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357/365 – Sri Sivan Temple Singapore

August 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Sri Sivan Temple is a Hindu temple for the god Shiva who is the presiding deity. The temple was originally located in Potong Pasir from where it was moved three more times before finally coming to the present Geylang location.

History

Sri Sivan Temple was originally present in Potong Pasir. The Sivalinga was moved to a spot in the lower end of Dhoby Ghaut, then to a site near where MacDonald House stands today, and then on to the Orchard Road site where it used to be until 1983.

The temple was rebuilt as a solid structure in the early 1850s at the Orchard Road site under which the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station is located. The Sivalinga was known to be worshiped at this site well before 1850.

In 1898, a further phase of the recorded development of the Sri Sivan Temple began. The reconstruction work took several years to complete.

One Mr V Nagappa Chetty and his wife were responsible for this, largely with their own funds and from donations collected from local Hindus.

During the Second World War, some of the statues of secondary deities and a part of the temple structure were damaged by shells that landed around it.

Towards the end of the war, renovations were made to the temple and a consecration ceremony was held in July 1943.

In 1954, the Municipal Commissioners wanted the temple to be setback 14 feet (4.3 m) from the road to widen Orchard Road.

After long drawn discussions, a compromise was reached between the Board and the City Council. In consideration of the temple giving up 490 square feet (46 m2) of the front land, the temple was given $50,000 and allowed to be rebuilt at the same site.

Plans to rebuild the temple were drawn up in 1957. Local contractors completed the construction works in April 1962 and skilled craftsmen from India carried out the sculptural and ornamental works. The consecration ceremony was held on December 9, 1964.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Sivan_Temple

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Categories: General Knowledge, Temple

348/365 – Siddhivinayak Temple

August 12, 2012 Leave a comment

The Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Ganesh. It is located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai, Maharashtra.

It was originally built by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil on November 19, 1801. Though it is one of the richest temples in Mumbai, the current generation of Patil is staying in state of despair near the temple.

The temple has a small mandap (hall) with the shrine for Siddhi Vinayak (“Ganesh who grants your wish”).

The wooden doors to the sanctum are carved with images of the Ashtavinayak (the eight manifestations of Ganesh in Maharashtra).

The inner roof of the sanctum is plated with gold, and the central statue is of Ganesh. In the periphery, there is a Hanuman temple as well.

History  

Consecrated on 19 November 1801, the original structure of the Siddhivinayak Temple was a small 3.6 m x 3.6 m square brick structure with a dome-shaped brick sikhara.

The temple was built by the contractor Laxman Vithu Patil. The building was funded by a rich Agri woman named Deubai Patil. Childless, Deaubai built the temple so that the Lord should grant children to other barren women.

Ramakrishna Jambhekar Maharaj, a disciple of the Hindu saint Akkalkot Swami Samarth, buried two divine idols in the front of the presiding deity of the temple on the orders on his guru.

Importance and status  

The Siddhivinayak Mandir evolved from a small, tiny place of worship to the Grand Temple that stands today in the later half of the twentieth century.

Temple glory was bought not only by the politicians who frequented the temple but also Bollywood film stars who continuously visit to seek the blessings of Lord Ganesha.

Siddhivinayak is well known as “Navasacha Ganapati” or “Navasala Pavanara Ganapati” (‘Ganapati bestows whenever humbly genuinely prayed a wish’ in Marathi) among devotees.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddhivinayak_Temple,_Mumbai

Categories: General Knowledge, Temple

327/365 – Thirukkadaiyur

Thirukkadaiyur is a temple town on the east coast of Tamil Nadu, about 300 km south of Chennai and 15 km north of Karaikal.

The original temple, Thirukkadaiyur Mayanam now called Thirumeignanam built in circa 11th century AD was ravaged by sea and is in ruins now. Another temple on an identical plan was built later and is now thronged by people who pray for long life.

Legend  

Mrikandu  

This is one of the holy places of Saivism today. Legend has it that Mrikandu, a sage and devotee of Lord Siva, prayed to God to bless him with a son.

God appeared and gave him a choice to select the type of child he wanted – An honest responsible and virtuous son who will live only for 16 years or a son who would live for 100 years but whose behavior is bad. Mrikandu chose the former.

Markandeya  

The boy, named Markandeya also grew up to be an ardent devotee of Siva. The destined time came, when Yama (the lord of death) tried to snatch the life of the boy.

Markandeya went to the temple and clutched at the Siva Lingam in a bid to escape death. Pleased by the boy’s belief, Siva rescued him from death, incarnating him as Kalantaka (the ender of death).

Temples  

Most of the temples are known either by the name of the Lord or His Consort. Nataraja is the name that rings in the mind when the word Chidambaram is uttered.

Similarly, the name Madurai brings memories of Meenakshi. However, there are a few temples that are well known for the Lord and his Consort and Tirukkadaiyur is one among them.

The Amritaghateswarar – Abirami Temple of Tirukkadaiyur is associated with the legends of Markandeya and Abirami Battar.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirukkadaiyur

283/365 – Vaishno Devi

Vaishno Devi Mandir is one of the holy Hindu temples dedicated to Shakti, located in the hills of Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir, India.

In Hinduism, Vaishno Devi, also known as Mata Rani and Vaishnavi, is a manifestation of the Mother Goddess.   The temple is near the town of Katra, in the Reasi district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the most revered places of worship in India.

The shrine is at an altitude of 5300 feet and a distance of approximately 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) from Katra. Approximately 8 million pilgrims (yatris) visit the temple every year and it is the second most visited religious shrine in India, after Tirumala Venkateswara Temple.

The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board maintains the shrine. A rail link from Udhampur to Katra is being built to facilitate pilgrimage.

The nearest airport is Jammu Airport which has very high flight frequency. All leading domestic airlines have their services to Jammu Airport.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaishno_Devi

Categories: General Knowledge, Temple

265/365 – Mantralayam

Mantralaya is a town in Kurnool district in Andhra Pradesh, India. It lies on the banks of the Tungabhadra river on the border with neighbouring Karnataka state. It is also called as Manchale.

This town is noted for the holy presence of the Vrindavana of Guru Raghavendra Swami, a Madhwa saint and follower of Sri Madhwacharya.

It is believed that Guru Raghavendra Swami is in the Vrindavana from the past 339 years and is believed to be in the Vrindavana for another 361 years.

While entering the Vrindavana, Guru Raghavendra Swami stated that he would be there (in the Vrindavana) for 700 years.

The nearest railway station is Mantralaya Road, 16 kilometres away. This station is on the Guntakal – Raichur railway route.

There are frequent bus services from Adoni, Yemmiganur, Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh and from Raichur and Bellary in Karnataka, Mantralaya is about 53 km fron Adoni,24 km fron Yemmiganur,100 km from Kurnool and 250 km from the state capital Hyderabad, 35 km from Raichur and 120 km from Bellary.

Manchalamma is the presiding deity of the Manchale village and one has to offer prayers to Manchalamma first before they enter Sri Raghavendra Swamiji’s mutt to get his blessings.

The Manchalamma’s shrine is located on the left of the SRS mutt and both are on the banks of River Tunghabadra.   Sri.Appanacharya was the prime student of Swamiji.

Swamiji stayed with Sri.Appanacharya in Bikshalaya (aka Bichali) for 13 years. This place is also located on the banks of River Tunghabadra and it is 20 km from Mantralayam.

In October 2009 due to heavy floods in Tungabhadra River, the complete village and Vridavanam were Submerged in water. All the people were safe.

However many devotees and volunteers had volunteered to reconstruct the affected sites in the temple and the town and the temple was restored to its original beauty.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantralayam

244/365 – Varadharaja Perumal Temple

April 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Varadharaja Perumal Temple or Hastagiri or Attiyuran is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in the holy city of Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu, India.

It is one of the Divya Desams, the 108 temples of Vishnu believed to have been visited by the 12 poet saints, or Alwars. It is located in part of Kanchipuram called the Vishnu Kanchi that is a home for a lot of famous Vishnu temples, including this one.

One of the greatest Hindu scholars of Vaishnava VisishtAdvaita philosophy, Ramanuja is believed to have resided in this temple. The temple along with Ekambareswarar Temple and Kamakshi Amman Temple in Kanchipuram is called Mumurtivasam.

While Srirangam is referred to as ‘ The Koil’ and Tirupathi as the ‘Malai’ among Divya Desams, Kanchipuram Varadaraja Perumal temple is known as the ‘Perumal Koil’. This is one of the most sacred places for Vaishnavites.

History

Here is a belief that the temple was first built by the Pallava king Nandivarman II. Varadharaja Perumal Temple was originally built by the Cholas in 1053 and it was expanded during the reigns of the great Chola kings Kulottunga Chola I and Vikrama Chola.

In the 14th century another wall and a gopura was built by the later Chola kings. When there a Muslim invasion was expected in 1688, the main image of the deity was sent to Udayarpalayam, now part of Tiruchirapalli District.

It was brought back with greater difficulty after the involvement of local perceptor who enlisted the services of general Todarmal. Robert Clive, the British general during the colonial period visited the Garuda seva festival and presented a valuable necklace which is adorned during the special occasion every year.

The Temple

The Temple is a huge one on a 23-acre complex and shows the architectural skills of ancient Vishwakarma Sthapathis in temple architecture and is famous for its holiness and ancient history.

The temple has 3 outer precincts (prakaram) namely Azhwar Prakaram, Madai Palli Prakaram and Thiru Malai Prakaram. There are 32 shrines, 19 vimanams, 389 pillared halls and sacred sacred tanks some located outside the complex.

The main sanctum faces west and can be entered through a 130 feet tall, 7-tiered rajagopuram. The eastern gopuram is taller than the western gopuram, which is contrasting to large temples where the rajagopuram is the tallest one.

One of the most famous architectural pieces in the temple is the huge stone chain sculpted in a single stone. There is a 100 pillared hall has sculptures depicting Ramayana and Mahabarathastands the masterpiece of Vijayanagara architecture.

The shrine of Varadarajaswamy is on a small hillock 10m tall and a fleet of 24 stps, termed “Hasthagiri” and has murals of the late Vijayanagara empire is found on the ceiling.

Another significant thing about the temple are beautiful carved lizards and platted with gold, over the sanctum. The vimana over the sanctum of Vradaraja Swami is called Punyakoti Vimanam and the one over Perundevi Thayar shrine is called Kalyana Koti Vimanam.

Apart from the main stone idol, the temple has the wooden image of Varadarajaswamy preserved within a silver box in water pumped out every 40 years. There is a shrine of Narasimha on the hillock. The origin of the mask of Narasimha is mysterious and believed to possess inexplicable powers.

In the second precinct downstairs contains four shrines, the important one of which is of Malayala Nachiar (Kerala consort), presumably built during the Chera kings in the early 14th century.

The third precinct has the shrine of Goddess Perundevi Thayar – it is customary for devotess to visit the shrine first before visiting the Perumal shrine.

There are four small pillared halls identical in strcutre called Thulabara Mandapas built during the 1532 for a ceremony of Achutaraya of the Vijayanagara empire.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varadharaja_Perumal_Temple

Categories: General Knowledge, Temple

242/365 – Wat Rong Khun

April 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Wat Rong Khun is a contemporary unconventional Buddhist and Hindu temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand. It was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat. Construction began in 1997,finished in 2008.

Style and construction   Wat Rong Khun is different from any other temple in Thailand, as its ubosot is designed in white color with some use of white glass.

The white color stands for Lord Buddha’s purity; the white glass stands for Lord Buddha’s wisdom that “shines brightly all over the Earth and the Universe.”

The bridge leading to the temple represents the crossing over from the cycle of rebirth to the Abode of Buddha.

The small semicircle before the bridge stands for the human world. The big circle with fangs is the mouth of Rahu, meaning impurities in the mind, a representation of hell or suffering.

All the paintings inside the ubosot (assembly hall) have golden tones. The four walls, ceiling and floor contain paintings showing an escape from the defilements of temptation to reach a supramundane state.

On the roof, there are four kinds of animals representing earth, water, wind and fire. The elephant stands for the earth; the naga stands for water; the swan’s wings represent wind; and the lion’s mane represents fire.

Visitors will find it rather bizarre to find modern images throughout this temple. Images of the Predator from the Hollywood film, Spiderman, Batman, Keanu Reeves character in the Matrix, rocket ships, etc.

The sea of hands rising up towards the bridge to the temple, some holding skulls are very striking.   In 1997, Chalermchai Kositpipat volunteered his service to carry out the construction of the ubosot at his own expense as an offering to Lord Buddha, but he later altered the plan as he saw fit in such a way that Wat Rong Khun developed into a prominent site attracting both Thai and foreign visitors.

Nowadays, Wat Rong Khun is still being constructed. When completed, the construction project of Wat Rong Khun will consist of nine buildings: the ubosot, the hall containing Lord Buddha’s relics, the hall containing Buddha images, the preaching hall, the contemplation hall, the monk’s cell, the door façade of the Buddhavasa, the art gallery, and the toilets.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Rong_Khun

Categories: General Knowledge, Temple