Padavedu is a small village in between Vellore and Tiruvannamalai.
Probably the only place where there is a temple in the middle of a banana and paddy field(Will come to it at the end of the log). This place is quite famous for the Renuka Parameswari temple. But apart from that not much is known(Atleast for me). After spending a day at Vellore on saturday I was quite confused on the plans for Sunday. Initially the plan was to visit Virinjipuram and then Mahadeva Malai. Later, I happened to meet one of my project managers from my previous company at Tiruvalam. It was a very pleasant surprise, and it was he who suggested me to visit Melpadi and then Padavedu. He mentioned that there was a very old Ramar temple in Padavedu and it was something not to be missed. Later my brother also mentioned about this place. He said there were around 7 to 8 old temples in Padavedu and they are worth seeing. So I changed my plans and decided to visit Padavedu.
Sambuvarayars are from Padavedu. They ruled this place. According to history, most of the temples (Except for Venugopala Swamy and Lakshmi Narasimhar) were submerged in sand. They were discovered in 1993 by TVS family and from then they are maintaining it.
It had rained the previous night and the route to Padavedu was quite scenic. Lush greenery all around made me wonder if I was near Vellore. I took the Vellore-Tiurvannamalai route and later took a diversion for Padavedu beyond a village called Kannamangalam.
Till Kannamangalam it was a state highway and later a normal road. Even the normal road was quite good. As always with many village roads, you could see few kaaval deivams on the way. I am not sure what these small dolls are. Any idea what they could be?
This is the first temple I visited. The Ganesha is around 5.5 feet tall and looks very majestic. There is nothing apart from this statue here. But worth spending few minutes. My brother mentioned to me that there is a place called Uppur near Rameswaram, where such Ganesha temple is there.
Renuka Parameswary Temple
This temple was extremely crowded. It is a big one and looks like any other Amman temple with people doing anga pradakshanam, and other kind of prayers. In case you weren’t aware, Renuka is the mother of Parasurama. I would recommend you this site for further details
This is a temple where Lord Rama is in the pose of meditation. He is seated in Padmasana. This temple was also buried in sand and was dug out recently. They have renovated the temple really well without disturbing the original architecture. This is a must visit temple for anyone who loves old temples in a peaceful atmosphere. You are not allowed to take photographs within the temple.
Veera Anjaneyar Temple
This is on the way to Ramar temple from Renukambal temple. It is close to a Draupadhi Mandapam. This priest does the pooja for Varadaraja perumaL temple too. So if you want to visit Varadaraja Perumal temple, you better visit here first and ask the priest to take you there. There is a 7 to 7.5 ft tall Anjaneyar inside.
Lakshmi Narasimhar Temple
Lakshmi Narasimhar temple is at a place called Ramanathapuram pretty close to the Ramar temple. You will see a small blue board on the right for this temple. Keep looking for that
After visiting Ramar temple, I went to Lakshmi Narasimhar temple. This was one of the temples that was not submerged. From Ramar temple keep going straight, take first right.
You will come across a small bridge over a small river. Keep going straight till you see the blue board. You will get to see another hill immediately, but that is Velmurugan temple where there is a single Vel. I didn’t go there.
It is on top a small hill and the view from here is breathtaking! They do Abishekam for Narasimhar on Sundays.
Varadharaja Perumal Temple
This was my favorite. I have never been to a temple which is in the middle of a field. Extremely nice ambience with fields, banana trees and mountains covering it. This temple is for Varadaraja perumaL. This is a good place to meditate and spend atleast half an hour forgetting everything else. The walk through paddy field and banana trees is an interesting experience too with water trickling down on you. No words can do justice to this place. I would definitely visit this place again!
Ammayappa Eswarar Temple
This temple is the oldest of the lot and looks very simple. The amman in this temple is Aparnambikai and the statue is around 5.5 to 5.7 feet tall. Right in front of the Amman statue, there will be a pit from where they discovered the statues and ornaments. Ask the priest to show you the place. The priest mentioned that Thirunavukkarasar has sung a song on this temple, but I am not very sure. Nevertheless a must visit place in Padavedu.
There are two to three routes for reaching Padavedu. I would suggest you to take the route via vaazhiyur. If you proceed for some around 26 kms from Vellore on the Vellore – Tiruvannamalai route you will find this sign board on the left.
Take a right turn there and keep proceeding for some 4 or 5 kms. You will have a diversion for Padavedu.
You can ask people for directions and they will definitely help. First you will reach Ganesapuram and from then on it is just one road. In case you are coming from Bangalore, after crossing the paLLikoNda toll gate take a right turn. That is some 1 or 1.5 kms after the toll gate. After traveling for around 22 kms in that road, you will reach a junction called Sattamadurai. Take a right turn there and travel further for some 10 kms till you reach the vaazhiyur junction. You get to avoid Vellore, and also save some 45 kms.
No food is available at Padavedu. As you can see all that is there are just temples and agricultural lands 🙂 But if you call the priest Vasudeva Bhattar in advance he will arrange some temple prasadam(puLiyodharai, curd rice, lemon rice etc) for you 🙂 Mr Vasudeva Bhattar can be reached at +91 98940 34069.
Venugopala Swamy temple on the hill is open only on saturdays. And by morning a tractor and jeep leaves for the hill. Car cannot climb up. I think the tractor leaves at 7 or so in the morning. So plan for this place on a Saturday as you will get to see that temple too. Photography is not allowed inside in any of the temples.
All the statues in the temples are extremely old. They date back to 12th century AD and before. Till 1993 all these were buried under the ground, and renovated by TVS group. Special mention needs to be done about the Renukambal trust(Owned by TVS) which maintains these temples in such a clean and beautiful fashion.
Please do make it a point to visit this village once. It is just a day trip either from Bangalore or Chennai 🙂 Its worth it. And try to visit some temples which are mentioned in the Renugambal site(Photos are available), that I have not covered. And in case you are visiting, do visit everything and not just a few.
Entire set can be viewed here