by Suhasini on 18/09/10 at 3:23 am
The birth place of the 12th century reformer saint.
Sri Adi Kesava Perumal Temple at Sriperumbudur in South India is one of the most important Vaishnaivite temples in India. This is the birthplace of Ramanuja.
Sriperumbudur is an industrial town, which is strategically located on Chennai-Bangalore highway, at a distance of around 60 kms from Chennai, the city called as “Gateway to South India”. Sriperumbudur is famous due to two reasons. Sriperumbudur is the birthplace of Sri Ramanujar who is also called as Ethirajar, one of the most important Vaishnaivite saint. He was the founder of Visistadvita philosophy. He belongs to the period of 12th century AD. Another reason why Sriperumbudur became famous in the recent time was due to the fact that the former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated here.
Sri Adi Kesava Perumal Temple in Sriperumbudur is considered as one of the main Vishnu temples in the entire India. This is a big and ancient temple located at the heart of the Sriperumbudur town. Lord Vishnu is named as Adi Kesava in this temple. He is found in the standing posture along with his two consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi in the main shrine. Near his shrine, the shrine of Hindu Guru and saint Sri Ramanuja is found. Both the stone idol as well as the procession (metal/utsav) idol of Ramanuja is found in the same shrine. It is believed that the procession idol was made when Ramanuja was alive. It is also believed that the idol was embraced by Ramanuja himself.
The prakara aka corridor has a separate shrine for the Goddess Ethirajanathavalli Thayar. It is rare to find the goddess named after her devotee. There is a separate shrine for Andal as well as Rama with Lakshman and Sita. As usual, Garud is present in front of the main shrine. The temple is full of mural paintings depicting various temples and forms of Lord Vishnu. The sculptures and the pillars in the temple are beautiful. You can find Yazhi, the mythological animal, in most of the pillars in this temple.
Outside the temple, there is a separate temple for Manavala Munigal, and Ramanuja. The Ramanuja temple over here is considered as the actual birthplace of the saint Ramanuja. It is unfortunate that except for the main temple, all these adjacent temples generally remain closed.
When you happen to go to Chennai, ensure that you visit this ancient and powerful temple at Sriperumbudur.