Tiruchuzhi – A picture post

Happy Deepavali folks!

On this special occasion, let us make a special trip….

Let us go to the town of Tiruchuzhi, the place where Sri Ramana Maharshi was born.

It is a well known town, and during olden times, it was a transit-halting point on the (walking) pilgrimage route between Madurai and Rameshwaram…

Now, you can drive there, an hour and a half or so from Madurai.. Or you can take a train…

Welcome to Tiruchuzhi.

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The town is as ancient as time. In fact. mythology links it to the ‘deluge’. Lord Siva rescued the earth from the deluge by throwing his trishula on the earth here, whereby the waters whirled into the hole – giving the place its name ‘Tiruchuzhial’. And at that place stands the temple of Bhuminatheshwara – the Lord Protector of the Earth – Siva…

But first let us visit the birth place of Sri Ramana…

A signboard next to the temple of Bhuminatheshwara points to the sacred birthplace…

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And here is Sundara Mandiram..

This is the house where Ramana was born, on Dec 30, 1879…

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The structure is the same as it was during the time Sri Ramana was born… But it has undergone considerable renovation in recent times… It is under the care of Sri Ramanasramam…

Here is an old B/W picture of the place, that I got from the Net..

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The room where Sri Ramana was born is now a meditation shrine… A picture of Ramana adorns the wall…

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Adjoining this room is a large assembly hall, recently built… A picture of Sundaram Iyer, and Azhagamma – Ramana’s parents – adorns a wall of the hall…

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Right opposite the house is the wall of the temple of Bhuminatheshwara… I see a young boy perched on the wall, enjoying the shade of the trees… Perhaps young Ramana may have done that too…

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So this is the temple of Bhuminateshwara Siva and his consort Sahayamba Devi…

A temple that is known to have existed in all yuga-s. A place associated with Gautama and Ahalya, and with Sage Kaundinya (the river here is named after this sage), sage Parashara, sage Bharadhwajia… And in more recent times (a thousand years or more ago) with Sundaramurthy Nayanar… And in absolutely recent times, with Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi!

Here’s a picture of the temple Gopuram…

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This is a large and magnificent temple. One of the temples where the Saiva Saints, Nayanmar, have sung…

Here’s a view of the same Gopuram from the outer courtyard of the temple… Gives some idea of the size of the temple

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Here’s a view of the temple tank.. Now dry…

This was where mythology has it that the waters were swirled by the trishula of Siva… The tank had Sulpher water, from what one reads…

To quote from “Talks With Sri Ramana Maharshi” of 23-Mar-1939:

The village had a sacred tank in front of the temple, which was the spot of the eddy created by the spear of Siva. Even now the waters in the tank rise at the rate of about a foot every day for ten consecutive days preceding the full moon in the Tamil month Masi (Maghasuddha Pournami) and then gradually fall during the succeeding ten days. This phenomenon can be observed every year. It is noted with wonder by the young ones of the village. Pilgrims gather to bathe in those waters on that occasion. That water is sulphurous for the silver jewels of the bathers become dark after bathing in it. Sri Bhagavan said he had noted it when He was a boy.

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Lets have a quick glimpse of some of the spots inside the temple… Click on the pictures to see enlarged view…

Here’s the temple flag staff… Rising from inside the temple, through a hole in the ceiling…

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In earlier times, there were no Navagraha idols… Instead, on the ceiling of the temple, different zodiac signs / stars were represented… Here is that mural… The square carving in the middle of the picture…

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The inner corridor of the temple is beautiful.. The ceilings are all painted with different Yantras – Chakra forms.. The painting is hundreds of years old… all organic materials used… And the colors stand out even now…

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Now savor a close-up picture of the Chakra painted in the ceiling…

Its beautiful, isn’t it?

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Signing off this Deepavali post with the translation of Ramana Maharshi’s composition on the significance of the festival Deepavali (Naraka Caturdashi):

The day that Narayana grinds to death the
naraka-ego in the quest of knowledge, inquiring
whence the naraka-I rises to rule the naraka-world,
that day is the light festival of Naraka-Chaturdasi.

To search and slay the sinner, the naraka-ego
corrupted by the thought that one is the naraka-form,
the false body-tenement, and to shine as
the true Self, this is Dipavali indeed.

– Collected Works of Sri Ramana Maharshi

Om Nama Sivaya!

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6 Responses to “Tiruchuzhi – A picture post”

  1. Shiv Mishra Says:

    Pics and writing took me along to the sacred place.
    Thank you sir.

  2. Ravichandran Says:

    Pics are too good. Keep doing.

  3. Thiru Says:

    Another Gem from your Pen Kamesh. It was as if we were actually there. Brilliant.

  4. Rajam Says:

    Beautiful write up. Happy Diwali !

  5. gkamesh Says:

    Thank you! Happy Deepavali to you too!

Comments are closed.


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