Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chathurbhuja Rama Pon Pathar Koodam

One of the few temples in India where Rama is seen displaying his Chaturbhuja Form
An interesting feature is that one sees Sharp nails on Rama’s fingers, the life line on the palm of his hand, his knee cap and veins on his leg




Located about 70kms South of Madras off the Great Southern Trunk (GST) Road and under 15kms off Chengalpet (near Ottivakkam Railway Station) amidst the green paddy fields is the over 600 year old Chaturbhuja Kothandarama temple at Pon Pathar Koodam near Pon Vilaintha Kalathur.

(Within 2kms of each other, one finds an ancient Lakshmi Narasimha temple, a Kothandarama temple, a Darbha Sayana Rama temple and the Chathurbhuja Rama temple at this place)

Chathurbhuja Rama

Since Rama is seen to play the role of a perfect human being (in the Rama Avataar), one does not normally get see to the divine form of Vishnu in Rama’s temples and he is usually seen in a standing posture with a bow and arrow at most temples.

Pon Pathar Koodam is one of the very few temples in India with Rama in a grand sitting Chathurbhuja Posture. (The most prominent of the Chathurbhuja Rama is in Dhandakaranya Kshetram of Bhadrachalam in Andhra Pradesh)



The Story

This was originally a Lakshmi Narayana Sannidhi in the middle of a big forest. Later, Devaraja Rishi, who undertook penance and performed pooja here, is said to have had darshan of Rama in his Chathurbhuja form.

In the entire Ramayana, Rama is said to have displayed his full form with Conch and Chakra only to his mother Kausalya just before he left on his exile to the forest, to Anjaneya when they met for the first time, to Thrijadai (in whose dream the all conquering Rama is said to have appeared), to Ravana’s sister Mandothari in Lanka and to Ravana at the end of the Ramayana battle.

It is in this full divine and not often seen form that one finds Rama at Pon Pathar Koodam- with a conch and chakra with the other two hands in the posture of blessing and protecting the devotees. Also, he is seen in a seated posture with his left leg folded and his right leg placed on the ground. Moolavar Anjaneya is seen standing opposite Rama in a standing posture with folded hands.

Unique Utsava Deity
The Kothandarama utsava deity is also seen in a Chaturbhuja form with Sita to his right and Lakshmana to his left. An interesting featuring of this several centuries old idol is that one finds sharp nails on his fingers, the life line on the palm of his hand, his knee cap and veins on his leg. One is also able to clearly see the individual fingers on his hand. Rama is also seen wearing a ring on his finger.

Yet another interesting feature here is that the Utsava deity’s left leg is a little in front of his right leg, with the bow placed on his left leg almost in a posture of being ready to break the bow and seeking Sita’s hand.



Festivals

Panguni Brahmotsavam
10day Rama Navami
Sudarshana Homam on February 21

Quick Facts

Moolavar : Chathur Bhuja Rama East Facing Sitting Posture
Utsavar : Kothandarama with Sita, Lakshmana and Anjaneya
Temple Time : 730am-830am and 5pm-6pm
Contact : Kasturi Rangan Bhattar @ 94437 06842

How to reach Pon Pathar Koodam

From Chengalpet (Old GST Road), take a left into the road leading to Thirukazhakunram via Pon Vilaintha Kalathur. This is 1km before the Madras- Trichy National Highway Bye Pass.

About 6kms into this road, one should cross the Ottivakkam railway station gate to reach Pon Vilaintha Kalathur. 2kms east of Pon Vilaintha Kalathur is the Chathurbhuja Rama temple at Pon Pathar Koodam.

There are local buses every half hour (during morning and evening) running between Chengalpet and Pon Vilaintha Kalathur.

One can take a passenger train between Chennai Egmore/Tambaram and Villupuram and get down at Ottivakkam. From Ottivakkam, one can walk to the Kothandaramar/ Darbha Sayana Ramar and Lakshmi Narasimha temple at Pon Vilaintha Kalathur and then visit the Chathurbhuja Rama temple (about 2kms from the above mentioned temples)

One can take an auto/car from Chengalpet bus stand/railway station to reach this temple within 20-30minutes.

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