Devi's Corner - Temples in Tamilnadu - Palli Kondeswarar Temple, Surutapalli
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Palli Kondeswarar Temple, Surutapalli

     Palli Kondeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Siva located in Surutapalli, a village in Chitoor district of Andhra Pradesh state close to the border of Tamil Nadu, India. Surutapalli is located 55 km away from Chennai on the Chennai Tirupathi highway near Uthukottai (3 kms).

     In all the temples we can see Lord Siva in form of Sivalingam. But in this temple we can see Lord Siva in sleeping posture on the lap of Sarvamangala Devi (Parvati Devi).

     It is here the Prodohosha Kala pooja has began since ages. Prodhosha is the worship of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati when both are in an extremely propitious mood. Prayers during this period will fulfill one's desires and bring happiness in life. It comes twice a month. i.e. 15 moon days from New moon to Full moon 15 moon days from Full moon to New moon. The evening of Trayodasi , i.e. the 13th moon day between 4.30 p.m and 6.00 p.m. is Prodhosha.

     Prodhosham is categorized into three:
Uthama Prodhosham (Maximum power) - If the Trayodasi period is present from dawn to the next day dawn
Mathima Pradhosham (Normal power) - If the Trayodasi period is present from dusk to the next day dusk
Athama Pradhosham (Minimum power) - If the Trayodasi period comes after the sunset and goes before 4:30 pm the next day.

     According to Sthalapurana (history of the place), it is said that Asuras (demons) and Devas (Gods) decided to consume the nectar from Kseerabthi (the milk ocean) to live immortal. Hence, they churned the ocean with the help of Vasuki (the celestial snake) and the hill Mandhara, with Gods on one side and demons on the other. Unable to tolerate the pressure, Vasuki spilled out the poison from his mouth. The Gods and demons then approached Lord Shiva to save them from the harmful effects of poison as it would have killed the leaving creatures on the earth and also Gods and demons. Lord Shiva transformed himself into Vishabhakarana Moorthy and swallowed the poison. He then started feeling little giddy. As he laid down, his consort. Goddess Parvati placed Lord's head on Her lap and gently pressed His neck and thus the poison remained in His throat without affecting His body. Hence Lord Shiva got the name as 'Neelakantha.' (`Neela'- blue with poison and 'Kantha'- throat) (as Goddess Parvathi held the poison in the throat she is called as Sarvamangalabigar.) It is in this place the Lord rested on the lap of Goddess Paravathi. During this time all the gods, maharishis and rishis assembled here for the well being of Lord Shiva and this place got its name as Suruttapalli. Surutta means assembly of Gods.

     The Devas and Asuras resumed their effort to get the nectar from the ocean on Lord Shiva's orders, after he regained consciousness and obtained the nectar on Dhwadashi (12th moon day). In that happiness, they forgot to thank Lord Siva who consumed the poison for everyone's well being. Realising their mistake, they prayed Him for forgiveness on Trayodasi (13th moon day) for which the Lord forgave them and in a happy mood, began His celestial dance (Shiva Tandavam) between the horns of Nandi (the mount of Lord Shiva) where all the Gods, Goddess and sages joined Him. This moment is celebrated as Pradosham every fortnight and hence Pradosha Pooja is said to have originated from this temple.

     Even Lava and Kusha. who unknowingly fought with their father Lord Rama, over Aswamedha yagna horse, came to this temple along with Sage Valmiki. to worship Lord Siva and to get rid of their sins.

     Another prominence of Suruttapalli is that most of the deities are present with their consorts in their respective temples.

     Unlike the common practice of giving Vibhooti (holy ash) as Prasadam, as in the temples of Lord Shiva, holy water is given here.

     The temple was built during the Vijayanagaran Era by Kings Harihara and Bukkha. As you enter the temple through the entrance, you'll find the temple of Goddess Margathambigai (Goddess Parvati) on the left side and Sri Valmikeshwara (Sage Valmiki) on the right side of the entrance. It is said that one has to visit these two temples first before visiting the main temple.

     The garbha griha is guarded by Lord Kubera (God of wealth) with his consort Sanganidhi on left side and with his another consort Padumanidhi on the right side. The Goddess inside in the standing posture is seen with Kamadhenu on one side and Kalpaha Virksham on the other. There are some more Idols of Gods like Varasidhi Vinayaka (Lord Ganesha), Sri Venugopala Swami (Lord Krishna), Kasi Vishwanathan with Visalakshi and others present in the inner praharam (inner wall of the temple).

     there are two other shrines of Sri Ramalingeshwara and Sri Valmikeshwara, the main deity facing each other. It is said that Sage Valmiki performed penance before he started writing Ramayana and Lord Shiva appeared in the form of the Lingam and blessed the Sage and hence the Lingam is known as Sri Valmikeshwara Lingam. The Lingam is in triangular shape and there is a large Nandi outside the temple.

     In the war between Lord Rama and the demon King Ravana, Rama killed Ravana and this mounted a curse on Lord Rama due to Brahmanahtaya. To get rid of this curse Lord Rama performed various yagnas, pujas and yet he was not satisfied and did not feel that he was rid of the curse. On the advice of his Guru Vashita he came to this place and placed a lingam in front of Valmikeshwara and performed prays and got rid of the curse. The idol place by Lord Rama is known as Sri Ramalingeshwara. You can see the idol of Sri Rama, Sita Lakshmana, Baratha and Shatarguna along with Hanuman in the temple opposite the Valmikeshawara.

     Next to this temple is a slab of stone with many footprints on it. It is said that. in 1971. Kanchi Mahaperiyavar Sri Sri Chandrashekara Saraswathi swamyji (a sage), camped here for 40 days and asked some people to dig a particular place. On digging, they found a slab of stone with innumerable footprints on it. Mahaperiyavar disclosed that the footprint belongs to Lava and Khusha - the twin sons of Lord Rama.

     There is another idol of Lord Dakshinamoorthy (Lord Shiva) who is present as Dhambadya Dakshinamoorthy along with his consort Gown, in the outer walls of Sri Valmikeshwara shrine. The Lord is in a sitting posture with left leg slightly lifted and His left hand on His left knees in a stylish way.

     The presiding deity is PaIli Kondeshwara (Lord Shiva) is in reclining position (about 6 feet long) with his head on the lap of Goddess Parvathi who resides as Sarva Mangalaambigai. The uniqueness of the temple lies in Lord Shiva seen in the human form unlike His usual Linga form. The Sun God and Moon God are present on the either side of Goddess Parvati. Many others including Lord Vishnu. Lord Brahma. Goddess Lakshmi, Sage Maarkandeyar, Sage Agasthair, Sage Valmiki, Indran, Sage Naradhar. Lord Subramaniyam with His consort and Lord Ganapati are also present in the temple.

Bus Routes:
Tirupati to Surutapalli (via) Puttur, Nagalapuram - 80 KM
Chennai To Surutapalli (via) Redhills, Periyapalayam - 60 KM

Morning: 6 AM - 1 PM
Evening: 3.30 PM - 8.30 PM

Open throught the day on Prodhosham Days.

The Executive Officer
Sri Pallikondeswara Swamy Temple,
Surutapalli, Satyavedu(via), Chittoor District. Pin - 517588.
Ph: 07382005038

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