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sthala puranam

From: Vasudha Narayanan (
Date: Tue Apr 09 1996 - 05:24:59 PDT

I have sthala puranams on Ahobilam, Attigir (works in English), Ayodhya (bad
English), Srivilliputtur (one English, one Tamil), Tiruccherai,
Tirukkovalur, Tirukkutantai, Tirumaliruncholai (Alagar Koyil, not a good
source), Tirunaraiyur (2  different Tamil ones), Tiruvallikkeni (one
English, two Tamil + one souvenir on the adhyapaka goshti), Tiruvanantapuram
(English), Srirangam  (many) Tiruvayintapuram, Tiruvenkatam (many),
Tiruvinnagar (standard one in Tamil).  On Abhimana sthalams, I have
Madurantakam, Mannarkudi, Srimushnam,  Sriperambudur and Vaduvur.  The
bibliographic details are under the sub heading of Sthala Puranams in my
bibliography in The Vernacular Veda: Revelation, Recitation and Ritual.  I
bought most of them during my visits -- I have now had the fortune of going
to 70+ of the divya deshas.  Where possible, I also took notes on nitya
anusandhanam differences.   I was also allowed to take photographs in some
temples (Anbil, Nandipura Vinnagaram, Terezhundur (our kula dhanam),
Tiruvellarai, Thayar at Koyiladi, Tiruvedandai, et al. purely for research
and private devotional use (they were afraid of public dissemination through
calendars and so on).  In some temples the bhattars would bring me
photographs from their houses.  I can make them available for the data base,
but do not know about the ethcs/copyright of other people's photographs that
were given to me.   I had copied the whole set and donated them to the
Atlanta temple.  They made them available for Vaarshika utsavam at Atlanta
temple two years back by putting them on a videotape with the short intro
(in writing) I gave to each picture, describing the sthalam and a reference
to the alvar who did the mangalaasaasanam.  This was then run continuously
for three days on a vcr during the celebrations.  Since I'm towards the end
of the semester, with heavy grading to be done plus a lot of travelling for
conferences, if you can give me time till summer, I can describe the
pictures/sthalapuranams/and /or  the various cassettes on the Divya
prabandham that I have.  This depends on your interest, of course.  I also
have several privately commissioned and commercial versions of the Divya
Prabandham (about 60 volumes, could be up to 80 I think).  THese include
recitation and singing; Veenai Rengarajan who does the ekantam at the
Srirangam temple did one or two with his family, with the songs he generally
sings during the ekantam at Ra Pattu tirunaals.  
        I also have the raw footage of about 8 videos of the festivals at
Srirangam (87-90 done by the studios they authorize).  These include
Vaikunta Ekadasi, Thayar Festivals, Chitirai festivals etc.  Because it is
hard to note all the details while observing them-- sometimes one is caught
in the emotion of the moment -- I went back to these videos to fill in th
details for the research.  These videos are of uneven quality, (some are
really bad copies, some very good); no commentary.  Just natural sounds that
emanate from the crowds etc.  While I am glad to share these riches with all
bhaktas, I am nervous about the ethics and copyright issues.  Obviously this
won't matter for short sthala puranams and the pictures I took-- it's only
the videos and photos that I bought that I would be worried about.  But I'd
be delighted to share them.  
Best wishes, Vasudha Narayanan