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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Yaanamalai Narasimhar Thirukovil at Madurai and Jyothishkudi

The glorious Thiruvarangam… 21 Gopurams – 7 prakarams …. ~reverred as ‘The Kovil’ by all Sri Vaishnavaites – Srirangamis  an island created by Coleroon [kollidam] and Kaveri.   The temple of Sri Ranganathaswami at Srirangam boasts an historic past of great kingdom and a civilization thousands of years old. It has flourished through various dynasties though the invasion of Malikapur was a dark era.  At that time, Acharyar Pillai Lokacharyar [Pillai Ulagaryar] who was already 60+ by historical accounts along with his disciples Kura Kulothamadhasar and other committed devotees, traversed miles carrying Arangan to safety as many thousands sacrificed their lives fighting for the divinity…………. 

Around 150 km from Thiruvarangam is Yanaimalai [literally Elephant hill] in Madurai, a protected monument.  The hill does look like an elephant in sitting posture.   It is located in Othakadai, 8 km in the outskirts of Madurai, stretching over 3 km and around 300 ft high.   Yanaimalai has significance for Jainese too.  Tamil-Brahmi andVattelettuinscriptions  have been  found on the hill.
Photo credit : Dinamalar tamil daily
Yoga Narasimha Swami temple situate on this hill,  is a famous temple, dating back to Pandya King JatilaVarman, also known as KomaranSadaiyan.According to the SthalaPuranam of Madurai KoodalAzhagar Temple, known as KoodalManmiyam, sage Romasa had installed the Narasimha idol in a cave in the hill.
Photo credit : murpriya.blogspot.com

In 1300s, Swami Pillai Lokacharyar at ripe old age, along with trusted aides set out of Thiruvarangam carrying NumPerumal in a bid to protect Him from the Islamic invaders who were plundering all wealth.   On the way, nearer Jyothishkudi [in Yanaimalai], Pillai Ulagariyar, unable to bear the stress, attained paramapadham.   Our NamPerumal travelled places – Thirumalirumcholai, Kozhikode, finally Thirumalai, returning after long years. 

Today’s The Hindu reports of a news item about ‘Thiruman’ painted atop the holy hillock – being the subject matter of discussion by a section of lawyers in the Madras High Court Bench at Madurai.   It is reported that a lawyer reportedly is contemplating to file a public interest litigation petition against painting of religious symbol on the hillock since it had been declared a protected monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

Two temples, one for NarasingaPerumal and another for Lord Murugan, were situated in the foothills of Yanaimalai, and the ancient hillock with a recorded history of over 2,000 years houses Jain caverns with Bas Relief of Mahavira, Parsuvanath and others – and a group is objecting to painting.  According to the report,  ‘Thiruman’ has been painted exactly on a rock that resembles the forehead of an elephant.

“Painting on rocks is against an order of the Supreme Court in 2002 when it fined cola companies for defacing the Himalayas by their advertisements,” the advocate claimed.A priest associated with the Narasingam temple clarified that they did not paint the ‘Thiruman’ and was not aware of who painted the new one.The ‘Thiruman’ was in existence for some years now, signifying the presence of Jothishkudi village below the hillock, where the ‘utsavar’ of Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam was kept by Pillai Lokachariar after it was taken away from the temple for protection from invaders. The priest was not aware of who painted the new one, concludes the report.
Photo credit :  The Hindu newspaper

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
25th Aug 2015.

Photos taken from various sources : due credit is acknowledged below each photo

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