Two temples remain open, hold rituals on solar eclipse day
TIRUPATI/KAKINADA: While almost all the temples have closed their doors to avoid ill-effects of the solar eclipse on Tuesday, the Srikalahastheeswara temple in the heart of Srikalahasti town in Tirupati district remained open.
During the eclipse, the temple undertook a special abhishekam to the presiding deity, Lord Vayu Lingeshwara and continued with the Rahu Kethu pujas for devotees.
Normally, those having some doshams (problems) in their jatakam (horoscope) visit this temple at the time of eclipse and worship Lord Siva and Goddess Ammavaru after performing a Rahu Ketu Puja.
Mythology has it that this was the place where a great devotee of Lord Shiva, Kannappa, was ready to offer both his eyes to stop blood coming from the Shiva Linga. The act, filled with devotion, pleased Lord Shiva and he granted salvation to Kannappa.
The Srikalahasti temple is one of the panchabhoota sthalams. The temple was erected in the 12th Century by the Chola Kings.
Belief is that Lord Srikalahastheeswara at this temple was having all the 27 nakshatras (stars) and 9 rashis (planets) in his kavacham; and he, thereby, controls the entire solar system.
While the five-headed serpent, Kethu, adorns the head of the lord, the single headed serpent Rahu in the form of an ornament finds a place as vaddanam (waist belt) of Ammavaru. Hence, the ill effects of the eclipse could not be felt on this temple, it is believed.
Meanwhile, another temple that remained open in Andhra Pradesh during the Surya Grahanam was the Lord Kukkuteswara temple in Kakinada district’s Pithapuram. Tuesday evening, during the eclipse time, hundreds of devotees thronged the temple to have darshan of the God. Many of them performed japas by taking a holy bath three times.
Devotees believe that if they have darshan of Lord Kukkuteswara during the eclipse period, the god will give protection from bad spirits.
During the Grahanam, devotees perform japas by taking bath thrice – the beginning, middle and end of the eclipse time -- at the shrine Padagaya before having darshan of the Lord.