Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kothandarama Temple Gandharvakottai

Sun Rays fall on the entire body of Kothandarama on three days every month
Interesting stone carvings seen inside the temple including Rangantha in a sayana kolam atop 5hooded serpent
Located around 30kms from Thanjavur on the Pudukottai Highway is the early Chozha Period Kothandarama temple in Gandharvakottai where Lord Rama is seen in a standing posture flanked by Goddess Sita and brother Lakshmana. The temple is believed to have been built by (Kanda) Aditya Chozha. The entire temple complex, including the outer walls, is of a granite structure and dates back a 1000years.

The story goes that Aditya Chozha was moved immeasurably after listening to the story of Ramayana and ordered the construction of the temple. 1km west of the temple is a Mandapa where the story of the Ramayana is depicted.

He donated lands and initiated the conduct of daily poojas and annual festivals here at this temple. Later, Thondaman king and Gandharvakottai Zamindars renovated the temple.

There was a Vasantha Mandapam with a dome like roof at the temple where the Lord used to come on a procession and rest for a while enjoying the greenery around.

Stone Carvings
On the North corner of the Maha Mandapa is a beautiful stone carving of Lord Ranganatha in a sayana kolam taking rest atop the 5hood Adisesha with Thaayar pressing his leg to put him to sleep. His head in a slightly lifted posture is seen resting on the right hand.

On the upper walls of Maha Mandapa are carvings of fish, an indication that the Pandyas may have contributed to the temple and the construction of the mandapas.

Unique Occurrence
On the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of every month, the sun’s rays fall on the entire body of Lord Kothandarama between 6am and 730am, quite a unique occurrence at this temple.

In centuries gone by, Theppotsavam was celebrated in a grand manner at the temple. Several of the vahanas that carried the Lord during Brahmotsavam processions are still seen at the temple.

Kothandarama goes out on a procession on Rama Navami
10day Era Pathu Utsavam following the Paramapada Vaasal opening
Thirumanjanam on Wednesdays and Saturdays

Childless couples can invoke the blessings of Lord Hanuman who is seen in a separate sannidhi here.

Thiruvengadam Bhattar has been conducting poojas at the temple for almost 50years now. Till very recently, he was paid a salary of just Rs. 50.


There is a separate sannidhi for Vedantha Desigar on Southern West corner of the temple.  Ghoshit used to take place here in centuries gone by. However, this is now seen in a dilapidated state and has to be rebuilt. 

The last renovation at the temple took place almost 45years ago. Several of the mandapas are in a dilapidated state and requires immediate attention. The temple comes under the administration of Pudukottai HR & CE.

Quick Facts
Moolavar         : Kothandarama with Sita and Lakshmana
Time                : 6am-11am and 4pm-7pm
Contact            : Thiruvengadam Bhattar @ 98656 20114

How to reach

Gandharvakottai is about 30kms from both Thanjavur and Pudukottai on the state highway. Buses ply every 10-15mts between Thanjavur and Pudukottai. From Trichy, one can take the Sengipatti-Pattukottai highway to reach the temple (50kms).

The temple is a 5minute walk from the bus stop. Car from Thanjavur Railway station and back will cost Rs. Rs. 400- 500/- Contact: 94435 88102

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