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About Suruttapalli
History
Local Info and Accommodation
Getting there
ABOUT SURUTTAPALLI

Suruttapalli, a small village famous for the temple of Sri Palli Kondeshwara Swami (Lord Siva), is located in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh. This temple is one of its kinds where the Lord is resting on the lap of Goddess Parvati. The temple was built during the Vijayanagaran Era by Emperor Vidhyaranyar. The uniqueness of the temple is that Lord Shiva is in human form (unlike his usual Linga form) and is in reclining position. His consort, Goddess Parvati is in the sitting position with the Lord’s head on her lap and with Kamadhenu (the celestial cow) and Karpaha Viruksham (Holy tree known for granting boons to devotees) on either sides.

As you enter the temple through the entrance, you’ll find the temple of Valmikeshwara (Sage Valmiki) and Goddess Marahathambihai (Goddess Parvati), on the left side and the main temple 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 temple of Goddess Marahathambihai has to be visited first, even before the shrine of Valmikeshwara or 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 is sitting with Kamadhenu on one side and Karapaha Viruksham on the other. There are some other images 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).

Next to the shrine of the Goddess, there are two other shrines of Ramalingeshwara and Valmikeshwara facing each other. It is said that sage Valmiki performed penance before he started writing Ramayana. The Lingam is in triangular shape and there is a large Nandi outside the temple. Next to this temple is a stone with many footprints on it. It is said that, in 1976, Kanchi Mahaperiyavar (a sage), camped here for 40 days and asked some people to dig a particular place. On digging, they found a stone with innumerable footprints on it. Mahaperiyavar disclosed that the footprints belongs to Lava and Khusha - the twin sons of Lord Rama. There is another idol of Lord Dakshinamoorthy (Lord Shiva) who is present as Thambadya Dakshinamoorthy along with his consort, Taara, in the outer walls of 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. It is said that one who worships him on Thursday, are immensely blessed and will have a peaceful life

The presiding deity is Palli Kondeshwara (Lord Shiva) with His consort and many other Gods. The Lord is in reclining position (about 6 feet long) with his head on the lap of Goddess Parvathi who resides as Sarva Mangalaambihai. The uniqueness of the temple lies in Lord Shiva seen in the human form unlike His usual Linga form. The Son God and Moon God are present on the either side of Goddess Parvati. Many others including Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma, Goddess Laxmi, Sage Maarkandeyar, Sage Agasthair, Valmiki, Indran, Sage Naradhar, Lord Subramaniyam with His consort and Lord Ganapati are also present in the temple. It appears as if the whole Kailasham (Lord Shiva’s aboard) assembled here to know the well-being of Lord Shiva after He consumed poison to save the universe.

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

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HISTORY

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) in order to live longer. 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 harm of poison. Lord Shiva transformed himself into Vishabhakarana Moorthy and consumed poison. The situation was such that if Lord swallows the poison, the living creatures on the earth will die and if he does not, the Gods and Demons will be killed. He then started feeling little giddy. Fearing this, his consort, Goddess Parvati placed Lord’s head in Her lap and gently pressed His neck and the poison remained thus in His throat without affecting His body. Hence Lord Shiva got the name as ‘Neelakantha’ (‘Neela’- blue with poison and ‘Kantha’- throat) because of the accumulation of the poison in his throat and Goddess Parvati was called as ‘Amudhambigai’. On their way to Kailasa (Lord Shiva’s aboard), Lord Siva who was feeling little dizzy, rested on the lap of His wife for a while in the place where the village stands today. Hence the village got its name as Suruttapalli, Surutta meaning ‘Little dizzy’ and Palli meaning ‘Resting’.

Another prominence of Suruttapalli is that most of the deities are present with their consorts in their respective temples. Pradosha Pooja is said to have originated from this temple. Legends has it that, the Devas and Asuras resumed their effort to get the nectar from the ocean on Lord Shiva’s orders, and got it 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 started praying Him 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. It is believed that during Pradosha Punya Kalam, anyone who offers prayers will attain shanti (peace), sakala sowbhagyam (…..), and will be comforted from the obstacles of life. Even Lava and Kusha, who unknowingly fought with their father Lord Rama, over Aswamedhayana horse, came to this temple along with Sage Valmiki, to worship Lord Siva and to get rid off their sin.

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LOCAL INFO AND ACCOMMODATION

Pradosham is an important event in this temple and is conducted on Shukla Paksha (15 moon days from New moon to Full moon) and Krishna Paksha (15 moon days from Full moon to New moon), the evening of Trayodasi between 4:30PM to 6:30PM. Pradosham is considered as one of the important rituals performed to Lord Shiva. The temple remains open from early morning 6:00 am to afternoon 12:30 pm and again from evening 16:00 pm to 20:00 pm.

Suruttapalli is close to Chennai and hence you can find good accommodation in the city. As the temple lies in Andhra state and is close to the border between Tamilnadu and Andhra, you have an option of staying in either of these places. You can also find some budget rooms with basic amenities in the village.

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GETTING THERE

Suruttapalli is about 57kms from Chennai in the Thirupathy route via Uthukottai, a town on the border between Tamilnadu and Andhra. The temple is in Andhra state. You have to 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. From Uthukottai, the temple is just 2kms away and is on the main road itself.

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