The South Indian state of Tamil Nadu has alone around 33,000 templs in the World (might be more than that), in this there are many temples 800 to 5000 years old. These Tamil Nadu temples exhibit an important interchange of human values on sacred, developments in studded with complex architecture, variety of sculptures, rich inscriptions, scientific technology, monumental arts, town-planning, landscape design etc, and still these temples remain the essence of the culture and heritage of Tamil Nadu.
One can experience the same on sacred Tamilnadu pilgrimage tour packages
Sacred - Tamil Nadu Pilgrimage Tours
Thiruparankundram is the 1st among the six abodes (Arupadai Veedu Temples) of Lord Murugan. This is the place which is associated with the divine marriage of Lord Murugan with Goddess Deivanai and so it is considered as a sacred place for marriages. Thiruparankundram is a cave temple which is 1050 feet above sea level made out of rock in a hillock. The Rajagopuram (Main Tower) of this temple is found with 7 tiered structures, towering 150 feet high at the entrance of the temple. (Open time: 6am to pm and 4pm to 9pm)
Thiruchendur Murugan temple is the 2nd most temple among the six holy adobes of Lord Murugan. This is the only temple among the six which is located on the sea shore. Normally, the Raja Gopuram will be in the eastern side of temples in Tamil Nadu. But in Thiruchendur alone the Raja Gopuram is in the western side. It is said that the Raja Gopuram was not erected on the eastern side since the sea is very close in the eastern side. History says, When child Arumuga grew up to become a young boy, Lord Shiva asked him to destroy Surapadma and free the Devas from their cruel bondage. Lord Muruga reached Tiruchendur with his huge army and camped. He sent his lieutenant, Veerabahu to the asuras as an emissary and asked Surapadma to release the Devas. Since Surapadma turned down the request, a war ensued. (Open time: 5 am to 9 pm)
This temple is known as the 3rd in Six holy adobes of Lord Murugan and considered the most prominent abodes of Muruga. The deity ‘Lord Palani Murugan’ is referred to as ‘Lord Dandayudhapani’, having the staff in His hand and the deity is made out of amalgam of nine minerals known as ‘Navabashana’.
According to the mythology of this temple, Lord Maharishi Naradar visited Lord Shiva in Kailash and presented a fruit which is called ‘Gnaana Pazham’ (a divine fruit). Lord Shiva decided to conduct a competition stating that the fruit will be gifted to whichever of His two Sons circles the world and reaches first. Accepting the challenge, His younger son Lord Murugan took His Vahan (Vehicle) peacock and started His journey around the world, whereas His elder son Lord Ganesh guessed that this world was His parents Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti and circumambulate them. By seeing the enlightenment of Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva awarded the fruit to Him. When Lord Murugan returned, He was disappointed that all His efforts had been in vain and left Kailash and stands atop the Palani hill. (Open time: 6am to 9pm)
Swamimalai is the 4th Sacred Shrine among the Aaru Padai Veedu Temples. Here Lord Murugan originated the Sacred Pranava Mantra “Om” to Lord Shiva and so engaged with the title ‘Swaminatha’ (Lord of Lords). This Temple is treated as the most sacred place as where Lord Murugan preached the Pranav Mantra “OM” to His father Lord Shiva when He was a child, Temple has three Gopurams (gateways) and three Praharams (precincts) and contains six daily rituals at various times, here Lord Murugan is seen with an Elephant as His Vahan (Vehicle) instead of Peacock in the sanctum. (Open time: 5am to 11am and 4pm to 8pm)
This temple is in 5th of the six holy abodes (Arupadaiveedu) of Lord Muruga. It represents the site where Subramanya stayed after destroying the demon Surapadman. Tiruthani is said to be the place where the Lord Subramanya married Valli - one of his two consorts. This hill temple has reached by motorable road (or) has 365 steps that indicating 365 days of the year. It has 4 prakarams and a series of towers. Thiruthani murugan temple has been mentioned in the Sangam period work "Tirumurugaatruppadai" composed by Nakkeerar. It has been patronized by the Vijayanagar rulers and local chieftains and zamindars. (Open time: 6am to 9pm)
Pazhamudhir Solai is the 6th mentioned temple of Lord Murugan’s Arupadai Veedu Temples. Lord Murugan here stands with a posture of single face with Goddesses Valli and Goddess Deivanai on His both sides. Pazhamudhir Solai, Here, ’Avvaiyar’ the famous female Tamil poet and a great devotee of Lord Murugan, was said to be examined by Lord Murugan from His playful drama. The drama of Lord Murugan concerning Avvaiyar was to acquire an answer from her raising the question, “Which fruit is she needed, whether cooked or uncooked”, which is popularly mentioned in Tamil language as “Sutta Pazham or Sudadha Pazham”. (Open time: 6am to 6pm)
Ekambareswarar temple associated with specifically the element of earth, The temple is the largest and one of the most prominent tourist attraction in Kanchipuram. According to another legend, it is believed that Parvati worshipped Shiva in the form of a Prithivi Lingam (or a Lingam improvised out of sand), under a mango tree. Legend has it that the neighboring Vegavati river overflowed and threatened to engulf the Shiva Lingam and that Parvati or Kamakshi embraced the Lingam. Shiva touched by the gesture materialized in person and married her.
Jambukeswarar Temple associated with specifically the element of water, The sanctum of Jambukeswara has an underground water stream, it is always filled with water. Parvathi in the form of Akilandeswari as per Shiva's wish found Jambu forest (Thiruvanaikoil) to conduct her penance. She made a lingam out of water in Cauvery under the Naaval tree (the Naaval tree on top of the saint Jambu) and commenced her worship. Siva at last gave darshan to Akilandeswari and taught her Siva Gnana. She took Upadesa (lessons) facing East from Shiva
Arunachaleswarar temple associated with specifically the element of fire, The temple complex houses many halls; the most notable is the thousand-pillared hall built during the Vijayanagar period. Lord Shiva wife Parvati, once closed the eyes of Shiva playfully in a flower garden at their abode atop Mount Kailash. Although only a moment for the gods, all light was taken from the universe, it was submerged in darkness for years. Parvati performed penance along with other devotees of Shiva. Then Shiva appeared as a column of fire at the top of Annamalai hills, returning light to the world. The hill in itself is sacred and considered a lingam, or iconic representation of Shiva.
Kalahasteeswara Temple associated with specifically the element of air, This is the only temple in India which remains open during Solar and lunar eclipses, while all other temples are closed. There are several other legends connected to the glory of Kalahasteeswara Temple. Prominent among them is of Parvati who was cursed by Lord Shiva to discard her heavenly body and assume the human form. To get rid of the above curse Parvati did a long penance here. Pleased with her deep devotion Lord Shiva again recreated her body – a hundred times better than her previous heavenly body and initiated various mantras including the Panchakshari. Consequent to this, Parvati gained fame and came to be known as Shiva-Gnanam Gnana Prasunamba or Gnana Prasunambika Devi.
Chidambaram Nataraja Temple (or) Thillai Nataraja Templeassociated with specifically the element of space, The temple wall carvings display all the 108 karanas from the Natya Shastra by Bharata Muni, and these postures form a foundation of Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance. In the Thillai forests resided a group of saints or 'rishis' who believed in the supremacy of magic and that God can be controlled by rituals and 'mantras' or magical words. The Lord strolls in the forest with resplendent beauty and brilliance, assuming the form of 'Pitchatanadar', a simple mendicant seeking alms. He is followed by his Grace and consort who is Lord Vishnu as Mohini. The rishis and their wives are enchanted by the brilliance and the beauty of the handsome mendicant and his consort. On seeing their womenfolk enchanted, the rishis get enraged and invoke scores of 'serpents' by performing magical rituals.
Ramanathaswamy Temple is known for its longest ornate corridor, The presiding deity of Ramanathaswamy (Shiva) is believed to have been established and worshiped by Rama (an 7th avatar of the god Vishnu). According legend, Rama prayed to the god Shiva to absolve him of the sin of killing a Brahmin, committed during his war against the demon king Ravana in Sri Lanka. Rama wanted to have a large lingam to worship Shiva. He directed Hanuman to bring a lingam from the Himalayas. When Hanuman was delayed in bringing the lingam, Sita (wife of Rama) built a small lingam out of the sand available in the sea shore, which is believed to be the lingam in the sanctum
Divya Desam Tour (1st-6th) from Trichy
Divya Desam Tour (7th- 26th) from Kumbakonam
Divya Desam Tour (27th - 40th) from Mayiladudurai
Divya Desam Tour (41 & 42nd) from Pondicherry
Divya Desam Tour (43rd to 57th) Kanchipuram
Divya Desam Tour (58th to 64th) - from Chennai
Suryanar koil "1st Planet" temple which is associated to planet of Sun (சூரியன்/SURYA) who is known as the giver of health, success and prosperity, The Sun represents the soul, the ego and the body of the individual, and therefore its placement is of great importance.
Thingaloor "2nd planet" temple which is associated to planet of Moon (சந்திரன் / CHANDRA or SOMA). This temple is built before the seventh century A.D and a visit to this temple is said to grant a comfortable and long lilfe. The Moon represents the mind, the feelings and, like the ascendant, the overall life of the person.
Vaitheeswaran Kovil ''3rd planet'' temple, which is associated with the planet Mars (செவ்வாய்/ KARTIK, MANGAL or KUJA). This temple is dedicated to the god Shiva. Here Shiva is worshipped as Vaitheeswaran or the "God of healing" and it is believed that prayers to Vaitheeswaran can cure diseases. Mars represents the energy, stamina and younger brothers of the individual. If well placed, it brings strength and focussed energy, if poorly placed accidents and injuries.
Thiruvenkadu "4th planet" temple, which is associated to Planet Mercury (புதன்/BUDDHA), represents the speech, intellect and friends of the individual. It is a very, adaptable and curious planet. If afflicted, it gives speech problems and a poor discriminative ability.
Alangudi "5th planet" temple which is associated to planet of Jupiter (குரு / GURU or BRIHASPATI). The speciality here is that Lord Guru is engraved on the wall and is not in the form of separate idol reunited with Shiva. Jupiter represents knowledge, wisdom and the offspring of the individual. It is a planet of expansion, growth and good fortune.
Kanchanur "6th planet" temple which is associated to planet of Venus (சுக்கிரன்/ SHUKRA). It represents the enjoyment, taste, sexuality and relationships of the individual. It can give a person a great sense of estetics and very pleasant personality, or sensual and tasteless, dependant on how well it is placed in the chart.
Thirunallar "7th planet" temple which is associated to planet of Saturn (சனி/ Lord Sani) and represents the more time related aspects in life: endurance, sense responsibility, hard work, longevity and reclusion. by bathing here, it is believed that one washes off all kinds of misfortune, hardships and to escape from the woes of sani.
Tirunageswaram "8th planet" temple which is associated to shadow planet Rahu (ராகு / Rahu is the point in the zodiac where the paths of the Sun and the Moon cross). If the Sun and Moon in their movement meet in this point, then an eclipse takes place. Eclipses "seize" the light of the Sun or the Moon, and it is this seizing quality that is characteristic for Rahu.
Keezhaperumpallam "9th planet" temple, which is associated to shadow planet Ketu (கேது south nodes of the Moon) Ketu is not really a planet, but rather a mathematically calculated point in the heavens. Because of its lack of a "body" it represents uncertain, unexpected and unpredictable phenomena. It is intelligent and relates to mathematics and other abstract knowledge.
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