Brihadeswara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India

Deities: Lord Shiva
Location: Thanjavur, Tamilnadu
Built by: Chola King Rajaraja-1Significance: One of the biggest Dravidian Temples in the world
Also Known as: Rajarajesvaram Temple
Best time to visit: Throughout the year

The Brihadeswara temple is one of the most ancient and the most celebrated Hindu temple in the world. The temple, considered among the grandest temples of the Hindu religion is unique to itself. The Brihadeswara temple at Tanjavur in Tamil Nadu is the first temple in the world to be built with granite. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Great Living Chola Temples”. This temple is one of India’s most prized architectural sites. It depicts the amazing and outstanding efforts of the ancient Indians.

Popular as the Temples of Temple, the Rajarajesvaram temple displays some of the best expressions of artistic excellence of the Chola period. The building that carries the main sanctum is known as the ‘Periya Kovil’. This stands amidst fortified walls that were probably added in the 16th century.

After entering the temple complex through the inner gopura (Rajarajan-tiruvasal) there is a flight of steps leading to a pillared mandapa. The mandapa is a later addition and hence the temple originally did not have this provision. The two massive dvarapalas at the entrance once greeted the visitor. The garbha griha is square on plan and consists of an interior and exterior wall and a passageway in between them forming a circumambulatory. The corbelled arch ceiling of the superstructure could be viewed from the upper ambulatory of the main sanctum.

The sanctum houses a huge linga. An inscription in the temple records it as Adavallan – one who dances well and Dakshinameru Vitankar, the name of the deity associated with Chidambaram. The deity at Chidambaram was greatly revered and worshipped by the Cholas and hence they named the deity at Brihadisvara with the same name. The deity is also known as Rajarajesvaram-udaiyar after the Chola Emperor and builder of this temple, Rajaraja.

Architecture:
The great Vimana is of the Dravidian style of architecture. It rises to a height of abut 216 feet, a tower of fourteen stories, finely decorated with pilasters, niches and images of gods of the Hindu. The sikhara or cupolic dome is octagonal in shape and crowns the Vimana. The gilded Kalasa or finial, over it is 12.5 feet high.

The inner sanctum and the gopuram were constructed over a period of 12 years. It was constructed from a single piece of granite weighing around 80 tonnes. The dome was hauled into place along a 4-km earthwork ramp in a manner similar to the Egyptian pyramids.

The lofty sanctum tower known as the Srivimana is enclosed by a rectangular prakara or corridor consisting of two squares. The main tower occupies the center part of the rear square, with the center vimana or tower having 16 tiers, which rises to a height of 200 ft. The tower is considered to be symbolic of the mountain Meru. Several stucco features also decorate the vimana.

The inner wall of the sanctum has sculpted 108 dance poses called karmas performed by Lord Shiva himself. The Shiva lingam is called Peruvudaiya, Rasjarajeshwaramudvya. It is a huge lingam, which is set in a two-storeyed sanctum. Rajaraja Chola crowned it with 12.5 ft tall finial of 9.25 kilograms of choppers plated with 800 grams of gold.

A huge statue of Nandi measuring 6 m length and 3.7 m in height faces the inner sanctum. The statue of Nandi was created from a single rock piece and weighs 25 tonnes. It is in fact one of the largest statues of Nandi bulls in India. The temple also has a spacious ground, number of pillared halls, shrines and 250 lingams.

Festival:
The day of the Ruling star, satabhishag is treated as a festival day every month as it symbolizes the ruling star at the time of birth of Rajaraja. The annual festival is held for 9 days in the month of Visaka or May according to the English calender. The deity is bathed with the water soaked with the fragrant Champaka flower.

Other nearby Attractions:
Shore TemplePancha Pandava RathasKrishna MandapaVaraha CaveKrishna’s Butterball

How to reach:
by Air: The nearest airport is situated at Trichy which is 65-km from Thanjavur.
by Rail: The railway station at Thanjavur is well connected with Trichy, Chennai, Madurai and Nagore.
by Road: Thanjavur is well connected by road with all the major towns and cities in Tamil Nadu and also with Kochi, Ernakulam, and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala and Bangalore in Karnataka.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Shaneeswar Temple, Tiruvallur, Tamil Nadu, India

Deities: Lord Shani
Location: Tiruvallur, Tamil Nadu
Other Deities: Darbharanyeswarar, Praneswari (Goddess).

The Saneeswarar temple of Sri Dharbarenyeswaraswamy Devasthanam attracts devotees not only from India but also from other Countries. This temple is unique in its kind and is the only temple dedicated to Lord Saturn where he is a blessing God having “ABHAYAHASTHAM“.

Saturn is the most powerful planet affecting the life of every human being. The most dreaded Shaneeshwara was able to trouble everyone including Lord Shiva Himself. Devotees are requested to visit Shaneeswara temples and do special Poojas to please Him and get relief from their sufferings.

Saturn’s position in your Horoscope indicates how well you accept responsibility, whether you are self-disciplined, and what delays and opposition you can expect to encounter. When its influence is prominent you tend to be reliable, trustworthy and patient. Saturn gives the power to endure, and provides the tenacity and perseverance to realize your potential.

As a negative influence, Saturn can make a person overly ambitious, calculating and selfish, solitary, inhibited and unhappy. Its negative influence is associated with inflexibility, cruelty, humourlessness and pessimism. Saturn also represents illness, handicaps and misfortune. Saturn is our destiny. It rules fate, the things we cannot escape, and the payment we must make for what we receive.

The Markandeya purana vividly describes the birth of Saturn. Samja, the wife of the Sun could not bear the intense heat of her husband. She created a duplicate of her form called Chaya, left her in the house and went away to her parents. The Sun not aware of this plot lived with Chaya, thinking her to be his wife, she begot a son to Sun and he is Saturn.Saturn is called Sanisvara. Sani means slow moving. In legends too, he is described as a lame person. The Sun begot Yama through his first wife Samja. In quarrel between Yama and Sani, the latter suffered an injury resulting in this deformity.

Silpa Ratnakara, describes Sani as black hued, having eagle as his mount, wields sula, wearing blue garments, blue flowers and ornaments. In the south, the crow is represented as his vehicle. Saturn seized Nala and he had to undergo several troubles on that account. Finally he bathed in Nala Tirtham, a sacred pond in Tanjore District near Karaikkal and got rid of the seizure.Today a big temple adorns the spot with the Nala Tirtham by its side. There are two separate sanctums, one for Darbavanyesvara and the other for Saturn. The main deity is a Vidangan.

It is a natural rock, and is known as Maragatha Lingam. At the time of the transit of Saturn in Rasis, devotees throng in lakhs to have a dip in Nala Tirtham and worship Sani. Small lamps of clay are filled with gingelly oil and lit. Thousands of such lamps are lit in the corridor and from far it looks like a bonfire. The legends declare that Sani is propitiated by offering gingelly oil, icon and cakes made of sesame grains. Besides, the temple authorities also arranged special VIP entrance tickets.

A famous legend associated with the Tiruvallur temple is that King Nala got rid of the aspect of Sani Bhagavan only after taking bath in the Brahma Thirtham of the temple, and on worshipping the God at Tiruvallur temple. Legend is that Lord Saneeswara was once waiting to catch Nala, noticed that he had not washed the back portion of his feet, while preparing for his prayers. Using this oppurtunity Saneeswara caught hold of Nala. As soon as Saneeswara caught Nala, tribulation started in his life. In a gambling he lost his kingdom to Pudkaran. Nala departed to the forest with his wife Damayanti after sending his children to their granpa’s house. Saneeswaran continued troubling Nala even at the forest and made him leave his wife in the forest. A snake namely Karkodakan sent by Saneeswara bit Nala that made him black and look ugly. This legend depicts the serious effects of aspects of Sani Bhaghwan on a person’s life. It is not that Saneeswaran is a destroyer alone. He is revered to be both, a giver and a destroyer It is believed that those who worship him are blessed with pleasures and all that they desire in their life.

Festival:
The transit of Lord Saturn from one house to another house in the zodiac once in two and half years is known as `Sani Peyarchi’ and Saturn who moves slowly takes 30 years to complete a round covering all the 12 Rasis (Zodiac Signs).

Lakhs of devotees from various parts of the country on Sunday thronged Tirunallar, the famous pilgrimage centre to offer prayers to Lord Saneeswara Bhagawan at the Lord Dharbaranyeswarar temple in connection with the “Sani Peyarchi” festival. Special ‘abishekams’ and ‘poojas’ were performed to Lord Saneeswara Bhagawan and, after adorning the ‘Gold Kavacham’ to the deity.

Special archanas were performed to Sani Bhagawan at Sri Vasishteswaraswamy temple at Thittai near Thanjavur which is called the Guru Parihara sthalam where a separate temple for Guru Bhagawan exists, at Sri Ramalingaswamy temple (108 Sivalayam) at Papanasam, Suryanarkoil, Navagraha Kshetra for Sun, near Aduthurai, Thingalur, Navagraha kshetra for Moon near Thiruvaiyaru etc.

Saturn comes into the life of each and every person some time or other, depending upon the horoscope at the time of his birth. So everyone should worship Him.

Sani Mantras:
Samanya Mantra:
Aum Sham Shanayshchraey Namah.

Beej Mantra:
Aum Praam Preem Praom Saha Shanayshchraey Namah.

Puranic Mantra:
Neelanjansamaabhasam Raviputram yamagrajam.
Chhayamartandasambhutam tam namami Shanayshchramm.

Vedic Mantra:
Aum Sham no deveerbhishtay Aapo Bhavantu Peetye.
Sham Yorabhi ratra vantu Naha.

How to reach:
by Air: The nearest airport is Tiruchirapalli, 168 Kms. away
by Rail: The nearest Railway Station is Nagore, 10 Kms. away from here.
by Road: Karaikal is connected directly from Chidambaram, Mayiladurai, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Thiruchirappalli, Thiruvarur, Velankanni, Nagappattinam and Nagore.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Ranganathaswamy, Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, India

Deities: Lord Vishnu, Ranganathaswamy
Location: Srirangam, Tamilnadu
Significance: One of the holy abodes of Lord Vishnu
Also known as: Sri Ranganatha Kovil
STD Code: 0431

The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu India is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, a reclining form of Lord Vishnu. It is the first and foremost among the 108 Divya Desams, the holy abodes of Lord Vishnu. Srirangam temple can be easily termed as the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world.

Lord Ranganatha is a reclining form of Lord Vishnu on the Shesha Nag. Sri Rangam Temple is also known as Sri Ranganatha Kovil. In the Tamil Language, “Kovil” stands for temple and it is used by many Vaishnavites. The presiding deity of Lord Ranganatha is extolled by various names like Nam-Perumal and Azhagiya Manavalan by his devotees. Apart from the main shrine of Ranganathar, the temple has several shrines dedicated to various forms of Lord Vishnu like Sakrathazhvar, Narasimha and Rama. In the company of these, there are numerous shrines that are dedicated to some of the renowned saints of the Vaishnava cult. From morning to evening, the temple observes various worship rituals every day. People from all over the globe come to Srirangam Mandir to pay their obeisance to the Lord.

There are 7 big walls found around this temple covering next to next each other. The 7 walls are referred to as the 7 worlds. The 7th wall is the outer wall which can be seen and it is 3072 feet in length and 2521 feet in breadth. For 7 prakaarams, 7 thiruveedhi (streets) are found. 7th thiruveedhi is called “Chitthirai Thiruveedhi” where big houses and bunglows are found.

Sixth Veedhi, which is found in Sixth prakaaram is called “Thiru vikraman thiruveedhi” fifth veedhi om 5th prakaram is Agalangan Thiru veedhi”. Fourth veedhi in 4th prakaram is “Aalinaadan Thiruveedhi”. Third veedhi in 3rd prakaram is “Kulasekaran Thiruveedhi”. Second veedhi in 2nd prakaram is “Raja Mahendran”. And in the first prakaram, Emperumaan Sri Ranganathan in Kidantha Kolam gives seva and this is called “Dharma Varman Thiru chuttru (circle).

Legend:
Sriranga Mahathmiyam is the compilation of the mythological and religious account of the temple, detailing the origins of its greatness. According to it, Lord Brahma, the Lord of Creation in Hindu Mythology was once in a state of deep meditation and in His supreme trance received the gift of the Lord Vishnu’s idol, “Ranga Vimana”. He was told by the Supreme Lord that there would seven other appearances of such idols on earth – Srirangam, Srimushnam, Venkatadri (Tirumala), Saligram (Muktinath), Naimisaranya, Totadri, Pushkara and Badrinath.

The idol was then passed on by Brahma to Viraja, Vaiswatha, Manu, Ishwaku and finally to Rama. Lord Rama, himself an avatar of Vishnu, worshipped the idol for a long time, and when he returned victoriously from Sri Lanka after destroying Ravana, he gave it to King Vibhishana as a token of appreciation for the latter’s support for Rama against his own brother, Ravana. When Vibhishana was going via Trichy en route to Sri Lanka, the Lord wanted to stay in Srirangam. Vibhishana, while on the way back to his Kingdom, passed through Trichy, and wanted to take a bath in the river Kaveri. In order to do this without placing the idol on the ground, Vibishana found Lord Vinayaka, disguised as a cowherd boy. As per the plan, when Vibhishana was fully into water, Vinayaka kept the idol firmly on the sand in the banks of the Kaveri. On seeing this, the angry Vibhishana chased the boy to punish him, but the boy kept running and climbed over the rock near the Kaveri bank. Vibhishana finally caught the boy and hit him on the fore-head, upon which the boy revealed himself to be Lord Vinayaka. Vibhishana immediately apologized and the Lord gave him his blessings after which Vibhishana continued on his way to Lanka.

The place on which the Ranganathan idol was kept was later covered in deep forests, due to disuse and after a very long time, it is discovered when a Chola king chasing a parrot found the idol accidentally. He then established the Ranganathaswamy temple as one of the largest temple complexes in the world.

Architecture:
The huge temple complex covers an area 156 acres (6, 31,000 m²) with a perimeter of 1,116m (10,710 feet). Having one of the largest temple complexes in India, Sri Rangam Temple is regarded as one of the biggest functioning Hindu temple in the world. Seven concentric walls, which lengthen to 32,592 feet, mark the boundary of this temple. It is the largest temple in India and one of the largest religious complexes in the world.

The striking architecture of the temple spell bounds the onlooker with its charm. Comprising 21 Gopurams (towers), the sheer size of the temple appears awe-inspiring. Apart from other magnificent structures, “Hall of 1000 pillars” gathers the main attraction. It is an excellent example of planned-theatre like structure. Opposite to it, there lies “Sesha Mandap” with its best sculptures. Sri Rangam Temple is a major shrine that receives millions of visitors and pilgrims every year.

Festival:
There are Festivals throughout the year. Vaikunta Ekadesi is the most important festival in Sri Rangam. ThiruKalyana festival during Tamil month of Panguni is celebrated with pomp and glory. In the month of Panguni, Aadi Bharam mahotsavam is the major festival that is observed at Sri Rangam Temple. Another festival of Adhyayanotsavam, in the month of Margazhi, is celebrated with great enthusiasm. A handicapped devotee came to take bath and gained puniya equivalent to that gained on the Iyppasi month. This is celebrated every year as “Mudava Muzhuku” in a special manner.

How to reach:
One can easily reach Ranganathaswamy Temple by taking Regular Buses or by hiring Taxis from anywhere in Tamil Nadu

Address:
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple,
Srirangam,
Tiruchy – 620 006.
Tamilnadu, India.

Visit http://www.etirth.com/ for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit http://www.kathavarta.org/ for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner http://www.yatrakhoj.com/ and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Deities: Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu
Location: Mahabalipuram, Tamil NaduBuilt in: 7th centuryAttraction: One of the earliest structural temples in South India
Significance: Listed as World Heritage Site

The Shore Temple (700-728 CE) is so named because it over looks the Bay of Bengal. It is a structural temple, built with blocks of granite, dating from the 8th century AD. It was build on a promontory sticking out into the Bay of Bengal at Mamallapuram, a tiny village south of Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The village was a busy port during the 7th and 8th century reign of the Pallava dynasty during the reign of Narasimhavarman II. Mamallapuram was its original name. It was changed in course of time to Mahabalipuram.

The shrines have a square lower storey and a pyraidal superstructure. The tower is more tapering than the monolithic structures. A sixteen sided polished Siva Linga – in the bigger shrine. There are Somaskanda panels in the rear walls of the Siva shrines.

The site is famous for the rock-cut caves and the sculptured rock that line a granite hill, including one depicting Arjuna’s Penance as well as for other temples in the area. It has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the oldest structural (versus rock-cut) stone temples of South India. A few years ago and they are probably the most photographed monuments in India.

The main shrine faces the sea on the east and the gateway, the forecourt and the assembly hall of the Shore Temple lie behind the sanctum. The temple has shrines to both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The main sanctum and one of the two lesser ones on the west are dedicated to the Shiva. The enclosing wall has a series of Nandi bulls on it.

Interconnected cisterns around the temple meant that the sea could be let in to transform the temple into a water shrine. A stone wall as been added to protect the shrine from the rising seas and further erosion in the recent times. There are three temples of which two Shiva Temples face east and west respectively. The other one is the Vishnu Temple. The Vishnu temples were built by Narasimha Varman I and the other two were built by Narasimha Varman II. One can find the beautifully carved twin Dwarka Palaks (gate keepers) at the entrance of the east facing Shiva Temples. On both sides of the temple inside are the marvelous sculptures of Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu with their better halves. The top part of the Shivalinga figure inside the temple is found damaged. There are sculptures of Somaskanda – lord Shiva with his better half, Parvati, and his sons, Skanda and Ganesha are found on the near wall. Apart from Lord Shiva’s sculpture, one can find the sculptures of Narasimha and Goddess Durgha also.

The central shrine is in the form of a rectangle. It has a magnificent statue of lord Vishnu which is known as Sthala Shayana Perumal or Ananthasayana which means sleeping Vishnu. The peculiarity about this particular temple is – Vishnu reclines on the floor listening silently the sounds of names. The figure of Vishnu is found in segments which are to be looked through various doors. The other sculpture is portrayed in such a may that Lord Vishnu seated in mount Garuda helping Gajendra, the elephant, found in the southern wall and the northern wall is the portrayals from the life of lord Krishna. The grand temple is surrounded by mandapas and compound walls. There is a rock-cut of a lion rode by two young women. The lion has a small cut, a square shaped cut in its belly. A Huge rock near by the temple has been the target of the waves to touch it from the ancient days. There is also a carving of a buffalo demon running with a stick in his hand, located in the northern side. The temple looks beautiful due to the lights during weekend evenings.

Architecture:
The shrines have a square lower storey and a pyraidal superstructure. The tower is more tapering than the monolithic structures. A sixteen sided polished Siva Linga – in the bigger shrine. There are Somaskanda panels in the rear walls of the Siva shrines. These temples are refreshingly uncluttered, unlike later grandiose Dravidian architecture. The enclosure features two shrines that honor Shiva, facing Eastern and Western directions; superimposed between these two is a third shrine that honors Vishnu, as preserver of the Universe. He is depicted reclining on the serpent Sesha, a Hindu symbol for consciousness. The art in the sculpted panels of the temple laid emphasis on robust earthly beauties, imbibed with life. The sculptures are breathtakingly real and artistic. The Shore temple is not a living temple. It is speculated that this edifice was constructed essentially as a work of art rather than as a place of worship. The Pallavas who built this temple were great patrons of the arts and were very influential in their distinctive character of temple architecture. The lion was a prominent symbol of their regime. Shore Temple generates an exclusive combination of history and natural splendor. The temple was designed to grasp the first rays of the rising sun and to spotlight the waters after sunset. In the words of Percy Brown, Shore Temple served as “a landmark by day and a beacon by night”.

The Pallavas were followers of Jainism but the conversion of Mahendra Varman to Shaivism had drastic consequences on the future of Jainism and it also explains the Shiva and the Vishnu temple at Mamallapuram.

How to reach:
One can easily reach Shore Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring Taxis from anywhere in Tamil Nadu.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Kamakshi Amman Temple, Tamil Nadu, India

Deities: Goddess Kamakshi (Parvati)
Location: Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
Significance: One of the sacred abodes of Goddess Parvati

India has three main cities where the Goddess Shakti is worshipped. Kanchipuram holds the most important rank among the three. In the same order, the three places are Kanchipuram, where the Goddess Kamakshi is worshipped, Madurai, where the Goddess Meenakshi is worshipped, and Kashi, where the deity is Visaalakshi.

Kamakshi Amman Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi a divine form of Parvati. It is located in the historic city Kanchipuram, near Chennai, India and is popularly associated with Adi Sankaracharya, one of the greatest Hindu saints. The main tower over the sanctum (Vimanam) of the temple is gold plated. Also of significance is the Golden Chariot in this temple. This temple also features an Art Gallery with pictures depicting the history of Sri Adishankaracharya and the Shankara Mutt.

The Devas prayed to Siva to destroy Bandakasura who harassed them. Siva told the Devas to enter the tunnel at Mount Kailas, get up at Kanchi, and worship Kamakshi. Kamakshi tread upon the neck of Bandakasura who was sleeping at Kailas and returned to Kanchi. At Kanchi she changed her form into a benign figure and stayed there for devotees to her darshan. She presents herself in the same pose to this day. To prevent Eros from harassing the sages with his qualities of amour, she took away the Lotus, Asoka, Mango, Mallikai and Nilotpalam (five flowers) and kept them herself.

The temple faces east and has a big beautiful tank inside. The temple’s plan is quite unlike that of other temples, and the circuit is such that one cannot go round the sanctum but has to retrace the way in the same path after a darshan. The sanctum is located in the middle of the Gayatri Mandapa supported by 24 pillars. Wielding Pasa, Ankusa, Bow of Sugarcane and flowers arrows in her four arms, she is seated in padmasana.

The temple covers an area of about 5 acres, and the sanctum is crowned with a gold plated vimanam. Kamakshi is enshrined in a seated posture in the sanctum – and is referred to as the Parabhrama Swarupini, seated with Bhrama Vishnu Rudra Eswara and Sadasiva. A Sri Chakram has been installed in front of the image and worship is offered to it.

It is believed that Kamakshi was originally an Ugra Swaroopini, and that Aadi Sankaracharya, upon establishing the Sri Chakra, personified her as the Shanta Swaroopini is believed that during the days of Adi Sankara, the presence of the Ugra Swaroopini was felt outside the temple precincts, and that Sankaracharya had requested her not to leave the temple complex. Symbolic of this, the festival image of Kamakshi, takes leave from Sankaracharya, at his shrine in the inner prakaram, each time she is taken out in procession. The layout of the temple is rather complicated. The outer prakaram houses the temple tank, and several mandapams such as the 100 pillared hall, the dwajaarohana mandapam etc. Imposing views of the golden vimanam can be had from the outer prakaram, which is pierced with four entrances on all four sides. Images to Vishnu (Ninraan, Irundaan, and Kidandaan) are seen near the temple tank.

One enters the four pillared hall then the inner prakaram, and climbs a series of steps, and reaches the sanctum. Immediately surrounding the sanctum are small shrines to Ardhanareeswarar.

The sanctum here enshrines Kamakshi, and a Sri Chakram. Legend has it that Kamakshi performed severe austerities in a grove of mango trees. The processional image here is referred to as Raja Rajeswari.

Festivals:
Every day is a day of festivity at Kamakshi Amman Temple. The daily rituals include four worship services. However, the month of ‘Maasi’ offers an annual festival of the temple. On the 7th day of this month, processions are taken out in a silver chariot. Festivals like Navratri, Aadi, Aippasi Pooram, Sankara Jayanthi and Vasanta Utsavam in Vaikasi are also celebrated with full fervor. Like other temples of Tamil Nadu, the Fridays falling in the month of ‘Adi’ and ‘Thai’ are observed with grand ceremonies.

How to reach:
by Air: Chennai is the nearest airport to Kanchipuram.
by Rail: Trains for Kanchipuram are available from Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tirupati, and Bangalore.
by Road: Kanchipuram is 75-km away from Chennai and is well connected by a network of roads. There are frequent buses from the city to Chennai, Bangalore and other places.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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