Sunday 3 February 2013

The Dakshina Seshadri of Terakanambi

This is one of the most ancient temple of India. The deity here was at one point of time worshipped by Rama in the Thretha Yuga and also by the Pandavas in the Dwapara Yuga.
Unlike other temples, there are three Kalyanis or water tanks here, each with its own significance. It is here that the Pandavas came to after the wax palace burnt and they worshipped the deity here.  
This is also the exact place where Sage Agastya meditated and Srinivasa gave him a darshan and released him from the curse of Vishwakarma.
This is the temple of Balaji or Srinivasa located at  Huligadri, near Terakanambi in  Gundlupet taluk of Chamarajanagar district.
The small temple is about 80 kms from Mysore and 23 kms from Nanjangud. It is popularly known as Dakshina Sheshadri, a name given in the Varaha Purana. 
The story about the holiness and sacredness of the temple here and the miraculous powers of Srinivasa is contained in six chapters of Varaha Purana.
The idols of Srinivasa in the Huligadri temple was worshipped by Lord Rama in Thretha Yuga and by the Pandavas in Dwapara Yuga. It was here that Srinivasa blessed saints Mandavya and Agastya with his presence.
The temple is built in  the Vijayanagar style and it comes under the Muzrai department. It was called as Seshadri in Krita Yuga, Kanakadri in Treta Yuga, Venkatadri in Dwapara Yuga and Vyagradri in Kali Yuga.
The temple is locally better known as Huligina Muradi.
The three ponds here are sacred and each has its own legend to tell. The first pond is called Dhanushkoti. When Rama came here enroute to Lanka, he did not find any water to bathe. He then shot an arrow here and water began springing up.
Rama bathed in the pool and ten prayed to Srinivasa for success of  his mission.
Another pond to the north of Dhanushkoti is called Veda Pushkarni. When a rakshasa, Somaka, stole the Vedas, Paramapurusha killed him disguised as a fish, collected all the Vedas in the form of Hayagriva and taught them to his son Brahma.
As Paramapurusha was tired, sweat began pouring from his body and some drops of this fell here and created this pond.
Viraja is the third pond and it is about a mile away form the Veda Pushkarni. It is also called Vaikunta Theerta.
There is an interesting legend about how Srinivasa came here.
Mandavya Rishi performed tapas at Pushkar to propitiate Narayana but his wish was not fulfilled. So he left Pushkar and went to  Tirumula and resumed his tapas there. Narayana gave darshana to Mandavya as an old Brahmin and asked him to proceed to Huligina Muradi.
Mandavya then came here an performed penance. Narayana appeared before him and said he would reside here with his consorts Bhoodevi and Neeladevi and also accept daily worship from devotees.
Mandavya then saw with his own eyes Narayana transforming himself in to a statue in the presence of Brahma.
Sage Agastya too was blessed with here. This is how the legend goes.   
When Shiva and Parvathi got married, the ceremony was attended by Brahma, all Gods, Narada, Rishis and almost everybody from the Devaloka. The congregation was so large that the earth could not bear the weight. This resulted in an imbalance between northern and southern hemisphere.
The wedding guests panicked but Vishwakarma, the architect of the Gods, said if Agastya, who weighed equal to three fourth of the world, could be sent to the southern hemisphere, the world would balance equitably again.
Though Agastya obliged and came away here, he was very unhappy as he could not witness the divine wedding. He then cursed Vishwakarma that he should be the lowest among the divines and all his successors in the world should die of penury.
Vishwakarma, in turn, retaliated by cursing Agastya that his mother tongue Tamil should be equated to the language of the evil spirits. He also cursed Agastya to carry the king’s palanquin with no reward besides being forced to eat the demon’s flesh.
Agastya took a dip in Veda Puskarni  to get rid of Vishwakarma's curse. Srinivasa reversed the curse and also told Agastya that his Dravidian language-Tamil- would be equated to the sacred  language of Gods-Sanskrit.
Another story says Yudhistera and the Pandavas, after their escape from the wax palace, heard a voice from heaven advising him to go to Dakshina Seshadri and  worship Srinivasa.
Yudhistera and the other Pandavas bathed at Dhannushkoti and offered prayers to Srinivasa.  It was here that Srinivasa blessed Yudhistera and said that the sufferings of the Pandavas had come to an end and, henceforth, they would enjoy peace and prosperity.  
Adishesha, the mount on which Narayana rests, also prayed here.
There is a story about this too.
Thousands of years ago, Adishesha and Vayu got into a fight and each thought the other as inferior in strength. Both decided to fight out and Meru mountain was chosen as the venue.
Adishesha went round the mountain and encircled it in his grasp. Vayu then tried to get Adisesha to release the grip but to no avail. Vayu then broke the peak of Meru and smashed it on the Earth.
When the peak broke, Adisesha loosened his grip on Meru. One part of the peak came to be called as Venkatadri or Tirumala and the other as Seshadri . Adishesha was unhappy at having lost the contest and came here to pray before Srinivasa.
There is a story about Mandavya rishi too.
Once Srinivasa went hunting on a horseback. He then saw that the demon Vyagrasura was trying to devour Mandavya while he was near Vaikunta Theerta. Srinivasa then cut off the demon’s head with his sword.
As the demon’s body fell into Vaikunta Theerta, the demon was transformed into a man. The demon then prayed to Srinivasa for moksha.
The Bandipur national wildlife sanctuary is close by. There is a road right upto the temple. If you want to visit the temple, travel upto Gundlupet and then proceed towards Terukanambi which is to the east of Gundlupet. The temple  is situated on the eastern side of Terukanambi

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