Saturday, January 5, 2019

Palatrangarai Veera Anjaneya Swamy!

Hanuman, Anjaneyar, Anjana Maindhan, Vayuputra, Bajrang Bali, Mukhya Prana Devaru, and Siriya Thiruvadi - Many names, one diety! The embodiment of devotion, loyalty, valour, strength and super power!

For many years, I had heard about this temple where Hanuman sleeps between two rocks in the middle of Palar river. However, attempts made to visit did not fructify easily. Maybe He wanted to test my patience and intent. Finally, made it a few months ago.

The picturesque settings of the Palatrangarai Anjaneya Swamy Temple
The temple is located in extremely picturesque settings on the banks of the Palar river on the foothills of the Govinda and Thadakachi Hills in Pollachi district of Tamil Nadu. There is an arch on the main road that leads to the Aliyar Dam, guiding visitors to the temple. The sound of flowing water on either side of the access calms one's senses and prepares them for worship. One can see joyous children and families squealing with laughter and jumping about in the crystal clear waters that lap around their ankles.

The rustic settings with a mild drizzle around the temple

The legend of this temple mentions that while Hanuman was carrying the Sanjeevi Parvatha to the war site in Sri Lanka, he stopped by here to rest. When he saw water between two rocks, he bent down to look at it, in order to refresh himself. His reflection stayed as an impression on the rock below.  Water continued to flow over the rock over several hundred years and when it finally started to recede, the impression was discovered. There is also another version of the legend which mentions that this was one of the 729 Hanumans created by Saint Vyasaraja, the Raja Guru of the Vijayanagara Empire and the previous avatara of Sri Raghavendraswamy. Saint Vyasaraja, had the ability to draw the form of Hanuman on a rock using his Angarakatti, which would then turn into a 2D carving. 

A temple has been built over the Swayambu Hanuman about 500 - 600 years ago.  Today it is a modern temple, maintained very well.

Twin Hanumans in the Sanctum Sanctorum
Since the image of the Swayambu Hanuman is on the floor of the sanctum and hence not visible clearly to the devotees, another Hanuman has been installed over him. The stone for making this standing Veera Hanuman has been brought from Marunthuvazh Malai, on the Southern most tip of the Western Ghats in Kanyakumari district. Marunthuvazh Malai is believed to be a portion of the Sanjeevi Parvatha, that broke off while Hanuman carried it to revive Lakshmana during the war with Ravana's forces. Even today Marunthuvazh Malai, has a huge number of unique herbal plants and creepers with medicinal capacities, capable of curing several ailments. The stone brought from Marunthuvazh Malai also has the ingrained healing capacities and therefore, it is not only blessed to have been carried by Sri Hanuman himself, but is also generating relief to those who seek him to be relieved of their illnesses.

The standing Veera Hanuman is seen with Abhaya hastha. the other arm on his hip, and holding a mace. His tail is found in a loop over his head. His face faces the direction of Lanka, says the priest.

Normally, Hanuman would be seen as a sub-deity in a Vaishnavaite shrine. But here, since the whole temple was built over his manifested form, he is the main deity. Water from the Palar still seeps around the swayambu Anjaneya swamy within the sanctum. Having two Hanumans, one over another in the sanctum, enhances the divinity of the sanctified space and people say that prayers of marriage, child birth and most importantly, good health, debt relief and fear of enemies are definitely answered. Devotees offer three garlands to Anjaneya while praying to him - namely, Tulasi, Betel Leaf and Vada. Once their prayers are answered, they offer special abhishekams, beaten rice with jaggery (Vella Aval) and smear the deity with butter (Vennai Kappu).

Apart from the main deity, there are seperate shrines for Yoga Narasimha, Chakrathazhwar and Vinayaka with two faces. Usually one would find Rama in Hanuman's temple. However, here only his feet have been installed.

Hanumad Jayanthi, Aadi and Thai Amavasya and Saturdays are special days at the temple. Yet another significant feature here is the annadhanam. Meals are served every day from 12.30 pm and one has to experience the lovely hospitality and tasty food. We were invited to partake of the food, as though we were guests to the house. The food was simple, extremely tasty and served with such love and devotion.

Ramar Padham

So if you happen to me around Anaimalai, Top Slip or Pollachi, do swing by to this surreal little temple that is guaranteed to bring solace to the soul !

How to get here:

Palattrangarai is situated on the road to Aliyar Dam,  not very far from the Masaniamman Temple. It is also on the way to Samathur Palace and Top Slip. Regular bus services are available from Pollachi upto the arch and one has to walk about a kilometre from the arch to reach the temple. Cars and two wheelers can ply close to the temple.

Temple Timings: 7 am to 6 pm

Contact : Archakar 98657 86001

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