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Pallikonda -  Ranganatha Temple

Kanchi Mahatmeeyam and Hastagiri Mahatmeeyam embody an exhaustive account of the origin and glory of this kshetra, being one of the three principal kshetras for Mahavishnu. According to it, Brahma was sought the adjudication of a pretty dispute that arose between Lakshmi and Saraswati over their relative superiority. Adored as Dharmamurti, he declared Lakshmi, the winner after duly considering their claims for primacy. Deeming the verdict partial, Saraswati left Satyaloka and settled down at Nandimalai. There needed once her presence at Yagnavedika performed by Brahma. When invited, she refused to participate. Brahma accomplished his desire with Savitri, his second wife. Enraged Saraswati changed herself into a great furious river flowing with high floods, and posed threats to the safety of the land. Lord Mahavishnu descended then and established himself at three places on the banks of river Palar to tame down the fury. It also enabled him to bless Ambarisha doing penance here. Thus emerged, this Pallikonda and. is one among three kshelas, the others being Tiruparkadal and Kancheepuram. Ambarisha then earnestly made a plea to the Lord to remain here permanently. He did.

Jubliant over victory, Brahma built a fine temple for Sri Ranganatha at this place and named it Pallikonda. The temple is elegantly built amidst coconut trees with all the essential parts. The tall majestic four tiered tower of the temple comes into sight at first, and many worshipful gods and goddesses installed, like Aranganayaki Tayar, Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Anjaneya, Alwars, Andal, Garudalvar etc. next.

The moolavar, reclining on Sesha, hands adorned with potent weapons, Sridevi and Bhudevi at his holy feet and Brahma on a lotus near his navel, gives darsan. The walls are exquisitely decorated with numerous figures of Krishna and his sports. The eight imposing figures of Narasimha called Ashta Narasimhas are adorning the pillars of Krishna temple built on the bank of Vyasa Pushkarini, it is called the Dakshina Triveni or Tirumukkoodal in Tamil. Agamic worship is offered regularly.

Pallikonda is a Tamil word standing for reclining. This place perhaps got its name owing to the recumbent posture of the temple's archamurti - Sri Ranganathar. It is an ancient temple built in the Dravidian architectural design, possessing all parts and many mini-shrines. The sculptural adornments are quite arresting by their superb artistry. In addition to the reclining Moolavar Ranganathar, there are two more sannidhis in the temple for Varadaraja Perumal and Srinivasa Perumal. Agamic worship is offered with veneration due. The Goddess is called Pushpavalli Tayaru. The temple tower and certain interior parts bear resemblance to Srirangam temple. It is a largely visited shrine and annual festivals lure huge crowds.

It lies 15 km of Vellore on the way to Bangalore, enjoying bus service.


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