Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thondanur Lakshmi Narayana Temple

The first and the oldest of the Pancha Narayana Temples in the region
Hoysala rulers made significant contribution to this ancient temple 

Inscriptions refer to this place as Yadava Narayana Chaturvedi Mangalam
Located 15kms from Pandavapura off the Melkote Highway in a serene location in the Mandya District is the 1000years old Lakshmi Narayana (Nambi Narayana) Temple in Thondanur, where the lord is seen in a handsome tall standing posture. This is one of the Pancha Narayana temples in this region. This place is now referred to as Thonnur (and Thonnur Kere- reference to the huge dam 1km North of the temple built by Thondanur Nambi).

While the temple was renovated by Ramanuja during his exile from Srirangam, the idol and the sanctum is said to be over 5500years old and dates back to the Dwapara Yuga. Ramanuja built new mandapas outside the sanctum and renovated and consecrated the temple. 

While the architecture design is said to have come from the Chozhas, the temple was built by Hoysala Kings. There is no Raja Gopuram at the entrance as was the style of the Hoysalas. But the entire inner prakara and the outside walls have a strong Granite base structure and has a solid look to this day.

This is one of the three temples in Thonnur, the other two being Gopalakrishnan temple ( opposite the Nambi Narayana temple) and Yoga Narasimha temple.
The Story
At the end of the Dwapara Yuga, in the Sura Sura war, Indra was afflicted with Brahmma Hathi Dosham. To liberate himself from this, he undertook penance and invoked the blessings for Lord Vishnu.

He was directed to install 5 Narayana Idols in this region to liberate himself from his dosham. Thondanur is the first and the oldest of the Pancha Narayana Kshetrams. The others in this region being – Cheluva Narayana at Melkote, Keerthi Narayana at Thalakkad, Veera Narayana at Gadag and Sowmya Narayana at Belur.

Belief is that one will attain Vaikunta Moksham if he visited the Pancha Narayana Kshetram.

There are several inscriptions dating back to the 11th Century AD that describe the contributions made by different rulers of that period to the upkeep and maintenance of the temple and the conduct of various festivals during the year.

A 12th Century AD inscription in Tamil with Grantha Characters refers to a gift of 5Gadyanas of gold paid into treasury by Kunraara Deva Perumal Bhattar for maintaining a perpetual lamp at Lakshmi Narayana from out of the interest accrued upon the endowment.

Old Name
Centuries ago, this place was referred to as Yadava Narayana Chaturvedi Mangalam. Inscriptions refer to Veera Narasimha, the Hoysala ruler leading his kingdom with Dorasamudram as his capital and granting 64 gadayaanas to the people of Thondanur Agrahara for undertaking any repairs to the temple.

Vahana Mandapa in the 12-13th Century AD
A Vahana Mandapa  was erected in the 12-13th Century AD by Mahapradhana Srikaranada Heggade Naganna.

Hoysala Kings and Contribution
In 1174AD, Ballala II granted an income towards service of Lakshmi Narayana Perumal. The king also granted income from an oil mill towards monthly oil for Lakshmi Narayana. Hoysala King Bitta Deva constructed a new Mandapa at this temple. During the rule of Hoysala King Narasimha III, there was a gift of 4Pon annually for the maintenance of the huge Nandavanam at the Lakshmi Narayana temple. Narasimha who ruled the kingdom from Kodala also granted lands for the temple.

Inscriptions in Kannada and Sanskrit on 15copper plates refer to Krishna Raja II, the King of Mysore directing the conversion of two villages – Yadavapura and Attikuppam to Agraharam so that the daily rites and festivals can be performed at the Lakshmi Narayana temple. The Agrahara lands were divided into 112 vrittis and distributed among Brahmana families who were invited from different parts of the country to come and reside here permanently at Thondanur.

Regular Recital of Thiruvoimozhi
An 1175AD inscription refers to a gift of gold to Viravallalan Mandapa at Lakshmi Narayana temple by a staunch devotee who used to recite Thiruvoimozhi regularly at this temple. In  1286AD, there was a grant of 10 Salagai of Kalani lands for food offerings to Lord Lakshmi Narayana on the occasion of Thiruvoimozhi festival and for Prayischitam Ceremony at the temple as well as for the consecration of images at this temple. There was regular recital of Thiruvoimozhi inside the temple here.

Food Offering for Lakshmi Narayana
In 1214AD, the people of Thondanur came together and presented a gift of 100kuli to Lakshmi Narayana for food offerings.

White Washing of the Temple
There was a grant of 50Gadyanas made in the 13th Century for white washing the Viravallalan Mandapa at the Lakshmi Narayana Temple by Thirunaraiyur Dasan.

5 day Brahmotsavam in Mesham (Chitrai/Vaikasi)

Quick Facts
Moolavar: Lakshmi Narayana/ Nambi Narayana East Facing Standing Posture
Goddess : Aravinda Nayaki Thaayar
Utsavar  : Lakshmi Narayana with Sri and Bhoo Devi

Time       : 930am-530pm
Contact   : Seshadri Bhattar @ 97418 19202

How to reach
From Chennai, take Mysore Express to get down at Pandavapura station (630am). From Pandavapura railway station, auto to the temple will cost Rs. 110/- (it will take about 20minutes)

Also, one can take a share auto from railway station (Rs. 5) to Pandavapura bus stand and then take a Narayanapura / Kamakana Halli bound bus to get down at Thondanur (buses every one hour). It will take 30minutes from Pandavapura bus stand to reach Thondanur.

When at Thondanur, also visit Gopalakrishna Temple and Yoga Narasimha Temple. Also, visit Thiru Narayana Temple at Melkote, about 20kms from here. 

1 comment:

Ravi Chitta said...

Wow... so Descriptive....Very nice writing with lots of Details ..... thank you Prabhu Sir ... love to visit my next visit to Mysore....