From Srirangapatna we travelled to Thondanur.
It’s in Mandya district sugarcane and paddy field all over with chill breeze .
The temple is in a calm serene atmosphere .
This temple being one of the abhimana sthalams was built by Lord Indra .
At the end of the Dwapara Yuga, in the Sura Sura war, Indra was afflicted with Brahma Hathi Dosham. To liberate himself from this, he undertook penance and invoked the blessings for Lord Vishnu.
He was directed to install 5 Narayana Idols in this region to liberate himself from his dosham. Thondanur is the first and the oldest of the Pancha Narayana Kshetrams.
The kshetrams are :
Nambi Narayana at Tondanur
Keerthi Narayana at Thalakad
Chennakeshava(Vijaya Narayana) at belur
Sowmya Narayana at nagamangala
Veera Narayana at gadag .
Belief is that one will attain Vaikunta Moksham if we visit the Pancha Narayana Kshetram.
Opposite to Nambi Narayana Perumal temple is Gopalakrishna temple , at a small hillock near by is Sri Ramanujar and Lord Yoga Narasimhar temple near kere Thonnur . (Bank of lake thonnur)
First when we enter the temple there are pillars leading to Goddess Aravinda nayaki shrine . The dwajasthambam of this temple appears to look to the side from outside and center when seen from inside the temple . There is a backside gate which those days Kings used to come now it is kept locked The other side of this gate is koshala . Backside of this temple is a well and it is said echo can be heard if we clap or make noise the other side of the pragharam is yagasalai (yagnas are done) and madapalli (food for offering God is prepared here). There is a seperate idol for Lord Ramanujar as well as his Thiruvadi with His disciples . Idols of Sri Vedanta Desikacharya and foremost disciple of Sri Ramanujar Nambi Narayana are also inside the temple .
While the temple was renovated by Ramanuja during his exile from Srirangam, the idol and the sanctum is said to be over 5500years old and dates back to the Dwapara Yuga. Ramanuja built new mandapas outside the sanctum and renovated and consecrated the temple.
Bittideva a Jain King brought his sick daughter to Sri Ramanujacharya for cure , Ramanujar asked the daughter to have a holy dip in the thonnur lake and hit her head with the dandam of Yoga Narasimhar and relieved her from the evil spirit . Thus a holy dip in thonnur lake is also considered as sacred .
When asked what he wanted, Ramanuja informed the king that he was here to propagate Vishistaadvaitha and that he would like the King to convert to a Vaishnavite.
Bitti Deva, much against the wishes of his people, became a Vaishnavite and changed his name to Vishnu Vardhan reasoning out to his people that in this Kali Yuga, Ramanuja was the avathara of Sesha (similar to how Lakshmana was in the Tretha Yuga).
An unhappy lot, the 1000 Jains of Thondanur wanted to confront Ramanuja in a debate. Outside the Yoga Narasimha Temple, after Ramanuja invoked the blessings of the Lord, he was thrown 1000 questions by the people of the kingdom. And in one go Ramanuja hit back at them with 1000 answers much to the delight of the people. Pleased with his answers, the Jains converted to Vaishnavism.
Near by in a small hillock is a temple for Sri Ramanujar and Lord Yoga Narasimhar. One has to climb about 16 steps .
Here Sri Ramanujar is in the form of Adiseshan roopa .The Dandam of Yoga Narasimhar which Sri Ramanujar used to cure Bittideva’s daughter is still present in this temple and a basket which Sri Ramanujar used for bringing flowers is preserved in a glass box .
Belief is that Lord Yoga Narasimha fulfils all the prayers of the devotees here at this temple. Once fulfilled, the devotees present a 10×6 Veshti to Yoga Narasimha and an Orange Veshti to Ramanuja at this temple as a thanks giving gesture.