SRI RAN­GANATHAR TEM­PLE, DE­VADANAM

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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.

Tem­ple his­tory:

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.

Sanc­tum sanc­to­rum:

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:

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.

Tem­ple Sig­nif­i­cance:

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

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