AYODHYAPATTINAM – And The Coronation Of Sri Rama

SRI KODHANDA RAMA SWAMY TEMPLE,

AYODHYAPATTINAM

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Any place that is steeped in history I find immensely attractive.The older it is the better! There is just such a place near Salem- a place visited by Sri Rama, which was once the Ashram of a famous Rishi, a place that is a  treasure-trove  of some of the most exquisite  granite sculptures – all this so close to home..surely nothing could be better!

This special place is Ayodhyapattinam near Salem. Pattinam means city in Tamil. So the name Ayodhyapattinam translates as The City of Ayodhya.

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Ayodhya is an ancient city in the state of Uttar Pradesh in North India.It was the capital of the kingdom of Kosala ruled by the famous  Ishvaku Kings of the Surya Dynasty of whom Lord Rama was the most celebrated king.It was here that Shri Rama was born as the eldest son of King Dasaratha.  Sage Valmiki’s Sanskrit epic Ramayana begins in Ayodhya with the birth of Rama and ends with His Coronation in this ancient city. The Brahmanda Purana and the Bhagavatha Purana extoll it as the most important among the six holy cities of the Hindus (Mokshapuri),a pilgrimage to which is capable of giving Moksha or Nirvana.

Why is a village in Tamil Nadu named after Ayodhya, the ancient capital of the Kosala Desam ?Because, here we see the Coronation scene of Shri Rama and Sita Devi attended by Sugreeva, Baratha, Lakshmana, Vibhishana and Hanuman, all within a single sanctum.

HISTORY

(STHALA PURANA)

The temple of Kothanda Rama Swamy was originally the Ashram of Sage Bharathwaja, a famous Rishi. After Ravana was vanquished in Sri Lanka and Sita was rescued, Shri Rama and Sita returned to Ayodhya in the Pushpaka Vimana, a celestial aircraft. They were accompanied by Lakshmana, Hanuman, Sugreeva, Vibhishana among others.En route, at the request of Rishi Bharathwaja, Sri Rama stayed at his Ashram for a day with his entourage. The exalted Rishi and Vibhishana expressed their desire to see the Coronation scene of Sri Rama. To their delight Rama obliged them by enacting the Coronation that was to take place in Ayodhya.

Sage Bharathwaja built a temple for Sri Rama at the place where Rama stayed. For thousands of years, it remained in the forests near Salem. After the 16th century the first human settlement was formed around the temple during the Nayak rule in Madurai.

Villagers are said to have approached the local chieftain Masi Nayak, who on instructions from King Tirumalai Nayak, built the temple.

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In this temple we find the rare form of Sri Rama and Sita seated on a throne.It is known as Pattabhisheka Kolam. Pattabhishekam is the sacred anointing, ritual bath and crowning of the King and is the Indian equivalent of a Coronation. Sri Rama’s right hand is in Chin Mudra and he sits with his left foot placed on his right thigh in kingly fashion. Sita is seated beside him. Sugreeva, Vibhishana, Baratha, and Hanuman watch with folded hands.

Sri Rama’s Pattabhishekam is important because,

  • It marked the end of the atrocities of the Demons or Rakshasas and of Ravana, the Demon king in particular.
  • It marked the triumph of Good over evil.
  • It heralded the beginning of a glorious era in history known as the Rama Rajyam which became the ultimate ideal in good governance.

Worshipping the Pattabhisheka Kolam of Sri Rama is thought to be the penultimate solution for all problems in life.

This form of Lord Rama is not seen in many places.That is the reason why this temple in Ayodhyapattinam is important.

TREATISE IN STONE – THE MAHA MANDAPAM

The temple’s Maha Mandapam has 28 ornate pillars with exquisite life- like sculptures.It is truly amazing that each pillar is sculpted out of a single slab of granite.

My Photos do not do justice to this wonderful gallery of temple pillar art.

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Warrior on horseback slaying a lion with a lance which in turn is trying to kill a man
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The other side of the same pillar. On this side the warrior is seen killing the lion with a sword
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Amazing details..the horse’s teeth are cleary seen
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A warrior on a mythical animal known as Yali

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Musical Pillars- these are joined to central supports. Ayodhyapattinam, Tamil Nadu
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Delicate and beautiful stone lattice work. Ayodhyapattinam, Tamil Nadu
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Rishi Bharatwaja
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Ramanujar

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TRIVIKRAMA
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HANUMAN

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The name Barathwaja is written in Tamil above these figures near the ceiling
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Krishna Leela  – Herbal dyes have been used for paintings on the ceiling
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Painting of Gajendre Moksha using Herbal paints
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A map of India placed near the entrance That shows the places visited by Sri Rama in his Yatra given by a team from Ayodya to confirm that Sri Rama visited here.

It is believed that worship at this temple in Ayodhyapattinam is equal to visiting Ayodhya in North India.

Where it is located

Ayodhyapattinam is 11 Kms. from Salem on the Salem – Harur road

Timings

6 A.M. to 12 P.M.

5 P.M. to 8 P.M.

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6 thoughts on “AYODHYAPATTINAM – And The Coronation Of Sri Rama”

  1. I agree with you that apart from recorded history there is lots of information handed down over generations. Both Ayodhyapattinam and Pandamangalam temple infos belong to the second category.
    I am not aware of the association of Tirumalai Naicker with Tirupati temple. I will be happy to know more about this. Pardon me, I may be wrong, but to my knowledge Sita Devi went to the ashram of sage Valmiki where Lava and Kucha were born and where they grew up. Was it the ashram of sage Bharatwaja where she went?
    I could not include the photo of the map in this comments section but I have uploaded it in the post itself. It is the very last photo in the post.

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    1. Thanks, amma. My mistake. I had registered Bharadwaja as Valmiki in my mind, and hence the incorrect questions. I can now understand how Sage Bharadwaja could have been in this region. As you rightly say, the authenticating historical fact is the information handed down generation to generation in the family of the priests and recorded by sculptors.

      Your pictures and description mean a lot – they enable me to visit them from far away. Thanks again.

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  2. Loved it! The photgraphs are wonderful. Hanuman’s figure is captivating. The lattice work is interesting – you can see these types of lattice work in Swami Narayan temples also. Wonder when and how this cross-transfer of knowedge take place between northern and southern part of India.

    What is the sthala puranam based on? Do we have any other authenticating information that Bharadwaja was actually this far south when Rama returned from Ravana?

    What is the time period for Thirumalai Naiker? Is he the same one connected with the Balaji temple at Thirumalai?

    Thanks again for the wonderful work you are doing.

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    1. Thank you for reading this post.I’m happy you liked it.The same questions arose in my mind when I visited this temple. For that matter,even in my childhood I used to wonder why this place was called Ayodhyapattinam when the original Ayodhya was in the North. While researching for this post ( research means Google!) I found that the Ashram of Sage Bharathwaja is in Prayag. In this visit I was able to get some answers but not all.
      For instance, by way of authentication,
      1.we have the sculptures of Sage Bharathwaja and his wife on either side of the central pillars standing with folded hands. On the pillars directly opposite are the sculptures of Rama and Sita. 2.The priest pointed out carvings of two sages in a panel just below the ceiling. Just above them the words Bharathwajargal is written in ancient Tamil. They were so far up and difficult to see that if not for the priest I would have missed it completely.
      3.There is a map of India placed near the entrance . It is in Hindi and shows the yatra places of Sri Rama. An elderly villager explained that a team had come from Ayodhya many years back and given the map to the temple stating that Sri Rama had visited here. I have included the photo of the old map.

      Tirumalai Nayak’s period was the 17th century A.D.

      Thanks again for visiting.

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      1. Sages seldom stayed in one place. In fact, their asrma dharma commanded them so. So, their place of residence was constantly changing. Yes, when Rama went to the forest exile with Sita and Lakshmana, the sage was in the Prayag area ( I can get you the exact location if you want). But then, when Sita went to Bharadwaja ashram for the delivery of Lava and Kucha, the sage was living not far from from Ayodhya itself. It is quite possible, he was in the southern part of India when Rama returned from Lanka. I was wondering if you had come across any writing by Valmiki or Tulsi Das etc who recorded this history that mentioned this, or whether the temple priest at Ayodhyapattinam mentioned anything in this regard. In addition to history recored on paper, there are valauable pieces of information that are handed down verbally from generation to generation.

        I did not receive the map you mentioned. Could you send that again.

        Thanks for the info on Thirumalai Naickar. Is he the same one associated with the Balaji temple at Thirumalai?

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