SANJEEVIRAYAN ALIAS SRI RAMA BAKTHA ANJANEYAR TEMPLE, SAIDAPET, CHENNAI....
Saidapet is located in the banks of river Adyar and is a part of the Chennai corporation, presently. Before the extension of the city limits this was part of Changalput District. Before that this pace was once under the rule of Saiyad Khan and he had named the place after him as "Saiyad Khan Pettai", subsequently the name Saidaipettai and now Saidapet. Well before this, it was under the rule of Emperor Sri Krishnadevaraya dynasty and Sri Desai was the local chieftain representing the Emperor.
Temple for Lords in Saidapet
As Vijayanagar dynasty representative, Sri Desai had been governing this area. He had built a beautiful temple for Sri Rama with his concert. The four pillared mandapam in front of the temple is a testimony to the influence of the Vijayanagara rulers. The place gets its name from the temple and the presiding deity of the area, as a normal practice. This place then was known as Sri Raghunathapuram after Sri Kothanda Ramar the presiding deity of the temple. Adjoining areas were known as Thirukaraneeswaram , after Thirukaraneeswar (Lord Siva) and Thirunaaraiyur, after Sowindhiswaran.
Temple of Sri Rama and Sri Anjaneya
The temple for Sri Rama is placed in the center of the locality. Lord Kothanda Ramar along with Sri Sita Devi and Sri Lakshmanan are facing South towards the Adyar river. On the banks of the river around half kilo meter away stands a small beautiful temple for Lord Anjaneya. Lord Anjaneya of this temple is facing Lord Kothanda Ramar with anjali hasta (folded hands). Originally when the main temple for Lord Kothanda Ramar was built around four hundred years or so, the Anjaneya should have been seen praying to His Lord with the open space between these two temples. Today these have become two different temples. Presently the perpendicular road linking these two temples is known as Anjaneyar Koil Street. In the main temple, even today one can see a small window opening just opposite to the Lord Kothanda Ramar sannadhi for uninterrupted view of the Lord and His devotee.
Temple for Sri Anjaneya
As the distance between these two temples were getting filled with population, the temple of Lord Anjaneya and Sri Rama became separate entity. Around two hundred years back a small sannadhi for Lord Anjaneya was built opposite to the Lord Ramar sannadhi in the main temple itself. Around sixty years back a small Ramar sannadhi was built in temple of Lord Anjaneya.
Temple of Rama becomes temple of Perumal
Around the time when sannadhi for Lord Anjaneya was built in the main temple, another sannadhi for Lord Vishnu was also built facing East. Lord Narasimha of Triplicane (Sri Tulasinga Perumal of Triplicane)had since visited this temple during that time, the Lord Vishnu of this temple is known as "Sri Pressana Venkata Narasimha Perumal". Two mandapams one north of the temple and the other east of the temple were also built marking the boundaries of the "Sri Raghunathapuram". The main temple came to be known as "Perumal Koil", since there are two presiding deity in the temple. The Lord Anjaneya was then installed as the presiding deity in the ula mandapam just half kilo meter east of Perumal temple. Lord Anjaneya was recently installed as the presiding deity in the Gangai kondan mandapam half kilo meter north of the Perumal temple. The presiding deities of the Perumal temple visit all these three temples of Lord Anjaneya during the festivals.
Oldest temple of Lord Anjaneya in Chennai
The temple for Lord Anjaneya in the banks of river Adyar is one of the oldest temple built by the rulers of Vijayanagar dynasty, in the present Chennai. This simple looking temple where Lord Anjaneya is the presiding deity had been built around four hundred years ago. Lord is seen facing North towards the Perumal Koil where Lord Kothanda Ramar is facing South and giving dharshan to His devotee. The Lord is seen with folded hand as a Baktha Anjaneya. The Lord though seen as small made the grace He showers on the devotees is large and He wipes out our sorrows when worshipped.
During the British raj the then Governor of Madras Province had given 1.35 acres of land around the temple in 1862 officially to the management. Today the temple complex has a small sannadhi for Durga, Iyeappan and Ganapati. Sannadhi for Ramar near Lord Lord Anjaneya, and Lord Garuda just opposite to Lord Rama. The pupel tree in the complex adds to the serene atmosphere of the temple on the banks of river Adyar. In the evening time devotees assemble here to chant the name of the Lord. Originally known as Sanjivirayan temple, presently it is known as Rama Baktha Anjaneyar temple.
A visit to this old temple in an evening will convince you that Lord will be with you when called from the heart.
[Ed. April 2007