Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday commenced his 2-day visit of various temples of historical significance in Tamil Nadu ahead of the consecration of Ram Temple at Ayodhya on January 22.
Mr Modi’s first temple stop was the famous Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam in Trichy.
Mr Modi, who arrived in Chennai on Friday evening on a 3-day visit to the state, inaugurated the Khelo India Youth Games and met BJP leaders including state Unit President K.Annamalai and other office bearers at Raj Bhavan, where he stayed overnight.
Today morning, Mr Modi left Chennai airport for Trichy by air. From Trichy airport, he reached the makeshift helipad by a chopper near the Kollidam Cauvery river water bed from where he reached the temple by road.
Mr Modi’s convoy moved at a slow pace as a large number of BJP cadres assembled on both sides of the road and greeted him. Cultural events and folk arts were also organised to greet the Prime Minister all along the one km route.
Mr Modi also greeted the people by waving his hands by standing near the car doors after opening it.
Upon reaching the temple, Mr Modi was accorded a traditional Poorna Khumb reception by the temple priests.
After spending mlre than an hour at the temple, he will leave for Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram district, Dhanushkodi and Aricha Munai, which is said to be the place from where the Ram Sethu was built.
Security has been tightened in Trichy, Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi in view of Mr Modi’s visit.
At the Ranganathaswamy Temple Mr Modi listened scholars reciting verses from the Kamba Ramayanam.
After witnessing recital of nagswaram, Mr Modi offered worship to the presiding deity and his consort Goddess Ranganayaki. He also visited various sannadhis in the temple, which is the Number one in the 108 divyadesams of Vishnavite temples of Lord Vishnu.
A Divya Desam or Vaishnava Divya Desam is one of the 108 Vishnu and Lakshmi temples that is mentioned in the works of the Alwars, the poet-saints of the Sri Vaishnava tradition.
From Trichy, he will visit Arulmigu Ramanathaswamy Temple; witness the chanting of the Ramayana in multiple languages and participate in Bhajan Sandhya, besides visiting Lord Kothandaramaswamy Temple, Dhanushkodi and Arichal Munai.
The Prime Minister will reach Rameswaram at around 2 PM and perform Darshan and Pooja in Sri Arulmigu Ramanathaswamy Temple.
Continuing the practice being observed during Prime Minister’s visit to multiple temples in the last few days, wherein he attends Ramayana chanting in various languages (such as Marathi, Malayalam and Telugu), in this temple, he will attend a programme – ‘Shri Ramayana Paryana’. In the programme, eight different traditional Mandalis will recite the Sanskrit, Awadhi, Kashmiri, Gurumukhi, Assamese, Bengali, Maithili, and Gujarati Ramkathas (recounting the episode of Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya).
This is in line with Bharatiya cultural ethos and bonding, which is at the core of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’.
At the Ramanathaswamy Temple, Mr Modi will also participate in Bhajan Sandhya, where multiple devotional songs would be sung at the temple complex in the evening.
On Sunday, Prime Minister will perform darshan and pooja at Kothandaramaswamy Temple in Dhanushkodi.
The Prime Minister will also visit Arichal Munai, which is said to be the place from where the Ram Setu was built.
Mr Modi will return to Rameswaram from where he will reach Madurai around noon and leave for New Delhi.
Highlighting the historical significance of the temples to be visited by Mr Modi, PMO said “Located in Srirangam, Trichy, the Ranganathaswamy temple is one of the most ancient temple complexes in the country and finds mention in various ancient texts including the Puranas and the Sangam era texts. It is famous for its architectural grandeur and its numerous iconic gopurams (temple towers).”
The main deity worshipped here is Sri Ranganatha Swamy, a reclining form of Bhagwaan Vishnu. Vaishnava scriptures mention the connection between the idol worshipped in this temple and Ayodhya. It is believed that the image of Vishnu which used to be worshipped by Sri Rama and his ancestors was given by him to Vibhishana to take it to Lanka. On the way, this idol was fixed in Srirangam.
Sri Ramanujacharya, the great philosopher and saint, is also deeply associated with this temple’s history. Moreover, there are various important places in this temple – for example, the famous Kamba Ramayanam was first presented publicly by the Tamil poet Kamban in a particular place in this complex.
About Sri Arulmigu Ramanathaswamy Temple, Rameswaram, it said the main deity worshipped in this temple is Sri Ramanathaswamy, which is a form of Bhagwan Shiva. It is a widely held belief that the main lingam in this temple was installed and worshipped by Sri Rama and Mata Sita. The temple contains one of the longest temple corridor, which is also famous for its beautiful architecture. It is one among the Char Dhams – Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameshwaram. It is also one among the 12 Jyotirlingas.
About Kothandaramaswamy Temple, Dhanushkodi, the statement said this temple is dedicated to Sri Kothandarama Swamy. The name Kothandarama, means Rama with the bow. It is located in a place called Dhanushkodi. It is said that this is where Vibhishana first met Sri Rama and asked him for refuge. Some legends also say that this is the place where Sri Rama conducted the coronation of Vibhishana.