The Only Ramar temple in India with all the moolavar deities made of the sacred ‘Saligramam’ Stone
1400 year old Utsavar idols of Raama, Sita and Lakshmana
‘Saligarama Kothandaramar’ Koil is located in Punnai Nallur, about 7kms East of Thanjai Maa Mani Divya Desam, on the Thanjavur-Nagapattinam Highway and about ½km North of the Thanjavur Mariamman koil. This temple is said to be the Abhimaana Sthalam of Neelamegha Perumal of Thanjai Maa Mani koil.
This is possibly the only (Raamar) temple in India where the moolavar deities of Raama, Sita, Lakshmana and Sugreeva have been made of the sacred ‘Saligramam’ stone. One normally finds the black Saligramam (stone) in the shape of a small stone. Here at the Kothandaramar temple, each of the big sized moolavar idol (all of them are in Standing Posture) is from the Saligramam stone. It is believed that a Nepal king (who was the son in law of Thanjavur) presented the sacred ‘Saligramam’ stones to the Thanjavur king.
Historical Utsavar Idols
The utsavar idols of Raama, Sita and Lakshmana that one sees today are said to be 1400 years old. These were found buried at Puvanur village near Needamangalam about 25kms from here.
Special Status for Vaanara King Sugreeva
Another feature at this temple is the special status assigned to the monkey king Sugreeva. It is believed that Raama, in recognition of Sugreeva’s help in finding Sita, wanted the Vaanara King by his side.
Construction of the temple
The temple was built by the Maratha king Pratap Singh, who lived in the 18th century and who contributed in no small way to a number of Vishnu temples in and around Thanjavur. There are references to the fact that the Maratha queen Emunaambal Bai set aside a lot of fertile land for the Kothandaramar temple. She also contributed in various other ways to the progress of the temple. Maratha King Shivaji and Kaamatchiamba Bai also contributed in a big way to this temple.
Sun Signs - Another speciality
Lord Hanuman is seen in a separate sannidhi in a standing posture facing South with a lifted right hand and with a lotus in his left hand.
On the upper wall of the Hanuman sannidhi, one finds stone carvings of the 12 sun signs. The belief is that devotees who stand under their respective sun sign and offer sincere prayers to the Lord will be relieved from all the difficulties relating to their sun sign.
It is also believed that Lord Hayagriva will assist in the education and intellectual learning for those who invoke his blessings here at the Kothandaramar temple on the Thiruvonam day every month.
Management of the temple
The Kothandaramar temple is under the management of Shri. Babaji Rajah Bhonsle, the current prince of the Thanjavur Palace.
A couple of other Kothandaramar koil in Tamil Nadu are Eri Kaatha Ramar koil in Madurantakam
( http://prtraveller.blogspot.com/2008/11/madurantakam-eri-kaatha-raamar.html) and
Ramar Koil in Vaduvur on the Thanjavur-Mannargudi highway
Moolavar Deities : Saligrama Kothandaramar Standing Posture with Sita, Lakshmana, and Sugreeva
Utsavar : Raamar with Sita Devi and Lakshmana
Temple Time : 7am to 12.30pm and 5pm to 830pm
Priest : C. Venkatesa Bhattar @ 97897 42778
Contact Address : 4/32 Ramar Sannathi Street Mariyammankovil(PO) Thanjavur 613501
Festivals : 9 day Rama Navami Utsavam in Panguni – Brahomotsavam
Garuda Sevai on Chaturthi day, Chariot procession on Navami day
How to reach the temple
One can board the Thanjavur- Nagapattinam /Amma Pettai and get down at Mariamman Koil stop.
Auto from Thanjavur bus stand/Railway Station / Thanjai Maa Mani Divya Desam will charge Rs.125-Rs.150 for a two way trip.