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Ramanathaswamy Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva located in the island of Rameswaram in the state of Tamil

Nadu, India. Deity The primary deity of the temple is Shiva. Significance According to Ramayana, Lord Rama is believed to have prayed to Shiva here to absolve any sins that he might have committed during his war against the demon king Ravana. This account is however, not supported by any such mention in the original Ramayana authored by Maharishi Valmiki, nor in the Tamil version of the Ramayana authored by Sri Kambar. Support for this account may be found in some of the later versions of the Ramayana, such as those penned by Swami Tulasidas (15th Century) and others. The temple is one of the holiest Hindu Char Dham shrines that has to be visited in one's lifetime and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holy abodes of Lord Shiva[1]. Temple structure Like all ancient temples in South India, there is a high compound wall (madil) on all four sides of the temple premises measuring about 865 feet furlong from east to west and one furlongs of 657 feet from north to south with huge towers (Gopurams) at the east and west and finished gate towers on the north and south. The temple has striking long corridors in its interior, running between huge colonnades on platforms above five feet high. The junction of the third corridor on the west and the paved way leading from the western gopuram to Setumadhava shrine forms a unique structure in the form of chess board and it is popularly known as Chokkattan Madapam where the Utsva deities are adorned and kept during the Vasntotsavam (Spring festival) and on the 6th day festival in Adi (July-August) and Masi (February-March) conducted by the Setupati of Ramnad. The outer set of corridors is reputed to be the longest in the world being about 400 feet in each in the east and west and about 640 feet in north and south and inner corridors are about 224 feet in east and west and about 352 feet each in north and south. Their width varies from 15.5 feet to 17 feet in the east and west about 172 feet on the north and south with width varying 14.5 feet to 17 feet. The total length of those corridors is thus 3850 feet. There are about 1200 pillars in the outer corridor. Their height is about 30 feet from the floor to the center of the roof. Third Corridor 12 East-West feet Outer Wing North43 South feet East-West Inner wing Total number pillars of NorthSouth 12 45 feet 3 feet

Height of corridor

2 feet 7.6 inch Temple contributions and donations from Hindu kings and zamindars The contribution of the kings of the Sethupathy dynasty to the temple was considerable. Especially to be remembered are the immense sums that were spent during the tenure of Pradani Muthirulappa Pillai towards the restoration of the Pagodas which were falling

into ruins, the splendid Chockattan Mantapam or the cloistered precincts of the temple at Rameshwaram that he finally completed. The temple was repaired and substantial portions reconstructed by the Nagarathars of Devakottai, especially Shree AL.AR.RM.Arunachalam chettiar, then Zamindar of Devakottai,He was the Hereditary Trustee of RamanathaSwamy Temple.There after his son AL AR Kalairajah Chettiar,subsequently his son AL AR K Veerappa Chettiar are Hereditary Trustees of Rameswaram RamanathaSwmy Temple Tirumala Venkateswara Temple is a Hindu temple in the hill town of Tirumala, near Tirupati in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, earlier Tamil Nadu South India. It is around 150 km (93 mi) from Chennai, 500 km (310 mi) from Hyderabad, and 250 km (160 mi) from Bangalore.The Tirumala Hill is 853m above sea level and is about 10.33 square miles (27 km2) in area. It comprises seven peaks, representing the seven heads of Adisesha, thus earning the name Seshachalam. The seven peaks are called Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabadri, Narayanadri, and Venkatadri. The temple is on Venkatadri (also known as Venkatachala or Venkata Hill), the seventh peak, and is also known as the "Temple of Seven Hills" (Saptagiri in Sanskrit,Ezhumala in Tamil). The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Venkateswara, a form of the Hindu god Vishnu. Venkateswara is known by other names: Balaji, Govinda, and Srinivasa. [1] The temple lies on the southern banks of Sri Swami Pushkarini, a holy water tank. The temple complex comprises a traditional temple building, with a number of modern queue and pilgrim lodging sites.The temple is the richest pilgrimage center, after the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, of any faith (at more than 50,000 crore[2][3]) and the most-visited place of worship in the world. [4][5][6] The temple is visited by about 50,000 to 100,000 pilgrims daily (30 to 40 million people annually on average), while on special occasions and festivals, like the annual Brahmotsavam, the number of pilgrims shoots up to 500,000, making it the most-visited holy place in the world.[7]There are several legends associated with the manifestation of the Lord in Tirumala. According to one legend, the temple has a murti (deity) of Lord Venkateswara, which it is believed shall remain here for the entire duration of the present Kali Yuga. Tirumala has remained a highly frequented pilgrimage site in Tamilakam throughout most of its history and was a principle temple in the country of Tondai Nadu before the territory was transferred to Andhra Pradesh in the 20th century CE[8]. Almost all the epigraphs of the temple are in Tamil and interspersed with Grantha characters and 50 inscriptions are in Kannada and Telugu,thanks to Krishnadevaraya in 16th century.[9]Both the names Tirumalai and Tirupati have roots in Tamil language. Tiru means holy/divine, malai means hills/mountain. Therefore it translates as Holy mountains. After merger with Andhra Pradesh, the name has been changed to more Telugu friendly Tirumala As regards Tirupati, Tiru means holy/divine, pati means town/city and translates as Holy city.In the Dvapara Yuga, the hill was known by the name of Sheshachala or Sheshadri. The place was known as Venkatachala for centuries; it is believed that this name was given by Lord Brahma. Ancient Tamil literary works Silappatikaram and Manimekalai refer to this place as Thiruvengadam. "Ven" means "sin" and "Kata" means "destroyed or burnt". Therefore the name means that a person who worships there will get cleansed of all sins.A Thondaiman ruler of ancient Tondai Nadu is believed to have first built the temple after visualizing Lord Vishnu in a dream. He built the Gopuram and the Prakhara, and arranged for regular prayers to be conducted in the temple. Later on, the Chola Dynasty (300 BC1279) vastly improved the temple and gave rich endowments.The Pallavas of Kanchipuram (9th century AD), the Cholas of Tanjore (10th century), and Vijayanagara pradhans (14th and 15th centuries) were committed devotees of Lord Venkateswara. During the invasion of Srirangam by Malik Kafur in 1310-11 AD, the Ranga Mandapam of the temple served as the shelter for the presiding deity of Srirangam, Ranganatha Swamy. Later, under the rule of the Vijayanagara emperors, was when the temple gained most of its current wealth and size, with the donation of diamonds and gold.[10] In 1517 Vijayanagara ruler Sri Krishna Deva Raya, on one of his many visits to the temple, donated gold and jewels, enabling the Vimana (inner shrine) roofing to be gilded. Statues of Sri Krishna

Deva Raya and his spouse stand in the premises of the temple. After the decline of Vijayanagara Empire, kings from states such as Mysore and Gadwal worshiped as pilgrims and gave ornaments and valuables to the temple. Maratha general Raghoji I Bhonsle (died 1755) visited the temple and set up a permanent administration for the conduct of worship in the temple. [11] There is an idol of Raja Todar Mal who was the revenue minister of Akbar, greeting pilgrims in the premises of the temple.In 1843, with the coming of the East India Company, the administration of the Sri Venkateswara Temple and a number of shrines was entrusted to Seva Dossji of the Hathiramji Mutt at Tirumala as Vicaranakarta for nearly a century until the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) was established as a result of the TTD Act in 1932.TTD is operated by a Board of Trustees that has increased in size from five (1951) to fifteen (1987) through the adoption of Acts. The daily operation and management of TTD is the responsibility of an executive officer who is appointed by the government of Andhra Pradesh. Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple or Tiru-alavai[1] [2] (IAST mnki Amman Kovil, Tamil: is a historic Hindu temple located in the south side of river Vaigai[3] in the temple city[4] of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is dedicated to Parvati who is known as Meenakshi and her consort, Shiva named here as Sundareswarar(beautiful deity). The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500 year old city[5] of Madurai. The complex houses 14 gopurams(gateway towers) ranging from 45-50m in height, the tallest being the southern tower, 51.9 metres (170 ft) high,[6] and two golden sculptured vimana(shrine) over sanctum of the main deities. The temple is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature, though the present structure is built during 1623 to 1655 CE[6][7][8] The temple attracts 15,000 visitors a day, around 25,000 during Fridays[9] and gets an annual revenue of sixty million INR. There is an estimated 33,000 sculptures in the temple [9] and it was in the list of top 30 nominees of the "New Seven Wonders of the World". The annual 10 day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival celebrated during AprilMay attracts 1 million visitors. Deity of Meenakshi in the temple. Meenkashi (IAST mnki, Tamil is an Avatar of the Hindu goddess Parvati - the consort of Shiva. She is also one of the few Hindu female deities to have a major temple devoted to her. The name Mnachchi (meaning fish eyed) is derived from the words mna (meaning fish) and aki (meaning eyes). Meenakshi(the lady goddess) is the principal deity of the temple, but not Sundareswarar - this is unlike most Shiva temples in South India where Shiva is the principal deity.[4] According to Hindu legend, in order to answer the prayers of the second Pandya king Malayadwaja Pandya and his wife Kanchanamalai, Goddess Parvati appeared out of the Holy Fire of the Putra Kameshti Yagna(sacrifice for childhood) performed by the king.[10] According to another legend, the goddess herself gave a boon to Kanchanamalai in one of her previous births that she would have the privilege of mothering the goddess. This girl, who came out of the holy fire had three breasts. A voice from the heavens told the king not to worry and added that the third breast would vanish soon the girl meets her future husband.[7] The happy king named the girl as Tadaatagai[11] and being the heir to the throne, Tadaatagai was trained carefully in all the 64 sastras(fields of science). As the time came when Tadaatagai was to be coronated, she had to wage war on the three worlds across eight directions. After conquering Sathyaloka(Brahma's Abode), Vaikunta(Sanskrit, vaikuntha meaning Vishnu's Abode) and Amaravati(the abode of the Devas), she advanced to Kailasha(Shiva's Abode).[6] She very easily defeated the bhoota ganas(IAST: Bhtagana, meaning Shiva's army) and Nandi(the celestial bull of Shiva) and headed to attack and conquer Shiva. The moment she looked at Shiva, she was unable to fight and bowed her head down due to shyness; the third breast vanished immediately.[6][12] Tadaatagai realized that Shiva was her destined husband. She also realized that she was the incarnation of Goddess Parvati. Both Shiva and Tadaathagai returned to Madurai and the king arranged the coronation ceremony of his daughter, followed by her marriage with Shiva.Vishnu hands over his sister Meenakshi to Shiva. The marriage was supposed to be the biggest event on earth, with the whole earth gathering near Madurai. Vishnu, the brother of Meenakshi, prepared to travel from his holy abode at Vaikuntam to preside over the marriage . Due to a divine play, he was tricked by the

Deva, Indra and delayed on the way. The marriage was presided over by a local god from Thirupparankundram Pavalaakanivaai Perumal, an incarnation of Vishnu. After the marriage, the pair ruled over Madurai for a long time and then assumed divine forms as Sundareswarar and Meenakshi who are presiding deities of the temple. [13] Following the tradition, every evening, before closing the temple, a ritual procession led by drummers and a brass ensemble carries the image of Sundareswarar to Meenakshi's bedroom to consummate the union, to be taken back to his day setting the next morning in dawn.[7] The marriage is celebrated annually as Chithirai Thiruvizha meaning Chittirai festival) in Madurai. During the period of Nayakar rule in Madurai, the ruler Thirumalai Nayakar linked the Azhakar Thiruvizha, meaning Azhagar festival) and the Meenakshi wedding ceremony. People of this region believe that the Goddess Sellandiyamman miraculously built the adjoining Madukkarai wall which marks the boundary of the Chera, Chola and Pandya kingdoms and ends at the Meenakshi Amman temple. Pillaiyar patti Pillaiyar temple is an ancient rock-cut cave shrine dedicated to Ganesha, located at Thiruppatthur (1 km from Thiruppatthur bus stand or Thiruppatthur Thiruthalli nathar Temple (One of the Thevera Temple), Sivaganga district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. In the cave temple, there are rock cut images of Siva and other gods as well as several shrines. The Agama texts found on stones in the temple help date the temple between the years of 1091 and 1238. A unique Tamil image of Pillaiyar found in the temple helps to verify this dating. The presiding deity of the temple is Karpaka Vinayakar or Desi Vinayaka Pillaiyar.[1]As on today, the Pillayarpatti Nagarathar worshipers are involved in conducting daily worship services in the temple, as well as maintaining it.People from all over the state, come here everyday, for the worship of Pillayar, the Lord of Wisdom.The Ganesh Chaturthi / Vinayaka Chaturthi festival, is celebrated for 10 days in a grand manner every year during the months of August and September.[2] During that time, great number of pilgrims gather and participate in the Car Festival. Like all Shivite temples, Pillayarpatti temple also has Lord Shiva as its presiding deity. Lord's name is Arjunapureeswarar. This temple is more famous for the rock cut Vinayagar (Ganesha) sitting majestically inside a cave. Temple timings: The temple opens at 6 in the morning and stays open till 1 PM. The shrine is again opened at 4PM and is open till 8.30 PM. Shri Karpaga Vinayagar The Vinayagar sannidhi (Sanctom Sanctorum) is a cave where the 6 feet Karpaga Vinayagar has been carved inside. As this is a cave formation, there is no provision to go around for the pradakshina. The inner sanctum is well illuminated with oil lamps and the whole idol is covered with gold. Its only during the Abhishekam or the holy bath when we get to see the full idol in its pristine glory. Pillaiyarpatti is located in Thiruppathur, Sivagangai District of Tamil Nadu. It is situated between Kundrakkudi and Tiruppatthur. Pilliyarpatti is just one Kilometer away from Thiruppatthur and 3 kilometers from Kundrakkudi. Pillaiyarpatti Karpaga Vinayagar is carved out in a cave of Pillaiyarpatti Hillocks. Lord Vinayagar is carved out from the rock of the cave. Lord Thiruveesar ( SIVAN ) is also carved in the rock of this cave. History states that Pandiya Kingshad designed these structures in the caves. The age of the cave temple is 2500 years or more. There are 14 stone Sculptures in the cave ( from 500 BC to 1284 AD ). These stone Sculptures state that ancient names of PILLAIYARPATTI as EKKATTOOR, THIRUVEENKAIKKUDI, MARUTHANGUDI, and RAJANARAYANAPURAM. Pillaiyarpatti temple is a rock - cut temple located in Thiruppatthur, Sivagangai District. It was built after viewing a hillock by the early

Pandiya kings and the image of Pillaiyarpatti Pillaiyar and that of a Siva Lingam were carved out of a stone by a sculptor called Ekkattur Koon Peruparanan who put his signature on a stone inscription found even today in the sanctum. He put his signature in Tamil Language which was in use between 2nd and 5th century AD. It can be concluded that the icon of Pillaiyarpatti Pillaiyar must have been carved around 4th century AD. Pillaiyar (Vinayagar), the God of Victory is the main deity here in the name Pillaiyarpatti Pillaiyar. This temple is the only one in Tamil Nadu which deserves pride for having a 6 feet rock-cut Pillaiyar idol. The Thumbikai of Lord Pillaiyar is curled towards his right side and so the God is also known as Valampuri Pillaiyar. The larger inner shrine with its splendid sculptures make the people wonder on the first The chettiyar (nagarathar) community has done/been doing an outstanding job in maintaining the temple and the temple IS clean. The Vyasyas (Now called Chettiars) are people who are good in money lending business and they were known for money handling skills. Initially it seems that they were part of now called Andhra Pradesh (Still Vyasya is a one of the big community in Andhra). It seems Chettiars had animal instict, whenever they sense there is goin to be flood and famine they will leave that place and migrate to an other kingdom. They were very well welcomed by the kings because of their skills in business and of course they were rich..Also migration took place when heavy taxes were imposed on Nagarathars by the kings.. This migration continued until finally they got settled in Sivagangai under Pandya king Soundarapandian. The Peruvudaiyar Koyil also known as Brihadeeswarar Temple and Rajarajeswaram,[1] at Thanjavur in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is the world's first complete granite temple[2] and a brilliant example of the major heights achieved by Cholas kingdom Vishwakarmas in Tamil architecture. It is a tribute and a reflection of the power of its patron RajaRaja Chola I. It remains India's largest temple[3] and is one of the greatest glories of Indian architecture.[4] The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Great Living Chola Temples". This temple is one of India's most prized architectural sites. The temple stands amidst fortified walls that were probably added in the 16th century. The vimana or the temple tower is 216 ft (66 m) high [5][6] and is among the tallest of its kind in the world. The Kumbam (or Kalash or Chikharam) (apex or the bulbous structure on the top) of the temple is not carved out of a single stone as widely believed. [citation needed] There is a big statue of Nandi (sacred bull), carved out of a single rock, at the entrance measuring about 16 feet long and 13 feet high.[7] The entire temple structure is made out of hard granite stones, a material sparsely available in Thanjavur area where the temple is. Built in 1010 AD by Raja Raja Chola in Thanjavur, Brihadishwara Temple also popularly known as the Big Temple' turned 1000 years old in 2010. The temple had its foundations laid out by the Tamil emperor Arulmozhivarman, popularly called Rajaraja Chola I, in 1002 CE, as the first of the great Tamil Chola building projects. [8] The temple was built by Rajaraja Chola, one of the greatest Tamil emperors to grace the throne of the Chola empire in compliance of a command given to him in his dream.[9][7] The scale and grandeur is in the Chola tradition. An axial and symmetrical geometry rules the temple layout.[10] Temples from this period and the following two centuries are an expression of the Tamils (Chola) wealth, power and artistic expertise. The emergence of such features as the multifaceted columns with projecting square capitals signal the arrival of the new Chola style.[11] The Brihadeeswarar Temple was built to be the royal temple to display the emperor's vision of his power and his relationship to the universal order. The temple was the site of the major royal ceremonies such as anointing the emperor and linking him with its deity, Shiva, and the daily rituals of the deities were mirrored by those of the king. The temple maintained a staff of 600 people in various capacities. [citation needed] Besides the Brahmin priests, these included record-keepers, musicians, scholars, and craftsman of every type as well as housekeeping staff. In those days the temple was a hub of business activities for the flower, milk, oil, and ghee merchants, all of whom made a regular supply of their respective goods for the temple for its poojas and during festival seasons. Moreover as evidenced by the inscriptions that found in the compound wall of this temple, the temple

had always been serving as a platform for the dancers who excelled in the traditional dance form of Bharatnatyam. Even today, the Brihadeeswarar Temple remains India's largest temple.[3] It is an architectural exemplar showcasing the pure form of the Dravida type of temple architecture and representative of the Chola Empire ideology and the Tamil civilisation in Southern India. The temples "testify to the brilliant achievements of the Chola in architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze casting."[12] The temple was consecrated in 1010 CE by Raja Raja Chola I. Millennial year celebrations happened in 2010. The temple complex sits on the banks of a river that was channeled to make a moat around the complex's outer walls, the walls being built like a fortress. The complex is made up of many structures that are aligned axially. The complex can be entered either on one axis through a five-story gopuram or with a second access directly to the huge main quadrangle through a smaller free-standing gopuram. The massive size of the main sikhara (although it is hollow on the inside and not meant to be occupied) is 63 meters high, with 16 severely articulated stories, and dominates the main quadrangle. Pilaster, piers, and attached columns are placed rhythmically covering every surface of the shikhara.[3] The main temple is in the center of the spacious quadrangle composed of a sanctuary, a Nandi, a pillared hall and an assembly hall (mandapas), and many sub-shrines. The most important part of the temple is the inner mandapa which is surrounded by massive walls that are divided into levels by sharply cut sculptures and pilasters providing deep bays and recesses. Each side of the sanctuary has a bay emphasizing the principle cult icons.[10] The karuvarai, a Tamil word meaning the interior of the sanctum sanctorum, is the inner most sanctum and focus of the temple where an image of the primary deity, Shiva, resides. Inside is a huge stone linga. The word Karuvarai means "womb chamber" from Tamil word karu for foetus. Only priests are allowed to enter this inner-most chamber.[13]