Monday, January 15, 2007

Travelog # 23 - Sholingar Temple

Sholingar (ThirukKadigai) Temples

Shollingar is about 130 kms Chennai and is perfect one day trip spot if one is looking to get out of Chennai and get some exercise. Its home to two historic temples; Yoga Narasimhar and Yoga Anjaneyar and both are up hills that require climbing 1200 and 500 steps respectively.
Perumal Kovil from Anjaneyar Kovil
Yoga Narasimhar (Perumal) Kovil....
Entrance to the Perumal temple.. 1300+ steps / stairs reach the only
Covered stairs all the way..
Need to climb 1200+ steps to have darshan. The roof over the steps is of great shield from the vagaries of weather. The roof work has been going on for years and had just completed just a few months back.
Temple necessasities being
All temple necessities are being lifted manually everyday.. quite a task. There are plans to lay roads and connect both temples, but that is still in the drawing board.

An old lady being carried up the stairs to the temple..
Penance ??

Trying its hand on Yoga..
Quenching its thirst..
Monkeys need to water too..
Monkeys are everywhere.. Its generally fun to watch them till they snatch eatables from you.

An old choultry at the foot hillsof the temple.
Saw this in the choultry belonging to the temple.. Brahmins only? I hope not..

More in flickr

How to get there?
Sholingar is about 130 kms from Chennai. The nearest railway station is Arakkonam, which is about 30 kms from Sholingar.

We drove and started at 4:30 AM when most of Chennai was still sleeping. It took us about 3 hours to cover the 130 km stretch but took almost double that time on return. Onward, we took the Bangalore route and went via Sriperumpudr, Ranipet which was much much better than the route I took on return. I made the mistake of looking at the map and decided to take Arakonam, Thiruvallur route as it looked shorter and paid dearly for it. The road, if you can call that was very very bad and had to crawl my way through. So, if you are going from Chennai, take the Bangalore route.

Where to eat?
Both temples sell prasadams and some small hotels are available at foothills. But expect Saravana Bhavan quality.

Where to stay?
I saw a billboard for a lone hotel near the temple, but better options must be available in Arakonam and Vellore.

When to Visit?
Take in to account 1600+ steps when planning. I suggest Nov - Jan time frame when the weather is relatively cooler in this part of the world.