I am giving account of a short spiritual tour I made to South India. I arrived in Chennai and left for Golden Temple of Mahalaxmi in Vellore by car in a journey that took us about 21/2 hours. It is amazingly beautiful and has high energy. It has all elements of beauty, magnificence and opulence of Goddess of wealth. You can see this at link below:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sripuram
After this this we left for Tirupathi which took us about 3 hours and visited Goddess Padmavathi temple. It is said that one needs to visit Her before you go to Venkateshwara temple. After this we left for Tirumala hills in a ride which took about an hour up the hills and reached the abode of Lord Ventakeshwara. It is an amazingly beautiful place with nice cottages for residence and we retired for the night. Early wednesday morning we queued up among several hundred thousand devotees for darshan. Since we had a special entry ticket and an approach letter, our queue was shorter and in about an hour we were standing in front of the awesome Lord Himself. The sight was breathtaking and I felt goosebumps all over. Although He granted us darshan in front of Him for few milliseconds, but the experience was worth it. You may read about Him at link below:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tirumala_Venkateswara_Temple
It is the richest temple in the world after Vatican. The story goes that He took a lot of Loan from Kubera for His marriage to Padmavati and has to pay this back in Kalyuga. The devotees who donate here are given blessings in return. many big businesses in India have Him as their partner in share of profits.
After that we took the famous Ladoos as prasad (which are patented for their delicious taste) and left for darshan of our dear Lord Shiva in Kalahasti. This is just 36 kms away from Tirupathi and represents Lord Shiva in His air element. You may read about this temple at link below:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srikalahasti_Temple
After a short refreshment break, we were on our way to visit Kamakshi Devi in Kanchipuram. This took us about 3 hours. Roads were comfortable and clear. We stopped on way for fruits, eatables and played music of Suprabhatam, the famous song of Venkateshwara on the way. On arrival we queued up for special darshan. In all temples we visited, we found options of Free darshan and a paid darshan which was quicker. In no time, we were in front of breathtaking Idol of Kamakshi made out of Shaligram Sila. A priest helped us pray to Her and gave us Her garland and Kumkum (vermillion).You may read about Her at link below:http://www.kanchikamakshi.com/index1.html
Once out, we were on way to our final destination and the one I cherished the most which is Aruncala Shiva in Tiruvanamallai. It took us about 31/2 hours to reach and by the time we arrived it was past 11:00 in the night. We checked into the Suite of a Hotel and rested. Early morning we were ready to go by 6:00 am on Prarikrama of the Lingam. While Kailasa is the abode of Shiva, Aruncala Hill is Shiva Himself who rose as a colum of fire when Brahma and Vishnu were arguing as to who was more Supreme. So Shiva is Here as the Fire element. You may read about this place at link below:http://www.omarunachala.com/
While doing Parikrama we did darshan of 8 Lingam temples which represented each of the 8 cardinal directions. There are 8 lingams, 360 holy tanks, mandapas and ashrams.Indra Lingam: (East) This is the first lingam while the hill circumambulation, worshipping this lingam yields healthy and wealthy life. Agni Lingam: (South East)
This is the second lingam, It placed near The Lotus tank, This is the only lingam placed on right side of the circumambulation path, all other lingams are placed on left side, It occupies the South East direction, worshipping here retrieves us from all diseases and to face challenges of life.Yema Lingam: (South)
This is the third lingam, and next to Agni lingam and 3 kilometer away from the Rajagopuram, and it occupies the South direction, it also has a holy tank called “Simma Theertha”, it is believed that, worship of this solves economical problems.Niruthi Lingam: (South West)
This is the fourth lingam, while we see the peak of the holy hill Arunachala, it views accompanying of two parts of mountain and shows ‘Sivan’ and ‘Sakthi’ together. It placed in south west of Arunachala. It also has a holy tank nearby, called “Sani Theertha”, worshipping here relieves us from our difficulties.Varuna Lingam: (West)
This temple placed West of the hill Arunachala, this is the fifth lingam. It is 8 kilometers away from the Rajagopuram. One of the holy tank called “Varuna theertha” is here. Workship of this temple retrieves from crucial diseases and promotes ones social status.Vayu Lingam: (North West)
The whole world is made up of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sky. no living creature can survive without Air. While reaching this temple we feel the pleasantness of spring and get peace of mind. it is placed in Northwest direction. Worshipping here is of confers boon on ladies and children.Kubera Lingam: (North)
This is the seventh lingam. Almost all of the devotees, who comes for circumambulation, worship here by soaring coins and currencies on this lingam. Worship of this lingam grants economical growth, and promotes peace of mind. It is placed in North direction.Esanya Lingam: (North East) This is the eighth and last lingam. Here gets peace of mind ability to concentrate mind on God works out his way to heaven.
After this we visited Arunacala Temple and did special darshan via a Priest who was very helpful and took us very close to all the Idols of different deities present there.By evening we were ready to board our flight back to Mumbai.. blessed and energised.