Padavedu

Happy Deepavali to all!

And now, lets travel back a bit in time, and forward in space…

Padavedu (the current name-form of the town Padaiveedu), is a place lying between Tiruvannamalai  and Vellore. Its a short distance past Polur, if you are coming from Tiruvannamalai…. As we were…

We had driven to Tiruvannamalai… Had holy Prasadam at Sri Ramanashramamam… Stayed the night there… And left at 5 am for Padavedu… An hour or so later, we turned off from the main road into a lane that takes us to the little town nestled between so many hills…

The day was Saturday… The first of Avani month… The previous day was the last friday of Adi, a time of terrific festivity in Padavedu, being as it is, the abode of Goddess Renuka….

When we reached the edge of the town, we found the road blocked by a VIP caravan, that of Lord Rama. The temple procession of the utsava idol of Lord Rama on Garuda Vahana was ruling the road…. We got down from the car and joined the walkers…

Here’s the Lord on the eagle…

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Renuka Devi is the presiding deity of Padaiveedu. She is the mother of Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.  In one of his letters to Ramana Maharshi, Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni wrote “The deity I have awakened by composing Umasahasram is none other than Mother Renuka. She is activating the entire creation of the universe remaining as the essence of life force i.e, Kundalini power” Padaiveedu is known in Sanskrit as Kundalipura or Kundalinagara.

Below is a picture of the outer wall of the temple of Renuka… The month of Adi would have seen fabulous festivities here… Now, early morning, all is quiet… Except for bird songs…

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The makeshift market by the side of the temple has just woken up, like a lotus in a village pond…

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A temple elephant (of perhaps the Rama temple) walks about majestically.

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Padaiveedu is a land of temples. At one time it is supposed to have had hundreds of temples… Ravaged by invaders, looters and time…

Yet, like all ancient Hindu holy towns, the ambiance of the sacred could not be rooted out. All it takes is a large lotus-pond with a small shrine by its side to radiate the sacrosanct. Or an ancient tree with a little shrine below… Like this one here…

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We have come here, primarily to visit the temple of Venugopala. This is an ancient temple on top of a hill known to the local people as the Fort Hill. At one  time, the rulers here had built a fort on this hill, one can spot some ruins here and there now…

The Venugopala Krishna temple too was in ruins. But then, a good hearted industrialist, Sri Venu Srinivasan, took it upon himself to rebuild the temple and arrange for worship. Local lore has it that he was directed to this holy task by some divine oracle.

The temple is on top of a hill that lies directly in N-S line of Tiruvannamalai. The temple is open for worship only once a week, on Saturday. Also, the temple-site is such that it is quite difficult to reach.  The way up is a broken hill-path… Pilgrims have to take the local tractor-taxi to go up…

Picture this…

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Not much place for us!

We decide to risk it and drive up in our cab.  Our cab driver, however, is quite petrified, and is very circumspect as he cajoles the car up… After a lot of fits and starts, he finally can go up no more…

We have to foot it from here…

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Happy hiking!

*** To be continued ***

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One Response to “Padavedu”

  1. V.Thirumalai Says:

    Would like to go there sometime. sounds an interesting place.

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