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Old 16th August 2010, 21:51   #16
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We decided to visit the Oppiliappan temple at Thirunageshwaram. We reached in the late evening and saw that there was some special pooja being performed and will take a couple of hours for the Moolavar darshan. Still, we waited for some event which was supposed to take place and the crowd grew steadily. Soon, the doors opened and we found that the Ursavar idols were going to be immersed. There was a mad rush and some officials barred the way. What got me irritated was the these officials were pushing the devotees away and were actually making fun of them. We came out after seeing a bit and decided we will come again the next morning.

Morning, we came to the Rahu Sthala first and did the Pooja. The abishekam was going to happen only after an hour and we did not wait. The unique thing about the Abisheka is when the milk is poured over the idol of Rahu, it becomes blue and after it is collected below becomes white again. We also went to Oppiliappan temple and this time had a nice darshan. The idol is quite tall and is visible from some distance. Oppiliappan means " He without salt ". The Food served here is always without salt and persons who knowingly take salted food inside will suffer in hell acc to Puranas.

This done, my mom wanted to go to a Siva temple she had read about in a small village called Thiruvelliankudi. No boards and very few people knew about this, but we managed to get lucky and one guy pointed us out in the right direction. The way was a bit bad, but it was a small village lane road and it was great.

Snaps of the way and the greenery on the sides.

The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7240035.jpg

The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7240031.jpg

We finally managed to reach the place. Just before we reached the village, we passed a temple in ruins. After enquiring, we reached a temple and we found that the temple in ruins was in fact the Siva temple and the main temple was in fact a Vishnu temple. So all this journey and mild off-roading was a waste?
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Old 16th August 2010, 22:53   #17
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Well, we decided to go to the Vishnu temple anyway. When I came in a bit later, I saw my mom very happy. Seems this temple was one of the Divya Desams and also one my Mom actually wanted to visit. The Temple was the Kola Villi Ramar temple and it had quite a nice history to it.

This temple has its roots in the Vamana Avatar and Shukracharya who loses his eyesight then, comes here to ask for Pardon and gets his vision restored. There is a Garuda where special pooja is performed with the Car Keys so that we dont have any accidents. The only temple it was said where Garuda has the shangu and chakram Since we were the only one, we had a great Darshan.

The Kola Villi Ramar Temple.
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The Shiva Temple in ruins.
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After having the Darshan on the way back we spotted a Village Tea shop and had nice tasty tea there.
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The Dark Knight

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Pics on the Way back.

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The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7240042.jpg
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Old 16th August 2010, 22:53   #18
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Correction to what you said about oppiliappan.
Oppiliappan means the one who is unparalleled. Oppu + Ili + appan is Oppiliappan.
Oppu is equal / parallel. Ili is illadha or without. Appan is father / god.
So vishnu is a god without equal or parallel. Supreme god.
Now the local public down the ages started calling oppiliappan as uppiliappan as oppu is an ancient (sanga) tamil word which no one generally uses. Current purists use terms like nigar (equivalent) and other locals use terms like pola (like him or it).
Now Uppiliappan as he was called for centuries, was misunderstood by followers later to be Uppu + Ili + Appan. So they thought this god doesn't take salt.
So all Prasad given there is without salt. What goes for god, goes for his devotees as well. So devotees get the prasad too without uppu or salt as he is now Uppiliappan due to mispronunciation by the mass over the ages!
See what humans reduce even god too!

Now they've even built a story around uppiliappan to vouch for the original name to be uppiliappan.
Oppiliappan actually came in to being because one of the 12 aazhwars (the prime devotees of vishnu) called Nammaazhwar, sung his praise by calling him Thannoppaarillappan - Than + Oppu + aar + illa + appan = no equal to his self!
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Old 16th August 2010, 23:18   #19
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Thanks for the correction. I used to wonder why he is called Oppiliappan. I should listen to my mom more carefully .

More pictures will pop up from here on with 3 World Heritage Sites coming up.

Last edited by KRRaj : 16th August 2010 at 23:20.
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Old 17th August 2010, 01:39   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRRaj View Post
Thanks for the correction. I used to wonder why he is called Oppiliappan. I should listen to my mom more carefully .

More pictures will pop up from here on with 3 World Heritage Sites coming up.
Bring it on Raj.
Most of the temples are so new to me
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Old 17th August 2010, 07:32   #21
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This is the update I was looking for. Thanks. So TVMalai-Panruti is very decent.
Great to know that. I was not worried about the BLR-TVMalai section. Its decent and as you said, can be done in 2 hours.

Last edited by ampere : 17th August 2010 at 07:34.
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Old 17th August 2010, 21:23   #22
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Evening we were planning to visit a couple of local temples in Kumbakonam. There is no dearth of temples here. But the couple of key ones were near the Hotel itself and so we decided to head out to visit the first of the World Heritage Site.

About 40 odd kms from Kumbakonam towards Neyveli side, the way we came lies Gangai Konda Chozhapuram. You will not find a single board on the highway. You will have to reach the Jayamkondam Cross on NH45C and take the Jeyamkondam road and this place is about a Km from there.

The name means The town of the chola who defeated the Ganga's. It is now a small village, its past eminence only remembered by the existence of the great Siva Temple. The great temple of Siva at this place is next only to the Brihadisvara temple at Thanjavur. Built by Rajendra Chola, the son of the great Raja Raja Chola.

Enough Talk, now pictures time.

The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7240044.jpg
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A Few Gopuram Shots

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There were lots of parrots and I mean lots. On the Gopuram and flying everywhere.

A Zoom shot of parrots.

The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7240058.jpg
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Old 17th August 2010, 23:02   #23
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Wow! Very well maintained ! How far it would be from Neyveli?
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Old 18th August 2010, 09:20   #24
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Gangai Konda Chozhapuram - Beautiful and looks very clean indeed. Green lawns with the brown structure gives a very good contrast. p*47 is a good snap. Thanks for the info about this place.
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Old 18th August 2010, 10:23   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Wow! Very well maintained ! How far it would be from Neyveli?
I think it would be 50 odd kms. You have to take the Kumbakonam road and look for the Jeyamkondam cross road. Take that right and 1km in you have this temple.

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Gangai Konda Chozhapuram - Beautiful and looks very clean indeed. Green lawns with the brown structure gives a very good contrast. p*47 is a good snap. Thanks for the info about this place.
Thanks. Yes, it is very clean and also getting renovated. Not many people also, thats also a good thing.
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Old 18th August 2010, 21:02   #26
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Forgot to mention one thing. Those of who have been to Thanjavur would know about the giant Shiva Linga. You have one at Gangai Konda Chozapuram also albeit not so big, but big enough. After completing the visit there, we planned on going to 2/3 temples inside Kumbakonam.

First was the Sarangapani Temple. Huge Gopuram and another big temple. Unfortunately no pictures of the insides, but each pillar is carved differently and beautifully.

The Gopuram of Sarangapani Temple

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The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7240063.jpg

Next was the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple. This temple is of the deity Adi Kumbeswarar (Shiva) and is more than 1300 years old. Again, huge temple and great architecture.

The Adi Kumbeswarar Temple Gopuram

The Dark Knight goes Temple Tripping-p7240064.jpg

Last was the Ramaswamy temple. As name suggests, it is of Ram and one of the few temples which have the entire family together meaning you have both Bharath and Shatrugna also along with the usual suspects. . The Ramaswamy temple has scenes from the Hindu epic Ramayana depicted on its walls. The Ram Idol is supposedly made from a single piece of Saligrama.
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Old 18th August 2010, 21:33   #27
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Amazing man. Kumbakonam must have atleast a 1000 temples. And many of those temples are HUGE. And when I say HUGE, they are really HUGE. One has to see it to believe it!
Here's a jaw dropping miracle that happened in Thepperumanallur Shiva temple, which is a stone's throw from Kumbakonam.

miracle of a Cobra in Thepperumanallur siva temple < www.eface.in

Do scroll down and watch those photos! This temple is very close to Thirunageswaram which you'd have dropped by (Raghu kshetra). Tell this episode to your mom and she'll sure pack you to take her there the next solar eclipse.

Last edited by MX6 : 18th August 2010 at 21:44.
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Old 18th August 2010, 21:51   #28
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Amazing man. ....
wow!!! Some miracles do happen for which there is no scientific explanation. Yup, Kumbakonam is known as City of Temples/Temple Town for a reason. From what I have read just within the municipal limits of the town there are more than 150 temples and 1000s more nearby.

Reg my mom asking me to pack up, I dont need this episode for that . Maybe a 4 - 5 months down the line, another trip would be made.
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Old 19th August 2010, 14:29   #29
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We also went to Oppiliappan temple and this time had a nice darshan. The idol is quite tall and is visible from some distance. Oppiliappan means " He without salt ". The Food served here is always without salt and persons who knowingly take salted food inside will suffer in hell acc to Puranas.
@KRRaj: The name Oppiliappan or uppiliappan or uppilla appan (the third one is what translates to "He with out Salt") are all derivatives from the original name "thannoppaarillappan" which translates to "One without comparison". The story behind the saltless prasadams (offerings) is different - let me find the details and share it.
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Old 19th August 2010, 14:46   #30
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Wow, Raj, you're bringing my memories of Kumbakonam trip in Dec 2008. It was an awesome place & people being much more than friendly. If you or anyone planning for quick trips around Kumbakonam or Navagraha temple, just visit these guys - NAVA DHARSHAN. The owner is Mr.Anandan who's very friendly & professional. We were able to do all the 9 temple visit on a single day & total Kms clocked was 296 precise.
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