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Pureprayer extends warmest greetings the devotees for the occasion of Deepavali and Karteekmaas. Wishing this Deepavali bring a lot of cheer to your life, let us embark on Spiritual Journeys during this holy occasion to temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

Pureprayer take you on a SpiRitual Journey to Sri Rama Trivikrama Swamy Temple in Sode established by Sri Vadiraja in 16th Century CE.

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Where is Rama Trivikrama Temple?

 Sri VAdirAjEndravaradaM sOdapuranivasinaM|

MOdapradam  sadAvande MAdhavaM taM TrivikramaM||

yOasau dhavalagangAyAH pArSvE tiShThati sarvadA|

dESE dESE caviKyAtamAsEvE taM TrivikramaM||

Sri Rama Trivikrama Swamy temple dedicated to an incarnation of Lord Vishnu is a part of Sode Sri Vadiraja Mutt about 20 km from Sirsi in Uttara Kannada district, which is famous for Marikamba temple and Shasralinga temples. Sode is surrounded by Shalmali River and situated in Uttara Kannada district at an altitude of 2000 feet from the mean sea level. The route to Sri Trivikrama temple is through lush greenery with lots of waterbodies that can make the experience highly memorable.

The temple was built during the reign of Arasappa Nayaka, a chieftain who was a vassal under the Vijayanagara Empire. Sri Vadiraja Teertharu entered Brindavan here. Sri Vadiraja Teertharu is given credit for the establishment of two year Paryaya system for the management of Sri Krishna Mutt in Udupi by Ashtamathas, which is being followed even now.

What is the importance of Rama Trivikrama Temple?

There is a very interesting story about how Rama Trivikrama temple was established. Sode ruler, Arasappa Nayaka invited Sri Vadiraja Teertharu to his fort and requested for a Vishnu temple for the protection of his kingdom. Sri Vadiraja promised him that he would establish one for the king. He asked the king to go ahead and build a temple and Teertharu would arrange for the main deity. He drew a temple plan for the construction. As the temple construction neared finish, the devotees and the ruler were worried and sought Sri Vadiraja again.

Sri Vadiraja Teertharu assured all the people and told them, the shrine was already under worship in Badari by sages Veda Vyas and Sri Madhwacharya himself. Teertharu had made arrangements for the transporting of the entire sanctum. He ordered Bhootaraja to bring the temple from Badari. While Bhootaraja was bringing the temple that was in the shape of a chariot, a demon tried to attack. Bhootaraja used a wheel from the chariot to get rid of the demon. Sri Vadiraja completed the ceremony of establishing Rama Trivikrama Swamy temple. Even to this day, you can see the chariot has only three wheels and a wheel is missing.

It is said that, Sri Vadiraja established the temple on the day of Vaishakha Shuddha Purnima in the year 1582.

Temple Architecture:

Rama Trivikrama Temple is fondly called Bhu Vaikuntha, the abode of Lord Srimannarayana himself. It consists of three sections. A sanctum where Lord Trivikrama has been established. The stone chariot used by Bhootaraja for transporting the image of Trivikrama. Goddess Lakshmi called Rama Devi installed in the chariot. The image of Rama carved in black granite is very beautiful to behold. Temple sanctum is complete with a Kalash on the tower. Outer walls of the sanctum have a few interesting sculptures.

A tall Dhwaja Stambha has been established in front of the temple. Dhwaja Stambha has a beautiful shrine for Garuda at the top with bells on all the four sides. Sri Vadiraja atop a Hamsa (Swan) and Garuda have been carved in the faces of the Dhwaja Stambha. There is an interesting story about Dhwaja Stambha.

Sri Chandramouleeshwara, Sri Veeranjaneya and Sri Venu Gopala Swamy are the other deities installed here. A separate shrine exists for Bhootaraja who is addressed as the Kshetrapalaka guarding the entire sanctuary. Brindavans and a Nagavana (field of snakes) are the other features of the temple-complex.

Hayagriva Samudra, Dhavala Ganaga Pushkarini and Sheetala Ganga Pushkarini are the waterbodies in the temple. Dhavala Ganaga is the name of Gange flowing in Dev Prayag. A corner of Dhavala Ganga Pushkarini is dedicated for the use of Bhootarja. There is a serene peaceful atmosphere in the entire place. River Shalmali adds to the sanctity of the nature.

Prasadam is known as ‘Hayagriva Maddy‘, a mouthwatering dish prepared with cooked Bengal gram, jaggery (brown mineral sugar), coconut and many other ingredients. This has been named after Sri Vadiraja Teertharu’s favourite deity Hayagriva, a form of Lord Vishnu.

What is the legend of Dhwaja Stambha in Rama Trivikrama Temple?

Dhwaja Stambha in front of Sri Trivikrama Swamy temple was established by Sri Veda Vedya Teertharu. He succeeded Sri Vadiraja Teertharu after his Brindavana Pravesha. When Veda Vedya Tertha was trying to get Dhwaja Stambha erected, the installation was not stable. He had a dream once and Sri Vadiraja instructed him to get a carving done on one side of the stone pillar, with Sri Vadiraja riding a Hamsa (swan). Sri Veda Vedya Teertha followed the instructions and the pillar was erected without any further hassles.

What is Sankalpa Puja followed in Rama Trivikrama Temple?

Sankalpa Puja is a stringent procedure of worshipping by devotees in Sode. This involves Sri Trivikrama Swamy, Sri Vadiraja Teertharu and Bhootaraja. Devotee takes seven dips in Dhavala Ganga and carries a coconut to the temple. The temple priest offers worship and hands back the coconut after performing a Sankalpa. Devotee ties this coconut to his waist and performs Parikrama as prescribe by the priest. It is believed to bring grace of Lord Vishnu, Sri Vadiraja and Bhootaraja.

What is the legend of Bhootaraja in Rama Trivikrama Temple?

It is said that, Sri Vadiraja Teertharu had a very intelligent, but ill mannered disciple called Narayana. One day Narayana crossed all the borders of sanctity, which prompted Sri Vadiraja to take a stern action. He cursed Narayana to become a Brahma-Pishacha (a very troublesome ghost). This ghost chose a forest near Hampi and started tormenting the passersby. HE would invite them to a wager and ask them a question. If they failed to answer, they would be troubled to no end.

Once, Sri Vadiraja himself had to pass through the forest. The ghost, not recognizing his master asked his cryptic question: “A kA mA vy kO na snAtaH”. Sri Vadirajaru put a condition, that if he answered the question, the ghost should become his slave. The ghost readily agreed. Teertharu gave a fitting answer and the ghost had no option but serve him. This slave is the Narayana Bhootaraja, or simply Bhootarja associated with Sri Vadiraja Teertharu.

The legend of Arasappa Nayaka:

Arasppa Nayaka was a chieftain ruling the Sode kingdom owing allegiance to Vijayanagara Empire in the 16th Century CE. It is said that, he was under the influence of a sorcerer and troubled every one and especially Brahmins in his kingdom. Once enemies made an attack on his fort. Arasappa Nayaka had to flee. Whne he was passing through the forest, he came across Sri Vadiraja. He surrendered to Sri Vadiraja and sought forgiveness for all his past deeds and sins. Sri Vadiraja gave him Mantrakshate (rice grains with holy power) and asked him to go back and fight. Arasappa Nayaka was successful in breaking the enemy campaign. He invited the saint to his fort. Sri Vadiraj Teertharu accepted his invitation. A debate soon ensued with the sorcerer and the sorcerer was defeated. As a symbol of this reestablishment of Arasappa Nayaka, Sri Vadiraja received a bell used in Pujas as a token of honor.

This bell is called Basavana Ghante, since a bull is atop. It is even now in use, in Sode Mutt.

When is the best time to visit Rama Trivikrama Temple?

Rama Trivikrama Temple may be visited throughout the year. Car festival takes place during Phalgunamaas occurring in the month of February or March every year. Weather is said to be pleasant during the winter from November to March. You can visit Rama Trivikrama temple during the winter season.

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