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Kumbakonam Ramaswamy temple

  • Posted By
    10Pointer
  • Categories
    History & Culture
  • Published
    3rd May, 2021

Context

The major festival of Rama Navami was celebrated during the Tamil month of Panguni (March - April) in the Kumbakonam Ramaswamy Temple.

About the Kumbakonam Ramaswamy temple

  • Itis a Hindu temple which is dedicated to Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu.
    • Location: This temple is located on the banks of river Kaveri.
  • It is located in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu.
  • Background: The temple was built in Kumbakonam in honour of the 12-year-old Vijayanagar king, Srirama Raya.
    • The temple was built during the period of Thanjavur Nayaks king Achuthappa Nayak (1560 - 1614).

Architecture:

  • Nayak Style: The temple is a tytpical of Nayak style of temples
    • The temple is enshrined within a huge granite wall and the complex contains all the shrines and the water bodies of the temple.
    • The rajagopurm(the main gateway) has five tiers.
    • Pillars: There are exquisite sculptures on the pillars of the temple depicting various Hindu legends. 
      • The sixty four pillars in the hall near the gopuram are sculpted with exquisite finesse depicting various episodes of the epic Ramayana.
      • Each pillar is carved out of a single stone and the delicacy is very prominent.
      • Ramayanam is depicted in pictorial format in three segments in the first precinct.
    • Gopuram: The temple has a 3-tiered gopuram surrounded by walls.
    • Central Shrine: The central shrine houses the image of Rama in a seated posture with his consort Sita.
      • The other images are of his brothers Lakshmana, Bharatha and Chatruguna in standing posture and Hanuman in worship posture.
      • Rama in the temple is depicted with Vyakarna Mudra, while Hanuman is depicted holding manuscripts.
  • Other features: The other important aspects of the epic like coronation of Vibishana, coronation of Sugriva, relieving Agalyafrom her curse and Hanuman playing veena.
  • Five Temples group: Five temples of Vishnu are connected with Mahamahamfestival which happens once in 12 years in Kumbakonam.
    • These five temples together make one of the 108 Divya Desam.
    • They are
      • Sarangapani Temple
      • Chakrapani Temple
      • Ramaswamy Temple
      • Rajagopalaswamy Temple
      • Varahaperumal Temple.

A unique feature of the temple: Hanuman as musician

  • It was around the time of the Vijayanagar Empire (14th to 16th century), that the idea of Hanuman as a musician gained ground.
  • In Sundara Muruti Mukhya Prana, Purandara Dasa, who lived during the apogee of the Vijayanagar Empire, sings of Hanuman coming home wearing anklets and dancing even as he hears the chanting of Rama’s name, to the accompaniment of tumburu and Narada playing the veena.