Vontimitta Kodandarama Swamy Temple is the most famous Sri Rama Temples in Andhra Pradesh state. Sri Kodandarama Swamy temple which is dedicated to Lord Sri Rama was built by the Chola and Vijayanagara kings.
This temple was recently taken over by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and was notified as an Ancient Monument by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Vontimitta is a place of historical and spiritual importance. It is home to a temple of Bhagawan Sri Rama. The temple is some 450 years old and the presiding lord is known as Kodanda Rama Swamy.
Sthala Puranam – Story of Vontimitta Temple
Legend is that two disciples of lord Rama, Vontudu and Mittudu, had constructed the temple in one single day. After constructing it, they reportedly sacrificed their lives in the name of lord and turned into statues. We can still find these statues as you enter the temple. This temple is the only shrine in the country where Sri Seeta Rama kalyanam is held in the night.
Vontimitta has a high significance as the place where the Kishkinda khanda, one among the seven khandas of Ramayana happened. The town is gifted with the Kodanda Rama Swamy temple.
Sthala Puranam also explains the story of the penance of Mrikanda Maharshi and Shrunga Maharshi. Due to the continuous assaults by the demons, both sages worshipped Sri Ramachandra swamy and built this temple after the Bhagawan slayed off the demons.
A French traveler called Tavernier, had visited this town in 1652 and described the temple as one of the most beautiful temples in India. He was amazed by the devotion and dedication of the people here.
The Vontimitta Kodanda Rama Swamy temple, which is constructed with some 32 pillars, is extremely high. The temple is also known as Madhya Ranga Mandapam.
Annamacharya, the great devotee of Lord Sri Rama, is related to this temple. It is also said that the idol of Lord Sri Rama has been established by Lord Jambuvantha.
The archaeological survey of India has notified this temple as an Ancient Monument. The temple’s Garbhagudi has the idols of Lord Sri Rama, Lakshmana and Goddess Sita engraved from one rock. You can also find an Anjaneya temple in the premises. We can see the idol of Vigneshwara in a dancing posture in the main mandapam of the temple. The mandapam was designed by Vijayanagar rulers.
The Vontimitta temple is also the only Rama temple in India where the idol of Sri Rama is without Anjaneya Swamy at his side.
The composite image of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita in the garbhagriha of the temple was believed to be carved from a single rock.
Works Dedicated to Vontimitta Kodandarama Swamy
Mahakavi Bammera Pothana spent his life at Vontimitta and dedicated his Mahabhagavatham to the god. Vavilakolanu Subba Rao Popularly known as ‘Andhra Valmiki’ for translating Valmiki’s Ramayana into Telugu, is immortalised in the annals of Andhra Pradesh. He has dedicated his work to the god in Vontimitta.
Sri Sitarama Kalyanam on Sri Rama Navami – News
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh has agreed in principle to perform the brahmotsavam in the 450-year-old Sri Kodandarama Swamy temple at Vontimitta in Rajampet constituency in Kadapa district in March on behalf of the Government.
The Chief Minister would bring silk clothes and “mutyala thalambralu” and attend the celestial wedding slated on March 28 night in 2015.
It was a practice for the Government to perform Sri Rama Navami celebrations at the historic Bhadrachalam temple, but as the temple was now in Telangana, the Telugu Desam Party Government took the decision to do so in Vontimitta temple, constructed during the Chola and Vijayanagara empire, about 26 kms. from Kadapa.
Amidst reports that the Government was keen on performing Sri Rama Navami celebrations with official honours at Ramatheertham in Vijayanagaram, leaders of all the political parties, several organisations and literary personalities demanded priority to the Vontimitta temple. Mr. Mallikarjuna Reddy described it as a major sop for Rajampet constituency, represented by him.
District presidents and secretaries of all the political parties had urged the Government to celebrate Sri Kondarama Swamy temple brahmotsavams on behalf of the Government.
Vontimitta Sri Kodanda Ramaswamy Temple is located at a distance of 25 Kms from Kadapa town on the state highway leading to Tirupati.