As I was traveling on budget did not look for anything great. Had booked a room at Hotel Pearls, which is close to the big bus stand. This was done through an online portal(goibibo). This hotel is pathetic, so please don't ever go there. I had given a feedback on the Goibibo website. The Hotel still features on the Goibibo site. I have decided not to ever use such an un-professional site again. The hotel or maybe I should called it a glorified lodge, was situated close to the budget, the only positive side to staying in this place. For food Ratna Cafe is a good place, apart from that there are other eateries opposite to the Bust Stand. This Bust Stand is known as the 'Big" bus stand or new bus stand. There is an old bus stand for local travels.
Tharamangalam is famous for its beautiful and historic Kailasanathar temple. Every year on February 21 and the consequent 3 days a great solar and architectural wonder can be seen in the temple. During sunset, the rays of the sun travel down through the front Gopura at the temple's entrance gate across the front plane to fall directly onto the Shiva Linga. The movement of the sun beam can be witnessed as it progresses across the front of the temple, making the lingam appear to glow. This is a west facing temple. There is an important shrine of the temple called the Pathala Linga in the underground room and is worth a darshan. Tharamangalam is located at about 30 kms west of Salem and 10 kms South West of Omalur and the temple is present just opposite the bus stand.
Another forgotten place close to Salem and a forgotten architectural beauty - The Ramar Temple. It is officially called the Sri Kodandapani Ramar temple. Arriving at the temple one is welcomed by the tall gopuram. Almost directly opposite the gopuram there is the temple chariot in a decaying state. The exquisite carvings on the wooden chariot (what is left off) is a clear indication to the architectural splendour that is held within the temple. Upon entering the temple complex, the main temple dedicated to Lord Rama is visible. The main temple has numerous pillars, each of them a carved beauty. I just came to know that the pillars can produce musical sounds when tapped. I am also told that sun rays would fall on the Anjaneya temple adjacent to the main temple during the full moon of Chithirai month(April-May). There is also a story that the coronation ceremony of Sri Ram actually happened here considering the auspicious time and the one at Ayodhaya was a second coronation!!! I do not think any measures are being taken to preserve this monument(or similar) and its beautiful paintings and sculpture. I was wondering if there is any way to approach large corporates or maybe form a NGO who can link with large corporates to fund for preservation of such monuments. Else just like the case of the phantom limb, our nation is slowing edging towards an era where we will be forced to believe what the outside world wants us to believe about our own self. The knowledge will get replaced by education and inspite of having got independence in 1947, we will be permanently enslaved by our ignorance.
The Ardhanareeswarar Temple at Tiruchengode, in Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu is a Shiva temple with a difference. In the present world where there is big a hue and cry to showcase Men being superior than Women and Women putting forth instances that they are equal and at times better than Men, here is an old temple(2000 years or older) which is known for its unique manifestation of Half Male Half Female Lord Ardhanaareewarar. The left side of the idol is Parvathi, and right side is Shiva. Is it a message that each(man or woman) is incomplete without the other? Yes, All men and women are equal. It is claimed that this rare posture of the Lord as prime deity can be found only in this temple in the whole of Asia. Tiruchengode was known as ‘Tiru Kodi(flag) mada senkundram(red hill)' in the vedic times. There is a motor way leading to the temple atop the hill. One can also climb the steps(about 1300). There is a natural water source or spring under the feet of the idol.
The Anjaneya Temple at Namakkal is a pretty unique, with a huge idol of Hanuman. The life size idol is about 18 feet. Unlike most temples the idol is not covered and one can see the open sky above the idol. The idol faces the Namagiri Lakshmi Narasimhaswami Temple. One cannot help notice that the idol of Hanuman looks directly at the Lakshmi Narasimhaswami Temple giving the feeling that Anjaneya is worshiping Lakshmi Narasimhaswami. It is said that the eye of Anjaneya is in straight line with the patha or lotus feet of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha.
Sringeri, also written as Shringeri is a hill town and the was the first matha established by Adi Shankaracharya. Stay at Shringeri can be at one of the many lodging facilities owned by the Matha. The only point to note is that generally if you are travelling alone they are hesitant to provide you with accommodation. The Matha serves annam prasadam during noon and evening and hence one need not be worried about food. Else the food I had from outside was just ok. The present Acharya gives darshan on certain hence it would be a good idea to check in advance. The temple complex is huge and on the bank s of the river. Very peaceful and serene.
Sri Rishya Shringeshwara temple at Kigga. Kigga is about 9 km from Sringeri. This small and beautiful Shiva temple and is supposed to have been worshipped by the sage Rishyashringa. The town of Sringeri in Karnataka is also named after this sage. The name #Sringeri is derived from Rishya Sringa Giri (hill), then sringa giri and now sringeri. This is based on the legend that Sage Rishyasringa performed penance here. The Malayalam film Vaisali is based on the adaptation of the story of Sage Rishyashringa.