Kumbakonam – Sri Ramaswamy Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Ramaswamy Temple

Period of origin

Before 1000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Rama

Thayar: Sita

Pushkarani: Maha maga tank

Sthalapuranam:

Dasaratha King of Ayodhya was sad as he had no issues to look after the kingdom after him. As advised by Guru Vasishta, he conducted a yajna called Puthrakameshti Yajna seeking child boon.  To establish Dharma on Earth Lord Vishnu was born to him as Rama from his first queen Kausalya.  Vishnu’s Adisesha and conch were born as Lakshmana and Satrugna to his their queen Sumitra.  Bharatha representing Vishnu’s discus was born to the second queen Kaikeyi and was a symbol of Dharma himself.  Rama, Lakshmana, Bharatha and Satrugna were born on very auspicious days with Punarvasu, Pushya, Aslesha as their birth stars respectively.  All the four brothers were a living and practical example in human forms of the rule of Vedas.  Rama and Lakshmana were close to each other while Satrugna was close to Bharatha.

Bharatha, an outstanding example of the political dharma of the days, ruled Ayodhya as its acting Governor of Rama from the Nandhi Grama placing Rama’s sandals on the throne.  He ruled till the return of Rama from his exile after 14 years.

Their wives excelled their husbands in upholding Dharmas. No power on earth could separate the brothers.  They were united by soul and mind. Lord Sri Rama in the temple appears as on the Coronation Day in Ayodhya with His consort Mother Sita who suffered untold suffering during their exile, Lakshmana who was only happy to share the hardships of jungle life along with his brother, Bharatha and Satrugna whose sacrifice deserves all praise and Sri Anjaneya who was the soul of Rama in deciding His final victory over Ravana.

Here Lord Rama has been consecrated in His coronation robes. Both Sri Rama and Sita are seated on the same peeta and Hanuman is depicted as singing in praise of the Lord with the help of a veena.

This temple, known as the southern Ayodhya, has beautiful idols of Rama and Seethadepicted in coronation posture. Lakshmana stands next to Rama, holding a bow and arrows; they are flanked by Bharatha holding an Umbrella and Shatrughna holding a fan. This is the only temple where we can see idols of Rama, Seetha and Lakshmana along with Bharatha and Shatrughna.

The 62 pillars in the front mandapam are great works of art. Scenes from Ramayana are painted on the walls of the prakaram.

The walls of the temple are decorated with beautiful paintings depicting the Ramayana. Every scene is painted, right from the birth of Rama to his coronation. I wish I had time to study each and every painting in detail, but failing that, I succumbed to temptation, and clicked a couple of photographs of the paintings. They will remind me to make another trip to this beautiful temple, at leisure.

The temple town of Kumbakonam is the abode of several deities each unique and distinct. The temple of Lord Rama situated in the centre of the town is a connoisseurs’ delight. The temple is replete with puranic lore.

King Raghunayak ruled Tanjore from 1614-1640. He was an ardent devotee of Rama . His lieutenant Govinda Dikshitar called Govinda Ayyan was also devout and looked after the temple works.

King Raghunayak dug a holy tank in Darasuram near Kumbakonam . while the work was in progress they found icons of Rama and Sita in the tank. The King’s joy knew no bounds. Thus he built a temple for Rama and called it Ramaswamy temple.

This temple is unique as Rama and Sita are in a Pattabishekam posture-Coronation scene . Rama and Sita are surrounded by lakshmana, shatrugna, Bharatha and the ever obedient Hanuman with Veena in one hand and the holy book of Ramayana in the other hand in a sitting posture. This coronation scene attracts people from far off places who are awe struck at the divine sight of the celestial confluence.

A separate sanctum sanctorum is dedicated to Srinivasa with Sreedevi and Bhoodevi .

There are separate shrines for Azhwars and acharyas. The temple looks majestic with a mammoth Gopuram which seem to beckon the devotees to propitiate the lord inside.

Route:

The temple is at the southern end of the Big Bazaar Street in Kumbakonam linked by road and rail from all corners of the state.

Temple Timings:

6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.

Temple Telephone Number:

+91 435 2401788

Temple Address:

Ramasamy Temple,

kumbakonam-612001,

Thanjavur

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