Panchamukhi Anjeneya Temple is located on the south bank of river Tungabhadra near Manchala now known as Mantralayam. Precisely it is located in Ganadhal village of Raichur district which is on the borders of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Panchamukhi is probably close to Mantralaya because of Sri Guru Raghavendra Theertha who is souly responsible for this Panchmukhi temple and incarnation of Lord Hanuman as Panchmukhi Hanuman who manifest himself with five faces on a huge rock.
Panchamukhi Hanuman temple is worshipped by the Madhwa acharyas (followers of Madhwacharya) and belong to the Madhwa cult as Sri Raghavendra was a great Madhwa saint and Dwaita philosopher being a staunch follower of Sri Madhwacharya.
Pranams to Sri Guru Raghavendra – the loved saint worldwide!
The extremely pious, kind, fulfiller of peoples wishes, loved saint of all, Sri Raghavendra Teertha was an ardent devotee of Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman. After finishing his Ram pooja Rayaru everyday used to meditate in the cave. Sri Raghavendra once went into deep meditation for 12 years. The cave in which Sri Raghavendra performed tapas for 12 years is on the top of a hillock. Even to this day, the cave has been maintained as it was then and rock-steps of about fifty or so will lead one to the cave temple. Once you are on the top of the hillock, a narrow passage leads you to the sanctum of the cave temple.
Inside the cave, one can certainly feel utmost purity and sanctity simply leaving you in a trans. Sri Raya Raghavendra then performed severe penance here for twelve years. Lord Hanuman impressed and pleased with Sri Rayaru’s devotion appeared before Guru Raghavendra in the avatar of Panchmukhi Anjaneya. Hence the place derived its name as ‘Panchamukhi’ (five faced Anjaneya).
Swayam Vyakta Panchmukhi Hanuman!
The Hanuman idol here is self manifest. The idol was not carved or enforced by any gods or goddesses. The idol here is swayambu as Lord Hanuman himself emerged on the huge sacred rock on request of Sri Raghavendra. Hence the self-evolved Hanuman idol here as five heads with each head representing Gods namely Lord Varaha, Lord Garuda, Lord Hanuman and Lord Narasimha and Lord Hayagreeva (in the order from left to right).
Among the five, Hayagriva, Narasimha, and Varaha are avatar’s of the Supreme Lord Vishnu along with Lord Garud being Vishnus vehicle. According to Hanumath Prakaranam in Sri Vidyarnavatantram, Lord Hanuman has five faces and ten weapons.Hanuman is a great yogi (mystic) having transcended these five senses (Pancha Indriyas). Where we have to understand that these five mukhas depict five indriyas (senses) which when worshipped our five senses would come under our control which is usually difficult to be tamed by us. Also, the five faces deliver the below significance in the image.
Hanuman is still on that rock!
The actual self manifest idol evolved on the sacred rock and is seen in a unique position sitting on his knees facing east with folded hands. Lord Hanuman in this Panchmukhi avtar is said to reside there then now and forever and bless all devotees on Sri Raghavendra’s request who was born for the welfare of mankind. The darshan of this sacred swayam vyakta Panchmukhi Hanuman is considered to be extremely holy and beneficial. Anybody worshipping Hanuman here is said to be blessed with good fortune and will be relieved from fear and sorrow.
You believe it or not, IT IS true!
Here you can witness the special Padukes (footwear) of Lord Hanuman outside, in a temple. Here, every year a devotee secretly weaves a pair of Padukes (footwear) for Hanuman. Because it is said that Hanuman walks all around Panchamukhi with the Padukes and they actually tear or wear out within a year and hence devotees will have to stitch new Padukes every year. This tradition happens even to this day and every year HanumanS Padukes are torn even when placed inside the temple safely. In the below image, we have shown you the ‘Newly Stitched Hanumans Padukes’ and the ‘Worn Out Padukes’ by the end of the year which is simply because Hanuman actually uses them.
Panchmukhi Bed Pillow and Vimana!
Much within the temple premises you could witness Hanuman’s ‘Bed Pillow’ which is a huge rock in the form of bed and pillow shape. This was the rock on which Hanuman used to take rest or sleep during those days when he actually lived at Panchamukhi.
Panchmuki also has rocks arranged in the form of an aeroplane called ‘Hanuman Vimana’. While Hanuman was at Panchamukhi he used to travel using the same rock aeroplane for his travel purposes. Hanuman’s both Bed Pillow and Vimana are considered to be extremely holy and worshipped here everyday.
Legend of Panchmukhi!
Origin of Panchmukhi Hanuman is found in Ramayana. When Mahiravan captures Lord Ram and Laxman, Hanuman fought a fierce battle with Ravana but was not able to defeat him. Because Hanuman knew that to kill Mahiravan he had to extinguish five lamps in five different directions simultaneously. The life of Mahiravan was in 3 lamps representing directions. To extinguish the five lamps burning in five different directions at the same time, Lord Hanuman took the form of Panchmukhi. Sri Panchmukhi Hanuman extinguished the five lamps and killed Mahiravana.
Next time you are at Mantralaya make sure you do not miss visiting this powerful temple subjecting yourselves to Lord Hanuman’s special blessings and for ones own physical and mental betterment.