Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sholingar, Vellore - Yoga Narasimhar and Yoga Anjaneyar temple

We decided to go for this temple to begin our 10th Anniversary of married lives. We woke up at 3.30am, started out from Chennai at 4.30am towards Sholingar after blessings of Vinayakar. It was a pleasant day for us. It had rained the previous night and ws drizzling in a mist format when we were travelling by car. The weather throughout was fantastic, compared to the previous hot days. The perfect weather for a good climb.

From Chennai, it is around 2.5 hours by car via NH4. The return journey, I decided to choose from MapmyIndia which showed the Trichy-Chennai highway. This took us more than 4 hours to return. The first hour of Trichy highway was fantastic, but after that my speed was between 20 kms per hr to 40 kms per hr. This road has only 2 lanes and you have to follow the person in front. The road was full of potholes and the traffic high and crawling.(Do not recommend the 2nd route at all)

We had used google maps to reach, but this temple is shown incorrectly in google maps. The temple shown for Sholingar temple was instead Dhanvantari temple. I had to ask people nearby to go to the Sholingar temple which was around 14 kms from this location. Sholingur temple is just on the left after government hospital Sholingur around 2 kms away. Better to set your route on this hospital.

We reached the location in 2 hrs 10 minutes, but to search to arrive took another 20 minutes. Filled petrol on the bunk on the way. By the way, this Dhanvantari temple also has 2 hills and looks too similar to the Narasimhar temple.

Any pooja items it is better to buy down and take up, you may not find anything sold up. Also hide it inside any non transparent bag, as the monkeys will grab anything - tulsi mala, ordinary flowers, water or eatables.

They also sell a stick for Rs.5, do buy at least one. I did not have any problem with the monkeys, but some monkeys did act rough with other people. I saw one man who did not do anything to the monkeys getting beaten by the monkeys for around 50 steps. He did not carry anything on his hand, neither did he bother the monkeys, but 2 monkeys took a dislike to this man, beat him on his legs, pulled his dhoti and scratched him. They also snarled at him, as a group of 5 monkeys. Some passers by came to his help.

Yoga Narasimhar temple comes first. Yoga Narasimhar has about 1300 steps to climb (barefoot). There is sunshade on the top of the steps. You can buy only Pooja items on the ground. However lots of monkeys around and they will snatch anything from you – water bottle, flower or tulsi mala. So, we need to keep it hidden in a bag when we climb up. They are very bold too. In the temple, one of them, called me on my knee and then pulled my pocket. (twice after a gap). I just told him, I do not have any eatables to give you. He went away. However, I noticed other people had a tougher time.
Lakshmi is in a separate santoram.  After Lakshmi, we could visit Yoga Narasimhar.

Special queue costs Rs.20 per head. For each sannidhi, the archanai ticket cost Rs.10 (Rs.5 per person name)

Outside the temple, there is a small kulam, with green water and many monkeys playing there. I did see tiny fishes in the temple pond.

You can get special threads outside the sanctum sanctoram if you ask a priest. They will not try to sell or mention, you need to request them. Each cost Rs.20. They will also inform you a special procedure to use it.

It took us only 30 minutes to climb the steps. We were on top around 8.00am. But I believe the temple opens at 8.00am only and after Pooja for 30 minutes it will open at 8.30am. As any Narayana temple, the temple serves delicious Prasad. I found the tamarind rice and vada excellent. The curd rice had ginger, and it was ok.

We came down so quickly them our feet started trembling. So far, all climbs previously have been made with shoes and this was the longer one without shoes.

The Yoga Anjaneyar temple was around 250 meters away, we took the car near the temple steps. This had around 400 steps to climb. This also took us 30 minutes. (J We were tired after climbing up and down). Again they also had a special Pooja and asked us to wait 30 minutes. But we had to start back as my mom asked us to return and our child was asking for us. We reached the bottom in 20 minutes, the reason being, a shop midway served Paneer soda (Goli Soda) with Lemon. I had to try it out, and it was delicious after the climb.

There is a Doli service there which caters to bringing up elders and children. (I did not know of it earlier, or I would have taken my 3 year old child). I spoke to one of these doli men and these were the rates they mentioned for taking a person up the temple and back down for Yoga Narasimhar temple. The person will wait until your darshan is complete and then carry down the person.
Child less than 10 years which can be carried up by 1 person – Rs.500
Normal person – who can be carried up by 2 people – Rs.800 to Rs.1200
Heavy person – if carried by more than 2 people (up to 4 people) – Rs.1800 – Rs.2200