Why do we have Kodimaram( flagstaff) in temples?

Namboodiri / 7 yrs ago /

This is a photograph from Guruvayoor temple showing, what Kodimaram means, here it is gold plated.

Hindu Agama Shastras compare a Temple to the human body. Just as an individual soul is enveloped by five košas or sheaths - (Annamova, Prãnamaya, Manomaya, Vynãnamaya and Ãnandamaya) - the Deity installed in the Temple (representing the Supreme Spirit) is also enveloped by five prãkaras

Just as our gross body has five sections - head, neck, chest, legs and feet - a Temple also has five corresponding sections. The Garbhagriham or sanctum Santorum represents the head; the Sanctum is the Soul or the Jiva of the body; the Vimana over the Sanctum represents the tip of the nose. Ardhamandap in front of the Sanctum represents the neck; Mahã Mandapam, the chest; Prakaras around the Sanctum represents our five senses: the palibida where nivedana is offered to the deity represents the naval; the kodimaram represents the jeevadhara; and the Gopura, the main gateway of the temple, represents the feet.


The main parts of a temple are:

1. Garbhagraha (Sanctum Sanctorum) containing the image of God.

2. The Vimana over the Sanctum.

3. Ardhamandap in front of the Sanctum.

4. Prakaras around the Sanctum.

5. The Gopura, the main gateway of the temple.

Indian temple is only a reflection of the physical form of the human body. According to the Tirumular "our body is a temple". According to the Kathopanishad "This body of ours is a temple of the Divine."


palaniappan / / 2 weeks ago

Can old kodimaram be replaced by a new one and can we reinstall without performing temple Kumbabhishekam ?

Palaniappan, Tamilnadu

D CHANDRASEKHAR / / 3 yrs ago

I understand some fill the inside of a kodimaram with black sesame seeds.What is the significance.
Does the black seed not react with water and ferment and germinate

maddss123 / / 6 yrs ago

its pleasure reading  about temples and its few details from angama shastra.


kanhanna / / 6 yrs ago

hari om

namboodiri ji, you have elegantly presented it. aptly done. wishes.

each hindus should know this vital and fundamental truth about the theory behind the temple (idol) worship. by worshipping we are actually awakening our own hidden consciousness: self (god?)


Namboodiri / / 7 yrs ago

 vaidyanathan pushpagiri

    what i said was from my very limited knowledge but thank you very much for correcting me.


Namboodiri / / 7 yrs ago


 actually i should thank you for reading.


Vaidyanathan Pushpagiri

i am a keralite with an abiding interest in kerala temples .  in your well written blog you say  "the kodimaram represents the jeevadhara;"  i would disagree with you there. in general all temples have a dwijasthambha, or a flagstaff, but the famous rajarajeswara (siva)temple at taliparamba in kannur district (cannanore, kerala) does not have a dwijasthamba, or a flagstaff.  taliparamba was formerly known as perinjellur or lakshmipuram in sanskrit.  this was one of the sixty-four gramams (villages) in kerala.  there were sixty-four nambudiri families in this village who were the uralars or temple trusties.  the temple administration of taliparamba was conducted on behalf of the lord of the temple by taliatiri elected from among these nambudiris. he enjoyed enormous powers which he used for the protection of his people (people of the villages) and also punish the evil doers.
if you can get a copy of the malayalam  chelluranathodayam which is a champu a narration in verse and prose, written by nilakanthan namboodripad  who belonged to perinjellur gramam, the original name for taliparamba,  you may get an idea why there is no flagfstaff or kodimaram for this famous rajarajeswara temple,  flanked by sri krishna temple at tiruchambaram,  a few furlongs away and vaidyanatha temple, at kanjiragat, about six kilometers from taliparamba.
***(some say  this champu was written by punam nambudiri, one of the patinettara kavikall or eighteen royal poets of the zamorin's court.)
"the quadrangular sanctum has a two tiered pyramidal roof. in front of the sanctum is the namaskara mandapam. the temple has no kodi maram (flagstaff) which is a unique feature as other temples in kerala do have one."

taliparamba is regarded as one of the ancient shakti peethams. legend has it that the head of sati fell here after shiva's tandavam following sati's self-immolation.

legend of taliparamba siva temple.

the shiva linga here is believed to be thousands of years old. legend has it that siva gave three sacred sivalingas to parvati for worship. once sage maandhata propitiated lord siva with intense prayers. siva was so pleased that he presented one of the sivalingas to him with the injunction that it should be installed only at a place where there was no cremation ground. the sage, after searching all over, found taliparamba the most sacred spot where he installed the linga.
after his death the linga however disappeared into the earth. then his son muchukunda offered similar prayers to siva and got a second linga, which too disappeared in course of time. centuries passed. the third shivalinga was handed down to satasoman, a king of mushaka (kolathunad) dynasty who then ruled the region. he was an ardent devotee of siva. on the advice of sage agastya he prayed to lord siva who granted him the shivalinga. the king installed it in the present temple built by him.
it is believed that sri rama during his victorious return from lanka, stopped here to offer worship to lord shiva. in honor of his presence, devotees are not allowed into the namaskara mandapam even today.

while men are allowed to enter the shrine always, woman are allowed only after 8 pm.

though it is not practised as widely as it was in the earlier days, it is still a religious custom among many local hindu women to visit three prominent temples in taliparamba when they are pregnant. apart from rajarajeshwara temple, the other two temples are sri krishna at trichambaram and another shiva (vaidyanatha) at kanjiragat, about 6kms from taliparamba. it is believed that shiva at rajarajeshwara temple assures the child a high status, sri krishna of trichambaram bestows it with good nature and mental qualities and the deity at kanjiragat temple with long life.

all information from the internet and the book temples and legends of kerala by k.r. vaidyanathan, published by bharatiya vidya bhavan, mumbai. 1982.

aka vaidyanathaqn pushpagiri.


Vijaianand / / 7 yrs ago

namboodri sir,
i never new about this true aspect of the temple. really informative for a religious guy like me..

thanks for sharing.. keep blogging..


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