This morning at 5AM, Thirupparankundram where the warrior lord permitted me to have darshan. Rock cut temple from 6th Century and one of the 6 abodes of Murugan.
He is known as a friend in temporal affairs and as mArgabandhu to guide you to mOksha here.
The temple is known as the place where Ramanuja preached the holy ashtAkshara, Om Namo Narayanaya, to the town folk, despite being warned by his guru of dire consequences of revealing this mantra!
Currently it is undergoing renovation and restoration.
The 25 foot jet black Perumal in this tiny but age old temple (8th century CE Pallava), which most people give a miss, is a must visit IMHO!
One of the largest temples in Kanchipuram. As with all Vishnu temples, the moolavar is grand. There are some fine murals (which are badly maintained though) & sculptures.
You can also google the lizard story. 😃
The temple's just newly built and an Utsavam is on.
And the Lord, in full battle attire, is smiling down on us.
Bhikshatanamurti... Just look at those locks!
For even the Gods...
Have lined up to watch,
The Lord's Cosmic Dance!
(Bhattar later told me, 1400 yo is the official number, we believe it is 3000 yo).
There is more to this Vimana, just like Thirukoshtiyur & Koodalazhagar temples, it has levels & embodies the pancharatra.
As the Bhattar started his puja, the loudspeaker blared.
The temple is all about how Bhagavan appeared and married Amman when she embraced the lingam she was worshipping to save it from overflowing River Vegavathi.
The lingam was under a mango tree. "The Lord of the mango tree"
While the temple is known to have been originally built by the Pallavas in 7th Century CE, it flourished under Cholas... And continued to be enhanced all the way up to Vijayanagara empire...
Kamakshi Amman temple.
PerumAL is colossal! Glistening black rock with one foot firmly on Bali's head and the other leg up measuring the heavens.
Jaw dropping image that will stay with one till one passes on.
Pics later in the evening.
It was like MacKenna's Gold. For these was treasure within.
Bhagavan blessing Rajendra with a garland here.
It isn't an easy temple to photograph, actually... You have to keep moving out and away all the time.
Well either way, he's been there, done that!
I felt as reluctant as the little one at having to tear myself away from the temple & come back to Kumbakonam.
What happened to us? 😭
If Tanjavur Brihadishwara temple is about architecture, then Darasuram Airavateeswarar temple is just pure art.
1. Bhima kills Hidimba while Hidimbā awaits
This temple will overwhelm you, overjoy you... It will exhaust you, drain you!
And like the boar and the swan, I doubt we ever will.
How often do you get to capture a flock of birds circling a Vimanam?
That too in Pradakshinam...
Thanks, @Gopanarya, for guiding me to this video.
1. Ardhanarisvara with eight arms and three faces (R. Nagaswamy identifies the figure as Tantri Mahamaya).
I am reminded of the Gāhaḍavāla sculpture of a bearded Mārtanda at the National Museum in Delhi.
8 are the Sons of Aditi who from her body sprang to life
With 7 she went to meet the Gods, she cast Martanda far away
So with her 7 Sons Aditi went forth to meet the earlier age
She brought Martanda thitherward to spring to life & die again
Kāma firing his arrows on Śiva.
In a ram fight, the winner rejoices while the loser laments.
Airavateeswarar temple at Darasuram is, arguably, one of the best temples in the world.
The darshan of the lingam is even more spectacular!
It needs more visitors.
In most south Indian temples, it is the Gopurams or entrance towers that get clicked 'coz they are spectacularly ornate & massive.
Tanjore temple has some of the best Gopurams!
But with the three great living Chola temples, it's different.
It's all about the Vimanam.
I saw more gaping wide mouths in the hour and a half that I was there, than I'll ever see in a lifetime.
I wonder what the pigeon asked of Him.
Zoom into the lower part of the image to see the First Family of our Pantheon.
Hopefully I shall return again.