Thursday, 26 May 2016

Simhachalam Varahalakshminarasimha Temple near Visakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

Simhachalam houses a Temple dedicated to Varahalakshminarasimha Swamy and is located at a Distance of 18 Km from Visakapatnam city in Andhra Pradesh. It can be reached in a 30-40 minutes drive from Visakapatnam. The Google Map Location of Simhachalam is as follows:

Simhachalam Temple is located on a Hill 
Main Vimana/Gopuram of Varahalakshminarasimha Swamy

Sthala Puranam/Temple History

Jaya and Vijaya are the Gatekeepers of Lord Mahavishu in Ksheerabdi/Milky Ocean known as Paarkadal in Tamil. They did not allow Brahma's sons, Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatkumara and Sanatsujatha to get the Darshan of Lord Vishnu in Ksheerabdhi.

Hence Jaya and Vijaya were cursed to take following demonic forms and then killed by Lord Vishnu himself before returning to Ksheerabdhi Again.

1) Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasupu form in Kritha Yuga
2) Ravana and Kumbakarna form in Tretha Yuga
3) Shishupala and Dantavakra form in Dwaapara Yuga

Hiranyaksha demon performed penance and gained many powers. He hid Bhoomi Devi/Mother Earth beneath the Ocean. Lord Mahavishnu assumed the Form of Varaha or Boar and retrieved Bhoomi Devi/Mother Earth from the Bottom of Ocean. This Varaha Form is depicted in a Beautiful Sculpture in the Temple

Varahaswamy Sculpture in Prakaraa/Temple Corridor
Prahlada was the son of Demon Hiranyakasupu. Yet he refused to listen to his father and was an ardent devotee of Lord Mahavishnu. Hiranyakasupu wanted to throw Prahlada from the top of a hill and Kill him. When he threw him from Hilltop, Lord Prahlada was rescued by Lord Vishnu in the Hill and in the process Lord Vishnu's Feet Sunk in the ground. Even Today the feet of the Lord is hidden beneath the idol. 

Prahlada prayed to Lord Vishnu to appear in the form of Varaha (who killed Hiranyaksha) and Narasimha (who killed Hiranyakasupu). 

Varahalakshminarasimha Swamy is covered with sandalwood paste all round the year. The Main deity looks like this picture below.

The Lord is unique here with the Face of Boar like Varaha Swamy and a tail like Narasimha Swamy. The Idol is covered with Sandalwoodpaste.

Interesting Note
It is interesting to note that the Narasimha swamy avatara was taken in Kritha Yuga. In Panchangam or Indian Spiritual Calendar, Akshaya Trithiya is the day when the Kritha Yuga began.

On Akshaya Trithiya day alone for 12 hours, Varahalakshminarasimha swamy idol can be seen in its Real form/Nijaswaroopam by devotees. On all other days of the year, the idol is covered with Sandalwoodpaste.

The real form of VarahalakshmiNarasimha Swamy looks like this photo below,
Chandana Yatra

The Chandana Yatra is an important 21 day festival held in the month of Vaisakha in Simhachalam Temple. Fresh Sandalwood paste is prepared religiously by devotees in Vaisakha Month. The Coating of the deity is done in various stages, First Sandalwood Paste coating in Akshaya Trithiya, Second Sandalwood Paste coating in Vaishaka Pournami and the third Sandalwood Paste Coating in Jyeshta Pournami. The Height of the Idol increases with each coating of Sandalwood Paste.

The Sandalwood Paste Coating is to reduce the Ugra or Anger of Lord Narasimha who killed Hiranyakasupu.

Beautiful Sculpture depicting Hiranyakasupu being killed by Narasimha Swamy in Simhachalam

There is a unique Ratha Mandapa inside the Temple which is carved out of stone like a Chariot. There is also a Stone throne in the same. Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swamy celebrates Ratha Sapthami Festival in the Ratha Mandapa.

Stone Throne in Ratha Mandapa
 Unique Naga Devatha Sculptures in Simhachalam, The Abhisheka Water of Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swamy Comes out through the Naga Devatha

There is a Beautiful large lake in the bottom of the Hill Known as Pushkarini where the Annual Theppotsavam takes place. Theppotsavam is the Float Festival wherein the Deity are taken and worshipped during the Boat Ride in the Pushkarini.

Beautiful Theppotsavam Festival in Simhachalam
Another Beautiful View of the Theertham

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Rachandar Tirumalai near Trichy and Thayumanava Swamy in Malaikottai, Childbirth Blessings

Rachandar Tirumalai Shiva Temple near Trichy is a boon for men and Thayumanava Swamy Temple in Malaikottai inside Trichy Town is a boon for women seeking childbirth!!

Agasthya Vijayam, a Tamil Monthly Spiritual Magazine which detailed about the Rachandar Tirumalai Temple. Their online website is as follows,

Rachandar Tirumalai is located at a distance of 20-30 Km outside Trichy Town in Tamil Nadu near the Trichy Theni Highway. It can be reached by a 40 minute drive from Trichy. The Google map location of Rachandar Tirumalai village is as follows,

Lord Shiva here is Known as Virachilai Eswarar and Parvathy Devi is known as Periya Nayaki. The Temple is situated on top of a Small Hill.

Agasthya Vijayam details that worshiping Lord Shiva here blesses men so that they have Good Children and Fertility issues if any are sorted out. Agasthya Vijayam states that one should also do the Dhaana/Charity of Slippers/Shoes to small children here.

Rachandar Tirumalai Shiva Temple and Theertham
Vinayaka Sannidhi
 Dwajasthambam/Kodi Maram with Murugan Sannidhi
Virachhilai Eswarar
 Periya Nayaki
Sthala Puranam

This Temple was built around 6th and 7th Century. When a King was travelling in forest region, he accidentally hit on the Shiva Lingam here hidden inside an Anthill with a Knife and Blood started coming out of the Shiva Lingam.  Later they unearthed the Shiva Lingam and they were guided divinely by Lord Shiva to construct a Temple here.

This Old Shiva Lingam exists here at the Backside of the Main Temple with a Cut on the top signifying this incident of the King

Moola Shiva Lingam with a cut on top
Sthala Vriksham
Virachhilai Eswarar Vimanam
 Gajalakshmi Sannidhi
 Navagraha Sannidhi
 Thayumanava Swamy in Malaikottai inside Trichy

Malaikottai is an important Landmark in Trichy and is a Temple carved out of Rocks in a Hill. It is an architectural marvel and gives a bird's eye view of Trichy Town on top of the Hill. Malaikottai means Fort in a Hill.

The Base of Malaikottai Houses Maanickya Vinayaka Temple and the Top most point in also houses a Vinayaka Temple.


Lord Shiva is known as Thaayumanava Swamy. Sthala Puranam states that there was a lady named Rathnavathy who was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and she used to visit the Shiva Temple on top of the Hill regularly. When she was pregnant her mother was expected to come to her in laws house and oversee the Child Delivery process as it used to happen in earlier times. When she was about to deliver the child, she prayed to Lord Shiva for help.

The real mother could not cross the overflowing Kavery River near Trichy and reach her daughter. Lord Shiva took the form of the lady's mother and oversaw the Child Delivery Process. He even cradled the child and took care of it.

After some time the Real Mother visited the Daughter's House and everybody was astonished to see two forms of the same mother. Then Lord Shiva Showed his Real Form along with Parvathy in Rishaba Vahana to everybody.

After that only everybody realised that Lord Shiva Took the form of the Girl's Mother and performed the role of Mid Wife. Hence he is known as Thaayumanavan or the Lord Shiva who became the Mother. Since the Lord himself became a mid wife to oversee the Delivery Process, this Temple worship Blesses women to have a safe Childbirth Delivery Process.

In memory of this incident every year during the Chitirai Brahmotsavam Festival 5th Day, Rathnavathy's idol/Vigraham is brought near Lord Shiva's Vigraham and the Veil is put signifying the Childbirth. Later Lord Shiva Cradles the baby of Rathnavathy and all devotees are given the prasadam of medicine and oil which is generally given to new born children. Women who partake this prasadam are said to be blessed with safe Childbirth.

Chitirai Brahmotsavam-Lord Shiva as a Mother and Cradling Child

Thaayumanava Swamy Vimanam

Sloka for Safe Pregnancy and Smooth Childbirth

The English Lyrics of the Sloka for Safe Childbirth is as follows:

Hey Shankara, Smarahara, Pramaathinatha!
Mannatha, Saamba, Sasichuda, Hara Trisoolin!
Sambho ! Sukhaprasavakrith Bhava me Dayaalo !
Sree Maatrubootha Siva Paalaya Maam Namaste !