SRI ANJANEYA SWAMI, HANUMARAMBALAM, PAYYANUR, KERALA...
Shree Raghavapuram, Payyanur
Shree Raghavapuram is situated in the valley of Cheruthazham village near Payyanur town, opposite to the hills 'Ezhimala'. Though the place had been named as Shree Raghavapuram, it is popularly known as 'Hanumarambalm'. There is a small beautiful Shree Rama temple here which is one of the most ancient and famous Vaishnava temples of northern Kerala.
It is a popular belief that this temple got its name Hanumarambalam, in order to express the love Shree Ramachandra's and Shree Sita Devi's towards Shree Hanuman and also to denote the divine love of Shree Hanuman had for Shree Ramachandra and Shree Sita. It is also said that the pooja performed for Shree Hanuman shall be considered as the pooja performed for Shree Ramachandra Himself. Therefore it is relevant that the poojas performed to Shree Hanuman is pleasing to Shree Ramachandra Swami also.
The original temple is believed to have been built by Mooshaka dynasty centuries ago and later Shri Udaya Varma Kolathiri during his rule had renovated the temple in the 8th Century. He had brought 237 scholarly Brahmin families from Gokarna kshethra present Tulu speaking area under Karnataka. These scholars were settled in five villages including Cheruthazham, Kunnaru, Arathilpuracheeri, Kullapuram etc. The village Cheruthazham includes places namely Sri Raghavapuram, Sri Krishnapuram, Udayapuram.
Then the main temple where idol of Shree Ramachandra was originally installed was east facing. As per the ancient annotation the original idol of Shree Ramachandra was depicting the mood of the Lord as was during the battle (Rama-Ravana yudha). It was felt during that time, that population residing on the Eastern side of the temple were experiencing lot of hardship.
On conducting 'prashnam' it was decided to open a doorway for the temple on the western side facing 'Ezhimala', and to shut the doorway facing eastern side and also to reinstall (punarpadishta) Shree Ramachandra with Shree Sita Devi along with Shree Lakshma. Accordingly the eastern doorway is even now closed, and Shree Ramachandra along with His concert was installed.
In the 'prashnam', it was seen that the 'Devasannithyam' (the presense of the Deva) of the temple dates back to the 'threthayugam'. It is believed that during the Rama-Ravana yudham at Lanka, when Shree Hanuman carried the 'Aushdha Shailam' (Mountain with Mridhasanjeevani) to Lanka for giving life to Lakshmana, a piece of the mountain broke and fell down from His hands at this place (where the temple is located) and thus the 'Ezhimala' was formed. From that time itself the presence or the Chaitanya of Shree Hanuman and Shree Ramaswami was felt and experienced here.
The temple is the abode of Shree Ramachandra with Shree Sita Devi ('parivarasametham'). People from very remote places also come over to this temple to seek the blessings of the Lord Hanuman. In one sense the very existence of this temple became possible only due to Shree Anjaneya Swami since the protection of this temple also is vested in the hands of the Lord Shree Hanuman.
The temple is the abode of Shree Ramachandra with Shree Sita Devi. With Shree Ramachandra and Shree Sita Devi as the main deity of the temple, the devoted brother Lakshmana is also seen. Normally Shree Lakshman is not seen in same pedestal with his Lord Rama, but the uniqueness of this temple is that all these three are on the same pedestal.
Shree Hanuman's temple
Shree Hanuman's temple is located inside the 'Naalambalam' at the 'Vaayu mula' (Northwest corner) of the main 'Shree Koil' of the temple. There is a unique feature of this temple is the presence of a 'Shree Koil' for Lord Shiva just outside the Nalambalam. Lord is facing the west, and 'Shanta Shiva Prathshta' is the importance of the idol. On to the western side of the Lord Siva temple there is a 'Shree Koil' for Shree Durga Devi. Earlier there was no idol for Shree Durga (Bhimba pratishta) and there was only 'Peedha pradishta' for Her.
Festivals and Traditions
Every year in the month of Makaram (21st to 25th) of Indian solar calendar temple Mahotsavam is celebrated. The festival is well attended by the devotees and is famous in the north Karala. During the festival the idols (uthsavamoorthi) of Shree Parameshwara, Shree Ramachandra, Sree Hanuman, Shree Durga are carried on the heads of 'Brahmana shreshtas' at a time and the special dance is performed. This deva vigraha dance known, as 'Thidambu Nrithyam' is not common to any other temple.
The offering of "Avil" (rice flake) to Lord Anjaneya Swami is famous in this temple. The offering is normally done only in the evening between four and 'sayaraksha'. It is said that Lord Hanuman who is always meditating upon Shri Ramachandra Swami will be giving audience during this time without any hindrance to His meditation upon His Lord.
The greatest 'Shree Ramabaktha', Lord Anjaneya is meditating upon His Lord Shree Rama all the time. His Lord had devoted the name of His temple itself in the name of His Baktha, as 'Hanumarambalam'. Great are Shree Rama and His Baktha both waiting for their devotees in this kshethra, to bestow on them their love and show the path of love.