This is a sequel to my earlier article on Temples older than Ayodhya Ram temple. I have started sharing information on Rama temples which predate Ayodhya Ram temple,bacause of a campaign to sow the seeds of doubt on the authenticity of Rama and temples dedicated to Sri.Rama with the argument that Ayodhya Ram temple being only about 800 years old and posing a question as to why there is no Rama temple before Ayodhya if Rama’s date is 5114 BC.
This,if left unchecked, would cast a shadow bof doubt on Rama and Rama’s temples.
So I have shared a temple older than Ayodhya Ram temple ,Rama temple at Gandharvakkottai built by Aditya Chola. In one shot the myth of Tamils being antagonist to Sanatana Dharma and earlier Rama temple does not exist,is demolished.
Now ,to another Ram temple in Tamilnadu,which is 1600 years old. I shall be sharing more Rama temples which are still older.I shall share details of a Rama Temple,which is atleast 3000 years old and it is in Iraq.
‘Eri-Katha Raamar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Rama located in the town of Maduranthakam, Tamil Nadu, India. This is the sthalam (place) where Udayavar (the presiding deity) was named Ramanuja. The temple is also known by other names such as – Mathuranthaka Chaturvedi Mangalam, Vaikunda Varthanam, Thirumathurai, Thirumanthira Tirupathi, Karunagara Vilagam. ..The temple was built during the Pallava era, and is estimated to be 1600 years old. The Moolavar (presiding deity) of the temple is Lord Rama, thus making this one of the oldest temples of lord Rama in South India. The temple has inscriptions indicating generous gifts from Chola king Parantaka I. The place was once famous during the rule of Cholas who ruled this place as Maduranthaga Chaturvedi Mangalam after the Chola ruler Madurantaga Uttama Chola (973 -85 CE). It is believed that Gandaraditya donated the village to the Vedics (Chaturvedi – one who knows all four vedas) of the place and hence it came to be known as Chaturvedi Mangalam.
#Parantaka Chola is the son of Aditya Chola,who built Rama temple at Gandharvakkottai,dated to be around 875 AD.As Aditya built another temple for Rama at Gandharvakkottai and his son Parantaka granted Gifts in the form of Lands,(as also other Cholas) to Erikatha Ramar Temple at Madhurantakam,it stands to reason to state that Erikatha Ramar Temple at Madhurantakam belongs to Eighth Century AD. Mention by Tamil works that this temple was built by Pallavas,who ruled this area before the middle Chozhas confirm the date to be earlier to Middle Chozhas.
Reference and citation.