Friday, January 29, 2016

Skywatch Friday: Another sunrise

Sunrise seen from home.

My post for Skywatch Friday

Thoughts, comments and suggestions?. Please share it if you like.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Photography: Fire

Kindling the fire to cook pongal on the festive day.

Thoughts, comments and suggestions?. Please share it if you like.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Trichy Trip: 13. Sri Anjaneyar temple, Namakkal

Date: 3rd Jan 2016

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi, Harsh, Muthusamy and Vijayalakshmi.

Last day of our trichy trip. We checked out from the hotel early as we wanted to cross the Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri toll before it gets crowded. We planned to visit the temple on the way back home. The temple is located close to the Namakkal fort. The street was again narrow and there is no designated parking for the temple. As we went early there was not much crowd and we part of the nearby lane. There is no roof above Lord Hanuman. The huge idol of Hanuman can be seen from the street.

Few pics from the visit.

Pic of lord Hanuman taken from the street.

Front view.

Another close shot.

Diya lighted in front.

Few sculptures on the facade.

That bring end to our first trip in 2016. We crossed the toll gates with less wait time and reached home around 2:15 PM.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Trichy Trip: 12. Ucchi Pillayar Temple, Rockfort

Date: 2nd Jan 2016

Visitors: Arun and Shilpi.

After visiting Jambukeshwara temple, Thiruvanaikaval we went back to the room. Everyone was tired because of getting very early to visit Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple. My parents decided to stay back as they cannot climb 400+ steps to the top. Harsh was interested but he slept and we did not wake him up. Shilpi and I went to the temple. The road to the temple was a narrow one with shops on both sides. There is a small parking near the police station but it was small and unorganized. Luckily we found one spot and parked the car. I would recommend to hire auto to visit this temple instead of driving. There are two temples on the hill one Ucchi pillayar kovil and another Thayumanavar kovil. There are 400+ steps to climb to reach the top Vinayakar temple. The huge Shiv linga in the thayumanavar sanidhi is decorated beautifully. Since its hill top and need to climb up this temple was less crowded. Its a  nice place to sit and enjoy the panoramic view of the city.

Story of the temple.

Lord Rama after defeating Ravana brings back Sita devi. Lord Rama gave idol of Ranganatha to Vibhishana, Ravana's who helped him in the war. Vibhishana takes the idol and starts to Lanka. The other gods did not want vibhishana to take the god with him as he was basically an asura. They seek the help of Lord Vinayaka and they set out a plan. Vibhishana while reaching Trichy decided to rest for a while and take bath in cauvery river. He looks for some one to hold the idol as he cannot keep it down. If kept down the idol cannot be moved and it will stay in that place. He finds Lord vinayaka disguised as a boy and ask him to hold the idol. When vibhishana dips in the river the lord keeps the idol on land and runs. Vibhishana chases the boy who climbs over the rock. Vibhishana catches him and hits him on the head and then Lord Vinayaka reveals his identity. Vibhishana apologizes for hitting and lord vinayaka forgives and sends him to Lanka. The place where the idol was kept on ground is the current Srirangam Ranganatha swamy temple.

Few pics from the visit.

View of the rock fort temple from the road.

Main entrance to the temple with shops on both sides.

Steps to climb up the hill.

Bats hanging on the sealing of the path. The section was dark and they were flying here and there.

Ucchi pillayar temple.

A tower on the hill.

View of the city from the top.

View of Srirangam temple from the hill.

A bridge connecting the Trichy town and the Srirangam Island.

Another view of the town.

Few pics outside the Thayumanavar temple.

The place looked more of a picnic spot. There are couple of shops on top selling bottles juice, water and snacks. It was also good to see lot of non Hindus on the hill top. We sat there for a while enjoying the cool breeze.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Trichy Trip: 11. Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval

Indian Bloggers

Date: 2nd Jan 2016

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi, Harsh, Muthusamy and Vijayalakshmi.

Fee: Camera 50, Special entrance Rs 10 and Rs25

Jambukeswarar temple is located 4Kms from Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple. The temple is around 1800 years old and is older than the srirangam temple. This temple is one of the major shiva temple in Tamilnadu. The temple representing water is one of the pancha bootha temples in tamilnadu. There is a constant flow of water in the inner sanctum and the Shiva linga is always wet.
The main sanctum doesnt have a door in the front. There is only a small with with holes and the devotees worship through that window. That is the general darshan. However with special entry the devotees are allowed to enter the sanctum though a narrow door (Story below) on the right side. The temple gopuram is as grand as the gopurams of srirangam temple but these lack maintenance. The painting on the gopurams is half washed away and some parts just peal off. Hopefully someday these beautiful temples will be restored. There is also akilandeshwari shrine inside the same complex but it got closed by the time we went. The temple is a upadesha sthalam. The goddess is a student and the jambukeswarar is the master because of this there is no thirukanyanam conducted in this temple. The extensive art work on the pillars and roofs add beauty to the grand old temple.

Part of the temple story.
Two devotees of lord Shiva in kailasha keep fighting with each other. One day with their fight getting out of control they cursed each other to become a spider and an elephant. They both pray to lord for relief and the lord ask them to perform pooja in earth and he would help. Both the spider and the elephant did pooja to the Linga everyday. The spider would build a protecting net above the Linga but the elephant destroys it thinking it as dust. They fight again on earth and the spider enters the elephant ears and kills the elephant and killing itself. Lord Shiva then gives salvation to the elephant and makes the spider take a re-birth as a punishment for killing. The spider was reborn in the king family and he builds the temple with the narrow entrance to the sanctum so that no elephant can go inside.

Some pics from the visit.

Gopurams in the temple.

Temple elephant.

A  clean walkway.

Story of the temple depicted in many places.

The massive pillars with fine carvings.

Another pillar with intricate art work.

Story of the temple carved in the pillar.


Massive wall around the temple.

Few close up shots.

A beautiful temple which is relatively less crowded than Srirangam and one can have a peaceful darshan. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Trichy Trip: 10. Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam

Date: 2nd Jan 2016

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi, Harsh, Muthusamy and Vijayalakshmi

Fee: Camera Rs 50, View point Rs 20.

Day 3 of our Trichy trip and first stop was at the famous Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam. The temple is located in the Srirangam Island formed by river cauvery and kollidam (coleroon). The temple is the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world. Its the second largest Hindu temple existing in the world after Angkor wat in Cambodia. The temple enclosed with 7 concentric walls occupy an area of 156 acres. The temple has 21 Gopurams. The Rajagopuram is the tallest temple tower in India measuring 239ft. The shops occupy the first 3 circles. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and there are many other shrines inside the complex. Need minimum of half day to truly explore the temple.

We left the hotel at 4:45 AM wanting to be there for Viswaroopa seva at 6 AM. We were expecting less crowd as it was too early but we were totally wrong. There was already a big queue outside. We waited in queue for more than 2 hrs and finally had darshan for 2 seconds around 8 AM. After the darshan we went for the tour of the temple. Our legs was aching a bit standing for long and walking. We got the camera ticket and the view point ticket. The terrace from which we can get the view of the temple gopuram is behind the ticket counter. We got the keys and went up to click few pics. Surprisingly there was no one other than us on the terrace.

Few pics from the visit.

One of the temple tower.

White Gopuram in the temple.

Some pics from the terrace.

Glimpse of the Rajagopuram.

Series of smaller gopurams.

Plenty of shops selling pooja items, flowers and few hotels in the first 3 enclosures.

Temple elephant patrolling the streets.

Pics from the shops.


The grand gateway.

Some closeup shots of the gopurams.

I had planned this temple for Jan 2nd thinking it might be crowded on 1st but looks like it will be the same every day of year. 

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