Historic Sri Kothanda Ramar temple, Ayodhyapattinam near Salem TN - slowly losing its splendor due to poor upkeep by HR & CE!!

HR & CE and its poor temple administration. .quora.com/

Sri Ramar temple, Ayodhyapattinam, Salem, TN in.worldorgs.com

Sri Kothanda  Ramar Temple of Ayodhyapattinam  close to Salem city in Tamil Nadu is a popular one. It is believed that sri Rama  gave  darshan  in Pattabhisheka Kolam to Vibeshna, brother of Ravana and others who missed the coronation ceremony at Ayodhya (UP) . Hence in this temple sanctum/ garbhagriha (which is 1000 years old), Sri Rama and his consort Sita appear in   Pattabhisheka Kolam, a rare one. Devotees  who visit this temple will never forget to pray to God Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Sri Anjaneya, Vibishana, Baratha, Sugriva in a clockwise direction.The belief has been that devotees praying  to Sri Rama  and his his consort in this temple at Ayodhyapattinam is equal to visiting the birth place of  Sri Rama  in Ayodhya in UP  where consecration of "Bala" Ramar  was done in the Garbhagriha  in the presence of India's PM Modiji and others yesterday. The legal dispute over the birth place of Sri Rama at Ayodhya  between two communities lasted for a few hundred years without a break. Roughly Rs. 1500 cr temple project was launched with public donation after the dispute was closed in favor the Hindus a few years ago. A large section of Muslims accepted the SC verdict, a good gesture on their part. . 

As for Sri Kothanda Ramar temple at Ayodhyapattinam, it  is  poorly being maintained by the HR & CE of the TN government. Since 1970s whenever  the DMK  has been in power, its administration will plummet to the lowest level far worse than the AIADMK.   A  Unesco report  ( TOI dated August 12, 2017) said. HR & CE (Hindu religious and charitable endowments)  in charge of the administration of  Hindu temples and their maintenance across the state had done little to preserve the state’s history. More than 34000 temples plus agricultural lands, plots and buildings in the urban areas are under the control of HR & CE.

On directions of the Madras High Court Unesco undertook a fact-finding mission covering 20 historical temples. A six member team visited 20 temples in the state over a three-month period, focusing on conservation methods that the HR&CE department employed at ancient temple

It discovered, among other things, the antique idols and sculptures at many old temples were vulnerable to theft, Apart, there were  numerous unauthorised structures on temple premises in gross violations of rules, leading to encroachment and destruction of ancient artefacts.

Most of the conservation works were substandard and mediocre quite shocking is th demolition of some historic halls in some temples to be replaced by a modern structure.  The Unesco team was in a state of shock as to find ''systematic devastation of temples and their heritage''.  Yet another horrible thing they found was a VIP guest house with a toilet  in the prakaram (pradakshina path) of the famed Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple in Tiruvannamalai. In some temples, there are AC office rooms for the senior HR & CE officials - sheer "violation of the agamas [tradition]”. The public complaint was many of the officials in charge of the temples owe their allegiance to the ruling party. 


In 2012  in a sort of name-sake conservation work HR & CE did everything against the agama shastras.

 01. In the name of cleaning the beautiful sculptures in the mandapas of Kothanda  Ramar temple, the workers followed the banned sandblasting method to beautiful  images. Many images show damages and a few ones like the image of demoness Surpanakha were missing.

Ayothiyapattinam ramar temple. tamilhindu.com

Above image: Ayothiyapattinam Sri Kothanda Ramar temple, Salem, TN. Damaged stone inscription due to sandblasting Photo credit: tamilhindu.com..........

02. Many stone inscriptions in the temple were defaced due to sandblasting and in them we have lost the history of the temple.

Ayodhyapattinam Sri Ramar temple, Salem, TN tamilhindu.com

Ayodhyapattinam Sri Ramar temple, Salem, TN tamilhindu.com

Above images: Ayodhyapattinam Sri Kothanda Ramar temple, Salem, TN. Damaged mural painting in the ceiling, redone with modern color paint Photo credit: tamilhindu.com...........

 03, A few hundred years old mural paintings done with natural dyes were redone using modern color paints without following right conservation technique. Because of seepage during rains, the paintings are in bad shape due to smudging.

04. In the 600 year mandapa,  cement sculptures were built to replace old stone images, thus making the hall structurally weak. 

05. Spending lakhs of rupees, old non-slippery flooring was replaced with ceramic tiles. As it is slippery, elderly people were unable to walk on the floor. 

Ayodhyapattinam Sri Ramar temple, Salem,TN tamilhindu.com

06. Worst damage against agama sastras was committed by HR & CE wantonly by way of  removal of Bali Peedam that had survived for several decades. It is punishable under the ASI acts. 

Ayodhyapattinam Sri Ramar temple tower in Garuda shrine tamilhindu.com/

Sri Kothanda ramar temple small tower over Garuda shrine. tamilhindu.com/

07. Yet another violation against Agama is the construction of a small gopura (tower) atop the shrine of Garuda Azhwar, the vahana of Sri Vishnu. 

Sri Kothanda ramar temple small tower over Garuda shrine. tamilhindu.com/

Above image: Sri Kothanda ramar temple, Ayodhyapattinam, TN . growth of vegetation near the edge of mandaba causing damages to the sunshade. photo credit .tamilhindu.com...........................

08. Because of poor upkeep vegetation grows on the roof of a section of the temple, Note the damaged sunshade made of hardstone in the picture.

Wooden Ther, Sri ramar temple Salem, TN tamilhindu.com

old Rath at Ramar temple in Ayodhyapattinam.

09. When the repair work was done by HR & CE officials in August, 2012, they  never took interest to preserve the legacy of the temple; one being the old wooden chariot that is continuously exposed to the hot sun and rains without any shelter or some sort of cover over it.It is covered with compacted layers of dust. The wooden wheels are missing, probably stolen by the anti-social people or by people associated with the temple administration.  The Chariot carries features that depict various episodes / events from the Ramayana.  The negligence is quite appalling on the part of HR & CE.  .