Adhi Kesava Perumal temple Sriperumbudur
This temple is present about 20 km from the outskirts of Chennai, Tamilnadu, South India in the town of Sriperumbudur. The main deity of this temple is lord Vishnu and it is the birth place of saint Ramanuja whose idol is also prayed in this temple. This temple is almost 1000 years old.
History of this temple
The Boodha ganas of lord Shiva was cursed by lord Shiva so they approached lord Vishnu to release them from the curse. Lord Vishnu asked his serpent Ananha to make a sacred pond. This pond was named Anantha Saras Theertham. Lord Vishnu appeared in front of the boodha ganas on the bank of this temple and blessed them and asked them to take bath in the tank. They did so and they got relieved from their sins. So they erected a temple here as thanksgiving to the lord. Hence this place is also called Boodhapuri
Once king Haritha Maharaja grandson of King Ambareesha was on a hunting expedition. There he saw a tiger attacking a cow. In order to save the cow he tried to kill the tiger but in the event, he also killed the cow. He became sad and was distressed since killing a cow is a great sin. Then a divine voice told him to come to this temple and take bath in the Anantha Saras Theertham. The king did as told and got relieved from his sin. Then Lord appeared before him and told all these years you were Kshatriya and due to my blessings now you will become Brahmin and henceforth your descendants also will become Brahmin (even today his decedents are from his Gothra and they are known as Haritha Gothra). Then Haritha Maharaja rebuilds the Adhi Kesava temple and does concretion of the temple on an auspicious day, then he hears the Divine voice ( career) that in near future great Soul will be born in your Vamsa ( Descendant) who will lead the world to greater height of Gyana and Bhakti and that Great Soul is none other than our Beloved Udayavar.
Story of Ramanuja
Saint Ramanuja was born in this place to Asuri Keshavachar and Kandhimathi. He traveled to all places in India to preach the Vishistadwaita. Few days before his death his disciple Mudhaliandan’s Son Kanthadai Annan got an idol of Ramanuja and gave it to the saint. The saint hugged the idol and transferred all his power to the idol and asked his desciple to install the idol in the temple. This is the idol we see now in the temple. This idol is made of 5 metals gold, silver, bronze, copper and iron. In this place, the idol is called Thaan Ugantha Thirumeni (image sanctified by Ramanuja himself) while Thaan Ana Thirumeni (the original body of Saint Ramanuja) is still preserved in his samadhi (tomb) at Srirangam.
The architecture of the temple
The Golden Mandap stands majestically in front of Sri Ramanuja shrine built by the Maharaja of Mysore. There are four Kalasas representing the four Vedas with Lord Paravasudeva Perumal, Sri Ranganathan under the Kalasas. Still below are Namperumal with Sridevi and Bhoodevi, Garuda the eagle vehicle of Lord Vishnu and Dwarapalakas. The mandap looks like a separate temple by itself within a temple.
In front of the temple there are the 16 pillars and 4 pillared mandapas From this mandapam is the main entrance. The entrance door is made of wood and is huge and heavy. On entering the temple On the right is the Kudaraikal Mandapam (horse-leg hall) and next to it is the Thanga (gold) Mandapam that has a grand entrance leading to the shrine of Acharya Ramanuja. Straight on entering is the main praharam for saint Ramanujar. To the left is the praharam for lord Vishnu with his consort Seedhevi and Poodhevi. On entering the praharam to the right are many idols of the Nayanmars.
Inside the praharam, the urchavar and moolavar idols are there for lord Vishnu and his consorts Seedhevi and Poodhevi. The moolavar idol is made of stone and the urchavar idol is made of brass. The Moolavar idol is about 10 feet tall. On coming out of the praharam and if we go around to the left of the main praharam is a small praharam for namalvar, Madhurakavialwar, and Nadhamunivar. To the right of the main praharam is a small praharam for goddess Andal.
On coming out of this praharam back into the entrance mandapam and going around we have the temple of the goddess. Here the goddess is called Ethirajanathavalli Thayar. Ongoing more to the right along the compound corridor we come across the temple for lord Ram along with his consort Seetha and brother Lakshman and Devotee Hanuman.
The beauty of this temple is its exquisite architecture, Usually, in temples, the main gopuram and some few pillars around the main deity will be having exquisite architecture but here right from the entrance mandapam to the interior of the temple all the pillars have an explicit architecture. Each pillar has idols on all four side with great and wonderful carvings. In the pillars, notable carvings are the lion-faced pillars or yazhi which are really huge and nice. Some of the common idols in the pillars are that of a swan, Lord Ram, dancing damsels, Lord Hanuman and Narthana Krishna. The madam around the main praharam each will look like a temple entrance. One has to visit this temple for this architecture
In front of the temple is a mandapam for Ramanujan. Here there was originally the house of Ramanujar. This mandapam was made by Ramanujan to commemorate his disciples who read the Vedas well. This mandapam has 100 pillars and each pillar has one idol of each of the best disciple of Ramanuja.
The temple also maintains animals like elephant, camel, and goats.
The main Gopuram at the entrance is huge with many nice and beautiful idols. the temple has no swarga vasal because people think that by praying to saint Ramanuja they can go straight to Vaikuntam or the abode of lord Vishnu.
The goodness of this temple
The Specialty of this Temple and Vigraham is Eravadai Theertham. Here they do Thirumanjanam to Lord Ramanuja daily then after the Thirumanjanam the cloth which Lord is wearing is squeezed and-and collected in Vatil and given as Prasadam to devotees, it is said it is capable of curing Skin diseases, Beget progeny for Issueless couples, and also cures many other ailments like cancer etc. If you take bath in Ananthah Sarasu you will get rid of Rahu Kethu Dosham , Also you can light a Ghee lamp. Every Thiruvadurai Star people come in large number and witness the Milk Thirumanjanam get the blessings of Udayavar.
Festivals of the temple
Masi Pooram in February-March and Panguni Uthiram in March-April are the important festivals of the temple. On the last Friday of Panguni (March-April) or on the last Friday of Chithirai, Tirumanjanam is simultaneously performed for Lord Adikesava Perumal, Mother Yathiraja Valli, Sri Andal and Acharya Sri Ramanuja.
Timing and address of the temple
The temple is open from 6.30 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m and the address is Sri Adikesava Perumal Temple, Sriperumbudur-602 105, Kancheepuram district.
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