Adhanur is a small village near Swamimalai. The Diyva Desam temple of this kshetra is surrounded by rice fields. It is pleasant to the eyes and offering of prayers or meditating upon the deity at this temple is sure to give the devotees a new experience.
Adira~Nkeshvaram vante pATali vana samastitam
agni, brugu, kAmadhenubyo tattAbiitam dhayAntiram
vimAne praNave ra~Nka nAyakyA su sa mAcharitam surya
puShkarnii deere sheShasyopari sAyinam
The above sloka narrates the legend of the Divya Desam of Aadhanur. Firstly it states that this place as ‘Adi Rangeshvaram’ which means that this place is older than the SriRangam near Trichy.
The legend of this temple had been described in the Brihmaanda Puranam. “Aa” means cow. Since Kamadenu [legendary holy cow] had meditated upon Lord Vishnu at this place and hence this place derives the name “aa+than+urr” - Adhanur. The legend says that sage Brigu gave Indra a garland presented to him by Lord Vishnu and Mahalakshmi. Indra without knowing the sacredness of the garland had used the same for garlanding his elephant Iravatha. Iravatha took it out and throws it. Sage Brigu got angry on this and curses Indra. When Indra sought rependance for his act to Lord Vishnu, Sri Mahalakshmi told him that he will get rid of the curse when she marries Lord Vishnu, as Bargavi - daughter of Sage Brigu. Lord Vishnu of this kshetra had given dharshan to Indra and got him rid of the curse. Sri Agni who was suffering of a sin, also had dharshan of Lord of this kshetra and got rid of the sin. It is Sage Brigu who had installed the deity of this kshetra.
The vimana of this temple is ‘pranava vimanam’. Lord of this kshetra is Andulakkum Ayyan and he is seen reclined on the Adishesha, Thayar is Bargavi, mandira peedeswari Kamalavasini, Ranganayaki. Punnai and Paatali are the kshetra plants, theertham is surya theertham.
The Lord of this kshetra is known by the name “Andulakkum Ayyan” is seen in a reclined posture with a measuring jar as pillow and palm leaf and a writing instrument in His hand. There is an interesting legend as to how the Lord got this name and why He is seen in this posture.
Tirumangai Azhwar is one of the twelve Azhwars who had sung hymn in praise of Lord Vishnu. He was renovating the Srirangam temple. He had exhausted all the money he had during the renovation of Srirangam temple. He was short of money to pay the wages for the workers. He prayed to Lord for money. Lord directed him to a place on the banks of Kollidam and asked Azhwar to come there to collect the money. Azhwar found a trader there wearing a turban holding a measuring bowl (marakkal), palm leaf and writting instrument (Ezhuthani). The trader told Azhwar that Lord Ranganatha had sent him to help Azhwar and asked him his need. Tirumangai required money from him to pay wages for the workers. The trader said that he had no money but the Marakkal he had would fulfill the need. He told that he could measure the sand by this bowl and give it as wages. For the worker who had worked sincerely the wages will be in gold and for insincere workers it will be only sand measured by the bowl. Azhwar accepted the condition. Many got their wages as sand only. The workers felt that the trader was a magician and began to attack him. The Lord who was in the disguise of trader decided to give dharshan to Azhwar and began to run, Tirumangai Azhwar chased him. The trader stopped at this place and the trader-Lord appeared in His true form with writing palm leaf and with the Ezhuthani.
Since the Lord had given the benefits according to the sincerty in a measured manner, Lord of the kshetra is called “Andu Allakkum Ayyan”.
Both these kshetras are located between river Cauvery and Cullrum.
According to scriptures, there are two pillars in the Paramapata, Abode of Lord Vishnu. Jeevas would be relieved of their sins if they embrace these pillars while going up. There are two such pillars in this temple in the Arthamandapa. Devotees use to circumambulate the pillars in even numbers and worship the feet and head of Lord to attain salvation. Of all the Divya Deasam in Bharat, these two “manathoon” are present only at Srirangam and Adhanur kshetram.
It is that this temple also had seven tirumathil [great walls] as in Srirangam.
Once there was floods in Kaveri [in Tamil paralence it is known as ‘Kaveri pralayam’ meaning Kaveri deluge] and the areas near this place were washed away. The other divya desam Jakath Rakshaka Perumal Temple or Thirukoodalur or Aduthurai Perumal kovil was also affected by these floods and it was reconstructed by Rani Mangamma of Madurai. In the same way this divya desam it is said had been reconstructed by Raja of Kashmir. Since it is said that this temple also had seven tirumathil it is possible that the surrounding area might have been affected by the then ‘deluge of Kaveri’. Hence this temple is now seen surrounded by paddy fields. But there is a shrine which is standing alone in the surronding amidst the paddy field separated from this temple.
The shrine is in the north-east direction of divya desam and is at a distance just less than a kilo meter. The east facing shrine is very small in size. The shrine is of Sri Anjaneya. There is no other shrine within the vicinity of Anduallakkum Ayyan temple. This also raises the doubt that this shrine should have been once a part of the seven tirumathil Anduallakkum Ayyan temple. Even now this shrine is part of Anduallakkum Ayyan temple.
A simple ten feet width twenty feet length hall makes the temple. The building is adjoining the road itself. There is a stone which has the impression of Sri Rama’s foot print just outside the hall. Devotees offer their prayer here to Sri Rama before entering the shrine. The hall is divided into two and one in the front is where devotees have to stand. The other is the Garbhagraham where the deity is.
Sri Anjaneya is facing east and seen walking north. The deity is about seven feet tall and is a fully sculpured figure. The first sight of the deity itself will arrest the eyes of the devotees and will keep us riveted on Sri Anjaneya. The first thing that attracts the attention is the tail of the Lord seen above the head in a coiled form. In the centre of the coil one could see a chakra with twelve petals. Lord is seen wearing an ornament known as ‘rakkoti’- a jewel in a crest, which He is wearing on the top of the neatly tied kesam. Kundalam [ear ring] is long which just touches the shoulders. His eyes are showering blessings to the devotee. With His raised right hand Lord tells the devotees there is nothing to fear at [abhaya].
With all these Sri Anjaneya is pleasing to the eyes. Pleasantness engulfs the devotee on the very sight of the Lord in this kshetra. It is no wonder the Lord of this kshetra is call “Sudarshana”, for it means “sight of which is auspicious”.
All your worries will vanish, misery will evaporate if you have dharshan of Sri Sudharshan Anjaneya at this holy kshetra of Adhanur.
Ed [April 2016]
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