Mandayam Roots

Mandayam Jatavallabha Singraiyengar’s monumental research on Mandayam community published as “Mandayam Srivaishnavas history” in 1953 contains in detail about Mandayam’s roots, Mandayam Srivaishnava Sabha, Eminent Mandayams etc, well supported by data from Mysore gazette, epigraphica Karnataka, stone inscriptions and relevant documents from Archives. Following is a brief, extracted from above said book.

Mandayam Roots

  1. The name Mandaya has been existing in the earlier yugas, but gained strength during Sage Mandavya’s penance during Dwaparayuga. ‘Mandaya’ derived from Sage Mandavya’s name appears as the closest possibility.
  2. Mandayam Srivaishnavas hailing from this place owe their origin to Ananthacharya of Kirangur village near Srirangapatna, who was born in 1053 A.D.
  3. Ananthacharya left Srirangapatna, went to Srirangam and became a disciple of Acharya Ramanuja.
  4. At Ramanuja’s behest Ananthacharya went from Srirangam to Tirumala to offer flower service to Lord Srinivasa.
  5. Ramanuja calls him as “Aaan Pillai”, as he was the only ‘Male’ to accept the challenge of going to Tirumala, which was infested with wild animals, forest growth and cold climate.
  6. ‘Aaan Pillai’ became Anandampillai later called as Anandalwan.
  7. At the behest of Ramanuja the king Vittaldeva granted Anantarya a village which he named as ‘Mandayam’.
  8. Later his descendents continued to live in four villages near Tirupathi. These came to be known as.
    • Ilaiya Mandayam
    • Gajal Mandayam
    • Tiru Mandayam
    • Chinna Mandayam.

9. Ilaiya Mandayam also called as Balamandayam situated at 4 k.m from Tiruchhanur, was built according to the wishes of Anantarya.

The surmise is that the affix ‘Mandayam’ attached to these villages is in remembrance of nostalgic ‘Agraharam Mandyam’ in Kirangur where Ananthacharya lived earlier.

10. In the line of descendents of Anandalwan two illustrious ancestors have played very important role in the roots of Mandyam. They are:

a) Periya Govindaraja Udaiyavar A Great scholar in Ubhaya Vedanta and a disciple of Manavalamamuni during 14th Century. He was offering dedicated service to Lord Venkteshwara. He received a grant of 21 villages In Attiguppa Taluk of Present Mandya in Karnataka, from the king. Later he migrated back to Srirangapatna and settled as Rajaguru to Srirangaraya, who was a relative of the king of Vijayanagara.

b) Chikka Tirumalai Govindaraja Udaiyavar  A Grand son of Periya Govindaraja Udaiyavar was a great scholar of spiritual character. In 1516 he defeated a shaivite scholar by name Aaradhya in a memorable debate at Anegondi. King Krishnadevaraya a disciple of Acharya Ramanuja and himself a staunch Vaishnavite, was pleased and granted 6 villages in the present as a gift. These villages viz Chikka Mandya, Kallahalli, Hosahalli, Thonarehalli, Konahalli and Mandya together were named as ‘Krishnarayapura’.

11. Tirumale Govindaraja Udaiyavar made a frame work of rules and regulations. These were accepted and followed by all Mandayams belonging to 13 Gotras.One of the highlights is, that marriages shall be amongst these 13 Gotras only. The other was that, if any ‘Mandyams attains Paramapadam’ all the others shall have a purifying bath. Thus all those who followed the frame work of regulations laid by called and known as ‘Mandyam Srivaishnavas’.

12. All the descendents from Anantarya to Periya and Chikka Govindaraja Udaiyavar are called as Anandam Pillais. Many were ‘Swayam Acharya Purushas’.

13. Tirumale Govindaraja Udaiyavar divided the villages granted to him into 54 portions and distributed to all Mandayams for their use. A portion of Hosahalli village was given to his close friend Kunnapakkam Appaiachar. His grand son, also known as Appaiachar was granted a village called ‘Manchenahalli’ near present Maddur which was renamed as ‘Ramanujapura’. Mandayams, belonging to the lineage of this family are known as ‘Ramanuja Puram Anandam Pillai’.