Rama Ekadashi !!


Jai Sriman Narayana !!
 
 
 
 
Brahma Vaivarta Puranam describes the glories of  Rama Ekadashi or Krishna Paksha Ekadashi.    Lord Krishna narrates the grandeur of Rama Ekadashi  to King Yudhishtira .

 

King  Muchukundha was a righteous ruler and  a zealous devotee of Lord Sri Hari .  He was great ruler who always speaks the truth and follows righteousness.  His Kingdom and it people were blessed with perpetual peace and prosperity.  King Muchukundha had a daughter Chandrabhaga who was married to Shobhana, Son of King Chandrasena.   There was a custom prevailed in the Kingdom of Muchukundha  that  the King's men will inform the public about the forthcoming Ekadashi by beating  drums and the people in his kingdom should compulsorily follow the austerities of the same.   

 

Once, King Shobana with his wife Chandrabaga visited his father- In- law's kingdom during the period of Ekadashi.   King Shobana was surprised to the sounds of doldrums; he enquired his wife about the importance of it.   She explained the usual practice introduced by her father for informing the people of his Kingdom to observe the austerities of Ekadashi.    She explained that not only the people of their Kingdom but also the birds and animals were not served with grains or water on the day of Eakadashi as it was dedicated to the remembrance of Lord Sri Hari.   King Shobana was in a dilemma after listening to the thoughtful words of Chandrabhaga.  Unfortunately King Shobana was not in a good health to observe the austerities of Ekadashi, but he does not want to disgrace the customs introduced by his father-In-law for several years now.   Finally, he decided to observe the Ekadashi fast that resulted in a disastrous death of him.   King Muchukunda sorrowfully performed the funeral rites of his only son-in-law.  Soon, his only daughter widower Chandrabaga moved with her father.

 

The devoutness King Shobana had attained through the observance of Ekadashi made him to took birth in a royal family and became the King of Mandarachala Mountain. His kingdom was made of precious gems with the close resemblance of Vishwakarma's creation.  King of Mandarachala had all the luxuries in life and he was served by celestial dancers and singers all around him.

 

One day a brahmin named Somasharma, who was a member of King Muchukunda's court happened to meet the King of Mandarachala on his way to a pilgrim place.  He immediately realized that the King was none other than the son-in-law of King Muchukunda in his previous birth.  The Brahmin hurriedly approached the King with lot of anxiety.   The King rose from his seat and paid obeisance to the Brahmin.   He enquired the well being of the Brahmin and King Muchukunda.  The Brahmin earnestly replied to all the queries of the King.  The King narrated that he has got this heavenly kingdom to rule as a merit of fasting on a Rama Ekadashi.   He solemnly continued, the Celestial Kingdom may not survive for long because he had observed the Rama Ekadashi without any faith or devotion.   He genuinely wanted to correct his past mistake and appealed to the Brahmin to inform the whole experiences to his chaste wife Chandrabaga.  The Brahmin returned to Chandrabhaga and informed her about King Shobana and his celestial Kingdom which is brittle at any moment.  Chandrabhaga requested the Brahmin to guide her to reunite with her husband and make his Kingdom stable with all the intrinsic worth she had acquired by observing Ekadashi fasts in all her life.  On the way to Mount Mandarachala they visited Sage Vamadeva’s hermitage and explained her painful stories to him.  Shortly,  Chandrabhaga once again united with her husband with the blessings of Sage Vamadeva.

 

Lord Krishna continued, whoever observes Rama Ekadashi or listens to the glories of it with utmost faith and dedication would be free from all the sins committed and attain Salvation.

 

Jai Sriman Narayana !!
 

Our Temple Tour to Veleeswaran Kovil, West Peruvemba - Kerala !!

Jai Sriman Narayana !!

Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara !!

Our six members group continued our journey to Veleeswaran Kovil - West Peruvemba.  There are two villages close to each other known as East and West Peruvemba.    West Peruvemba is a small village in Palakkad District.  It is just seven miles away from Palakkad District, Kerala.


The roads were too narrow to drive.   The Village diety is Lord Veleeswaran, in this temple Lord Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Linga.  This temple is situated just right in the middle of the Agraharam.  On the right, there is a newly constructed Veda Padasala.   The Temple has the Sannidhis of Ambal, Lord Ayyappa, Lord Ganesha, Lord Murga and Lord Nandikeshwara  .  Inside the temple there is a big well, the well water is used for daily abishekam and preparation of Prasadams for the Lord.


Tridhalam Trigunakaram
Trinetram cha Thriyayusham
Tri Janma Papa Sambaram
Eka Bilwam Shivarpanam

Tri Shagai: Bilwapatraishcha
hyechidrai: Komalai: Shubai:
Shiva Poojyam Karishyami
Eka Bilwam Shivarpanam

Akhanda Bilwa Patrena
Poojithey Nandhikeshwara
Shudhyanthi Sarva Papeybhyo
Eka Bilwam Shivarpanam

Salagrama Shilamekam
Vipranam Jathu Charppayeth
Somayajya Mahapunyam
Eka Bilwam Shivarpanam

Dhanthi Kodi Sahasrani
Vajapeya Sathani Cha
Kodi Kanya Mahadhanam
Eka Bilwam Shivarpanam

Lakshmya anusthatha Uthpannam
Mahadevasya Cha priyam
Bilwa Vruksham Prayachami
Eka Bilwam Shivarpanam

Dharsanam Bilwa Vrukshasya
Sparshanam Papa Nasanam
Aghora Papa Samharam
Eka Bilwam Shivarpanam

Kashi Kshetra Nivasam cha
Kala Bairava Dharsanam
Prayaga Madhavam Drushta
Eka Bilwam Shivarpanam

Moolatho Brahma roopaya
Madhyatho Vishnu roopiney
Agratha: Shivaroopaya
Eka Bilwam Shivarpanam

Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara !!

Jai Sriman Narayana !!

Our Temple Tour to Ootukulangara Bagavathi Temple - East Peruvemba - Kerala !!

Jai Sriman Narayana !!

Jai Ambey Ma !!



We a group of six members started our journey to Peruvemba, Palakkad.    East Peruvembu Village is just 7 miles from our home town Palakkad.  Though the driver chap was not clear about the Galis of the interior parts of this village, somehow he managed to drop us in the Bagavathy Temple.  We had meticulous Dharshan of our Kula Daivam ' Veleeswaram Temple' (Lord Shiva) 'Veda Padasala' and Temple Tank etc...On the way back we went to another Shiva Temple in the same area.

The Ottukulangara Bagavthi Temple is one of the oldest temples situated in East Peruvemba, in the district of Palakkad.  When we arrived, this temple was amazingly beautiful with the earthern oil lamps all around the temple premises decorated for Deeparadhana.  The moment we entered the temple premise we could feel the vibration around us.  We got our tickets for our offerings to Ambal and went inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.  The 'Pudavai offering' and prayers took another few minutes.   It is not that easy to describe the beauty of the Ambal the presiding deity – Sri Ottukulangara Bhavawith with lot of flower decorations and the whole serene atmosphere.  There was 'Idakkai Melam’ (an instrument) while waiting for the Deeparadhana.  It was absolutely stunning experience, after the Deeparadhana the temple priest handed us with prasadam - A handfull of Vellapayar.

Ootukulangara Bagavathy Temple - East Peruvemba - Palakkad

Presiding Deity - Swayambhu - Ambal in her fierce form  of Bhadra Kali

Sthalavruksham - Asoka Tree


The legend has that several years ago the place where the Temple situated now was paddy fields.  Once, a farmer in the field while ploughing hit a stone and blood gushed out of the stone.  The farmer got scared and ran to inform his landlord.   The whole village assembled and agreed to have detailed analysis of the significance of this place. According to the Astrological prediction, they conducted a detailed inspection of the ground and found a Swayambhu - Bhadrakali carved on the stone.  The Ambal worship was carried out from that day.  Another interesting sight is that, the sanctum sanctorum is positioned roofless, other than a Grand Asoka Tree on its place.

Jai Ambey Ma!!

Jai Sriman Narayana!!


 

108 Divya Desams !! Thiruvarangam Sri Uthamar Kovil / Sri Purushothamar Kovil !!

Jai Sriman Narayana!!
Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara !!

 
 


Sri Uthamar Kovil is one of 108 Divya Desams of Lord Vishnu located in Thiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu.  This temple is situated 10 km away from Thiruchirappalli Railway Station and 2 km away from Sri Rangam. 
 
 

Presiding Deity - Lord Vishnu in reclining posture/Purushothamar and Poorna Valli Thayar


 
Mangalasasanam – Thirumangai Alwar


 
Sannidhis – Sri Garuda Alwar & Acharyas, Goddess Sri Mahalakshmi,  Goddess Poorna Valli Thayar, Lord Krishna, Sri Varadaraja Perumal, Sri Chakrathalwar,  Lord Dakshinamurthy, Sri Bikshadaneshwar and Soundarya Parvathy, Lord Brahma and Jyana Saraswathy, Bala Lingam, Sri Irattai Vinayakar, Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal, Lord Rama, Sri Venugopalan, Navagraha, Dasaratha Lingam, Goddess Durgai, Lord Chandikeshwara

 
Theertham – Kadamba Theertham

 
Vimanam – Udyoga Vimanam/Kadamba Vimanam



This temple is also known as ‘Thrimurthi Kshetram'.  Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are the presiding dieties in this temple.  Lord Brahma has very few temples and it is one among them.  This temple is an exemplar of beautiful blend of Saivism and Vaishnavism. 


The legened has that Lord Vishnu disguised in the form of a Kadamba Tree to test the devotion of Lord Brahma.    Lord Brahma recoganized the presence of Lord in this place and started to worship.  Thus, this sacred place where the temple situated came to known as 'Kadamba Vanam'.

Lord Shiva is worshipped as Bhikhadaneswarar (One who receive alms) in this temple, in order to get salvation from Brahmahathya (The sin of killing a Brahman) Lord Shiva went to receive alms (Bikshadanam), whatever falls on his Bhiksha disappeared immediately.  Finally, Lord Shiva approached Lord Maha Vishnu and Goddess Poorna Valli Thayar.  Sri Mahalakshmi served with food; finally Lord Shiva got satisfied with His hunger.



This temple remains open from 6.00 AM to 12.20 PM in the morning and 4 PM to 8.30 PM in the evening.
 

Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara !!

Jai Sriman Narayana !!

Papankusha Ekadashi !!




Jai Sriman Narayana !!

 

 

Brahma Vaivarta Puranam describes the grandeur of Papankusha Ekadashi/ Ashwin Shukla Paksha Ekadashi.   Lord Krishna explains the devoutness of observing Papankusha Ekadashi to King Yudhishtira.   Fasting on the day of Ekadashi and feeding righteous Brahmin on the day of Dwadashi is a part of serving Lord Maha Vishnu.   Worship of Lord Vishnu following the austerities of Papankusha Ekadashi would eradicate sins committed in this life. 
 
 
There was a hunter named Krodhana lived in the city of Vindhyachal, he engaged in all the wicked deeds like theft, killing animals, torturing others etc.. He continued this malicious act till the end of his death.   At the final moments, Lord Yama sent his representatives down to the Earth with the command of bringing him to hell.    Krodhana was miserable with the fear of death; he approached Sage Angira – one of the Saptharishis.  The Sage advised Krodhana to observe fast on the day of Papankusha Ekadashi which would fall on the very next day and worship Lord Vishnu.   Krodhana faithfully observed Papankusha Ekadashi and the austerities advised by Sage Angira.  Finally, he attained Salvation at the Feet of Lord Sriman Narayana.
 
 
Lord Krishna narrates; the merits obtained by fasting on this day would provide the devoutness of more than hundred horse sacrifices and Rajasuya Yagnam respectively. The sacrifices and Yagnas could provide only 1/16 of one Papankusha Ekadashi Vrata, mere chanting of Lord Vishnu's name itself would provide the merit of Holy dip in the rivers  Ganga, Gaya, Pushkara theertham and the pieties’ of visiting the holy land Kurushetra.   Thus, the devout act would provide salvation to the departed souls of ten generations from the paternal and maternal sides.
 
 
Lord Krishna concluded that whoever perform sacrifices and whoever determined to build temple pond and Garden, shelter places etc..  Would be generously blessed and whoever observe Papankusha Ekadashi would undeniably reach the Lotus Feet of Lord Sriman Narayana.
 
 
 

Jai Sriman Narayana !!
 

Pradosham on 20th October, 2010 !!

Jai Sriman Narayana !!

Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara!!







Tryambakam Yajamahey Sugandhim Pushti Vardhanam
Urvarukamiva Bandhanath Mruthyur Mukshiya Mamruthath

 




Sourashtrey Somanadham cha Sri Sailey Mallikarjunam
Uajjayinyam  Mahakalam Omkaram Amaleswaram

Paralyam Vaidyanatham cha Dakinyam Beema Sankaram
Sethu Bandhethu Rameswam Nagesham Darukavaney


Varanasyathu Vishwesham Tryambakam Gowthami Thadey
Himalayethu Kedaram Gushmesham cha Sivalaey


The following are the twelve Jyotir Linga Kshetras/ Dwadasha Jyotir Linga Kshetras situated in different parts of India.

Sri Somnath  Temple –  Gujarat,

Sri Mallikarjuna Temple - Sri Sailam, Andhra Pradesh

Sri Mahakaleswar Temple - Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

Sri Omkareswar Temple - Indore, Madhya Pradesh

Sri Kedarnath Temple - Uttarakhand

Sri Bhimshankar Temple - Pune, Maharashtra
.
Sri Vishwanathaswamy Temple - Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Sri Tryambakeswar Temple - Nasik, Maharashtra

Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple - Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu

Sri Grishneshwar Temple - Ellora, Maharashtra

Sri Vaidhyanath Temple - Deoghar, Jharkhand

Sri Nageshwar Temple -   Sri Nageshwar Temple in Dwaraka

Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara !!

Jai Sriman Narayana !!




Sri Rama Anu Yatra !!

 
Jai Sriman Narayana !!
 
 
 
 
 
The re-produced below is an interesting soul filling travelling experiences of Dr.Kavitha.  I have to reiterate some comments about this wonderful travelogue.  My experience after reading the entire journey to the heavenly places on the Earth was marvelous and also felt myself as one amongst them.  Happy reading!!
 
 
 
 
 

 
Bittur (Kanpur) - Valmiki Maharishi Ashram - Tamasa River (Ganga)
 
Ayodhya - Rama Janmaboomi - Sarayu River - Hanuman Gaddi - Dhasaratha Bavan - Lakshman Ghat –
 
Vashista Kund - Guptar Ghat - Kanaka Bavan (where Sri Rama lived with Sita Devi )
 
Valmiki Bavan - Ammaji Mandir - thothadri Mutt - Nandi Gram
 
Bihar (Buxar) - Kamashram - Sidhashram -Thatakavan - Old Sri Vaikundhanatha Mandir
 
Chapra (Revalgunj - Goutham Ashram - Ganga Sarayu sangamam
 
Sonepur - Gajendramokshasthal - Ganga and Gandagi River meets - Ganga and sonakshi river Sangam –
 
Sitamarhi (Birth place of Sita)
 
Janakpuri (Nepal)
 
Allahabad - Triveni sangamam ( Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswathy river meets) -  Sage Baradhwaja Ashram –
 
Shrungaberapuram (Guha's place) - Temple of Guha, Sage Rishyashrunga and Shanta - Ramshayanasthal
on the way to Chitrakoot.
 
 
Ram Dharbar at Chitrakoot - Mandakini River - GuptGodavari - Sita Kund, Dhanush Kund, Ram
 
 
Lakshman Kund - Atri Anasuya Ashram - Hanuman dhara - Kamadgiri
 
 
Dhandakaranya - Viradhakund - Sharabanga Ashram - Sutheekshna Ashram - Sage Agasthyashram –
 
Kundinapuram (Sri Rukmini's birth place) - Sri Rukmini Temple.
 
Ramtek (2nd Agasthyashram) - Narmada River - Paduka Temple - Ramgiri and Ramtalab at the short vicinity of the Temples.
 
 
Mukthidham Dharmasala at Nasik (Panchavati) - Ram ghat, Kalaram mandir, Sita guha, Maya Mareecha museum, Parnakuti and Lakshman mandir.
 
 
Tapovan - Godavari River - Thaket (Jatayu Mokshasthal)
 
Hospet (Karnataka) - Ashvath Lakshminarasimha kshetra -Malaprabha river-Kishkinda (Anegundi) -Anjanadri temple, Vali vadha sthana, Lakshminarasimha temple, Ranganatha temple - Matangashram .
 
 
Hampi - Thungabadra River -  Sugriva guhe, Ram temple - huge monolithic Narasimha, ruins of Vijayavithala temple and Malyavan Raghunatha temple
 
Mysore - Lakshmana theertha (Irpu falls)
 
 
Rajapalayam - Kadayanallur Hanuman Temple - Swayampraba guhe
 
 
Thirukkurungudi - Malaimel Nambi Thirukoil - Nambi Perumal Thirukoil
 
 
Ramanadu - Sethukkarai - Thirupullani - Adijagannatha Temple - Dharbhashayana Ramar,Pattabhiramar,Santhanagopalan  and Ashvatthavruksha Perumal -Kadal Kattia Perumal Sannidhi at Devipattinam
 
 
Sri Rangam - Lord Ranganatha and Goddess Ranganachiyar,  Koorathalvan, Desikar and Narasimhar -Chakrattalvar sannidhi, Andal Sannidhi, Nammalvar sannidhi, Adijagannathar with mudhalalvars, Pattabhiramar sannidhi, Kodandaramar sannidhi, Andal in kalyanakolam in kannadiarai, Ramar sannidhi, Venugopalar sannidhi and Odeyavar sannidhi around Srirangam koil - Pundarikaksha at Thiruvellarai, Srinivasa at Gunaseelam, Purushottamar at Uttamar koil-Kattazhagiyasingapperumal, and Kamalavalli nachiyar in Nachiyar koil, Worayur.
 
 
 
 

Jai Sriman Narayana !!
 
11th September 2010
Left Bangalore by air to New Delhi and met Krishna and Kavitha at New Delhi airport. From there we proceeded to Kanpur by overnight train to join the Mumbai group of yatris.
 
12th September 2010
Reached Kanpur early in the morning and we were received by Bus no 5 -Dasharathan(A/C coach). The entire convoy of buses were named after Ramayana characters like Sitaram, Bharatan, Lakshmanan, Shatrughnan, Dasharathan, Kousalya, Sumithra, Vasishtar, Vishwamithrar, Guhan, Hanuman, Sugreevan, Jatayu and Vibhishanan from bus nos. 1 to 14. The 15th bus was Kaikeyi (sparebus), 16th   was an ambulance named Sushenan and 17th bus was called Shabari which carried the caterers of the tour. Every bus had a volunteer and one associate volunteer who were constantly kept informed about the day to day programme and room allotment etc;. As soon as we got into the bus every yatri was given an ID card with his/her name, registration no., Bus no. and Bus volunteer’s tel. Nos. All were given a cap and two books with yatra details. Generally all the buses had 2 drivers and   a cleaner. The caterers were divided into 2 groups of which one group would go ahead to the designated places for cooking and keeping the food ready while every bus had a cook who would serve the passengers at the designated time. Generally they served coffee in the morning followed by breakfast (baala bhogam) around 8 am Lunch between 1 pm and 2 pm, again coffee around 5 pm followed by dinner at 8 pm every day. Certain days there would be early lunch (brunch) around 10.30am and snacks with coffee at 4.00 pm. The meal contents were mainly south Indian with rice based dishes, one curry, sambar, curd rice and sweet. Only once they served puris and sagu. The quantity was really filling. General accompaniment of curd rice was salted chilli or dried pickle of lime. Overall it was an excellent balanced diet.
 
 
Our bus had certain intra-bus activities and disciplines. Every morning we used to chant Thirupallandu, Thirupalliyeluchhi and Thiruppavai. Evening was the time for Vishnusahasranamam. In between people sang and participated in bhajans. We also had the Thiruvoimozhi chanting. Our bus volunteer Mr Ramanujam and his associate Mr Kulashekaran had inculcated a system by which every passenger would move one seat behind every day so that no one is continuously troubled by the back seat inconveniences and every one would experience it in turn. Mr Kulashekaran would keep a watch on all yatris and make sure that all were in the bus before it departed anywhere.
 
 
At every place we reached, we would have parayanam of the verses from Valmiki Ramayana relevant to that place followed by Upanyasam by Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy. The group was accompanied by 5 to 6 erudite scholars who would go from bus to bus during the road journey and would engage the yatris with relevant topics of discussion from Ramayana and Vishishtadwaita philosophy. The group consisted of young NRIs in bus no 1, Vaidikas in bus no 2 and others from Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. Apart from these there was an excellent group of volunteers who had done extensive spade work right from locating many of these remote places and worked out strategies to navigate the convoy and making local arrangements regarding stay, food, basic needs and local transport arrangements for 600 yatris to have darshan at each and every place.
 
From Kanpur railway station we were driven to Bittur. This is the place where Maharshi Valmiki Ashram exists. We had our first holy dip in Ganga (Tamasa) River and given coffee and breakfast in a college premises As we had reached this place earlier we had all the time for leisurely bath coffee etc;. The yatris from Chennai and Bangalore reached in the afternoon and we all reached Valmiki ashram by midday. Here we had darshan and upanyasam and parayanam of Ramayana (Baalakanda 4th sarga, Uttarakanda 49th, 65th, and 66th sargas). From here we travelled all through the night and reached Ayodhya in the morning.
 
13th September 2010
At Ayodhya we were put up at Manasa bhavan which had comfortable rooms with attached toilets. Each room lodged 4 yatris. Only after reaching Ayodhya in the morning we realised that due to heavy security how difficult it was to enter Ayodhya and Sri Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy was extensively scrutinised by the local authorities. We could not have managed this but for the timely help of local DGP who deputed an officer to accompany the convoy. Due to this the programme changed slightly and we stayed in Ayodhya for two continuous days instead of two different days as per the earlier plan.
 
We all then went to Sarayu River for bath and there we had upanyasam about significance of Sarayu. Then we all left to visit Ram Janmabhoomi, Hanuman gaddi and Dasharath Bhavan by the local transport in groups. Due to heavy security we could not take any pictures in these places. Later in the evening we went to Lakshman Ghat which is the place from where Lakshman left this world to reach the heavenly abode. We also had Parayanam of Ramayana (Uttarakanda 106th sarga). This followed by a visit to Vasishta kund. This is the place Ram Lakshman Bharat and Shtrughna went to Gurukul for their early education. Here we had Parayanam of Ramayana (Baalakanda 15th sarga). Then we left to Guptar Ghat, a location where Rama left to his heavenly abode with all wiiling Ayodhyavasis. Here we had parayanam of Ramayana (Uttarakanda 109th and 110th sargas) and upanyasam. The day ended with a visit to Kanak Bhavan which was earlier the palace of Sita and Rama.


 14th September 2010
After the morning bath etc; we visited Valmiki Bhavan which is a huge auditorium with entire Valmiki Ramayana inscribed all around on the wall. Here we had Parayanam of Ramayana (Baalakanda 18th sarga) and upanyasam. Then we visited Ammaji Mandir which is a temple of Srinivasa and pooja goes on here as per south Indian tradition. Then the yatris reached Thothadri mutt where we were blessed by Vanamamalai jeer and the deity. Here there was a phenomenal sight of Rama in the cradle, rocked by Kulashekaralvar as Kousalya. Sri Sundararajar priest from Kumbakonam showed us his magnanimous profess in decorating the accompanying utsavar in various forms suitable to that occasion. This followed with lunch.
 
In the afternoon we left to Nandigram to see Bharat Milap, place where Bharat stayed for 14 years during Ram’s exile and met Hanuman who announced the return of Ram after killing Raavana. Here we had Parayanam of Ramayana (Ayodhyakand 115th sarga and Yudhhakand 125th sarga) and upanyasam. We also had darshan of the deity, decorated Bharata worshipping Sitaram and his Paduka. We left after this to Buxar in Bihar.
 
15th September 2010
In the morning we left Buxar and reached Kamashram for a holy dip in the adjacent pond. This was the place where Kama was burnt by Shiva by opening his third eye. Ram and Lakshman stayed in this place while they accompanied Sage Vishwamitra and he sang them the famous suprabhatam (Kousalya supraja rama). Here we had parayanam of Ramayana (Baalakanda23rd sarga) and upanyasam. Then we visited Siddhashrama which was the place where Vishwamitra completed his penance successfully with the help of Ram and Lakshman. At present it is a part of Buxar jail and a special permission was obtained to visit.
 
In the evening we walked to Thatakavan where the demoness Thataka was killed by Ram. There we visited an old Vaikuntanath Mandir and had Parayana of Ramayana(Baalakanda of 25th 26th 29th and 30th sarga).Night was spent in Buxar itself.
 
16th September 2010
 
The convoy headed to Goutham ashram in the morning which is at Chapra(Revalgunj). Here Ganga and Sarayu rivers meet as sangam. This is the place where Ahalya was blessed by Ram. Here we had Parayanam of Ramayana (Baalakanda 48th and 49th sarga). From here we proceeded to Sonepur which is also known as Gajendra moksha sthal. Here Ganga and Gandaki rivers meet. Ganga and Shonakshi rivers meet on the way. Rest of the night was spent on the road to Seethamarhi which is the birth place of Sita.
 
17th September 2010
 
Reached Sithamarhi almost early in the morning and stayed for a short while at a Dharmashala and proceeded to the temple for bath in the nearby pond. This place is mentioned as Sita’s birth place in Bhagavatham and Vishnupuranam. We had short Upanyasam here about the place and proceeded to Janakpuri in Nepal. The planned Dhanushadham visit on the way was dropped as we were lagging behind time to reach Janakpuri. The visit to Janakpuri was unforgettable as we had traditional Seethakalyanam performed ritualistically in the  palace of Janakpuri. Huge pandal was erected and amidst lot of fanfare witnessed by thousands of people both yatris and locals, Sita wedded Ram with a bhajan group singing the appropriate bhajan. The decoration of Sita swayamvar and Sitaram wedding was beyond words to describe. After the function the yatris visited the actual auditorium where Sitaand Ram married and the adjacent temple and had the wedding feast. Then we took off to Allahabad in the night.
 

18th September 2010
 
The day was entirely spent travelling in the bus. The expected 14 hours took 26 hours as the drivers were tired, road was longer and bad as the straight short route was not safe for night travel. However, food was supplied by the crew at the right time.
 
19th September 2010
 
Landed at Allahabad at Bangur Yatrinivas early in the morning and went to Triveni sangam (confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) for a holy dip. Visited Bharadwajashrama nearby and drove to Shrungaberapuram which was the place of Guha (king of boatsmen) on the bank of Ganges. Here we visited Guha temple and Temple of Rishyashrunga muni and Shanta. Had upanyasam here and went to a little remote place Ramshayanasthal, where Ram and Sita rested on their way to Chitrakoot Here we had parayanam of Ramayana (Ayodhyakanda 50th sarga).Later we left from there to Chitrakoot.
 
20th September 2010
 
We checked in Ram Darbar at Chitrakoot which was the best accommodation in the whole trip. Rooms were spacious with attached clean and roomy bathrooms. Yatris stayed here for 2 nights which eased all the fatigue of the earlier long journey. Morning we went to Spatikashila and bathed in Mandakini River. Then visited Guptgodavari from where the river originates. The approach is a small cave like opening in the hill which widens inside and there are multiple water origins called Sita kund, Dhanush kund and Ramlakshman kund. The scenic beauty of the approach path is explicit. After this we went to Atri Anasuya ashram which has been converted into a museum with models depicting the stories in the epics. Here Ram received divine armour from sage Atri and Sita received the code of conduct of a pativrata from Anasuya. In the evening we visited Hanumandhara which is again an origin of water from the hill top. We had to climb about 500 steps to reach the temple. Then went around Kamadgiri which is a small hillock around which there is a walking path of 5 kms as parikrama. Saw Bharat milap on the way where Ram and Bharat met in Chitrakoot. There are foot prints of Ram and Bharat, Lakshman and Shathrughna and Sita and Kousalya. Here Parayanam of Ramayana (Ayodhyakand 112th 113th sarga)
 
21st September 2010
 
Drove along the Dandakaranya and passed through Viradha Kund. Couldn’t go to the actual place as it is 10 km deep in dense forest. Visited Sharabhanga ashram and had parayanam of Ramayana (Aaranykand 5th sarga). Then proceeded to Sutheekshnashram and read Ramayana (Aaranyakand 7th 8th and 11th sarga.The visit to Agasthyashram was most memorable as it showed the extensive spade work done by the volunteers. This place is inaccessible to the tourist without the help of the local villagers. The yatris here were warmly welcomed by the local school children, villagers and local politicians. Tractors were arranged to navigate 600 yatris till the small rivulet which flows at the foot hills of the ashram. From here we had to walk in knee deep water and then climb a rough and steep steps reach the temple on the top. Here about 108 sages were supposed to have performed penance. Here we had parayanam of Ramayana (Aaranyakand 11th and 12th sarga). VKS spoke to the villagers in Hindi and assured monetary help by the trust to renovate the place. Here Ram is supposed to have received divine armours from sage Agasthya. There is a unique archaeological sculpture of Ram in this place. From here we tried to reach Kundinapura (Rukmini’s birthplace) and visit Rukmini temple but could not make it as we got delayed. Hence proceeded nonstop to Ramtek (2nd Agasthyashrama)
 
22nd September 2010
 
As we could reach Ramtek only by afternoon, we stopped by Narmada River for bath. Ramtek has an ancient Ram, Lakshman and Paduka temples. No photographs were allowed. Ramtek is also considered as 2nd Agasthyashram (3rd Agasthyashram is near Manmad) and has Ramgiri and Ramtalab in the vicinity. Ram killed Shambuka here to maintain the balance of varnashramadharma. We had Parayanam of Ramayana (Uttarakand 73rd 74th and 75th sarga).
 
23rd September 2010
Our bus reached Mukthi Dham Dharmashala at Nasik (Panchavati) first and had an opportunity to visit Ram ghat, Kalaram mandir, Sita guha, Maya Mareecha museum, Parnakuti and Lakshman mandir. Here we had Parayanam of Ramayana (Aaranyakand 18th and 45th sarga).
 
24th September 2010
 
Next day visited Tapovan with the rest of the crowd after a holy dip in Godavari. There was upanyasam and parayanam of Ramayana (Aaranyakand 15th and 30th sarga).This is supposed to be the confluence of Kapila and Godavari rivers. Here few of the yatris discontinued the yatra and few Mumbaiites joined us for short stay in Nasik. Visited Thaket which is Jatayu Mokshasthal and had Parayanam of Ramayana (Aaranyakand 67th and 68th sarga) and Upanyasam.
 
25th September 2010
 
The convoy travelled overnight to reach Hospet in Karnataka, with a short stop at Ashvath Lakshminarasinha kshetra for bath in Malaprabha River. We reached extremely scenic Kishkinda (Anegundi) and visited Anjanadri temple, Vali vadha sthana,Lakshminarasiha temple, Ranganatha temple and finally Matanga ashram which has Shabari guhe. We also saw Pampa Sarovar in the dark.

 26th September 2010
 
We started the day with a holy dip in Tungabhadra River and visited the ruins of Hampi, Sugriva guhe, Ram temple where all 4 Ram Sita Lakshman and Hanuman are carved in a single stone. Then we proceeded to see the huge monolithic Narasimha, ruins of Vijayavithala temple and Malyavan Raghunatha temple. Here we had upanyasam and Prayanam of Ramayana (Kishkindakand 5th 26th 27th 44th 66th sarga and Yuddhakand 4th sarga)
 
27th September 2010
 
Reached Mysore early morning and drove to Lakshmana Theertha (Irpu falls) via Nagarhole wild life sanctuary by KSRTC buses. Here we had bath upanyasam and parayanam of Ramayana (Yuddhakand 4th sarga). Returned to Mysore and left for Rajapalyam
 
28th September 2010
 
We reached Rajapalyam in the morning and bathed in a local boarding school premises and proceeded to Kadayanallur Hanuman temple. Here we saw Swayamprabha guhe and her statue. From here we proceeded to Thirukkurungudi and visited Malaimel Nambi temple. Many of us walked up and down the hill, which was stamina testing. Then we visited Nambi Perumal koil where he is in three forms Ninra nambiKidanda nimbi and Veetrirunda nambi. Here we had Upanyasam on how Nammalvar sang the praises of the deity (in Parankushanayika bhava). From here we again travelled in the night to reach Thiruppullani.
 
29th September 2010
 
We reached Ramnadu in the morning and drove to Sethukkarai for bath in the sea. We had Parayanam of Ramayana (Yuddhakand 17th 18th 22nd and 123rd sarga) at Setukkarai Veeraanjaneya temple. From here we were picked up by Mr Sundar(Dr Pandian’s brothert in law) and got us special seva in the Adijagannatha temple. Visited Dharbhashayana Ramar, Pattabhiramar, Santhanagopalan, and Ashvatthavruksha perumal. Here we had the concluding debate on the various debates posed earlier in the bus. Finally concluded by the Upanyasam. We also visited the Kadal Kattia Perumal Sannidhi at Devipattinam. Left Thirupullani and reached Srirangam by 9.30 pm.
 
30th September 2010
 
We stayed in Dr Murali’s aunt’s service apartment and engaged a taxi for the local visits. Went early to the Srirangam temple for Vishvaroopa seva and had darshan of the lord Ranganatha and Goddess Ranganachiyar,  Koorathalvan, Desikar and Narasimhar. We attended the Ramapattabhisheka parayana (Yuddhakand 128th sarga) at Odeyavar sannidhi. Group photos were taken bus wise with VKS and his wife. With this the program of the yatra concluded. We further continued our private visits to divyadesams nearby. We visited Pundarikaksha at Thiruvellarai, Srinivasa at Gubnasheelam, Purushottamar at Uttamar koil. Evening we had leisurely visit to all sannidhis like Chakrattalvar sannidhi, Andal Sannidhi, Nammalvar sannidhi, Adijagannathar with mudhalalvars, Pattabhiramar sannidhi, Kodandaramar sannidhi, Andal in kalyanakolam in kannadiarai, Ramar sannidhi, Venugopalar sannidhi and Odeyavar sannidhi around Srirangam koil.  Later visited Kattazhagiyasingapperumal, and Kamalavalli Nachiyar in Nachiyar koil, Oreyur which also had Thiruppanalvar sannidhi. We returned by the night train to Bangalore.
 
Over all it was a soul satisfying and divine experience. In all we had a dozen of holy dips and numerous temple visits. All these will definitely have a positive change in all the yatris . Thanks to the Kinchitkaram trust and Velukkudi Krishnan Swamy who organised such an extensive and exclusive trip. May we get many more such opportunities and have divine blessings.
 
 
I pray to Lord Sriman Narayana to avail His blessings on us to take up many many 'Theertha Yathras' like this.  For more details about the pilgrim tours like this please contact:
 
 
Kinchitkaram Trust. No: 6 Bheemasena Garden st., Mylapore, Chennai 6000 04Telephone: 00-91-44-24992728 or 0-98415-62646 kinchitkaram@yahoo.co.in
 
 
Jai sriman Narayana !!