ayodhya after the war to witness Sri Rama's crowning as the King of Ayodhya.Vibhishana was an ardent devotee of Sri Rama and Lord Vishnu.So Sri Rama  presented this idol to him and Vibhishana  wanted to carry it to Sri Lanka.While carrying this idol to Sri Lanka he alighted at Srirangam for his daily  routine of  'Pooja rituals'.After finishing the Pooja rituals he found that the idol got stuck to the ground firmly and was unable to move it.He along with many others tried to lift it but in vain and they constructed a small temple over the image.It remained unnoticed for several years but later the temple was constructed, modified and maintained by many Rulers of famous South Indian dynasties.
Out of the 21 Towers existed in this temple, 20 towers were built between 14th and 17th centuries.The main 'Raja Gopuram' was left unfinished because of unknown reasons and was completed in 1987 only.It is 236 feet tall and is the tallest temple tower in Asia.
This temple is considered as the largest functioning Hindu temple in the World.
The gold topped  sanctum sanctorum is surrounded by seven 'Prakarams'(Outer courtyard) separated by  walls and there are 39 mandapams including the spectacular 1000 pillar mandapam, fifty shrines,several majestic

structures,21 magnificent towers,bathing ponds etc in this temple complex.
On most of the days round the year  there will be some kind of festivity in this temple but the annual main festival is a grand occasion which  is for 21 days and is celebrated in the month of 'Margazhy'(Dec-Jan). The annual festival  attracts more than 1 million visitors and devotees.
Non Hindus are allowed up to the second 'prakaram' only.
Tiruchirapally is well connected by Road and Train to all Cities of Tamil Nadu.There is an Air-Port also at Tiruchirapally.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Samayapuram Mariamman Temple,Trichy

Samayapuram Mariamman Temple which is famous as 'Samayapuram Arululmigu Mariamman Thirukkovil' is dedicated to Goddess 'Shakthi' and is visited by very large number of devotees  round the year.It is the second wealthy temple in Tamil Nadu in terms of cash flow. The first wealthy temple in Tamil Nadu State in terms of cash flow is  Palani Murugan Temple.
Samayapuram Mariamman temple is situated in Tiruchirapalli District (Trichy District) and is 15 km away from Trichy City, the Headquarters of the District and beside the National Highway- NH-45 which is from Chennai to Trichy.
The temple complex is in a beautiful pleasant location near to the Holy River Cauvery.The presiding deity, Mariamman- who is the mother of the Universe and called as 'Samayapurathai' by the devotees can be visible from the entrance of the temple itself.By the glimpse of the deity from the entrance which is a phenomenon very rare in other temples, the devotees feel as if she is waiting their arrival.
The Samayapuram Mariamman is believed as a powerful deity who fulfills the wishes of the devotees.She cures many diseases and physical problems of the devotees.Devotees believes that if she blesses, ailments which needs surgery are also cured.People suffering from chicken pox come and pray in this temple and enjoys speedy recovery.A separate rest hall is available near to the temple for such patients.'Abhisheka Theertham' (Holy water) is sprinkled on the patients by the priest for  patients suffering from small pox.
For getting cured from other ailments, a small replica  of the affected body part which is made of silver(usually) is deposited in the donation box after praying to the Goddess.Such metallic replica of body parts are available in the shops near to the temple.Rolling around the 'temple prakaram' (corridor)  is performed as an offering by several ardent devotees.
The deity of this temple is made up of sand and mud and hence 'sacred bathing- 'Abhishekam' (Unction) is not done on the main idol but it is performed on the small stone idol placed in front of the main idol.The deity is supposed to be very ancient and a belief is that  'King Dasaratha'- father of Lord Shri Rama visited and worshiped her.
The present temple complex was built in the 18th century by King Vijayaraja Chakravarthi.
The main festival of the temple is in the Tamil month 'Chithirai' (April) and starts from the first Tuesday of Chithirai month.The festival lasts for 13 days and on the 10th day 'Chariot festival' takes place in which lakhs of devotees participate.The 'procession idol' is placed inside a decorated Chariot (temple car) and pulled around the temple by the devotees.'Teppam festival' which is float festival in which a decorated float is drawn in the temple tank is also conducted.All Hindu festivals are also celebrated in this temple in a grand manner such as 'Thaipoosam'.
All Fridays in the moth of 'Thai' (15th Jan-15th Feb) and in the month of 'Aadi' (15th July-15th Aug) are celebrated in a spectacular manner in this temple.
'Samayapurathai' comes for help at the exact time of need where ever her devotees are dwelling is a firm belief of her devotees.
'Mavilakku',  a sweet item made of Jaggery,rice flour and ghee is an important offering of

 the devotees to the Goddess in this temple.
The temple has gained tremendous popularity and devotees from all parts of the country throngs to Samyapuram Mariamman temple to visit and worship 'Samayapurathai', the Divine Mother.