Kola Valvil Ramar Temple, Tiruvelliyangudi, Thanjavur
Kolavalvil Ramar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located at Tiruvelliyangudi, 19 km away from Kumbakonam on the Kumbakonam – Chennai highway in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is glorified in the Naalaayira Divya Prabandham, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD.
It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Kola Valvil Ramar and his consort Lakshmi as Maragathavalli. The temple is believed to have been built by the Medieval Cholas, with later expansions from Vijayanagar kings. A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all the shrines and two bodies of water. There is a four-tiered Rajagopuram, the temple's gateway tower, in the temple.
Kola Valvil Ramar is believed to have appeared to sage Markandeya. Six daily rituals and three yearly festivals are held at the temple. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
Sri Kola Valvil Ramar Temple is said to be in existence from the very first Yuga, which is Satya Yuga.
The four Yugas (a Hindu Philosophy which explains the era within a four age cycle) mentioned are:
· Satya Yuga, where the average human lifespan was 100,000 years.
· Treta Yuga, where the average human lifespan was 10,000 years.
· Dvapara Yuga, where the average human lifespan was 1000 years.
· Kali Yuga, average human lifespan was 100 years.
It is said that in various Yugas, various legends has been worshipped and performed severe penance in this temple. It is also said that Lord Vishnu appeared here in marriage posture and blessed Parasarar, Markandeyar, Mayan, Brahma, Sukiran and Bhudevi.
Since Lord Shukra, Lord Indra, Lord Brahma, Markandeya Maharishi, Parasara Maharishi, Mayan were all blessed by Lord Kola Valvilraman here. It is said that praying at this temple would be equal to praying at all the 108 divyadesams.
Lord Vishnu is present in the temple in the form of Lord Rama with a bow. Garuda is found in a unique posture with conch and discus (Shanku and chakra). Visiting the temple is said to cure devotee’s eye related problems. Neetra deepam is lit throughout the day in the main sanctum.
Since Thirumangaiazhwar saw Lord Vishnu as Rama here, Sita Devi and Lakshmana are not with the Lord here. The Pasuram of the temple reflects that the needs of the devotees are fulfilled faster here. Thirumanjanam is performed only to the Utsava Moorthy in the temple.
As per Hindu legend, the temple was called Brahma Putram in Krita Yuga, Parasaram in Thretha Yuga, Sainthiranagaram in Dvapara Yuga and Bhargava Puram in Kali Yuga. The temple is associated with Trivikrama avatar of Vishnu. As per the legend, Shukracharya, the demon guru, was against king Mahabali donating land to Vishnu in the form of a Brahmin. He took the form of the insect and shut the tube of the jug used by the king to spill water during the donation. Vishnu identified the trick and injured the eyes of the insect with a small spear. Shukracharya, who lost his eyes, did penance at this place to attain the lost eye. It is the believed the light he attained is still glowing at the temple as a lamp called Nethra Deepam.
Once the architects of Devaloga, Vishwakarma and Mayan had an argument on whose skill was superior. Brahma, the god of creation informed Mayan that Vishwakarma attained betterment as he built Vaikunta, the abode of Vishnu on account of accomplishments in previous birth. He also informed Mayan that to attain similar status, he has to identify and build an abode near river Kaveri similar to Vaikunta. Mayan inspected various places and finally identified Tiruvelliyangudi, where sage Markandeya was doing penance. He built a beautiful temple and its compound, which is believed to be the temple in modern times. Vishnu appeared as Sringara Sundaram (beautiful deity).
In the whole world, this is the only temple where one can see Garuda with four arms in the rising posture. Hence Garuda here is known as 'Chaturbhuja Garuda'.
The temple has a three tiered Rajagopuram and is enclosed within brick walls. Leaving the central shrine of the presiding deity, which is built with granite, all the other shrines are built with brick. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Kola Valvil Ramar (Lord Vishnu) and there is a separate shrine for Goddess Maragatha Valli Thaayar (Goddess Lakshmi), the consort of Lord Kola Valvil Ramar.
As the idol of Lord Kola Valvil Ramar sparkles with beauty, this temple is called as Vaishnava Sukra Kshetram. The other deities found in this temple are Lord Ramanuja, Saints Azhwars, Goddess Andal and Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. This is the only temple where Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu found holding the conch and Chakra (wheel) of Lord Vishnu.
The Pushkarani (temple tank) of Sri Kola Valvil Ramar Temple are Sukra, Brahma, Indra, and Parasara. Sri Kola Valvil Ramar Temple is glorified in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the great canon and the hymns were sung by Thirumangai Azhwar. The Vimanam (temple tower) of Sri Kola Valvil Ramar Temple is called as Pushkala Varthaga Vimanam.
The Moolavar of this sthalam is Kola Valvil Raman. He is giving his Seva in Kidantha Thirukkolam in Bhujanga Sayanam facing his thirumugham towards east direction. Prathyaksham has been given for Lord Shukran, Brahma, Indra, Parasara, Mayan, Markandeya Maharishi and Bhoomi Piratti.
The Thayaar found in this sthalam is Maragatha Valli Thaayar.
The Utsavar found in this sthalam is Sringara Sundaran.
Thirumangaialwar - 10 Paasurams
· Sukra Theertham.
· Brahma Theertham
· Indra Theertham
· Parasara Theertham
The temple is counted as Vaishnava Sukra Kshetra as Vishnu appeared as a beautiful deity. The place derived its name Tiruvelliyangudi hence and the presiding deity is also referred to as Velliyan. It is believed that Vishnu appeared in Kalyana Kolam (marriage posture) to Parasarar, Markandeyar, Mayan, Brahma, Shukran and Bhudevi.
Just to ease Vishnu, Garuda, the eagle vahana of Vishnu, gave the conch and wheel of Vishnu is a rising posture. This is the only temple where Garuda is depicted in such a posture. Sage Parasa is believed to have done penance in this temple and hence there is a temple tank called Parasara Theertham. A banana plant is seen growing from a granite base and it is believed to be historical. Thirumangai Alvar had glorified this temple in ten verses.
Festivals & Religious Practises
The temple practises Vaigasana Agama and Vadagalai. Vishnupathi Punniya Kalam, an auspicious time during the first days of Tamil months of Vaikasi, Avani, Karthigai and Masi is celebrated in the temple seeking divine auspices from Garuda.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open in the morning from 8 am to 12.30 am and in the evening from 5 pm to 7 pm.
· Ushathkalam Pooja – 7 a.m.
· Kalasanthi Pooja – 8:00 a.m.
· Uchikalam Pooja – 12:00 p.m.
· Sayarakshai Pooja – 6:00 p.m.
· Irandamkalam Pooja – 7:00 p.m.
· Ardha Jamam Pooja – 10:00 p.m.
· Margazhi Thiruvadirai – December or January
· Chaturdashi of Masi – February or March
· Chittirai Thiruvonam – April or May
· Aani Thirumanjanam – June or July
· Chaturdashi of Aavani – August or September
· Chaturdashi of Puratasi – October or November
Sri Kolavill Ramar Aalayam,
Tiruvelliyangudi, Palakudi (Post),
Tirumangalakudi (Via), Kumbakonam – 612102
Phone: 0435-2943152, 98434 70120
The priest name is Sri Ramamurthy and can be contacted at 9443396212.
The nearest international airport is at Tiruchirapalli, which is 91 km (57 mi) from Kumbakonam.
Kumbakonam is connected by rail with most important towns and cities in South India. The Mysore- Mayiladuthurai Express connects Kumbakonam with Mysore and Bangalore. There are regular express trains that connect Kumbakonam with all major cities.
There are regular government and private bus services to Chennai, Thanjavur, Mannargudi, Tiruchirapalli, Chidambaram, Nagapattinam, Coimbatore, Madurai, Pondicherry, and Tirunelveli. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operates daily services from Bangalore and Mysore to Kumbakonam and other major places.
The temple is about 20 kms from Kumbakonam on the way to Aaduthurai. The place is also known as Bhargavapuram. An auto to and fro from Kumbakonam to the temple costs about Rs. 250. Alternatively one can take a bus on the Anaikarai route, get down at Senganoor and take an auto from there. The best route is to reach Anaikarai road, take a right from Govilachery to reach Anakudi through Annai College. Take a left there and keep going straight across lush greenery to reach the temple. The Sthalam can also be reached Via Chozhavaram, Muttakudi and Mayavaram.