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Hindu Books > Temples And Legends of India > Temples And Legends of Tamilnadu


An attempt has been made in this book to reproduce the legends connected with the temples of Tamilnad, with an idea to bring home to all, the mythological, spiritual and philosophical aspects of the anecdotes from early times to date.

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About Author : Shri R. K. Das

Shri R. K. Das(born 11th March 1906) comes of Boudpur village, district of Balasore, Orissa, which is the centre of learning and culture, and is reputed for it Vaishnava cult working under the spiritual guidance of Srimad Ram Das Babaji of Nawadwip.

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Creation is a mystery. The questions as to what is creation, what is the cause for this creation and what is the purpose of this creation, are more controversial ones. To explain this, one has to assume that there is a super-natural power that is called God.

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In days of yore two demons, bana and Muka, gave trouble to the devas.The devas sought the help of Gods in vainFinally, they presented their case before Kasi Viswanathai.e., Siva.

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Gandhi Mantapam

A massive structure known as The Gandhi Mandapam, in the orissa style as seen at Bhuvaneswar, has been constructed by the Goverment of India to commemorate the immersion at the Cape of the sacred ashes of the Father of the nation, mahatma Gandhi.

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Maruda Malai

Six miles from Cape Comorin, there is a mountain with an interesting legendary history. The mountain is called Maruda Malai. Marud is the colloquial form of Marunthu which mean medicine; malai means mountain. Thus the name means where medicinal herbs grow.

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Ages ago, Suchindram, a noted pilgrim centre of the sounth was a dense forest know as Jnanaranya. Many asctics are said to have had their abode there and obtained salvation throug meditation. Hence the Jnanaranya.

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The temple is situated at a distance of 12 miles from Cape Comorin, in the midst of paddy fields. It is said that many serpents live all round the temple. But there has been no fatal case of snake - bite within a radius of one mile from the place.

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The Tiruchendur Temple is the clebrated sea-shore temple of Lord Subramanya.It is situated in the Tiruchendu taluk of the Trunelveli District. The surging cool tides of the sea was the foot of the temple. There is no other shrine in madra State, with such a beautiful natural setting.

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Alwar Tirunagari

Alwar Tirunagari is a famous Vaishnavite centre, the birth place of saint Nammalwar and Manavalmuni and contains one of the largest temple in the district of Tirunelveli, dedicated to Lord Vishnu as Adinathaswamy.

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Srivaikuntam is in the Tirunelveli District. Because of this temple this place has become a famous place of piligrimage. A big temple was constructed for Lord Vaikuntanatha : gave darsan to the king, who repented very much for all his sins and vice and became a good and popular ruler.

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Nanguneri is a Taluk headquarters in the District of Tirunelvli, situated at distance of 18 miles from the head quarters of the District. The place gained importance for the location of a famous Vaishnavite templ commonly known as Totadri Mutt.

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Krishnapuram a small vilage in Tirunelveli District at a distance of about six miles from Tirunelveli town. There are a good number of images an idols of sculptural interest in the temple, attracting hundreds of vistors.

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In the days of the Pandyas, Tirunelveli was their capital city for some time. It was built by a Pandya king in the 7th Century. There are beautiful Mandapams and Teerthams in the temple. There are several legends connected with this shrine.

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The river Tamravarni reaches the plains at Papanasam.It is at the foot of the mountain ranges, and the be is rocky. The temple is famou for the absolution of all sins committed by human being; hence the name PAPANASAM (or Papa Vinasanam).

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Sankaranayinar Koil

Sri Sankaranarayanaswami Temple is one among the fivefamous temples of Siva in the Tirunelveli District. It is situated at a distance of 34 miles from Tirunelveli. The image at Sankaranarayanar Koil is Mrittika(earth) Lingam.

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Srivilliputhur, famous for the tmeple of Sri Andal and Vatapatrasayee, is situated 50 miles south of Madurai on the Virudunagar - Tenkasi chord line of the Southern Railway. This place is surrounded by many temples.

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The temple is situated at a distance of three miles to the South-East if Nadurai on the main railway line. The importance of this temple is that here was celebrated the marriage of Lord Subramanya with the daughter of Indra, Devayani.

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The temple city of Madurai is situated at a distance of 307 miles south of Madras on the main railway line. This is decidedly the oldest city of south India, truly representing Dravidan culture. The city has chaged masters about the antiquity ofo this city.

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Rameswaram, the Temple City, is situated in the Ramanathapuram District of Madras State at a distance of about 413 miles South-East of madras. The temple city is an island of 31 miles length and 7 miles width in the shape of Lord Vishnu, Counch.

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Pullaranyam was a marshy land full of grass and Sri Rama chose a bed of darbha grass which is held very sacred by all the Hindus. The very choice of Sri rama to have this particular grassy bed is not without significance.

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Tiruvadania is a taluk headquarter of ramnad District of Madras State. The place is not very easily approachable. The nearest railway station is devaottai at a distance of 26 miles, on the bus route from Devakottai to Tondi or madurai to Tondi.

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Avadayar Koil

This is an important Sivasthala, How the temple, with its finest architectural work, came to be built and by whom is not clarly known. The marvel of construction of this temple is that the rays fo the settin sun always fall on the sanctum sanctorum although it is inside three prakarams.

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Kaliyar Koil

This place has been visited by many eminent sages and pious people of the past. In the territory ruled by kings of the Pandya Dynasty, there were 14 sacred shrines of Lord Siva.

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Azhagar Koil

This is a Vishnu Temple dedicated to soundararaja Perumal or Azhagar(the beautiful).The deity is known as kallazhagar as he is the household deity of the Kallas, a low caste people.

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The most famous temple dedicated to Lord Subramanya is at palani in the District of madurai in South India. There cannot be a temple in the southwhere a separate place is not dedicated to Lord subramanya.

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Tiruchirapalli (Tiruchi for short) is about 200 miles south of Madras and is known a Dakshina Kalias. It was originally called Tirusirapali named after Tirusiras (meaning three-head).

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There is a very ancient temple of Lord Siva in Tiruvanaikkaval about half a mile from srirangam. The temple is built in the midst of a bigh beautiful grove. The Lord is installed facing towards he West and the devi (consort) facing towards the East.

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Srirangam is a Railway station on the Trichy-Madras chord line, the distance from madars egmore being 20 miles, and from Tiruchiraplli Junction three. It is a small town on the outskirts of Tiruchirapalli town.

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Tanjore is headquarters of the Tanjore District of Madras State. It is a big town having a railway Station of the same name on the Southern railway. The tamil name of the place is Tanjavoor. Since the time of the Imperial Cholas, Tanjore has become famous.

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There is an important temple at punnanallur, 6 mile from Tanjore, dedicated to Mariamman. The sthalapuranam states that, beofre waging a war with the demon Tanja of Tanjore, Lord Siva statione the Astha Sakthis one at each of the eight directions.

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The Temple at Tiruvalanchushi is an ancient one of great dimensions and elaborate architecture. Believers attach great importance to vanachuzhi white vinayaka with the trunk turned right.

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Swamimaali is near Kumba-konam. It is a railwa station on the mainn line from Madras to Tiruchirapalli. Ther is a famous shrine built on a hillock, dedicated to Lord Subramanya loclly know as Swaminatha.

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Dharasuram is a railway station on Madras-Tanjore line, in the district of Tanjore. It is a very small town which has come to eminencedue to the famous Siva Temple of Airavateswar.

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About three miles from Kumbakonam and two from Dharasuram in Tanjor district, there is famous siva temple known as Sakthimuttam. This place is also known a Sakti-Vanam meaning the forest where Sakthi(Goddess did penace).

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Pattesvaram is a Siva Temple of antiquity with many rare specimens of architecture, probably constructed by the chola princes, the great builders of the past. It is located at a distance of 4 miles from kumbakonam.

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About a mile from the confluence of river Kaveri with the sea known as Kaveri patnam, and to mile from Tiruvengadu, there exists a very old temple dedicated to Siva known as Chayavaneswarar.

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Uppiliapan Koil

About a mile from Tirunage-Swaram Railway Station and 3 miles from Kumbakonam, acred Vaishnavite Temple exists known as Uppiliappan or Oppiliappan Temple.

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Mannargudi, a Taluq head quarters in Tanjore District, is a place of religious antiquity and legendar importance. The famous Vishnu temple at Mannargudi dedicated to Sri Rajagopalaswami was built by the Chola king Kulottunga I.

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Vedearanyam is on the Tiru-tturaipund-point Calimere line of the southern railway. The temple is about furlongs from the Railway Station. The Lord of this temple is known as Veda-nayaka because of the fact the four Vedas adored him.

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Tiruvarur is in the district to Tanjore, connected by the Southern Railway wit Madras, a junction at which the Mayavaram-Karaikudi. It is a great pilgrim centre throughout the year, particlarly in the month of Chittarai.

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Sikkal is situatee on Tanjhore - Nagapattinam branch railway line in the Tanjor District of Madras State. As there was no temple near by to worship, the Sage prepared a model of a Sivalinga from the floating cream of the milky pond.

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Because Nagaraja got the blessings of Vishnu here, the place has been named after him as nagapattinm.It is said that Sage Dhruva came to this place in Krita Yuga, Chaiirta Masam, Makha Nakshatram day, the day of festivity in this temple now, in order to conduct his penance.

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Tirunallar Temple was known as Adipuri in the krita Yuga; in the Treta Yuga it was know a Darbharnyam; in Dwapara it was known as Vedapuri and in the Kali it is known as Naleswaram. In this temple a big festival is celebrated every time when saturn movs from one sign of the Zodiac to another.

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In karaikal town there is a siva temple and, on the other side of the road, a separat shrine for Karaikal Ammayar. At this temple Karaikal Ammayar attained salvation. The festival also performed from Phalguni month Swat Nakshatram day.

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Tirukkadaiyur Amritaghat Eswarar Temple is situated in the small town of Tiru kadaiyur. It is a very holy place of pilgrimage in the South, which must be visited by a pilgrim during his lifetime.

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Mayavaram, popularly known as the banaras of the poor of the South, is a railway junction in Madras - Tiruchi main line at a distance of 174 miles from Madras Egmore. At Mayavaram there are many holy Teerthams and the river kaveri flows nearby.

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Vaitheswaran Koil

Tirupulliruku Velur, popularly known as Vaitheeswaran Koil, is one of the most important Saivite shrines of Tanjore District. It is the popular name as it is said that god came as a Vaidya and cured Angaraka of his leprosy.

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This place can be approached from Shiyali on the main line of Southern railway from where buses are plying to Tiru-Vengadu, which is onl two miles away. The Goddes of this temple is known a Soundarynayaki.

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The sacred shrined of Tiruvengadu is situated about seven miles South-East of Shiyali Railway Station between the rivers Kaveri and Manikanika. At here the Nandi has nine wounds made with a spear.

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The temple of Sattanatha Swami at Shiyali, a taluk in the Tanjore District, is sacred Siva shrine. There are twenty-three theertham here. People visit in hundreds and thousands to take thei bath in the tanks and worhip the Lord.

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The famous Nataraja Temple is situated at Chidambaram which is on the main railway line from madras to Tajre at a distance of 132 miles form Madras. In this temple, siva is seen in the dancing posture of Ananda Tandavam.

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Tiruppatiripuliyur, colloquially known as Tiruppapuliyur, is located at Cuddalore New Town. The sanctity of a place is due to the divine effulgence by which spiritual attainments become easier.

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Tiruvannamalai is a Railway Station on the Villupuram - Katpadi line. There is a temple of Siva at the top called Tejo Lingam. Two big festivals are conducted here during the months of Karttika and Chaitra.

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In Villivakkame village of Chunmapet taluk in the district Chigleput of madras State, sevnty mile south of madras, is situated the temple of Siva called Kiratamajareswarar. Near about there is a sacred tank called Pundarika Pushkarini.

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Madurantakam is a small town in Chigleput District of madras State. It is 50 mile south of Madras and can be reached both by rail an road. Sri Rama Navami celebrations in th month of Panguni, lasting for 10days, is the biggest festival in this temple.

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During the reign of the Chola kings, a temple was constructed at Jayamkonda Cholapuram, No known ascheyyur, a village in Chingleput District. The temple is a small one but has great antiquity and sanctity behind it.

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Conjeevaram is the english name of the ancient kancheepuram. It is the chingleput District of Madras State. Kancheepuram is situated on the banks of a river Vegavati. Kanchi is regardedas one of three most important centres Vaishnavism.

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Nine miles South-East of chingleput is Pakshi Teertham, one of the most visited pilgrim centres of Tamilnad, commonly known as Tirukkazhukunram, where a pait of kites daily visit at 12 noon, have their foo and then fly away.

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Mahabalipuram is at a distance of about 46 miles by road from Madras via Chigleput. The entire history of this place lies shrouded in mystery and it is not possible to explain satisfactorily why all the monuments cut in the rocks.

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Ther are 33 temples in Tamilnad, dedicated to worship Muruga. Tirupporur Temple is one of them and dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and his son Muruga.

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Mythologically, the third incarnation of Vishnu was in the form of Varaha, the boar. It is a famous temple, 27 miles from Madras towards south on the way to Mahabalipuram. There are a number of temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the aspect of this incarnation.

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Tiruvanmiyur is situated about three miles south of mylapore (Madras) on the sea coast. This place is a self-chosen shrine of Lord Shiva. The names of the goddesses are Chokkanayaki and Tripura-Sundari.

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The temple of lord Kapale - Eswarar is one of the ancent Sivasthalas of the south situated in the city of Madras. It is here that Tirujnana Sambandar made the bones of a dead girl come to life.

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There are two very famous Temples in Madras City, viz., Kapaleeswara Temple of Mylapore dedicated to Lord Siva, and Parthasarathy Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Parthasarathy temple is situated on the place mythologically called Vrindaranya.

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Vadapalani means North alani, which is one of the most consecrated places of Lord Subramanya. A picture was brought by a deveotee from Palani and worshipped here by command of Lord Subramanya himself.

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A temple has been constructed over the Lingam at Tiruvottiyur, a suburb of Madras city. It is said that Kubera, the lord of wealth, himself was born as a child. Later the child came to be known as pattinathar.

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The temple here was in existence during the four Yugas and was known by different names. Tirumullaivayil is situated at distance of about 13 miles to the west of madras, just near Avadi where the historic 60th session of the Indian National Congress was held in january, 1955.

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Tiruvallur is the headquarters of a Taluk in Chingleput District in Madras State. The place is glrified by the location of famous Vaishnavite temple dedicated to Lord Veera-Raghava. The Goddess is known as kanakavalli or Vasumati.

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Tiruttani with the famous temple dedicated to Lord Subramanya is situate 51 miles away from Madras, on the way to Trupati, on the railway line to Bombay. Tiruttani is great pilgrim centre. There are about 150 choultries and rest houses in this place.

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Kumbakonam is on eof the oldest towns of south India. Its is the headquarters of the taluq of the same name in the District of Tanjore in Madras State. The distance from Madras to this town in 194 miles by the southern railway.

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Glossary to the words in the book " Temples and Legends of Tamilnadu"

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Biblography of the book " Temples and Legends of Tamilnadu"

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Published on: 2003-02-05 (27852 reads)

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