Tirukkalukkunram is a small township 16 km from Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram, as it is now known. Here, the grounds of an ancient Pallava temple and a cluster of four hills, is believed to represent the four Vedas (Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva Veda). The temple is reached after an hour's climb by stone steps, and attracts a large number of pilgrims round the year from all over India.
It is said that a pair of kites visit the temple daily. The kites are believed to be ascetics or devotees, who, for some reason, offended Lord Shiva and were ordered by him to take the form of birds. As a form of penance, the two birds and their faithful offspring in turn, have been making the journey from Varanasi to Rameshwaram everyday, alighting at a few sacred places on the way. This, they are bound to do until the end of the present Kali age.
On the hilltop at Tirukkalukkunram a ritual is enacted everyday, witnessed by a number of pilgrims and other interested tourists. At about noon, a priest emerges from the village at the base of the hill, appropriately called Pakhshiteeratham (the place hallowed by the birds). Chanting and carrying a pitcher of water and a vessel containing sweet rice mixed with ghee, he precedes up the hill and into the enclosure where the birds stop by everyday. Putting down his burden on a flat rock, he consecrates a small area by sprinkling holy water from the pitcher. Then, with joined hands and a prayer on his lips, he prepares to wait for the birds. A little while later the birds appear and alight near the priest.
They first quench their thirst and then feed on the rice kept out for them. In a few minutes, they are up and away. The pilgrims are then allowed to enter the enclosure and pay their obeisance at the holy spot. The rest of the sweet rice is then distributed as prasada.
PLACES AROUND TIRUKKALUKKUNRAM
Situated 58 km from Chennai (Madras) and just 16 km from Tirukkalukkunram, Mammalapuram (formerly, Mahabalipuram) has fourteen cave temples, nine monolithic shrines, three stone temples, and four relief sculptured rock panels to offer to the visiting tourists. The calm and peaceful atmosphere on the seashore provides an excellent location for meditation and spiritual pursuits.
HOW TO REACH
BY AIR - Tirukkalukkunram is just 16 km from Mammalapuram, which, in turn, is just 58 km away from Chennai. The nearest airports are in Chennai (Madras) and Pondicherry.
WHERE TO STAY
We offer excellent accommodation facilities in and around Tirukkalukkunram.
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Tourism-of-India.com provides complete information about tourism in Tirukkalukkunram.Tourism-of-India.com offers various tour packages to make your visit comfortable. You can pick the one that suits you most.
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