Friday, November 9, 2007

Suruttuppalli Sri Pallikondeeswarar


Suruttappalli is a small village located around 60 kms (approx.) in the north of Chennai and just 8 kms from Puthur if you are en route to Thirupathi.

If you are traveling from Chennai, after Poondi once you cross Oothukkottai and enter the Andhrapradesh by road you can reach the temple within 1-2 kms.

Believed to have been built during Vijayanagara period, Pallikondeeswarar temple is a rare and probably the only temple where Lord Shiva is in reclining position like Sri Ranganathar of Sri Rangam or Trivandrum.

Lord Shiva has 5 faces; Isaanam, Thathpurusham, Vaamadhevam, Sathyojaatham and Agoram. There are 5 Shiva temples (called Pancha Brahma Sthalams) near Chennai, representing each of the 5 faces of the Lord. Out of 5, this temple represents the Thathpurusha face of Lord Shiva.

The other 4 being Aarani Sri Sampangi Pitchaaleeswarar (Vamadhevam), Ramagiri Sri Vaaleeswarar (Isaanam), Ariyathurai Sri Varamoortheeswarar (Sathyojaatham) and Karungaali Sri Chinthaamaneeswarar (Agoram). Interestingly, these entire 5 temples lie on the banks of Brahmaranya (Arani) river, till the river merges into the ocean at Karungaali.

According to mythology, when Devas and Asuras churned the mighty ocean (Paarkadal) Alakala Poison got generated from the ocean. To save the universe from the poison, Lord Shiva Himself drank the whole poison. After consuming the poison, as He was feeling a bit dizzy with the power of Alakala, it is said that He rested in Suruttuppalli.

Once he woke up the following day, he saw all Devas, Rishis and other Parivars surrounding him with happiness and relief. And that day is celebrated as Pradhosham by devotees. It is said that Pradhosham worship originated from this temple.

This is the only place where one can get dharshan of Lord Shiva in human form (around 6 feet) that too reclining in Anantha Sayana position on the lap of Godess Parvathi. He is holding his Conch and Deer in his hands and is surrounded by Rishis like Markandeya, Sanakathi Rishis, Lord Muruga, Lord Ganesha and Nandhikeswara playing Veena. The Godess here is known as Madhuravalli.

Pradhosham is celebrated in a big way here. Hundreds of people from various places gather here for Pradhosham festival. But on the other days, this temple is in the state of neglect.

Though situated in Andhrapradesh, this unique temple is very close from Chennai and can be accessible by road by car / bus or even a 2 wheeler.

An ancient and rare temple is a boon to visit, for devotees.