Sri Pallikondeeswarar Temple, Suruttupalli18 May 2021
Amrutha. Kurma Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Neelakhanta. Pradosham.
All of the above seem four different aspects of the Puranas. But there’s a temple which brings all of the above together. How interesting are the Lord’s acts.
Sage Durvasa once gave a garland which he had received as prasada from Goddess Mahalakshmi, to Lord Indra, the King of Devas who in turn gave it to His vahana, the celestial Elephant known as Airavatha. The Elephant disliked the scent of the garland, threw it on the floor and trampled it by mistake which enraged the Sage who cursed the Devas led by Indra. Due to this episode, the Asuras led by King Mahabali took over the world. The Devas went to Lord Vishnu to rescue them, to which the Lord asked them to enter into a compromise with the asuras by way of sharing the divine nectar, Amrutha. Mount Manthana was used to churn the Ocean of Milk while the celestial serpent Vasuki was used as the rope, the tail with the Devas and the Head with the asuras.
During the churn, the entire earth was about to be destroyed, which is when Lord Vishnu assumed the Kurma Avathara and held Mother Earth on His back. At the time, poison emanated from the churning and Lord Shiva agreed to consume it and save the world. When the poison reached his throat, Goddess Parvati stopped it by holding his neck and thus His name come to be known as Neelakantha. He felt dizzy at the time and lied down on the lap of Goddess Parvati to take some rest. The Devas were worried upon the Lord lying down and gathered around to see Him. When they came to see the Lord, The celestial Bull Nandi asked them to wait. The time the Lord emerged to give them Darshan is known as the Pradosha kala.
This is the Temple where the devotees can see the divine posture of Lord Shiva in a reclining form. Perhaps, the only such temple in the world. The temple also has a separate shrine for Sri. Maragathambikai, a form of Parvati accompanied by Lord Valmikeswara, where the Sage Valmiki is said to have seen His divine form upon performing penance. Pradosha at this time is performed every month with great devotion and fervour.
There’s another marvel in this Temple.
Lord Dakshinamurthy who’s always seated on to the right side of the Lord Shiva Shrine is seen here with His consort, Sri. Taara on his lap. This is a marvellous posture of the Lord to see by His devotees since such a shrine doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.
The temple shrine is located at Suruttupalli, 53kms off Chennai and 3 kms outside Uthukottai town. This is also an alternate route to reach Tirupati from Thiruvallur, through Puttur (without passing through Tiruttani).