The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) in Andhra Pradesh had constituted an expert committee in December 2020.
Lord Hanuman’s birthplace: While the birthplace of Lord Ram is witnessing the construction of a grand temple, there is a tussle between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh over the birthplace of Lord Ram’s ardent devotee Lord Hanuman. Karnataka has been claiming that Hanuman was born in Kishkinda on the Anjeyanadri Hill, near Hampi. On the other hand, Andhra Pradesh has been claiming as his birthplace Anjanadri among the seven hills in Tirumala. However, now, based on references in the Indian epic Ramayana, a third place is also being claimed as the possible birthplace of Lord Hanuman, according to a report in IE.
First claim to Hanuman’s birthplace
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) in Andhra Pradesh had constituted an expert committee in December 2020. The panel included members such as an ISRO scientist, archaeologists as well as Vedic scholars. The committee has been directed to study the matter and submit a report on the actual birthplace of Lord Hanuman by April 21.
The report cited KS Jawahar Reddy, the executive officer of TTD, as saying that their claims are backed by mythological, archaeological as well as scientific evidence, which was why the board, which manages the Tirupati Balaji temple, has constituted the eight-member committee.
As per Reddy, the committee would look at all the evidence and the related information to the birthplace of Lord Ram’s devine vanara companion. This evidence and related information, Reddy said, would be brought out in the form of a book and it would be submitted to the TTD. Reddy has also said that the committee has studied the Siva, Varaha, Brahma, Matsya and Brahmanda Puranas, apart from Brihatsamhita of Varahamihira and Venkatachala Mahatyam.
TTD’s claims have been countered by Karnataka ministers, who said that the Anjeyanadri Hill has been referenced in the Ramayana. They said that the epic states the spot as the place where Lord Ram and his brother Laxman met Lord Hanuman. A Hanuman temple is also located at the top, and it has a carved idol. In the vicinity, Anjana Devi, Ram and Sita temples are also located.
The report also quoted Karnataka agriculture minister BC Patil as saying that the state would develop the birthplace as a pilgrimage centre, tagging it as the Hanuman Janmasthala.
Soon on the heels of the TTD constituting the panel, Karnataka began to work on a project that would develop Anjeyanadri Hill as a hub of religious tourism, with an estimate project cost of Rs 50.18 crore, with regard to which state tourism minister CP Yogeshwar met with several other state ministers last month. The report also cited Yogeshwar as saying that the cabinet nod on the detailed project report was awaited before the department could lay the foundation stone. He is scheduled to visit the site with other ministers on Friday, April 16.
Plot twist: The third contender
Amid the tussle between Karnataka government and the TTD, a third place has emerged as a contender for the tag of being Lord Hanuman’s birthplace. The head of Ramachandrapura Mutt in Karnataka’s Shivamogaa district, Raghaveshwara Bharathi has been cited by the report as claiming that Kudle Beach at Gokarna in Karnataka is the actual birthplace of the devotee of Lord Ram.
He said that as per Ramayana, Gokarna was the janmabhoomi (birthplace) of Lord Hanuman, while Kishkinda’s Anjeyanadri was his karmbhoomi (the place where he performed his deeds). He also asserted that Gokarana was clearly stated as the birthplace in Valmiki Ramayana.
Bharathi is planning to make a temple at this spot by the time Ram Navami comes next year, roughly a year from now, and a huge Hanuman statue would be placed at the spot, he said.