Reclining Lord Pallikondeswara makes Surutupalli a unique place

Nandi in front of Pallikondeswara temple; Pradosha puja being performed at Nandi statue in the temple(Inset Pic)
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Nandi in front of Pallikondeswara temple; Pradosha puja being performed at Nandi statue in the temple(Inset Pic)

Highlights

The reclining posture of Lord Shiva unlike at other temples where he can be seen in the 'Linga' form has made the Pallikondeswara temple in Surutupalli of Chittoor district a unique pilgrim destination

The reclining posture of Lord Shiva unlike other temples where he can be seen in the 'Linga' form has made the Pallikondeswara temple in Surutupalli of Chittoor district a unique pilgrim destination. Built during the late Vijayanagara period, the temple's presiding deity is called 'Bhoga Sayana Shiva'.

The temple's ancient literature tells that after drinking the 'halahalam' (poison) that was emanated during the churning of 'Pala Samudra', he proceeded to Kailasa Parvatha with his consort Parvathi. When he felt exhausted and giddy with the effect of 'halahalam', he stopped at Surutupalli and rested by keeping his head on the lap of Parvathi while other gods stood around him and prayed.

As Lord Shiva took rest at the place, the Pallikondeswara Swamy resembles like resting on the lap of Parvathi who is known here as Goddess Sarvamangala while other gods Ganesha, Karthikeya, Surya, Chandra, Indra, Narada and other sages are seen standing around him. All these are located on the southern corridor of the outer wall of the temple.

Within the inner wall, the shrines of Shiva and Parvathi could be seen in the sanctum sanctorum. Here Sage Valmiki, the composer of Ramayana performed penance towards Shiva for which he appeared in front of him. Thus, Sage Valmiki could be seen as 'Swayambhu linga' and called Valmikeswarar. Opposite to him Lord Shiva is there in the form of another Linga. The goddess is worshipped as Maragadhambika in the shrine.

In this temple, Lord Dakshinamurthy who is always seen alone at any other temple is seen with his consort Gowri who is believed to bless people with good matrimony and children. There is a huge demand for Dakshinamurthy Abhishekams which are to be booked well in advance.

As it is believed that Lord Shiva reached here to take rest at 'Pradosha' time (evening time) of 'Thrayodasi' day, special pujas and abhishekams are held to the Nandi statue. These Pradosha pujas are very famous in Pallikondeswara temple for which it attracts thousands of devotees even from neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka also. Each one has to pay Rs.500 for this abhishekam. On Sani Trayodasi day, the number may cross even 20000.

Speaking to 'The Hans India', temple Chairman AVM Munisekhar Reddy said, "Temple management has made elaborate arrangements for pilgrims. There are dormitories, guest houses and other facilities. The works to build Pushkarini and 20 cottages will begin soon. Devotees can perform Rudra homam, Rudrabhishekam, Kumkum puja among several others are services."

How to reach the temple

Surutupalli is located at a distance of 56 km from Chennai and 75 kms from Tirupati. Bus connectivity is there from both the places. From Tirupati the route goes via Puttur and Nagalapuram to reach Surutupalli. One of the daily package tours of APTDC covers this place as well for the convenience of devotees.

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