SRI KODHANDA RAMA SWAMY TEMPLE,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
6 A.M. to 12 P.M.
5 P.M. to 8 P.M.