SRI KONDANDAPANI TEMPLE, AYOTHIYAPATTINAM
➢ The Kodandapani Ramar Temple is located in Ayodhyapattinam and is dedicated to God Rama.The centuries-old temple, located in the town of Ayodhyapattinam in Salem, is said to hold the footprints of the Hindu god himself.
➢ It is said that Ram stopped to rest at the temple when he was making his journey back to his kingdom after defeating Ravana.
➢ He was travelling with Sita, along with his brother Lakshman and Hanuman, Vibishana and Sugriva. Legend has it that their stay at the temple resulted in a delay that would have caused them to miss the auspicious time for the coronation of Ram in Ayodhya. As a result, Ram had his coronation in the town itself, which is why the town is called Ayodhyapattinam.
➢ The temple is said to have pillars that produce melodious tones when you tap them, as a show of the ingenious architecture that was prevalent at the time. These musical pillars add to the venerative atmosphere of the temple.
➢ Gopuram is around five stories high, and the single stone structure has several sculptures carved out, including those of a divine horse, lion, elephants and many gods and goddesses. The lion is located at the top of the stone, while the elephant is at the bottom.
➢ The stones of the temple are ornately decorated, with poems inscribed on them in praise of the gods. The temple is also noted for its immortal paintings on the ceilings.
➢ The carefully decorated Gopuram with several stucco statues, long corridors, and the several pillars of the mandapas come from the Madurai Nayak dynasty that ruled from 1529-1616 CE. And true enough, the Sri Kodandapani Ramar temple’s present form can be traced back to the king Thirumalai Nayak. The temple even has a sculpture of the king and his wife, immortalising his reign. Thirumalai Nayak was, in fact, the most popular and successful ruler of the Nayak dynasty, with a reign of 36 years. During these years, he contributed to several splendid temples and buildings in Madurai. It is said that Nayak simultaneously built the Sri Kodandapani Ramar temple along with the Tiruchengodu Murugan and Daramangalam Kailasanathar temple and the Thirumalai Nayak palace. As a result, a lot of the sculptures you see in all these sites are similar.
➢ The temple also has numerous murals. The murals are a beautiful sight, and only add to the spiritually rich ambiance within the temple. Despite the centuries, the colours remain as bright before. They make for a well-preserved window into the art and decorative style from an era when the region was regaining and rebuilding its glorious past after decades of destructive invasions.
➢ The layout of the temple is such that rays of the sun penetrate into the Anjaneya shrine through holes on the doors during the purnima (full moon) of the Tamil month Chitirai (or Chaithra).
• 16th Century temple built by Krishnadevaraya. It is the only separate temple in Tamilnadu for Lord Krishna.
• The manifestation of Krishna is one of the incarnation of the Lord sri Vishnu. Another from of krishnavataram is Vittala and is deity of the Vijayanagara Kings.
• The inscription refers this place as Vittalapuram and was built by Krishnadevaraja in 16th Century A.D.
• This temple consist of the sanctum sanctorum, ardha mandapa, mahamandapa, fortified walls, gopura, a sanctuim sanctorum, ardha Goddess and sub-shirne for other dieites, which reflect the beauty of the architecture of the Vijayanagara period.
• In the sancturm sanctorum, the deity ‘vittalam” is in a standing posture with a conch in the left hand and depicting ‘Abhaya’ mudra in the right hand. four Tamil inscriptions are found in this temple. One refers to renovation and conduct of chariot festival during the period of Sadasiva Raya in 1558 A.D.
• Another refers to the gifts offered by Lakshminathan of Mavalipuram (Mahabalipuram). There is a separate temple for Vittalar in Hampi, capital of Vijayanagar kingdom in Karnataka. In srirangam, there is a separate sanctum sanctorum, in the Ranganathar temple. But Vittalapuram is the only place in Tamilnadu which has a separate temple for Vittal.
TRAILOKYANATHA JEENASWAMI TEMPLE –TIRUPARUTHIKUNRAM
• On the southeast of Kancheepuram is Jainakanchi also known as Thiruparuthikunram, a famous Jaina centre. This place gained religious importance since 6th century A.D. and developed since the construction of a temple for ‘Mahavira’ by a the Pallava kings. • This temple has received many grants during the Chola, Vijayanagara and later periods. Many have associated with this temple and carried out religious, education and social services. This is one of the four ;Vidya Sthnas’ in India.
ARMAMALAI CAVE, MALAIYAMPATT
• Mud and unbaked brick structure, located within the cave place were the resting place of Jain saints. Beautiful colour paintings are seen on the cave roof and walls of the structure. These paintings depict the stories of Jainism and Astathik Palakas (eight corners) with their mounts.
• These are datable to 8th century CE and resemble to Sittanavasal paintings.
• Thyagadurgam is situated 12km.East of Kallakuruchi in Villupuram district.It is located in between Ulundurpet and Salem. In this village there is a hill of 800ft.high. The hill was called as Arunidai Thiyagan and later, the village also called the same name. This place is named fort which resembles like garrison
• Towards south side of the hill on the top of this Thiyagadurgam we come across a stone enclosure wall like fort. The fort was constructed in 17th century.
• There are steps to reach the fort. There are many parts in the fort. Cow shed, Treasury, Jewel Store room, Raman Parai Fort room, Canon, brick rooms etc are seen. One place
called Samiyar house, where Subramanyar hill, Amman temple one tank, one wall are situated on the top of the hill.
• The fort has military importance during in 18th century A.D. In 1756 A.D. French, in 1760, Hyder Ali and in 1761 English ruled Thyagadurgam. In 1781 A.D. English declare war against Hyder Ali. Later Thippu Sultan waged war against English. Though they were victory and defeat on either side some time but lastly in 1801 A.D. English captured the fort. In the temple of Malaiamman at Thiyagadurga.
• Some Jaina remains. On the foot of thehill of Thiyagadurgam towards south, we come across Munisarar temple, Malayamman temple, Jain temple during this century. The inner portion of Jainapalli reconstructed with stones and its outer walls it has been converted as Malayamman temple. In the cave the stone statues of Mahaveerar, Ambika Yakshi are seen which belongs to 8th century A.D.