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Vaikunta Ekadasi – Srirangam – 2018-2019 (Updated)

Vaikunta Ekadasi Srirangam 2018

Vaikunta Ekadasi, the most renowned festival which the Vaishnavites consider to be the most auspicious amidst all functions and rituals. Also, we name it as the Paradise Tour and  the Vaishnavites celebrate the festival in a very grand manner in Srirangam. First of all, among all the 108 Divyadesams, Srirangam is  the most sacred topping the list. Not only in Srirangam, the devotees following the Vaishnavism celebrate Vaikunta Ekadasi  in all Vishnu temples across the country.

Srirangam Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival Schedule
– December 2018 
2018 December 7 Thirunedunthandagam

2018 December 8

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 1day

2018 December 9

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 2 day

2018 December 10

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 3 day

2018 December 11

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 4day

2018 December 12

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 5 day

2018 December 13

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 6 day

2018 December 14

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 7 day

2018 December 15

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 8 day

2018 December 16

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 9 day

2018 December 17

Mohini Alankaram

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Pagalpatthu 10 day

2018 December 18

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 1 day

Vaikunda Ekadasi – Sorga Vasal Opening (4.45 AM)
Moolavar Muthangi seva, Namperumal Rathnangi seva

2018 December 19

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 2 day

Moolavar Muthangi seva

2018 December 20

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 3 day

Moolavar Muthangi seva

2018 December 21

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 4 day

Moolavar Muthangi seva

2018 December 22

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 5 day

Moolavar Muthangi seva

2018 December 23

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 6 day

Moolavar Muthangi seva

2018 December 24

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 7 day
Moolavar Muthangi seva, Namperumal Kaithala seva,

Nammalwar Mohini Alankaran

2018 December 25

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 8 day

Thirumangaimannan Vedupari – Namperumal Horse vahanam

2018 December 26

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 9 day

2018 December 27

Sri Namperumal – Vaikunda Ekadasi Festival – Irappatthu (night) 10 day

Theerthavari

2018 December 28

Nammalwar Moksham XI day Festival

Vaikunta Ekadasi Paramapada Vasal Thirappu at Srirangam:

Basically, the temple authorities plan to conduct the rituals and celebrations for Vaikunta Ekadasi in a very exhaustive manner for a period of twenty one days. The functions marking the commencement of Vaikunta Ekadasi 2018  falls on 18th December 2018 . They call the ritual as Thirunedunthandagam.

The next day will be the starting of the Pagal Pathu celebrations. For the subsequent ten days, the clans of the designated set of people recite the verses from the Vaishnavite canon Nalayira Dhivya Prabhandham. This has been a custom since the early centuries.

Following day after the Pagal Pathu is the auspicious day of Vaikunta Ekadasi.On the day of Vaikunta Ekadasi, the presiding deity, Lord Renganathaswamy gets dressed up very gorgeously. Finally He comes out of the Door to Heaven called “Paramapadha Vaasal” . And lakhs of devotees witness Him coming out of the Door to Heaven and worship Him.

This ceremonious ritual will normally be before dawn at around 4 am. Furthermore,You can see huge crowd of devotees assembling in the temple premises from the previous night itself.

Following the day of Vaikunta Ekadasi, there is another series of celebrations called Ira Pathu . it is taken over by Araiyars for the next subsequent ten days starting from Vaikunta Ekadasi.

Basically, the Araiyars are the clans of a set of people who recite the verses from Naalayira Dhivya Prabhandham. And the recitation is graced with amazing dance performances . The disciples call the series of recitals as Araiyar Sevai.

And thousands of tourists and devotees visit Srirangam every day for all the 21 days. Besides the religious rituals, you can find Srirangam in a celebration mode with festivities and shopping areas. Srirangam is so endearing to the Vaishnavites across the country and the globe as well and people believe it to be very sacred to take part in this Vaikunta Ekadasi festival.

Eventually, the devotees believe that worshipping Lord Rengantha Swamy when he comes out of the Door to Paradsie will relieve us from the cycles of births and deaths and to attain salvation.


Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Darshan

Tirupati, a town in the Chittoor district of the South Indian state Andhra Pradesh is the most visited sacred center in India, witnessing more than one lakh devotees every day .The most sought after pilgrim destination where Lord Venkateshwara Swamy Temple is situated at a distance of 20kms and is the icon of Tirupati and of the entire state as well. Visiting Tirupati atleast once in a life time is believed to be a must for Vaishnavites across the globe. The nine feet idol which is the self- manifested form of Lord Vishnu will mesmerize you with its beauty and sanctity. This is the 106th Divya Desam mentioned in the holy canon of Vaishnavaites, Naalaayira Divya Prabhandam written by different saints between 6th and 8th AD and composed by the saint Naadha Muni The ravishing sculptures and the huge pillars along the long precincts make your trip to Tirupati most memorable one. It will be quite surprising to know that 50,000 to 1,00,000 people per day are visiting this temple making it to 30 to 40 million people annuallyThe huge dining halls where more than one lakh people are fed, the offerings making this temple the richest in the world, the laddu prasadham unique to this temple are some of the highlights of Tirupati.

During your trip to Tirupati, following are the must visit places.The Silathoranam Gardens – The natural hanging rocks believed to exist from the Precambrian era, Thiruchanur – The temple for the consort of Lord Venkateshwara , Goddess Padmavathy Thayar, Tada Falls – en route from Chennai to Tirupati, Sri kalahasthi – Lord Shiva temple, famous as one of the five Shiva temples representing the five elements of the universe and Sri Vaari Padham – the place believed to have the foot prints of Lord Venkateshwara.

The number of festivals celebrated in Tirupati temple is more than the number of days in a year. Lord Venkateswara blesses His devotees from 2.30 am to 1pm every day. On any day you go to the temple, one festival will be in progress in a pomp manner. To name a few, Srivaari Brahmothsavam, Vasanthothsavam , Dolothsavam and Rathothsavam are some of the festivals attended by lakhs of devotees. The temple practices include prasadam, Tonsuring, Hundi and Thulabaram.

Types of Darshans in Tirumala Tirupati:

As the crowd thronging the temple on all days of the year is unimaginably huge, the temple management has segregated the darshan into different streams. One  of them is the Sarva Darshan , which means , Darshan for all. The pilgrims wait in long queues to have the glimpse of God and the timings for the Sarvadharshan are updated in the temple website. All the needed amenities for people waiting in queues are done in the compartments called Vaikuntam Queue Complex II. The Sarva dharshan is open for 18 to 20 hours a day and the devotees wait for many hours for their turn.

Arjitha sevas are the specific timings where the devotees prebook for their slots and attend the sevas. The daily, weekly and annual sevas are listed in the website and the tickets are sold by the temple management. Those who want to attend the sevas can follow the norms to buy the tickets.

Special Entry Dharshan is the stream where the devotees pay Rs.300 to go into a special queue. The time spent will be little less compared to the Sarva Dharshan but the devotees need to wait for hours in the queue on festival days.

South Tourism and Andhra Pradesh Development Corporation have entered into an agreement to reach more number of devotees aspiring to have the dharshan in quicker time spans. Through this, dharshan of Lord Venkateswara Swamy is guaranteed within two hours accompanied by a guide and two laddus are distributed per person after you come out. The procedure has been made simpler and to know more please visit https://www.southtourism.in/tirupati-darshan


Thrissur Pooram Festival 2018

Thrissur Pooram Festival 2018

Thrissur Pooram Festival, the most renowned of all festivals in Kerala, It is celebrated in a pomp manner today and tomorrow. The continuous 36 hours celebrations make you awe struck with the detailed ceremonies and rituals. The festival is an undoubtedly spectacular and a real treat for the eyes and ears.

Most interestingly, the entire arrangements and celebrations of Thrissur Pooram festival are taken care by the people across all religions without any barriers. The epic center of this great festival is the Vadakkunathan temple, located at the geographic center of the town. Deities taken in procession from the neighboring villages assemble at Thrissur and Lord Shiva is the presiding deity worshipped by all the others. The sprawling ground of Thekkinkadi Maidhan is the prime venue of Thrissur Pooram festival where the divine participants and lakhs of devotees assemble.

 

Thrissur Pooram Festival has been celebrated for more than two centuries and the two main entities of this festival are the Peramakkavu and Thiruvembadi, competing to exhibit their supremacy. The most beautiful and powerful elephants are chosen from the different parts of South India on account of this festival and each group is allowed to being fifteen such elephants.

The heart pageantry of the caparisoned elephants from Peramakkavu and Thiruvembadi towards the Vadakkunathan temple and back to their places is so magnificent and enlivening. The elephants decorated gorgeously are accompanied by the Panchavadhyam, collection of five percussion instruments, one of the special features of Kerala. Listening to the music played by the Panchavadhyam experts and witnessing the procession of elephants is really an unique experience.

Out of all, Thrissur pooram is well known for the grand fireworks lasting for three to four hours. Besides other rituals, ceremonies, procession of elephants and percussion instruments, the fireworks commencing before dawn and lasting for four hours is the major event of this festival. People from across the country and globe assemble at Thrissur to take part and celebrate this sacred festival.

Be a part of this Grand Gala and take back the most cherished moments !


Maha Shivaratri – 2018

MAHA SHIVARATRI -2018

Maha Shivaratri 2018 is the great night of Lord Shiva. Through night poojas, rituals, recitals, yoga and meditation take place in all the Shiva temples throughout the country. Basically, the 13th or 14th night of every month in the  Hindu luni-solar calendar  is called as Shivaratri. Out of all, the one which falls during February / March is called as Maha Shivaratri.

Maha Shivaratri is the most venerated festivals in all parts of India. Unlike the other festivals in Hinduism celebrated in day time, Maha Shivaratri deserves a special mention as the devotees worship Lord Shiva throughout night.

Maha Shivaratri 2018 – cosmic dance of Lord Shiva

Maha Shivaratri 2018 is also renowned as the night when Lord Shiva performs his cosmic dance. So, worshippers arrange for dance programmes in temples and halls nearby which is a tribute to Lord Shiva.  Thousands of dancers perform at temples signifying the glory of Lord Shiva.

Maha Shivaratri is observed as a night of prayers. At all Shiva temples, chanting of mantras and prayers are done throughout night. Yoga and meditation are also carried out to keep the people vigil and thoughtful about the Lord.

Spiritual centers run by the saints conduct special programmes attended by lakhs of Indians and foreigners where Lord Shiva is glorified by songs, dance, special poojas and prayers.

Maha Shivaratri 2018 is celebrated to overcome the ignorance and dark of human life and to proceed in a path of personal austerity and spirituality.

 

Maha Shivaratri 2018 celebrations

Devotees assemble at temples from the evening onwards. The Shivaratri celebrations commence with special poojas and the Lord Shiva, present in the form of Shiva Linga is beautifully decorated with flowers. While the chanting of mantras take place in the shrine of Lord Shiva, dance performances will go on the spacious halls and mandapas of the temples. the very objective of conducting these prayers and programmes is to keep the people awake and think about Lord Shiva in an uninterrupted manner.

The twelve Jyotirlinga temples are flocked by lakhs of tourists on this Maha Shviaratri day. Besides, the other famous Shiva temples across the country witness the large gathering of devotees worshipping Lord Shiva to come out of all their problems in life and to lead a spiritually inclined life.

 

 


Thai Poosam 2018 Palani Murugan Temple – Tamilnadu

Thai Poosam 2018 Palani Murugan Temple

Thai Poosam 2018 Palani Murugan Temple

Thai Poosam festival celebrated at Palani Murugan Temple is rooted in the Hindu Legend from time immemorial. Thai Poosam festival in 2018 falls on January 31st, the day with the Poosam star in the tamil month of Thai. Obviously, it is an auspicious day celebrated by people in Tamil Nadu and Palani Murugan temple deserves a special mention here.

Basically, Palani is a small town in Dindigul district where Lord Muruga abodes in the temple atop the hill called Sivagiri. Palani is one of the famous six abodes of Lord Muruga. Out of all the festivals celebrated throughout the year, Thai Poosam is very auspicious especially at Palani Murugan Temple.

You can witness lakhs and lakhs of devotees reaching Palani bare footed travelling across the different sections of the state and the country as well. After undergoing rigid rituals and fasting for 48 days the devotees are coming to Palani to offer their prayers to their beloved deity Lord Muruga. Here in Palani, he stands as Lord Dhandayuthapani Swamy. He is in the form of an ascetic boy with only a loincloth and no other finery. He has a stick in his hand called Dhandam, the reason behind His name.

Significance of Thai Poosam 2018

Besides these, the devotees carry milk pots on their heads, wooden decks with beautiful decorations in their shoulders and the lances piercing their body. With this kind of dedication and devotion, the pilgrims reach the hill top climbing more than 650 steps.

As this festival correlates to the victory of the God over the demons, people believe that by worshipping Lord Muruga on this day will make victorious in their lives defeating all evils from within themselves and also from the materialistic world.

The general practice is that people observe rituals for 48 days before the festival. They are strictly away from smoking,drinking and other sinful activities. Most of them eat only once in a day for all the 48 days. Well ahead of the festival day, the devotees carrying the offerings to the Lord in long pageants from the different parts of the country start their journey to worship their Lord at Palani.

First of all, the journey to Palani will be with many hardships on the way. It is quite common to see limousines queuing behind the pageant where the owners are walking barefooted.

Kaavadi in Thai Poosam 2018

The main attraction of this festival is the Kaavadi. It is nothing but a wooden mount aesthetically decorated with flowers and peacock feathers. The devotees, as an offering to God, carries the Kaavadis on their shoulders, walking barefooted from very long distances to the temple and implore to God to solve their problems. Normally the number of Kaavadis reaching the shrine exceeds fifty thousand and the count is in the increasing trend year on year. The common forms of kaavadi are milk, sandalwood paste and rosewater. Apart from this, lakhs of people carry milk pots on their heads wearing ochre clothes. Tonnes of flowers in orange and yellow colors are offered to the Lord on this day.

We can witness and enjoy the devotees dancing to the tune of drums and tom-tom played on the way to the top of the hill with all the weight on their shoulders. They dance so vigorously as if they are hypnotized by the music.

Another form of offering to the God is existing that the ardent devotees torture their body by piercing their cheeks, tongue and skin with lances and even they draw chariots with metal hooks pierced into their skin. It will  be threatening to see a large mass of people walking like this but you will not find any words to admire the devotion and dedication of the devotees and their faith on the God.

Murugan in Tamil Culture

Murugan means beauty in Tamil. Somehow or other, Lord Muruga has been a part and parcel of the life of most of the Tamil families. You can see people named as kandhan, Murugan, Karthikeyan, Subramanian, Vadivelan, Dhandayudhpani, Velayudham in majority of the Tamil families because the culture and tradition of Tamil people lie majorly on Lord Murugan. The festival Thai Poosam inculcates the confidence in every Tamil’s mind and give him morale boost to face any hardships in life and overcome them with the benovelance and blessings of the God. As Lord Murugan is diasporic,the festival is celebrated in a very grand manner in Singapore, Malaysia and USA. More than two million people attend this festival in Batu Caves, Malaysia every year. Lord Murugan is believed to be such a powerful deity that whoever surrenders to his feet will be triumphant in all his endevours.

Let’s visit Palani where Lord Muruga is waiting to bestow his blessings on us.


A weekend visit to Nagarjunakonda in Andhra Pradesh

Nagarjunakonda

Nagarjunakonda is one of the most noted Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India. It was a fully developed metropolis and a renowned Buddhist learning centre for years. Students from all over India and from countries such as China, Sri Lanka and much more used to reside here and undertook their Buddhist studies. If you are a Buddha follower, you must not miss Nagarjunakonda at Andhra Pradesh. It was the construction of the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam which led to the discovery of various Buddhist artefacts and scriptures and thus it was concluded that the area was home to an ancient Buddhist civilization 1800 years ago. The collection was then transferred, reassembled and preserved on an island hill spanning 144 acres surrounded by the River Krishna.

Nagarjunakonda

History goes like, Nagarjuna, a famous scholar of Mahayana Buddhism lived here during the 2nd century AD and it was his influence which spread Buddhism in the Southern parts of India and South Eastern parts of the Asian continent. Thus, the place was named after him, Nagarjunakonda or Nagarjuna Hill [Konda in the Telugu language means hill]. Though I am a Hindu, I am very much interested in Buddhist principles as well. I decided to make a visit and see for myself what we have got to see at Nagarjunakonda.

I started early in the morning from Hyderabad to Nagarjunakonda. It is a 4-hour journey covering nearly 160 km. The roads are great which helped me reach Nagarjuna Sagar dam in 3.5 hours. This huge dam we all know is an Earth dam and is one of the largest of its kind.

Nagarjunakonda
Nagarjunasagar dam

The location is a beautiful, green and hilly area. The ferry launch station is again a 15-minute drive which involves few hairpin bends as well. I reached the ferry area and paid my entrance fees. For foreign nationals, it costs Rs. 200/head and for Indians, 20 Rs/head. Also, there are fixed ferry timings, 9:30 am and 1:30 pm every day. Ferry ride fee is Rs 120 for adults and 100 for children.

Nagarjunakonda
Nagarjunakonda Ferry Launch Station

The ferry timing for me was 1: 30 pm and it was only 12. I grabbed 2 Bhajjis [local snack] and tea from a local tea shop, fast forwarded 1 hour and I walked on to the boarding spot. I was amazed by the beauty of the surrounding landscape in front of me.  I hopped onto one of the three motorboats parked by the side. I was informed it would be a 45 minutes ferry ride to reach the Nagarjunakonda island museum. It is the only island museum in India and two of the same in the world. One is at Berlin, Germany and the other is at Nagarjunakonda, Andhra Pradesh.

Nagarjunakonda Ferry ride
Nagarjunakonda Ferry ride

There were nearly 20 passengers on board, all tourists from different parts of the country. As we moved, we enjoyed some gorgeous views of the island and the Krishna River. We could see locals rowing round country boats looking for a good catch. 35 mins gone and I could see the walls of the island museum. The museum is opened to visitors from morning 9 am to 4 pm every day except Friday. It is closed on Fridays.

Nagarjunakonda Island Museum
Nagarjunakonda Island Museum

I started walking my way to the museum. The Nagarjunakonda island museum is a near 500 m walk from the boat dropping point. I reached the museum. Cameras are not allowed inside. I went on to check out all the collections on display. The collection of the museum consists stone tools, coins, scriptures of Lord Buddha and of Mucalinda, the Naga [serpent], spears, hammers, carvings narrating the story of Buddha from his birth to his Mahaparinirvana and lot more of other antiquities. An earring and a tooth are also up for display here, which many believe is among the corporeal remains of Lord Buddha himself. I spent next half an hour at the museum.

Nagarjunakonda
A Buddha Statue at Nagarjunakonda

I followed the crowd to find what else there is to see. First, we came across the Maha Stupa, which is the oldest monument here at Nagarjunakonda. We reached a spot where I found a stupa and a broken statue of Lord Buddha standing tall, probably 10 feet tall. 100 meters to its right there is another Chaitya stupa belonging to 3rd century CE. Later I returned to the boarding point and left the island. I enjoyed the 45 minutes cruise back to the ferry launch station. For me, it was the highlight of the Nagarjunakonda tour.


Sri Bhagavan Jayanthi: Devotees celebrate the birthday of Sri Ramana Maharishi

Enlighten your soul with the preaching’s of Sri Ramana Maharishi on his 137th birthday, which is popularly celebrated as the “Bhagavan Jayanthi” by his devotees. When Vasudeva Sastri requested Ramana Maharishi to allow his devotees to celebrate his birthday, he said: “At least on one’s birthday one should mourn one’s entry into this world (samsara)”. At the age of 16, he met with an accident which was a near-death experience for him. Thus started his quest for the soul. He went to Tiruvannamalai and spent his entire life there, where later an ashram was built in his name “The Ramanashramam”.

It is very popular not only among the local people but equally among the foreigners. Many people from other countries come, stay there to meditate and seek the blessings of the yogi. They lead a simple life staying thereby doing all the ashram work by themselves. They make handmade crafts and sell according to their interest. Even though the ashram is inside the city, you can feel the calmness fill your heart when you enter the premises. The ashram is surrounded by trees which serve as a shelter for monkeys and peacocks. People believe Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi Samadhi is present there, where the pujas and rituals are be held daily.

His most powerful way of preaching was about the “Eshwara” or “Jnani” inside us. One should know the reason for their existence in this world and to find that means true wisdom. The focused question of “I”; the self-realisation will free you from the temporary things in life. ‘For whom it’s happening?’ and ‘who am I?’ should be the constant question to be searched. It is not difficult to reach the divine reality because it’s already existing. “There is nothing to attain, only question the illusion and it will disappear

Although his birthday is on 30th December, people celebrate it on the Punarvasu star of Maargali month (dec-jan). The most important ritual is the Maha Ekadasa Rudhrabhishekam which will be held in the shrine of his Samadhi. The ashram and the new hall where Samadhi is present are decorated with florals which build up a fresh environment for the devotees. The puja will be followed by the bhakti chanting, music concerts, spiritual discussions about the life of maharishi.

This is not only famous in the “land of Mukthi”, Tiruvannamalai but it is also celebrated in the Arunachala ashram by a large group of devotees in the city of New York. They follow the puja with recitations, bhajans and serving of people with Prasad. As the words of guru, the body is temporary but the soul or eshwara which resides inside the body has no destruction. You cannot change the world with your opinion but being an example. He left an example for us and even though he passed away, his soul remains immortal which guide us out of ignorance to attain our true wisdom in life.


Thiruthani Murugan Temple Padi Pooja New Year Celebrations 2018

Thiruthani Murugan Temple Padi Pooja New Year Celebrations 2018

Thiruthani is a renowned pilgrim center across the country for its famous Murugan temples which is one of the six prominent abodes of Lord Muruga. Out of all the poojas and rituals carried out in this temple, the New Year celebrations deserve a special mention here.

To the surprise of every one, the devotees reach the temple atop the hill by climbing the 365 steps which represent the 365 days in a year.

The devotees started a significant practice of Padi Pooja somewhere around 1917. It is almost close to 100 years that the devotees of Lord Muruga keep performing the Padi Pooja during every New Year.

Thiruthani Murugan Temple Padi Pooja New Year Celebrations 2018

Eventually, the night before the New Year is the special period during which devotees start doing the Pooja. It will be a divine experience to watch the devotees lighting camphor at  every step from the downhill, praise the benevolence of Lord Muruga. And devotees sing a collection of hymns called Thiruppugazh which praise the glory of Lord Muruga.

Furthermore, it is again a wonder that the number of devotees participating in this padi Pooja increase year on year. The Pooja starts the previous day night and special anointing and rituals commence exactly at 12 AM to mark the beginning of yet another prosperous year.

Finally,  after the Padi Pooja, the devotees worship Lord Muruga atop the hill and offer their prayers.

It is an wonderful ritual to take part in the Padi Pooja at the Thiruthani Murugan Temple during the New Year.

Devotees believe that worshipping all the 365 steps in the temple will make their life more prosperous all through the following year.

Come and join the delightful celebrations for an amazing New Year at the Padi Pooja of Thiruthani Murugan Temple in 2018 !


A hidden Paradise amidst the Nilgiris which not many know about

Avalanche

Probably all the travellers who have been to South India, might have visited the Ooty hills [Nilgiris]. It is the crowned queen of the hills in South India. However, many those who made it to Ooty missed a gem of a spot roughly 30 kms away from the Ooty town. This hidden paradise is named Avalanche. It is a reserved forest area with spectacular scenes to offer. The Avalanche Lake is the most attractive spot and the highlight at Avalanche. During post monsoon month the lake is surrounded by blooming Orchids, Rhododendrons and Magnolias flowers, adding more charm to this heavenly location.

Avalanche Lake
Avalanche Lake

Trout fishing is an exciting activity here. You have options to buy Fishing rods and other accessories nearby the lake at a trout hatchery. You can also bring your tent and pitch it at Avalanche and enjoy a great night outdoors amidst thick woods and the serene surroundings at Avalanche. Fire up the woods and cook your freshly caught fish and enjoy a splendid evening with your family, friends or your better half.

If you are a trekking enthusiast, you have numerous trek routes at Avalanche for a good trek atop the hills. It is recommended to bring your warm clothes and proper trekking gears as well. The temperature at times drops heavily and it gets really chilly.

And YES! Mind the leeches.

 

Tip: Best time to Visit– The post Monsoon months would be great for an Avalanche visit. The flowers, small streams, thick greenery and more, yes, definitely it is the right time.

Spots near Avalanche– Do visit the Emerald Lake and the Upper Bhavani Hamlet very near to Avalanche.

Avalanche Lake
Emerald Lake

Book your Avalanche tour at www.southtourism.in 


Arudhra Dharshan 2018 Uthirakosamangai

Arudhra Dharshan 2018 Uthirakosamangai

Arudhra Dharshan 2018 is the annual event where the Cosmic Dancer Lord Nataraja blesses his devotees on the day of Margazhi Thiruvaadhirai. This year, the auspicious event falls on 2nd January 2018.

Uthirakosamangai is the renowned pilgrim where the presiding deity Lord Shiva is present in the form of His dancing posture. We call Him as Lord Nataraja and He is present in the form of a six feet emerald idol.

The idol is wonderfully carved out of a deep green single emerald stone. The temple is a three thousand years old structure where Lord Nataraja is covered by sandal paste throughout the year except for this special day !

 Arudhra Dharshan Significance

Out of the twelve Tamil months, Margazhi is a sacred month. Devotees visit the temples all through this month and worship their beloved Gods. The ardent devotees conduct musical concerts and divine preaching throughout this month.

Out of the several sanctimonious events in this month, the day on which the tamil star Thiruvadhirai falls is of high significance. A large number of devotees visit Sri Mangalanathar Swamy Temple at Thiru Uthirakosamangai near Ramanathapuram on this special day.

The devotees are enlightened to the core when they witness the unveiling of the Lord Nataraja at the early hours of the Thiruvadhirai star. As they cannot see this on any of the other days throughout the year, thousands of pilgrims throng in the temple, wait in long queues and get His blessings.

Devotees from across the state, come here on this auspicious day to visit this significant Emarald Nataraja. The idol is open for public dharshan for specific period of time on the Margazhi Thiruvadhirai day. And it is popularly called as Arudhra Dharshan. Though Margazhi Thiruvadhirai is a very special occasion in all Shiva Temples, Arudhra Dharshan in Uthirakosamangai deserves a special mention here because of this Emarald Nataraja.