Sri Ramanuja Yoga Vanam has many unusual features.

Nestling at the foothills of Malaivaiyavur is Amritapuri, a sprawling village where spiritual and social work has been quietly going on for several decades, the force behind both being Sri Sitarama Swamigal. In deference to the wishes of Paramacharya, he established Sri Ramanuja Yoga Vanam that has Sri Srinivasa and Maduravalli Thayar as principal deities.

“Swami never wanted publicity for the temple or himself,” says Sridharan, who joined Swami’s service over four decades ago. Sri Srinivasa Niketanam was founded to serve humanity, which translates as service to the Almighty.

The Niketanam also stands for Saiva-Vaishnava unity with a 13-ft Navagraha Vinayaka occupying centre-stage. All the nine planets are found on the idol’s form, the other side of which has Sudarsana, again unusual. Anjaneya and Garuda are on either side of one idol.

Sravana Deepam as done at Oppiliappan temple, Kumbakonam, Rathasaptami, Pradosham, Amavasya and Pournami are observed. A padayatra in the month of Purattasi is special. About thousand people, led by Sri Sitarama Swamigal, walk from Chennai to Amritapuri.

Amritapuri and the temple come into focus with the place getting ready for consecration. “It was divine command that the idols of 18 Siddhars should be installed. Work is on in full swing,” informs Sridharan. The images are ready and consecration will be performed on February 7, 8.45-10 a.m. The shrines of Sri Dakshinamurti, Sri Saraswati-Brahma and Sanakati rishis along with the main deities will be consecrated on the occasion. Contact 9381077297.

Location: Sri Ramanuja Yoga Vanam, Amritapuri, is located on the way to Vedanthangal via Patalam-Chengalpet Koot Road.

The 18 Siddhars enshrined at Sri Ramanuja Yogavanam: Tirumoolar, Ramadevar, Agastyar, Sivavakiyar, Konganavar, Kamalamuni, Sattainathar, Karuvurar, Sundaranandar, Vaanmigar, Nandi Devar, Paambaati, Bogar, Machamuni, Danvantari, Gorakar, Kudambai Siddhar, Idaikadar Teraiyar. Apart from these, the idols of Patanjali and Vyagrapadar also will be installed.

Some of the social activities: Srinivasa Niketanam conducts health camps and eye camps on a regular basis. It helps the underprivileged with education and marriage. Food and clothes are given to the inmates of a home for leprosy patients in Puducherry. A well-maintained cow shelter is on the premises.