SEVERAL ARE the religious injunctions given by the Lord Himself, through priests and devotees who render service to the idols in temples, and such commands have been strictly obeyed. One such divine order to a devotee in his dream was to move an idol of Aravamudan from Kumbakonam to the shrine of Varadaraja at Kethandapatti off Vaniambadi near Vellore. The latter is now worshipped as the processional deity (utsavar) while the former remains as the ceremonial deity (Moolavar).
The temple of Varadaraja-Aravamudan at this place has been renovated and the Samprokshanam will take place on April 7.
One of the greatest among Srivaishnavite saints (Sri Rangaramanuja Mahadesikan) resided here for long and hence came to be called Sri Kethandapatti Swami. In Poorvasramam, he owned massive property. He donated the entire estate to this temple and moved to Tirunahendrapuram and lived on alms and later took to Sanyasa.
The village Kethandapatti was donated to a scion of the Nallan `Chakravarthi' group during the period of Thanjavur Naik rulers (16th century). The temple was then dedicated to Varadaraja and the utsavar Aravamudan was installed later. A river flowing in this village joins the Palar, which flows nearby. The Lord's footprints can been seen (in the form of sculptures) on the riverbank even now. One of the disciples (sanyasi) of Kethandappatti swami, among so many, was Kozhialam Swami.
This temple has been renovated at a cost of Rs.12 lakhs and requires at least Rs.5 lakhs more to complete all works. Funds to perform daily worship (about Rs. 300) have also to be raised.
D. V. V.
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