The unique likeness fashioned over the site of his interment (திருப்பள்ளி / बृन्दावनम्)
Sri Ramanuja is the only personage whose remains were interred inside the Great Temple precincts, in the manner of Svami Nammalvar’s interment within the âvaraṇam of Sri Adi Piran’s temple in Alvar Tirunagari. The mūla image of the acharya was raised over the site of his interment and hence it is known as the Image per se, tân âna tirumēni (தானான திருமேனி). It is fashioned of plaster and receives, twice a year, a coat of camphor mixed with saffron, which accounts for its ochre/orange tint. This special observance has continued for the last eight centuries and a half.
This being a plaster image, needs to be touched up on the occasion it receives the coating. The later-day photograph shows the visage distortion caused by careless ‘dressing’.