Sunday, April 19, 2009

Madhuraanthakam Eri Kaatha Sri Raamar

Madhuraanthakam is a beautiful place located about 75 kms south of Chennai. While traveling from Chennai, Madhuraanthakam lies on the GST Road after crossing Chengalpattu.

Madhuraanthakam has a wonderful temple for Sri Kothandaraamar. In ancient days, this place was called as Vakulaaranya Kshethram, as this place was a forest with lots of Magizham trees (மகிழ மரம்). This place also had other names like Madhuraanthaka Chathurvedhi Mangalam, Vaikunda Vardhanam, Thirumadhurai and Thirumandhira Thirupathi.

The legend of this temple is connected to Ramayana period itself. There lived an ancient saint called Sri Vipaandakar in Madhuraanthakam, performing penance towards Lord Vishnu. He was worshipping the moorthies of Sri Karunaakara Perumaal along with Sri Bhu Devi and Sri Neela Devi in this place.

During that period, Sri Rama was expelled to the forests where He lost Sri Sita Devi and was going towards Sri Lanka to get her back. Vipaandakar came to know that Sri Rama was moving towards Sri Lanka and had to pass by this forest. Vipaandakar went and invited Sri Rama to his Ashram here and requested Him to stay for sometime before proceeding. Sri Rama accepted Vipaandakar’s request and stayed for a short while and worshipped Sri Karunaakara Perumaal along with the Rishi.

While leaving Madhuraanthakam, Vipaandakar insisted Sri Rama that He should continue the stay for some more periods. Sri Rama told the saint that He was on the mission of defeating Raavana, to bring back Sita Devi and assured him of a long stay and accept the saint’s hospitality on His way back from Lanka.

After killing Raavana, Sri Rama along with Sri Sita and Sri Lakshmana was flying back to Ayodhya on the Pushpaka Vimaanam. As promised to Vipaandakar, Sri Rama stopped on His way at Madhuraanthakam and got down from the Pushpaka Vimaanam. Sage Vipaandakar had a privilege of having the dharshan of the Lord Sri Rama, holding the hands of Sri Sita Devi, like a wedding posture. Sri Rama stayed here in the saint’s place for some days and left to Ayodhya. While leaving, Sri Rama carried Sri Karunaakara Perumaal along with Sri Bhu Devi and Sri Neela Devi with him and was worshipping the Lord at Ayodhya.

Later, many years after Pattaabhishekam, Sri Rama directed Sri Hanuman to carry Sri Karunaakara Perumaal back to Madhuraanthakam to install and worship the Lord here. Sri Hanuman installed Sri Karunaakara Perumaal and started worshipping regularly. Once, Sri Rama appeared to Sri Hanuman here in the same posture as how he gave dharshan (holding Sri Sita’s hand) to saint Vipaandakar.

Hence, the moolavar Sri Ramar gives dharshan in an unusual yet rare posture holding Sri Sita’s hand. Sri Lakshmana is also present with them. This is probably the only place where Sri Rama is seen in such posture. There are two Urchavars; Sri Sita, Lakshmana Sametha Sri Kothandaramar and Sri Bhu Devi, Sri Neela Devi Sametha Sri Karunaakara Perumaal.

The image of Lord Rama is so beautiful and said to be the next best beautiful to Sri Rama at Vaduvoor. Sri Rama here is so beautiful and charming with enchanting smile and divine Thejas.

This temple also is also connected to the life of Sri Ramanujar. Sri Ramanujar along with his wife, was on his way from Kanchipuram to meet Sri Periya Nambigal at Sri Rangam, as he was directed by Sri Thirukkachi Nambigal to do so and become his disciple. During the same time, Sri Periya Nambigal started from Sri Rangam towards Kanchipuram, in search of Sri Ramanujar, whom he felt would be the right disciple.

As a coincidence both met here at Madhuraanthakam and Sri Periya Nambigal performed Pancha Samskaaram to Sri Ramanujar under the Magizham tree of this temple.

There is a small Mandapam where Sri Ramanujar undertook Pancha Samskaaram from Sri Periya Nambigal.

There is a separate shrine for Sri Periya Nambigal and Sri Ramanujar here in this temple. This is said to be the only temple where Sri Ramanujar is seen as a Grahastha (married person) and is seen with white clothing instead of saffron, as seen in other temples.

The name of Sri Kothandaramar here came to be popularly known as Eri Kaatha Ramar because of an interesting incident happened during the British rule here. There was a district collector of Chengalpattu by name Colonel Lionel Blaze (some say that his name is ‘Lionel Place’) during the period 1795 - 1798. Madhuraanthakam lake being one of the biggest ones in the district, threatened the natives during rainy seasons. The bund of the lake was weak and most of the times the lake broke opened the bund and waters gushed into the village creating disaster to lives.

Blaze who took up charge as collector of the district was worried about the lake during one such rainy season and had visited the village and camped there. He happened to see this beautiful temple and visited it to know more about it. The priests at the temple told him about the history and legend of the temple. While going around in the temple, he found huge pillars and stone slabs piled up in one of the corners of the temple and enquired about the purpose of those slabs. The priests explained that they were meant for the construction of the shrine for Sri Janakavalli Thaayaar and were kept on hold due to lack of funds.

Blaze now told the priests that if Sri Rama protected the village from the lake during the storms of the year, he himself would build the shrine for Sri Janakavalli Thaayaar at his cost. Saying this, he went back in a hurry without even having dharshan of the deities.

Colonel tried to strengthen the lake bund with his resources but was not confident about the strength of the bund. The storms began to show in the village with heavy winds and strong pouring of rains. Rain continued for days together without any signs of stopping. The water began to rise in the lake and on one day reached up to the bund level. Blaze expected a calamity to occur. But as the collector of the district, he went out to see the water level of the lake so that he can take some precautionary measures. He took one of his servants with him holding an umbrella and went near the lake.

On seeing the water filled lake, he got worried about handling the calamity which could happen anytime then. While he was thinking worriedly, he watched two young, well built men going around on the banks of the lake with bow and arrows on their hands. He patiently waited and saw these men wandering repeatedly on the banks. As it was night time, he couldn’t figure them out, but pitied them as they were walking on the lake bund during that dangerous night. He returned back to his place as he was already wet but was still thinking of those two strange young men.

The next morning Blaze woke up and saw that the rains stopped and the sun shining. Anxious about the status of the lake, he came out and understood that there was no flooding the previous night and the bund withstood all the waters. He was too happy and went rushing to the temple to share the news with the priests. The priests were happy and welcomed him inside the temple. This time, Blaze who was in a relaxed state of mind, peacefully entered the temple and accepted the respects from the temple priests. During that time the sanctum was closed as the Alankaaram (decoration) was going on for the deities.

Once the doors of the sanctum opened, Blaze was shocked to see the same two young men who were wandering with bow and arrows the previous night along the lake bund, being worshipped. He couldn’t control himself and explained the priests what he saw the previous night. The priests were too happy to hear him and everyone realized that those two young men were Sri Rama and Sri Lakshmana only who have saved the village from the threatening lake.

From then onwards, people fondly started calling Sri Rama here as ‘Eri Kaatha Raamar’. Blaze, as promised, immediately arranged to build the shrine for Sri Janakavalli Thaayaar, which is present at the south western side of the temple. Sri Janakavalli Thaayaar is so beautiful and is decorated with wonderful ornaments.

An inscription is still found in the temple revealing that the Thaayaar shrine was built by Colonel Lionel Blaze of East India Company, the then district collector of Chengalpattu.

The temple is facing east with Sri Kothandaraamar as the main deity. There is a beautiful Mandapam outside the sanctum with lots of pillars allowing cool breeze into the temple.

In the Mandapam adjacent to the sanctum, there is a secret underway found which starts from the Madhuraanthakam lake and passes through the temple and reaches the temple pond.

The outer praakaaram has a majestic Dhwajasthambham, adding beauty to the temple.

On entering the temple, Sri Chakkarathaazhwar shrine is found on the left hand side facing north.

The Sthala Viruksham ‘Magizha Maram’ is found on the north western side of the temple.

There is a separate shrine for Sri Vishvaksenar on the outer praakaaram facing south.

Sri Narasimhar gives dharshan at the north eastern side of the temple, facing towards south.

Lots of stone inscriptions are found along the walls of the temple.

The Vimaanam for this temple is called Pushpaka Vimaanam.

The temple pond is found in front of the temple and is called Sri Rama Theertham, which needs some clean up.

Sri Aanjaneyar is seen in a separate shrine adjacent to the pond facing west towards the temple. Adjacent to Sri Aanjaneyar shrine Sri Ahobila Mutt is present.

The temple has two main festivals. One is Sri Rama Navami and the other is the Brammothsavam during the Thamizh month of Aani on the day of Moolam star.

Madhuraanthakam Eri Kaatha Ramar temple is a wonderful temple with rich heritage and history of various periods linked to it.

41 comments:

  1. I have been to this temple. It is steeped in history and divinity. I absolutely agree that Lord Rama's moolavar statue in this temple is the most beautiful I have seen ! Just a darshan makes one feel peaceful and blessed !

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  2. Dear Saravanan,

    This article is wonderful. I've visited this temple around 3 years back. Your write up brought back that day memory.

    Thanks a lot for that. Wish you to continue many more.

    Regards
    N Guruvelavan

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  3. அன்புள்ள திரு சரவணன் அவர்களே,

    இந்தத் திருக்கோவிலைப் பற்றி நீங்கள் எழுதியதைப் படிக்கும்போதே அதை நேரே காணவேண்டும் என்ற ஆவல் எழுகிறது. அற்புதமான கட்டுரை.
    உஙகள் திருப்பணி தொடர என் நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்.
    அன்புடன்
    கி விஸ்வநாதன்

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  4. Dear saravanan,
    I surprice your
    temple details. this fentastic work. how its. superb superb superb. and please visit kalavai kamlakanniamman temple also. very very very powerfull amman. vellore arcot. kalavai. tamilnadu. near angalamman temple. and devotional site lists http://narasimmah.blotspot.com

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  5. Very nice. I like especially the story of Eri Katha Ramar. When I was very young my father was the RDO of Chingleput, and on our visit there, we were told this beautiful story. மெய் சிலிர்க்கிறது.

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  6. Wonderful compilation. Best wishes and greetings for many more such compilations

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  7. All the best for your great complication, Thanks for interest in your spritual thinking. God bless you Om Namo Narayanaya namaga

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  8. Dear Mr.Saravanan,
    It is a detailed history of the temple and your writing makes us to visualise the temple eventhough we have several times the history of the temple stimulates us to visit again.
    Fantastic work
    Kaveri Natarajan

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  9. You are peforming a wonderful service.

    K. Sanckar

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  10. sharmilabanuwilliams@yahoo.comSaturday, April 25, 2009 1:45:00 PM

    good and wonderful keep it up

    love

    sharmila

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  11. Om Sairam
    Dear Mr Saravan

    Thanx For Your Great Work,
    Keep It Up & God bless you !!!
    Om Namo Sadguru Shirdi Sainath Mahara...j
    Ki Ja.........i

    Sriram Dt

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  12. Dear Saravanan,
    I Seen many devotional blog sites, but ur dharsanam blog one of the best site. lot of temple information u collecting. how its. i appreciate u. my one request .its possible. sir kamalakanniamman very very powerfull amman. vellore arcot . kalavai . its possible kamalakanniamman temple add your blog site. (near angalamman temple).

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  13. Wonderful narration about the history of the temple with beautiful snaps.

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  14. Dear Sir, Thank you very much for sending excellent photos, informations about the ancient temples. Keep it up. MOHAN

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  15. thank you for the wonderful post. Though I know about the temple it was refreshing to read it again and refresh one's memory.

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  16. Very interesting article. Covers all points. I am sure with this long history of this temple, there should be significant endowments made to the temple by various Chieftains in terms of agricultural properties for the upkeep of the temple. Hopefully, these continue to be of use to the temple's upkeep.

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  17. Thanks for the wonderful posting.. please post the photo of the Lake also...

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  18. Good Work As usual....

    Would be greatful , if you can shed some light on Vengeeshwarar Temple near Vadapalani.. even though it seems ancient... there is not much known about temple history

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  19. Dear sir,
    Lot of collectionsl in each an every temple. Thankyou very much.
    I one request why not sir u set subscribe via email. www.feedburner.google.com
    Its for very compartable . Because any publish ur detail directly go to
    Ur devotional blog fans mail..

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  20. Fantastic, Saravanan! As usual, you have brought this temple and its history to life with your words.

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  21. Beautiful presentation. I feel as if I had been there. Thanks.

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  22. நான் 1980௦ஆம் ஆண்டு ஆலயத்திற்கு சென்று ஸ்ரீராமபிரானை தரிசித்ததை மீண்டும் நினைவில் கொண்டுவந்துவிட்டது உங்களின் எழுத்தும் படங்களும். நன்றி. உங்கள் பணி தொடரட்டும்.வாழ்த்துக்கள்

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  23. Very good work.
    Can you please visit the great temple town - Ngapattinam and write about the temples there?

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  24. Hi Mr. Saravanan.

    Excellent presentation of temples and their puranams. Good show. Keep up the good work. Also let me have your views on the many websites created by me. Tks.

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  25. I am disappointed that there are no further posts! What happened?

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  26. TODAY (10/10/2009) MY FRIEND MR.v.NATARAJAN AND MYSELF(NARAYNAN SETHURAO) VISITED THIS GLORIOUS TEMPLE FOR THE FIRST TIME...AND COULD SEE ALL THAT IS SAID IN THIS BLOG...

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  27. I am doing a film on the vaishnava culture and visited this temple> I included the story of Mr. Place but I used the version that was given in the book Temples of Tamil Nadu R.K. Das Bhartiya Vidy Bhavan.There n that version His men found him in the rains on the bank of the bund on his knees and said that he saw 2 effulgent bowmen shooting arrows in to the breaks in the bund, later he declared that I always knew that Christianity was not the only one true religion and saw to the building of the new temple. I am interested in other places where westerners have had such miraculous darshans and miracles that establish Vishnu, Rama and Krishna as immanent presences. My film will be shown world wide and I am a believer myself but any additional information would greatly enhance the production. nitaimedia@gmail.com

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  28. Screw you Ram and the mother fucking clan

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  29. Hi Anonymous,

    You should have some guts to reveal your name or identity.

    Posting such comments with anonimity shows the levels of your courage in commenting.

    Anyways, Iam happy that Sri Ram has made an impact on you.

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  30. Hello Saravanan,

    Yesterday I visited Eri Katha Ramar temple after a long wish and had a good dashan of Lord Rama. I was moved and disturbed by the state of affairs of the temple. few of the sannidhis are closed, in lord narasimha sannidhi there are no flower offerings on that day. When we asked, they said the maintenance funding is poor and no money is available for regular poojas/abhishekams. I understand the temple is maintained by the endownment board under the state government who is least bothered about it. Ahobila Mutt is largely spending money in whatever way they could. The Archakas says they cannot go to Mutt quite often for money. Pilgrims visiting this temple is very less and only the locals in Madhuranthakam visit the temple. Currently they have to make a Silver Umbrella and a "Dhindu" for Lord. They dont have enough cash to do it. They fall short by Rs 25000/-

    Whoever reads this , if they are close to chennai, please do see if you can visit them and see whatever u can to contribute to this temple.

    Lord's blessings will be with you.

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  31. Nice blog Sir!

    Unfortunately, lot of temples under the govt are in a sorry state.

    Visit my site as well at http://narayanank.blog.co.in

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  32. Dear Sri sharavanan,

    Pl dont give any importance to the comments of anonymous persons i.e. half mad persons. Today what we are seeng the blind, deaf, lame and so many disabled in the midst of the society, actually we neednot show any mercy or concern towards them. they are the persons who got severe punishment from the lord, for their sins. I think that these half mad type of persons are also in the que. What punishment they are going to get for their daiva nindanam. Lord Krishna only knows. Every person irrespective of cast and relegion should know that there is no room for mercy in the gods judgement for ignorance of law, God sees the truth but waits. Thanks,
    May Lord Krishna and Smt Radha Rani Bless you.

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  33. Dear Saravanan,
    Thank you for your valuable information about the temples, its history & Location.Indeed a good service & study.Also, pls.mention dharshan timings and contact Telephone numbers so that it will be very helpful to plan our visit to these shrines accordingly. Any way once again hats off to you
    With Regards
    S. Vijayaraghavan, Chennai

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  34. beautiful temple.. we were so fortunate to get an opportunity to clean the temple.. the water tasted like nectar

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  36. MR.SARAVANAN YOU HAVE DONE A WONDERFUL BY USING INTERNET.

    ReplyDelete
  37. very very fine article, I am the person who born in madurantakam, I feel very very proud about my birth place. thank u for ur divine work

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    Replies
    1. I have taken my entire family to this temple after celebrating my son's marriage at SRI UPPILIYAPPAN TEMPLE .I also had darshan at this temple earlier on our way to marriage place..All my relatives and friends were so enchanted to have darshan .The temple has twin stories of eri katha LORD RAMA AND LAKSHMANA AND ALSO ABOUT EHIRAJAR.JAI SRI RAM.

      Delete
  38. No words to express the gratitude towards the service rendered to bring the history alive and share with others. This social service is very much appreciated. We planned to visit the temple today to get the blessings of Eri Kaatha Sri Raamar.
    I decided to search for information about this temple before visiting. The information shared by you is indeed great.

    Thanks again.
    Balaji

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