|Thiruninravur Eri Katha Ramar Temple|
But equally if not more enchanting is the Eri Katha Ramar Temple that is tucked away in a lane opposite to the Bhakthavatsala Perumal Temple. The temple is practically unknown to the tourists who flock the two other temples. But for the locals who show this temple some love and the discerning traveller who takes time out to check for other interesting sites enroute, this temple is practically empty.
There is no signage either outside or in the temple. Also there is no gopuram or large vimanam to draw attention. But when one takes the effort to enter, they are sure to be awestruck in many ways than one.
History of the temple:
This temple is said to be older than the Bhakthavatsala Perumal temple. It is found on the banks of the Thirunindravur Lake (Thiruninravur Eri) originally known as Varuna Pushkarni. It is believed that this lake was flooded in a storm and the bunds were in the verge of breaking when the villagers prayed to Lord Rama. Lord Rama is said to have created a fence of arrows around the lake that prevented it from breaking whereby the village was saved. The villagers showed their gratitude by building a temple on the banks of the lake for Lord Rama.
|Varuna Pushkarni at Eri Katha Ramar Temple Thiruninravur|
|The massive expanse of the Varuna Pushkarni|
One of the noteworthy episodes connected with the temple is associated with the birth of Mudaliyandan a disciple and associate of Saint Ramanuja. Saint Ramanuja's sister Nachiyarammal and her husband Vathoola Kula Thilaka Sri Anantha Narayana Dikshithar who stayed in the nearby Nazarathpettai were on a pilgrimage to Tirumala to worship Lord Venkateswara to seek the boon of childbirth. As night fell, they rested at the Eri Katha Ramar temple at Thiruninravur.
During the night, Lord Rama is said to have appeared in the dream of Sri Anantha Narayana Dikshithar promising that a son who was an amsam of Lord Rama would be born to them. When the son was born, they named him Dasarathi, after Sri Rama. Dasarathi became a disciple, devotee and associate of his maternal uncle, Sri Ramanuja and since his demeanor was such as Vishwaksena, (Senai Mudhalvar), he came to be known as Mudaliyandan.
On entering the temple, the first shrine is that of Anjaneya as usual. Just outside the Anjaneya shrine, is a stone pillar with Sanku Chakra and the image of Anjaneya which seems to be from the original temple.
|Hanuman Shrine at the Eri Katha Ramar Temple, Thiruninravur|
|Lord Hanuman carrying Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulders|
with Lankini under his foot
|Padha Darisanam of Sri Rama and Lakshmana|
|The sanctum Sanctorum - just to give the size of the Lord against humans!|
|The magnificent Eri Katha Rama at Thiruninravur|
How to get here:
Thiruninravur is about 32 kms from Chennai and can be accessed by road, bus or suburban train. The temple is few feet away from the Bhakthavatsala Perumal Temple.
Morning - 8.30 - 11.30 am
Evening - 5.30-7 pm
Shri Narayana Bhattar who is the Bhattacharyar at the temple is currently unwell. Therefore, Shri Venugopal Bhattar who is taking care of the Anjaneyar Sannadhi at Bhakthavatsala Perumal temple is also taking care of this temple. So in case you find the temple closed, you may reach out to him at the Anjaneyar sannadhi or at his house on Car street.
Venugopal Bhattar - 78457 85715/ 98408 37689
If you happen to be in Thiruninravur, please take time to visit the Eri Katha Ramar Temple too!