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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Thirumalai Ananthan Pillai Uthsavam at his Avathara Sthalam - (Siruputhoor / Kiranganoor) near Melkote

I have recently posted about ‘Garuda Sevai purappadu’ and our visit to the serene ThiruNarayanapuram kshetram.  We had the fortune of the benevolence of Lord Selva Naranan whence we there for another purpose.  

The name 'Pandavapura' means "Town of Pandavas". Legend has it that the Pandavas during their period of exile stayed here for sometime, and Kunti, mother of the Pandavas, liked the hillock so much that it became one of her favorite haunts. The town has historic relevance also as it was used as the camping ground by the French army, which came to help Tippu Sultan in his war against the British. It is believed that French named the small town as "French Rocks", as the town is in the vicinity of two rocky hills. Pandavapura having paddy and sugarcane fields is 130 km from Bangalore and 25 km from Mysore. There are many jaggery manufacturing units too adding sweetness to the town which has Cauvery water flowing through Visweswarayya Canal.

To us, devout Sri Vaishnavaites, this place – to be specific a small village known as Siruputhur ‘Kiranganoor’ [Hale Kiranguru] in Srirangapatna taluk is of significance as it is associated with one of our Acharyars. I have been writing about the mahothsavam at the Holiest Thirumala for Sri Thirumalai Ananthalwan, a great Acharyar who did floral service for Thiruvengadamudayan, about 1000 years ago.  Of the many divyadesams sung by Azhwaargal, Thirumala occupies a very prominent position.  Our Acharyan Emperumanaar (Udayavar, Ramanujar, Bashyakarar, Yathi Rajar, ……….) did many service to the Lord here and Udayavar was instrumental in many of the religious practices being established in Thirumala.  One of his disciples is ‘Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan’ who was very attached to Ramanujar. 

Sri Ananthazhwaan was born in year 1053 near Mysore in a village called ‘siruputhoor’ ~ now called Hale Kiranguru in Srirangapatna Taluk 571807 situate on Pandavapura Station High Road.   When Udayavar was rendering kalakshepam on Thiruvaimozhi, (the verse – sindhu poo magizhum Thiruvengadathu – meaning the place replete with flowers), Udayavar asked whether anybody would do the pushpa kainkaryam at Thirumala.  Remember, Tirupathi was a very dense jungle ridden with wild animals with adverse weather.  Ananthazhwaan readily came forward and said that he would go, if Udayavar so desires.  Udayavar was so elated that he praised Ananthazhwaan as the real man and till date, his descendents have the name ‘Thirumalai Ananthanpillai’ meaning manly.

Legend has it that Ananthazhwaan was organizing ‘a flower garden’ – he was constructing a lake for supply of water on the hills – an extremely arduous work.  Lord Balaji in one of His Thiruvilayadals, came to the place and tried helping him.  Wrongly assuming the person as hindering the work, Ananthazhwaan threw the crowbar at the Lord (without knowing Him); later realised his folly and got the Divine Blessings of Lord.  This is the crowbar now seen at the entrance of the Temple of Supreme Lord Thiruvengadam Uaiyaan.

Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan continued his floral and other services to Lord Srinivasar for many years. He was so devoted in his service ordained by Ramanujacharya that for him, it was service that was of primary importance, even when compared to God.     The Vigraham of Sri Ramanujar that we worship inside the Sri Vari Temple was installed by him. ‘Sri Venkatesa Ithihasa maala’ is considered the best amongst the many works of Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan

For the past few years, anniversary Uthsavam of Sri Ananthazhwaan is being celebrated at his place at Thirumala.  His descendants thought it fit to organize one at his birth place too and this year on 22nd Sept 2013, his 961st Thirunakshithira celebrations were grandly conducted at his avathara sthalam at  Kiranganoor. Understand that till a few years ago, other than a slab nothing existed here ~ now it is a beautifully constructed place having a water tank, a Sannadhi where Thiruvengadam Udaiyan, Sri Ramanujar and Sri Thirumalai Ananthan pillai are worshipped.

There was the ‘Thiruvaimozhi Sarrumurai’, Ramanuja Noorranthathi and Upadesa Rathinamalai sarrumurai by hundreds of Vaishnavaites comprising of Adhyapakars from Kovil, Thirumalai, Perumal Kovil, Thiruvallikkeni and other divyadesams and of course from Thiru Narayanapuram too.  The function was well organized thanks to the untiring efforts of Sri SeluvaNaranan swami, adhyapak Melkote and Principal of Melukote paatasaala; Sri MA Venkata Krishnan Swami,  Sri Kannamani swami, Sri Ananthachar swmai, Sri Srirangachar swami, Sri SrirangaPatnam Ananthachar Swami, and many others.  Sure I would have missed out the names of some because those Organisers remained at the background and a visitor like me could easily could have missed some who were the backbone.  My Pranams to those Organisers. 

Sri MAV Swami in his concluding speech thanked all who had travelled to the Avathara sthalam and those from Thirunarayanapuram who despite their old age had come with zeal.  He made the metaphor of Arunodhayam preluding Suryodham – that this event happening as a prelude to the much bigger celebrations that WE all should be doing on the Thousandth Thirunakshithira vaibhavam of Emperumanaar.   Sri PB Rajahamsam swami underlined that at this very place Sri Ananthaazwan embraced Sri Bhattar  terming him as ‘Engal Kudikku Arase’.   

Overall, the event exhibited the great coordination of Melkote Sri Vaishnavas and the hospitality of them and of Sri Ananthaazwaan Trust.  The garden created by Ananthazhwaan in Thirumala Tirupathi  is now known as ‘Puraisaivari Thottam’. Twice in a year,  Sri Malayappar visits this place and honours Ananthazhwaan now in the form of Magizha maram.  MAV Swami informed us that a branch of the same Magizha tree was taken, planted here and has grown in to sweet fragrance pervading tree here too.

Let us worship the feets of Thirumalai Ananthazhwaan who was renowned for his knowledge, devotion, steadfastness and more good qualities. Some photos taken during the celebrations are here.

Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan. 


  1. rightly summed up and this write up brings the essence of the feelings

  2. Swamin, rich tributes indeed to our Acharyan - Ramanuja dhasan

  3. Wow, what a write-up, pallandu, pallandu - num sri vaishnava adiyargal - Ramu

  4. nice write up swamy. thanks for the presentation.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Thanks swami, I had been to this Avathara Sthalam day before yesterday & today when I read this article it takes me back to this Avathara Sthalam.

  7. Acharyar thiruvadigale saranam - Vittal

  8. Never knew this - though I have travelled on this road - Vaishnavi