On 14th Feb 2018, we started by 6 AM from sister-in-law’s house at Villupuram. First we went to Thirukovilur Ragothamaswamy Brindavanam. Ragothama swamy is one of the famous saints of madhwa prampara. It is popular belief that Sri Raghuttama Theertha is a great healer. He was the 14th pontiff during the period of 1537-1596 AD. Thousands of devotees who throng to his Brindavana are standing proof of his divine power and a kind heart to bless his devotees. He has made a dumb speak, mad to be intelligent , childless to beget progeny. We reached ther by 7 AM. We made 12 pradhikshana namaskara and offered our prayers to Him.
Once Shri Raghuvarya Teertharu of Uttaradhi mutt visited Swarnavata village in the Nizam State. The Zamindar of the village Shri Subba Bhatta and his wife Ganga Bai invited Shri Raghuvarya Teertharu for “Bhiksha” in their house but Swamiji refused their offer because they were childless. After repeated requests made by the couple, Shri Raguvarya Teertharu accepted to receive their Bhiksha provided their first born male child should be handed over to the Mutt. The blessed couple accepted to do so.
Swamiji performed the pooja of Shri Moola Rama and Seetha and received the Bhiksha in their house and gave Phala Mantrakshate to the couple. Some time later, Smt. Ganga Bai, the wife of the Zamindar conceived and Shri Swamiji was informed accordingly. He returend to the village expecting the birth of the child. A big gold plate was sent to the Zamindar’s house from the Mutt with an instruction to receive the child directly in the golden plate without allowing the child to touch the earth.
The child was received in the golden plate and brought to the Mutt. He was named after Shri Ramachandra by his Holiness and brought up at the Mutt itself and was fed only with the Abhishekha milk of the Vyasa Kurma Saligram of the Mutt. When Shri Ramchandra became a boy of seven years he had his Upanayanam at the Mutt and the very next year he was ordained as a sanyasi and named as Shri Raghuttama Teertharu. Sri Raghuttama Teertha was on throne of Uttaradhi mutt for 39 years.
Shri Raghuttama Teertharu desired to enter the Brindavana at Thirukovilur. This place is also known as “Pancha Krishnaranya Kshetra”. Shri Swamiji ordered a Zamindar of Tiruvanamalai in the latter’s dream to construct his Brindavana at a specified place. Shri Raghuttama Teertharu entered Brindavana in 1595 AD on the day of Vaikunta Ekadashi. This place has become a holy seat of pilgrimage and a vast number of devotees belonging to all castes and creeds perform SEVA even today. Shri Raghuttama Teertharu is known to save all souls, all those devotees who had taken refuge in him. None of his devotees seem to have returned in disappointment.
Next, we went to Ulagalandha Permal temple, which is about 1 KM from the Ragothama Swamy Brindavanam. This is one of the 108 Diva Desas of Perumal. Presiding deity of Perumal is made of Tharu wood. Lord Krishna made of Saligrama stone is gracing the devotees from a separate shrine. The thaayar is known as “Poongothai“.
Then, we went to Aadi Thiruvarangam. Lord Ranganatha is seen in a gigantic east facing sleeping posture and measures over 15 feet, not seen in any Divya Desam. Lying in a sleeping posture from South to North, Lord Ranganatha has his head on the lap of Sri Devi-on his left, while his left leg is stretched towards Bhoo Devi seen at his feet. To his right is Garuda ever ready to be of service to the Lord. There is a separate sannidhi for “Ranganayaki Thaayar”.
Our final visit was to temple at Rishivandhyam. Here, the presiding deity is Ardhanareeswa swamy (Linga roopam) and the presiding goddess is Muthambika. The baanam ( the lingam ) is swayambhu and is very special as it houses both Lord Shiva and Lordess Parvathi, however one cannot see Parvathi Devi normally. Indra Deva was performing pooja to Lord Shiva on a daily basis with Milk abhishekam, however he would leave without taking dasrshan of Devi Parvathi ! Being offended by the act of Indra Deva, Sri Parvathi devi complained to Lord Shiva, who in turn offered his Left side to Parvathi Devi. While DeveIndra was performing abhiseka, he saw Parvathi Devi in the left part of the Lingam. Having realized his ignorance, lord indra sought forgiveness from Devi Parvathi and went to his Loka. Until today one can see Devi parvathi in the Lingam while Honey abhiseka is performed.
We started our journey back to home, after visiting many temples surrounding Villupuram.