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More beautiful than Vaikunta

A view inside the Kolavilli Ramar temple in Thiruvelliankudi. Photos: Special Arrangement

A view inside the Kolavilli Ramar temple in Thiruvelliankudi. Photos: Special Arrangement  

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The image of Sri Rama at Thiruvelliangudi justifies His name.

Thiruvelliankudi Sri Kolavilli Ramar Temple (One of 108 Vaishnavaite Divyadesams), situated 17 km from Kumbakonam, Thanjavur district, is eulogised by Thirumangai Azhwar. Considering the fact that the temple was sanctified by the Azhwar through his 10 Divya prabandham verses, it is believed that the temple should have been built 1,400 years ago or before that. It is believed that Pallavas originally built the temple, andwas further developed by Cholas, Vijayanagara kings and Marathas.

The temple was sanctified by the visits of Vaishnavite saints such as Thirumangai Azhwar, Ramanujar, Vedanta Desikar, Periyavachan Pillai and Manavala Mamuni.

The temple is believed to be four yugas (eras) old. It is also said that the shrine was built by Asura architect, Mayan, who wished to build a temple more beautiful than the one for Lord Vishnu in Vaikunta Loka. According to Brahmanda Purana this is the place where Guru Sukraacharya did penance and got back his lost vision with the grace of Lord Vishnu. Hence the place was named as Velliankudi where ‘Velli’ means ‘Sukra.’ It is believed that anyone who visits the sthalam and prays to Lord Kolavilli Ramar will find relief from eye ailments and sukra dosham.

Thirumangai Azhwar recounts the connection of the deity with that of the Vamana episode, as Nrusimha who killed Hiranyakashipu and as the Lord who helped Sukracharya to get back his vision. He addresses the deity here as Sri Kolavilli Rama, which is the Tamil translation of the Lord’s name - ‘Srungaara Sundara.’ True to the name, the Lord here is a marvel of beauty.



Quick facts





Location: The temple is one of the 40 Chola Sri Vaishnava Divyadesams situated 17 km from Kumbakonam and is part of Thanjavur District.





Deities:



Moolavar: Ksheerabdhi Nathan



Utsavar: Srungaara Sundarar



Special name: Sri Kolavilli Ramar



Thayar: Maragathavalli





The special feature of this temple is the ‘Chatur Bhuja Udyoga Garudan’ - Garuda seen with four hands. His upper hands hold the Sanku and Chakra.

Thiruvelliankudi is the avatara sthalam of the 17th Ahobila mutt Jeer, Sri Veeraraghava Vedanta Yatheendra Maha Desikan, who adorned the acharya peetam from 1698 – 1734 CE. The place was also visited by Thirukkudanthai Andavan Swami, Maha Periyava, 45th Pattam Sri Azhagiya Singar, Srimushnam Andavan Swami, and 46th Pattam Sri Azhagiya Singar (the present Ahobila mutt Acharya).

The temple has four prakarams with a big compound wall that was built during the Krishna Deva Raya period and the repair works were subsequently done during the Thanjavur Marathas period. The temple had various land donations and an active Vedic community as seen from the various edicts available in the temple. Samprokshanam of the temple was performed in 1980 with the last one that took place in 2001. In 2013, when it was due for the samprokshanam, it was observed that repair works need to be carried out at Thayar mantapam, compound wall, Azhwar sannidhi and rajagopuram and a portion of the Lord’s vimanam that had fallen off.

As this temple comes under the administration of HR &CE department, formal permission for renovation was obtained by the natives of this place and work was started.

Conservation and renovation are done in an eco-friendly way under the technical guidance of IIT, Chennai, and REACH Foundation, Chennai.

The repair works at the vimanams, maha mandapams, Fort walls and rajagopuram are almost over and funds are needed to finish a few repair works that include sprucing up the vahanams that are lying in a state of disrepair. This is delaying the performance of balalayam and samprokshanam.

For details call S. Sriram (Ph: 98410 16079) or email: TKSSRIRAM @hotmail.com. Log on to www.kolavilliramar. blogspot.com for more information.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2018 11:57:17 AM | http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/thiruvelliankudi-sri-kolavilli-ramar-temple-near-kumbakonam-divyadesam/article7378480.ece