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Palatrangarai Veera Anjaneya Swamy!

By Priyabaskar
Hanuman, Anjaneyar, Anjana Maindhan, Vayuputra, Bajrang Bali, Mukhya Prana Devaru, and Siriya Thiruvadi - Many names, one diety! The embodiment of devotion, loyalty, valour, strength and super power.
There are certain temples you visit as soon as you want to, and there are some that keep you waiting for a long time, testing your patience and intent. For years, my mother used to mention the Hanuman sleeping between two rocks on the banks of the Palar river and how I must visit the temple on my next visit to Coimbatore.

Palatrangarai Veera Anjaneya Swamy!

The picturesque settings of the Palatrangarai Anjaneya Swamy Temple

However, the visit was not to be, until recently. The temple is located in extremely picturesque settings on the banks of the Palar river. There is an arch on the main road, guiding visitors to the temple. The sound of flowing water on either side of the access calms one's senses and prepares them for worship.
It is believed that while Hanuman was carrying the Sanjeevi Parvatha to Sri Lanka, he stopped by here to rest. When he saw water between two rocks, he bent down to look at it, in order to refresh himself. His reflection is said to have created an impression on the rock below.  Water continued to flow over the rock over several hundred years and when it finally started to recede, the impression was seen above. They say the place where the impression of Hanuman is seen, is the central point of the Palar river. (not to be confused with the other Palar). A temple has been built over the image about 500 - 600 years ago and has currently been modernised and maintained very well.

Palatrangarai Veera Anjaneya Swamy!

Twin Hanumans in the Sanctum Sanctorum

Since the image of Hanuman is seen on the floor of the sanctum and hence not visible clearly to the devotees viewing from outside, another Hanuman has been installed over him. The stone for making the Hanuman has been brought from Marunthuvazh Malai, on the Southern most tip of the Western Ghats in Kanyakumari district. This is believed to have been a portion of the Sanjeevi Parvatha, that fell off Hanuman's head when he carried the mountain to revive Lakshmana during the war with Ravana's forces.
The deity faces the direction of Sri Lanka and is said to have immense healing and curing powers. He is seen showing abhaya hastha with the other arm on his hip, holding a mace. His tail is found in a loop over his head.
Usually one would see Hanuman as a sub-deity in a Vaishnavaite shrine. But since he manifested in a rock here, he is worshipped as the main deity. Water from the Palar still seeps around the swayambu Anjaneya swamy within the sanctum. Having two Hanumans, one over another in the sanctum, enhances the divinity of the sanctified space and people say that prayers of marriage, child birth and most importantly, good health, debt relief and fear of enemies are definitely answered. Devotees offer three garlands to Anjaneya while praying to him - namely, Tulasi, Betel Leaf and Vada. Once their prayers are answered, they offer special abhishekams, beaten rice with jaggery (Vella Aval) and smear the deity with butter (Vennai Kappu).
Palatrangarai Veera Anjaneya Swamy!

Apart from the main deity, there are seperate shrines for Yoga Narasimha, Chakrathazhwar and Vinayaka with two faces. Usually one would find Rama in Hanuman's temple. However, here only his feet have been installed.
Hanumad Jayanthi, Aadi and Thai Amavasya and Saturdays are special days at the temple. Yet another significant feature here is the annadhanam. Meals are served every day from 12.30 pm and one has to experience the lovely hospitality and tasty food. We were invited to partake of the food, as though we were guests to the house. The food was simple, extremely tasty and served with such love and devotion.

Palatrangarai Veera Anjaneya Swamy!

Ramar Padham

So if you happen to me around Anaimalai, Top Slip or Pollachi, do swing by to the surreal little temple - being in the rustic surroundings, and worshipping the twin Veera Hanumans will bring a lot of solace to the soul !
How to get here: Palattrangarai is situated on the road to Aliyar Dam,  not very far from the Masaniamman Temple. It is also on the way to Samathur Palace and Top Slip. Regular bus services are available from Pollachi upto the arch and one has to walk about a kilometer from the arch to reach the temple. Cars and two wheelers can ply close to the temple.
Temple Timings: 7 am to 6 pm
Contact Archakar : 98657 86001

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