Thursday, July 17, 2014

Gopinathan Perumal Temple Reddiarchatram

Twin Temples of Reddiarchatram
A hill temple where the handsome Lord Gopinathan is seen with a butter ball in each hand
Moolavar Lord is seen playing the Flute
Located 4kms South West of Kathir Narasinga perumal temple is the Gopinathan Perumal temple in Reddiarchatram on the banks of Maangarai River, whose legend dates back to the 13th Century AD and the Nayak Period.  Lord Krishna is seen in a standing posture playing the flute. The Utsava deity, Gopinathan, is seen holding a butter ball in each of his hands. Gopinathan’s mother Koppammal is seen carrying food on her head.

In the heart of Reddiarchatram is the Kathir Narasinga Perumal temple.

The story
A devotee from the Pandya Kingdom took up a long national temple trip. On his way, he reached the drought hit Bellary. He suggested to the Vellalla king that he should visit the Pandya region which was seen in prosperous light with greenery all round with the rivers brimming with water.

The king’s wife Koppammal and their son Gopinathan along with their retinue made their way to this place accompanied by the huge number of cows that were struggling to survive in the drought.

Once here, the cows immediately took a liking to this place and refused to leave from here. They seemed to enjoy the green tinge to this place and enjoyed Gopinathan playing his flute every day sitting atop the hill.But unfortunately, the drought of which Gopinathan had become so used to, caught up with him here as well. The rivers dried up. And it seemed that the joys of the cows were short lived.

A worried Gopinathan invoked the blessings of the Lord and took an oath to give up his life as a sacrifice if the rains returned. The place was immediately blessed with plentiful rainfall and the cows were joyous once again. It was now time for Gopinathan to fulfil his promise.Leaving behind the entire herd, he took along with just one atop the hill. He left his flute on the branch of a tree and tied the cow to the tree. And fulfilling his promise, he jumped from the hill on to the horns of the cow leaving him dead.

Koppammal who used to carry food for him every noon was surprised not to hear the sweet music emanating from the flute and wondered if all was well for she only heard the saddened noises from the cows. As she reached the spot, she found blood across the cow and the body of his hanging. In a state of shock, she too joined his son in death leaving the cows to fend without support.

Construction of the idols
Later, the Zamindar from the nearby Kannivadi village came here on a hunting expedition. To his surprise, his cows came to a standing halt here at this place while the cows belonging to Gopinathan turned to deer. Despite his best efforts, the zamindar could not hunt out the deer. Back in his village, a Saint explained to him Gopinathan’s greatness and that he had actually had darshan of the Lord himself.

A pleased Zamindar built the idol of Gopinathan with a flute in hand and of Koppammal carrying food above her head. After later renovations, the temple in its current form and structure was built in the early 19th century AD. The temple is at a height of over 400feet with one having to climb over 600steps to reach the temple.

From atop the temple, one can get a glimpse of Dindigul in the East and the Western Ghats and Kongu hills in the West and the  Pothigai hills in the South.
Quick Facts
Moolavar         : Kannapiran East Facing standing Posture playing the flute
Thaayar           : Koppammal
Utsavar            : Gopinathan with Butter Ball in each hand
Time                : 8am-12noon
Contact            : JK Gopinath @ 94439 19182 / 94434 60639 or Radhakrishnan  99766 17056

How to reach
Reddiarchatram is about 15kms West of Dindigul on the Palani highway. From Reddiarchatram bus stop, auto will cost Rs. 75 to the foot of the temple. From Kannivadi Cross Road, one has to take a right towards West to reach the temple. Currently, trains on the Dindigul-Palani route do not stop at Reddiarchatram station.

One can climb the 600+steps in about 30minutes.

Call the temple authorities on the above numbers before visiting the temple.

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