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Old 11th January 2016, 23:21   #31
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Day 11: 03-Jan-2016 (Sunday)


Summary of the day
  • Distance travelled during the day – 403Km (Palghat to Bangalore)
  • Route taken – Palghat, Coimbatore, Avinashi, Salem, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Hosur, Bangalore (via NH47 and then to NH7)



108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-day-11-route-map-palaghat-bangalore.jpg
Day 11 - Route Map from Palaghat to Bangalore


We had breakfast at some Saravana Bhavan on the highway after couple of hours of leaving Palghat. This was not The Saravana Bhavan restaurant and we can find lots of restaurants on the highway with a similar name. We had seen few good restaurant at the asai dosi junction in Salem while coming from Bangalore a week ago – which includes The Saravana Bhavan, A2B, Vasanth Bhavan etc. As we started early from Palghat, it would take another 1:30 hrs to reach Salem so we decided to have our breakfast early by 8am as we were habituated to get up early and have early breakfast.

Subsequently we took another break at A2B between Thoppur and Dharmapuri and filled XUV tankful at BP Ghar CoCo pump. We had quick snacks alongwith Tea (a good one after few days during this travel) and my wife bought lots of snacks (Murukku, mixture, salted kaju, kodbele etc) from A2B for our family.



108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_0866.jpg

Scenic beauty on the way – am sure we are going to miss this back in the city.

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_0906.jpg



108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9050.jpg

Do Elephants pay toll at the toll gate?



108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9052.jpg

Elephant ride – An elephant being transported on a truck



We would like to share some more information based on our experience during this trip

Temples
  • Some of the temples in remote villages in Tamilnadu are not maintained adequately and some of them are in real bad shape which could be due to less people visiting these temples. It will be wonderful if more devotees are able to travel to these temples and help preserve our rich culture and heritage.


Opening and closing timing of Temples
  • Kerala temples opens quite early in the morning and closes by 11:00 am. The temples reopens only at 5:00 pm. So effectively we have lots of time in the afternoon and the planning has to be in such a way that we travel long distances during the afternoon.
  • Most of the temples in Tamilnadu opens early in the morning during the month of Margazhi (by 4:00 – 5:00 am) and most of them are closed between 12 noon to 4:00 pm. One point to note is that effectively we have less time in Kerala to visit temples. However some of the temples in remote villages may not exactly follow these timings.


Parking
  • Padmanabha Swamy temple at Trivandrum has a huge parking 300 mts near the temple also maintained by devaswom board and they charge Rs 40 for car parking.
  • At Chotanikara, the parking is maintained by the devaswom board and charge Rs10 for car parking.
  • In Tamilnadu we have paid parking at most of the temples ranging from Rs20 to Rs35 including some of the remote village temples also charge parking.



Travel time
  • We also need adequate time when we plan for the travel, need to add buffer time to the time taken in the route as the road were found to pretty narrow in Kerala and really need to wade through the traffic and we can’t drive fast on the roads in Kerala. In the toll roads in Tamilnadu, we can drive fast but we didn’t find toll roads in Kerala.


Toll Paid
  • Total toll paid during this trip – Rs 1,520 to & fro from Bangalore. Most of the toll charges we paid during this trip are on the NH7 highways of Tamilnadu and one at Palghat.


Perumal Idol construction
  • The construction of Perumal idol in Divya Desams in Tamilnadu is totally different than compared to Kerala. The moolavars in Tamilnadu are huge in structure and in various tirukolams or forms - standing, sleeping or sitting postures. This is different in Kerala wherein the moolavars are in smaller size and mostly in standing posture, more like the size of Guruvayur Krishna.



Narration of story or Sthala puranams
  • The other difference noticed between Divya Desams in Tamilnadu & Kerala is that the Bhattarachari narrate the story or the sthala puranams and show aarti in Tamilnadu whereas the melshanti or Kerala priest follow a silent ritual.
  • The alankaram is usually of Chandanam in Kerala which is not the case in Tamilnadu. Also after showing aarti in Tamilnadu, either kumkum or manjal is given to devotees whereas in Kerala Chandanam is given to devotees.



Photos of Divya Desams
  • We did not click the photos of all 71 Divya Desams we visited but managed to get for few of them. Primarily because we visited some of these temples in the evening when it was dark and the photo did not come well. For some we were more worried about the temple closing timings and tried to quickly drive to the next temple in the sequence of our plan in order to save on time. This was particularly observed in the Nava Tirupati temples in Tirunelveli and temples in Nangur.


Sthala Puranams
  • In our travelogue we did not include all the stories narrated to us as lots of mythological stories & information is available in various forms which are narrated by gurus and very learned persons. We have included only a brief summary of the place to generate interest to the readers of our travelogue. Our tradition and mythology is quite rich and all cannot be covered in this place. Our objective of this travelogue was to share our experiences and to encourage & help fellow travelers to plan their trip to Divya Desams.



We had a wonderful trip for these 11 days and are back home with lots of memories of the trip. Now back to city life and we will surely miss the clean air and the scenic environment experienced during this trip


At the end of the day it was really a pleasant thought that not only we were blessed to have darshan of all the 71 Divya Desams that we planned but also we did few more nearby places including Tiruvarur Tyagaraja Samadhi, Subrahmanya Swami at Tiruchendur, Suchindram, Chotanikara, Kalady, Triprayar, Guruvayur and Melpatur. We tried to minimize the detour as there are lots of places to visit in Tamilnadu and Kerala including backwaters and tried to stick to the plan.


We thanked God for having provided us with this wonderful opportunity of being able to have a great darshan of Perumal, explore the interiors & villages of Tamilnadu and Kerala, all the more for having guarded us from all perils and given us strong shoulders and will to overcome minor difficulties that we encountered.


This travelogue is a very humble effort from my wife & me, towards bringing out the beauty, vastness and rich culture of our country to all of you. Our best wishes and prayers to all those who are planning on Divya Desam tour and hope this travelogue motivates & helps the travelers to plan and visit various places in South.


As a saying goes, indeed
“Difficult Roads Often Lead To Beautiful Destinations”
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Old 11th January 2016, 23:27   #32
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Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
Any reason, why you didn't do Thirumeyyam-Thirupullani-Madurai Temples? You could have saved quite some driving time on Day 6 if you had done this. Also ideally Day 6 you could've stayed at Tiruchendur.

I did the Navatirupati cicuit during New Year Time of 2012. Could easily be done in 1/2 to 1 day time. I did discover that Divya Desams do close much earlier than usual during Margazhi. I did a sprint to Tiruttangal on the return, reached like 1155 for what I thought was a 1200 closing time. But apparently they close at 1100 during Margazhi month alone.

I should do Tirukkurungudi and Nanguneri sometime, missed those 2 during that trip.

It was during that trip that I stumbled on Hotel Saravana Bhavan's hometown branch, which became our breakfast/lunch/dinner stop


Route options to Thirupullani

In my route plan I did check few of the options and chose the one which is most appropriate according to my plan. Although there are various options that one can choose from. Our objective was primarily to visit all the Divya Desams in this trip and Sri Subrahmanya Swami Temple, Tiruchchendur got added as it was in the close proximity of Sri Vaikundam.

Also Thirupullani is a bit far and takes quite a time. From the 3 optional route given below, it takes 143 Km or 123 Km one way and we did not want to leave having darshan of Perumal at this temple. We have experienced that if we leave behind by not visiting any place, it take years to complete that particular temple / place.


Route taken by me Thirumeyyam-covering Madurai Temples-Thirupullani. The distance is 590 Km, 11 hr 37 min which I choose in my route plan.
108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-route-taken-me-thirumeyyammadurai-templesthirupullani.jpg


Route you mentioned Thirumeyyam-Thirupullani-Madurai Temples
632 Km, 12 hr 9 min. As per the route you suggested, its 40 Km extra if I need to cover Thirupullani from Thirumeyyam and then come back to cover Madurai temples.
108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-route-thirumeyyamthirupullanimadurai-temples.jpg



I looked into another option that I cover Thirumeyyam-Thirukkotiyoor-Thirupullani-Madurai Temples its 603 Km, in approx. 12 hours. So effectively not much of a difference with the 3rd option.
108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-route-thirumeyyamthirukkotiyoorthirupullanimadurai-temples.jpg


Yes, agree on Nava Tirupati. We reached the first temple at 3:00 pm and could cover all the 9 temples by 8:00 pm. The key thing here is that one should know the route & temple opening / closing timings. Being from city life and lived in Delhi, I have not been much aware of the exact temple timings, though I took an estimate based on our experience and other travel forums. We were quite fortunate to cover them on the same day due to the suggestion from one of the Bhattachari’s son (as updated in my travelogue).


Yes, you are correct. The temple follows a different timings during the month of Margazhi. I wish there was a comprehensive book on Divya Desams in English which covers all the intricate details including temple timings, routes, sthala puranams, stay options, vegetarian restaurants, the various festivities of the temples etc.


All the very best and my best wishes for you not only to complete the ones that you missed during your earlier trip but also to complete all the 106 / 108 Divya Desams.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Balaji31582 View Post
Wonderful write up Sir. Its kind of a virtual experience when going through this. I would be referring to this while I plan for similar kind of trip with my family.

Thank you Balaji,

I am glad that this travelogue will be useful for your trip plan.

My best wishes for your trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vipinendran View Post
Awesome trip Vittalji, Lord Mahavishnu was with you throughout the trip and no wonder it was memorable. Only had a dream of making such a trip but after reading your travelogue, I am inspired to make it a reality with wifey. Hope to contact you for details later this year.

Thank you for your kind words Vipinendra,

It is indeed true that the Almighty is with us at all times.

My best wishes to you and your wife for your forthcoming trip.

Surely you can contact me for any help and will be happy to share the information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gadadhar View Post
That's one amazing trip, thanks for capturing the details and is going to be helpful for people planning a similar trip. I did Bangalore, Madurai, Rameshwaram, Dhanuskodi and crossed to Kerala (that's my home state) via Munnar and did Kalady ( I am lucky to be born here and spent my childhood on the banks of river Periyar), Kochi, Pattambi, Nilambur, Gudallur, Kanakpura, Bangalore covering 1850 Kms. As your rightly mentioned, these trips helps to cleanse you and give a rejuvenated feel

Thank you Gadadhar,

You are indeed blessed to be born in such a sacred place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by virgopal View Post
Thanks a lot Sir for this excellent photologue of Divya Desams.Very well explained and is a boon to would-be travellers like me.
If you have any photos of other Divya Desam trips along with details,kindly share with us.

Thank you Virgopal and happy to note that this travelogue will be useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedgun View Post
Great trip and nice clicks. Also proud to say my native place Moozhikulam (thiru Moozhikulam) in Kerala which houses Sri laxmana temple is one among 108 divya desam


Thank you Speedgun,

You are indeed lucky to be born in a sacred place.

Last edited by ampere : 11th January 2016 at 23:47. Reason: Merged back to back posts to one.
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Old 12th January 2016, 14:15   #33
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Originally Posted by vittal View Post
3rd option
I was suggesting the 3rd option actually. While there might not be much difference in distance. The kind of roads and hence the travel time would have been much less, Google Maps underestimates/overestimates the travel time though with average speed regardless of road condition. NH49(Madurai-Rameswaram road) is a very good 2-lane and NH7 is a brilliant 4-laner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vittal View Post
Yes, you are correct. The temple follows a different timings during the month of Margazhi. I wish there was a comprehensive book on Divya Desams in English which covers all the intricate details including temple timings, routes, sthala puranams, stay options, vegetarian restaurants, the various festivities of the temples etc.
I think there are books available, you might want to check Giri Trading Agency and likes in Mylapore, Madras. But they don't provide much information on the stay and dine part. My parents did kind of Divya Desam+Jyotirlinga+Sakthi Peetam trips over 2-3 years (about a decade back using train). They used to take a geographical location like you did and combined all 3 sets and went around. They did in the 60s, so their plan was like month or month and half long using trains.

I've been doing it on a smaller scale on a smaller set of leaves whenever I can

Last edited by narayans80 : 12th January 2016 at 14:35.
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Old 12th January 2016, 18:22   #34
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What a wonderful travelogue. This is a must bookmark for anyone and everyone who plans a trip around these places. How were the road conditions in and around kumbakonam/Thanjavur/myladuthurai etc?
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Old 12th January 2016, 18:58   #35
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Great log.

I didn't even know of these Divya Desams. Thanks for the information. As many of them said, even my travel was limited to the known and famous temples in TN & KL. And I just can't have enough of TN temples each time - they are so nice and serene. Even in & around Kochi, my hometown, I am yet to visit few places that you have.

Though I did not read it fully now (will read it at leisure later, for sure), it was so refreshing to see the pics, feeling so light & blessed. Thank you.
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Old 12th January 2016, 20:58   #36
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Default re: 108 Divya Desams: Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue

Vittal,
One of a kind travelogue in tbhp. Thanks for the detailed information. The place called Thirukannapuram and the Sowriraja Perumal Temple brings me back lots of memories. It is my dad's native. Sadly the temple losts its importance and when I went last, I saw a small group of tourists and thats it! Deserves it 5* for the painstaking trips and nice photos!

p.s. You drive a delhi registration car and started your trip from Bangalore and you are from Tamil Nadu? :-)
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Old 12th January 2016, 21:44   #37
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You are a blessed one. It is true that there are great temples which are unknown to people. I intend to visit all the Divya desams and your travelogue will be of great help
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Old 13th January 2016, 11:22   #38
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Summary

We were blessed to have Perumal darshan at 71 Divya Desams in Tamilnadu & Kerala in a total of 11 days during the auspicious month of Margazi (according to Tamil Calendar), a distance of 2770 Km covered the entire trip by road from Bangalore and back.
Sir

Hats off to you for thinking of such a lovely pilgrimage. Thank you very much for documenting it so well. It is such a good read. The pictures make this travelogue all the more interesting. Defnitely 5 stars rated!!

I have covered 66 divya desams over a couple of years now. To have covered 71 in 11 days is just mind boggling! Nice to note your family and your car co-operated well in this and are truely blessed.

Regards
Madhav
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Old 17th January 2016, 21:53   #39
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[b]Day 3: 26-Dec-2015 (Saturday)


Summary of the day..

Dear Sir,
You made me relive the wonderful days spent in South India. Absolutely enthralling post! And congratulations to you and ma'm on your pilgrimage.

Mod Note: Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting a full, long post inconveniences our mobile readers.

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Old 18th January 2016, 22:54   #40
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Sorry I am going back from your last update, sir. Did you manage to see Sethu Karai, just a few min from Tirupullani? The Hanuman temple there is where Lord Hanuman surveyed the sea before the leap to Lanka.

Another great place I recall is Malaimel Nambi, reachable only by jeep on a complete off- road ghat from Tirukkurangudi where you had been. The temple is just beautiful with river Nambi flowing in cascades around.

Great tour you have been doing, anyway. Many of my Divya desam visits were usually by local cabs after driving down to the nearest major town, like Madurai or Tirunelveli.
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Old 21st January 2016, 17:52   #41
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Wonderful trip, well documented and nice photos. I am travelling to Kumbakonam and Thanjavur and will be referring to your posts to plan my temple visits

Thanks
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Old 31st January 2016, 21:08   #42
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Default 108 Divya Desams

Divya Desam travelogue Jan-2016

We feel blessed to have reached a Century Mark of the Divya Desams!


In continuation to our travelogue of Dec-2015, we are updating our travel to additional 22 Divya Desams in and around Chennai and Kanchipuram.

Total Divya Desams travelled by us are 102 (= 71 + 22 + 9) we have reached a century mark!
The other 2 out of 108 Divya Desams, namely Thiruparkkadal and Vaikundam are beyond Bhoolokam

The Divya Desams covered in Jan-2016 i.e. during this trip, Thondai Naattu – 22 Divya Desams covering Chennai, Kanchipuram, Mahabalipuram and Sholingur.

The pilgrimage trip during Dec-2015 covering 71 Divya Desams are categorized in the following belts:
  • Chozha Naattu – 40 Divya Desams covering Sirkazhi, Mayiladuthurai, Kumbakonam, Srirangam, Trichy, Tanjavur
  • Pandia Naathu – 18 Divya Desams covering Madurai, Karaikudi, Ramanathapuram, Tirunelveli
  • Malai Naathu – 13 Divya Desams covering Trivandrum, Nagercoil, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Shornur

The other 9 Divya Desams already covered by us earlier are
Vada Naattu – 9 out of 11 Divya Desams covered are Tirupati, Ahobilam, Ayodhya, Naimisaranyam, Badrinath, Dev Prayag, Joshimath, Dwarka, Govardhan.

4 remaining Divya Desams, to complete the darshan of following:
  • Nadu Naattu – 2 Divya Desams at Cuddalore & Thirukkovalur
  • Vada Naattu – remaining 2 of 9 Divya Desams at Salagramam and Gokulam

So what next –
  • To complete the darshan of remaining 4 of 108 Divya Desams
  • To have darshan of 275 Shiva Sthalams or Paadal Petra Sthalams


Day 1: 28-Jan-2016 (Thursday)

Summary of the day
Distance travelled during the day – 380 Km (Bangalore to Chennai)
No. of temples visited during the day – 3 Divya desams
Route Taken – Bangalore, Arcot, Ranipet, Sholingur, Chennai
Places visited – Sholingur, Chennai
Stay at – Chennai


The route we took from Bangalore to Chennai & Kanchipuram
108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-map-blrchennaikanchipuram-divya-desam.jpg


We left our home at Bangalore by 5:30 am and being a working day, there was not much traffic in the early morning, unlike what we experienced during Christmas & New Year vacation period.


Our usual stop at A2B to have our breakfast. At A2B restaurant we were told they will serve at the table! Unlike the vacation period in December during which we noticed the long queues and self-service.


We did tank full at the COCO pump and this pump has a 24x7 service! For clarity, COCO = Company Owned Company Operated Petrol pumps and one can be sure of the right quantity of fuel.

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1023-1.jpg



A village temple enroute


108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9090.jpg


108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9091.jpg


108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9095.jpg




Thirukkatikai (Sholingur) - Sri Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple (Divya Desam no. 64) - We reached at the foot hill of the temple base at around 9:45 am, there are 1305 steps to climb up the hill to reach the temple. The main challenge is the vaanar senas on the way. Though we are not so fit that we climb the stairs everyday but could manage it easily. Its only after a day that we felt the pain in our legs. We returned back at the base by 12:30 pm after having darshan of the Perumal. The Bhattacharya keeps the main door closed due to the vaanar senas & the nuisance caused by it.


The entrance gate at Main Road for Sholingur Yoga Narasimha temple.
108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9096.jpg


The trek starts here after the parking place, getting ready to climb 1305 steps to reach the Yoga Narasimha temple.
108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9102.jpg



The temple pond at the base.
108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9107.jpg



During the climb, one may notice the kumkum and manjal on each of the steps and due to this we were told to climb bare foot. During our descent after having darshan of Perumal, we also witnessed one couple applying kumum and manjal on each of these 1305 steps.

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9108.jpg



The milestone of 400 steps. Its really encouraging to notice how many steps we have climbed, what we have covered and the remaining numbers.

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9117.jpg



Climbing up the stairs – our Ascent using a bamboo stick.

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9118.jpg



The stick was also useful to keep the monkeys at bay. The entire stretch leading from the base till the hill top and also inside the sanctum santorium, we were accompanied by the “Vaanar Sena”. Devotees please beware not to carry a bag as the monkeys seem to peek through or snatch it. The younger vaanars went tugging at my wife’s pallu and they seemed to be fond of the new saree. That showed they ruled the territory without fear.

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1028-updated.jpg



The monkeys seems to understand the board “drinking water”. Nice view – drinking water for all, monkeys, goats & humans.





The next milestone achieved – 700 steps

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9130.jpg


One may notice the stones stacked and it’s a belief if you make a small stone tower, the devotees have a faith they succeed in building a house. One such similar faith can be observed up North when one does the 22 Km Govardhan parikarma.

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9133.jpg


In the same faith, we also stacked stoned & prayed for a well-being and happiness

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9138.jpg



One would have noticed this, being a common sight

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9149.jpg


It was wonderful to see the symbiotic relationship between the monkey and the goat

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1097.jpg


The next milestone achieved of climbing 1,000 steps!

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1045.jpg


A unique view during our Ascent, notice the vaanar family taking rest.

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1046.jpg


A close-up of the family being together and sleeping together!

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1047.jpg



A view from the temple top

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1060.jpg



108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1067.jpg



Gopuram of the Yoga Narsimha temple

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1070.jpg



An excellent view from the hill top temple

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1080.jpg


After having darshan of Perumal, our descent begins

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1085.jpg


The temple arch at the road – devotees can enter this place to reach the foot of the hill of Yoga Narsimha

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9173.jpg


Nearby a huge statue of Hanuman

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_9176.jpg


We had “meals” for our lunch near the Temple (could be approx. 0.5 Km)

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1104.jpg
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Old 31st January 2016, 22:12   #43
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Originally Posted by slakhs View Post
Wonderful trip, well documented and nice photos. I am travelling to Kumbakonam and Thanjavur and will be referring to your posts to plan my temple visits

Thanks
Slakhs
Thanks for your note Slakhs and good to know that the travelogue will be useful for your trip planning.

And I have been on my next planning and updated the Divya Desam travelogue with 22 more temples visited in and around Chennai & Kanchipuram.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrVjy View Post
Sorry I am going back from your last update, sir. Did you manage to see Sethu Karai, just a few min from Tirupullani? The Hanuman temple there is where Lord Hanuman surveyed the sea before the leap to Lanka.

Another great place I recall is Malaimel Nambi, reachable only by jeep on a complete off- road ghat from Tirukkurangudi where you had been. The temple is just beautiful with river Nambi flowing in cascades around.

Great tour you have been doing, anyway. Many of my Divya desam visits were usually by local cabs after driving down to the nearest major town, like Madurai or Tirunelveli.

DrVjy, In this particular trip I have not been to Hanuman Temple but in one of my previous visits 5 years ago we went further down and to Rameshwaram & to the sethu. In this particular trip, we had an objective to cover as many Divya Desams as possible to achieve our goal.

I have further updated my travelouge with additional Divya Desam temples covered in and around Chennai & Kanchipuram. Stay tune for few more updates in this travelogue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adivir View Post
Dear Sir,
You made me relive the wonderful days spent in South India. Absolutely enthralling post! And congratulations to you and ma'm on your pilgrimage.
Thank you so much Adivir and appreciate your comments. I have been planning these few days and visited additional temples nearby Chennai & Kanchipuram. The details are updated in this travelogue and more to come...

Its really encouraging to see response from the readers of this forum.

Last edited by ampere : 31st January 2016 at 22:28. Reason: Merged back to back posts
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Old 7th February 2016, 05:28   #44
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Default Re: 108 Divya Desams: Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue

Thiruevvuloor (Tiruvallur) - Sri Veeraraghava Perumal Temple (Divya Desam no. 59). From Sholingur we drove to Tiruvallur (distance of 66 Km) after having our lunch. We had a relaxed drive after lunch as the next temple enroute was to open only at 4pm and we had sufficient time to cover the distance. We reached Sri Veeraraghava Perumal temple by 3:15 pm and found a lounged at a verandah and waited for the temple to open at 4pm. My wife and I took turns to take a nap during our drive, usually happens as we sleep quite late and get up at 4:00 in the morning.

Sthala Puranam: As the story goes, an old man asking the sage (Evvul-Where) to sleep and after being happy with the seva done by the sage, God appeared before the Sage in his true form. Hence, the name of the place was Thiruevvuloor or now known as Tiruvallur.

The Sthala puranam illustrations adorning the walls
108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-thiruevvuloor.jpg



Shloka lessons in progress in the temple premises

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1117.jpg



The Bhattachari humorously mentioned pointing to the Utsavar that this is the Perumal who comes in the Sun TV, Moon TV, Maa TV etc.


In the praharam, we also noticed a small peetham on which people offer salt. Upon enquiring from the local, the lady mentioned that people go to the temple pond to have bath and subsequently offer salt with pepper, to pray Perumal to relieve them from diseases. This is the first time we noticed such an offering. The perumal is also Vaidya Veeraraghava Perumal – who is known to cure devotees from disease. We prayed for our family’s health and then proceeded further.

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1126.jpg


The sannidhi
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The temple dwaja sthambam
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108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1142.jpg


The temple enterance

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1146.jpg


108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1148.jpg


108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1150.jpg


108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1156.jpg



Temple pond
108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1169.jpg


Temple gopuram sideview
108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1178.jpg




Thiru Nindravoor (Thirunindravur) - Sri Bhatavatsala Perumal Temple (Divya Desam no. 58). We drove down from Tiruvallur to Bhatavatsala Perumal Temple (distance 20 Km). The saying is that once Goddess Mahalakshmi left Vishnu’s abode and stood (Nindra) at this place and hence the name Thirunindravur.

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1182.jpg

The view from inside the temple
108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1188.jpg


The gopuram
108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1191.jpg


Thiruneermalai - Sri Neervanna Perumal Temple (Divya Desam no. 60). We have already visited this temple during our visit to Chennai and the temple was under renovation.


Thiruvallikkeni - Sri Parthasarathy Temple (Divya Desam no. 63), One of the beautiful Divya Desams that will remain vividly in our memory. This temple we have visited earlier during our Chennai trip.


View of paddy field enroute

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1232.jpg

After having darshan at Bhatavatsala Perumal Temple, we drove to Chennai and it took lots of time to reach Mylapore, approx. 2hrs 30 min. The traffic on the way was horrendous, slow moving vehicles due to traffic jams. We reached our sisters home at approx. 8pm and had a good family dinner together.

108 Divya Desams:  Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue-img_1235.jpg
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Old 7th February 2016, 05:42   #45
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Default Re: 108 Divya Desams: Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddyoni10 View Post
Sir

Hats off to you for thinking of such a lovely pilgrimage. Thank you very much for documenting it so well. It is such a good read. The pictures make this travelogue all the more interesting. Defnitely 5 stars rated!!

Thanks Madhav, its really encouraging reading your comments. I was planning for and have now visited the remaining 20 Divya Desams in and around Chennai / Kanchipuram. So have now made a Century !
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