Nedungunam Sri Ramar Temple
Close to Vandavasi in Tamilnadu South India is this place called Nedungunam. In this place is the temple for Lord Rama. Here Rama is in a totally different form. Usually, Lord Rama will be in standing form in all temple, but here he is in sitting posture.
History of the temple
There was a rishi called suga Brahma rishi. He prayed that he should see Lord Rama at least once in his lifetime. It is believed that this rishi stayed on the hill close to the temple. To fulfill his wish Lord Rama visited this place. Lord Rama visited this place after he had defeated Ravana. So here Lord Rama is in sitting posture without his bow and arrow. The Lord stayed here for one day. Even till this day, the people of the village say there is evidence of the sage living here.
The architecture of the temple
The temple entrance has the huge gopura. On entering this gopura is an open space. Here to the right and left is two mandapa. The God’s unjal function is kept in these mandapas. The mandapas are made of stone pillars with wonderful architecture. Then there is a second gopura exactly similar to the first gopura. On entering this gopura exactly in front is the main temple of Lord Rama. In the sanctum sanctorum, we are stunned at the entrance itself by the two huge and beautiful Dwarabalahas, sculptured with artistic excellence. They set the mood for us and covey what is in store inside.Here Lord Rama is in sitting posture without his bow and arrow. To the right of Lord Rama is Lakshman in standing posture with his bow and arrow. To the left of the Lord is goddess Seetha.Ramar is uniquely seen as Yoga Ramar sitting in a meditative posture with chin mudhra without His usual Kothandam, a rare posture indeed. Hanumar is sitting in front of Ramar, visible only when you step inside the inner most of the sanctorum. Hanumar is seen reading out the Dharma Shastras to Sukha Brahma Rishi and Ramar is in a pose of listening and giving explanations. On the opposite to the main Lord is the idol of Alwar. Actually, in the beginning, there was the statue of Hanuman here. But ten years back this temple was left unattended then a person called Anna visited this village. After going around the village he decided to rebuild the temple. It was he who told that it should be Alwar and not Hanuman there and made the statue to be removed. They decided to place the statue in a small temple outside the second gopura. But Lord Hanuman came in his dream and told him to place his statue inside the second gopura to the right on entering. This is the temple of Lord Hanuman which you see now. One more wonder is when they started laying the foundation for this Hanuman temple they got another idol of Hanuman there, so now the temple has two idols one behind the other.
The moolavar idol is made of stone and the urchavar idols are made of panchalogam. Actually, there are two urchavar idols. This is because a theft took place in the year 1992. The thief cuts the arm portion of the Lord to check the amount of gold in the idol, but since the gold content of this idol was less than the shiva linga there, the thief took the linga leaving the idol of Lord Rama. So the temple authorities made a new idol for Lord Rama. Just outside the garpagraha, you can go around it by getting down a set of stairs and going around and climbing back. On coming out of the main praharam and going to your left is the temple for goddess Senbagavalli thayar. This temple is also big with a good mandapa. The back of the temple has many trees. Inside the main praharam, we can go around the temple. Here there is a stone pillar corridor recently they had built a small temple for Prasanna Venkata Perumal.
Thayar Sengamalavalli and is connected with the Urchava moorthy Vijaya Raghava Perumal. Like the Dwarabalahas of the Ramar shrine, the Dwarabalahis of the Thayar shrine are also stunningly beautiful.
There are separate shrines for Azhwar, Sri Krishna, Sudharsana along with Yoga Narasimhar as an integral part on its back side. There is also a shrine exclusively for Lord Venkateswara. In a separate shrine, Vaikanasa the preceptor of Vaikanasa agama is seen with four disciples in a corner. There are two idols of Anjaneya one of which was found in a nearby hill.
This temple is 1200 years old. The construction was started by the Pallava rulers but the completion and the temple thirupani was done by king Krishnadevaraya. It has a hill near by if you see in the image you will know. This is the place where the Suga Brahma rishi lived and this hill has the shape of a parrot’s beak because Suga Brahma rishi also had a parrot shaped nose.
Suga Brahma Rishi
In spite of the temple being connected mainly to Suga Brahma Rishi, to my surprise, the idol of Suga Brahma Rishi was not seen anywhere. I was informed that it is so because he is standing as a big hill called Dheerkachala Hill near the temple, visible in a radius of about 5 km. Bhattachar informed that the hill appears exactly as a human with a Parrot face at a particular angle while coming from Chetput to Nedungunam. On top of the hill, the feet of Ramar is present in stone in open without any shrine and can be worshipped at any time of the day.
Sukha Brahma Rishi is a devotee of Lord Shiva as well. Sukhar is an expert in changing forms and once he changed into a parrot. He flew to Kailayam where he saw Lord Shiva was preaching Shiva secrets to Parvathi devi and Sukhar wanted to know the secret. So he was flying around between Lord Shiva and Parvathi Devi. Parvathi Devi got angry and cursed him to be in the Parrot form itself. Sukhar then pleaded pardon and Shiva gave some relief to be in human form but with Parrot face. Sukhar penanced at a place called Thiru Idaiyaru near Sidhalingamadam near Thirukoyilur and got blessed by Shiva. Sukhar has a separate shrine in this temple. Thus Sukha Brahma Rishi is a devotee of Lord Shiva as well as Lord Rama.
Functions in the temple
The main function of this temple is in the Tamil month of panguni a ten days function.
Weekdays morning 7:30-10:00
Saturday and Sunday morning 10:00-12:00
This is the biggest Vaishnava lord Rama temple in the North Arcot district in Tamilnadu South India. Visit the temple at least once in your life time
Slide show about this temple
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