Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple, Edulabad

Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple, Edulabad

Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple, Edulabad. Goda Ranganatha Swamy temple situated in Edulabad Village, Ghatekesar Mandal, is one of the historic and rarest ...

Goda Ranganatha Swamy temple situated in Edulabad Village, Ghatekesar Mandal, is one of the historic and rarest temples of India. Though there are many such temples in the state and across the country, the three most prominent among them are the ones in Srivilliputhur in Tamil Nadu and the other two in Andhra Pradesh.

The story of Goda Devi, according to Vishunupurana, Vishnuchitta, a temple priest, found a baby girl in his Tulasivanam. He named her as Kodhai and brought up the child. Kodhai grew up in an atmosphere of love and devotion. The doting father Vishnuchitta, sang songs to her about Lord Vishnu. As Kodhai grew up into a beautiful maiden, her love and devotion for the Lord grew to such an extent that she decided to marry none other than the Lord himself. As days progressed, her resolve strengthened and she started living and dreaming about her beloved Lord.
Vishnuchitta had the responsibility of delivering flower garlands to the Lord's temple every day. Kodhai prepared the garlands. Eventually she started wearing the flower garland, which was meant to be offered to the Lord. This is generally considered a sacrilege in Hinduism as anything that has already been used by a human being should not be offered to the Lord. However, Kodhai felt that she should test the garland first to see if it suited her and then only did she offer it to the Lord. One day, her father became extremely upset when he noticed this. He rebuked her and told her not to repeat the sacrilegious act in the future. Frightened and apologetic, Kodhai made a new garland for the offering that day. Legend has it that the Lord, on that very night, appeared in Vishnuchitta’s dream and asked him why he had discarded Kodhai's garland, instead of offering it to him. The Lord is believed to have told Vishnuchitta that he had whole-heartily accepted Kodhai's offering all the time. This moved Vishnuchitta so much, that he even started realising the divine love that existed between the Lord and his daughter. From that day, Kodhai is believed to have been respected by the devotees and came to be known as ‘Andal, the girl who ‘ruled’ over the Lord.
As Andal blossomed into a fifteen-year-old beautiful young woman of marriageable age, her father prepared to get her married to a suitable groom. Andal, however, was stubborn and insisted that she would marry only Lord Vishnu. This perplexed and worried her father. The Lord appeared in Vishnuchitta's dream again and informed him that he would marry Andal at Srirangam. The Lord simultaneously commanded the priests at Srirangam, in their dreams, to prepare for the wedding. Andal, who reached Srirangam, was unable to control herself in her joy to meet her beloved Lord. She ran into the sanctum of the Lord Ranganatha and is believed to have merged with him completely at that point.
According to history, between the 15th and the 16th century, during the regime of Quli Qutub Shah, Edulabad was known as Rayapuram. At that time, Srinivasa Desika Chary and his family happened to visit this place on a pilgrimage. When Desika Chary died due to ill-health, his wife Alivelamma and her son Appala Desika Chary, settled down at this place. In the same year, a sage came to this place and gave Manthropadesam to the mother and child and told them to construct a temple at this place. In those days, the place was a hillock with dense forest inhabited by wild animals and birds including Garuda Pakshis. Garuda Pakshi is the vahana of Lord Vishnu and as such, this place also came to be known as Garudadri. Alivelamma and her son Appala Desika Chary went to Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple at Srivilliputhur in Tamil Nadu to seek darshan. On the same day, Appala Desika Chary had a dream of Goda Devi, where she asked him to be taken to Rayapuram. The next day, to their surprise, they found an idol in a golden cradle which resembled Goda Devi. They brought the idol to Rayapuram and constructed a small structure.
As the years rolled by, the locals and nearby villagers, thronged the temple in large numbers and developed the temple in a phased manner.
The main festivals at the temple include Brahmostsavam and Goda Devi Kalyamam in Sravana Masam (August) followed by all special and visishta sevas during festivals like Sankranti, Ugadi, Dasara, Diwali, among others. There is a strong belief that if unmarried girls perform puja and offer bangles, they will be blessed with marriage offers soon. That is why Goda Devi is also popularly known as Gajula Andalamma.

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