Andal Rangamannar Temple (Andavan Ashramam)
We are nearly at the end of the Tamil month of Margazhi, also known as Dhanur Masa or the month of Margashirsha. In the Bhagavad Geeta, Lord Sri Krishna says ‘Maasanam Margashirshoham‘, which translates to ‘Among the months, I am Margashira‘. The Dhanur masa represents the zodiac sign of Sagittarius. It is said that during this month the Gods wake up early in the morning and perform special prayers to Sri Maha Vishnu during the auspicious period of “Brahm Muhurta“, which is one and a half hours before sunrise. It is said that worshiping Vishnu on a single day during this auspicious period is equal to worshiping Vishnu with devotion for 1000 years.
Margazhi is also synonymous with Andal – the woman-saint, the divine maiden and one amongst the 12 Azhwars. In all the Sri-Vaishnava temples, her compositions consisting of Thiruppavai and Nachiyar Thirumozhi are recited with devotion during this month. I have written a detailed account about Andal or Godhai as she is known in a previous article.
In Bangalore, the Andal Rangamannar Temple is busy with devotional activities during the month. The temple is governed by the Srirangam Srimad Andavan Ashramam, located in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu.
This temple was established about 50 years ago, by the then jeer/ head of the Andavan Ashram Srimad Thirukkudandai Andavan Sri Vedantha Ramanuja Mahadesikan. Before the temple was built, a Svayambhu Moorthi (that which emerged on its own) of Sri Anjaneya was found in this land. A temple was built around it with a sannidhi for Goddess Sita, Lord Ram and Lakshmana. The very next year in Karthikai on the Revathi Nakshatram, the Sannidhi for Sri Andal Rangamannar was consecrated. There are sannidhis for Goddess Padmavathi, Sudarshana Chakra (Chakratha Azhwar), Lord Narasimha, Hyagriva etc. In 2019 Vaikaasi Chitthirai, the Maha Samprokshanam of Sri Shodhasha Lakshmi Sameta Sri Srinivasa Perumal Sannidhi was done.
It is said that Andal sang a paasuram (a form of couplet), on each day of the month of Margazhi in praise of Lord Vishnu. Today (on 10th January, 2021), on the eve of koodarai vellum (the 27th day of Margazhi), we had the blessings of the Lord to visit the temple.
While singing 27th verse “Koodaarai vellum seer Govinda…” Lord Narayana blessed Sri Andal with the boon of a wedded life. Hence the 27th day of Margazhi month is celebrated as Koodaravalli. On this 27th day Andal and her friends complete their fast and prepare to enjoy themselves for the last three days of the month. The 27th pasuram, “koodarai vellum” signifies the conclusion of the fast. On this day, devotees visit the temple and offer ‘Akkar vadisal‘ (an Iyengar delicacy), and offer it to the Lord.
This temple is special to me as my paternal grandmother would take me often, especially when HH Srimath Srimushanam Andavan Swami would visit Bangalore. We had the good fortune of His Holiness visiting my father’s house in 1987 and we walked all the way from our house to the ashram after that.
Address: 6th Main Road, 2nd Block, Jaya Nagar East, Jayanagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560004