A Day Trip to Desur – 2

Today (the date of this post) is June 18th. And that happens to be the Nirvana date of the divine cow Lakshmi, of Sri Ramanashramam. Lakshmi hailed from a village near Desur….

Its to her native fields that we are now heading for…

All right. So here we go.

We leave Tiruvannamalai after lunch… The road to be taken is the old route to Madras. This is the road to Wandiwash from Tiruvannamalai…

Arunachala always looks so awesome…. View, as we leave the town…

An hour or so later, we spot the mystic hill, Deergachalam. And we soon reach Nedungunam, and visit the Yogaramaswami temple. For more on that temple, refer to my earlier blog post by clicking here.

10 kms or after Nedungunam, we come across a small road to the right (the locals call it as a koot-road), that points to Matam village.

The road enticingly leads into rural heartlands… A different sort of space-time dimension. There is just one road, and so you know you are in the right direction.

Goats grazing in the fields alongside…

We are headed to Matam village. I was told that this village is in the traditional walking route from Kanchipuram to Tiruvannamalai.  In times of yore, pilgrims from Kanchipuram proceeding to Tiruvannamalai (or vice-versa) would halt here, at this village. This halt was particularly favored by ascetics, who probably had some rest-house (Matam) facility, and so the name of the village… Thats what  a local elder told me.

Some five kms down the koot-road, we come to Mastan Swami’s samadhi…

Here it is…

Our local guide welcomes us…

The Samadhi is in a small compound. Next to the samadhi is a small rest-house called as Appar Swami Matam.  Perhaps the village is named after this Matam…. In Mastan Swami’s biography, it is stated that he left Desur and settled in Matam, in a hut next to this Matam.  Presumably, his samadhi is now just about where his hut was earlier…

A Shiva Linga is installed on his samadhi. Here’s a pic… Pictures of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s adorn the back wall of the samadhi shrines.

We spend some quality time at the samadhi. A local villager, a retired school teacher, offers worship… There is chant of Rudram… Aarti is shown… Fruits offered as Prasadam… Peace….

Adjacent to the samadhi compound wall is an ancient tree. Its the holy Banyan…

And right near the Banyan tree is a temple pond…. Now dry, except for a patch of water at the centre…

The Mastan Swami temple priest tells us that the pond fills up during the month of Maasi. During Maasi-makam festival, a boat festival is held here for a week. The processional idol of Lord Siva and his consort, from the Tadaagapureeshwarar temple at Matam village, is brought here, and sails in a boat in this pond.  Pilgrims throng from villages nearby… Matam village itself has predominantly Jain community… People, irrespective of background and community, gather for this festival, and add to the joy of this boat festival at this Matam tank… The priest notes my address and says he would be sending me an invite for the next festival…. you must come, he says…

Behind the Mastan Samadhi compound, one sees the silhouette of Deerghachalam hill… Looming…  Like a high helipad of celestials… Yes, Rama, in his Pushpaka Vimana, is said to have landed here, to give Darshan to Suka Brahma Rshi… Deerghachalam, alias, Nedunkunram (Nedungunam)…

To be continued…

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8 Responses to “A Day Trip to Desur – 2”

  1. Shiv Mishra Says:

    Great post! Pics are really nice and add value. Look forward the next one.

  2. jayanthi Says:

    Your writeup and the photos on the temple visits enroute thiruvannamalai was very interesting
    The pride of most of our indian villages is its rest houses where the mukhiya and some villagers come and deliver fruits to the travellers from their farms.It reminds me of the rest houses called raen Baseras in villages of Punjab .
    Awaiting to read the next post

  3. Ravi Chandhiramouli Says:

    excellent kamesh. mouli,

  4. Ajay Says:

    Very impressive Kamesh! Looking forward to the next one.

  5. priya Says:

    Sairam Kamesh,Its a pleasure reading your posts.Simple yet very interesting..The pictures added makes me feel Iam there!! lovely..

  6. gkamesh Says:

    Thanks folks. Mastan Swami samadhi is indeed an idyllic setting. A flower forever…

    Click on the pictures, and you can see a bigger view… The hill, the samadhi, the tree, the pond… all so beautiful… Click and have a look…

  7. Adelina Says:

    What a captivating travelogue! Enjoyed reading it a lot.
    Sundhar, his family and I took a trip to Tirumannamalai in 2005 and had a great time visiting different temples and ashrams….Cannot remember swinging by Matam, but certainly have tons of images of the road side scenery. It was during Pongal and lots of villages were so full of color and celebration- only India can offer such a soul-pleasing scape!

  8. Sudheer Says:

    Kamesh, I went through the rama navami post that is referred here. The yoga rama temple looks so serene, feel like making trip almost immediately. Many of us experience the joy of ‘virtually’ visiting these places through your travelogues. God bless you.

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