Sriyapathi Sarveshwara Sriman Narayana has manifested Himself in 5 forms , namely Para , Vyuha , Vibhava , Antharyami and Archa. In the Lord’s Archa form , He has manifested Himself in innumerable temples all over the length and breadth of Bharatha Desham. One such beautiful Archavatharam of Lord Narayana as Sri Kothandarama is located in Kanadarakottai Village , Cuddalore District , Panrutti Thaluka , Tamil Nadu. This village is situated in the National Highway between Vikravandi ( Near Thindivanam ) to Kumbakonam . It is located on the banks of Dakshina Pinakini River ( South Pennar River ) nestled between the prominent divyadesams of Thiruvaheendrapuram and Thirukovilur.
Kandarakottai has a hoary past. It was ruled by the dynasty of Kandar Adithya Cholan , a tributary under the Chola Empire. It was known for its fertile lands and rich agriculture. Crops like sugar cane , pulses , cucumber , jack fruit , cashew nuts were cultivated. Over a thousand families stayed in the village. 100 Brahmin families mostly belonging to Veeravalli Vamsham stayed in the agraharam surrounding the Kothanda Ramar temple. Over the years , due to urbanisation and lack of proper water supply , many families moved to the cities in search of their livelihood. Still , agriculture remains to be the main source of income for the villagers of Kandarakottai.
In the centre of the village , there is a small and beautiful temple of Sri Kothandarama. It is said to be over 350 years as per historical records. The temple is located in an area of half acre. The Moola Moorthy is in awespiring image of Sri Kothanda Rama flanked by Sri Seetha Devi , Sri Lakshmana and Sri Anjaneya. The lord stands majestically , holding his bow called Kothandam with a face full of compassion lighted up with a bewitching smile. The utsavar , Sri Rama is an enchanting moorthy in a tri bhanga posture , with one foot forward , ever ready to go in rescue of His devotees ensuring His protection and refuge to them. This is in accord with Sri Rama’s charama sloka ” Abhayam Sarva Bhootebhyo “. In the garbha gruham , apart from the moola moorthy , a three feet tall utsavar of Sri Devi , Bhu Devi Sametha Sri Varadaraja Perumal , Kouthuka Bheram ( Selvar ) , Salagrama moorthys can be seen. Outside the garbhagruham , the Archa moorthys of Sri Lakshmi Narayana , Sri Vishwaksena and Bhagavad Ramanuja are located. Sri Garudalwar can be seen facing Sri Kothanda Rama ever ready to obey the commands of the Lord. In front of the temple , a 16ft stone deepasthambham is located and till today , the villagers light a lamp on top of the stambham which continues to serve as a street light to all.
Many years back , Sri Kothanda Rama turned Ugram ( Angry ) due to unknown reasons and mishaps occured in the village. Archakas and the village elders went to Kanchipuram to find a solution to this issue. As per the advice of the Agama Scholars in Kanchipuram , the utsavar moorthys of Sri Bhu Sametha Varadharaja Swami were consecrated in the temple. After this , the Lord assumed His shantha swaroopam and is continuing to bless everyone abundantly.
Over the years , the temple fell into a bad state and became dilapidated. A committee , Sri Krishna Desikan Sabha was formed for punar udharanam and due to the extraordinary efforts of the committee members , commitee president Sri Veeravalli Varadhan , funds were mobilised from family members , friends , well wishers , devotees and Maha Samproshanam was conducted in April 2008.
The Lord is well known to be a vara prasadhi . Devotees come to the temple to seek boons in relation to child birth , marraige , education , material wealth and graha dosha pariharams. Their desires are fulfilled by the ever merciful lord. Sri Kothanda Rama has received the mangalasasanams of great mahans and yathis like Sri Kozhiyalam Swami , Sri Mukkur Azhagiyasingar and Srimad Andavan .Thirumanjanam is conducted on all Punarvasu Nakshatram days and Prathana Garuda Sevai is performed on the devotees request. Nithya, paksha , masa , samvatsara utsavams are performed in accordance to Sri Pancharatra Agama. Sri Rama Navami utsavam is conducted for 10 days on a grand scale every year.
All Asthikas are requested to visit this temple on their way to Nadu Nattu and Chola Divya Desams and receive the abundant blessings of Sri Seetha Lakshmana Hanumad Sametha Sri Kothanda Ramar and Sri Bhu sametha Sri Varadharaja Swami.
Devotees are requested to contact the following archakas who perform kainkaryam in this temple and in Puvarasankuppam Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar Temple and inform them in advance about their visit so that Sevai can be arranged .
Sri Ramji Bhattar – 9787434241
Sri Aravamudhan – 9943626832/8870125367
Photo Courtesy : Sri Vasudeva Ramanuja Dasan , Mysore