This is a name of a village in Rajupalem Madel, Kadapa District of Andhra Pradesh. In Telugu Vellala or Yellala means ‘I had to go’. Before we go into the details as to why this place is called so, let us go to the place.
Proddatur is the nearest famous place to this village and is nearly twenty three kilo meters. One can reach this village from Chagalamarri [in Kadapa – Kurnool route] and is eight kilometers from Chagalamarri.
Vellala is an extremely pleasant and beautiful village on the Kumudavathi River bank. Presently the river is known by the name Kundu River. The splashy green everywhere welcomes and greets the visitors to the village. The Kundu River originates in Orvakal of Kurnool District and confluences with the Penna River in Kadapa District. The river is known for carrying the flood water from many other rivers. Therefore during summer it carries less water and in the rainy season it is flooded.
The village is more popular in the hearts of devotees of Sri Hanuman because of the ancient temple for the Lord located in this village. Lord of the kshetra is known by the name Sri Sanjeevaraya Swami. Many devotees from nearby districts and people from Karnataka even visit this temple and have dharshan of the Lord. After all it was this Lord Sri Sanjeevaraya who had got this village named ‘vellala’.
During Sri Rama – Ravana war, Lakshmana was injured and fell unconscious. To bring him back from the unconscious state few medical herbs were required. Those herbs were told to be beyond the Himalayas. Sri Hanuman was ordained by Sri Rama to bring those medical herbs within short time. Sri Hanuman went leaping and got the mountain of herbs and was returning to Lanka. During the sandya time [sunset time], to offer prayers for Surya, He interrupted His journey in the bank of Kumudavathi. While He was performing His Sandya vandhan, devas and rishis came to witness His miraculous act of bringing the entire mountain. No sooner He finished His prayers, He was to leap again in the air. The rishis who were on the banks of the river requested the Lord to stay back in the kshetra itself, to which Lord told them since he is on the mission of Sri Rama, he ‘had to go’ [vellala villa vellala – in Telugu] and promised to come back to this kshetra.
Later during fifteenth century this place was under the rule of governors of Vijayanagar known as Nayakas. During this time one Sri Hanumath Mallu an army chieftain came to this place for hunting. He fell sick while on sujorn and was compelled to stay at the village Vellala. While on camp at this place one day he was given a divine direction that he should bring to bank the statue of Sri Hanuman from inside the Kumudavathi River.
Chieftain sent his men in search of the statue in the waters of Kumudavathi River, although he was sick he supervised the operation. After a long search they could locate the statue of Sri Hanuman in the River. He had then arranged installation of the statue among the chanting of manthras and as per the prescribed rules ‘prana pradeshta’ of the staute was conducted. From then on Sri Hanuman of this kshetra bestowed all the blessings to His devotees.
Later when the karunya of Lord Sri Sanjeevaraya spread, a befitting temple was built for the Lord. Later rulers added more and expanded the temple. The temple is on the outskirts of the village and at the side of the main road leading from Proddatur to Allagadda. Today the temple welcomes the devotees with an imposing five tier Rajagopuram. Entering the main Rajagopuram to the outer prakara, one can see the Stone dwaja stampa of this temple which is special signature of Vijanagara style. Sri Ganesha and Sri Anjaneya are sculptured in the dwaja stampa. The stala purana of this kshetra written in Telugu is also seen here. The outer wall of the main temple is surrounded with a plateform supported by stone pillers. As one enters through the muka dwara which has an arch decorated with figures of Sri Rama, Sita, Siva, Brahma all of them showing abhya mudra.
As one enters the mukha dwara the main mandapam and Garbhagraham could be seen. In the arch above the main mandapam Sri Anjaneya with folded hand in Sindura verna can be seen. From the main mandapam one can see the main deity.
Only if one stands nearer to entrance of the Garbhagraham one can see the main deity Sri Sanjeevaraya in full. The gigantic posture of Sri Sanjeevaraya is a feast to the eyes. Lord’s murthi is sixteen feet tall. In His gold like feet has nuupuram and in His ankle the Thandai adores. His left leg forward as He moves to the enemy territory to destruct the power of enemy. Lords is seen wearing peethambaram in kacham style, which is highly ornamented. He is wearing ornamental waist band. His long tail is raised above His head. With His right hand Lord is assuring the devotees not to fear through ‘abhya’ mudra. His left hand is resting on the hip holding the weapon ‘Gadha’ and in the kankana adorns the wrists. His utriyam is shown flowing. His chest is adorned with many malas and other ornamental chains and one of them has Sri Rama and Sri Sita embossed locket. His flowing hair is locked neatly.
His eyes are glowing and mesmerising showering blessing in aboundands assuring His devotees a pleasant wishes.
Bramhotsavam celebrations of Vellala Sri Sanjeevaraya Swany is conducted during the vaisaka month of lunar calander. Swamy is taken on procession on a chariot during this time and ‘tirthavari’ in the Kumudavathi River is done. This function is well attended by the devotees of Sri Sanjeevaraya.
In the temple complex there are uppalaya for Sri Lakshmi sametha Sri Chennakesava Swamy, Sri Parvathi sametha Sri Bheema Lingeswara Swany, Veerabhadra Swamy, Vinayaka Swamy and Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy.
Devotees from outstation can stay in the guest rooms provided by the temple authorities. There other free guest rooms provided by other charitable organisations.
A visit to this magnetic kshetra and dharshan of gignatic Sri Sanjeevaraya will sure to bring to fore the thrust in you to cleans yourself and is sure to bring you to this kshetra again.
*The author is an officer working with LIC, Cuddapah
other article by the same author
Jool Hanuman, Cuddapah
Ed [May 2013]
information : Sri Y. Sanjeeva rayudu, Kadapa
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