MY SPIRITUAL TRIP

A TRAVEL STORY

Hi friends,

I shared the pics of scenic beauty enroute to my trip to various temples. Today, I am presenting the pics and the story of various temples in my journey.

DAY ONE.

Enjoying the car trip with family.
Singirikkudi Temple
Wikipedia.

The devotees aren’t allowed to click the images inside the temple. So, the images of all the idols are courtesy Wikipedia. The information source credit goes to Wikipedia and https://templesinindiainfo.com.

Our first destination was Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Temple in Singirikkudi, Cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu. This is one of the Shrines of Nava-Narasimha Temples ( 9 temples) dedicated to Lord Narasimha, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. He appears with the head of a lion with the body of a human. Lord Narasimha is in His Ugra Or Ferocious form as He is slaying the demon King, Hiranyakashyap, on His Lap. The Lord has 16 hands. There are separate Shrines dedicated to Thayar (Mother) (Kanakavalli) and Andal, facing the opposite direction of the Lord. His devotee, Prahlad, is seen on His right side along with Sages Sukracharya and Vasishta. The temple is more than 1600 years old.

According to a legend, King Nimi Chakravarti of Surya dynasty wanted to perform a yagna ( sacrificial ritual) to gain more powers. He approached Sage Vashishtha to conduct the rituals, who expressed his inability to do so. The King then requested Sage Kowshik to perform the yagna, which was successful. When Sage Vashishtha returned, he was furious to learn that King Nimi Chakravarti went ahead with his Yagna without waiting for him and didn’t welcome him. He cursed the King that his body and soul will be separated. The King used his powers to repeat the same curse on Sage Vashishtha who came to Singirikkudi to perform penance and appease Lord Narasimha who freed him from the curse and granted Salvation. It’s believed that if you worship Lord Narasimha and wish for anything, He immediately grants your wishes.

We had hired a car from Chennai itself. If you wish to visit this temple, you can take a Pondicherry-Cuddalore bus and get down at Thavalai Kuppam from where you can take an autorickshaw. The temple timings are subjected to change :

Morning 7.00 Am โ€“ 12.00pm

Evening 4.30pm โ€“ 9.00 Pm

We proceeded towards Lord Lakshmi Narasimha Temple at Poovarasamkuppam near Singirikkudi. There’s another Narasimha temple at Parikkal. These three temples are geographically placed in a straight line from West to East and it’s very auspicious to visit all the three temples on the same day.

TripAdvisor.com
Wikipedia

Sri Lakshmi Narasimha temple at Poovarasamkuppam is nearly 1200 years old and is referred to as South Ahobilam. This temple is located at 15 kms from Villupuram.

After slaying the demon Hiranyakashyap, Lord Narasimha’s anger didn’t subside. So, the seven sages ( Saptarshi) performed a penance to seek His Darshan. However, they were unable to bear the Heat emitting from the Lord and prayed to His Goddess to calm Him Down. Goddess Amirthavalli appeared and sat on His right lap, which made Him calm.

The speciality of the temple is that the Goddess looks at the Lord with one of Her eyes while blessing Her devotees with the other. The story associated with the temple is that one of the kings of the Pallava Dynasty adopted Jainism and started destroying Shiva and Vishnu temples. The devotees were against this move and those who opposed him were sentenced to death. Narahari, a sage, also expressed his disagreement and was given the death penalty. He cursed the king with Brahma hathi dosham, a sin occurred by murdering a Brahmin. The king went through a turbulent time which made him repent over his sins .He wanted to apologize to Narahari for his sins and absolve him from the curse . The king slept under a poovarasan tree when Lord Narasimha appeared in his dream and told that the Sage Narahari would bless him and free him from the curse. It was precisely at this moment that a leaf with the Image of Lord Narasimha fell from the tree. Sage Narahari absolved him of the curse and the King built a temple to Lord Narasimha in accordance with Narahari’s wishes.

If you wish to visit the temple by air, the nearest airport would be Puducherry, 36.6 Kms. The nearest railway station is Villupuram. It’s better to hire a cab from Puducherry to visit these three temples. The timings are subjected to vary according to the various religious festivals.

Morning: 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Evening: 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

We had a wonderful Darshan of all the deities and proceeded towards Parikkal which is 28 kms away from Villupuram. The temple is said to be as old as 1800 years and built by Vasantharaja of Vriddachalam. As per the local belief, your prayers will be answered here and you will be free from debts, enemies, and diseases. Lord Narasimha is the presiding deity with His Consort, Kanakavalli Thaayar. Actually, Amirthavalli and Kanakavalli Thaayar are the various forms of Goddess Laxmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu.

Parikkal Temple
Wikipedia

The story associated with the temple is that:

A demon called Parakalasura ( a relative of Hiranyakashyap) troubled the King Vasanthraja and his subjects. As advised by his Guru, the King performed a penance and invoked the aid of Lord Narasimha to protect his kingdom from the demon. Lord Narasimha answered his prayers and slayed Parakalasura. His ferociousness didn’t subside immediately. So, the King also prayed to Goddess Lakshmi who appeared as Kanakavalli Thayar and sat on His lap to calm him down. This place was called Parikalapuram after the King requested that the place be named after the demon because of whom he had the good fortune of getting blessed by Lord Narasimha and Kanakavalli Thaayar. It eventually became Parikkal.

Puducherry Airport is the closest at 83.3 km and Chennai International Airport is 172 km. If traveling by passenger train, you can get down at Parikkal railway station which lies between Villupuram and Vriddachalam station. For travel by road, you can catch a bus from Madras- Villupuram-Ulundurpet- Trichy and stop at Kedilam Junction from where you can get share autos to Parikkal.

As mentioned earlier, the temple timings are subjected to change.
Morning: 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Evening: 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

We had lunch at an Iyer Mess and then started around tea time at 4 PM to our next destination, Srimushanam, and enroute visited Vriddhagiriswarar Temple, Vriddhachalam, the details of which I will share it in my next blog.

Hope you enjoyed this part. Will continue my travel stories in the next one. I will share the stories from the Indian mythology in my Sunday blogs, shortly.

Thank you so much for taking your precious time to visit my website. Hope you enjoyed reading my blogs. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

MY TRIP TO PALAKKAD, KeRALA

DAY 3

Good morning friends,

Today I am going to show you the scenic beauty of Kerala. It was Sunday and the final day of our vacation. We woke up early in the morning and got ready for a breathtaking, exhilarating journey to the lap of Nelliyampathy Hills located 60 kms from Palakkad. I never imagined that we would be traveling in an autoricshaw all the way uphill. The driver was a very nice man who charged quite a reasonable fare for the trip. We reached another Dam, Pothundi Dam, located at the bottom of Nelliyampathy Hills and Forest Range.

Had a great view of Pothundi Dam
A view from the Pothundi Dam.
Pothundi Dam

Pothundi Dam is located in the village of Pothundi, Palakkad district, Kerala. It’s one of the oldest dams in India and built in the 19th Century. This dam is very special because core wall is built with a mixture ofย jaggery and quick lime. ( Wikipedia)

On the way to Nelliyampathy Hills
Halfway through the hills but can see Pothundi Dam from this height.
Tea estate in Nelliyampathy Hills

Nelliyampathy Hills and Forest range happens to lie on the Western Ghats. There is a dense forest with wildlife. We saw lots of monkeys. There are elephants also but they come out only at night. There are sprawling tea estates and coffee plantations. I also saw orange orchards and grape vineyards.

In fact, when we reached Seethargandu viewpoint of Nelliyampathy Hills, my mother had a packet of cookies in her hand. A monkey snatched it from her hand. I had a great time trekking through the forest. I have recorded some videos for you to enjoy.

I hope you enjoyed this journey.

Thank you so much for taking your precious time to visit my website. Hope you enjoyed reading my blogs. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

MY TRIP TO PALAKKAD, KERALA DAY 2

TRAVEL TIME

Good morning friends,

I am back again with my travel story. Kerala’s such an adorable place that you will feel like visiting again and again. We started our day with a visit to Vadakkanthara Devi temple dedicated to Goddess Kannagi who destroyed Madurai, a city in Tamil Nadu after her husband, Kovalan was wrongly accused of theft. The temple is quite big and has shrines dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, Lord Ganesha, Lord Nagaraj. The temple is quite big and the architecture is marvelous.

Vadakanthara Sree Thirupuraikkal Bhagavathi Temple

Outside the temple after worshipping the Goddess

The day was too hot and the temples were closed. So, we took rest in our lodge and resumed our journey by 3.30 PM.

Enjoying tea at an open air cafe near Malampuzha Dam.

We went to visit Kava reservoir which is located behind Malampuzha Dam and is 16-kms from the City of Palakkad.

A scenic view from Kava.

Breathing refreshing cool air in Kava, an area surrounded by mountains and hills.
A gorgeous view.
Looks like I could shoot a movie here.
Chilling out with my mom.
It’s the backwaters from Malampuzha Dam.
Wow. Appreciating Mother Nature’s beauty.

Our next visit was to Malampuzha Dam, the largest dam and reservoir in Kerala. It’s a unique combination of a masonry dam with a length of 1,849 metres and an earthen dam with a length of 220 metres making it the longest dam in the state.[3] The dam is 355 feet high and crosses the Malampuzha River, a tributary of Bharathappuzha, Kerala’s second longest river.(Wikipedia info).

We chose to travel by a rope car with an amazing view.

A view of boating in Malampuzha Dam from the rope car.
Enjoying ice-cream at the Garden in Malampuzha Dam.

Malampuzhadam. com

Since it was getting quite dark, we didn’t get enough lighting for snaps but this is the aerial view of Malampuzhadam and the surrounding garden.

After dinner, we returned to our lodge for the day. There is another surprise for you that I will share in the evening.

Thank you so much for taking your precious time to visit my website. Hope you enjoyed reading my blogs. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

MY TRIP TO PALAKKAD, KERALA

DAY 1

Good morning friends,

As promised, I am taking you all on a trip to Kerala. I am with my husband, my mother, and daughter in a beautiful place called Palakkad, in Kerala. We left Chennai on 31st March, 2022 and reached Palakkad on 1.4.2022 at 4.45 AM. We were worried about getting a good accommodation but God’s divine grace was with us. We are staying at Sapthagiri, a homely hotel at a small village called Vadakkanthara which is hardly 15 minutes from the Palakkad Junction Railway Station.

Our room
Relaxing at my air conditioned room

The people of Kerala are so friendly and helpful. We went to have breakfast at Dosa Corner which is just 10 minutes away from our lodging.

After a shower and a quick breakfast, we went to visit our family deity, Bhagavathi Amman at a place called Kannadi.

Yarakkara bridge on our way to Kannadi, a small village.
scenic view
Inside Kannadi Kottukulangara Temple

Photography is not allowed beyond this point. This is the temple of Devi Kannadi Kottukulangara. Goddess Parvati ( also known as Adi Parashakti mata Or Bhagwati Devi, consort of Lord Shiva) appeared in front of the Brahmin Saints who performed penance at the north-western side of Kannadi River (Chadanamkurrussi) .

According to shrikottukulangarabhagavathytemple.pravahasoftware.com, the sins of the people around these Brahmin saints got them killed and the temple faced dereliction. The area wore a deserted forest look. But the temple and deity still remained powerful.

However, some ladies who went to collect firewood, discovered the idol and took it home and started worshipping. Later on, they handed over the idol to the Lordly family who reconstructed the temple and restored the idol. We paid a visit to our ancestral property in Thondikulam which is hardly 20 minutes from the temple of Bhagwati Devi.

My ancestral house in Thondikulam.

Kalahasty Bhavan. Thondikulam
Sri Balaji temple at the end of the lane.

These are the places where my forefathers lived before they moved to settle in Burma ( Myanmar). They are my ancestors from my father’s paternal side of the family. It was so nice to revisit these lanes. I really miss dad. I have never seen my paternal grandfather.

We returned to our lodge before resuming our memorable trip to Palakkad fort and Garden.

Palakkad fort
Inside the Palakkad Fort
Having great fun at the Palakkad fort.

Palakkad Fort

Sultan Hyder Ali, father of Tipu Sultan, recaptured and rebuilt this fort in 1766 AD. (Wikipedia)

moat around the fort
Children’s park near the fort

We visited the children’s park just near the Fort.There is a skating rink at the entrance.

We went to visit Hanuman temple in the Fort.

Govt. Victoria College

On our way to the other temples, we went through the market and Victoria College that was founded in 1888( Wikipedia).

Our next stop happened to be Shri Guruvayoorappan Temple. It’s dedicated to Lord Krishna who manifests himself in the form of Guruvayoorappan.

Outside Guruvayoorappan temple
Shri Laxminarayana Perumal Temple in Kalpathy

Shri Laxminarayana Perumal Temple in Kalpathy is dedicated to Shri Vishnu, the protecting Lord and Goddess Laxmi, His Consort and The Goddess of Wealth.

One thing noteworthy about the temples in Kerala is that they are very punctual about the opening and closing of the temple premises. Most of the temples open up as early as 4.30 AM and close by 10-11 AM for morning visit.

Sri Visalakshi Sametha Sri Viswanathaswamy temple, Kalpathy

Sri Visalakshi Sametha Sri Viswanathaswamy temple popularly known as Kasi Viswanathaswamy Temple or locally as kundukovil is a famous Hindu temple located in the Kalpathy village of Palakkad in Kerala, India. Kalpathy Rathotsawam ( taking out the procession in a chariot) takes place here. Kalpathy river (Nila Nadhi) flows near the vicinity of the temple and there is a temple pond as well. The presiding deity is Lord Siva ( Kashi Vishwanath) and his consort Visalakshi (another name for Parvati). This temple dates back to early fifteenth century. It’s believed that visiting this temple is equivalent to seeing Lord Vishwanath in Kashi.

This concluded the first day of our trip. The climate is quite hot now. We visited a temple this morning at Vadakkanthara dedicated to Goddess Bhagawathi.

Vadakkanthara Bhagawathi temple

We are going to visit some very interesting places after lunch.

I hope to post them as soon as possible.

Thank you so much for taking your precious time to visit my website. Hope you enjoyed reading my blogs. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

MY MOM’S TRIP TO MUSCAT ( PART 12) (CONCLUSION)

Hi Friends,

I am very thrilled to inform you that my mom has just completed her final leg of journey in Muscat and will be coming back to India next week. Her final destination took to Bimmah Sinkhole in Muscat and Pebble Beach near Tiwi

Mom in Bimmah Sinkhole
Crystal clear water in the sinkhole
Wow. Fascinating.

Hawiyyat Najmย is also known asย Bimmah Sinkholeย in English. It is situated in Muscat and is basically a water filled depression. ( Wikipedia)

What would I not give to visit such a wonderful place!

Let’s move on to the next destination, Pebbles Beach. Pebble Beach is located on on Muscatโ€“Sur Coastal road( http://www.click-oman.com) and near Tiwi.

Wow. Awesome
Views from different angle.
Mom enjoying her Beach visit.

That’s all for now. I am looking forward to spending time with my mom after her return.

Thank you so much for taking your precious time to visit my website. Hope you enjoyed reading my blogs. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

MY MOM’S TRIP TO MUSCAT ( PART 11)

Hi friends,

I am back with another episode of my mom’s trip to Muscat. She had her New Year celebrations at Salalah, a breathtakingly beautiful tourist destination in Dhofar province of Oman. I know I am a bit late as I was preoccupied with other posts. Anyway, it’s better late than never. Let’s take a tour.

Ayn Garziz scenic view
A pool of water in Ayn Garziz Rocky formation
Ayn Garziz sparse waterfall.

This is Ayn Garziz. It has freshwater springs and a waterfall which can be seen during the Khareef Season ( July- August)with a cave to explore. During the off season, the water level recedes. The best time to visit is during the said period July- August.

Mom near entrance to the Ayn Garziz cave
A scenic view en route to the Biblical Tomb of Job
The tomb of Prophet Job also referred as Nabi Ayyub
At Marneef Cave and Blow Hole along Mughsail Beach, Salalah
Mughsail Beach, Salalah
Mom enjoying Tea and the view.
Salalah port at night.

Wow. A fascinating place to visit. Let’s hope I get a chance to actually visit these places in person.

Thank you so much for taking your precious time to visit my website. Hope you enjoyed reading my blogs. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

MY MOM’S TRIP To MUSCAT ( PART 10)

A JOURNEY To SALALAH.

Salalah falls under Dhofar province of Southern Oman and is it’s capital city. According to www.culturetrip.com, Khareef ( Monsoon) festival is celebrated in Salalah.
It is the third largest city of the Sultanate of Oman as per Wikipedia. It’s absolutely stunning and beautiful.

My mom is enjoying every moment of her trip there. Let’s take a quick look at the places of tourist attraction in Salalah.

Camels en route to Wadi Darbat
Wadi Darbat, Salalah
Another scenic view.
Awesome! Breathtaking view
Just look at the pristine water.
A view from the boat.

Mom enjoying herself.
The water is 10 feet deep.
Waterfalls at Wadi Darbat.
The water here is crystal clear and around 8 feet deep.
Tawi Ateer sinkhole
From the top of Jebel Samhan also spelled Jabal Samhan

There is also a wildlife Sanctuary housing Wild Arabian leopards.

Mom feeling on top of the world.
The calm and beautiful Mirbat Beach.
Ruins of old Mirbat Market.

There are so many places to visit around here and so many pics waiting to be featured. I will continue the same part of Mom’s travels in my next blog.

Thank you so much for taking your precious time to visit my website. Hope you enjoyed reading my blogs. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

MY MOM’S TRIP To MUSCAT ( PART 9)

Hi friends,

Today I am going to take you on a trip to two important places in Muscat. The first one is the Holy Temple of Lord Shiva. The Shiva temple, also known as Motishwar Mandir is near the Al Alam Palace in the Muttrah area of Old Muscat, Oman. It is one of the oldest Hindu temple built by The Gujarati community settled in Muscat around 109โ€“125 years ago according to Wikipedia. The presiding deity is Lord Shiva but there is also the idol of Lord Hanuman with a picture of Lord Ram, Sita Devi and Lakshman.

Lord Shiva. Pic courtesy : Facebook
Lord Hanuman Pic courtesy: Facebook.

My mom visited this temple last week and has sent the following pictures of the temple precinct.

Image of Lord Shiva’s premier devotee and servant, Nandi. He is also worshipped by devotees. According to Hindu mythology, we approach Lord Shiva through Nandi.
Temple precinct.
My mother in the temple

She made a Shivaling out of paper quilling.

Mom’s art.

Her next destination took her to Darsait Beach. These are the pictures taken from the beach.

Scenic views on the way to the beach.
Welcome to Darsait Beach.
Glorious sight.

That’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed the views.

Thank you so much for joining me. Enjoy your Christmas holidays. Merry Christmas in advance and Happy shopping. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™‚

My MOM’S TRIP TO MUSCAT PART 8

A TRAVEL STORY

Hi,

A hearty welcome to all for yet another beautiful journey. My mother enjoyed boating and attended an incredible Dolphin show.

Marina Bandar Al Khayran.
Amazing view from the ferry boat in Marina Bandar Al Khayran.
Let the trip begin
Wow.
Another ferry boat

There are videos of the ferry but unfortunately I am unable to upload them. So I could not post the videos of the awesome dolphin show as well.

Anyway, most of the pictures are of her boating trip only.

I wish I could visit that exotic country which is surrounded by mountains and water bodies.

Thank you so much for taking your precious time and going through my

MY MOM’S TRIP TO MUSCAT 7

My mom is enjoying every moment with her son in Muscat. She deserves every bit of happiness that eluded her throughout her 64 years on this earth. I admire her resilience to deal with any kind of tough situation. Anyways, she has clicked some wonderful pictures which I am going to share with you.

Scenic view on her way to the Indian Embassy
Amazing sights

Now, let us see some breathtaking sights of nightlife in Muscat.

The Royal Opera House at Muscat.
Note the changing colors. It’s treat to the eyes.
Light decorations to celebrate National Day at Muscat.
Amazing.

Sprawling lawns with decorations at the Royal Opera House.

Catch the Opera House in different lighting arrangements.

Wow. It’s colorful, isn’t it? Hope Mom covers all the tourist attractions for my upcoming blogs.

Thank you so much for taking your precious time to go through my blogs. Hope you like it. I welcome your feedback