Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sri Panchamukhi Temple, Ganadhal

Panchamukhi Cave Temple
Panchamukhi Hanuman Temple is found to the north of Mantralaya, the Jeeva Samadhi of Saint Sri Raghavendra across the river Tungabadhra. It is 2 km away from Ganadhal in Gillesugur Mandal. This temple is also very close to Bhikshalaya or Bichale as it is locally called.

Saint Sri Raghavendra Swamy did penance for 12 years in the cave inside the temple, wherein Lord Hanuman appeared to him as Panchamukhi and told him that he should attain samadhi at the place where Prahalada ( Sri Raghavendra in his former birth - Prahalada - Pahlikaraja- Vyasaraja- Raghavendra) had performed yagna. This was the reason why Sri Raghavendra chose Manchala Village for brindavana pravesa and asked Nawab Siddhi Masood Khan to donate it to him. The cave contains the naturally formed Panchamukha where the Lord appeared to Sri Raghavendra along with Lakshmi Venkateswara and Rudra. There is a brindavana placed inside the cave at the spot where Sri Raghavendra meditated for twelve years.

Inside the Panchamukhi Cave temple - the natural impression of the
five faces denoted by sandal paste

The legend of Panchamukhi is interesting and dates back to the Ramayana days. Lord Hanuman went into Pathala Lokha to kill Mahiravana who had kept Rama and Lakshmana as prisoners there. The only way to kill him was to swallow the five bees that held his life at the same time. To do this, Hanuman required five faces. The Lord granted his wish and each face was an amsam of Lord Vishnu, the faces being Garuda, Ugra Narasimha, Varaha, Hayagriva and his own face. When Mahiravana had taken Rama and Lakshmana to Pathalaloka, Hanuman did not know how to go there. Vibhishana told him that there were only two ways to get there - one through the palace of Ravana and the other through a cave in Dandakaranya guarded by a Goddess named Yerukalamba. Hanuman came to Dandakaranya and found the cave and asked the Goddess to help him to kill Mahiravana. The Goddess asked him to take the help of Chandrasena, who was an ardent devotee of Sri Rama and had been held captive by Mahiravana. It was Chandrasena who told Hanuman where Mahiravana's life source lay and how he could kill him. Once Rama and Lakshmana were saved from Pathalaloka, Hanuman thanked Yerukalamba and told her that the place would come to be known as Panchamukhi and she would continue to guard it.

Goddess Yerukalamba
Natural Aerial Vehicle
Natural Bed and Pillow of Hanuman
Hanuman's Gadhaayudha
It is a beautiful cave, serene and calm, surrounded by rocky terrain. There is a natural pushpakavimana said to have been used by Hanuman and a natural bed and pillow where the Lord used to sleep on. One unique feature in this temple, is the huge pair of slippers made for Hanuman. It is being done by the Bheemiah family of Kerebudur. It is believed that Hanuman himself gave the size for the slippers to be made by appearing in his dream and asking him to heap mud in a particular place. He did as instructed and found Hanuman's footprint in the wet mud the next day and made slippers to that size. For generations, his family has been making footwear for the Lord. Each pair lasts five years after which it is replaced. It is believed that every morning when the Poojari opens the shrine where they are kept, he finds grass, mud and abrasions on the slippers, evidence that Hanuman wears them over night and patrols around the temple. The Gadhayudha used by Hanuman is also kept here.


Hanuman's footwear placed in a seperate shrine


Goddess Yerukalamba shrine is also found behind the Panchamukhi temple. She is the guarding deity and people throng her shrine too offering bangles and flowers. If you are blessed to visit Mantralaya, do take the effort to visit Panchamukhi as well. It is an amazing temple!
Impression of Hanuman's feet on the wet mud

9 comments:

  1. Excellent info on this temple !!Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much..do visit the blog and offer your feedback whenever you find time!

    ReplyDelete
  3. good,interesting,will try to visit next time.keep writing.,expand,,,

    ReplyDelete
  4. 'naturally ariel vehicle' sign looks great on the beautiful rock. Why do they think they need to do that?

    ReplyDelete
  5. woops, I mixed you up w another Aalayam in Picasa. But your blog is great.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dear Injamaven,

    Thanks for your feedback. Do visit the blog when u find time

    Regards
    Priya

    ReplyDelete
  7. i visited this shrine 3 years ago, but failed to take my camera. very happy to recall the places i had visited. thank you very much.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you Mr.Nithendran. I am glad you were able to relate to your visit. Regards Priya

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank You very good information.
    but one thing is missing
    Every Srirama Navami there is yearly festival called 'Jathara" that day instant made chariate (Theru) is pulled with Anjeneya swamy from Ghanadal to Temple and Back. That day night u can find big market and many devotees.
    this time total our family were attended this festival.

    ReplyDelete