Great devotees of Lord Vishnu and Achariyas who spread Sri Vaishnavoom are known as Azhvargal in Tamil. They visited many Lord Vishnu’s temples in course of their time and had sung in praise of the presiding deity of the place. Such sthalas thus visited by Sri Azhvargal is known as Shri Thivia Desam. There are one hundred and eight sthalalas that are frequented by the followers of Sri Vaishnavoom philosophy. The praise in the name of the Lord (the hymn) by these Great saints are known as passuram and sung today by the devotees with great reverence.
Thiruvaheendrapuram, which is known for the influence of Lord Anjaneya’s presence, situated five Kms west of Cuddalore, the historical coastal city, is one among the 108 Divya Desams sanctified by the visit of Alwars. The temple of Lord Devanatha is flanked by the inspring Oushada giri (herbal mountain), an herbal drop from the hands of speeding Anjaneya to the battlefield of Lanka and serpentine holy river Garuda nadhi also known as Ketila River. The importance of the Thiruvaheendrapuram sthala has found place in many Puranas.
This beautiful Ketila River (Garudanadhi) flows through the historical coastal city of Cuddalore. The city of Cuddalore is also known by the name Thirupathiripuliyur. The river flows from North to South in western end of the city. The place is known, as Cuddalore since this river is amalgamating with the Bay of Bengal near this town, cuddal [kudal] [கூடல்] in Tamil means joining. It is natural that this city that is near Thiruvahendrapuram also has the influence of Lord Anjaneya's presence.
Around hundred and twenty years ago a booking clerk by name Sri Srinevasa Iyer was working in the Thirupathiripuliyur railway station. During those days on both the banks of the river there were thick wild growth of shrubs. One fine day Sri Srinevasa Iyer who was a devotee of Lord Sri Rama, dreamt of having seen Lord and was directed to search for the idol of Lord Anjaneya on the banks of river Ketila. The search was organised and the Lord Anjaneya's idol was found on the western bank of the river Ketila. The shrubs around were cleared and the idol was installed in the same place where it was found. The idol was seen by pundits and was named Veera Anjaneya. Sri Srinevasa Iyer constructed small tenement in that very place for Lord Veera Anjaneya with the contribution made by devotees. It is told, he uses to collect quarter of an anna (the then coin-an anna is valued at six paisa of today) from whom ever he knows and started building the temple.
In the mean time the city started developing and more citizens came to know of the temple. The Lord Veera Anjaneya temple started drawing large devotees. Devotees started contributing and the temple was developed in bits and pieces. An undivided family owned the land on which the temple stood. The trust was then formed and the land measuring about 1.05 Acres was purchased during 1982. The temple is measuring eighty-five feet east west and fifty feet in breath. As the temple was built in bits and pieces, it was decided to rebuild the temple with more accommodation and at the same time as a compact complex. It was decided, in order to maintain the sanctity; the location of the original installation of the idol will not disturbed while reconstruction of the temple was undertaken.
Therefore work to this end was started during January 1990 and the present temple construction was finished during 1992. A beautiful arch welcoming and indicating the entrance to the temple had been build on the main road near the ketila river bridge.
A two-minute walk will bring you to the main temple complex entrance and the impressive vimana welcomes you. As you enter from the south in to the complex, you will find the main entrance to the temple in the eastern side. The main idol (moolavar) is seen in ‘ardha shila roopa’ facing the east. Sri Veera Anjaneya Swami of this kshethra is seen walking north and with His right hand in ‘abhaya mudra’ and the left hand is resting on his hips. The 'maha kumbabishekam' was performed on 30th August 1992.
The pujas of this temple is performed as per the 'panchararthra' Agama rules. With the participation of the devotees the Hanumath Jayanthi is performed every year on the new moon day of the 'Markazi' month of the solar calendar. 'Uthsava moorti’ is seen in standing posture with gadha in lift hand and with his right hand offers abhaya to his devotees. Every month on the new moon day the 'uthsava moorti' of Lord Veera Anjaneya is taken in procession around the temple. Sri Rama navami celebrations are conducted for thirteen days and ends up with Anjaneya uthsavam on the following full moon day. The Tamil new years day is celebrated in this temple with lighting up of one lakh oil lamps known as 'lakshadeepa' with the participation of devotees in many numbers, which is unique to this temple.
A visit to this Lord Veera Anjaneya temple in this coastal city will give us an immense pleasure and satisfaction of having seen the Lord who had presented Himself before the devotees and who is a 'patithapavanaa' to bless us with all rightful thing we wish to achieve.
the author is wkg with Puducherry Police
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