June 29, 2017

Hiremagalur Kodanda Ram Temple

Chickmagalur, the land of coffee, is one of the most beautiful travel destinations of India. The word "Chikmagalur" means the land of younger daughter in Kannda language. There is a small town near Chikmagalur, which is called as Hiremagalur. This word means the land of elder daughter. In Hiremagalur, there is a big and ancient Ram temple is located. This article talks about this temple.

Kodanda Ram Temple is the top most attraction of Hiremagalur. The sanctum along with the beautiful sculptures on the walls of sanctum are the works of Hoysalas. It is dated to the 14th century CE. The Mukha mandap, tower and the other sub-shrines were later additions by Vijayanagaras and other Kings.

The neatly maintained east facing temple has five tiered tower. There are few stucco images on the tower. The images of Shankaracharya, Madhva and Ramanuja together are noticeable. Although these images are new, it is unusual to find the founders of three different schools of thought.

As per the legend, Parasuram lived in this town. Hence, the town was called as Bhargavapuri in those days. (Bhargava is another name of Parasuram). It is believed that Parasuram, who met Ram only after the latter's wedding, requested him to give the darshan of divine wedding. Accordingly, Ram held Sita on his right side and gave darshan to Parasuram. Ram also got his younger brother to his left side. To depict this legend, outside the temple complex, the life sized stucco images of Ram and Parasuram are found.

Even the atheist would turn a devotee by seeing the beautiful idols of Ram, Sita and Lakshman. My vocabulary is limited that I could not explain how exceptionally beautiful these images are. All these three images are very tall and additionally a small image of Hanuman is also found along with them in the sanctum. Ram and Lakshman carry bow in their arms and Sita is found at the right side of Ram. The bronze idols of Ram, Sita and Lakshman are also located in the sanctum.

The flag staff, bali peetha and Ram Paduka are found facing towards the sanctum. The metal idol of Hanuman (in the posture of Vahan) is also found facing towards the presiding deity.

In Maha Mandap, the big bronze idols of Srinivasa-Sri Devi-Bhoo Devi, Vishnu seated on Garud and Kaliya Nardana Krishna are located.

The temple has one prakara. There are many sub-shrines found in the prakara that include:

  • Rukmini-Panduranga
  • Vishnu
  • Yoga Narasimha (big idol)
  • Madhava in the standing posture
  • Venu Gopal
  • Ramanuja
  • Desikar
  • Tirumangai Alwar
  • Periyalwar
  • Lakshmi
  • Nammalvar
  • Hanuman
  • Navagraha (located outside the temple)

In this temple, we could always find devotees keep writing Sri Rama Jayam. The temple authorities have arranged the desks and writing materials to enable the devotees to do so.

The sculptures that are found on the walls of the sanctum are very beautiful. As mentioned earlier, they all belong to Hoysala's period. Most of the sculptures are related to Vaishnavism sect such as Narasimha, Krishna, Garud, Varaha, Vishnu, Lakshmi, Hanuman, etc.

The image of Ganesh is found in a niche.

Happy travelling.

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