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Santhana Prapthi Kalabhairava!

By Priyabaskar

Santhana Prapthi Kalabhairava!

A portion of the Ramagiri Valeeswara Temple

At the end of the Ramayana war, Rama was affected by Brahmahathi Dosha (the curse of killing a brahmin) after killing Ravana. Ravana had a brahmin father,Vishrava and a Rakshasa mother Kaikesi and this had resulted in Rama acquiring the Brahmahathi Dosha. Rama requested Hanuman to bring a Shiva Linga from Kashi so that he could worship the Lord and rid himself from the curse.
Hanuman dutifully obeyed Rama and brought a Shivalingam for Rama to worship at Rameswaram. On his way back, he was passing through a small hill called Thirukaarikarai. Kaala Bhairava was the Kshetra Palaka of this hill. He saw Hanuman coming back with the sacred Shiva lingam. He was desirous of having Lord Shiva stay permanently at Thirukaarikarai. It was mid day and the sun was shining brightly. Kaala Bhairava sought Lord Surya (Sun God)'s co-operation in increasing the temperature further. The heat made Hanuman thristy and he got down at the bottom of the hill and looked around for a water source.
Kaala Bhairava appeared before him in the guise of a young boy. Hanuman asked him if there was water nearby for him to bathe and drink. Kala Bhairava was able to make water run down the hill and collect in a pond nearby. He agreed to hold the Shivalingam till such time Hanuman returned. A happy Hanuman got down into the pond to bathe. The idyllic surroundings, and the cool,refreshing water made a weary Hanuman enjoy a long and thorough bath.

Santhana Prapthi Kalabhairava!

The Nandi theertham created by Kala Bhairava at Ramagiri

When he got out of the water, the little boy was nowhere in sight. He looked around to find the Shivalingam placed on the ground. In panic, he rushed to the spot and tried to lift the lingam and continue with his journey. But, despite several attempts, he was not able to even move it an inch from where it had been grounded. As a last ditch effort, he looped his tail over the baana (top portion) of the lingam and tried to uproot it. All that he could do was to tilt it a bit, but the lingam would not budge. When Hanuman removed his tail from around the lingam, he saw the impression it had created on the Baana. He understood that it was divine will that the lingam was to stay there forever. So he worshipped it, and started back towards Kashi to get another lingam for Lord Rama.

Santhana Prapthi Kalabhairava!

Sthalapurana Mural of Sri Valeeswara Temple, Ramagiri

The place came to be known as Ramagiri as Hanuman had brought the Lingam for Rama and the Lord is known as Valeeswara as Hanuman tried to uproot him with his Vaal (Tail). Even today one can see the huge lingam slightly tilted to one side with tail marks on the baanam.
Although Lord Shiva is found here, this is one of the few temples where Kaala Bhairava is worshipped as the main deity. In this temple, he is worshipped as "Santhana Prapthi Kala Bhairava" - a Bhairava who grants boon of childbirth.
Several hundreds of devotees throng this temple through the year to offer prayers to Kaala Bhairava and be blessed with the boon of a child.

Santhana Prapthi Kalabhairava!

Stone Puppies offered at the Ramagiri Temple

Procedure for performing pooja for childbirth:

The pond created by Kaala Bhairava is perenially filled with cool water that flows from the hill and collects in the pond from the mouth of a Nandi. The water is said to bring with it the herbal goodness of the various medicinal plants that grow on the hill.
  • Couples desirous of performing poojas for child birth at Ramagiri, have to come to the temple, early in the morning on an empty stomach. 
  • They must both bathe in the pond and with wet clothes, go into the temple, light eight lamps in the specified place, and perform archana to Sri Kaala Bhairava. 
  • The priest then gives the couple a stone puppy which they both carry around the shrine and peform eight circumambulations.
  • They feed biscuits and food to the several dogs that are found within the temple complex. It is surprising to see the dogs not fighting with each other, or getting excited when people try to feed them. They do not eat anything that falls on the sand. When food is respectfully placed, they take turns to come and quietly eat the food.
  • Once their prayers are answered,they come back with the baby and perform abhishekam to Kaala Bhairava and place a stone puppy as a token of gratitude.

Santhana Prapthi Kalabhairava!

Several puppies offered by devotees are found in the Ramagiri temple

Special poojas and abhishekam are performed on Theipirai Ashtami (Eighth day after Full moon) every month between 9 am and 11.45 pm. It is better to arrive early in order to find seating space within the Artha Mandapa.
About the temple:
The temple is said to have been originally constructed by the Pallavas, and renovated over time by King Vira Rajendra Chola. From inscriptions, one can understand that a king called Sangama Kula Virupaksharaya tried to construct a Raja Gopura at the temple.
It is probably the only temple where Lord Hanuman can be seen in front of the Shivalingam in a worshipping state in the place of Nandi.
This is a Devara Vaippu thalam sung by Sundaramurthy Nayanar.
There is a Murugan temple atop the hill and steps leading to it from near the pond.

Santhana Prapthi Kalabhairava!

Steps leading to the Murugan Temple on top of the hill

How to reach here:
Ramagiri is about 100 kms from Chennai on the Periyapalayam - Uthukottai - Suruttapalli - Nagalapuram route and about 3 kms from Nagalapuram.
Temple Timings:
Morning 8 am to 11.45 am
Afternoon 3 pm to 5.45 pm
Contact Details:
Shankarraj Gurukkal - 09490008887

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