Sri Thirumalai Ananthan Pillai Uthsavam
at his AvatharaSthalam - (Siruputhur / Kiranganoor) near Melkote 2016
The Hoysala empire ruled between the 10th and the 14th centuries. The capital of the Hoysalas was initially located at Belur but was later moved to Halebidu. Art, architecture, Kannada& Sanskrit literature and Vaishnavism flourished during their reign.
On way to Mysore from Bangalore lies Mandya district, region purportedly getting its name, meaning a habitat preceding a civilization or roughly an ancient abode. Then there is - 'Pandavapura' which literally means "Town of Pandavas". Legend has it that the Pandavas during their period of exile stayed here for sometime, and Kunthi, 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.
A few months back, National Institute of Design conceptualised and designed logos for some Railway stations and for Pandavapura it was inspired by Pandavas, the famous divine Melukote temple and KRS dam. 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 for its association with one of our Acharyars. I have been posting about the mahothsavam at the Holiest Thirumala for Sri ThirumalaiAnanthalwan, a great Acharyar who did floral service for Thiruvengadamudayan, about 1000 years ago.
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 magizhumThiruvengadathu – meaning the place replete with flowers), Udayavar asked whether anybody would do the pushpakainkaryam 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 ‘ThirumalaiAnanthanpillai’ meaning manly.
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 VenkatesaIthihasamaala’ is considered the best amongst the many works of ThirumalaiAnanthazhwaan
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 11th Sept 2016 - his Thirunakshithiram was grandly celebrated at his avatharasthalam at Kiranganur. Understand that till a few years ago, other than a slab nothing existed here ~ now it is a beautifully constructed place having a temple tank, a Sannadhi where ThiruvengadamUdaiyan, Sri Andal, Sri Ramanujar and Sri Thirumalai Ananthanpillai, Swami Manavala mamunigal are worshipped.
This year being 4th in succession, it was ‘Iyarpa’ (moonravathu aayiram comprising Anthathis of Muthal Azhwargal) rendered by hundreds of Vaishnavaites comprising of Adhyapakars from Perumal Kovil, Thiruvallikkeni and other places and of course from ThiruNarayanapuram. It was divine leisurely rendering of Iyarpa, Iramanusa Noorranthathi, Upadesa Rathinamalai & Thiruvaimozhi Noorranthathi that extended for hours. The function was grandiosely well organized thanks to the untiring efforts of Swamis like Sri U Ve Sarvanarayanan Swami from Melkote, [unfortunately I am missing out the details of the names of those Organisers who did untiring work as they remained in the background ~ a visitor like me was awe-struck seeing the spirit, enthusiasm and ease of people who visibly were Septuagenarians or perhaps easily more. One needs to see their high energy levels; their knowledge, humility, culinary skills total devotion to Sriman Narayana]. They offered so many varieties of prasadams (so many sweets) to Perumal during Divyaprabandha sevakalam. My Pranams to those Organisers and thanks to Dr. MA Venkatakrishnan swami [& MA Madhusudhanan who took care of the group so well] for taking us there. Understand that a few years earlier, a branch of the divine Magizhamaram from Thirumala [‘Puraisaivari Thottam’] planted here, has now grown well thanks to the divine grace and pervading fragrance.
Let us worship the feet of ThirumalaiAnanthalwar renowned for his knowledge, devotion, steadfastness and more good qualities. Some photos taken at his avathara sthalam are here.
14th Sept. 2016