The Village :
Kalkunte Agraharam is located in South of Bangalore in Hoskote Taluk and Bangalore Rural District on NH-207,about 35km away from Bangalore city.This village has a mix of population speaking Kannada,Telugu and Tamil due to the confluence of 3 States, though the education medium is Kannada.
Historically Kalkunte has been under the Vijayanagaram Empire later ruled by Magadi Kempegowda and subsequently passed onto the then Maharaja of Mysore.
Kalkunte Agraharam has an old temple dating back to at least 2 Centuries.
The presiding diety in this temple is Lord Sri Ranganatha with his consorts
Sri Ranga Nayaki (Sri Maha Lakshmi) and Sri Andaal popularly called Thaayaars.
This Agraharam was once densely populated by a large Sri Vaishnava community, also known as Iyengaars (until about 60-70 years ago). And a vast of this community has left the village now and are settled all over the World with a majority f them in Bangalore.
The Communities arrival to Kalkunte :
The forefathers of the current generation of the Sri Vaishnava community have hailed from many parts of Tamilnadu. The documented original migrated family is that of the three sons and one daughter of Annadaanam Sri.Venkateshacharya from another Agraharam called DUSI located near Kanchipuram.This place is about 8km away on the Kanchipuram -Tiruvannamalai Road. This migration must have occurred about 230-270 years ago after the fall of Gingee (Senjy in Tamil) to Hyderali. The then Maharaja of Mysore gave them this village as grant and thus an Agraharam was settled here.
There is a well documented 10 Generations of genealogy-Family Tree of all the three sons of Annadaanam Venkateshacharya.The current Generation is the 10 generation from Annadaanam Venkateshacharya.
Then there were others moving into this village due to relationship by marriage like the Chakravarthis, the Kidaambis now called the Cadaambis in Kalkunte of Kanchipuram. They were joined by the Perumaal Iyengaar family from Sri Rangam – Perumal in the Srivaishnava lingo is Lord Sri Ranganatha of Sri Rangam – the Thogare family from Thogur , there was others like the Gomatam family who were early settlers. Apart from this there is also a group migrated from Torepalli near Hosur with 5-6 generations genealogy since migration.
All of these families have a genealogy of 7-8 generations. Apart from this there were other two families who settled in another village now in Tamil Nadu near Sarjapur called Chicchurakanahalli and Sampangere in Kolar District.These families also had marital relationship with the Kalkunte families and are now settlers of Kalkunte itself.They also have a Genealogy of 8-9 generations.
The early settlers were proficient Vedic Scholars and were dedicated to God.
The Lord Sri Ranganatha :
After settlement in the Agraharam they had established a small Temple for daily worship and the then presiding deity is known to be Lord Srinivasa.Once about 200 years ago the Lord Sri Ranganatha appeared in the dreams of a member of the Perumaal Iyengaar family and instructed to bring him from another nearby village about 15km away called Vokkaleri located in Malur Taluk,Kolar District.It is said that the Lord also appeared in the dream of the Vokkaleri Village head and instructed them to hand over the deity.
The Vokkaleri village was once ruled by Pallava kings and date back to 800A.D with copper plate inscription of that period.The close study of the iconography of the presiding deity Lord Ranganatha indicates this belonging to the Pallava architecture.
This movement of Lord Ranganatha from Vokkaleri to Kalkunte Agrahaaram must have occurred around 200 years back. The Temple was constructed right in the middle of their homes and from a small Sanctum Sanctorum was expanded into the current structure.The Raja Gopuram was built recently during nineteen seventies.
The name of the village Kalkunte is a deformed version of Kalkand ( Kallu Sakkare)
According to some and another origin says Kenavil Kanda Perumaal ( The Lord seen in the Dreams).There is also a third origin where there was a Kunte a small water body totally surrounded by Kallu (Stones) located at the entrance of the village.
Today this has been land filled (about 60-70 years ago ) and is behind the Vahana Mantapam. Agraharams in the then Mysore State are the villages granted by the Maharaja for Brahmins to settle down to pursue their Vedic studies and teach spirituality to the entire community. The grant is documented in Venkatagiri Shasanam as per say.
There is a 6 line documentation about Kalkunte Agrahaaram in the Mysore Gazetteer then published by C.Hayavadan Rao in 1923 who had personally visited this village to collect the details.
The other facilities like Paakashala and the Dining Hall was added later as and when these were donated by the families migrating away from the village.
The Utsava Murthy here is called Keshava Perumaal with Ubhaya Naachiyaars Sridevi and Bhoodevi on bothsides.This has been gifted by the
The Poojas in the Temple are conducted as per the PANCHARATRA AAGAMA method and also as per the Vadakalai Sampradayam taught by Sri Vedantha Desikan.
There is a separate sanctum for the Alwar and Aachaaryas consisting of Nammalwaar,
Sri Bhagavad Raamanujacharya and Sri Vedantha Desikan collectively called desikan Sannidhi.
The Phalashruthi for conducting Garudotsavam in Kalkunte Agraharam :
The specialty of this deity is like that of SriRama and Krishna who went in search of their devotees. Sri Rama went to seek devotees like Shabari,Hanumantha,and Vibheeshana etc to the places where they stayed. Similarly Sri Krishna went to seek his devotees like Kubja,
Vidhura,Pandavaas etc.Lord SriRanganatha in Kalkunte is also special for his Chaturbhuja Avataaram with Brahma in the Nabhi Kamalam.
A close look at the Moolavar during Abhishekam will reveal that there is the presence of Garuda on the Peetham below his bed Aadi Shesha.It is said in SriRanga mahatmaym that it is the Garuda who brought him from SriVaikuntham to this earth.
The presence of Garuda has a Great significance.Those who are having Sarpa Dosham / Kuja Dosham / Ashlesha Dosham (Also called Maangalik Dosh in Hindi) etc can be ridden of all these Dosham completely by performing an Abhishekam to Moolavar with Garudotsava Seva.
There is Nithya Pooja conducted in this temple managed by the Sri Ranganatha Swamy Sabha,Regd,Kaklunte – a Trust founded to manage this temple about 100 years ago.
There are Utsavams on all special days and festival days round the year.The Karthika masa pooja for 30days in the night and the dhanurmaasa Pooja for 30days during early Morning is being regularly observed every year.This deity is also known as Prasaada Priya Ranganaatha. Prasaadam in this temple is distributed generously. The Puliyogare and SakkarePongal prepared for Naivedyam on most of the utsavams in this temple is very popular and the Lord is also called Puliyogare Priya Ranganaatha.
The Brahma Rathotsavam – a 13 day Car Festival coinciding most of the years with the day of HOLI in March is celebrated in a very grand way.This starts with Ankurarpanam and concluded with Shayanotsavam.It should be appreciated here that more than 100 years ago then a great disciple of SriRanganatha Sri.Piteel Raghavachar (Violin Vidwan)
Sold his entire property and deposited Rs.3000.00 in the then Treasury of Mysore to conduct the Brahma Rathotsavam Car festival every year.Considering the values of money existed then this would be an equivalent of 3 crores today.Such is the devotion of the descendants of Kalkunte Agraharam.All the families have carried on the tradition for generations and there are fixed funds for many Utsavams to continue for times to come.
Courtesy: Sri Dhiraj Anandan Swami and Sri Raghuveeradayal Swami
For coverage of utsavams at this thirukkoil by Anudinam, please visit http://anudinam.org/?s=kalkunte