ANGALA PARAMESWARI TEMPLE – PUTLUR
I had been to the Angala Parameswari temple at Putlur during last Thursday. My trip was combined one with Takkolam, Tirumalpur and Tiruvallur temples. Having opening time more, this temple was visited by afternoon. I have already written on the other temples.
Putlur temple is very famous. Even at the time of my visit large number of devotees were coming on. We joined the queue, after observing formalities. Once we enter the temple we should not go for purchases outside for any thing wanted and missed to purchase. Temple staff may help if required. First we have to worship at Puttu(Ant hill), then the main deity AFTER CIRCUMBULATION and then other deities.
There is a railway station just before Tiruvallur in the Chennai- Arakkonam electric train route. One can reach Tiruvallur by bus and hire an auto for the temple about 5 KM away . My trip was using travels taxi from my residence itself.
This write up is based on my observing as well as information read from websites. A lot of vendors are there selling lemon garlands, kumkum manjal, neideepam, pictures etc. The prices are VERY MODERATE. Ample car parking facility is there close to the temple.
Before entering two lemons were rotated above head, both clockwise and anticlockwise, put down and crushed by feet. Three lemons have to be pierced in soolam. Neideepam is to be lighted at Puttu. Kumkum and Turmeric powder are put in the two containers kept for it. We circumbulated the Angala Parameswari, Two garlands were given to the archaka( non Brahmin), after both were worn one was returned. It has to be put in the entrance of the house. She had taken two more lemons ADDITIONALLY, it will be rolled over the feet of the deity, and if female she has to get it without falling on her lap using sari end. Males can receive in their hand itself. Slipping is told in auspicious. The temple and premises, are kept extremely neat. One will astonish seeing the neatness. The temple is under HR and CE Tamilnadu.
Gopala Krishnan dated 6-2-2015
This is probably the only temple where the Goddess has manifest herself in the natural form of an anthill complete with face, eyes, dainty eyebrows, parted lipts, hands, legs, and a pregnant belly. It gives you goose bumps as you circumbulate around her in the narrow space among the several hundreds of people who throng this temple everyday to seek her blessings.
Lord Shiva and Parvathi were walking from Melmalayanur towards Ramapuram ( the place where this temple is located, which subsequently came to be known as Putlur because of the Goddess manifesting herself in the form of a Putru - an anthill). This place was a forest those days full of neem trees. Parvathi tired after the long walk, sat down and asked Lord Shiva to fetch her some water. Lord Shiva went searching for water but could not find any nearby. He had to go to the river Coovam (Once Coovam was having excellent pure water) to bring the water. It started raining heavily and the river was getting flooded. So he had to wait a while for the rain to subside. Tired of waiting for the Lord, and exhausted with hunger and thrist, the Goddess lay down on the floor and an anthill (புற்று) grew over her. She became one and the same with the anthill.
Lord Shiva returned shortly after and found that Parvathi had permanently stayed there. So he too stood beside her and is called thandavarayan.
Probably this is the only amman temple where you can find a nandi before the sanctum sanctorium and this is because of the presence of Shiva behind the goddess.
3. Drishti before entering temple
The temple, as I said is always crowded. People come and pray here for childbirth and other problems/ wishes they have . They usually buy five lemon and bangles from the shops outside.
It is believed that one has to remove all "drishti" (casting of evil eye) before entering the temple. So these women circle the lemon thrice around your head, and ask you to crush it under your left foot. This is supposed to remove all dristi from you. On entering the temple, there is a trident ( trishul) on which three of the remaining lemon are pressed on.
The ant hill in the left front side under tree is worshipped. Neideepam lighted. Then you move to worship the nandi, and enter the mandapam to go towards the sanctum sanctorium. One can see that the ancient temple has been modernised over time by laying glazed tiles on the walls and floor.
We find a huge pair of scales here, where devotees who have been blessed with children offer sugar, banana etc. equivalent to the weight of the child. As the serpentine queue moves slowly towards the sanctum sanctorium you wait with bated breath. The main sannadhi is small, dark and crowded. There is a strong stainless steel railing affixed all around the goddess so that no one touches and damages the structure. It is difficult to see very clearly through this railing. Just behind the goddess, through a small window like structure, you can see THANDAVARAYAN looking a little sad that he could not quench his wife's thirst in time.
As you circumbulate and move towards the front portion of the sanctum sanctorium, you hold your breath in awe. The goddess COMPLETELY COVERED IN TURMERIC PASTE LOOKS MAGNIFICIENT. The eyes, eyebrows, the parted lips, the visibly pregnant belly all look so natural. The bangles and the last lemon are offered here. The poojari takes your bangles and gives you others as prasad. He rolls the lemon now smeared with kumkum from a stone near the goddess's feet, and the devotees collect it in the pallav of their saree. Gents can simply receive by both hands. I received so.
Lemon garlands are also offered and returned with her blessings and people keep them in their vehicles, shops, pooja rooms, or over their front door for a time.
On coming out, we find another huge anthill ( this does not have a human figure)to the right of the sanctum sanctorium under the stala Vriksham - Neem Tree. People who seek childbirth, tie miniature cradles near this anthill or pieces of pallav of their saree in anticipation of the fulfilment of their desire. ( We went first around this ant hill). A lot of neem trees are in the temple premises.
4. Overnight stay
It is also very common for people to stay overnight here on full moon days. A special prayer is conducted at 5 am the next morning for these people who stay awake and pray through the night.
On the day of my visit we could see a young lady performing angapradikshinam, in the mandapam, one seemantham function briefly conducting. My wife joined them and offered bangles and kumkum to the pregnant lady on their invitation.
5 Location of the temple:
This temple is near Tiruvallur. It is very easy to reach here by train. From Central one has to take a train, bound for Tiruvallur, Tiruthani or Arakkonam, and get down at Putlur station. Make sure it is not an express which stops only at limited stations. From there the temple can be reached either by walk or share auto.
By road: On the tiruvallur road, after crossing Nemam, go straight. There will be a board on the right saying Putlur. Take the road if going via Nemam. Taking directions from local people could be better.
Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays and full moon days are extremely crowded here
Moolavar : Sri Vinayaka, Thandavarayan, Angala Parameswari
Amman / Thayar : Poongavanathu Amman
Thala Virutcham : Neem tree
Old year : 500-1000 years old
City : Ramapuram (Putlur)
District : Tiruvallur
Shivarathri and Masi Magam crematorium robbery festival in February-March, Aadi Fridays in July-August and New Moon day pujas are celebrated in the temple.
8 Temple's Speciality:
Majority of the devotees to the temple are women. One feels an exciting feeling sooner entering the temple. The temple is filled with turmeric and kumkum smell. Women place a lime fruit at the feet of the Goddess keeping their sari pallu also there with some prayer. If the fruit rolls and falls at the sari piece, it indicates their wish will be fulfilled, it is believed.
9. Opening Time and adress:
The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 2.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Address: Sri Angala Parameswari Temple, Ramapuram (Putlur)-602 025. Tiruvallur district.
Phone: +91- 94436 39825.
10 General Information:
The sacred tree Neem is in the outer prakara. A swaymabu anthill, Goddess Karumari, Lord Vinayaka and Nagadevadas (serpent deities) are under the tree. Navagrahas also are installed.
Devotees pray for child boon, those facing problems in wedding proposals and those having family problems, tear a piece from their sari and tie it in the neem tree. Realizing their wishes, they come to the temple, thank the Goddess with pujas.
Thanks giving: Majority of the devotees pray for child boon.
12 Greatness Of Temple:
Goddess appears as a women suffering from labour pain lying with Her mouth open. Behind the sanctum sanctorum are the shrines of Lord Vinayaka, Lord Nataraja in the name of Thandavarayan and Angala Parameswari.