Sri Sundara Mandiram – Tiruchuzhi (Tiruchuli)
About 80 km south of Madurai is Sri Ramana’s birthplace, Tiruchuli (or Tiruchuzhi. Tamil has a number of sounds not in English, and this sound, kind of like an “L” sound, is shown differently in different versions of English transliterations of Tamil).
We drove there in a taxi, arranged by Sri Somasundaram. In the map below (Modified from a Google Map) the location of Tiruchuli has been added.
This seemed like a bigish town, rising in the midst of a vast farming area. It is not a city, though. Below is a sign announcing Tiruchuli .
A few blocks later, after a right turn off the main road, we came to Sri Ramana’s birthplace.
Looking down the street where the house is situated.
Inside the house we were greeted by a priest, Halasayam Gurukkal, and his wife. He showed us around the house.
Below is the room in which Sri Ramana was born. We found this a great place to sit and meditate.
The house seemed pretty big, for a Tamil house. I could see that Sri Ramana’s father, Sundara, was certainly a successful Advocate.
We went up the stairs to the roof of the house to get a better view.
The roof area shows how expansive the house really was. There are a number of rooms, and two areas that are open to the light of the day.
Looking across the street, a temple and its bathing tank can be seen.
Back inside the house we were taken to Sri Ramana’s father’s brother’s family’s room. It was quite big, much larger than our bedroom at home.
After we left the house, we walked to the temple across the street. The sign celebrates this as a Sri Ramana site. This is another place where he played as a child.
The entrance to the temple is quite large. The name of the temple, we are told, is Bhuminatha. He is the primary God of this temple. The Goddess is Sahayamba. Each has their own shrine within the temple.
We enter the temple. We were allowed to take photographs of much of the interior of the temple. These will be posted in another article.
Here is the head priest of the temple. His role is a hereditary one. This temple has been served by his family for generations. This is an ancient temple.
Here is a sign at the other temple entrance. I am not sure how this name fits with the name were have been told for the temple.
After this, we were taken to one more nearby temple, with larger grounds. This is one more place known to be one of Sri Ramana’s play areas when a child.
It is interesting to me that again and again we see that the primary areas that Ramana frequented as a child are temples and temple grounds.
Here is a Ganesh shrine, guarded by two Nagas (Snake Gods).
Here is the main tower of the temple.
Looking over the grounds, one can see they could be a great place for a young boy to play.
After this, we took the taxi back to town, rested a bit, ate dinner, and boarded the train to return. This time we were taking a night train, and had tickets in a sleeper car. Carol slept pretty well. I did not. I usually cannot sleep much when traveling. A taxi met us when we arrived at 5 AM and drove us back home to Tiruvannamalai.