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.
There is a sprawling Mantap which is a treasure trove of sculptures about which we shall read in the next article.
Presiding deities:Rama and Sita in the Pattabishekam Kolam.
6am – 12am 5pm- 8.30pm