Sunday, March 25, 2018

Ranganathar Temple, Devadanam – The Temple

Ranganathar Temple, Devadanam – The Temple
The Temple has 3 tiered Rajagopuram with single prakaram. There are Sudhai sculptures of Vinayagar and Kalinga Krishnar at the back wall on either side of the Rajagopuram entrance. The Dwajasthambam, Balipeedam and the Chakrathazhwar shrines are located at the entrance. Next to Kodi maram, a separate Sannadhi for Periya Thiruvadi - Sri Garudalvar is found facing towards the Moolavar Sannadhi. Presiding Deity is called as Ranganathar.

In the sanctum sanctorum, Ranganathar is in a reclining (Bhoga Sayanam) posture measuring about 18 feet in length and is bigger than Srirangam according to the priest. The Lord is facing east having the measuring vessel (Padi) as his pillow with his right hand placed over it, reclining on the bed of Aadhi Sesha with his five heads as umbrella. The Adhiseshan forms a 5.5 foot high 3 layer bed to him. Legend has it that he is resting after getting tired over giving away the grains in the measuring vessel to feed the world during the harvest season.

The idol is a Sudhai sculpture made of many Salagrama stones which are considered very sacred for worship. The Lord has a perfectly chiseled face with flaring nostrils. The sanctum sanctorum is very small, just enough to accommodate the Perumal, the urchava idols and the Bhattar. The entrance to the sanctum is very narrow and only about 5-6 people can have a full Dharshan of Perumal at any time but the big advantage being that we can see the Perumal very closely from a distance of just about 2-3 feet.

To see the Perumal with so much power, beauty and grandeur so very close is really a striking experience. Since the idol is a Sudhai sculpture, no Abhishekam is being done and only the herbal oil (Thailiakappu) is being applied to him once a year. Only the urchava idol takes on the Abhishekam. Brahma is seen on a lotus coming out from the navel of Lord. Sridevi and Bhoodevi are present near his feet. Sage Thumburu and Anjaneya are present around him praying.

Mother is called as Ranganayaki. She is housed in a separate shrine in the outer prakaram to the south west of the sanctum. There is a separate shrine for Andal to the north-west of the sanctum sanctorum. The foot of the Ranganathar is imprinted on the outside of the inner praharam wall as a projection from the sanctum idol. Shrine of Chakrathazhwar can be found in the outer praharam. Great Alwars along with Sri Venugopala Swamy can be found in the front Mandapam. Anjaneyar shrine is located near the entrance.

There is a snake pit on the Western side of the temple behind the sanctum. The belief is that the snake inside the snake pit protects the temple and the devotees who visit here. The Sthala Vriksham is Parijatham (Pavazha Malli) and it is found near the Snake Pit. There is a big peepal tree in front of the temple, located at a slightly elevated height. The kumbabhishekam was performed in May 2004. There is also Sri Theertheswari samedha Sri Somanatha Easwar temple at Kaniampakkam nearby.