Royal origins make 1000-year-old stonework a big draw

Royal origins make 1000-year-old stonework a big draw
Highlights

A stonework, measuring three feet in length and two feet in width, consecrated in the 1,000-year-old Sarangadhara temple, has been attracting many visitors and devotees of late because of the royal, romantic legend surrounding the shrine.

Rajamahendravaram: A stonework, measuring three feet in length and two feet in width, consecrated in the 1,000-year-old Sarangadhara temple, has been attracting many visitors and devotees of late because of the royal, romantic legend surrounding the shrine.

The stonework bears links with one of South India’s emperors, Raja Raja Narendra, who ruled Vengi from the ancient city during the 11th century.
According to the temple’s chief priest, Kodamanchili Kameswara Rao, Sarangadhara, son of emperor Raja Raja Narendra, was an epitome of all virtues and valour. Chitrangi, an embodiment of ethereal beauty and Princess of a neighbouring kingdom, fell in love with Sarangadhara and intended to marry him.

But, emperor Raja Raja Narendra himself was so smitten by the beauty of the Princess that he chose to marry her. Although Chitrangi wedded the Emperor, she found it difficult to forget Sarangadhara. She invited him to a feast.

When Sarangadhara spurned her advances at the feast, Chitrangi felt slighted and complained to Raja Raja Narendra that the Prince was not behaving well with her.

The besotted Emperor ordered his staff to amputate his son’s legs and hands. Accordingly, Sarangadhara was taken deep into the forests and dismembered there.

Later, Sarangadhara prayed to Lord Shiva, who appeared before him and restored his legs and hands. Sarangadhara immediately installed Shiva Lingam. It was named ‘Sarangadhara Swamy’, on the request of the Prince.

On Kanuma festival, the Prince performed a massive ritual for the Lord and thereafter the place came to be called Sarangadhara Metta, situated in the middle of the city.

Subsequently, when Raja Raja Narendra came to know the facts, he ordered that Chitrangi should be buried on the outskirts of the city. After that, the area came into limelight as ‘Patheru’ and in due course as ‘Katheru’. Temple executive officer N Nageswara Rao underlined the need to provide many facilities at the temple to cater to the throngs growing by the day.

By SS CHARY

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