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PM Modi visits several temples in India ahead of Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha, here is how his temple visits have a Ramayan connect: Details

PM Modi has visited several temples covering the Indian geography connecting the cultural identity of the country before the Pran Pratishtha at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22.

Days ahead of the much-awaited Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha, BJP stalwart LK Advani who spearheaded the Ram Mandir movement, had asserted that destiny had decided that Ram Mandir would be built and PM Modi would represent every Indian citizen at the Pran Pratishtha in Ayodhya. 

On his part, PM Modi has been following strict rituals as per the Hindu scriptures before stepping into the Ram Mandir premises to carry out the Puja for the mega-consecration ceremony. In line with that, he had earlier announced on 12th January that for the next eleven days he would undergo strenuous rituals of ‘Yama Niyama’ which are described as ethical guidelines in the Bhagwad Gita. As per reports, his dietary intake only includes coconut water and he has been sleeping on the floor on a blanket for this entire duration. Additionally, he has been doing Gau-pooja, feeding cows daily, and various other forms of ‘daan’ like ‘annadaan’ and giving away clothes. 

Back then, PM Modi had asserted, “It is said that to participate in a ceremony like the consecration, one must try to feel a part of the divine force within oneself.”

In addition to that, PM Modi has been visiting several revered temples in several states including Maharashtra, Andra Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. Conspicuously, his spiritual tourism – which comes alongside announcements of welfare and developmental schemes in these states – follows the sequence of events in the Ramayana and has a deep connection with the revered Hindu epic. 

Panchvati in Nasik, Maharashtra

After announcing that he would follow ‘Yama Niyama’, PM Modi embarked on a visit to Panchvati in Nasik, Maharashtra. Strikingly, Panchavati came in the Dandakaranya, a deep forest in Central India where Shri Ram, Maa Sita, and Laxman ji lived for the first few years of their 14-year exile period. Additionally, the name Panchavati means the land of five banyan trees.

As per Ramayana, Shri Ram ji settled here first with Sita and Laxman as the prime location falls on the banks of river Godavari.

In Panchavati, PM Modi offered prayers at the famous Kalaram temple and performed ‘Jal Pujan’ and ‘Aarti’. He also listened to the verses of ‘Bhavartha Ramayana’ written in Marathi. It is believed that the Kalaram temple was built exactly at the same place where Shri Ram ji had set up his hut with Sita ji and Lakshman ji.

(PM Modi at Kalaram temple in Nasik)

It was rebuilt after it was destroyed by the Mughals in 1700. It is believed that here Shri Ram slayed 14,000 demons in just 1.5 minutes. And since Shri Ram invoked his ‘kala roop’ or ‘dark side’ to slay the demons, it is called ‘Kalaram’. As the idol is curved out of black stone, its colour is attributed as the other reason for the same. 

Furthermore, it is believed to be the same place from where demon king Ravan abducted Mata Sita through deceit while seeking daan in a Sadhu roop. 

Veerbhadra Temple in Lepakshi, Andra Pradesh

From Panchavati, PM Modi headed southwards to Lepakshi in Andhra Pradesh on 16th January where he visited the Veerbhadra Temple. Notably, Lepakshi means ‘Rise, oh bird’ in Telugu and it holds a special significance in Ramayana. As per Ramayana, it is here in Lepakshi that Jatayu fell to the ground after fighting valiantly with Ravana who had abducted Mata Sita. During the fight, Ravan had slashed Jatayu’s wings.   

(Image Source- PM Narendra Modi’s X handle)

When Shri Ram and Laxman ji came looking for Mata Sita, they met Jatayu who informed them about Mata Sita’s abduction and that Ravan had moved southwards. Subsequently, Shri Ram granted him moksha – liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth. There is also a belief that the Lepakshi temple has preserved footprints belonging to Goddess Sita.

During his visit to Veerdbharda Temple here, PM Modi chanted ‘bhajans’ and also heard verses from the ‘Ranganatha Ramayan’, the Telugu rendition of the Ramayana.

Sri Ramaswami Temple in Thrissur, Kerala

After that on Wednesday, 17 January, PM Modi paid a visit to the revered Triprayar Sree Ramaswamy temple in Thrissur, which is located on the Karuvannur River, also called the Theerva River. This temple is often referred to as the Ayodhya of the South. It is one of the prominent temples in the state with Lord Ram as the main deity. 

The image of Lord Ram (Triprayar Thevar) resembles the Chaturbhuja Vishnu form with four arms, bearing a conch(Panchajanya), a disc (Sudarsana), a bow (Kodanda) and a garland respectively. It is believed that the deity worshipped here possesses some of the aspects of Shiva too. It was after killing the asura, Khara that Sri Rama got both the Shaiva and Vaishnava aspects. Thus Triprayar Thevar is also called Khara Samhara Moorthy.

The temple has a unique worship done with the bursting of crackers called ‘vedi vazhipadu’ which is performed to commemorate the return of Hanuman from Lanka after he met Sita and brought her ornament. 

A significant highlight at the temple includes the traditional performing art known as ‘Chakyar Koothu.’ This art form depicts a pivotal episode from the Ramayana known as ‘anguliyangam,’ portraying the moment when Hanuman encounters Sita in Lanka and takes a piece of ornament given by her to Lord Ram.

Enacted over 12 days, the performance is mainly devoted to the conversation between Hanuman and Sita. PM Modi’s visit resembles the sequence as is mentioned in the Ramayan.

Ranganathaswamy Temple in Trichy

As part of his spiritual tourism, PM Modi also visited Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam in Tamil Nadu’s Trichy on Saturday, 20th January. Lord Vishnu is the primary deity worshipped at the Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple. Lord Vishnu was worshipped by Lord Ram and his ancestors. 

Notably, PM Modi is the first Prime Minister of India to visit Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple in Tiruchirappalli. At the temple, PM Modi heard verses from Ramayana. 

As per Ramayana, the temple finds mention after Shri Ram had slayed Ravan. It is believed that here Shri Ram gave Vibhishan his own dynasty’s Aradhana Murthy which is an idol of the reclining Vishnu. It was a sign of gratitude for his contribution and help in the fight against his brother, Ravan. 

(Pictures shows PM Modi’s spiritual tourism following Ramayana circuit, Image Courtesy – India Today)

Lord Ram had warned Vibhishan that if he kept the idol anywhere on the ground during his travel, the idol would become permanently fixed there, and he wouldn’t be able to take it to Lanka.

Upon reaching Tiruchirapalli, Vibhishan went for a bath in the Kaveri river to perform his daily worship. During this time, he entrusted the idol to a local boy he met along the riverbanks. Upon Vibhishan’s return after completing his rituals, he found the idol fixed permanently on the ground, where it has remained ever since. According to legend, the boy was none other than Ganesha, and it was done to prevent the idol from leaving Indian soil. The idol was rediscovered thousands of years later by a Chola dynasty king, who then established the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple.

Rameswaram

After Trichy, PM Modi moved further southward where he sought blessings and darshan at Rameswaram on Saturday. He visited the famous Arulmigu Ramanathaswamy Temple which is one of the Char Dhams. Sri Ramanathaswamy, a form of Lord Shiva is the principal deity in the temple which is also among the 12 Jyotirlingas and is famous for its architecture.

(From PM Modi’s X handle)

Here PM Modi participated in the programme ‘Shri Ramayana Paryana’ at this temple. He took Holy dip at ‘Angi Theerth’ beach in Rameswaram and had bath at all 22 wells in the temple premises.

(PM Modi’s official X handle)

According to the Hindu epic, when Lord Ram was returning to India from Lanka, he sought to atone for the sin of killing a Brahmin (Ravan). In response, Lord Shiva advised him to install a Shivling and perform puja. Lord Ram then assigned Hanuman the task of finding a Shivling on Mount Kailasa. However, when Hanuman did not return on time, Sita used sand from the seashore to construct a Shivling.

Dhanushkodi

On 21st January (tomorrow), PM Modi will conclude this spiritual tourism and his circumambulation of Ram temples by visiting the Kothandaramaswamy Temple in Dhanushkodi, near Rameswaram. The temple dedicated to Lord Ram is located near the southern end of the Rameswaram island.

PM Modi will also visit Arichal Munai point in Dhanushkodi. It is believed that the construction of the Ram Setu was started from Arichal Munai.

The Kothandaramaswamy Temple temple is devoted to Sri Kothandarama Swamy, where ‘Kothandarama’ translates to ‘Rama with the bow.’ The name reflects the belief that Lord Ram, after the war, used his bow and arrow to break the ‘Ram Setu,’ the bridge constructed by his Vanar Sena to reach Lanka. Additionally, it is said that Lord Ram performed the coronation of Vibhishan at this sacred site.

As per schedule, eight distinct traditional Mandalis will narrate the Ramkathas, recounting Shri Rama’s return to Ayodhya, in Sanskrit, Awadhi, Kashmiri, Gurumukhi, Assamese, Bengali, Maithili, and Gujarati. The Kothandaramaswamy temple holds significance as the place where Vibhishana is believed to have initially met Lord Ram and sought refuge.

Furthermore, earlier this week, PM Modi visited Guruvayur Sree Krishna Temple and Sree Rama Swami Temple in Kerala’s Thrissur. The temple is dedicated to Lord Ram and the idol resembles Chaturbhuja Vishnu. It has four arms holding a conch, a disc, a garland, and a bow.

After offering prayers in all the temples that fall on the Ramayana circuit, PM Modi will perform the consecration ceremony on 22nd January which is just two days away. 

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Paurush Gupta
Paurush Gupta
Proud Bhartiya, Hindu, Karma believer. Accidental Journalist who loves to read and write. Keen observer of National Politics and Geopolitics. Cinephile.

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