Located in the center of traditional Kumbakonam town, this Sri Rama temple is a sight to behold. This temple is said to be more than 500 years old and constructed during the reign of the Nayaka kings. It is said that Govinda Dikshitar who was the minister for the king, foresaw the construction of this temple. It is believed that the idols were unearthed during the construction of a water tank. Govinda Dikshitar also foresaw the construction of several in the Kumbakonam region. This temple is known as the Ramaswamy temple.
Corridar in Ramaswamy temple Kumbakonam
The main deities of this temple are Rama, Seeta, Lakshmana and Hanuman (Anjaneya). Sri Ram is considered a human incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This human form is depicted in the idols at the temple. For example – Rama and Seeta are seated together as if they are sitting for a wedding ritual. Other idols like Shatrughna are seen fanning his elder brother and Bharata is seen holding an umbrella. Lakshmana stands with his hands outstretched as if waiting for a command and Hanuman is standing with folded hands (Anjali hasta).
The dieties of Kumbakonam Ramaswamy Temple
This temple is known for its architectural significance. The temple itself has 3 Gopurams. The large Gopuram (Raj Gopuram) takes devotees to the main hall or the Mahamandapam.Each pillar in this temple is carved out of a single stone and has intricate sculptures. The corridors of temple full of painting depicting Ramayana.
Ramaswamy temple sculpture
By the time of the Nayaka period, sculpting had reached a different level. If we compare the idols from say a Chola period or Hoysala period, we can see the subtle demarcations that differentiate these dynasties. Idols during the Nayaka period, are more intricately carved, with strong postures and are more elegant in their expressions. They are also more lifelike and larger in size.This temple is a must visit for people interested in fine arts, sculpting or paintings
The outer prahara (enclosed precinct) of this temple depicts 219 paintings from the scenes of Ramayana.During pradakshinams (rounds of the temple precinct) devotees can actually read and know about the series of events that happened in the great epic Ramayana.
Hanuman idol in this temple holds a Veena instead of Club. It seems as if Hanuman is singing the Ramayana.
This is one of the few Rama temples where all the four brothers (Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shtrughana) appear together. Besides these, the other idols in this temple are Lords Vinayaka, Bhoovarahaswami, lord Vishnu with mother Bhoo Devi and Sri Devi.
Temple Festivities and Prayers:
Similar to other Rama temples, the festival of Raam Navami (March-April during the Tamil month of panguni) is celebrated with great fervor.
Devotees seeking blessings for success in marriage or removing obstacles in marital relationships pray to the lord at this temple.
Directions: The temple is less than 2 km from Kumbakonam. Bus facilities are available for pilgrims that take them directly to the Ramaswamy Temple Bus stop.