Sri Veera Anjaneya Temple, Guindy
Veera Anjaneya is the name of one of the 9 incarnations of Hanuman. Read on to know more about Sri Veera Anjaneya Temple, Guindy,
This temple’s history goes back 200 years. It is located on MKN Road, Guindy. It is a popular temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman or Veera Anjaneya. Veera Anjaneya is the name of one of the 9 incarnations of Hanuman. In keeping with the name, where ‘Veera’ means ‘brave’ or ‘strong’, the deity here has a valorous posture, as if he is ready to fight an enemy.
Long ago, during the Islamic invasions in India, there were many instances of pillaging and looting of temples and forcible conversions of Hindus. This compelled the Hindus to hide the idols in the temples and migrate to safer places. But some were also known to take the idols with them to the new place. Many idols housed in the temples of Arcot and Kanchipuram, too, were moved.
The place called Alandur in Chennai is near Guindy. A group of people called ‘Bairagis’ who were ascetic pilgrims from North India, came to Chennai fleeing from the Muslim invaders and set up camp in Guindy near a pond. The pond’s name was ‘Mangamma Kulam’. They had with them, an idol of Lord Hanuman, which they worshipped. They also performed daily prayers for the idol, according to their custom. After some time, the local residents who lived nearby began to visit the Bairagis’ campsite and began taking part in the prayer rituals for Hanuman.
The Bairagis belonged to a nomadic community that kept moving from place to place. Hence, the group staying near Mangamma Kulam decided to leave the place eventually. By then, however, the locals had become used to worshipping the idol of Hanuman the Bairagis had brought with them. They did not want the Bairagis to leave with the idol. Finally, the Bairagis decided to honor the wishes of the locals and handed over the Hanuman idol to them so that they could continue to worship it.
The locals continued their worship of the Hanuman idol after the Bairagis left the place. Later, the deity came to be called ‘Sri Veera Anjaneyar’and Mangamma kulam became Mankulam.
The temple can be easily spotted from the main M K N Road, which is adjacent to Guindy railway station on GST road. MKN road is on the left side when one goes from Guindy railway station towards Kathipara junction, around 200 m. Around 200 meters on MKN road, there is a bus stand on the right side. The temple is adjacent to the bus stand. The entrance is through a small road near the bus stand. The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Tamil Nadu Government manages this temple now.
Features of the Deity
In this temple, Veera Anjaneya faces west. He seems to be walking towards the south. On his feet, one can see Nupuram (anklet) and on his ankle, Thandai (a heavy kind of anklet). His right-hand shows Abhaya mudra. His left hand is on his hip. He holds the Gadhamadhana Pushpa, which is raised up to his left shoulder. Other adornments include ‘kankana’ (bracelet) on the wrist and ‘keruram’ on his upper arm. One can see his rising around his right hand. It has a beautiful bell tied at its end. Adding more glory to his form is the yagyopaveetham (a sacred thread). He wears two garlands around his neck, and his hair is tied. His eyes seem to shower compassion on the devotee.
The Veera Anjaneya idol in this temple has all the features or lakshanas of the Hanuman idols installed by Vyasaraja. Vyasaraja was a Hindu scholar, poet, philosopher, polemicist, and commentator belonging to the Madhwacharya’s Dvaita order of Vedanta. He was also the patron saint of the Vijayanagar empire. The bell at the end of the idol’s tail, skika, Gadhamadhana Pushpa, etc., suggest that the idol may be one of many that Vyasaraja installed in various temples. The temple from where it was brought by the Bairagis is not known.
Those who worship Veera Anjaneya often perform the Maha Veera Anjaneya Homam to get his blessings. It can bless one with strength and courage. It bestows the confidence to solve even the most daunting problems. It also helps to protect devotees from rivals and negative energies.