It was a a day's trip to temples in and around Thirukkoilur some time back, organized by a local tour operator.I had never been to a conducted tour of places, rather I had never made any trip lately though I enjoy traveling and adventure.After going through all the advertisements regarding tours and tour operators in the local free weekly, I made up my mind on seeing one.It had been titled differently, i.e. it was supposed to be a trip in and around Thirukkovilur, covering ancient temples.Normally people flock famous temples of Tamilnadu, and the little known temples in the suburbs go unnoticed, though they were built even as early as 1000 or 2000 years back.The result is that they are in a somewhat neglected condition.At least a few of them, I mean, because, others are in the process of reconstruction and renovation, thanks to the publicity given by the media.
Mr Sathya is a journalist, for the Local free daily, and I must say that he is doing a noble service in the form of conducting tours, and by that, bringing popularity to the lesser known ancient temples.On that particular day we started from near a local devotional place around 6.30 a.m. and went around all the places in an AC van.We were 15 people from all walks of life.We covered,
Tourist places in Thirukoilur
Ragoothama Swami Brindavanam,
Thruvikrama Swami koil, all in Thirukkovilur, and
Muthkrishna Bhagavathat's house, where Sri Ramana Maharishi stayed overnight, on his way to Thiruvannamalai.
Sriranganatha swami koil in Thirukoilur
Agastheeswarar koil where the local school teacher, Mr.Ezhumalai enthralled us with the history of the temple and the steps taken to renovate it.He was so fluent in his narration of the Purana, stories and parables, that, time went by in a flicker.
After our lunch here, we also visited,
Veerateswarar temple in Thirukoilur
The beautiful Aragandeswarar temple on top of a hillock.It was dusk when we reached the place, and there was a car blocking the narrow road leading to the temple.Argument ensued between our tour organizer and the owner of the car, who simply refused to budge, i.e. move his vehicle.The sight of the temple gopuram beckoned us, and though we were all tired after the day long trip, and most of us were above the age of 45, immediately got down from the van and started walking up the ramp leading to the temple.It was serene because of the evening sun setting at the horizon.After having darshan of the Lord Atulyeswarar and Sowndarya Kanakambikai, we returned to the same place we boarded the van, to go back to our respective homes.Altogether it was a nice trip, one of devotion and entertainment.