Eagle keeps its date with temple

Delight to watch:People gazing at the sky to watch the eagle fly round the Raghunayaka temple at Chadalavada near Ongole on Wednesday. —   | Photo Credit: Photo: Srinivas Kommuri

Special Correspondent

Makes its annual sortie around Raghunayaka temple at Chadalavada

It has been visiting the temple during kalyanotsavam for last 225 years

Authorities making efforts to renovate the temple

ONGOLE: The eagle has kept its date with Raghunayaka temple at Chadalavada near here. It flew round the temple at 11.02 a.m. on Wednesday as thousands of devotees went into a frenzy watching the spectacle.

The bird has been visiting the temple during kalyanotsavam celebrated on ‘chaitra bahula vidiya' (eight days after Sri Rama Navami) every year for the last 225 years as per records available in the temple.

Stone inscriptions

The temple has a hoary past. It has a recorded history for the last 1,000 years. Many stone inscriptions reveal the development taken place during the Reddy dynasty and before.

Chadalavada is a small sleepy village on the banks of the Gundlakamma on the Ongole-Chirala Road. Many legends surround the village. It was once called Chaturvatika as Lord Rama had divided the Vanara sena into four parts and directed them to go in four directions searching for Sita.

Significantly, the Lord appears in the temple facing the South. He has Sita on his right side and Lakshmana on his left side in the temple. Archakas used to bring water in a vessel from Gundlakamma every day for abhishekam in the temple. Though the river changed its course and moved away from the temple, archakas still bring water in a vessel every day from a well making the temple unique for its ‘binde theertham', said Chandrasekhara Avadhani, Vedic scholar at the temple.

The legend

According to legend, the Rama temples that came up at Bhadrachalam and Challapalli drew their power from Chadalavada temple. Another temple called Chadalavada Raghunadha Swami temple came up at Gollapalli near Nuzvid in Krishna district.

Chadalavada temple has been facing neglect for the last several years. But it celebrated Brahmotsavams with religious fervour every year for nine days after Sri Rama Navami.

It celebrates Garuda Seva on ‘chaitra pournami' and performs kalyanam on ‘chaitra bahula vidiya' between 9.30 a.m. and noon when the eagle visits the temple. The event attracts huge crowds and sustains the temple.

The authorities are making efforts to renovate the temple at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.5 crore. They laid the basement for the sanctum sanctorum. They plan to construct ‘mukha mandapam' and four ‘gopurams' to restore its glory, said executive officer Venkateswara Rao. He appealed to the people to donate for the renovation work.