Located 24kms South of Vandavasi on the Kanchipuram – Chetput-Thiruvannamalai route at the foot of the Dheergajala Mountain is the over 500years old Yoga Rama temple in Nedungunam where Lord Rama is seen in a unique sitting ‘Chin Mudra’ posture without his bow listening to Hanuman’s Vedic recital.
The temple has two big Gopurams at the Eastern entrance – the 105ft Raja Gopuram and the 65feet Kili Gopuram. Inscriptions can be traced to the Raya period and hence the temple can be said to be at least 500years old. Spaced in an almost 90000 sq.ft area, this is the biggest Vishnu temple in the North Arcot and Thiruvannamalai districts and also possibly the biggest Rama temple in Tamil Nadu.
The story goes that answering the prayers of Rishi Shugar, Rama provided darshan to him and stayed here for a day on his way back to Ayodhya. Although He was in a hurry to go to Ayodhya to save Bharata, Rama honoured the prayers of His devotee. The most noble qualities of Lord Rama – Sowlabya (simplicity) and Sowseelya (the ability to treat everyone alike) without any discrimination – are conveyed just by this act. The name Nedungunam conveys the noble quality of Rama – Nedum meaning High/ Noble and Gunam meaning Quality/ Personality.
The nearby hill is called Dheerkachalam.
Rama is the Abhimana Perumal for people belonging to almost 25villages around Nedungunam.
A 16th Century AD inscription reveals that during the rule of Veera Achutha Deva Raya a nearby village was given as donation for the conduct of the festival at the Rama temple.
An inscription near the Rajagopuram states there was a grant of land for the perpetual maintenance of the temple activities and poojas. It also has a word of caution. Anyone trying to hinder the conduct of the temple poojas/activities will incur a curse equivalent to killing a cow on the banks of the Ganges.
A 17th Century AD inscription talks about grant of land to provide for the maintenance of a doctor in Nedungunam.
On the Southern end of the Kili Rajagopuram, there is a reference to Kuzhambalur Thandavarya Chidambaram ‘Daily Service’, an indication that someone was taking care of the expenses relating to the proper conduct of the daily pooja services at the temple.
10day Brahmotsavam in Panguni/Chitrai starting on Rama Navami
Garuda Sevai on Vaikasi Visakam
Chariot Festival on the 7th day of Brahmotsavam.
On the Kaanum Pongal day in Thai, Lord Rama goes on a procession to around 20villages around Nedungunam.
Moolavar : Yoga Rama East Facing Sitting Posture with Sita and Lakshmana by his side
Thaayar : Shengamala Valli Thaayar
Temple Time: 7am-10am and 6pm-8pm
Contact : Badri Narayana Bhattar @ 94452 15776
How to reach?
Bus Numbers 148, 208 and 422 from Koyambedu bus stand go through Nedungunam
By Car from Chennai, one can drive 90kms to Melmaruvathur and then take a right to drive 30kms to Vandavasi.
The alternate route is to taka right at Padalam (15kms after Chengalpet on the GST Road) to reach Uthira Merur. From Uthira Merur, one has to drive 25kms south to reach Vandavasi.