Pallikondeswarar temple is a Shiva temple in Surutapalli village between Chennai and Tirupathi just beyond the Tamil Nadu border in Andhra Pradesh.The temple was built during the late Vijayanagara period. The unique feature of this temple is Lord Shiva is seen lying on the laps of Parvathi in anantha sayana kolam, a feature seen only in Perumal (Maha Vishnu ) temples.This is one of the five Pancha Brahma sthalam.
As per the legends, during the Samudra Manthana (Churning of Paarkadal - Ksheera sagara or Ocean of milk) Mount Mandara was used as the churner, and Vasuki the serpent king who adornes Shiva's neck, was used as the churning rope. Amritham (elixir) came out of the ocean. While churning a deadly poison called Halahala escaped from Vasuki's mouth.The poison was so lethal and powerful,it could have destroyed all the living beings. The Devas approached Shiva for protection. Without hesitation Shiva consumed the poison to protect the three worlds. Parvathi immediately clutched his throat stopping the poison going beyond his throat any further. Shiva's throat turned blue and he became to be known as Neelakandan.( neela = blue, kanda = throat in Sanskrit),Nanjundan ( one who drank poison). After the task was completed, Shiva and Parvathy left for Kailash and on the way, he felt exhausted and uncomfortable due to the poison, He lied down reclining on the laps of Parvathi.Hence he is called as Pallikondeeswarar.
The Temple : The temple is built in Dravidian style.The temple is huge with big praharams. As you enter throgh the three tiered gopuram, you can see the vast courtyard.You can see the Bali Peetam,the Dwajasthambam and a big Pradosha Maha Nandhi in front of Sri Ramalingeswarar sannidhi.The main entrance to the inner praharam is a little left on the side.Instead of Dwarabalagas, you can see Kuberan Sanganidhi and Kuberan Padmanidhi with their wives.
There is a big seperate sannidhi for Goddess Maragathambal in a standing posture called Simma vahini (Lion as Vahanam). In the entrance on the left is the Salagrama Ganesha and to the right is Subramanya with consorts Valli and Devayanai. Just outside Ambal sannidhi is Karpka Vritcham and on the left side is the Kamadhenu. There are idols of the Nayanmars around the sannidhi.
Before you could go to Valmikiswarar sannidhi, you can see idols of Ekapadhathrimurthy,Jwaraharamurthy, Goddess Rajamathangi,Sandikeswarar and Saptha mathas. There is a sannidhi to the the right of Marahadhambal sannidi for the Valmikiswarar, in a swayambu linga(self manifested) form. Opposite is another sannidhi for Ramalingeswarar with Parvathi.
Dakshinamurthy with Ambal Gowri is called 'Thambathya Dakshinamurthy'.They say this is unique and not seen in any other temples.There is a sannidhi next to the the saptha mathas for Shiva utsavar. Outside this sannidhi on the entrance are Sri Venugopalaswamy and to the right is Adhikara Nandhi.
As you to exit the praharam, on the right side is the big and seperate sannidhi for Pallikondeswarar, Shiva in a reclining form that is unique in this temple. Inside the sanctum on a two feet tall pedestal, you can see Lord Siva idol , a massive 16 feet in length, seen lying on the laps of Parvathi,Sarvamangalmbigai.There are idols of Ganesha, Subramanya, Suryan, Chandran, Indra,Nandikeswara and sages Narada,Markandeya and other sages are seen. To this moolavar only thaila kappu ( anoinating with oil) is done. Another unique feature in this Shiva sannidhi is , there is no Vibuthi (holy ash) given. Only theertham(holy water) is given and sadari is applied on the head similar to Vaishnava temples. There is an idol on the outside of this sannidhi for Adi Shankara , who is the reincarnation of Shiva.
Kanchi Maha Swami visit to this temple Mahaswami Sri Sri Chandrasekara Saraswathi swamigal once visited here and did a tapas here for 40 days according to the temple sources.
Rituals and Beleifs Eligible Boys and girls,whose marriage are hindered or delayed, light 'nei deepams' (ghee lamps) equivalent to their age in front of 'Thambathya Dakshinamurthy' sannidhi, their obstacles are said to be removed and get married.(a 24 year old will light 24 deepams) Pradosham is very important here, and whoever visit during pradosham days are said to acheive what they desire in life.
Festivals Pradosham is important here. Apart from Pradoshams,Sivarathiri,Maha Siva rathiri, Navarathiri, Aipasi Annabishekam in Oct-November,Thiruvadhirai in Dec-January, are celeberated here.
Temple location The temple is 56 kms from Chennai in the Tamil Nadu AP border.
Temple Timings The temple is open from 6:30 AM till 12:00 noon and from 4:00 pm till 8:30 pm.During Pradosha days the temple is open until 8:00pm without break.
Dress code No stringent dress code exists for entering the temple , but devotees are requested visit in a decent dress.
How to reach?
The nearest airport is Chennai and there are several bus services from Chennai via Periapalayam (famous for Periyapalaythu Amman) . You can drive your car as the road is good.