TTD declares 'Anjanadri' in Tirumala is Hanuman's birthplace Eds: recasts para 14

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Tirupati, Apr 21 (PTI) The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, which governs the ancient shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala here, on Wednesday announced that Lord Hanuman's birthplace was Anjanadri, a hillock at Japali Theertham located about 5 km from north of the hill temple.

The announcement, on 'Ram Navami' day, was made by a TTD constituted committee of scholars from different fields led by Prof Muralidhara Sharma, Vice-Chancellor of National Sanskrit University here, in the presence of Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit.

TTD Executive Officer K S Jawahar Reddy and Additional Executive Officer AV Dharma Reddy were also present.

The committee said Anjandri is the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, popularly known as Sri Anjaneya Swamy in South India, according to a TTD official.

A booklet with 'epigraphical, scientific and mythological evidence', projecting Anjanadri, one of the seven hills at Tirumala, as the birthplace of Lord Hanuman was released by Muralidhara Sharma on the occasion.

Muralidhara Sharma said the panel has gathered some 'significant smithereens of evidence' based on the references in ancient literature, inscriptions, historical and astronomical calculations as well.

The TTD booklet, with 20 pages titled in Telugu as 'Sri Anjaneyaswamy Vari Janmasthalam Tirumalaloni Anjanadri' (Tirumala's Anjanadri is Sri Hanumans birthplace), was unveiled on the occasion.

It was distributed among media persons and other TTD officials, a TTD official told PTI.

The booklet would also be uploaded on the TTD website for the benefit of the public, the official added.

Purohit, who came here to offer worship to Lord Venkateswara on the occasion of Rama Navami, hailed the committee's efforts and expressed satisfaction over its report projecting Anjanadri as the birthplace of Sri Hanuman, the official said.

In December last, TTD executive officer KS Jawahar Reddy had constituted a high-level committee of scholars from various fields to study and gather evidence to establish that Anjanadri is the place where Lord Hanuman was born.

TTD's claim on the topic of Hanuman's birthplace has created a stir in religious, archaeological, and political circles in Karnataka because Hampi near Ballari is considered 'Kishkindha Kshetra' or monkey kingdom for ages.

While some archaeology and history scholars have dismissed the TTD's claim, the Karnataka unit of Vishwa Hindu Parishad has said the TTD should take some more time and hold discussions with scholars and religious heads before arriving at any conclusion.

In Hindu mythology, there are different versions of where the monkey-God was born. Some tales have Hanuman as being born in a cave in Anjan village in Gumla district of Jharkhand while some others claim his birthplace as Maharashtra's Anjaneri hills near Nashik.

The temple of Lord Venkateswara is located on Venkatadri hill, the seventh and Narayanadri, Seshadri and Garudadri are among the other hills of Tirumala.

Hanuman is also hailed as 'Vayuputra' and as son of Anjana Devi who did 'tapas' in the one of the seven hills of Tirumala and it was named after her as 'Anjanadri.' Besides Muralidhara Sharma, the committee of scholars includes Prof Sannidhanam Sudarshana Sharma, Vice-Chancellor of Sri Venkateswara Vedic University here, Prof Muralidhara Sharma, Vice-Chancellor of National Sanskrit varsity, professors Ranisadasiva Murthy, Sri Janumaddi Ramakrishna and Sankaranarayana of the National Sanskrit University. PTI COR SA BN BN