Vrindavan 2019.01.19 (VT): After the five-day ‘Andal’ or ‘Shri Utsav’ at Vrindavan’s Rangji Temple, Lord Rangamannar went on a tour of seven gardens in his silver chariot.
Along with the seven gardens, including Neemwala Bageecha (Neem tree garden), Ranglakshmi Bageecha, Raghunath Ashram, Sukhdev Lalaji Bageecha, Hanuman Garhi, Totradimath Bageecha and Rangji’s Bada Bageecha (big garden), Shri Rangji was also taken to the Chota and Bada Khatla temples.
At each stop, the temple sevayats did ‘aarti’, and offered ‘bhog’ to the Lord. Beautiful ‘Rangolis’ (traditional Indian decoration and patterns made with ground rice or coloured powder) greeted Him wherever He went.
Anagha Srinivasan, Swami Raghuraj, Ranga Swami, Pandit Vijay Mishr, Raju Swami, Kanhaiya, Trirupati, and Councillor Jai Sharma were present for the occasion.
On the day of Makar Sankranti, Andal and Lord Rangamannar are married in accordance with Vedic rituals and injunctions. Every year, a day after the marriage ceremony, Devi Goda performs ‘Kaag Pujan’, and then Lord Ranganatha leaves for his tour of seven gardens.
Kaag Pujan is a ritual observed by South Indian women for the long life of their brothers. The ritual is performed a day after Pongal (called Makar Sankranti in North India).
After Vasant Panchami (February 10) and Bhanu Saptami (Feb 12), the next big festival of Brahmotsav (locally known as ‘Rath ka Mela’) will begin at the Temple. The grand 10-day-long cart festival will be celebrated from March 23 to April 1 this year.
Brahmotsava is celebrated every year during March-April in strict accordance with the shashtras (scriptures). Bhagwan Ranganath is taken out in a procession to Bade Bageecha, the sprawling garden situated near Katyayani temple.
Built in 1851, Shri Rangji Mandir is dedicated to Lord Shri Goda-Rangamannar. Goda or Andal, as she is popularly known in South India, was a great 8th century Vaishnava poet-saint and Lord Rangamannar is none other than Shri Krishna.