Vishnu Temples

Vishnu Temples

Temples are good places to worship. I always loved visiting temples. I have visited many temples all over India and each temple is special in its own way. Whenever I enter a temple I get a sensation of peace and joy. Here, I want to write about some of Sri Mahavishnu temples that I have visited.

Sri Mahavishnu temples are located in different parts of India. Out of those, I have selected a few temples which are famous in South India. They are:

  • Tirumala Tirupathi
  • Kanchipuram
  • Guruvayur
  • Simhachalam
  • Annavaram

 

Tirumala Tirupathi:

Tirumala Tirupathi is located in Chittor district of Andhra Pradesh state and is well connected by train, bus and airways. Lord Venkateswera is the God of Tirumala Tirupathi and the idol is swayambhoo i.e., the idol or murthy was not made by any human being. The idol was first seen by Sri Gopinath Deekhitulu, a priest near pushkarini at Tirumala hills. Since then, worship of Lord Venkateswera swamy started and it is continuing.

Lord Venkateswera is having two wives, Goddess Padmavathi and Alivelumangatayaru. Alivelumangatayaru is an incarnation of Sri Mahalakshmi. The Tirumala temple was constructed by Tondaman Chakravathi, brother of Akashraju (father of Goddess Padmavathi).

Tirumala temple is called golden temple and daily 2 to 3 lakh people visit the temple. Pilgrims have a belief that Lord Venkateswera solves their problems and gives wealth and health. It is my personal experience that Venkateswera Swamy has solved my problems many times and has given me the appropriate wealth and health. If you look at Lord Venkateswera murthy for 50 seconds, you forget your environment and are filled with power and peace.

Lord Venkateswera is called as “Apada mokkuluvadu” (Problems solver) and he is “Govindudu”.

OM NAMO VENKATESAYA.

Lord Venkateshwara, Tirumala Tirupati Temple

Kanchipuram:

Kanchipuram is one of the holiest places in Tamil Nadu state. In Kanchipuram, there are Vishnu temples, Siva temples and Shakti temples (Kanchi Kamakshi Devi). One of the Vishnu temples here is Varadarajaswamy temple. This temple was constructed by Cholas and developed by Vikramaditya, a famous Chola king as well. As per Vishnu puranam this temple is one of the 108 Vishnu’s sacred lands.

Varadrajaswamy is one of the Lord Vishnu’s 108 sacred names. Varada means boons giver. Varadarajaswamy has given moksham (liberation) to an elephant Gajendrudu and Makari, a crocodile. As per Srimad Bhagavatam, the elephant king (Gajendrudu) of a forest, went to a big lake for a bath where he was caught by a big crocodile (Makari). After a big fight, the elephant lost its energy and surrendered to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu then came in the form of Varadarajaswamy to save the elephant. He killed the crocodile and gave moksha to both of them.

Once, Lord Brahma planned to perform a yajna at Kanchipuram for the benefit of the people. But the river Vegavathi at Kanchipuram caused hindrance by washing away the yajna place. On considering the prayer of Brahma, Vishnu laid himself flat to stop the flow of river. The yajna was successfully completed. Since then Lord Vishnu is called as Varadarajaswamy.

The heaven’s king Indra installed gold and silver lizards in Varadarajaswamy temple. It is said that Varadarajaswamy granted a boon that whoever touches those gold and silver lizards with true devotion will be relieved from the ordeals of live lizard falling on us (people believe falling of live lizard on body  is not a good sign). When I went and touched the golden and silver lizards, I have felt happiness. After visiting the temple my mind was fresh and in peace.

Varadharajaswamy, Varadharajaswamy Temple

Guruvayur Temple:

Guruvayur temple is located in Kerala state, 29 kms from Trisur. It is a famous Krishna Temple in South India. It is believed that the idol was given by Lord Krishna to Lord Brahma at the end of the incarnation of Krishna in Dwaraka. The Idol was installed by Deva Guru Brihaspathi and Vayu (Air God) under the guidance of Lord Siva. Hence it is named as Guruvayur (Guru+Vayu).

As per Narada Purana, Janamajeya, the great grandson of Arjuna, was cursed of leprosy. He had got that disease because he had killed millions of snakes in Sarpa Yaga (snake sacrifice), as a revenge for his father’s death. Janamajeya’s leprosy was cured when he came to Guruvayur and worshipped Lord Krishna. Yaga and Yajna are different. In Yaga, homa (sacred fire) is a must but in Yajna, homa is not a must; chanting of veda mantras is sufficient.

Lord Krishna is also called by the names “Unnikrishnan”, “Bala Krishnan” here. The Krishna idol in Guruvayur temple looks wonderful with four arms carrying conch, chakra (wheel), mace and lotus. The Lord is also called Papavimochana Krishna (sin eradicating Krishna) and the sanctuary is called Bhooloka Vaikuntam.

There is a dress code to enter the temple and as per the dress code, male pilgrims should not enter the temple with shirts. Because of its location and its sanctity the darshan of Guruvayur Unnikrishnan gives pilgrims the mental peace and happiness. I had a wonderful experience when I visited this temple which I would like to share. I, along with my wife, went to the temple in morning hours. We did not have a proper darshan.  Because of the crowd, we were not allowed to go near Guruvayur Murthy (main idol). We tried couple of times but we had same kind of experience. We returned to cottage with a feeling of dissatisfaction. Later in the evening, we went out for shopping near the temple to purchase some puja items. After purchasing, surprisingly the shop owner suggested us to go temple for darshan. Accordingly we went to the temple for darshan. This time we had two darshans. Both the times we were very near the idol and we were able to see the Lord clearly with utmost satisfaction. We infer from this incident that Lord Krishna advised us through the shop owner to visit the temple once again for a good darshan. He answered our prayers and blessed us with his love.

 

Guruvayurappan

SIMHACHALAM:

Simhachalam is located in Andhra Pradesh, 11 kms from Visakhapatnam city. The temple deity is called Varaha Narasimha swamy; a combination of two incarnations of Lord Vishnu – Varaha and Narasimha. Another interesting fact about this temple is that the main idol looks like Sivalinga. This reminds me of the saying “Shivayaa Vishnu rupaaya, Shiva Rupaaya Vishnave” (Shiva and Vishnu resembles each other).

As per the history of the temple, Prahlada, the great disciple of Lord Vishnu, installed the idol. Over time, the idol was completely covered by dust and could not be seen. Later, the Chandra vamsa king Pururava found the idol and constructed a temple. As per the instructions given by Lord Vishnu to Pururava in his dreams, the idol is covered with sandal paste throughout the year except on Visakha sudda tadiya (3rd day in the 2nd month of Hindu lunar calendar). On this auspicious day, lord’s original idol without the sandal paste (nijarupa darshna) will be shown to devotees and is celebrated as Chandanotsavam. The idol is covered with sandal wood paste again the following day and it appears to be in Sivalinga shape.

In this temple, there is a pillar called Kappa sthambham. Lord Varaha Narasimha swamy fulfills the prayers of his devotee who embraces this pillar. This belief came because, in Narasimha Avatara, Lord Vishnu came from the pillar and protected his disciple Prahlada by killing the demon king Hiranyakasipa. I have prayed to God Varaha Narasimha swamy and held Kappa stambam (Divine Power Pillar) with my both hands many times. It gave utmost happiness.

Varaha Narasimha Swamy(top), Varaha Narasimha Swamy Temple(bottom)

 

Annavaram

Annavaram temple is in Andhra Pradesh district East Godavari, 100 kms from Rajahmundry on Ratnagiri hill. The temple deity is Sri Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy and the Goddess is Anantha Lakshmi Devi. Lord Veera Venkata Satyanarayana gives boons to his devotees. That is why this pilgrim center is called Annavaram which means “Anina Varams” (all wanted boons).

It is said that one devotee named Eranki Prakasam had a dream where Lord Satyadeva appeared and told that his idol was left abandoned on Ratnagiri hill without worship. This devotee communicated about his dream to a local land lord (Zamindar).  Both of them went to Ratngiri hill and found the idol. Then they installed the idol and constructed a temple. Recently the temple was renovated. The idol is very tall that the temple has two floors. In the ground floor we can see the sacred feet of Lord Satyanarayana and in the first floor we can see the face of the idol which is very amazing and a feast to the eyes.

The pilgrims perform Sri Satyanarayana vrat (pooja) as said in Skanda Puranam and get the blessings of Lord Sri Veeravenkata Satyanarayana. In Andhra Pradesh, no function or marriage is considered to be complete without doing Satnarayana vrat. Performing the vrat with confidence on God fulfills our need. It is my experience that the divine power of Sri Satyanarayana Swamy is immense and immeasurable.

Satya Narayana Swamy, Annavaram Satya Narayana Temple

I pray to Lord Vishnu whole heartedly to fill your life with happiness and love.

– Varadacharylu Peddinti

2 Responses to “Vishnu Temples”

  1. Venugopal Says:

    Dear MavayyaGaru,

    Thank you for a very informative and wonderful article about these most powerful temples. I did come across the difference between Yaga and Yajna only after reading your article. Also, the incident happened to you at Guruvayur shows how God answers the prayers of His devotees. This incident has proved that again. Also the history of each temple is very good to know. Thank you so much for writing this article.

    Regards,
    -Venu

  2. Sanjai Athi Says:

    Dear Uncle,

    Thanks for providing us with the history behind all these temples. Very good to know your experience. The article has been beautifully presented.

    Thanks
    Sanjai

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