Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Gandi Kshetram – Veeranjaneya Swamy Temple

The scenic beauty of the water flowing through the mountain region makes the historic temple a nice recreation centre for the people

Hanuman's Gandi Kshetra

On The bank of river pampagni, the range of Palakonda makes a small valley with Marellamadaka village as entrance. Marellamadaka is a little village situated at the entrance of the gorge through which the Papagni pierces the Palakonda rage of hills.

The valley like place is popularly known as 'Gandi', meaning a narrow valley with a running river in Telugu. The river Papagni wends it's through the Palakonda hills which are about 200 feet in height and emerges in the plains of Cuddapah region. In Gandi kshetra the river Papagni enters north-east from between hills and flows from south towards north.

Sri Ramakrishna Anandha Swamy of Boomanandha Ashram had given the name Gandi kshetram to this place.

Sri Anjaneya at Gandi Kshetra

On the right bank is the temple of Veera Anjaneya situated in serine atmosphere presenting a picturesque scene. The legend of how the temple of Lord Anjaneya had come to being here is very interesting.

During the Ramayana period Sri Vayudeva was on mediation here. Sri Rama had passed through this place while going southwards in search of Sri Sitadevi. While Sri Vayudeva wanted Sri Rama to stay here as his host, Sri Rama had told that he will accept his hospitality on his way back to Ayodhya from Lanka.

On hearing of Sri Rama's victory over Ravana in Lanka, Sri Vayudeva had prepared this place to welcome him and flung a wreath (festoon) of golden flowers across the ravine through which the conqueror should pass on his way northwards to Ayodhya.

Sri Rama's drawing

At the earnest request of Sri Vayudeva, Sri Rama halted here with his troops. Sri Anjaneya had then gone northwards for informing Sri Bharatha about return of Sri Rama. Sri Rama thinking about Sri Anjaneya, before leaving this palace had impressed the mark of figure of Sri Anjaneya with his arrow on a rock. Before he could complete the figure Sri Rama had left for Ayodhya. The figure of Lord Anjaneya is complete in all respect except the little finger of lord's left hand.

Incomplete figure of Sri Anjaneya and Sri Vyasaraja Sri Veera Anjaneya Swamy, Gandi, Cuddapah Dist, Andhra

The figure of Sri Anjaneya drawn in a thin line by Sri Ram was sculptured by Sri Vyasaraja. The blooming figure of the Lord as we see today is the contribution by Sri Vyasaraja, as a blessing from Sri Rama himself. An interesting thing happened during the time when Sri Vyasaraja had sculptured the figure. As a true Hanumath devotee Sri Vyasaraja wanted the figure of Sri Anjaneya complete and had sculptured the little finger of left hand also. To the astonishment of the great saint the little finger broke and blood started oozing. The great Hanumath devotee then understood the true intention of Sri Rama Bakth, and left the figure as drawn by Sri Rama. On a sacred and auspicious day 22.04.1447, Sri Anjaneya was consecrated by Sri Vyasaraja in this kshetra.

Sir Thomas Manro and Gandi Kshetra

The golden flowers arranged in the thoranam form by Sri Vayudeva for welcoming the victories Sri Rama are true and could be visible between the two hills. Even in this Kaliyuga it was visible for those who had faith on Lord. It is believed that those who had done their karma during this janma in full and truly are blessed to see the golden thoranam during their last days. It is also believed that for those who had the dharshan of this golden festoon are free from rebirth.

It is in record that Sir Thomas Manro the District Collector of Cuddapah was one of the blessed to have seen the golden festoon (Bangaru thoranam) during his last visit to "Gandi". It has been recorded in the Madras District Gazetter Cuddaph District Vol I - Chapter I - Page 3 and Chapter XV - Page 217 dated 01.10.1914.

Temple of Sri Anjaneya at Gandi Kshetra

Swami Vasanthaacharyalu, follower of Sri Madwa cult had constructed the temple for Lord Sri Anjaneya in this kshetra and brought the glory of the Lord of kshetra to the lime light. An odorant devotee of Lord Anjaneya he later came to be known as Udgavi Gandi Acharya. As a mark of respect for this saint an idol of the Acharya was installed by the Cuddapah Madwa Sangam in the temple on the right-side of the main hall. Even today the Prasadam offered to Sri Anjaneya is next taken to Swami Vasanthacharyalu and offered before distribution to the public.

Lord Anjaneya of Gandi Kshetra

The Lord of this kshetra is seen a thejasvi as bright as raising sun. His pingaksham - eyes are bright and radiating. He is holding lotus in one hand and with the other He gives abhaya sign - do not fear - to His devotees. Lord here is seen as a figure who will guide His devotee with valor, nirbhaya and hence victory. In every inch of the Lord one could see and feel the valor.

Location of the Temple

The temple is located in Andhra Pradesh, Cuddapah (kadapa) Dist, Chakrayapetta mandal, Veerannagattupalle village. Place is popularly known as Gandi kshetram and is about seven kilo meters from Vempalle village in Rayachote Road. Buses are available from Rayachote and also Vempalle.