I have many places to write about from our summer vacation, and well I havent been. The task seems daunting and I havent had the time. However, today I am starting off with a post about the Rameshwara temple near Irpu falls in the beautiful district of Coorg. We visited the beautiful falls and came back to the base. The surrounds were beautiful, serene, and it was around 5 in the evening. The evening clouds were caressing the mountains that surround the temple. The temple was to open only at 6. There was this little shack that served beverages and some food, right near the temple. A lot of the people who had visited the falls, were having their tea/coffee. We had our tea and the children their milk and refreshed ourselves.
The beauty of this spot is, it is a lovely flat piece of land surrounded by these thick forests and mountains. Legend has it that Lord Ram had trekked through the thick forests and western ghats and had stayed in these forests during the period of his banishment. Lakshmana, His brother, shot an arrow into the forest and the beautiful Irpu falls was born. At the base of the hill, where Irpu falls is located, is the Rameshwara temple. Apparently, the Shiva linga at this temple was made by Lord Rama Himself. So, this temple is known as Irpu Rameshwara Temple.
For a moment, if you think back to those times, when He may have actually trekked as a youngster, it is only logical to have camped at this spot for a while, since it is a beautiful clearing. Climbing down, one can only want to put one’s feet up for a bit, rest, re-align before starting on the trek again.
Through this trip, we ran into many spots where Rama is supposed to have stopped by, passed through. And somehow all the stories tie together. I am not a particularly religious person and don’t attach any religious significance to the tales, however, the terrain and the stories do connect well and who is to say what happened! Husband and I were consumed by the tales and the terrain and kept reconstructing that bit of the Ramayana story that could have happened in this neighborhood. That was fun …
The temple has a circular garbagriha and a low shikhara, very ‘Kerala’ in nature. There are also shrines of Gandharva, Bhairava, Mahadeva, Ganapati and Parvathi. Apparently, during Shivaratri, people visit the temple in huge numbers.
From the courtyard inside the temple, one can see the beautiful western ghats and you are more outside than inside even while inside the temple - lovely.
My children enjoying the space ….
There is an Ashoka tree and a shrine for Sita, probably to recall Sita’s captivity.
Here’s the priest at the temple who spent time with us, telling us stories about the temple and its history. What I really liked about him was his quality to simply tell it as he knew; to not add undue significance or importance to things. How refreshing.
As we left, I turned to look back at the temple again. The Sun had set and darkness was enveloping us. The peace and quiet, the serenity was something I knew I was going to remember the place by for a long time …