This article is the third relating to Temples of Rama,which are earlier to Ayodhya Ram temple,India.In the earlier articles,I had explained about two temples of Rama in Tamil Nadu, built by Aditya Chola and Parantaka Chola.The former temple is 1200 years old and the latter is 1300 years old.
Though there are more ancient temples of Rama in India,than Ram temple at Ayodhya, India, I am listing temples that have the most compelling evidence of Rams Temple,where Ram is the Presiding Deity. There are many temples where Sri Rama Shrine is found as a part of Main temple where the main Deity is not Rama.I shall list them later. I am providing information on the Temples of Ram where Sri Rama is the main deity and for which Archeological evidence exists.Other temples of Sri Rama, though ancient,may not have as much evidence as sicularists want,for they go beyond the concepts of our definition of Time Scale,though they have compelling evidence in the form of literature,religious texts and Epigraphs.i shall list them later.
Now the oldest Ram Temple is found ,of all places, in Iraq!
Lord Rama seems to have been popular in Mesopotamia anda Chapel of Lord Rama was found by archeologists.
‘Ur (Sumerian: Urim; Sumerian Cuneiform: 𒋀𒀕𒆠 URIM2KI or 𒋀𒀊𒆠 URIM5KI; Akkadian: Uru; Arabic: أور) was an importantSumerian city-state in ancient Mesopotamia, at the site of modern Tell el-Muqayyar (Arabic: تل المقير) in south Iraq’s Dhi Qar Governorate. Although Ur was once a coastal city near the mouth of the Euphrates on the Persian Gulf, the coastline has shifted and the city is now well inland, south of the Euphrates on its right bank, 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Nasiriyah.
One of the major triumphs of modern archaeology was the hair-raising discoveries of Sir Leonard Woolley at Ur. Amidst the ruins of Ur, he unearthed a Ram-chapel but totally missed its relevance in world history. This crucial finding not only bridges the wide gaps between Indian tradition and archaeology but also unfolds the historic bonds that once united ancient India, Iran and Sumer. Ram-Sin of (Larsa) to whose memory this chapel was dedicated must have been Rama of Valmiki. The name Ararama of Larsa may be an echo of Rama. This Ram-Chapel of Ur is the earliest known memorial to the great Rama and may have been erected by Dilmun merchants who resided nearby. Dilmun was always mentioned in the Sumerian texts together with Magan and Melukkha and it is possible that these three states were somehow allied to each other.’
‘ In the highly authentic Sumerian king list appears such hallowed names as Bharat (Warad) Sin and Ram Sin. As Sin was the Moon god Chandra Ram Sin can be seen to be same as Rama Chandra. Bharat Sin ruled for 12 years (1834-1822 BC), exactly as stated in the Dasaratha Jataka. The Jataka statement, “Years sixty times hundred, and ten thousand more, all told, / Reigned strong-armed Rama”, only means that Rama reigned for sixty years which agrees exactly with the data of Assyriologists. Ram Sin was the longest reigning monarch of Mesopotamia who ruled for 60 years. The mention of the father in the inscriptions of both Warad Sin and Ram Sin is noteworthy and may point to a palace intrigue. Joan Oates is not aware of the Ramayana but writes with great insight (p. 61) that Warad sin was manoeuvred to the throne by his father. In Mesopotamia, a prince normally became king only after the death of his father. Lakshmana, mentioned the Bible as Lakhamar, ruled as a great king.
“Ur was a city in the region of Sumer, southern Mesopotamia, in what is modern-day Iraq. According to biblical tradition, the city is named after the man who founded the first settlement there, Ur, though this has been disputed. The city’s other biblical link is to the patriarch Abraham who left Ur to settle in the land of Canaan. This claim has also been contested by scholars who believe that Abraham’s home was further north in Mesopotamia in a place called Ura, near the city of Harran, and that the writers of the biblical narrative in the Book of Genesis confused the two. Whatever its biblical connections may have been, Ur was a significant port city on the Persian Gulf which began, most likely, as a small village in the Ubaid Period of Mesopotamian history (5000-4100 BCE) and was an established city by 3800 BCE continually inhabited until 450 BCE.” https://ramanisblog.in/2015/01/25/lord-ramas-chapel-in-ur-iraq/
‘The site became famous in 1922 CE when Sir Leonard Wooley excavated the ruins and discovered what he called The Great Death Pit (an elaborate grave complex), the Royal Tombs, and, more significantly to him, claimed to have found evidence of the Great Flood described in the Book of Genesis (this claim was later discredited but continues to find supporters). In its time, Ur was a city of enormous size, scope, and opulence which drew its vast wealth from its position on the Persian Gulf and the trade this allowed with countries as far away as India. The present site of the ruins of Ur are much further inland than they were at the time when the city flourished owing to silting of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. …..Whatever its biblical connections may have been, Ur was a significant port city on the Persian Gulf which began, most likely, as a small village in the Ubaid Period of Mesopotamian history (5000-4100 BCE) and was an established city by 3800 BCE continually inhabited until 450 BCE. Ur’s biblical associations have made it famous in the modern-day but it was a significant urban center long before the biblical narratives were written and highly respected in its time. .