History of Vaduvur Shilas (Deities)
It is said that after 14 years in the forest (Vanavaasam) and defeating Ravana, Sri Rama was returning back to Ayodhya.
During his return, he stayed at the hermitage/ashrama of many rishis (sages). During such stay, the sages/rishis prayed in earnest, asking them to stay forever.
As Sri Rama need to return back to fulfill promise made to Bharatha, his brother, he called up Vishvakarma and sketched his enchanting divine form as an idol, and left it outside the ashrama.
The rishis who came to see them the next day were spellbound and mesmerized by the beautiful statue. Still hyptonized by what they saw, the sages agreed for Sri Rama to leave for Ayodhya, on one condition that leave the statue with them. Sri Rama, with a smile, agreed to their request and left the statue behind.
These historical statues of Lord Rama, Lord Sita and Lord Hanuman are none other than the ones currently at Vaduvur Temple.
History of Temple (Sthala Puranam)
One day, Lord Rama appeared in the king's dream and told him to unearth the idols from Thalai Gnayiru ((Thalanayar in Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu) under the aspicious Arasa Maram (Ficus religiosa or Bodhi Sattva tree). He asked the king to establish and worship the deities.
The king woke up in a state of shock and later, with his entourage, went to Thalai Gnayiru and unearthed the idols. When the king and his entourage were preparing to leave from Thalai Gnayiru, on their way to Thanjavur, the natives of the place prevented the king from taking the idols. The king managed to convince them and as compensation left the statues of Lakshmana and Bharata behind with them. (Now workshipped as Rama and Lakshmana at the temple there)
He took possession of Rama, Seetha and Hanuman statues and on his way rested at Vaduvur. The people of the Vaduvur village, known for their unity, came to know about the idols and pleaded with the king to install the deities in their Rukmani-Sathyabhama samedha Sri Gopalan temple. Initially, the king refused but when the villagers threatened to jump from the tower of the temple and commit suicide, he relented. He allowed them to install the idols and since then Rama has been the main deity in the Gopalan temple.
Later, the statue of Lakshmana was also sculpted by the people of Vaduvur. It appeared like a woman and so the villagers established it as Sundari Amman and built a separate temple for Her. They sculpted the statue of Lakshmana again and today Rama with Seetha and Lakshmana stand majestically to bless the devotees.
It is interesting to note that Saint Tyagaraja lived during the same period (May 4, 1767–January 6, 1847). Sarabhoji Maharaja came to know about the Saint and invited him to visit the temple to be rewarded, but Saint Tyagaraja rejected the offer, singing "Nidhi caala sukhama?" in kalyaani, which means "Does abundance of wealth bring happiness"? The king realized his mistake and visited the saint-composer, who also later cured him of his illness
The Vaduvur (Vaduvoor ) temple comes under Government of Tamil Nadu, under HRCE department
Other Holy Names of the temple
Abhimana Divyadesam of Lord Vishnu
Bhaskara Kshetram and
Vagula maram (maghizha maram) is the sacred tree of this sthala. Hence called as Vagularanya Kshetram.
Saruyu Pushkarni - Named similiar to Saruyu River in Ayodhya. Thirthavaari for 10 days Sri Ramanavami Brahmotsavam, Pavithrotsavam, Thai Ammavasai, Maasi Magam, Theppotsavam, Kanu Padi, Sri Desikar Utsavam
Morning - 8:00AM - 12:00 Noon Evening - 4:30PM - 8:30PM
Makara Sankaranthi/Kanu Pongal - January
Thai Masam Ammavasai - Teertha Vaari (temple tank)
Maasi Makam - Teertha Vaari (temple tank)
Theppotsavam (Float Festival) - January/February
10 days Sri Ramanavami Utsavam - April
Kalyanotsavam - Mar/Apr
Vasantha Utsavam - May/June
Aadi Tirumanjanam celebration - 48 days - July/August
Sri Gopalan Sannadhi Janmashtami - August
Swami Desikan Utsavam - September/October
Navaratri Utsavam - September/October
Manavala Mamuni Utsavam - October
Pavithrotsavam - November/December
Adhyayana Utsavam (Pagal Pathu and Ra Pathu) - December/Jan
Hanumath Jayanthi - December/January