Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Venugopala temple Sathyamangalam


108Pillared Maha Mandapa with artistic sculptures is the biggest for a Vishnu Temple in the region
Ramanuja and Vedantha Desika visited the temple on their way to Melkote
An Underground tunnel and the sacred Lizard are unique features at the temple



















Located about 70kms North of Coimbatore off the Chamarajnagar Mysore NH on the banks of Bhavani Sagar River and at the foot of the Kambaththa Raya Hills is the ancient Venugopalaswamy temple in the sandal wood town of Sathyamangalam in Kongu Nadu, an Abhimana Sthalam that pre-dates the period of Ramanuja and Vedantha Desika. Lord Venugopala is seen in a handsome standing posture alongside Rukmini and Satyabhama holding a conch and chakra and playing a flute with his other two hands.

Welcoming one at the entrance is the 80feet high Garudasthamba built on a single stone.

The Story
The temple is believed to have been built by a Mysore ruler almost a 1000years ago. Ramanuja and Vedantha Desigar are believed to have stayed here for a few days on their way to Thiru Narayanapuram in Melkote. (Ramanuja also visited Karamadai Ranganatha temple –
http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2009/06/karamadai-ranganatha.html - about 45kms from here and stayed there for a few days).

Pandya Connection
The number of Fish sculptures on the pillars and atop the walls leads one to believe that Pandyas may have contributed to the temple as well.

Tipu Sultan and Venugopalaswamy



















The treasurer of Tipu Sultan whose role it was to collect payments /dues decided to use these payments for the temple. The Venugopalaswamy temple in its current form and structure  with the three Tier Raja Gopuram and Five Kalasas atop the Gopuram is believed to be a result of his efforts.To mark this event and his contribution to the temple, one can see the sculpture of Tipu and Venugopalaswamy on a pillar at the 108 pillared Maha Mandapa at the entrance of the temple. These 108 pillars are the biggest among the Vishnu temples in the Coimbatore and Erode region.

Also, there are 21 prominent Pancha Loga Sculptures inside the temple. Inside the Artha Mandapa, on two pillars are artistic sculptures relating to Dasavathara.

Perumal in three different Postures
 













While Venugopalaswamy is the main deity at this temple, there are two other forms of Vishnu also seen here at this temple in Sathyamangalam.To the right of Venugopala Sannidhi is the Lakshmi Narayana Sannidhi, where the Lord is seen in a sitting posture. Inside this sannidhi is an underground tunnel that is believed to date back to the 18th century. Tipu Sultan may have used this underground tunnel during his battles.

Behind the Venugopala Sannidhi is the Ranganatha Sannidhi where the small and handsome Lord Kasturi Ranganatha is seen in a Bhujanga Sayana Posture facing the devotees sleeping atop the 7 hooded Serpant Adhisesha.  There is also a centuries old inscription in front of the Ranganatha Sannidhi.

All the three Moolavar deities are Abhisheka idols. 























Liberation from Doshams 
Similar to the Lizard (though not a golden one) at the Varadaraja Perumal temple in Kanchipuram, one finds a huge Lizard on the wall of the Western Prakara. Invoking the blessings here is said to liberate one from all kinds of Doshams.

Prarthana Sthalam for Unmarried people
Every Friday morning, special Abhisheka is performed at the Mahalakshmi Sannidhi. Taking part in this is believed to help people find their life partner.

Ayyappa Sannidhi
A unique feature at this temple is the presence of Lord Ayyappa inside the temple. Festivals relating to Ayyappa are celebrated in a grand manner at this temple. Special Abhisheka takes place for Ayyappa in Karthigai and Margazhi. Also, there is a special utsavam for Ayyappa in Chitrai.

Vahanas and Chariot damanged
In centuries gone by, there were 15Vahanas and a huge chariot and all the festivals including the popular chariot festival were celebrated in a grand manner with the Lord going out in a procession around the streets of Sathy. Over time, these vahanas and the chariot have been damaged.

Festivals
Sri Jayanthi Utsavam in Avani is a prominent utsavam for Venugopalan
Special Abhisheka for Venugopalan on Rohini star every month
Vaikunta Ekadesi – Opening of Swarga Vaasal















Quick Facts
Moolavar         : Venugopalaswamy East facing standing Posture with Rukmini and Satyabhama
Thaayar           : Mahalakshmi (Separate Sannidhi)
Temple Time    : 6am-12noon and 5pm-8pm
Contact            : Srinivasa Bhattar/ Lakshmi Pathy Bhattar @ 94438 99016/04295 222002
Office              : EO @ 94426 03464 or 04295 221899

How to reach

From Chennai, take train to Erode or Coimbatore.

From Erode, one can reach Sathyamangalam in 1 1/2hours via Gobichettipalayam (Gobi)
From Coimbatore, Point to Point buses every 15minutes to Sathyamangalam via Annur/ Puliyampatti- one can reach in 1 1/2hours

From the Sathyamangalam bus stand, the Venugopala temple is about 1km. An auto to the temple will cost Rs. 40/-. One has to cross the Bhavani Sagar river bridge to reach the temple.

When here, also visit Venkatesa Perumal Temple in Mondi Palayam (about 30kms) near Puliyampatti and another ancient Ranganatha temple in Karamadai (on the Coimbatore-Mettupalayam Road)

Other places to visit include Bhavani Sagar Dam and Bannari Amman Temple. The adventurous could try their hand ( foot) at the Sathyamangalam forest

2 comments:

Ommuruganandam said...

Hi, I am from Sathyamangalam. First of all thanks for the article. Generally taking photo is prohibited in temple and I don't how this mistake was possible. Since this will set a bad example for not respecting temple's rule, i request you to kindly remove these photos.

Thanks.

Ommuruganandam said...

Hi, I am from Sathyamangalam. First of all thanks for the article. Generally taking photo is prohibited in temple and I don't how this mistake was possible. Since this will set a bad example for not respecting temple's rule, i request you to kindly remove these photos.

Thanks.