|Ashtamsa Varada Anjaneya Swamy, in Raja Alankaram|
There are several hundreds of temples for Hanuman all over India where the Ramadhootha is seen in different forms and sizes. Whatever be the location, size of the temple or the idol, Lord Hanuman remains a source of strength and a much sought after God for devotees around the world.
Here is a temple where you can see Anjaneya like never before - with eight unique and distinctive features that set him apart from any other Hanuman, rightly called Sri Ashtamsa Varada Anjaneya Swamy!
As I stood before him, he seemed to me like a young child in the family, that parents love to dress up,and dote upon, relatives and friends love to visit and adore, a child so special, that brings joy and happiness to everyone who comes to his doorstep!
|Another form of Raja Alankara!|
The temple is located off the busy Avinashi Road in Coimbatore. The infrastructure is very simple. There is a main shrine for the Ashtamsa Varada Anjaneya Swamy with a Pravachana Mandapam to the left of the temple. So how did this Anjaneya Swamy, the darling of thousands of devotees come to Coimbatore and what do his features signify?
|Swaya Roopa Alankaram|
His Holiness Swamy Haridoss Giri had given the Moola Sri Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Anjaneya Icons and Seetha Rama Shalagrama that were personally worshipped by him to Shri Rajamani Bhattar,of Tirunelveli, from the generation of Sri Vaikanasa, with instructions to worship them with care and devotion every day and when the time came true, to create a unique temple for Sri Hanuman and instal the idols and Shalagrama in the temple.
After searching for an ideal location for 22 years, the temple was finally built in Coimbatore and consecrated on 9th February 2004 and Lord Hanuman with these eight unique features came to bless the world.
In most Hanuman temples, he can be seen with folded hands (Anjali Hastham). However, in this temple, the right hand is seen raised as if to tell his devotees not to fear when He is there to protect them.
2. Left hand that holds a mace (Gathayudha):
The mace in his left hand symbolises that there is no defeat for those who surrender to the Lord. Moreover, the Gatha (mace) destroys the six evils of the mind, namely, Kama (lust), Krotha (anger), Lobha (Greed), Moha (attachment), Mada (pride) and Matsarya (Jealousy) collectively known as the Arishadvargas.
3. Countenance facing West :
The Western ghats are a part of the Sanjeevi Parvatha that Hanuman brought to revive Rama-Lakshmana during the Ramayana war. This mountain range is full of medicinal herbs that can cure any disease. The face of Sri Ashtamsa Varada Anjaneya Swamy is turned towards the West to symbolize worshiping him would cure all physical and mental ailments.
4. Feet facing South:
South is the direction of Yama, the lord of Death. The feet facing South protects devotees from untimely death, and grants them the boon of long, healthy and peaceful life.
|Muthangi (coat of pearls) Alankaram|
5. Tail facing North:
In the Ashtamsa Varada Anjaneya Swamy Temple Coimbatore, the tail of the Lord is fully visible to the devotees. The nine planets that are responsible for a person's happiness, misery, disease and prosperity are found in the tail and worshiping the tail rids one of all the problems connected with horoscope or planetary motion. Moreover, North is the direction of Kubera, the Lord of Wealth. Worshiping the tail, brings prosperity and material success to the devotees.
Lord Shiva's powers known as Rudramsam are embodied within Sri Hanuman.In this temple, Lord Hanuman is found within the shape of a Shivalinga and so worshiping him is equivalent to worshiping Lord Shiva.
Goddess Lakshmi is found within the raised right hand of Sri Hanuman and is willingly waiting to grant all Aishwaryams (wealth) to the devotees.
8. Netra Deekshanyam (Speciality of the Eyes):
The eyes of Sri Hanuman in this temple are special. These beautiful life like compassionate eyes reflect the brightness of the Sun during day and the gentleness of the moon in the evenings. From whichever direction one were to view the Lord, the eyes seem to be looking and providing comfort.
|10,008 Vada Alankaram|
The special feature in this temple is the meticulous way in which the Lord is decorated every day and every occasion. As you would have witnessed through the pictures, the bhattachars, Sri Narayana Bhattachar and his brother Sri Muralidhara Bhattachar, sons of Sri Rajamani Bhattachar, take utmost care and decorate the Lord with love and devotion. Pictures of the various alankarams are uploaded every week in the temple's blog.
Thirumanjanam (Abhishekam) of Lord Hanuman is performed on the day of Moola Star every month. On all other days, thirumanjanam is restricted to the Seetha Rama Shalagrama, worshipped by Swamy Haridoss Giri, that has been placed in a silver cup over Sri Hanuman's head.
The Moola Rama icons are placed in an alcove close to the Lord, and it is believed that Lord Hanuman himself performs Aradhanam (Poojas) to his Master every day.
|Surya Kirana Alankaram|
Severaldevotees throng this temple every day. " Over One lakh people visit during special events like Hanumath Jayanthi", says Sri Narayana Bhattachar. " "We started uploading the photos on the blog to satisfy the thousands of devotees around the world who long to have a look of their favorite Lord in a special alankaram", he continues. Devotees have to wait for as long as six months to perform Raja Alankaram, the most popular alankaram to the Lord that is performed on saturdays. The temple accepts plain sarees with borders on both sides to be used for the dhoti, angavastram and turban during Raja Alankaram and several people lovingly offer the same.
There are no words to describe the commitment and love with which the Bhattachars beautify and worship this Lord who answers all prayers. One such example is the Sugarcane Forest Decoration on Pongal Day.
|Hanuman in a sugarcane forest|
|The Whole temple covered with Sugarcane|
As you can see from the picture, not just the shrine is decorated, but the entire temple is decorated to provide the appropriate effect.
10,008 fruits on Vishu Day:
Tomorrow, Tamil New Year and Vishu Day (13.4.2012) is a special day at the Ashtamsa Varada Anjaneya Swamy Temple, Coimbatore. The Lord is decorated with 10,008 fruits on this day every year. If you happen to be in the vicinity, do make it a point to witness this glorious sight and obtain the blessings of the benevolent Lord.
|10,008 fruits alankaram last year for Vishu|
Address of the temple:
Sri Ashtamsa Sri Varada Anjaneya Swamy Temple,
Avanashi road, Opposite to Esso Petrol Pump,
Near Suguna Kalyana Mandapam, Peelamedu,
Coimbatore 641 004
Morning: 7.30 am to 12 pm
Evening: 5.30 pm to 9 pm
Shri Narayana Bhattachar - 94874 84624
Shri Muralidhara Bhattachar - 94433 34624
My special thanks to Shri Narayana Bhattachar for sharing all the wonderful details about the temple despite his extremely busy schedule and for graciously allowing me to use the pictures of the temple from the temple's blog.