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Pallikondeswara Swamy Surutapalli Devasthanam

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By Ramanathan V. Periyagaram


The Pallikondeswarar Swamy Surutapalli Temple is located in Andhra Pradesh state and is approximately 2 kms from Uthukottai in the Chennai-Periyapalayam-Tirupati road. Pradosha is celebrated with great shradha, popularity and vigour here and as per beliefs, it was here where practice of celebrating Pradosha Kalam started in origin.

It is a unique Shiva temple since Shiva is seen to be in a reclining pose on the lap of Goddess Parvathi similar to Vishnu's Ananthasayana pose. This place is also sacred with stones carrying foot marks of Lava & Kusa being traced to period of Ramayana. Dakshinamoorthy is considered very powerful and popular to offer prayers here. Goddess Parvathi is called Marahathambikai and is very beautiful along the side of Valmikiswarar Syambhu Lingam. Kanchipuram Sankara Paramacharya is considered to have spent lot of time here meditating and he is the person who traced this place to Ramayana period findings.

Location Of Temple

Suruttapalli village is approx. 60 from Chennai in the Thirupathi (Balaji) route via Uthukottai. One can get into the Chennai - Kolkatta Grand North Trunk (GNT) Road first which can be reached either by Guindy-Koyampedu-Padi-Redihills route or Parry-Basinbridge-Perambur-Madavaram-Redhills route. At GNT Road you will come across the Karanodai bridge and immediately after, the Toll Plaza the road to the left here goes to Periyapalayam, Uthukottai, Nagalapuram and Thirupathi. Take this road to Periyapalayam and at Periyapalayam take the left side road that goes through a bridge to Uthukottai (famous from Devi). From Uthukottai, the temple is just 2 kms away and is on the main road itself. Practically it is at the end of the Uthukottai town which is the border between Tamilnadu and Andhra. The temple is in Andhra state.


Purana Legend

Once Devaraj Indra, the King of Gods, while riding on his white elephant Iravatha came across Sage Durvasa who offered him a special garland. Indra accepted the garland but without giving much importance he gave it to his elephant. Iravatha was irritated by the smell of the flowers in the garland and therefore threw the garland on the floor and stamped on it. This act enraged sage Durvasa as he got the garland from “Sridevi” as prasada. Immediately Durvasa cursed Indra and all devas to be bereft of all strength, energy, and fortune.

Due to this curse, in the battles that followed Devas were defeated and Asuras led by Mahabali chakravarthy, gained control of the universe. Devas sought help from Lord Vishnu who advised them to take the path of diplomacy with Asuras and the only way to regain lost glory was to drink Amrutham/nectar. Devas came to an agreement with asuras to jointly churn the ocean for the nectar of immortality and to share it among them. However, Lord Vishu told Devas that he would ensure Amrutha (Nectar) does not get to Asuras.

During the Samudra Mathan (churning) of the Ocean of Milk Mount Mandaranchal was used as the dasher (churning tool), and Vasuki, the king of serpents, became the churning rope. The gods held the tail of the snake, while the demons (Asuras) held its head, and they pulled on it alternately causing the mountain to rotate, which in turn churned the ocean. However, once the mountain was placed on the ocean, it began to sink. With request from both Devas and Asuras Lord Vishnu took the form of a turtle (Kurma avatara), came to their rescue and supported the mountain on his back.

Poison was the first to come when churning started and this terrified the Devas and Asuras because, the poison was so toxic that it might have destroyed all of creation. On the advice of Vishnu, both Devas and Asuras approached Shiva for help and protection. Out of compassion for living beings, Shiva drank the poison. It was so potent that it changed the color of Shiva's neck to blue and therefore he is also called Neelakantha (the blue-necked one, nīla = "blue", kantha = "throat"). Parvati immediately realized the deeds of Shiva and put her hand to stop the Kalakutta poison from entering Lord Shiva’s body. Lord Shiva felt very dizzy and lay down with his head on Parvathi’s lap and the whole world went dark. [SURUTAPALLI TEMPLE IN ANDHRA PRADESH] JUST ACROSS TAMIL NADU BORDER BUILT BY HARI HARA BUKKARAYA DEPICTS THIS AND IS THE ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD WHERE LORD SHIVA IS IN THE FORM OF SAYANAM (NORMALLY VISHNU'S FORM IN TEMPLES). As soon as the effect of poison diminished and Lord Shiva came back to normalcy all Devas and Asuras wanted to have his Darshan. When they approach Nandi (Sacred Bull) for permission to see Lord Shiva, Nandi refused and asked them to pray and wait since, Lord Shiva and Parvati were together. With prayers from devas and asuras, Lord Shiva gave them Darshan doing Ananda Thandavam on top of the forehead of Rishaba Vahana. This period when Lord Shiva gave them Darshan is known as Pradosha Kalam.