Chennai: Rama Bhakta Anjaneyar Temple at Saidapet is a shrine with a history that dates back to the Vijayanagara empire, 400 years ago.
Situated near the banks of the Adyar river, it is said the temple actually belonged to the Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal Temple, located half-a-km away. Speaking about the temple’s history, Krishnan, the temple priest, says, “We all know that Saidapet got its name from its ruler Syed Shah but
even before that this place was under the rule of the Vijayanagara empire and a temple for Rama was built in the centre of Saidapet, which is the Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal Temple. The main deities in the temple face south towards the Adyar river and half-a-km away from it, an Anjaneya shrine was also constructed.”
“Later, as people started to settle in the space between the two temples, the Hanuman shrine became a separate entity and it has now become a temple. But, even today the road linking the two temples is called Anjaneyar Koil Street,” he added.
The Rama Bhakta Anjaneyar Temple today has its main sanctum dedicated to Lord Kothandaramar, present along with Sita and Lakshmana facing east.
In front of the main sanctum, there is also a dwajasthambam and bali peedam. On either side of the main sanctum, Lord Vinayagar and Lord Ayyappa are present and opposite to the main sanctum, facing west is Lord Garuda.
On the left side of the main sanctum, an individual sanctum is dedicated to Lord Bhaktha Anjaneyar, facing north.
The idol is in standing posture with folded hands, facing the Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal Temple.
Behind the Anjaneyar sanctum, there is a big peepal tree which is the sthala vriksha of the temple. And under the tree Lord Nagar is enshrined. “It was only in the 1940s, the temple was built with the sanctum for Lord Rama,” added the priest.
Some of the important festivals celebrated in the temple are Hanumath Jayanthi and Rama Navami. “During Rama Navami, utsavam takes place during which thirumanjanam is performed every day to the deity. During Hanumath Jayanthi, too, special thirumanjanam and poojas are performed to the Lord. Apart from that special abhishekam for Lord Vinayagar during Vinayagar Chathurthi and Sankatahara Chathurthi is performed.”
During important festivals in Prasanna Venkatesa Perumal Temple, the processional deities of the temple visit this temple.
The temple is open every day from 7 am to 11 am and 4 pm to 8 30 pm.