Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Photos - Azhagar koil Divya Desam samprokshanam

Yoga Narasimha Temple Melkote

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rukmani Satyabhama Sametha Sri Venugopalaswamy Temple, Kuraiyur

The pujas of Kuraiyur temple are similar to those of Srirangam
Once upon a time there was an agraharam that had 99 Brahmin families. That's possibly why this village in Madurai district was called Kuraiyur, meaning incomplete village. Many centuries later, the very same village now has hundreds of families of other communities, but only one Brahmin family lives in the original agraharam.
For various reasons, Kuraiyur is a model village. This scenic place near Kallikudi, 40 km from the bustle of Madurai, made headlines a quarter century ago with mass religious conversion to Christianity and Islam. In spite of that, the different communities here respect each other and jointly celebrate the festivals of the village's presiding deity.
The centre of attraction is a three-century-old Rukmani Satyabhama Sametha Sri Venugopalaswamy Temple. This north-facing temple opens up straight into the agraharam that was once just short of 100 houses.
The entrance mandap has sannidhis for Garuda and Hanuman and steps leading to the mahamandap, arthamandap and sanctum sanctorum. In the sanctum sanctorum Lord Krishna stands with flute in his hands, flanked by his consorts Rukmani and Satyabhama.The pillars sport little stucco figurines of Lord Shiva and a few other deities. It also believed that the temple had sannidhis for Vishwaksenar, Nammalvar, Ramanujar and Sakkarathalvar.
Any temple situated on the banks of a river is picturesque. The Sri Venugopalaswamy Temple stands on the banks of the Kamandala River, which flows from south to north and ran dry centuries ago. The villagers say the river was filled with Kura flowers, as mentioned in the Vaishnavite text of Nalayira Divya Prabandam, and hence the village was named Kuraiyur.
According to the oral tradition, during one of his visits to the Madurai region, the 14th Century king Vendru Malaiyitta Veerapandian of Tenkasi had a revelation and constructed the temple. C. Santhalingam, retired Archaeological Officer, says that there was no king by that name. But the name correlates with the 17th Century Kerala ruler Vendru Mankonda Boothala Veera Marthandan. He ruled the Pandya region for some time, particularly the southernmost regions of Tirunelveli and Virudhunagar, after the fall of the Pandya kingdom. His headquarters were at Tenkasi.
“The history of the temple is unknown,” says Venkataraman, a devotee. “It is also believed that a king Musukunda Chakravarthy had constructed this temple. Though such name had no reference in history.” He says the pujas of the temple are similar to those of the Srirangam temple, including the ‘adhiyayana utsav.'
The arthamandap and sanctum sanctorum are made of stone, while the mahamandap is constructed with bricks, which suggests that it is a later addition. The roof of the sanctum is supported by teak beams.
The Sri Venugopalaswamy Temple was dilapidated up to two decades ago. The consistent efforts of D. Krishnamoorthy, a native of the village, paved the way for restoration and renovation, and the government took the temple under its custody. Out of the four ‘utsavar' idols that the temple had lost, two were later recovered. A group of villagers who had migrated to various cities came together and formed a Venugopalaswamy Kaingarya Sabha to organise kumbabhisekam. The Sabha plans to conduct homams on July 9 and 10 for the prosperity of the village.
With their own persistent efforts and by the grace of Venugopalaswamy, the devotees hope to restore the glory of the temple and village, and to make it a complete village in all respects.

Thanks to