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Kari Varadarajan & VethantaChalapati Perumal Thirukkoils, Kanakampalayam & Ekkarai Malai, Erode

Spreading Swamy Ramanuja’s glory in the Nilgiri Hills en route to Melkote

It is prevalent that Swami Ramanuja left for ThiruNarayanaPuram from Srirangam and resurrected the “Gnana Mandapam”. “Aarayirapadi Paneerrayapadi Guru Parampara Prabhavam” mentions that Swami Ramanuja went through “Paalai Malai (Nilgiri Hill Range)” and Kollegal to reach ThiruNarayanaPuram from Srirangam.

Kari Varadan Kainkarya Sabha, Srirangam, with the help of learned scholars, volunteers and a legend prevailing in “Thirukkannamboor Kshetram (Kanakampalayam)”, has been working on spreading the glory of Swami Ramanuja in the Nilgiri Hills for the first time. Based on this work, it has been established that Swami Ramanuja passed through Kanakampalayam and “Ekkarai Malai (Ramanujar Medu)” adjoining it.

Sri Kari Varadaraja Perumal, KanakamPalayam

Kanakampalayam is the abode of Sri Kari Varadaraja Perumal and Sri Perundevi Thayar. Kanakampalayam is at the foothills of Nilgiri hills and the temple has a history of 400+ years at the present spot. The temple was patronized by Mysore Maharaja who had established an Agrahara comprising 100 families. It was washed away by flash floods about 250 years ago. The 34th Jeer of SriRanga Narayana Jeer Madam, Srirangam hailed from the Kanakampalayam Komandur family (One of the 74 Simhasanadhipadhis established by Swami Ramanuja). During Vaikuntha Ekadesi and Thiru Karthikai, the temple attracts large number of visitors from the surrounding areas. The village is close to “Mount Ekkarai (Ramanujar Medu)” treaded by Bhagavad Ramanuja en route from Srirangam to ThiruNarayanaPuram little over 900 years ago.

According to Guru Parampara, Swami Ramanuja was offered “Thaen” (honey) and “Thinai Maavu” by natives of Paali Hills as Swami and his disciples had travelled for 6 days from Srirangam without food. During the 6th day of Avathara Utsavam at Srirangam, Swami Ramanuja is offered Thaen and Thinai Maavu. Also, during the 6th day of Avathara Utsavam at Sri Perumbudhur, Swami Ramanuja is adorned in “Whites”.  The utsavams are a rememberance of Swami’s travel to Melkote and Swami Kuratazhwan’s sacrifice.

Sri Perundevi Thayar

Path Taken By Swami Ramanuja To Reach ThiruNarayanaPuram From Srirangam

Recently (April 2012), an expedition was carried out by Sri Vaishnava volunteers dedicated to the cause of Emberumanar Darisanam to the top of Mount Ekkarai (Ramanujar Medu). A summary of the experience by members of the expedition team is below:

“With only five more years to go for his thousandth appearance day celebrations, efforts are being undertaken to spread the message of the great Acharya, whose grace and association is required for the attainment of the Lord, as endorsed by the doctrine of the Vedas and Vedanta, and the divine expressions of the Azhwars.

Bhagavad Ramanuja passed through the Niligiri Hills en route to Melkote, also known as Thirunarayanapuram. This land of forests, mountains, and wild elephants is home to an abode of Lord Varadaraja, who goes by the name of Kari Varadan. The temple of Kari Varadan is situated in a small village called Kanakkampalayam (previously known as Thirukkannamboor), a peripheral settlement along the forest route treaded by Swami Ramanuja a thousand years ago. Inside the forest that borders this village, atop a 1440 meter high peak called Mount Ekkarai, there stands another Varadaraja Perumal, facing the direction that Ramanuja followed through the forests and into the land of the Vijayanagar Kings.

According to a tradition dating back to antiquity, the locals of the area, numbering in thousands, hike up the dangerous mountain route to pay their respects to the forest god, every year during Chittirai Pournami, falling in late April or early May. They recount hazy remembrances, passed down by their forbears, of a great being who had once passed through these lands”.

Sri Varadaraja Perumal (VethantaChalapati) at Ekkarai Malai

Sri Vaishnavas all over are preparing to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of Swami’s Thiru Avatharam. It is an earnest desire of Kari Varadan Kainkarya Sabha that Ramanuja Sambandhis visit Ramanujar Medu and KanakamPalayam to seek the blessings of “Ekkarai Perumal” (VethantaChalapati) and “Kari Varadar Perumal”.

At present, there is no day-to-day activities performed for Varadaraja Perumal at Ekkarai Malai (Ramanujar Medu). Certain activities are planned to spread the awareness of Swami Ramanuja in the region, particularly among the locals.  If you would like to be associated with this pioneering effort, we request you to visit theTemple ofLord Kari Varadan in Kanakkampalayam, and experience the forest land which was graced by Swami Ramanuja.

The current activities that are being carried out in the region include:

  • Installation of an icon of Swami Ramanuja alongside the icon of Lord Varadaraja atopMountEkkarai.
  • Installation of a speaker system and amplifier at Kanakampalayam Kari Vardar Temple in order to facilitate the playing of devotional songs, etc, for the benefit of the local people. (Now Complete)
  • Erecting permanent signposts along the route with information regarding the passage of Swami Ramanuja through the area.(Temporary signposts have already been provided)
  • Printing and distribution of pamphlets containing lucid accounts of Swami Ramanuja’s life, in the Tamil dialect that is peculiar to the region. (First set of pamphlets have been distributed)
  • Identifying the complete route from Kankkampalayam through the forests of Sathyamangalam towards Kollegal, the next point in Swami Ramanuja’s route to Melkote.

Sri V. Narasimhan, S/o Late Sri. U. Ve.  R. Varadaraja Iyengar (first post graduate from Kanakampalayam, Retd. Under Seceratary to Govt. of India),  is a descendant of the Komandur lineage of illustrious Sri Vaishnavas who hail from the region. Today, the sole representative of Sat-Sampradaya in the region, he has been single-handedly managing day-to-day activities of theKariVaradarajarTempleat Kanakampalayam.

A request is put forward to willing Sri Vaishnavas to contribute their mite to support the activities of spreading awareness of Swami Ramanuja in this area.

Kanaka Vimanam of Kari VaradarTempleat KanakamPalayam

The following are some more photographs of the temple and the deities…

Contact Information:

Sri V. Narasimhan
G.F.G Vignesh Nivedha, 92/100,Gandhi Road,
Srirangam, Trichy – 620006.
Phone: +91-431-2432221
Mobile: +91-94449-11440 / +91-98452-42532
email: narasim_srgm@yahoo.com / sathya.kvks@yahoo.com

Beneficiary Name: Kari Varadan Kainkarya Sabha
Bank Name: Canara Bank
Account #: 2640101003897
Account Type: Savings
Branch Name: SAVINGS BRANCH,SRIRANGAM
IFSC Code: CNRB0002640

References

  1. Aarayirapadi Paneerrayapadi Guru Parampara Prabhavam”, Page 362 – 363, published in 1928, by Poo Magal Vilasam Achakam, Chennai.
  2. The path trekked by Srimad Ramanuja in whites, 900 years ago travelling from Srirangam to Mysore State”, published in 2011,  by Kari Varadan Kainkarya Sabha, Srirangam.
  3. Ramanujar 1000, Volume 2”, Page 560 – 561, 727, published in 2012, by Sri Vaishnava Sri, Srirangam.

Courtesy: Sri V. R. Sathyanarayanan

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29 Comments

  1. very happy to read all this. excellent work by all the devoted srivaishnavas in reviving the history of our beloved acharya.Lots of encouragement to them.God bless them!

  2. Nice to know this and thanks a lot for the map showing the path taken by Sri Ramanuja during his travel from Srirangam to Melkote. I got interested in this topic when I recently visited Pala Malai Ranganatha Temple near Coimbatore. I spotted a deity of lord Ramanuja clad in white doti and asked for the reason as he is to be clad in safrron meant for ascetics. The temple trustee politely explained me the reason that Sri Ramanuja had crossed Pala malai in disguise (wearing white to avoid arrest as suggested by Sri Koorathazhwan). Very interesting fact indeed and I thanked almighty sriman narayana and sriman rmanuja for their grace!

  3. very interesting and very happy to read all this. excellent work by all the devoted srivaishnavas in reviving the history of our beloved acharya. I spotted a deity of lord Ramanuja clad in white doti and asked for the reason as he is to be clad in safrron meant for ascetics. The temple trustee politely explained me the reason that Sri Ramanuja had crossed Pala malai in disguise (wearing white to avoid arrest as suggested by Sri Koorathazhwan). Very interesting fact indeed and I thanked almighty sriman narayana and sriman rmanuja for their grace!
    adeyen padmanabha ramanujadasan

    1. Excellent Information. Even today Shri Ramamanujachar comes in different forms and protects his followers without asking for it. I am a small example of it. The power of his foot steps his unbelievable and please take any face skin allergy patient while doing the abhishekam and watch the difference at the time of Abhishekam and people will be surprised. Any body can do it even if they do not have faith it does not matter. There is no alternate for this power.

  4. Excellent Information. Even Today Shri Ramanujacharya comes in different forms to protect his followers and one such example is myself. Please take any skin (face preferred to easily noticing) allergy patient and make him available at the time of the Abhishekam and watch the difference of his wife when the Abhishekam is performed. You can find out the difference and understand yourself.

  5. Little correction – Excellent Information. Even Today Shri Ramanujacharya comes in different forms to protect his followers and one such example is myself. Please take any skin (face preferred to easily noticing) allergy patient and make him available at the time of the Abhishekam and watch the difference of his face when the Abhishekam is performed. You can find out the difference and understand yourself.

  6. Very surprised and thanks to Prithi for sending this mail. Very interesting to know the details given and I will try my best to visit the temple. Will forward this information to all my relatives and friends to join us to pray for the welfare of all concerned.

  7. while trying to get NEFT registration I could not get the Correct name of the Branch of Canara Bank because of which the registration failed.Can You provide me the correct description of the Branch’s Name.
    It is an opportunity to serve the Lord in a small way.
    K.G.Rao

  8. Hi,

    I had the great fortune of visiting the temple last Friday (7th June 2013). I spent plenty of time soaking in the serene atmosphere and then talking to the priest as well. Word about this temple needs to spread around in the area for not many are aware. My uncle, my parents are from nearby Gobichettipalayam (mere 15 kms away) didn’t know about this temple until I told them about this place after coming across the details here.

    There is another Karivaradaraja Perumal temple on a small hillock, set amidst lush paddy fields, four kilometres away from Gobi towards Sathya. This place is worth a visit too. Services are conducted only on Saturdays from 8 AM to 11 PM.

    Regards,
    Mahesh

  9. VERY GOOD WORK, BUT IT WOULD BE GOOD IF YOU CAN PROVIDE IN ENGLISH & OTHER INDIAN LANGUAGES, AS MANY FOLLOWERS OF SRI RAMANUJA NEED NOT BE AWARE OF TAMIL SCRIPTS & LITTERATEUR, BUT WISH TO KNOW THE DETAILS. MAY BE SOMETHING LIKE “PRAPATTI.COM” OR “BHARATIWEB.COM” WHERE THE HOLY SCRIPTURES ARE AVAILABLE IN MANY LANGUAGES. HOPE YOU WILL APPRECIATE THE NEED.

  10. I am amazed to know the route from Srirangam to Thirunarayanapuram, both the former and latter, I had the blessings to visit in my lifetime, which I feel is only good useful thing I could do in my living so far.

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