Friday, 12 December 2014

Largest Shaligrama (fossilized rock) idols of Sri Ramar temple, Tamil Nadu, India

Shaligrama stone (fossil ammonite.

1400 year old metal(an alloy of five metals)idols of Sri Rama,Seetha & Lakshmana,Sri Ramar temple,Mariamman kovil,Tamil Nadu,

Seven kilometers east of Thanjavur city, very close to Mariamman  temple (which was established by Sri Sadasivabrahmendral,a great saint) this old Sri Shaligrama Kothandaramar temple is unique for two reasons. The Utchavar idols  (meant for for procession only), made of iyempon (an alloy of 5 metals) are 1400 years old and  strikingly beautiful. The other interesting aspect is this is possibly the only (Ramar) temple in India where the moolavar  in the garbagraha (sanctum sanctorum) deities of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Sugreeva are made of the sacred ‘Shaligrama
Sri Ramar temple entrance,Mariamman kovil,Thanjavur. Tamil
stone (refer to the image above) - an anionic representation of Lord Vishnu, in the form of a spherical usually black colored fossil found in the sacred River Gandaki, Nepal. The fossils were formed in the sediments of part of the ancient sea that existed  in the place now occupied by the Himalayas. One normally finds the black shaligrama (stone) small to medium in size. Here at the Kothandaramar temple, each of the big sized moolavar idol (all of them are in Standing Posture (above six feet) is carefully carved out of the Shaligrama stone.

 There are small shrines dedicated to Sudharsanar and Anjanaiyar in this temple. The recent paintings on th wall in the corridors depicting the life of Sri Rama are really fascinating and wonderful.
It is believed that the king of Nepal  who was the son- in- law of Thanjavur king presented huge  holy Shaligrama stones to the Thanjavur king. 

The temple was built by the Maratha king Pratap Singh. He lived in the 18th century and  built numerous temples in this region.
This place can be easily reached  by road from near- by city Thanjavur.