Dr A K Chatterjee, a Gynecologist by profession, is an enthusiastic traveler, researcher on religious places, an author and blog writer.
79 degrees East meridian and Hindu places of worship : Part II : Introduction
79 degrees East meridian and Hindu places of worship : Part II
In the first part of this article we have discussed the uncanny relationship between the 79 degrees East meridian and a large number of important temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the Trinities of Hinduism. Now, in Part II of the article, we'll discuss the relation between the 79 degrees East meridian and some other important temples dedicated to Hindu gods.
Let us start with temples and places associated with Lord Vishnu (or Bishnu), also called Lord Narayana, another of the Trinities of Hinduism.
Photo of Divyadesham temple
79 degrees East meridian and DIVYADESHAM temples of Lord Vishnu
A. 108 DIVYADESHAM temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu :
DIVYADESHAM temples are sacred 108 Vishnu temples mentioned in the works of Tamil Alvars (Tamil Vaishnava poet-saints).Of the 108 Divyadesham temples, 105 temples are in India, 01 in Nepal and 2 are considered beyond the Earthly realms. Of the 105 DIVYADESHAM temples of India, a hopping 60 (57.2%) are on the 79 degrees East meridian!
The names with their co-ordinates are mentioned separately in an Appendix at the end of this article.
Photos of SHWAYANVYAKT VISHNU KSHETRAM
SHWAYANVYAKT VISHNU KSHETRAM and 79 degrees East
B. Eight SHWAYAMVYAKT VISHNU KSHETRAM (Eight places of Self-manifest Vishnu):
Of the innumerable temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu, 108 are considered DIVYADESHAM (Godly places), eight of which are considered as holiest places where the Vishnu idols are considered to be self-manifest. These eight places or temples are called ASHTA SHWAYANVYAKT VISHNU KSHETRAM. Of these eight holiest of holy Vishnu temples, four are in the North (Badrinath in Uttarakhand, Muktinath in Nepal, Varaha temple at Pushkar in Rajasthan and Devraja Perumal temple at Naimisharanya in Uttar Pradesh) and four are in South India (Tirupati Balaji, Sri Ranganathswami at Sri Rangam, Varahaswami at Sri Mushnam and Totadrinath at Vriddhachalam, all in the state of Tamilnadu).
Of these eight SHWAYANVYAKT VISHNU KSHETRAM-s four are on the 79 degrees East meridian (Badrinath at 30.7433 degrees North, 79.4938 degrees East , Tirupati Balaji at 13.6807 degrees North, 79.3509 degrees East , Srimushnam at 11.4017 degrees North, 79.4061 degrees East and Vriddhachalam at 11.5159 degrees North, 79.3269 degrees East).
Is it not a little uncanny, to say the least?
Photo of SAPTABARDI
SAPTABADRI (The Seven Badrinath temples) and 79 degrees East
C. SAPTABADRI (The Seven Badrinath temples) :
There are seven temples dedicated to Lord Badrinath -- Badri Vishal, Adi Badri, Vriddha Badri, Dhyan Badri, Ardha Badri, Bhavishya Badri and Yoga Badri.
Of these seven, five are situated on the 79 degrees East meridian (Badrinath or Badri Vishal at 30.7433 degrees North, 79.4938 degrees East; Dhyan Badri at 30.44 degrees North, 79.25 degrees East; Ardha Badri at 30.44 degrees North, 79.25 degrees East; Bhavishya Badri at 30.46 degrees North, 79.67 degrees East and Yoga Badri at 30.38 degrees North, 79.32 degrees East).
Of all the seven Badri-s, Badrinath or Badri Vishal requires special mention.
Badrinath : Situated in the Garhwal Himalayas at an altitude of 10,800 feet, Badrinath (also spelt as Badarinath) is one of the Vishnu temples of the highest order. It is the home of one of the eight self-manifest Vishnu idol (SHYAMBYAKT VISHNU KSHETRAM) and one of the CHARDHAM temples (4 most venerable places of pilgrimage, the other 3 are PURI in the East, RAMESWARAM in the South and DWARKA in the West). It is also one of the CHHOTA CHARDHAM (Lesser CHARDHAM), the other 3 being KEDARNATH, GANGOTRI and YAMUNOTRI. All Hindus cherish a wish to visit Badarinath at least once in their life. Its co-ordinate? 30.7433 degrees North, 79.4938 degrees East.
Photo of PANCHA RANGAM TEMPLE
PANCHA RANGAM KSHETRAM and 79 degrees East meridian
D. PANCHA RANGAM KSHETRAM
These are five important Vishnu temples situated near the holy river Kaveri (Cauvery). These are -- Sri Rangapatna (Adi Ranga), Appala Ranga, Parimala Ranganath Perumal, Vata Rangam (some texts place Sarangapani temple of Kumbhakonam in its place) and Kasthuri Rangam near Tiruchirapali.
Of these five Rangam temples, two are on the 79 degrees East meridian (Parimala Ranganath Perumal temple at Tiruindalur on 11 degrees 06 minutes 35 seconds North, 79 degrees 38 minutes 46 seconds East and Sarangapani temple at Kumbhakonam on 10.9596 degrees North, 79.3754 degrees East).
Temple of Goddess Kali and 79 degrees East
79 degrees East meridian and temples of some other gods and goddesses
So, is not the relationship between a large number of important Vishnu temples and the 79 degrees East meridian highly interesting?
After discussing the curious relation between the 79 degrees East meridian and some important Shiva and Vishnu temples, now let us look at the case of some other gods.
A. Temple of Lord Ganesha :
At least one important temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha is situated on the 79 degrees East. This temple is the SHRI SWAYAMBHU VARASIDDHI VINAYAKA SWAMI TEMPLE at Kanipakar, Andhra Pradesh, about 11 km from Chittoor. Its co-ordinates are 13.2769 degrees North, 79.0340 degrees East.
B. Temple of Lord Rama
Ramtek in Maharashtra near Nagpur is an important holy place. It has a historic temple of Lord Rama. As per Hindu mythology, Lord Rama rested here during his exile in forest. The present temple was built by Raghuji Bhonsale, the Maratha ruler of Nagpur in the 18th century. The co-ordinates of Ramtek are 21 degrees 23 minutes 40 seconds North, 79 degrees 19 minutes 35 seconds East.
C. Temple of Goddess Kali
Kalimath in the district of Rudraprayag in the state of Uttarakhand is a very important holy place. It has a temple dedicated to the Goddess Kali. There are so many legends associated with this temple. Its co-ordinates are 30.563887 degrees North, 79.085083 degrees East.
D. KANAPPA temple :
Situated at Srikalhasti in Andhra Pradesh, this temple, dedicated to Bhakta Kanappa, a great disciple of Lord Shiva, is at 13.7495 degrees North, 79.6992 degrees East.
So, to conclude Part II of this article, it can be said that definitely there is some hidden relation between the 79 degrees East meridian and a large number of important temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu, one of the Trinities oif Hinduism as well as some other important gods. The million dollar question is, what is that relationship?
Now let's proceed to Part III of this article.