The last two temples we visited during our trip were the Vaidya Veeraraghava Swamy temple and Viswaroopa Panchamuga Anjaneyar temple in Thiruvallur.
By the time we reached Tiruvallur town, it was 1145 am. First thing I saw was the long and high temple wall.
We entered the temple and it was fairly crowded as it was Saturday. First we prayed to the Ganapathy called Thumbikai Azhwar. For Perumal sannidhi we got special darshan tickets and stood in the queue near the entrance. Just above the entrance door was the idol of the Perumal in a reclining posture with his head near Salihotra Maharishi.
Legend of the temple is that Mahavishnu came to Salihotra Maharishi’s ashram and the Rishi offered him food. After food, Mahavishnu wanted to rest and asked the Rishi “எவ்வுள் உறங்கலாம்?” (where can I sleep?). Hence this place came to be called as Thiru Evvul which has now changed to Thiruvallur.
The queue moved quite fast and we reached the sannidhi in just five minutes. What a huge Perumal! Perumal in kidantha kolam (reclining posture) was looking so majestic and yet so lovable! We had a great darshan and proceeded to the other sannidhis. Behind Perumal sannidhi was Narasimhar and Chakrathazhwar on either side. The archakar in Chakrathazhwar sannidhi pointed out to us that this idol had Chakrathazhwar on the front and Yoga Narasimhar at the back facing the other side. We had darshan of Yoga Narasimhar in the mirror as well from the side. We then went to Thayar sannidhi. Kanakavalli Thayar was decked with jewellery and flowers looking beautiful. Temple was quite huge with sannidhis of Aandal, Venugopalan and Kothandaramar with Seetha, Lakshmanan and Hanuman.
While coming out of the sannidhis we noticed that near the bali peedam, salt and pepper were offered. This is because the Perumal here is called Vaidya Veeraraghava Perumal and is said to cure diseases. Hence people offer salt and pepper praying for their diseases to be cured. Legend also says that Veeraraghava Perumal promised Salihotra Maharishi that whoever prays to him for 3 or 6 consecutive amavaysas (new moon days) after bath in the temple pushkarni (pond) will have their diseases cured and all problems solved. The temple pond looked very beautiful and there were many people around it.
We had to kind of rush out of the temple as the main door was already closed for the afternoon break and we came out through the side entrance happy that we could have the darshan.
Next, we proceeded to the Viswaroopa Panchmukha Anjaneyar temple.
We went through many bumpy roads to reach the temple but were not fortunate to have a good darshan. The reason for this is that renovation work was going on at the temple with a roof being constructed for the 40 feet Anjaneyar. We could just glimpse the five faces – Hanuman Mukha, Karala Ugravira Narasimha Murthi, Mahavira Garuda, Lakshmi Varaha Murthi and Hayagriva Swami. As we came out, we were given freshly prepared curd rice as prasadam.
We then proceeded back home after a fairly successful half a day pilgrimage.