Last Saturday, I went to Tiruneermalai, one of the 108 Divya desams, where there is a perumAL temple atop a small hill as well as one at the foot of the hill. The hill is very small and it will hardly take 5-7 minutes to climb it. After climbing about 40 steps or so, there is an Anjaneyar sannidhi too on the hill. The specialty of this place is that perumAL is in four different postures here: ninRa, kiDandha, naDandha, irundha – ranganAthar representing kiDandha, thiruvikrama representing naDandha, sAnta narasimhar representing irundha and neervaNNar representing ninRa. The first three deities and ranganAyaki thAyAr are present on the hill-top temple and neervaNNar, aNimAmalar mangai thAyAr, rAma, sitA, AndaL and a few more deities are present at the temple at the foot of the hill.
Talking about the history of the place, the legend goes that once when Tirumangai Azhwar, one of the twelve Alwars, visited this place, the hill was surrounded by water and he had to wait for six months before the water drained and he could climb the hill and have a darshan of perumAL. The place thus, got the name, Tiruneermalai.
To reach Tiruneermalai, when you are coming from Airport towards Tambaram, take the immediate right after the Ponds factory (TTK Maps is opposite to it) on GST Road and keep going straight. You will be able to see the hill with the temple on top, in a few minutes. The hill is open for climbing between 8 am and 12 noon and 4 pm and 8 pm. If you are planning to visit the temple on Saturdays, try to go early in the evening as the place might soon get crowded (the crowd won’t be unmanageable though). And yeah, you get prasadam on the hill-top. So you need not worry about what will you do if you become hungry after climbing the hill. 😉 But, beware of the goats on top of the hill. Those seem to have become so fond of the prasadam that they don’t let you eat at all! 🙂 Do remember to buy some prasadam for the goats too. 😛
Talking about things other than the temple, I guess there is a very good chance of getting to witness a beautiful sunset or sunrise from the top of the hill. 🙂 In spite of visiting this place regularly for a very long time now, I unfortunately have never seen a sunset from that hill since it invariably drizzles/rains whenever I go there!
This time when I went, the one thing that struck me as soon as I reached the top of the hill was the stark contrast in the view on both sides of the hill. While one side had lots of greenery/lush fields, buildings seemed to cover most part of the vast area on the other side. I left the place with the thought that very soon the greenery might be replaced with buildings and it might also become a concrete jungle!