Sri Kothanda Ramar temple of Ayodhyapattinam, Salem, TN- this temple is worth a visit

In the state of  Tamil Nadu  there  are  many  temples dedicated to Sri Rama. The  Kothandaramaswamy Temple, Rameswaram, Mudikondan  Kothandaramaswamy  Temple, Kollavilli Raman Temple, Sri Yoga Ramar Temple, Nedungunam. Ramaswami temple, Kumbakonam,   Eri-Katha Ramar Temple of Maduranthakam (main deity - Udayavar  was named by Ramanuja), etc., are some of the temples worth mentioning. Sri Kothandaramar temple at Mariamman kovil near Thanjavur city  where the  Moola VI grahams are entirely made of Salagrama  stones  (donated by the Nepal king to the Maratha rulers of Thanjavur), the Vaduvur sri Ramar temple at Vadvur town near Thanjavur and  Sri Ramar temple on West main street, Thanjavur are quite popular in this part.

Sri Ramar temple, Ayodhyapattinam, Salem, TN

Sri Ramar temple, Ayodhyapattinam, Salem, TN

Sri Ramar temple, Ayodhyapattinam, Salem, TN.

Sri Ramar temple, Ayodhyapattinam, Salem, TN

Sri Ramar temple, Ayodhyapattinam, Salem, TN

Sri Ramar temple, Ayodhyapattinam, Salem, TN

Sri Ramar temple, Ayodhyapattinam, Salem, TN

Sri Ramar temple, Ayodhyapattinam, Salem, TN

ornate chariot, Adhyothyapatnam,

Ayothiyapattinam Ramar temple chariot, nice

Ayothiyapattinam Ramar temple chariot,

Above images: 200 year old wooden Temple chariot - Across the temple main tower lies the wooden temple chariot  which is rotting without any proper shelter. It seems, it is not in use for a long period.. The exquisite carvings on the wooden chariot what is left  out bring out  the splendour and mastery of rich wooden carvings that only experienced sculptors could handle. the Chariot carries features that depict various episodes / events from the Ramayana.  The negligence is quite appalling on the part of HR & CE.No steps,as of today, have been taken to repair this rare old chariot  and make it usable..............

People from the delta districts or from south Tamil Nadu are not familiar with the famous Sri Ramar temple at  Ayodhyapattanam near Salem city, TN. Actually called Sri Kothandapani Ramar temple, it is about 10 km from the city; this roughly 1000 year old temple dedicated to sri Kothandaramar is quite popular in this part of Salem district and has amazing rock sculptures of various deities and other images, besides ornamental mandapams with fine ornate stone pillars. These pillars and the big  stone images bear testimony to the mastery and artistic talents of the sculptors of the past era. Well planned, designed and executed, the intricate decorative features on the ceiling of the mandapam get the attention of the visitors to this temple. 

Yet another interesting feature is the rare  posture of Sri Rama's idol in the  sanctum. In sitting posture, he is seen with his crossed legs - left one over the right.  I have not yet come across this kind of posture of  Rama in other temples.  Also present here are the brothers of Sri Rama - Lakshmana, Bharata and Chaturgana along with ever-present Anjaneya. Across the idols of Sita and Rama in Pattabhisheka Kolam is the image of Vibishna, invoking blessings from them. 

Ayodhyapattinam, salem tripadvisor

Sri Ramar temple, Ayodhyapattinam, salem 

Sri Rama (Moolavar) in sitting posture,  Ayodhyapattinam, Salem

What is unique about this temple? This place got the name because God  Rama, on his way back to Ayodhya,  had set his feet here  with his brother Lakshmana and others  after defeating the demon king   Ravana of Lanka  who abducted Rama's consort Sita  from the Panchavadi forest and held her hostage in  Ashokavana, Lanka.  Hence this temple is said to be holy and sanctified. Yet another legend is Vibeshna and others were unable to attend the Pattabhishekam (coronation) of Sri Rama. Near the present site upon meditation Rama appeared in Pattabhisheka kolam along with Sita and others. 

Devotees who visit this temple, pray to God Rama, goddess Sita, Lakshmana, Sri Anjaneya, Vibishana, Baratha, Sugriva in a clockwise direction   The popular belief has been that praying at this temple in Ayodhyapattinam is equal to visiting the birth place of Ayodhya (in the UP).

Salem, Tamil nadu, location map.

The builder of this temple was none other than the famous Nayak ruler of Madurai Thirumalai nayak of Madurai dynasty. According to historical records Thirumalai Nayak (17th century), at the same time,  not only built this Ramar temple, but also Tharamangalam Kailasanathar temple, Tiruchenkode  Murugan (Karthikeya) temple, besides popular Nayakar Mahal at Madurai. That  similar stone sculptures and architectural designs of these temples and pillars with big horses   suggest the influence of Madurai nayak dynasty's  style of design.  One particular pillar in the big hall (mantap) has carvings of Dasavatara - ten incarnations of Sri Vishnu. Mention may be made of a   man  on a divine horse killing a demon, Yali (s strange mythical animal resembling fierce lion) and other features of similar size on  single pillar. Of particular attraction is a musical pillar that produces different sound upon tapping on the image. There are stone images of  Vibhishana, Sugriva and Anjaneya who were associated with God Rama  during the fierce battle between him and Ravana. In the Anjaneya shrine,  the Sun's ray would fall on the image during a particular time through   the door; it is said, this can not be seen nowadays became of countless buildings  close to the temples and they block the morning Sun's rays. There  are color paintings on the walls and the color dyes were made from various herbs and plants. 

Kothanda ramar temple Ayodhyapattinam, 

Sri Ramanavami is a major festival here and this ten-day long festival comes in the month of Chithirai. Yet another festival that attracts the people here is the Hanumath jayanthi. This temple is a treasure trove of temple sculptures of various images and themes and can be developed into a major tourist spot in south India.