Gummadidala village, 40 km from Hyderabad, in Medak district, is well known for its many temples including Venkateswara, Shivalayam, Hanuman, and Veerabhadra Swamy temples. But it is one 11th century temple on the outskirts of the village, last renovated 400 years ago, that has a most unique claim to fame. The Sri Kalyana Ramachandra Swamy is one of the temples dedicated to Rama that does not feature a statue of Hanuman.
This unique temple features idols of Rama, his wife Sita, his brothers Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna, and their wives, Urmila, Mandavi and Shrutakeerthi on one platform. Interestingly, while Rama is normally seen clean shaven, in this temple he sports a moustache.
KV Raman, the senior priest in the Ram temple said, ‚ÄúOur forefathers have been taking care of this temple for many years. This is the 16th Sri Ram Navami I am celebrating here. This temple is the only temple we have in our country which has Lord Rama‚Äôs brothers‚Äô and their wives‚Äô idols installed in the temple‚ÄĚ.
He adds, ‚ÄúThis is a unique temple as there is no Hanuman idol here. The story behind it is that since Hanuman is considered an incarnation of Lord Shiva Shankar, followers of the Veera Vaishnavism of Sri Ramanuja Charyulu did not install a Hanuman idol in the temple. As Sri Rama is the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu, the Vaishnava community who believe in Jambavanth (who bears a closer connection with Vishnu) did not install a Hanuman idol here.‚ÄĚ
Raman is worried about the fate of this unique temple, since the next generation of his family does not have an interest in taking over charge of the temple. ‚Äė‚ÄôAll of our children are well educated and want to shift abroad for further studies. I hope that the government does something for this temple so that it is taken care of even in future by some means.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúOur temple is older than the Badhrachalam temple, but the Bhadrachalam temple is more popular. I hope our chief minister does something for this temple, so that it may become a place of pilgrimage‚Äô‚Äô, KV Raman said.