Sunday, September 21, 2014

Thuvar Kothandarama Temple

A 17th Century village where Prabhandham and Vedic Chants was a regular feature
A long 60house agraharam was built and donated by Pudukottai Samasthanam to Dwara Bashyas
Located just under 30kms North East of Pudukottai is the Kothandarama temple in Thuvar, a traditional village whose history dates back to the 17th Century AD. The story goes that disciples of Kausika Muni (who was a disciple of Koorathazhvaan) travelled across to the Pudukottai Samasthanam from Tirupathi and adjoining areas to take up positions as vedic scholars under the Pudukottai king.

These disciples of Koorathazhwaan (who had helped Ramanuja in the compilation of Sri Bashyam) were referred to as Dwara Bashyas. To this day, many of the scholars belonging to this village suffix Bashyas to their names. This place where the Dwara Bashyas stayed came to be referred to as Dwara Bashyakara Puram, which in course of time became ‘Thuvar’.

The story goes that the Thanjavur king bought out this village from the Pudukottai Samasthanam. As an acknowledge of the great services rendered by these scholars to promote the Vedas and divya prabhandham, this serene village was donated to them and a long row of houses was built on either side of the street where they could stay and chant the Vedas and Divya Prabhandham.

In centuries gone by, the village had a beautiful long agraharam with 30 traditional houses on either side east of the temple. Vedic Chants and Divya Prabhandham was a distinguishing feature of this village with many Sanskrit scholars residing here. It is believed that Pongal Thaligai to Lord Kothandarama along with the recital of Divya Prabhandham and the Vedic Chants along the banks of the lake brought rain to the Thuvar Village.

These ancient idols of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana were found in a pit near the huge lake South of the temple during a cleaning operation. These centuries’ old idols were installed in a Mutt on the banks of the lake. Later, these idols were moved to and installed at the temple that we currently find west of the then existing agraharam. The acharya at Poundarikapuram Ashram in Srirangam directed an Anjaneya idol from Trichy to be installed at the North Eastern corner at the Thuvar temple and thus the Anjaneya idol became a later period addition to the temple as were the Utsava Idols of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana.

The temple now has a single prakara with a guest house at the Eastern entrance for visiting devotees to stay. Shri. Ranganathan has been taking care of the poojas at the temple for the last four decades. He comes in early in the morning at around 530am and is there till at least 9am. And he comes back again in the evening for a couple of hours. It is this kind of dedicated service to the Lord that has helped revive the temple.

As one enters the village through the big arch off the Pudukottai- Mazhaiyur- Pattukottai Highway, one can see the Rama temple from a distance. One is also able to visualise the agraharam along the long street from east to west leading to the temple.
 Over 50years ago, this village which has had such a rich history was slowly beginning to get cut off from the bigger towns of Pudukottai and Thanjavur. No power supply, road transport services, educational institutions meant that youngsters began to migrate from here to Mazhaiyur and Pudukottai and later to other bigger cities in Tamil Nadu. The good news though is that the previous residents of Thuvar who are now living in different parts of the world have come together in an effort to bring back the village and the temple to life. The temple now wears a fresh new look.

Over time, the once beautiful agraharam has become non-existent as has become the scene with many other traditional temple towns in Tamil Nadu.

It is also believed that the Utsava idols of Rama temple in Gandharvakottai were actually found here in Thuvar village.

Rama Navami Utsavam in Chitrai
Thirumanjanam during Navarathri
Moolavar Thirumanjanam on No Moon Day
Punar Poosam Thirumanjanam

Pavitrotsavam is being planned at the temple

Quick Facts
Moolavar: Kothandarama flanked by Sita and Lakshmana in an east facing standing posture
Time      : 6am-10am
Contact  : Thamarai Kannan Bhattar / Ranganathan @ 97865 06471 / 96553 16576

How to reach
Thuvar is just under 20kms from Gandharvakottai via Kollampatti and Karupatti patti.
From Pudukottai, Thuvar is just under 30kms on the Mazhaiyur – Karambagudi route. Buses every 30minutes from Pudukottai. Infrequent buses from Gandharvakottai.

Auto from Gandharvakottai and back will cost Rs. 500.


MADHAV said...

Thanks Prabhu for the nice post on this temple. But for your blog, I wouldnt know of this temple and many such temples. How blessed you are to visit so many temples.
The blog posts have details of the temple and how to get there too. So it is very useful. I make sure I go through the sthalapuranam here before visiting a temple.
Thanks and regards

PRabhu S said...

Thank You for the kind words.

HSE Alert said...

Thanks Mr. Prabhu for created the great history of Thuvar and the Temples, especially you have added our arch, it was developed by Those are working in Singapore from thuvar,also there are many Temples, Our Singapore thuvar associations are planning for the next projects plantation around the empty lands...
Thanks you
Best regards

ragunathan said...

Do you mean to see Bhashyam alone can claim ownership? Don't segregate people of land alien. This is not good for development of the temple