Thursday, December 05, 2013

Navagraha Ottam - Do you know PulIrukkuVelur?

Navagraha Ottam - Part #7 - Do you know PulIrukkumVelur?

I am re-starting almost after a six week hiatus and hope to complete this series in the next few days.  Bala - Thanks for the constant reminders.. This is post is for you..

Day#3 of the run started from Mayiladuthurai bright and early at 5:00 AM and I reattached myself to Balaji and trekked a distance of about 13k to Vaitheswaran Koil.

Like the previous days, we caught up with anyone who would talk to us on the roads and arrived last at the rendezvous point.

Vaitheswaran Koil, Sevvai sthalam (செவ்வாய் / அங்காரகன்  ஸ்தலம்)
சிறப்புருமணியே செவ்வாய் தேவே
குறையில்லாதருள்வாய் குணமுடன் வாழ
மங்கலச்செவ்வாய் மலரடிபோற்றி

அங்கரகனே அவதிகள் நீக்கு
Vaitheeswaran Koil is also popular for Nadi Josyam, which apparently dates back to Agasthya Munivar.  His lineage is supposed to continue the tradition of Josyam even now.  These Jothidars are supposed to have access to palm leaves which apparently has information about all of us.  Balaji pointed out a Nadi Josyam place made popular by one of the Tamil TV soaps.  Now the zillion question is how does Balaji know?  Neither does he own a TV nor does watches trashy soaps.  How Balaji? How?

Vaitheeswaran Koil's pushkarini (temple tank) was brimming with water and several runners took a dip.  The waters of this temple tank is believed to contain nectar and a dip is believed to cure all diseases.
My experiments with photography.. Pl. don't be scared.  Sun rays were falling inside the praharam and I got Durai & Ranga to be my guinea pigs for this photo.

Thiruvenkadu - Bhudan Sthalam / திருவெண்காடு - புதஸ்தலம்
இதமுற வாழ இன்னல்கள் நீக்கு
புதபாகவானே பொன்னடி போற்றி
பதந்தருள்வாய் பண்ணொலியானே  
உதவியே அருளும் உத்தமா போற்றி

Now came the tricky part of the run. To optimize on the distance, we have to take some inner roads from Vaitheswaran koil and as we were moving east the support team was also not familiar with the route. But, the three support vehicles were in constant touch through the tricky route and ensured that no runners were 'lost'.  
Even with that kind of support, our trek to Thiruvenkadu was challenging to say the least. With the Surya Bhagawan shining at his best and the barren roads devoid of trees made us sweat every step of the way. We reached the temple well past noon and perhaps due to that the temple wasn't that crowded.
Devotees come with all sorts of prayers and some of them were listed in a hoarding. Look at what Balaji is pointing too... May his prayers come true.. !!!
Keezhperumpallam - Kethu Sthalam / கீழ்பெரும்பள்ளம் - கேதுஸ்தலம்
கேதுத் தேவே கீர்த்தித்திருவே
பாதம் போற்றி பாவம் தீர்ப்பாய்
வாதம் வம்பு வழக்குகள் இன்றி
கேதுத்  தேவே கேண்மையாய் ரக்ஷி

We took a solid break at Thiruvenkadu and left after 4:00pm ish to trek about 8 kms to our next stop.  Thanks to the Selva's network, we got a nice 'guest house' for lunch and to rest.  They were timely and much needed.  Without that, our journey would have been lot more challenging.

Arches like this were dotting the road for Kovalan, Madhavi and Kannagi giving us ample indication that we were heading towards Poompuhar.  These, I understand were erected during Mr. Karunanidhi's regime, whose affection to Kannagi is well known.  I could kind of, sort of understand the urge to build arches for Kannagi and Kovalan, but for Madhavi?
Kethus sthlam might well be smallest temple in our Navagraha Ottam.  So much so that, I don't have any other photo of this temple with the gopuram.

After darshan and a short rest, we headed to Sembanar Koil for our night halt.  What has become customary by now, Balaji and I talked and walked most of the distance.  Balaji had a sudden craving for 'Milaga Bhajji' and that got it fulfilled through Shanthi.  Yet another example exemplary care by the support crew.
Now.. back to PulIrukkumVelur?  It is the historic name for Vaitheswaran Koil.  Here is the authority on these topics.. Selva is a treasure trove of information on these matters.  I always learn something new, every time I run with him..

Detailed booklet on the Navagraha Ottam here
Navagraha Ottam album here
Navagraha Ottam Post  #1   #2  #3  #4  #5 #6
Navagraha Slokam in Tamil - here