Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nandhambakkam Sri Kothandaramar

Nandhambakkam is located on the Mount Poonamallee Road just about 2 kms from Guindy Kathipara junction of Chennai city. This temple is located just 100 meters from the main road on the opposite side of Chennai Trade Center.

Nandhambakkam has a beautiful temple for Sri Rama and the temple is connected with Ramayana. When Sri Rama was proceeding towards Sri Lanka in search of Sita Devi, He happened to pass through this place. This place was then called as Brindhaaranyam.

During that period, an ancient sage called Bringi Rishi was performing penance in this part of the country. He was doing penance from the hill nearby. The hill got its name as Bringi Malai (Bringi Hill) as sage Bringi was staying there for years. The name later corrupted to become Parangi Malai which is presently called as St. Thomas Mount.

Knowing that Sri Rama is passing through his place here, Bringi Rishi went and invited Sri Rama to stay with him for few days before proceeding. Sri Rama agreed to be the guest of Bringi Rishi and stayed here. Bringi Rishi created a small Nandhavanam (means garden) for the comfort of Sri Rama and the place came to be known as Nandhavanam itself, which later changed as Nandhambakkam. The neighboring place to Nandhambakkam is called Ramapuram, which is said to have got its name after Sri Rama’s stay here.

This story of this place is said to be mentioned in the ‘Aaranya Kaandam’ of ‘Kamba Ramayanam’ (Ramayana written in Thamizh by ancient poet Kambar).

Later, an ancient Vishnu devotee called Thirukkachi Nambi (1180 AD) wished to construct a temple for Sri Rama at this place and made a small temple for the Lord.

During Krishna Devaraaya’s Rule one of his territory heads called ‘Sanjeevi Raayar’ renovated this temple and made it bigger.

Sri Rama here is seen along with Lakshmana, Bharatha and Chathrugna in Pattaabishega posture. Sri Sita Devi is seen sitting on Sri Rama’s lap and looks so beautiful. All are seen facing south. Sri Anjaneyar is seen facing the Lord towards north.

In the same place, Sri Srinivasa Perumal is seen facing the east.

There is a beautiful Nandhavanam (garden) outside the sanctum on the southern side. Sri Krishna is seen here as a child inside the garden. He is called Nandhavana Kannan here.

There is another shrine for Sri Anjaneyar (Sri Hanuman) on the praakaaram. Here Sri Anjaneyar is very tall in the standing posture.

There is a beautiful temple pond opposite to this temple. This is called ‘Bringi Rishi Theertham’, which is very large in size and needs maintenance.

Sri Ramanavami is celebrated in a very grand manner in this temple.