Thursday, October 13, 2011

Vijayadasami Utsavam Kaatazhagiya Singaperumal Srirangam

Namperumal’s hunting scene enacted at the Kaatazhagiya Singar temple on Vijayadasami
Made his way back through the Wholesale Flower Market of Srirangam

Last week, on the Vijayadasami (Oct 6,2011) morning, sharp at 630am, Namperumal, the Utsava processional deity of Lord Ranganathaswamy temple set his sights to the East as he left his abode for his annual one day ‘Vijaya’ (Conquest) trip to the temple of 'Narasimha of the Jungle' - Kaatazhagiya Singaperumal koil, a temple that pre dates the Ranganatha temple.

Passing through the ‘Vellai Gopuram’, Namperumal reached the Srirangam railway station where special wooden boards had been placed across the railway track to assist the Lord cross the Srirangam Station. On reaching the Kaatazhagiya Singaperumal temple, Namperumal stationed himself at the outer Mantapa where a pooja was performed. Later, devotees at the Singar temple had his darshan.

Enactment of hunting SceneIn the evening, cane bows and arrows of cane with brass heads were ceremoniously brought on the Elephant back via the Chitra Streets of Srirangam.

At 5pm, the Golden Horse Vahana that had been brought earlier in the day from the Ranganatha temple, was moved into the Outer Mantapa where Namperumal was being decorated for the evening event.

An hour later, at 6pm, Namperumal mounted on his Golden Horse Vahana and positioned himself at the four pillared Mantapa right in front of the Vanni tree for the much awaited event of the day.

After performing pooja at the Vanni tree, the hunting scene was enacted here in front of thousands of devotees who had gathered at the Singaperumal temple with Nampermal’s representatives striking the arrows in different directions signifying the killing of Vanniyasura, the forest demon and symbolically suggesting the protection of the Good.

After the enactment of this hunting scene and having spent the whole day with the ‘Narasimha of the Jungle’, Namperumal bid good bye to Kaatazhagiya Singaperumal for yet another year and started on his return trip at around 7pm.

Only visit to the Flower Market of Srirangam
Ahead of Namperumal’s return trip, Sathara Street, the wholesale Flower market of Srirangam, was wonderfully decorated with festive lights and flower alankara marking the entire stretch of the market. This is the only day in the year when Namperumal makes his way through the Flower market providing darshan to the flower vendors of Srirangam.

With the clock having ticked past 830pm and having provided darshan for almost an hour at the Southern entrance of the Ranganathaswamy temple, Namperumal made his way back to the Gayathri Mantapa where Thirumanjana was performed along with the Ubhaya Nachiyars bringing to an end his annual hunting expedition to the Singaperumal temple.

Singar Koil
Kaatazhagiya Singaperumal temple is located 100yards East of Srirangam Railway Station. Moolavar Chaturbhuja Narasimha is seen with his two upper hands holding a Conch and Chakra while his lower hand is in an Abhaya posture. Goddess Lakshmi is seen seated on the left thigh of Narasimha and holds buds in both her hands. Interestingly, both the feet of Goddess Lakshmi can be seen at this temple.

Centuries ago, this Kshetram was referred to as Velli Thirumutham. Only much later, after the construction of the Ranganatha temple did this place come to be called Thiruvarangam. The Singaperumal temple was built by Vallabhadeva Pandya and has an imposing Vimana. In the 15th Century AD, Chakra Raya colonised the precincts of the Shrine of Kaatazhagiya Singar and renovated the shrine. The Maha Mantapa at the Singar temple has Vijayanagar style pillars.