October 10, 2017: Chita Karthe, Ghotaka Panchami
October 12, 2017: Start of Guru Moodami, Jithastami
October 15, 2017: Rama Ekadasi
A small temple but of great importance exists near Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh, India. According to legend that Ram and Sita made their way back from Lanka to Ayodhya, Lord Hanuman went ahead. He would search for a good place for the royal couple to stop and rest on their journey home.
Lord Hanuman had chosen a cave by the side of a river. To mark the spot, Lord Hanuman hung a golden rope across two hill tops. So that from a distance the rope could be seen. Ram and Sita did indeed stop at the cave. Grateful for Hanuman's efforts, Ram etched a picture of Hanuman on the stone walls of the Cave.
Hundred years later, in British times, Thomas Munroe was the Collector of Cuddapah. Travelling through the hills, late in the night, he saw a gleaming rope of gold stretched from one hill to another. He asked his subordinates about the same but received no answer. No one could see the rope that Munroe was referring to. Finally, an elderly man spoke up. He said, he who can see the golden rope is blessed. But he will die in a few months. Thomas Munroe looked at his companions in disbelief and put the story aside as superstition. But it must have stayed with him. It is said that he even wrote about this incident in his diary. In a few months time, Munroe was dead.
It was easy to walk right into the inner sanctum of the temple. There was a carving of Hanuman on the stone walls. Parts of the carving had been covered in silver. Till today, Hanuman's service to Ram was being acknowledged, celebrated and worshipped.
Out in the main hall, a few people sat on the floor listening to the aarti. High above on the walls framed pictures. Most were of Gods and Goddesses. In the centre, prominently displayed was one of Ram and Sita. The glass framing the picture had been smeared with holy ash, haldi and kumkum. There was a garland of fresh flowers encircling the frame. Right next to Ram and Sita was framed picture of Thomas Munroe. Like the Gods and Goddess, he too was covered in haldi-kumkum and crowned with flowers.