This is one post I have been trying to put up from a long long time. For one, these marvellous places are so totally meant to be known and visited by more. Also, this is the best way I can preserve these treasures to go down the memory lane whenever I feel like it.
Su and I are explorers. We usually end up hitting the road choosing just one or two mandatory places, or even just the route too, and leave the places to choose us rather 😉 During our road trip to Rameswaram-Kanyakumari, we encountered so many such hidden wonders; thanks due to a friend S too, who hails from Tamil Nadu and pointed us to many of these.
Click on the pics to enlarge
- Adi Jagannatha temple, Thirupullani
This temple has so many mythological tales woven around it, that it cannot not leave you mesmerized. And it is so so huge that you should see it to believe it. Legend has it that Lord Sri Rama worshipped the God of Ocean for granting way to reach Lanka to get back Goddess Sita, using Dharba (grass), thus giving the name Dharbashayanam to the place. Apparently, Vibheeshana surrendered to Lord Rama here after the war. This is also supposed to be the place where King Dasaratha prayed to Adi Jagannath to bestow him with children. The king and his queens performed the Nagapratishta (installing statues of snake gods) for the same.
- Sree Ekantha Ramaswamy temple – On the way from Rameswaram to Kanyakumari
We found this temple quite by chance, when we were looking for another place we had got to know about the previous day.
Rama and his Vanara Sena (army of monkeys) stayed here on their way to Lanka in search of Sita.
This temple houses a well (Amrutha teertham = nectar) which was apparently created by Rama for his army to quench their thirst. We tasted water from the well and it does taste good. It is also believed to bless you with a long and prosperous life.
We found a dilapidated board confirming the same.
- Thiru Uthira Kosa Mangai, near Ramanathapuram
This temple is considered to be about 3000 years old! Lord Shiva imparted Vedopadesham to Goddess Parvati here. Apparently, as told to us by the priest, this also happens to be Shiva’s native place and the place where Ravana and Mandodari got married.
[Uthiram (updesham), kosam (secrets) Parvati (Mangai) hence this place is known as Uthira Kosa Mangai]
More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiru_UthuiraKosa_Mangai]
The other main attraction of this temple is a statue of Nataraj – the Lord of dance, made of emerald. The deity remains covered with sandal paste all through the year and gets removed only on a particular day in December (the priest told us more details about the day in very very pure Tamil which we could not understand :P) He also told us that lakhs of devotees visit the temple on that day for darshan.
- Sri Subrahmanya Swami temple, Tiruchendur
A sea-shore temple dedicated to Lord Muruga. Since Lord Muruga fought the battle with the Asura King Surapadma in this place, it was believed that after the war it had turned completely red with bloodshed because of the gory war. Thus this place was came to known as SENTHUR literally translating to ‘Red Place‘. As this place has served as the battleground for the Lord, it acquired the honorary prefix ‘Thiru‘ and thus came to be known as Thiruchendur. Thiru means ‘holy’ or ‘sacred’ and is traditionally used in front of names in all parts of Tamilnadu. – Wikipedia More here: http://tiruchendur.org/ Loved this on one of the smaller shrines inside the Tiruchendur temple complex 🙂
The Nagaraja temple at Nagercoil, as the name suggests, is dedicated to the worship of the Serpent God.
The temple at Suchindram, believed to have been built in the 17th century, houses the Trimurtis (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) in a single idol known as ‘Sthanumalyam‘. It looks like the entire Devaloka (abode of Gods) is residing in this temple with temples dedicated to Durga, Ganesha, Kala Bhairava, Hanuman, Nagaraja and so on, in addition to the main deity.