Sri Kothandaramar temple, Mariamman Kovil, Thanjavur, TN has the Largest Salagrama idols in the sanctum

Sri Kothandaramar temple,Mariamman kovil,Thanjavur.

Kothandaramar kovil, Mariamman kovil,Tamil Nadu,
Above image: Sri Kothandaramar temple, Mariamman Kovil. Thanjavur, Tamil nadu. This temple is famous for 1400 year old metal idols (an alloy of five metals) of Sri Rama, Seetha & Lakshmana,  and  large  Saligrama deities in the  sanctum. largest Salagrama stone images in India.The Vimana in the sanctum is called Soundarya Vimanam ........................

Kothandaramar kovil, Mariamman kovil, idols.

Located  seven kilometers east of Thanjavur city, close to  renowned Punnainallur Sri Mariamman  temple (which was established by Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra, a great saint) Sri Salagrama Kothandaramar temple is unique for two reasons. The Urchavar idols  (meant for procession only), made of  Iyempon (an alloy of 5 metals) are 1400 years old and  strikingly beautiful. The other interesting aspect is this is possibly the only (Ramar) temple in India where the moolavar deities in the garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) - Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Sugreeva are made of the sacred ‘Salagrama stones.

Salagrama stone (fossil ammonite.

Saligramam (refer to the image above) - is an anionic representation of Lord Vishnu, in the spherical form usually black in color. Saligrama stones are fossilized forms of Ammonites that lived in the sea millions of years ago. The black colored fossils are  found in the sacred River Gandaki, Nepal. The fossils were formed in the sediments of part of the ancient sea that existed  in the place now occupied by the Himalayas. The ancient sea is called "Tethys" - a vast ocean that extended westward up to the Mediterranean sea.  One normally finds the black Salagrama stones in small to medium sizes.  Here at the Kothandaramar temple, each of the big sized moolavar idol (all of them are in Standing Posture (about six feet tall) is carefully carved out of the Salagrama stones.

In this temple there are small shrines dedicated to Sudharsana and Anjaneyar. The recent paintings on the wall in the corridors depicting the life of Sri Rama are really fascinating and wonderful.
It is believed that the king of Nepal  who was the son-in-law of Thanjavur king presented huge holy Salagrama stones to the Thanjavur king. 

The temple was built by the Maratha king Pratap Singh. He lived in the 18th century and  built numerous temples in this region.
This place can be easily reached  by road from  the near-by city of  Thanjavur.