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Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Udayavar Ethirajar vellai sarruppadi 2024 - sojourn to Delhi

"தஸ்மை ராமானுஜார்யாய நம: பரமயோகினே" ~ we fall at the feet of the Greatest of Acharyas who is hailed as the King of all Sages.   On day 6 of the annual Uthsavam of Emperumanar (Udayavar / Ramanujar] – it would be kuthirai vahanam. On this uthsavam, every year I have been posting  photos of Swami Ramanujar astride a horse wearing ‘white silken robes’ with melancholy – for it was an event in the life of Emperumanar which made us sad.   This year the post is slightly different !!


Most likely that you have visited our Rajdhani, the National Capital, New Delhi.  You may be surprised to read that for the better part of the 19th century, the main railway route from Madras to Calcutta and Delhi was through Bombay!  The Madras-Bombay mail train carried through carriages between Madras and Manmad which were detached at Daund. Passengers would then be  transferred to the Great Indian Peninsular Railway's Calcutta mail at Manmad to proceed to the northern and the eastern parts of the country. Then came the Grand Trunk Express .. .. GT Express  ran from 1st Apr 1929   after the construction of the Kazipet-Balharshah section.  As a prestigious train, it was one of the few to have the early methods of air cooling by ice blocks. It also carried a parcel van for urgent consignments.  'Grand Trunk' express commenced operating as two through carriages running between Peshawar in the North Western Railway (British India) and Mangalore in the South Indian Railway. 

Indraprastha ("Plain of Indra" or "City of Indra")  was a flourishing  city of the Kuru Kingdom. It was the capital of the kingdom led by the Pandavas ~ compares to the present day  New Delhi, particularly the Old Fort (Purana Qila) Unlike the Southern parts of India, Delhi has seen much of occupation and wars.  By some accounts Delhi is  known to have been continuously inhabited since 6th  century BC ~ and in most of its history, it has been the capital of many kingdoms, starting from the days of Pandavas when it was Indraprastha.   

Chakrāvarti Yashwant Rao Holkar (1776–1811) also known as Jaswantrao Holkar belonged to the Holkar dynasty of the Maratha Confederacy was the Maharaja of the Indore. He was a gifted military leader and educated in accountancy as well as literate in Persian and Marathi and Urdu. In January 1799, Yashwant Rao Holkar ascended the Holkar throne.  At that time, in  Delhi, the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II had become puppet monarch of his new masters, the British who successfully replaced Marathas after defeating Sindhia. On 8 October 1804, to gain control over the emperor, Holkar marched towards Delhi and attacked the army of Colonel Ochterlony and Berne. The Siege of Delhi (1804) lasted for more than a week. In that siege, the  important gates - Ajmeri Gate, Kashmiri Gate, and Lahori Gate - saw stiff fighting."

Indian First war of Independence too centered around Delhi.  The siege of Delhi in 1857 was from 8th June till 21st Sept.   The hard-fought recapture of Delhi by the British army was a decisive moment in the suppression of the 1857–58 Indian Mutiny against British rule. It extinguished Indian dreams of recreating the rule of the Mughal Empire. The rebellion lost its cohesion, allowing the British to defeat any remaining isolated pockets of resistance. 

Because of that uprising, the  city once known for its resplendent culture of mushairas and poets was to be reduced to one strewn with bodies of the dead. From a royal capital, its status was relegated to that of a provincial town. The city recovered itself only after 1911 and more so after Independence.


No post on battles or history of Delhi – but today’s purappadu Emperumanar signifies his visit to Delhi, when he had to move away from Tamil Nadu, to Melukote Thirunarayanapuram and thence to Delhi too.


Had posted many times earlier  at length on the significance of day 6 – Kuthirai vahanam – vellai sarruppadi vaibhavam – of Swami Ramanujar astride a horse wearing white robes - a symbolic tradition when our Great Acharyar dons white garment and is seen without trithandam. Symbolic of the travail and travel that Ramanujar had to undertake donning the dress of a ‘grahastha’ instead of his reverred kashaya.  For a detailed post on ‘vellai sarruppadi’ – do read this :Udayavar Vellai Sarruppadi 

Swami Emperumanar travelled along the course of river Kaveri, went out of Cholanadu adorning white dress and went places traversing Kongu nadu,  reached Thondanur, where he constructed a huge lake; thence reached Melukote (Thirunarayanapuram) in Mandya district, where he performed many religious discourses and brought in disciplined ways of temple management.    More was to happen as Udayavar travelled to Delhi to the Court of Delhi sultan where the uthsava vigraham of "Ramapriyan" had been taken by the invading  muslim ruler. The vigraham (Chelva Pillai)  when invited by Udayavar walked on its own and sat on the lap of Udayavar.

It is our fortune that we are in the lineage of such great Acaryas and have the fortune of worshipping them and reciting the holy works of Azhwar, Acharyas.   At Thiruvallikkeni on day 6 – Sri Udayavar  on kuthirai vahanam wearing white silken robes halts (mandagappadi) at Sri Yadugiri Yathiraja Mutt that is connected to Melukote Thirunarayanapuram.  Here – saffron robes (kashaya Uthareevam) and garlands are offered to Swami Ramanuja. As Melukote is known for the thiruman & sirchurnam  that we adorn (Swami Ramanujar found them in abundance in the hills of Thirunarayanapuram) are distributed to Srivaishnavas.  

Swami Emperumanar lived for 12 years at Melukote, administered the temple and did many kainkaryam changing the fortunes of people living in that area. Let us fall at the feet of our Acaryarn.   Here are some photos of Udayavar uthsavam day 6 of date.   

ஸ்ரீமந்  யதீந்த்ர! தவ திவ்யபதாப்ஜஸேவாம்  :  என்றுமழியாத செல்வமுடைய யதிராஜரே அடியேனுக்கு தேவரீருடைய திருவடித்தாமரைகளில் பண்ணும் கைங்கர்யத்தை, அருளவேணும் !!     

ஆழ்வார் எம்பெருமானார் திருவடிகளே சரணம் -

நம் இராமானுஜன் திருவடிகளே சரணம்.

அடியேன் ஸ்ரீனிவாசதாசன்
Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar


  1. உடையவர் திருவடிகளே சரணம்!🙏🙏 வெள்ளை சாற்றுபடி எல்லா கோயில்களிலும் ஒரே நாளில் நடைபெறுமா? ஒரு நாள் மட்டும் தானே?

    வரலாற்றை இவ்வளவு detail ஆக எழுதுபவர் நீங்கள் தான்.

    1. thank you so much for your nice wordss Sir - regards S Sampathkumar

  2. மேலே உள்ள பின்னூட்டம் அடியேன் - jagannathan.rajagopal எழுதியது. 🙏

  3. Sir, I think yes - day 6 at all divyadesams yet in Melukote, it would be a happy occasion for them as Yathirajar arrives there and they happily welcome and enjoy his presence - adiyen dhasan S Sampathkumar