SRI RANGANATHAR TEMPLE, DEVADANAM
Just on the outskirts of Chennai near Minjur lies a small village known as Devadanam. Here one would find an ancient temple of Lord Ranganathar. This Ranganatha Swamy temple is considered to be 1000 years old and built by the Chalukya kings. The village here is calm, peaceful and appears lush green with paddy fields all around. The temple is located 30kms north of Madras and 4kms north-east of Minjur in
Devadhanam away from the noise. One can reach this temple by traveling from Chennai to Gummidipoondi in train. The temple is 3 kms from Anupampattu railway station. From Minjur, lots of share autos are available which directly go to the Devadanam temple. A 90-minute drive from the city of Chennai also takes us to this little village, beyond Minjur. Unfortunately, there are no reputed hotels available at Devadhanam even though the place is nearby Chennai city.
Chalukya rulers who visited Srirangam wanted to recreate an idol, within their empire, similar to the sleeping Ranganatha. They constructed an idol even bigger than the one in Srirangam. They built this temple about 1000 years back. Hence, this temple is also referred to as Vada Srirangam or North Srirangam.
What the legend says:
This area was gifted to 'Devas' by 'Indra' and hence the name Devadanam.
In the sanctum sanctorum, Ranganathar is in reclining posture measuring about 18 feet in length and is bigger than Srirangam according to the priest. The 18 feet long and 5 feet high Lord Ranganatha is seen sleeping on the serpent bed with 3 folds formed by the 5 headed Adisesha. The Lord is resting on a wooden log with his right hand under the locks of his hair and the left hand stretched forward. His two consorts are seated near his Tiruvadi (Holy feet). The Lord's idol is sculpted well. The moolavar deity is made out of Saligrama stones. Even the jewels of the sleeping lord are of Saligrama stone, the only one of its kind in Ranganatha temples. Hence, there is no Thirumanjanam (ceremonial bath) for the Moolavar Lord, only Thaila kappu (oil anointment).
The God is facing east and has the measuring vessel (Padi) as his pillow reclining on the bed of Aadhi seshan who has five heads which is denoted as the umbrella. The Adhisesha forms almost 5.5 feet high 3 layered bed to the Lord. According to the legend, the Lord is resting tiredly after giving away the grains to feed the world during the harvesting season. The idol is a typical sudai sculpture made up of many Salagrama stones which are considered very holy for worship. The God has a perfectly carved face with sharp nostrils. The entrance of the sanctum is very narrow and only five to six devotees can have a full dharshan of the God. Goddess Lakshmi and Bhooma Devi appears at the feet of the Lord. Goddess Lakshmi has a lotus in Her hands and Bhooma Devi has blue water lily in her hands. Opposite the Lord's idol, there is Thumburu Maharishi and Bhakta Anjaneya. Thumburu Maharishi is seen holding a small veena. There are separate shrines for Ranganayaki Thayar which is south-west of the sanctum sanctorum and Andal which is north-west of the sanctum sanctorum.
The temple Gopuram stands tall and can be seen from a few kilometers away. There are hardly any shops outside the temple. A big peeple tree is situated in front of the temple, located at a slightly elevated height. As soon as one enters the tower gate of the temple, one can see a Balipeedam, Dwaja Sthambam and Garuda shrine. There are sudai sculptures of Vinayahar and Kalinga Krishnar at the back wall on either side of the Rajagopura entrance. In the front Mandapam we can see the great Alwars along with Sri Venugopala swamy. A separate sannadhi is present for Sri Ranganayaki thaayar and after the thaayar sannadhi there is Chakkarathalwar sannadhi in the temple. On the Western side of the temple behind the sanctum is a snake hill inside which is believed to reside a snake. The belief is that this snake protects the temple and the devotees who visit here. It is believed that if one lights a ghee lamp for seven Saturdays continuously, their wishes will be fulfilled. If one is afflicted with Nagadosham, it can be absolved by coming round the deity Nagaraja. And near the snake hill, a Pavazha Malli or a Parijatham tree is found which is the sthalam viruksham of the temple. Further, as one moves around they can see the thiruvadi of the Lord and further towards this, Sri Hanuman sannadhi is found.
Devotees visiting this temple will have their hurdles vanished. All obstacles regarding marriages are removed. Good job opportunities are assured. Childless devotees are blessed with children. Temple timings: The Dharshan timings are from 7.00 AM to 12.00 Noon and 4.00 PM to 7.00 PM.
Sri Ranganathar temple, Devadanam.
Inside Temple View: Sri Ranganathar temple, Devadanam.
Sri Bhakta Anjaneya, Ranganatha Swamy temple, Devadhanam.
Grand view of the temple.
Ant hill in Sri Ranganathar temple, Devadanam