Holy Pilgrimage – Some of the Shiva Temples in India
Uliyannoor Shiva Temple, Kerala
Uliyannoor (also known as Uliyannore) is a small village which forms part of Alwaye taluk in the Ernakulam district of Kerala. It lies on the banks of the Periyar river (also known as Aluva puzha), close to Varapuzha and North Paravur. The village is famous for its Shiva temple.
Shiva templeUliyannoor has secured its place in the tourist map of Kerala with the Uliyannoor Sree Mahadeva Temple, considered to be one of the 108 Sivalayas, situated in the village. It is a temple for the Hindu god Shiva. It is believed that this Shiva temple was built by Perumthachan, when previous temple of Maadathilappan was destroyed by fire. The ruins of the old structure still remains, the Sivalinga in a rare Kumkumasila is still worshipped there. Perumthachan was the son of the renowned scholar Vararuchi, who was patronized by King Vikramaditya. The Shiva temple features a uniquely constructed Vatta Sreekovil - The 68 woodden beams shows 64 Arts and 4 Vedas. It is believed that while building the Sreekovil, his son who was working below on the ground was accidentally killed by the father's chisel which fell down on his neck. From that day onwards the village was known as 'Uliyattooru" which later evolved as "Uliyannoor". There are families living in Uliyanoor village who claim to be the descendants of this architectural genius even today.
Umananda Temple, Assam
Umananda Devaloi (Pron: ˈʊməˌnændə ˈdeɪvəˌlɔɪ) is a Shiva Temple is located at the Peacock island in middle of river Brahmaputra just opposite the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup or the Kachari Ghat in Guwahati. It was built by the Ahom King Gadadhar Singha (1681–1696) who was a devout Shaivaite.
The temple is located on the Peacock Island (as named by some poetic British Administrator) in the middle of the river Brahmaputra at Guwahati. It is known as smallest inhabited Riverine Island in the world. Country boats that are available on the bank of Brahmaputra take the visitors to the island. The mountain on which the temple has been built is known as Bhasmacala.
LegendSiva is said to have resided here in the form of Bhayananda. According to the Kalika Purana, in the beginning of the creation Siva sprinkled ashes (bhasma) at this place and imparted knowledge to Parvati (his consort). It is said that, when Siva was in meditation on this hillock, Kamadeva interrupted his yoga and was therefore burnt to ashes by the fire of Siva’s anger and hence the hillock got the name Bhasmacala.
This mountain is also called Bhasmakuta. The Kalika Purana states that Urvasikunda is situated here and here resides the goddess Urvasi who brings Amrit (nectar) for the enjoyment of Kamakhya and hence the island got the name Urvasi Island.
Presiding DeityThe presiding deity of the temple is Umananda (Tatrasti bhagavan sambhu- ruma- nandakarah Prabhu). It is believed that, worship here on the Amavasya day when it falls on Monday brings the highest bliss. The Siva Chaturdasi is the most colourful festival that is held here annually. Many devotees come to the temple on this occasion for the worship of the deity.
HistoryThe temple of Umananda was built in 1694 A.D. by the Bar Phukan Garhganya Handique by the order of King Gadadhar Singh (1681–1696), one of the ablest and strongest rulers of the Ahom dynasty. The original temple was however immensely damaged by a devastating earthquake of 1897. Later, it was reconstructed by a rich local merchant who chose to inscribe the interior part of a Siva temple with Vaisnavite slogans.
StructureThe temple has inherited some rock-cut figures, which speak passionately of the masterly skill of the Assamese craftsmen. The sculptures here show that the worshippers there followed all the principal Hindu gods. Representations of Surya, Ganesha, Shiva and Devi (with a scorpion as emblem) in addition to those of Visnu and his ten incarnations (avatar) are found here. The main shrine is reached by a flight of steep steps.
AccessThe Peacock Island can be accessed from Guwahati and North Guwahati by ferries and steamers. One can hire a ferry from Sukleshwar ghat or Fancy Bazar Ghat. This is expensive but one can get the feel of the river and its surroundings without any interventions. This is most ideal for couples and family trips. However, a much convenient and cheaper transport has been provided by Inland Water Transport, which connects the Peacock island to Guwahati from Uzanbazar Ferry Ghat.
Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, Kerala
The Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is a temple for the Hindu god Shiva in Vaikom, Kerala. The temple, along with Ettumanoor Siva Temple, Kaduthuruthy Thaliyil Mahadeva Temple is considered a powerful trisome. The belief is that if a devotee worships at these three temples before 'Ucha pooja', all the wishes are fulfilled.
The Vaikom Mahadeva temple is one of the few temples which is held in reverence by both Shaivaites and the Vaishnavaites. Vaikom’s Shiva is fondly called Vaikkathappan. The Shiva Linga here is believed to be from the ‘Treta yuga’ and considered as one of the oldest temples in Kerala where pooja has not been broken since inception.
Vaikom AshtamiThe Vaikom temple is famous for the Vaikom Ashtami, one of its main festivals, which is held in November–December. The exact date of the festival is determined by the Malayalam calendar. Vaikathashtami is celebrated on the day of Krishna Ashtami. The legend behind this festival is that years ago a saint man prayed to god siva for years after many years God siva and his wife parvathy devi appeared in front of him. It is believed that god Siva appeared in front of him in the day of Krishna Ashtami. So as a memory of this vaikathashtami is celebrated. It is the festival extends for 12 days. 12th day is vaikathashtami.
Veerabhadra Temple, Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh
Veerabhadra temple (Telugu: శ్రీ వీరభద్రస్వామి దేవస్థానము) in Lepakshi is located near Anantapur which is 15 km east of Hindupur in the Anantapur district in the state of Andhra Pradesh in southeastern India. Bangalore is the nearest large city.
In the exquisite shrine is a wealth of magnificent sculpture in the intricate mandapams. One mandapam has pillars with life-size images of dancers, musicians and other sculptures, created by the artisans of the Vijayanagar empire. The huge granite Nandi bull is carved out of a single stone. The ceilings have breathtakingly beautiful mural paintings
Vishahareswara Temple, Tamilandu
The Vishahareswara Temple is a temple to Shiva in the Thiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu. The temple was built in the early 19th century in the village of Kodandaramapuram, which later became part of Avanam Paruthiyur, situated on the banks of the Kudamurutti River, a tributary of the Kaveri. The temple faces south. The presiding deity of this temple is a form of Shiva called Vishahareswarar, and his consort Prasanna Parvathy Devi.
MythologyOnce Rahu approached with his mouth agape to eclipse the Sun, he became very angry when he saw the burning rays of the Sun. He began to emit poisonous breath in his serpent form, blackening the face of the Sun.
Having lost his glorious face by Rahu’s poisonous breath, the Sun sought the favor of Lord Shiva and worshiped him on the northern banks of the Kudamurutti River, a tributary of the Kaveri, under a Bilwa Tree. First Goddess Parvathy Devi blessed Sun, and then Lord Shiva himself joined her and the divine couple blessed him. Lord Shiva relieved the Sun of the evil effects of Rahus’s poison and the Sun regained His charm and brightness. Rahu then felt remorse for his actions and begged Lord Shiva’s pardon.
The Shiva temple that was built here to commemorate Shiva blessing the Surya. The temple hosts Shiva as Vishahareswarar, which means "poison remover", along with his consort Prasanna Parvathi Devi. Paruthiyur Vishahareshwarar temple is famous and very auspicious.
FestivalsThe temple is open to the public mornings and evenings. Shivarathri is celebrated in a special way in this temple. Also, it is said that the poison of a snake will be ineffective at this place. Though there are many snakes and cobras in every nook and corner of the village, there has never been a snakebite or poison attack. It is also believed that worshiping Shiva & Parvathy here gets one relieved of the evil effects of Rahu, Kethu and Mars, and also finalizes marriages. Parithi means the Sun. Since it was here where the Sun worshiped Lord Shiva, this holy place got the name Parithipuram. People with poisonous bites and deadly diseases come from distant places and to pray to Vishahareswarar, the poison remover.
HistoryThis Vishahareswara temple was built by a great Shiva Bhakta by the name Paruthiyur Venkatesha Sastri, popularly known as Annaval, who lived during the rule of Serfoji II Maharaja. Annaval had spent most of his time in this temple with his parayanams of the Shiva Purana, teaching the scriptures, spreading bhakti and promoting Hindu Dharma. He was an authority on Saivite traditions. Annaval addressed several issues by answering the queries on Dharma Sastram and Hindu traditions, often posed to him by Vedic scholars and pundits. His authority on the administration of dharma made many legal luminaries come to them seeking their advice on issues concerning Hindu law. Paruthiyur Venkatesha Sastri Annaval (1770–1841), along with his brother Paruthiyur Sri Krishna Sastri Ayyaval (1773–1860), were the doyen brothers of Paruthiyur and for the Hindu Religion.
The great exponent of the Ramayana, Philanthropist and Pravachan Pioneer Bramasri Paruthiyur Krishna Sastrigal (1855–1911), renovated this Vishahareswarar Temple and did Kumbhabhishekam in 1905
Sree Veerabhadra Temple, Yadur, Karnataka
Shree Veerbhardra temple (Kannada: ಶ್ರೀ ವೀರಭದ್ರೇಶ್ವರ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನ Shri Veerabhadreshwar Devasthan, Marathi: श्री वीराभाद्रेश्वर मंदिर Shri Veerabhadreshwar Mandir) is situated in the holy Shri Kseshtra Yadur, on the banks of holy river Krishna in Chikodi Taluka of Belgaum District, Karnataka, approximately 94 kilometres (58 mi) from Belgaum.
The shivalinga, also called as “Shri veerupakshalinga”
History of the temple
Ancient historyTemple was founded by holy ancient Veerashaiva saint of Karnataka Shree Kadsiddeshwar, way back in the 12th century.
Modern historyThe holy temple is part & partial of the endowment trust Kadsiddeshwar math & belongs to Veershaiva community.
The Kadsiddeshwar math, mentor is the head of the temple. The devotees of the temple are spread over in both state of Maharashtra & Karnataka. The temple authorities carry out various religious & cultural activities & rituals in total consultation with Kadsiddeshwar math authorities on various festivals throughout the year. The Temple is presently mentored by Shivacharya Swamijee, His Holiness Shree Shree Dr. Siddharameshwar Hiremath, Hipparagi. Under the leadership of Shivacharya Swamijee Dr. Siddharameshwar Hiremath, the Temple authorities are undertaking the following major Developmental Projects:
1. Yatri Nivas
2. Kalyan Mandap
3. Manjari Gate
4. Veerabhadreshwar Rath
5. Dasoh Hall
6. Swamijee Guest House
7. Kadsiddheshwar Math Dwar
WorshipThe following pooja’s and Archana’s take place on a regular basis on behalf of the various devotees:
- Rudra abhishek
- Butti puja (obligation of cooked rice mixed with curds to Veerpaksha ling)
- Yele Puja (The bettle leaves are applied to veerpaksha ling in most decorative manner)
- Akki puja (Decoration of veerpaksha ling by application of rice)
- Dandavatha – The process by which devotees after taking dip in the holy river Krishna come to temple by putting a Suryanamaskar step by step.
- Tula bhar seva– Depending upon devotees pledges, the devotees put the coconuts, rice etc. equivalent to their weight. On the back of “Veerupakshalinga” there is a Shrine of mother
All the above puja activities and rituals are performed after taking the receipts from the temple authorities.
- Marriages: Many devotees carry out the marriages in the temple after prior registration with temple authorities
- Jawal: First time child’s hair cutting ceremony
- Guggula: Many devotees, to complete their vows and pledges on heir behalf or on behalf of their family members and also to follow traditional vows perform the Guggula ceremony in the altar of “Veerupaksha linga”
RoadBelgaum city is near to Yadur can be reached via the National Highways 4 and State Highways 12, NWKRTC run buses to all corners of karnataka as well as Yadur. There are many prominent private buses which servers to Yadur.
AirNearest airports are Belgaum and Hubli
RailNearest railway stations are Belgaum and Ghatprabha
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the great devotees , wikisources and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )