Figure 127. A. Sudershanan Bhattacarya

Image title: Figure 127. A. Sudershanan Bhattacarya

Description of the photo

Interview of Bhattacarya A. Sudershanan

Date of Interview–29.10.2013.
Designation - Bhattacarya /Arcakar for past 20 years

1. Can you please enlighten about the history of the temple?

A. This existed as a hut from times of Dvaparyuga. It is only later during the rule of King Accuta Nayaka this temple was built at least a thousand years back.

2. What does Sthala Purana speak about the temple?

A. After Pattabhisekam [Pattabhiseka] Lord Rama, Sita, Laksmana, Bharata and Satrughna appeared here which is called as Daksina Ayodhya to give Darsan to their devotees. That is why they are all in the Pattabhisekam [Pattabhiseka] state.

3. Can you tell us something about the Mulavigrahams -what is their posture (reclining or standing), how many Bhujams [Bhujas] etc.

A. Rama and Sita are here seated on the same Asana (seat), they are in

sitting position with 2 hands. Sri Rama has the right hand in Anugraha Hastam [Hasta] and the other hand is in Dola Hastam. Sita Devi is has right hand in Padma Hasta and the left hand in Varada or Yoga Hastam. Laksmana who is standing on right side of Rama is having folded hands and is holding both his and Rama’s bows. Satrughna who is standing on the left side of Sita Devi is holding Camaram [Camara] in his right hand and Bharata who is on the right side of Laksmana is holding an umbrella. Anjaneya who is seated at Rama’s feet is holding Vina with his right hand and is holding Ramayana book in his left hand. He is chanting:

Sri Rama Rama Rameti Rama Rame Manorame

Sahasranama Dattulyam -in this way he is doing Rama Dhyanam.

Sri Rama has his right leg down and left leg folded in Sukhasana and Sita Devi is also having her right leg down with her left leg folded.There is no separate Sannidhi built for Sita who is the Tayar here. Rama was Eka Patnivrata. Hence, only Sita is shown seated next to him.

4. What is the speciality of this temple?

A. The speciality is you get to see sculptures all around. Every pillar has been filled with amazing sculptures. This was built by the Pallavas hence this feature is visible.

5. Which direction is the Garbha Graham [Graha] facing?

A. The Garbha Graham is placed in south and it faces the north.

6. Is there any special Vimana associated with this temple?

A. You can call it Rama Vimana which is like the Puspaka Vimana.

7. How many Prakarams [Prakaras] are there in the temple?

A. There are 4 PrakaramsVidi Prakaram, Vadavala Prakaram

(which is immediately outside the temple), Veli Prakaram and Ul Prakaram (both are within the temple). The Ul Prakaram goes round the Garbha Graham. The one outside that is the Veli Prakaram.

8. How many Mandapams [Mandapas] are there in this temple?

A. There is only one Mandapam. This is called Ayarakal Mandapam meaning a thousand legged Mandapam [Mandapa] but in reality there aren”t a thousand pillars here. This Mandapam has everything in it like the Dhvaja Stambha, Bali Pitham. There is no Sthala Vriksam [Vriksa] or Puskarini attached with this temple.

9. How many times Puja is done in this temple?

A. Arukala Puja is done that is six times in a day-

Visvarupa–done at 6.30 am–fresh unheated milk is offered. Kalasandhi–at 10.00 am–Lemon rice and Tayir Sadam [Sada] is offered. Uccikala m–12.30 pm–Suddhannam [Suddhanna] is offered as Mahaprasadam. Sandhyakalam–5.00 pm–Cundal is offered as Prasadam.

Rakalam–7.00 pm - Venpongal is offered as Prasadam. Ardhajamam–9.00 pm–Sakkarapongal is offered as Prasadam.

10. How many Utsavams or festivals are conducted in a year?

A. Sri Ramanavami in Phanguni Masam. Navaratri Utsavam -Purattasi Masam. Unjal Utsavam in Margali Masam. Pavitrotsavam [Pavitrotsava] in Kartikai Masam.

Besides these 4 major festival every month on Punarvasu Naksatram [Naksatra] day Ramayana is sung.

11. Is this temple under the State government? Are the Arcakas paid by the government?

A. Yes it is under government control. HR and CE–Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act. Since we are hereditary Arcakas we are receiving only the devotees contribution through God’s blessings.

12. Were there any Devadasis attached with this temple in the olden days?

A. No there were no Dasis attached with this temple.

13. Can you sing any song specific to this temple in praise of Lord Rama

A. Ramar Mangalasasanam–written by Kambanattalvar-
Nadiya porul kaikodum Gyanamum pugalul undam
Vidiyal kamalaitarkum Nidiya arakkarsayanai
Nirpattariyavahai Sudiyasilayil Raman
Tolvalikudiyarkke Nanmaiyum selvamum
Nalumnalgume Tinmayum Papamum Sidaynduteyme
Janmamum maranamum indutorume
Inmaye Rama Rama Rama yenum izhaitunar

Gallery information:

Kumbakonam is considered as one of the holiest places in Tamil Nadu and is known for its temples and Mathas (monasteries which were centres of Brahmanical learning). These photographs depict the connection between the sculptures in the temples and Natya Shastra and related texts dealing with iconography.

Photo details:

High resolution:
Download file
Size: 76.99 KB
Resolution: 831 x 623
© Copyright: see gallery source

Goto gallery photo:
Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: