Wednesday, December 17, 2008


On December 5th we embarked on a trip to Thiruvannamalai and Virinchipuram as part of our Pilgrimage with Dikshitar. It was a truly unforgettable experience! We are immensely grateful to Sri Chandrasekara Sastrigal, who arranged the darshan, the group singing sitting in front of the shrine of Arunachaleshwarar, and took wonderful care of us, despite it being very crowded, the time coinciding with the Brahmotsavam period of Karthigai Deepam. We sang Arunachalanatham Smarami, Dishitar's composition in Saranga, sitting just a couple of feet away from the shrine. The temple authorities then requested us to sing a song in front of Amman as well. Since Dikshitar has not composed any kriti on Abheetakuchambal, we sang Kamalambam Bhajare in Kalyani in the Amman sannidhi. Thereafter we proceeded to listen to Veda Parayanam, and Vastradanam was made to the priests (shawls were presented). We would like to acknowledge the contributions of Smt and Sri K. Balasubramanian, Smt and Sri H.P Ramamurthy and Smt and Sri Arjun Shankar for their contributions towards the Vastradanam made by the Veenavaadhini group in Thiruvannamalai.

After lunch we proceeded to the Margabandheeshwarar temple in Virinchipuram, which is about 13 km from Vellore on the Gudiyatham route. What a magnificient temple! We were completely overwhelmed by the architecture and the serene peaceful surroundings. We soaked in the atmosphere to our heart's content. When we entered the Margabandhu shrine, there was no electricity. It was about 5:30 PM and we witnessed the beautiful sight of the abhishekam being performed on the lingam in the light of the lamps lit there. Oh! What a sight! We sang Margasahayeshwaram Bhajeham in the raga Kasiramakriya as well as Parvathikumaram Bhavaye in Nattakurinji while the abhishekam was being performed. After partaking the abhisheka theertham, we proceeded to the Maragathavalli Amman Sannidhi. The idol was beautiful. It is interesting to note that from this Sannadhi there is a tunnel (surangapadhai) which goes right up to the Vellore Fort. This, we gathered, was for the royal family to use in case of an emergency. We sang Maragathavalli Manasa Smarami in the raga Kambhoji in the Amman Sannadhi. There was a feeling of contentment, which is difficult to describe in words.

We did take some pictures which are uploaded here. Also is a slide show on Virinchipuram which we found on the web, in an album created by Mr. Achyutha RN. Unfortunately he has not indicated his email id, whereby we would have acknowledged to him in writing. We hope he chances upon this post and writes to us, and we can profusely thank him for his beautiful pictures.

Virinchipuram Temple of Lord Shiva.


Anonymous said...

I am Achyutha RN, thanks for acknowledgment. for the Virinchipuram photographs from web shots. You are most welcome to use any of the pics of mine. To day just by chance I visited VEENAVADHINI and saw your visit to Virinchipuram.

Jeyaraaj and Jaysri said...

You are welcome, Sir. Thank you for visiting VEENAVAADHINI.