Sri Ramajayam


This ancient temple in Ambur attracts thousands of devotees.

Indian mythology has an interesting story linking Lord Saneeswara (Planet Saturn) and Lord Hanuman, the staunch devotee of Lord Rama. The science of astrology says that the position of Saturn in an individual’s horoscope is believed to have a great effects on one’s life, though temporarily. But many experts say that Sani (Saturn) is not a malefic planet, contrary to the common belief, as He is believed to bring both good and bad to a person, depending on various conditions like the positions of other planets in one’s horoscope.

According to mythology, Saneeswara got trapped by Hanuman once when the latter was on the hunt for the life-saving sanjeevani herb to revive Lakshmana who was grievously hit by deadly weaponry from Indrajith, son of the demon kind Ravana, in the war. Earlier, Ravana had taken away Sita from Rama to his native kingdom in Sri Lanka.  And Rama and his brother Lakshmana were at war with Ravana. It was under this circumstance that Hanuman set out to get the herb.  Ravana’s rajguru Sukracharya came to know about this and wanted to prevent Hanuman from getting the herb since once Lakshmana was revived, he would eliminate the demon race. He advised Ravana to release Saneeswara who was under the control of the demon (all the nine planets were also under the control of Ravana then) to go and stop Hanuman.  When Saneeswara approached Hanuman who was returning from the Himalayas carrying the hills which contained the required herb to revive Lakshmana, and tried to catch him, the clever Hanuman caught hold of him unawares and put him under his feet instead.  The wailing Saneeswara had no option except to accept the conditions of Hanuman – that Saneewara should not harm those who worshipped Lord Rama as well as him.

The story has been glorified in a temple in Ambur in Vellore district which dates back to centuries.  The 11-foot idol of Hanuman carved out of hard black stone has Saneeswara under his foot.  The idol and the temple are believed to have been renovated probably in 1489, during the period of Krishanadevaraya of Vijayanagar kingdom who then ruled this region.  An inscription found in one corner of the temple testifies to this fact.  In 1976, the temple was taken over by the HR & CE department of the State Government. In 1987, Maha Kumbabishekam was performed.

Interestingly, the main deity Hanuman is place in one corner of the sanctum sanctorum facing south.  This is considered a rarity in India.  It is believed that, because devotees lit oil lamps at this temple, it got rid of the harmful effects of Saneeswara, in one stroke.  The temple has been drawing thousands of devotees steadily.  According to the priest Sharma, if the coconut that is placed for pooja in this temple is taken home and worshipped, it is believed to fulfill one’s wishes.  In the eastern corner of Ambur town, in a place called Anaimadugu, a rocky foot print, believed to be that of Hanuman, receives special poojas once a year during the Hanuman Jayanthi celebrations.  It is said that Hanuman holding the Parvatha hills in one hand and standing on Saneeswara made a big leap from here to cross the Indian Ocean to reach Sri Lanka where he gave the herb to revive Lakshmana.