Sri Yoga Rama Temple is ascribed Sri Rama and Sri Sita Devi. This temple is situated on the way from Chennai to Vandavasi. It is 50 kilometers away from Thiruvannamalai.
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Sri Yoga Rama Temple – origin
It is believed this temple was built by Pallava Kings by 7th Century AD. Later the temple was also patronized by the Vijaya Nagara Kings during 16th Century. It is also believed that Sri Krishnadeva Raya had donated enormously for the construction of the temple.
Sri Yoga Rama Temple – Legend
The legend is that Sri Suka Brahma Maharishi (the Sage with parrot head) was doing penance at this place seeking the darshan of Sri Rama. At that time, Sri Rama was returning from Srilanka after killing Ravana.
Pleased with the sincere devotion of Sri Suka, Sri Rama had spent a day with him here. As he was returning after the completion of war, He had had no weapons on Him.
Sri Yoga Rama Temple – Structure
The entrance is a huge 5 tier Rajagopuram.
Next to that, there is another 5 tier gopuram called as Kili (parrot) Gopuram.
This was said to be built in honour of Sri Suka Brahma Maharishi.
Here Sri Rama is in sitting position with no weapons. He is flanked by Sri Lakshmana who has the bow & arrow and Sri Sita Devi. Sri Hanuman is in the front of Sri Rama holding Brahma Sutra scripture in His hand. As per the legend, Sri Hanuman was explaining Brahma Sutra to Sage Sukha.
Sri Rama has His eyes closed. He shows Chin Mudra near His heart. He appears to be like an instructor listening to Sri Hanuman. Sri Hanuman is visible through the mirror only.
It is believed that the Vigraha are swayambu, i.e self-manifested.
Adjacent to the temple, there is a hillock having the foot prints, conch and chakra of Sri Rama at the top.
The wall panels in the temple depict the ten avatharams of Sri Maha Vishnu and the scenes of Sri Ramayana.
The parikrama path is below the level of the sanctums.
Around the main sanctum, there are separate sanctums for Senkamalavalli Thayar, Sudarshanalwar, Kalyana Venkatesa Perumal and Sanjeevini Hanuman. The sanctum of Sri Sanjeevini Hanuman has twin Anjaneya Swami idols.
Apart from these, there is a separate sanctum for Sri Vikhanasa Acharya, the originator of Vikhanasa Agama, the principles of worshipping Sri Vishnu.
There is a mandapam called kili mandapam which depicts the sculpture of the pond with a bloomed lotus with a parrot sitting near it. This sculpture is at the ceiling and from below it looks as the inverted image. Here the miniature of Sri Yoga Rama is available.
There is another mandapam called muthu mandapam which was built in memory of a dancer. In the hall in front of the main sanctum, Krishna leela are depicted in the pillars.
Sri Yoga Rama Temple – Festivals
The ten day Panguni Brahmotsavam (March – April), Aadi Pavithrotsavam (Ashada month) and Sri Rama Navami are grandly celebrated.
On the next day of Pongal festival, i.e kaanum Pongal day, the procession Deities are taken on procession around the hill.
The temple is open from 6.00 A.M to 11.00 A.M and 4.00 P.M to 8.00 P.M. The timing may differ on special occasions.
How to reach
The buses plying from Chennai to Vandavasi halt here. Taxis can also be booked from Chennai.