5 Reasons Why Exploring Belum Caves Should be on your travel list.

Who wouldn’t want to explore a dusty old cave which boasts of housing cave people, Jain monks and Buddhist saints in the past? As every Indian worth his/her penny knows, the Buddhist and Jain movements brought about a new change in the Indian lifestyle which was unprecedented. Their effects on the social stratification of the Indian society which refused to evolve from the Vedic ages was exemplary.

And the Belum caves hold a special position in both the doctrines as these caves were used by both Jain and Buddhist monks, albeit at different times. The legacy of these monks along with the priceless earthenware retrieved from the caves, make them a hotbed for tourists yearning to get a taste of the rich cultural heritage of India. You can explore Belum Caves, Andhra Pradesh and get to know a lot about the Indian cultural historiography than any book would ever tell you.

Exploring the Belum caves may be slightly tricky due to the subterranean location of the caves. On any given route of the cave, one has to walk around for an hour amidst slightly lower concentrations of atmospheric oxygen which makes it a tad bit difficult to breathe. Hence very stable and pleasant weather is needed for this. So the ideal time to undertake a trip to the Belum Caves is the winter season.

The caves are situated near a village which shares its name with the caves. The Belum Village is located about 100 km away from Kurnool. One can hire buses and taxis from there. The cities of Hyderabad and Bangalore also have buses and taxis to take one to Belum caves. The nearest airport is the Tirupati Airport which is situated around 250 km away from the caves. The nearest railhead is Tadipatri which is about 30 km away from the caves and has cabs to take one to the caves from thereon. Here is your comprehensive Belum cave travel guide before you plan your trip.

Belum Cave, in spite of being well-known to the local masses, only came into prominence when the British archeologist and geologist Robert Bruce Foote ‘discovered’ it in 1884. Since then a plethora of earthenware dating back to 4500 BC has been unearthed at the spot along with the vessels and utensils used by the Jain and Buddhist monks at later dates.

The caves formed over a million years into the structure that they are today. The limestone and brine at the caves got accumulated over many millennia to give it the amazing structural integrity and shape that it has today. The stalactites and stalagmites on carbon dating show the extent to which they had developed.

Ever since the cave opened for the common public in 2002, this has become one of the crown jewels in possession of the tourism department of Andhra Pradesh. The cave is the largest network of caves open for public viewing and the second largest overall after Meghalaya’s Krem Liat Prah which has been closed to the public due to the perilous condition that it presently is in. Of the three and a half kilometers of the cave which has been explored so far, the tourist are allowed into only one and a half kilometer because of safety reasons.

5 Reasons why you should definitely take a trip to Belum

  1. Patalganga
  2. The Three Sinkholes
  3. Saptasvarala Guha
  4. Kotilingalu Chamber
  5. Dhyan Mandir

1. Patalganga

This is the subterranean stream which flows through the Belum Caves all year round. The stream erupts from and submerges underground inside the cave. Archeologists and geologists have failed to answer the source of the stream or its outflow. The only thing that they can certainly say about the stream is that it helped in the formation of the stalactites and has also contributed towards the structural development of the caves.

The Three Sinkholes

Due to the continuous flow of the Patalganga over the rocks, three sinkholes have been formed on the cave floor. Ever since their discovery, the sinkholes have kept geologists utterly engrossed and befuddled at the same time. These sinkholes are a geologists’ feast, anytime, anywhere. The subterranean water flow of the Patalganga has influenced the formation of the sinkholes almost completely.

3.Saptasvarala Guha

The literal translation of the name of this chamber in the cave into English is ‘the chamber of seven notes’. There is a reason behind the unique nomenclature of the lake. This particular chamber has musical properties. When the walls of this chamber are hit with knuckles, branches or anything else, they produce musical notes. Legend has it that one can play all notes on the walls if only they knew the correct spots.

4. Kotilingalu Chamber

Belum Caves

The literal English meaning of the name of this chamber is the room with ten million idols of worship. The lingams are all formed of stalactites. The curious shape of the stalactites led the local dwellers to consider these as idols and in turn make this place into a holy site. One such stalactite formation is the Voodalamari which resembles a banyan tree. There is yet another notable stalactite which resembles a thousand headed cobra.

5. Dhyan Mandir

This chamber comprises of solid evidence that the cave was used by the Jain and Buddhist monks for meditational purposes. There have been stones unearthed which resemble pillows and a bed which suggests that this was the place used by the monks for meditation. Moreover, the utensils retrieved all came from this area of the cave, thus strengthening the belief that the monks resided here at some point.

Other notable attractions nearby

Belum Caves is not the only tourist attraction of the region as this area is filled with tourist hotspots. Some important sites are Yaganti, Oravakallu Rock Garden, Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary and Ahobhilam Temple. There is also the Gnadikota Canyon which is considered to be the Grand Canyon of India. All in all, this region promises a grand holiday full of new adventures, history and above all loads of fun. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and plan your trip. You know you want to.

POONDI – ‘A PLACE SHIVERING THROUGHOUT THE YEAR’.

Poondi village is located in India and listed under Taluk : Kodaikanal, in the district of Dindigul, Tamil Nadu State.

Poondi Info

  • Poondi Poondi is a Village in Kodaikanal Taluk in Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu State, India
  • It is located 86 KM towards west from District head quarters Dindigul
  • 21 KM from Kodaikanal
  • 527 KM from State capital Chennai Poondi Pin code is 624103 and postal head office is Kodaikanal Observatory
  • Poondi is surrounded by Bodinayakkanur Taluk towards South , Periyakulam Taluk towards East , Theni Taluk towards South , Devikulam Taluk towards west
  • Periyakulam , Theni Allinagaram , Palani , Valparai are the nearby Cities to Poondi
  • This Place is in the border of the Dindigul District and Theni District
  • Theni District Periyakulam is East towards this place
  • Demographics of Poondi Tamil is the Local Language here.

Poondi Location

Taluk Name : Kodaikanal
District : Dindigul
State : Tamil Nadu
Language : Tamil
Time zone: IST (UTC+5:30)
Elevation / Altitude: 296 meters. Above Seal level
Telephone Code / Std Code: 04542
Pin Code : 624103
Post Office Name : Kodaikanal Observatory

How to Reach Poondi

Poondi

By Train

There is no railway station near to Poondi in less than 10 km. How ever Madurai Jn Rail Way Station is major railway station 102 KM near to Poondi

Nearby Railway Stations

Bodinayakkanur- 23 KM
Teni- 28 KM
Palani- 41 KM
Andipatti- 44 KM

Places near Poondi

Kodaikanal- 20 KM
Devikulam- 30 KM
Munnar- 34 KM
Palani Hills- 36 KM
Idukki- 60 KM

Poondi Nearby Places

Few nearby places of Poondi are listed below for your reference:

Cities

Periyakulam- 28 KM
Theni Allinagaram- 29 KM
Palani- 40 KM
Valparai- 48 KM

Taluks

Kodaikanal- 21 KM
Bodinayakkanur- 24 KM
Theni- 26 KM
Periyakulam- 28 KM

Airports

Madurai Airport- 104 KM
Peelamedu Airport- 110 KM
Kochi Airport- 114 KM
Civil Airport- 184 KM

District Head Quarters

Theni- 43 KM
Idukki- 60 KM
Dindigul- 82 KM
Madurai- 103 KM

I recommend Poondi to everyone out there who loves nature and want to spend some time away from their busy rush life. This will definitely be a unique experience for you.

Melukote – The Badrinath of South India.

Melkote is the temple town situated in Mandya district of Karnataka state in India. The main temple, also known as Thirunarayanapura, is built on rocky hills called as Yadugiri or Yadavagiri overlooking the Kaveri valley.

Lord Vishnu is worshipped in different forms across the world and Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple is one of the many temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is located about 156 kilometers from Bangalore and about 48 kilometers from Mysore.

The spiritual significance of Melkote is described in different Vedic scriptures such as Naradiya Purana, Matsya Purana, Ishwara Samhita as well as Kashi Mahatmya. Melukote is also praised as Badrinath of South India

Melkote contains two ancient temples in which Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple has two very ancient deities of Lord Vishnu and Yoga Narasimha Temple which houses ancient deity of Lord Narasimha. All these deities have come down to this planet Earth through the hands of the great devotees of Lord as well as different incarnations of Lord Vishnu Himself.

A number of inscriptions and records of the place speak of the land grants and gifts to this shrine. Perhaps the fort on the hill was built during Hoysala period. The renovated temple has a beautiful gopuram.

This majestic temple is built on a rocky hill known as Yadavagiri or Yadugiri rock overlooking the Cauveri valley. Melkote Bus stand is just at the foothills of Sri Yoga Narasaimhaswwamy Temple. It is a small hill with around 400 steps.

And there is a motorable road reaches us somewhere above the midway of the hill. Autos and Cars can go upto this point and from there, it would be hardly 150 steps to reach the temple through these 150 steps are bit steeper.

There are refreshments available (tender coconut, mangoes, cucumber, butter milk, water, etc.,) throughout the way and visitors can rest and replenish themselves anytime.

The temple has a huge drum that was donated by Tipu Sultan. It has a beautiful bell that was donated by the Mysore Parakalamatha. During the rule of the erstwhile Wodeyar Kings of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar III had donated a gold crown to the temple deity.

Architectural Elegance

Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple is over 1000 years old. The carvings, the intricacy and the manifestation of the engravings on the temple are simply commendable. Every godly sculpture standing erect here holds high the ethics of Hinduism and prove being a piece of historical evidence to the generations to come.

The Temple is an ultimate masterpiece of crafstamanship when it comes to its sculptures and pillars built in the Dravidian Style of architecture. The temple architecture incorporates a large pond constructed near the foothills. Just next to the main steps of the temple is the very famous pond called the Pancha Kalyani. It is a pond built of stone and is in the shape of a stepped well which includes a huge mantap called the Bhuvaneshwari mantap. The main deity of the temple is placed in a square structured platform in the main sanctum of the temple.

Darshan timing at Melkote Temple

Cheluva Narayanaswamy temple 7:30am-1:00pm, 4:00pm-6:00pm and 7:00pm-8:30p. On weekends, the morning timing is 8:30am to 1:30pm.

Puja (Nithyakatle)at Yoganarasimha Temple is   from 9-10 am. Abhisheka is from 10-11am. Darshan is from 11am-1pm and 5:30-8pm. On weekends, the darshan timing is 11.00am to 2.00pm and 5.00pm to 8.00pm.

Stay at Melkote Temple

While Melkote is a prominent tourist place in Karnataka, there are no hotels. However, Sanskrit Academy at the base of Roya Gopura has cottages. Each cottage has 2 bedrooms, living room and a kitchen.  For more details, visit Sanskrit Academy Melkote. 

How to reach Melkote Temple :

  • By Air – Bangalore International Airport is 133 kms away. 
  • By Train – The nearest railway station is Mysore, 53 kms away. 
  • By Bus – Many government and private buses are available from Bangalore and Mysore. 

Distance from Bangalore is 150 kms and from Mysore 48 kms. 

Adiyogi Shiva Statue.

Adiyogi .

Widely popular for its ancient temples, museums, expansive zoological parks and gardens, Coimbatore is truly a treasure trove for travellers in Tamil Nadu. The city is home to several explore worthy gems, one of them being the Adiyogi Shiva Statue.

Adiyogi Shiva Statue in Coimbatore is one of the biggest statues in India, which are dedicated to the great Hindu god Lord Shiva. Located in the Isha Foundation Complex in Coimbatore, the statue is carved out of 500 stones of steel and stands tall at the height of 112 feet. It is surrounded by verdant green farms at the foothills of Velliangiri Mountain in the Western Ghats, offering a relaxing environment to practice Yoga and meditation.

Adiyogi Shiva Statue is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest bust sculpture of Lord Shiva in the world that is 34 metres tall, 25 metres wide and 45 metres long.

Adiyogi – The Source of Yoga
Adiyogi, known as the first Yogi, passed on the science of yoga to the Saptarishi, his seven disciples. This included 112 ways through which human beings can transcend their limitations and reach their ultimate potential.

In Vedic science, Shiva is looked upon as the first guru with his teachings surviving the time and inspiring people to aspire for their highest possibilities. Following the same lines, the iconic face of Shiva as Adiyogi was unveiled by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Isha Yoga Center in Coimbatore on 24 February 2017, the auspicious night of Maha Shivratri. The face of the statue is 112 feet high and represents the 112 ways offered by Adiyogi to attain enlightenment.

The Adiyogi Shiva Statue is located near the Yogeshwar Linga that was consecrated by the Sadhguru as a manifestation of five major chakras in the human system. Together, both the linga and the statue have become a living entity to inspire the people towards inner well-being through Yoga.

A Perfect Place for Those Seeking liberations
Adiyogi Shiva, the tallest and the biggest lord Shiva statue in India and the world promote the culture of yoga and meditation. Anyone and and everyone is invited to the place to practice the art of yoga and transform themselves into better and healthy human beings.

The face of Adiyogi is of an iconic presence to orient the world towards transformation. It is a transformation beyond thought and emotion. Further, it is a very important tool for those who are striving to liberate themselves.

The Adiyogi Shiva Statue along with the Yogeshwar linga temple makes for a perfect getaway in Coimbatore for people seeking liberation. Besides yoga and meditation, devotees of Shiva can offer water and neem leaves to the linga and vastram to the statue. This is believed to be an act of opening up to the energies of the lord.

Adiyogi Divya Darshanam
Adiyogi Divya Darshanam is a 3D laser show that narrates the story of Adiyogi and how human beings were introduced to the science of yoga in the voice of Sadhguru. The music composed by Sounds of Isha further enhances the spectacular show.

Adiyogi Divya Darshanam is a 14 minutes light and dance show that has won the 2020 Mondo dr EMEA and APAC award for Technology in Entertainment in the house of worship category. It competed with several brilliant entries from Europe, Africa, Middle East, and the Asia Pacific Region and came out to be the best.

Adiyogi Shiva Statue – Timings and Entry Fee
The Adiyogi Shiva statue and the Yoheshwar linga temple is open from 6 am in the morning to 8 pm at night on all days of the week. However, the timings are different during festivals and special events. During Purnima and Amavasya, the place is open until midnight. Also, a music concert is offered in front of the Adiyogi Shiva Statue at night, from 10:30 pm to 11:30 pm followed by the distribution of prasad.

The best part is that the Isha Foundation allows visitors to enter the place free of cost.

How to Reach the Adiyogi
The Adiyogi Shiva Statue is located in the Dhyanalinga complex in Coimbatore. It can be reached by tourists in the following ways.

By Bus
One can take a bus from the Gandhipuram bus stand to the Dhyanalinga complex to cover the distance of 45 minutes and then another 7 minutes walk to reach the statue.

By Car
When travelling by car, it takes around 1 hour 30 minutes to reach the Adiyogi from Coimbatore. For visitors coming from outside the city or state, the place is 32 km from Coimbatore bus station, 30 km from Coimbatore railway station and 42 km from Coimbatore airport. Besides, the city is well connected to other parts of the country with national and state highways.

Meenakshi Temple Madurai.

Location: Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Built By: Kulashekarar Pandyan

Architectural Style: Dravidian

Dedicated To: Meenakshi (Goddess Parvati) and Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva)

Tradition: Shaivism

Major Festival: Tirukalyanam Festival / Chithirai Thiruvizha

Meenakshi Amman Temple, also known as Minakshi-Sundareshwara Temple, is one of the oldest and most important temples in India. Located in the city of Madurai, the temple has a great mythological and historical significance. It is believed that Lord Shiva assumed the form of Sundareswarar (the handsome one) and married Parvati (Meenakshi) at the site where the temple is currently located. Renowned for its astonishing architecture, Meenakshi Temple was nominated as one of the wonders of the world, but couldn’t make it into the list of ‘Seven Wonders of the World’. However, the temple is definitely one of the ‘Wonders of India’. It is also one of the main attractions of South India with thousands of devotees thronging it every day. During the ‘Tirukalyanam Festival,’ which takes place over a period of 10 days, the temple attracts more than a million devotees. Despite many people visiting it every day, the temple is well-maintained and was named the ‘Best Swachh Iconic Place’ (cleanest iconic place) in India.

Mythology

According to a legend, Meenakshi emerged out of a ‘Yajna’ (sacred fire) as a three-year-old girl. The ‘Yajna’ was performed by a king named Malayadwaja Pandya along with his wife Kanchanamalai. Since the royal couple had no child, the King offered his prayers to Lord Shiva, requesting him to grant them a son. But to their dismay, a triple-breasted girl emerged from the sacred fire. When Malayadwaja and his wife expressed their concern over the girl’s abnormal appearance, a divine voice ordered them not to fret over the girl’s physical appearance. They were also informed that the girl’s third breast will disappear as soon as she meets her future husband. The relieved King named her Meenakshi and in due course crowned her as his successor.

Meenakshi ruled over the ancient city of Madurai and also went on to capture the neighboring kingdoms. Legend has it that she even captured Indralok, the abode of Lord Indra, and was on her way to capture Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva, as well. When Shiva appeared before her, Meenakshi’s third breast disappeared and she knew that she had met her better half. Shiva and Meenakshi returned to Madurai where their wedding took place. It is said that the wedding was attended by all the gods and goddesses. Since Parvati herself had assumed the form of Meenakshi, Lord Vishnu, Parvati’s brother, handed her over to Lord Shiva. Even today, the wedding ceremony is celebrated every year as ‘Chithirai Thiruvizha’ which is also known as ‘Tirukalyanam’ (the grand wedding).

History 

The history of Meenakshi Temple dates back to the 1st century C.E with scholars claiming it to be as old as the city itself. It is said that Kulashekarar Pandyan, a king who ruled over the Pandyan dynasty, built the temple as per the instructions given in his dream by Lord Shiva. A few religious texts that belong to the 1st to 4th century C.E talk about the temple and describe it as the central structure of the city. Texts dating back to the early 6th century, describe the temple as a place where scholars met to discuss important topics. The temple as it stands today, however, was rebuilt throughout the 16th century as it was destroyed by the Muslim invaders. 

During the 14th century C.E, Malik Kafur, a commander of Delhi Sultanate, led his army into most parts of southern India and looted many temples including the famed Meenakshi Temple. Valuables, such as gold, silver and precious gems were taken to Delhi. Since temples in those days had abundance of valuables, most of the temples were destroyed and were left in ruins. When the Vijayanagar Empire took over Madurai after defeating the Muslim Sultanate, the temple was rebuilt and reopened. The temple was further expanded during the late 16th century and early 17th century by Vishwanatha Nayakar, a king of the Nayaka dynasty. According to researchers, while rebuilding the temple, the rulers of Nayaka dynasty followed the architectural style of ‘Silpa Shastras.’ ‘Silpa Shastras’ are a set of architectural laws found in the ancient texts.

Temple Structure 

The temple occupies a huge area in the heart of Madurai as it spreads over 14 acres. The temple is enclosed with huge walls, which were built in response to the invasions. The entire structure, when viewed from above, represents a mandala. A mandala is a structure built according to the laws of symmetry and loci. There are various shrines built within the temple complex. Apart from the two main shrines, which are dedicated to Sundareswarar and Meenakshi, the temple has shrines dedicated to various other deities like Ganesha and Murugan. The temple also houses goddesses Lakshmi, Rukmini, and Saraswati. 

The temple also has a consecrated pond named ‘Porthamarai Kulam.’ The term ‘Potramarai Kulam’ is a literal translation of ‘pond with a golden lotus.’ The structure of a golden lotus is placed at the center of the pond. It is said that Lord Shiva blessed this pond and declared that no marine life would grow in it. In the Tamil folklore, the pond is believed to be an evaluator for reviewing the worth of any new literature.

The major ‘gopurams’ of the temple are listed below:

  • Kadaka Gopuram – This towering gateway leads to the main shrine that houses Goddess Meenakshi. The gateway was rebuilt by Tumpichi Nayakkar during the mid-16th century. The ‘gopuram’ has five storeys.
  • Sundareswarar Shrine Gopuram – This is the oldest ‘gopuram’ of the temple and was built by Kulasekara Pandya. The ‘gopuram’ serves as a gateway to the Sundareswarar (Lord Shiva) shrine.
  • Chitra Gopuram – Built by Maravarman Sundara Pandyan II, the gopuram depicts the religious and secular essence of Hinduism. 
  • Nadukkattu Gopuram – Also called as the ‘Idaikattu Gopuram,’ this gateway leads to the Ganesha shrine. The gateway is placed right in between the two main shrines. 
  • Mottai Gopuram – This ‘gopuram’ has fewer stucco images when compared to the other gateways. Interestingly, ‘Mottai gopuram’ had no roof for nearly three centuries. 
  • Nayaka Gopuram – This ‘gopuram’ was built by Visvappa Nayakkar around 1530. The ‘gopuram’ is astonishingly similar to another gateway called ‘Palahai Gopuram.’

The temple also has numerous pillared halls called ‘Mandapams.’ These halls were built by various kings and emperors and they serve as resting places for pilgrims and devotees. Some of the most important ‘mandapams’ are given below:

  • Ayirakkal Mandapam – It literally translates to ‘hall with thousand pillars.’ The hall, which was built by Ariyanatha Mudaliar, is a true spectacle as it is supported by 985 pillars. Each and every pillar is sculpted magnificently and has images of Yali, a mythological creature.
  • Kilikoondu Mandapam – This ‘mandapam’ was originally built to house hundreds of parrots. The parrots that were kept there in cages were trained to say ‘Meenakshi’. The hall, which is next to the Meenakshi shrine, has sculptures of characters from Mahabharata. 
  • Ashta Shakthi Mandapam – This hall houses the sculptures of eight goddesses. Built by two queens, the hall is placed in between the main ‘gopuram’ and the gateway that leads to the Meenakshi shrine.
  • Nayaka Mandapam – ‘Nayaka Mandapam’ was built by Chinnappa Nayakkar. The hall is supported by 100 pillars and houses a Nataraja statue.

Significance & Worship

Since Meenakshi is the main deity of the temple, the temple signifies the importance of woman in a Tamil Hindu family. The temple also portrays the cordial relationship between Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism. The Sundareswarar shrine is known as one fifth of ‘Pancha Sabhai’ (five courts) where Lord Shiva is believed to have performed the cosmic dance. Worship mainly involves rituals and processions. One of the rituals involves placing an image of Sundareswarar inside a palanquin which is then moved to the shrine of Meenakshi. The palanquin is taken into the shrine every night and is brought back to the shrine of Sundareswarar every morning. The devotees usually worship Meenakshi before offering their prayers to Sundareswarar.

Festivals

Apart from the main festival, which is basically the wedding ceremony of the deities, a number of other festivals are celebrated in the temple. Some of these include ‘Vasantham festival,’ ‘Unjal festival,’ ‘Mulai-Kottu festival,’ ‘Arudhra Dharsan festival,’ ‘Thai utsavam,’ ‘Kolattam festival,’ etc. Each of these festivals has its own significance and is celebrated during various months throughout the year. The temple also celebrates ‘Navarathri festival.’ During ‘Navarathri’ the temple displays colorful dolls which are collectively called ‘gollu.’ ‘Gollu’ often convey stories from mythological scenes.

Lepakshi Temple – History, Mystery, Hanging Pillar, Architecture, Shivalinga, Footprint, Timings, 

The Veerabhadra temple Lepakshi is located in Lepakshi in the Indian country of Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district. Built-in the 16th century, the temple’s architectural characteristics are in Vijayanagara style with an abundance of sculptures and paintings on nearly every exposed temple surface. It is one of the domestic significance’s centrally protected monuments. The fresco paintings are particularly detailed from the epic stories of the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas in very bright dresses and colors with scenes of Rama and Krishna and are well preserved.

There is a very big Nandi (bull), mount of Shiva, about 200 meters away from the temple, carved from a single block of stone said to be one of the biggest of its kind in the globe.

The temple was constructed at Penukonda during King Achutaraya’s reign in 1530 by Virupanna Nayaka and Viranna, both brothers who were Governors under the Vijayanagar Empire. The government defrayed the expense of constructing the temple. The temple is one of the divyakshetras, Lord Shiva’s significant pilgrimage place, according to Skanda Purana.

The temple is of the architectural style of Vijayanagara. The primary temple consists of three components: the assembly hall known as the Mukha mantapa or Natya mantapa or Ranga mantapa; the Arda mandapa or antarala (antechamber); and the garbhagriha or sanctum sanctorum. Two enclosures surround the temple as an edifice. There are three gates in the outermost walled enclosure, the northern door is frequently used. The internal east gate is the entrance to the assembly hall, a big open hall built in its main portion with a big room.

The Swamy Temple of Veerabhadra is calm, serene and has maintained its holiness. The exterior part has a huge dance hall that supports the roof with countless pillars. The famous ‘veerabhadra temple lepakshi hanging pillar’ that doesn’t touch the temple ground at all is one corner pillar. A British engineer Hamilton, puzzled by this, attempted in 1910 to rectify this architectural aberration. Although to touch the floor, he managed to create one corner of the pillar. It resulted in a tectonic change in this exterior hall’s ceiling, with roof alignment distortion and pillars now leaning on and distorting the ceiling paintings. The engineer knew that this whole building could be ruined by any further effort instead. Further study showed that the pillar was acting as ballast on the ceiling of the hall.

The Shivling of Lepakshi Temple You can step out in the temple courtyard from close this pillar. Now, you’re in the primary temple’s back. From here, walk to the right and once again take a turn to the right at the end. You’re going to be witnessing a huge Shivling soon. But under a multifaceted snake (the naag), the Shivling is also hooded. This is a Shivling unique.

The footprints of Sita inside the campus of Lepakshi Temple. Moving on, you’ll arrive at an enormous footprint on the temple floor after crossing the Kalyan Mandapa. Almost as if somebody were stamping on the ground with force. Goddess Sita is thought to have this footprint. This footprint is always moist, interestingly. You can see this foot constantly sipping and washing water from underneath.

Although this water’s origin is unknown. Yet, as it is the footstep of the divine Goddess, it is thought that water magically appears as a sign of regard for her. And you can attempt to dry the water or wipe it out, it slowly flows back into location.

It is said that they stopped at this temple for a while when Ravana abducted Goddess Sita and took her to Sri Lanka. It is thought that this is the origin of the footprint seen in the temple premises floor.

Veerabhadra Temple Lepakshi Timings:

Lepakshi Veerabhadra Swamy Temple Timings – Temple is open every day of the week from 5.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. in the evening. During festivals, however, timings alter.

Veerabhadra Temple Lepakshi From Bangalore: 2 h 21 min (122.4 km) via Bellary Rd and NH 44.

Lepakshi Temple

LEPAKSHI.

The small village of Lepakshi in Anantapur district is famous for its Veerabhadra Temple, which preserves amazing artefacts of the 16th century. The village is situated at a distance of 120 km from Bengaluru. According to legends, the name Lepakshi is associated with the bird Jatayu of Ramayana. He fell down wounded here while rescuing Goddess Sita and was commanded to rise by Lord Rama, hence the name Le Pakshi, which in local language means rise bird. This legend can also be supported by a giant foot mark at the temple which is believed to be of Sita. Built in the typical Vijayanagara style of architecture, the temple features many beautifully designed carvings on each pillar of gods, goddesses and dancers. This temple is known for another engineering wonder. Among the 70 stoned pillars, there is one pillar that hangs from the ceiling and barely touches the ground. Known as the hanging pillar, any thin object like newspaper or cloth can be passed through its base. As you will enter the village you will spot a giant Nandi, the mount of Lord Shiva, facing the front gate of the main temple. This huge statue of Nandi is carved out of a single stone which is believed to be the largest in the world.

Well connected through main city via all means of transport. Bus services quite prominent. Lepakshi is reached by going north from Bengaluru, turn west at the Kodikonda checkpost on the Hyderabad highway NH 44. Lepakshi is 14 km away from Hindupur where there are bus and train links.

Lepakshi

Thanjavur Brihadeeswara Temple History.

The Big Temple of Tanjavore is a stunning monument that speaks oodles about the  architectural mastery of the Chola era.  This 212 ft (64.8 meter) towering Shiva temple is home to  one of the largest Shiva Lingas of the country.  A majestic Nandhi (bull), measuring a gigantic 19.4 ‘ x 8.23’ x 12’ (5.94 x 2.51 x 3.66 in meters) stands guard over the temple.  This is the second largest  Nandhi in India and is carved out of a single stone.  Everything about this temple is big, majestic.  No wonder it is referred  as The Big Temple.

The Big Temple was constructed by Raja Raja Chola I, the greatest king of the Chola dynasty between  AD 985 and 1014.  The Chola dynasty were Shaivites.  Vijayalaya Chola who envisioned “The Chola  Empire”  ruled around AD 850.  Raja Raja Chola I was the greatest warrior and administrator in the Chola dynasty.  King Raja Raja Cholan was the most successfull in expanding their empire.  The Big Temple  was an expression of the success of Raja Raja Chola’s empire.  This temple is also called as  Brahadeeswara Temple or Peruvudaiyar Kovil or Rajarajeswaram.  The temple is part of the UNESCO  World Heritage site known as the “Great Living Chola Temples”.

King Raja Raja Cholan had the main temple built completely with granite.  It is hard to imagine how, in  that age, more than 130,000 tones of granite was brought to the temple site, especially given that  there is no granite quarry within a hundred kilometers of the temple site.  Another stunning  architectural feat is the Vimana / Shikhara – the spire atop the temple.  The beautiful lotus shaped stone of  the Big Temple weighs a stunning 80 tons.  We can but marvel at the engineering mastermind who  managed to hoist an 80 ton carved rock up a 212 feet tower back in the 11th century.

The chief architect of the temple was Kunjara Mallan Raja Raja Perunthachan.  The layout of the  temple is based on the principles of Vastu Shastra, the ancient Hindus science of architecture and  construction and Agamas, the ancient scripts that define principles behind temple construction.  The  central temple site is surrounded by a rectangular boundary 885 ‘ x 450 ‘ (270 m by 140 m).  The  temple boundary holds many sub shrines besides the main temple and the Nandi. 

The niches on three sides of the temple hold images of Shiva, Vishnu and Durga.  The southern wall  has sculptures of Ganesha, Vishnu with his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi, Lakshmi, a pair of  Dvarapalas, Vishnu anugraha murti, Bhikshatana, Virabhadra, Dakshinamurti, Kalanta and Nataraja.   On the west side there are images of Harihara, Ardhanarishvara, a pair of dvarapalas and two  Chandrasekharas, one with and the other without halo.  On the north, in the lower series, the  depiction of Adhanarisvara, Gangadhara, a pair of dvarapalas, Virabhadra (with a sword and a shield),  Alingana Chandrasekhara, Siva holding a Sula (spear), a pair of dvarapalas, Sarasvati,  Mahishasuramardini and Bhairava.  The north series shows a number of Tripurantakas repeated in  each niche.  In the small circular space of the top niches are present the carvings of Ganesha,  Vrishabavahana, Bhikshatana, Narasimha and Varaha.

Besides these, each wall of the temple and the surrounding architecture are filled to the brim with  carvings and paintings depicting the rich history of art, culture, mythology and science of the era.

Poets who sang its praise : Karuvoorar.

Brihadeeswarar Temple Timings

6.00 a.m. – 12.30 Noon, 4.00 p.m. – 8.30 p.m.

Temple Festivals : chitharai madham – pramorsavam – 18 days festival – on the day of sathaya  natchathiram people raises the flag and During chithirai nathathiram theerthavari takes place.

Aipasi – Raja raja cholan birth day function – Grand function takes place during sathya natchathiram.  On that day festival happens continueously,from morning 9.00 AM to 3.00 PM.on that day swamy  roaring takes place.

During aipasi month god decoration happens with full of foods,it will take place as a grand function

Special poojas will be contected During the days of Thiruvathirai,aadipuram,karthigai

Every pradhosha days the number of people come to temple is very huge in number

Special function takes place at the time of Deevali ,Pongal ,and New year

Nearest Town : Tanjore.

Temple Address : Piragatheeshvarar Temple(Tanjore Big Temple),

Tanjore – 613 001.

Telephone No : +91-4362- 274476

Thanjavur Brihadeeswarar Temple

Tanjore Temple: all you need to know before visiting.

The land of temples -India is home to some of the most beautiful, historic, and architecturally fabulous temples in the world. Often a hot topic for researchers when it comes to building techniques and heights achieved in ancient times as compared to the technological progress achieved in building monuments today. The Tanjore Temple is an architectural marvel, which stumps historians even today.

While this temple is closed temporarily, just like all the others in India, we hope you have enough information around it to plan a trip to this wonder when its doors open.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Thanjavur Brihadeshwara Temple, symbolises heritage and culture of the Tamilnadu state. Locally known as the Thanjavur Periya Kovil, this temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and is one of the largest temples in India. King Raja Raja Cholan had this temple built between 984 A.D. and 1010 A.D. The temple shows the creative skills and affluence of the Chola kingdom

History

Arulmozhivarman, the emperor, popularly known as Rajaraja Chola I, was a Lord Shiva devotee and laid the foundations of the Tanjore temple after he dreamt about it in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). This temple was the center of most festivals celebrated in the Chola kingdom and it served as the center of economic and religious activities. Villages from the country provided human resources and material to maintain the temple.

Location

Called the Big Temple, it lies is in the Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu. Built on the banks of the river Cauvery, where the water was diverted to the moat, this temple is made entirely of granite, and it stands tall amidst fortified walls. The closest airports are Tiruchirappalli and Madurai and closest seaport is the Karaikal port.

The Tanjore temple is on the top Archaeologist List of top picks for its unsolved mysteries and engineering feats in the 11th -century.

Places to visit while visiting Tanjore Temple

1. Airavateshwara Temple: It is one of the greatest living Chola temples in Darasuram, Tanjavur. The legends say Lord Shiva’s white elephant Airawat worshipped the Lord to clear the curse Sage Durvasa gave him. A visit to this temple is a must.

2. Thanjavur Royal Palace: Located inside the Vijayanagara fort complex, the royal palace was once the residence of the Nayak Kings. The Nayak Hall, Saraswati Mahal library and the durbar hall are worth a visit.

3. Gangaikonda Temple: The architectural brilliance of Thanjavur does not end with the Tanjore temple. The 1000-year old Gangaikonda temple is an instance of the beautiful temple carvings, engineering virtuoso and historic significance of the Chola reign. It is a part of the UNESCO’s Living Chola temples World Heritage sites.

4. Vijayanagar Fort: Just 2-km away from the Brahadeeswara temple lies the celebrated Vijayanagar Fort. This stately fort was built partly by the Nayak and the Maratha monarchs in early 1550 AD. The Shiva Ganga Gardens are also a part of the complex. Though the fort is mostly in ruins today, it still resonates the métier and opulence it must have once had.

Read More : Things to Do in Thanjavur

How to reach the temple

The temple is easily accessible with direct flights to Tiruchirappalli or Madurai or the nearest railway station Thanjavur or Trichy. You can even use the bus or local taxi to reach Thanjavur.

Madurai

Madurai vibes

The ancient South Indian city of Madurai is often referred to as ‘Thoonganagaram’, or the ‘City That Never Sleeps’, thanks to its Princess, the warrior Goddess Meenakshi, who keeps a watchful eye over it. Go to this ancient temple town in Tamil Nadu and you will be amazed at how it still reverberates with wondrous legends. Perhaps the most beautiful is the legend surrounding its name, ‘Madurai’, a reference to the nectar that fell from Lord Shiva’s locks.
In Madurai, history and legend are inextricably intertwined.