Sri Kodandarama Swami Temple, Vontimitta, Kadapa
Sri Kodandarama Swamy temple in Ekasilanagaram, Vontimitta is an ancient temple with beautiful architecture. The main idols are Sita Rama and Lakshmana without Anjaneya (only temple of Rama without Anjaneya). It is 24 kilo meters from Kadapa towards Tirupathi. The temple is just beside the road and passers cannot move forward without visiting the temple.
This is a most prominent Vaishnava temple and centre of Adhiseshu along with Devuni Kadapa and Ahobilam.The hills starting from Srisailam to Tirupathi is in the shape of Adhiseshu (see my other post in this blog Tirumala Tirupathi) As this is situated in between Srisailam and Tirupathi it is also called as Srimadontimitta.
This temple is an ancient temple constructed between and 11th and 16 century, which is done in 3 phases. It depicts the style of Vijayanagara Empire architecture. The temple is decorated with pictures showing the Hindu scriptures Ramayana, Mahabharata and Sri Bhagavatham. The temple has four entrance east,west north and south. The main entrance has 32 pillars the gopuram is of 160 feet high which is visible from distance and the elephant and cow idols on single rock looks attractive.
The story about the temple links to Tretayuga, the period of Sri Rama. During Tretayuga When Mrukanda Maharshi and Shrungi Maharshi were performing Yaga at this place it was obstructed by some demons. With prayers of the Maharshi Sri Rama came with Bow and arrow to protect the Yaga. So here Rama is called Kodandarama (kodandam means Bow). During the stay in the forest, Sita asked Rama about the scarcity of water at that place. With the arrows of Rama and Lakshmana water aroused from earth and they are called as Rama Thirtham and Lakshmana Thirtham (thirtham meaning sacred water).
Bammera Pothana who lived here wrote Srimad Bhagavatham in Telugu and dedicated to Rama.
The main idols of Sita Rama and Lakshmana were on a single rock, so it is called as Ekasilanagaram (Ekasila means single rock). The idols in this temple were established by Jambavantha one of the main Vanaras of Ramayana period and who helped in the Rama Ravana war.
This is the only temple of Sri Rama without Anjaneya idol along with the trio Sita Rama Lakshmana. Because Jambavantha is older than Anjaneya and he established the idols so did not included anjaneya. Later opposite to the main temple or gharbhalayam a separate temple is constructed within the compound called as Sanjeevarama swamy temple where anjaneya serves Rama. And Anjaneya's head will be in equal height to Rama feet.
There are stories indicating the presence of lord Rama in this temple
Ayyalaraju Ramabhadrudu, when he was a kid, his parents forgot him in this temple and Sita fed him with milk and protected him till the parents were back to the temple.
Mala Obanna story stands for equivalence of caste and creed. Obanna, a devotee of Rama used to sing Sri Rama Bhajans by sitting in front of main door, East of the temple. Some of the temple people asked him to move to west side door which is back of the temple. The next day morning when the temple doors were opened main idols of the temple were turned to west side indicating their support to Obanna. Immediately the temple people realised their mistake and asked him to sit in front of the main door of the temple then the idols were back to the normal position.
The story of Imebagh gives that all people are equal irrespective of caste and goes beyond Hinduism. Imebagh, a Muslim by standing in front of the temple asked people around about the presence of god. Then they replied him that he answers the prayers of devotees. Imebagh called Rama , Raghurama, Kodanda Rama.... Then he heard the answer saying O...O....O. This represents the unity in diversity in this temple. Even now Muslims in Vontimitta visit this Kodandarama temple every Saturday.
Popular festival celebrated in this temple is Srirama Navami which falls after the Telugu new year during the month of March and April. On chaturdasi day that is 14 Th day of Telugu new year SriRama Kalyanam will be performed during night time. Sita Rama kalyanam (Sita Rama wedding) performed in Tretayuga amidst of all gods during day time but Moon cannot see that marriage. So moon expressed his deep concern for missing the SitaRama Kalyanam. As per the wish of the Moon here SitaRama kalyanam is performed during night time on 14 Th day from new year. This is the only temple where the kalyanam is done at night and at all other temples it will be in the mid morning.
So many people perform their marriages in this temple believing that their life will be prosperous and wealthier if they got married in this temple.
An ancient , beautiful and popular Srirama temple to be visited in Andhrapradesh, South India.
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