Sunday, March 2, 2014


In continuation of efforts already taken to visit sacred temples noted for songs composed by Nadajyothi Muthuswamy Dikshitar during his pilgrimage, Smt Jaysri and Sri Jeyaraaj Krishnan on 29th July 2012 collected 24 passengers to visit Tiruttani, the holy shrine where Muthuswamy Dikshitar had the unique privilege of encountering Lord Subramanya in the form of an elderly devotee on the way to the temple situated in the hilltop. The old man placed sugar candy in Dikshitar’s tongue and on Sri Dikshitar’s realization of the presence of Lord Muruga instantaneously poured forth the unmatched song Sri Nathadi Guruguho Jayathi Jayathi and later on Manasa Guruguha Roopam Bhajare, the two masterpieces of Dikshitar. The intention of the party was to sing at least these two songs before the presiding deity in the temple.

The journey started on the early morning of 29th July 2012 at 5 a.m. engaging big cabs and proceeded to Thiruttani nonstop and arrived at the foothill at 8 am, and the main temple at 9 a.m.  after some of us had breakfast.  It was a crowded day at this place, being a Sunday and also an auspicious day. We were led to the sanctum sanctorum thanks to a priest in the temple. The senior students of Veenavaadhini under the leadership of Smt Jaysri Jeyaraaj Krishnan and Sri Jeyaraaj reproduced these two songs mentioned above with devotion, clarity and feelings using a Tanpura for sruti support. It gave immense satisfaction to all assembled there particularly the teacher and the taught. They were asked to sing one more song and the group happily rendered Sri Guruguha in the raga Devakriya. We then waited for the Prasad and came around the temple. On reaching the car park, we were exposed to freshly plucked amrit fruit and other articles like peacock feathers etc which would give pleasure to the owner and would be worthy of being exhibited.  A panoramic view from all corners of the hilltop was exciting.

The next stoppage was at a Vishnu temple in Nemili, some few kilometers away from Thiruttani. Legend has it that the lord assumed a sitting posture here to block with his back the river which threatened to submerge the village. A lovely serene atmosphere.  All the more, the learned priest made all the difference by enriching our knowledge with his facts and figures.

We had heard of a Veera Anjaneya temple in Nallatur on the border of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and on the bank of the river Palar, and this temple was on the “to be seen” list. Quite a long journey from the Vishnu temple, but an imposing figure of Hanuman in a meditative pose, which in itself was 10 feet in height and was placed on another 10 feet high platform, was visible from a distance of ½ kilometer. At the entrance was this statue and leading to the main temple was a pathway prepared using marble stone and covered by a dome like construction. We prayed at the moorthy worshipped there. A few of us helped ourselves with some with some water and cool drinks to quench our thirst.

From the Hanuman temple we were on the road to the temple of Mahishasura Mardhini in Maddur not far away from the national highway.  This idol is reported to have been dug up recently (about 50 years back) when railway construction was going on in this area. We came to the other side of the railway crossing and located the temple. It was crowded and only a few minutes were left for closing the gate for the morning session. We were fortunate to have a fine Darshan of the goddess. There was a neat passage these with prepared lanes to guide the devotees. We were told that the neem tree situated in the temple premises had leaves which did not have the bitter taste. We sampled the leaves and they were sweet!

Thus in one stroke, Jaysri and Jeyaraaj Krishnan treated us to a fine showing of four temples. “A wonderful trip!” was everyone’s verdict. The clock read 2:30 pm when we reached Mylapore tank. We dispersed after a delicious lunch at a nearby Hotel.  Our memorable pilgrimage with Dikshitar to Tiruttani came to a close.

This article was written by my father-in-law Late Sri J Thyagarajan. -Jaysri JeyaraajKrishnan

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