Lord Twins Hanuman

In a recent tour to Mayavaram- Kumbakonam (Nagapattinam district in Tamilnadu) we visited few temples where two idols of Lord Hanuman were enshrined together in the main sanctum. They are called Twins Hanuman temple. We had seen two idols of Lord Vinayaga enshrined together in single sanctum in some temples, but not two idols of Lord Hanuman enshrined in the sanctum. It is quite normal in temples to see the presiding deity appearing in different forms, but the same presiding may not be seen as twins. Therefore for the first time we were astonished to see two idols of Lord Hanuman enshrined as presiding deity in few temples in this shethra. All the three are situated in villages. While two of those temples are encompassed with folklore without puranic reference, the third one near Pateeswaram has a puranic story attached with it.

The first temple for Lord Hanuman –two idols in a single sanctum- is in a small village called Malepaathi, 13 Kilometer away from Mayavaram main junction. Malepaathi lay slightly interior from the main road on way to Poompugar from Mayavaram. The river Cauvery reportedly flow through the interior Village. 

Photos from Malepaathi village 
Lord Twins Hanuman temple

According to the folklore on this temple, several years ago the Villagers constructed a small bridge to cross over from one end of the river to the other during which time two huge Monkeys which lived there for unknown no of years too occasionally helped them by carrying some material for the construction of the bridge. However after the bridge was constructed the Monkeys could not be seen and reportedly died somewhere and none bothered to trace them. Majority of this village is of agricultural lands and the present site where twin Lord Anjeneyaswamy temple exists was once a farm of plantain trees (Banana) belonging to an individual.

One day as he was digging the ground, twin idols of Lord Hanuman was found buried together and he dug them out. Both were not alike but slightly different, seated on a single platform. Amused individual took them home deciding to seek the advice of village elders the next day. On the same night Lord Hanuman appeared in his dream and asked him to construct a temple in the same place where the idols were found and worship him so that he can remain there to bless the devotees and also guard the village. The individual in consultation with the locals constructed the present temple which is very small structure, and houses the same two beautiful Lord Hanuman idols in the sanctum in the same manner as he saw them lay buried inside the land. It is the most important temple in Malepaathi village and before harvesting begins, the agriculturists in and around Malepaathi reportedly worship the Twin Lord Hanumans in the same temple before commencing the harvesting. People believe that those who offer worship and pray for certain issues, their prayer is surely answered.

Since this temple is situated in an interior village, except the villagers and those who are in the know of the greatness of the twin Lord Hanuman, only visit here, the temple is not kept open even in the displayed time on week days. Both in the morning and evenings the person who attends to the maintenance of the temple open the sanctum, light up the oil lamp and go away after remaining in the temple for some time when locals come there to offer prayers. Otherwise the temple attracts crowds on festive days and holidays. This is the condition in many of the temples situated deep inside the villages in Mayavaram – Kumbakonam area. However in the morning times before 11 AM or between 5 to 6 PM in the evenings one can locate the temple priest who mostly reside nearby and request him to open up the temple to offer worship and prayer. The two idols of Lord Hanumans appear as though two small children are standing side by side. 

Photos from Thiruppungur 
Lord Twins Hanuman temple

The second temple where two idols of Lord Hanuman is in a single sanctum is also in a village called Thiruppungur in Mayavaram. Thiruppungur is a small village about 2 km from Vaitheeswaran temple. The twin Hanuman temple is opposite to the famous Lord Sivayoginathar temple in this village. According to the Pundit once a Monkey which was staying in that place for many years died and therefore the villagers buried it there. One day the father of the present Pundit had a dream in which Lord Hanuman appeared and asked him to erect a temple over the grave of the Monkey and he complied. From then on his family began to flourish. After some time his son too had similar inner message to erect one more Lord Hanuman  by the side of Lord Hanuman enshrined by his father. He too complied. Thus came up the twin idols of Lord Hanuman in a single sanctum in the temple in Thiruppungur. The temple is small and on the roadside, easily approachable and regular Pooja is performed observing displayed timings. 

Photo from Pateeswaram 
Lord Twins hanuman temple

The third temple where two Lord Hanumans are housed in a single sanctum is called Lord Gopinatha Swamy temple built during Chola Kings. Lord Gopinatha Swamy temple is in Pateeswaram. Lord Gopinatha Swamy is none but Lord Krishna only. We could not visit the temple for want of time. The legend of this temple tells that Lord Krishna revealed his true identity to Arjun in this place. Similarly Lord Hanuman gave his Visvaroopa darshan to one of the Pandava brothers Bheema here. Once when Bheema was going through this place, Lord Hanuman was sitting in the form of a small monkey with his tail blocking the path. When Bheema wanted to monkey to move away to enable him go through, the monkey told him to push his tail on a side and walk away. Overestimating his own strength Bheema tried to push the tail to a side to walk and he could not even move it an inch inspite of many attempts. When surprised Bheema sought pardon from the monkey and asked him to reveal who he was, Lord Hanuman gave visvaroopa darshan to Bheema so goes the tale. Therefore the shrine has two idols of Lord Hanuman enshrined here, one representing Lord Hanuman in normal form and the other representing the Visvaroopa  Lord Hanuman so say the local lore. The entire temple remains in ruined condition and locals say that the Hindu endowment board has arranged for one time pooja in Lord Gopinatha Swamy temple.
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