22nd April, 2015Continuation to the earlier post ( CLICK HERE to see the details )
SRI KASI VISWANATHAR TEMPLE THIRUPRANKUNDRAM
This temple is 1050 feet above the sea level on the top of Thiruprankundram Hill. Lord Sri Kasi Viswanathar is facing west and Ambal is facing south. It is believed that one of the 18 Siddhar Sri Macha muni lives in the form of jeeva jothi. But at the temple a white fish is called as Sri Macha Muni in the pond. Devotees in large numbers circumambulate the hill on full moon day to get the blessings of Lord Shiva. It is believed that this temple is the cause for writing the ‘Thirumurukatrupadai’ a Tamil literature by Nakkeerar. The story goes like this….
Once up on a time a booth called Karki Muni got a varam from Lord Shiva to live without death, after killing 1000 Munivars. Karki muni managed to kept 999 munivars in the cave of a relief. When Nakkerar came that side and was doing pooja to Shiva under a banyan tree. The karki muni diverted his attention through a banyan leaf on the shore of the saravana poikai. – one half as bird and other half as fish. Since the attention was diverted his pooja to lord Shiva was not completed. So Nakkeerarar was also put in the cave. Before killing all, Nakkeerar sung the hymn of ‘Thirumurukatrupadai’. Lord murugan appeared and saved all munivars. To get rid of the sin caused due to this incident Nakkeerar want to take bath in Ganges. Lord Muruga created a pond on the ( Panchacharam parai ) hill through his ‘Vel’ and the Ganges water flowed in it. In remembrance of this incident local villagers worship the ‘Vel’, on Puratasi, Friday every year.
MY EXPERIENCE IN TREKKING THE HILL.
After visiting the Pandya Period Rock cut temple on the south side of the Thiruparankundram hill, happened to see the direction board of Sri Kasi Viswananthar temple on the top of the hill. The steps were neatly paved. Considering the height, sun heat and hunger ( Morning I had taken only prasadham as breakfast at Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple – a small quantity ) skipped and landed at Railway gate bus stop through Mini Bus. From there I walked towards Sri Murugan temple bus stop to get a bus to Madurai ( Latter understand that bus to Madurai town is available at the Railway gate itself ). On the way again I had seen the direction sign board of Sri Kailasanathar temple ( North side ). The Kailasanathar Temple can be reached from south and North side.
Assuming that the ’OHM’ sign board with a temple like structure is the Sri Kailasanathar temple, started climbing up the hill. The steps are not uniform. In some places steps are not there. On reaching the structure understand that, that is not the temple and it is a Karthikai Deepam pillar structure. Devotees visits this place too, to light lamps during normal days. Again started trekking up the hill asking the way to Kasi Viswanathar Temple from down coming people. After that the path was steep without steps. Steps are cut on the rock on many places ( Vazhukkuparai ). Found very difficult to cross the 2 Km stretch, trekking alone in the hot sun. The muslims also trek up to Dhargah. There is a Muslim cemetery near Dhargah, from there the route diverts to Shiva Temple.
After ½ Km from the cemetery the route joins with the south side steps. Here the steps also very steep. A group of 10 people joined from there. Monkeys too followed us on seeing their bags. After dharshan of Sri Kailasanathar, had the dharshan of Sri Macha muni in the form of white fish and offered curd in the Panchacharam Parai pond. Annadhanam was served by some devotees. Had the annadhanam also since I was too hungry and tired.
After taking rest for a while, trekked down the hill. Carefully climbed down and no one joined with me except Sri Kasi Viswanathar. At last around 15.30 Hrs reached the base safely.
THE TEMPLE TIMINGS :
The temple is kept open between 08.30 Hrs to 17.30 Hrs
LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE :CLICK HERE
Sri Palani Andavar Temple. The trek starts from here. There is Jain monument inside the temple which I could not see, since the temple was closed at that time
An abanded mandapam
Trekking up the hill
View of the Thiruparankundram Shiva/ Murugan Temple Rajagopuram from Karthikai deepam pillar structure.
Karthikai deepam pillar structure.
Vazhukkuparai with no steps for about a KM stretch
Dhargah on the top of this hill
The North side path joins with south side steps
Steps starts steeper
Last leg of steps cut on parai
From top Mandapam decending, here too there is no steps.
East side entrance to the temple
West side view of the temple
Reliefs of Shiva Ganapathy, Macha muni on the Panchacharam Parai
---OM SHIVAYA NAMA:---