Eri Katha Ramar Temple, Mathuranthakam

Eri Katha Ramar
Sri Kothanda Ramar

Eri Katha Ramar Temple is ascribed to Lord Rama. This temple is situated in the banks of Mathuranthakam lake near Chengalpattu which is the town next to Chennai.

Eri Katha Ramar Temple – Origin

The temple is believed to be built during the Pallava era. It is expected to be older than 1600 years. As per the inscriptions, it is believed that Sri Paranthaka Chola had generously donated to this temple.

Till the 1790’s, the temple was known by the names such as Vaikunda Varthanam, Mathuranthaka Chathurvedi Mangalam, Thirumandira Thirupathi, Karunakara Vilagam and Thirumathurai.

Eri Katha Ramar Temple – Legend

Sri Ramanuja’s spiritual journey towards Sri Rangam is said to have happened in this temple.

Sri Ramanuja

Sage Sri Ramanuja, as ordained by the Divine voice of Sri Kanchi Varadaraja Swamy, was leaving for Sri Rangam. He wanted to become the disciple of Sri Peria Nambigal.

Cross journey

Peria Nambigal had started to leave for Kanchipuram to make Sri Ramanuja the successor of Sri Alavandar. Each was unaware of the other’s journey though they wanted to meet each other.

It is believed that both of them met at the precincts of the Mathuranthakam temple.

Pancha Samskaram

In the month of Avani (Jyeshta), on sukla panchami (5th day from new moon day) Sri Peria Nambigal had blessed Sri Ramanuja with Samasrayanam or Pancha Samskaram called Dvaya Mantropadesam(divine syllable) in the four pillar mandapam in the temple.

This mandapam is situated under Magizha Tree in the temple premises.  Only in this temple, Sri Ramanuja is considered as a Gruhastha, i.e. family man.

Thirumazhisai Alwar

It is also believed that Sri Thirumazhisai Alwar had attained enlightenment only in this temple.

Mathuranthakam Lake

As per the history, during the period from 1795 to 1799, the Mathuranthakam lake was of 34 square kilometers with more than 20 feet depth.

Lake breach

The lake had two major breaches due to torrential downpour.

At the same time, in the temple, a huge pile-up of granites and other stones were kept for building a separate shrine for Sri Janakavalli Thayar.

Request for stones

Mr Blaze, who was then the District Collector of the area had asked the temple authorities to provide the stones and granites in the temple to strengthen the tank bund.

The temple priests told him that the stock is kept for building the separate shrine for the Thayar. They also said that the work did not proceed due to lack of funds. They could not provide the stones for the bund building work.

Colonel’s advice

The Colonel (Mr Blaze) had lamented that when there was the utmost necessity to repair the bund to avoid deluge of water, the construction of separate shrine should not be given priority.

He also quipped sarcastically whether Lord Rama would save the lake from breaching every year. The priests replied that Lord Rama always answered sincere prayers.

Incessant rains

One day, the rain was incessant. The collector feared that there would be a huge breach. He camped at the site.

Bund guards

At night, he saw two men with bow and arrow guarding the bund to ensure that the water level did not breach. Only the collector had this vision and none of his group were able to see this.

Blaze realized that it was none other than Sri Rama and Sri Lakhmana who had protected the bund.

Sri Ram and Sri Lakshmam

As Sri Rama protected the lake from breaching, He was hailed as Eri (lake) Katha (protector) Ramar.

The collector Blaze donated a huge sum for the construction of the separate shrine for Janakavalli Thayar.  From that time, the temple is being known as Eri Katha Ramar temple.

Eri Katha Ramar Temple – Structure

The temple is facing east. The presiding Deity Himself is called as Sri Ramanuja and the vigraha  is eight feet tall. He is also referred to as Sri Kothanda Rama.

He is seen with Sri Sita Devi and Sri Lakshmana.  Here Sri Sita Devi is called as Janakavalli Thayar. The Urchava murthy, the processional Deity is named as Sri Karunakara Perumal.

There is a separate shrine for Sri Anjaneya.

It is believed that keeping the picture of Sri Eri Katha Ramar at home shall bring protection and safety.

Eri Katha Ramar Temple – festivals

The major festival of the temple is the Sri Rama Navami festival, the birth of Sri Rama.

Ani Brahmostavam is being celebrated during the Tamil month of Aani[Jyeshta] (July – August).

Panchasamskaram festival signifying the sanctification of Ramanuja is the other major festival celebrated in the temple.

Timing

The temple is open from 7.30 a.m to 11.30 a.m and from 4.30 p.m to 8.30 p.m. The timing may differ on special occasions.

How to reach

From Chennai, local trains and buses are available to reach Mathuranthakam. Call Taxis can also be booked.

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