#9/52 – 52 week.
Last December we have been to this place called Thirukkadaiyur, a temple town on the east cost of Tamil Nadu. It’s famous for the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva called as Kalanatak and his wife Parvathi called as Abhirami and the temple is called as Amritaghateswarar Abhirami Temple. Legend has it that Lord Shiva rescued the boy Markandeya from his death. In this temple Shastipoorthi (60th birthday) and (70th birthday….) and Ayul Shanthi poojas are performed.
We took the night train from Bengaluru to Kumbakonam and reached there in the early hours. There are a lot of temples to see in Kumbakonam and also reachable from Kumbakonam. The famous are the navagraha temples dedicated to each planet. Most of these temples can be reached from either Kumbakonam or from Mayiladuthurai. We booked the hotel Vinayaga which is next to the railway station in Kumbakonam. All the temples will be closed by 1PM and will be reopened at 5PM in the evening. One can cover all these nine temples conveniently in 2 days. Local taxis are available or one can book a taxi from hotels travel desk. We didn’t had time to visit Thanjavur as it was away from Kumbakonam and also not on the way to Thirukkadaiyur, as our final destination was to attend a function at Thirukkadaiyur. We reached Thirukkadaiyur on the second day of the journey by that time we have covered all the temples on the way and also some local temples in Kumbakonam.
From Thirukkadaiyur we reached Sirkazhi railway station in the early hours of 4th day by vehicles. We took a train from there to Chidambaram and the journey was for couple of hours only. We visited the Thillai Natarajah Temple, Chidambaram.
Chidambaram is one of the five Pancha Bootha Sthalams, the holiest Shiva temples each representing one of the five classical elements; Chidambaram represents akasha(Sky). The deity that presides here is Thillai Koothan (Thillai Nataraja – Shiva, The Lord of Dance). After lunch from Chidambaram we took a bus to Thiruvannamalai, our next and last stop in our journey to visit Annamalaiyar Temple. Thiruvannamalai temple is believed to be one of the biggest temples in India with the temple complex covering about 10 hectares.
Thiruvannamalai – Shiva is worshiped as Annamalaiyar or Arunachaleswarar, and is represented by the lingam, with his idol referred to as Agni lingam; as the temple is associated with the five elements, the Pancha Bhoota Stalas, and specifically the element of fire, or Agni. Parvati is worshiped as Unnamulai Amman. On the day preceding each full moon, devotees perform pradakshina around the temple base and the Annamalai hills in a worship called as Girivalam or Giri pradakshina (Giri means mountain).
Tamil Nadu is full of temples with beautiful architecture and history dating back to centuries old. I was not well prepared in terms of taking photos for this trip. Even though I got the camera packed for the function but was not sure if the the temple authorities would allow taking pictures inside the temple premises with a dslr so most of these photos are taken with a cell phone camera.
Enjoy the photos 🙂