Kumbakonam Sightseeing

Places of Worship

Adi Kumbeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at the center town of Kumbakonam.The Hindu festival of Mahamaham is associated with this temple. The huge temple is built over an area of 30,181 sq ft and it is to be more than 1300 years old.The temple is revered by the Tevaram hymns of 7th century Saiva nayanars and also classified as a Paadal Petra Sthalam.The temple is in existence from Chola times of 7th century and has been widely expanded by Nayaks during the 15-17th century.The central shrine of the temple houses the image of Adi Kumbheswarar in the form of lingam The shrine of Mangala Nayaki is located parallel to the of left of Kumbeswarar and Somaskanda is located to the right.Appar has glorified the temple in nine poems referring the place as Erumbiyur and the deity as Kumbesar.
It is believed that after the deluge and just before the advent of Kaliyuga the celestial pot containing the nectar containing the seeds of life came to rest here. Lord Shiva in the garb of a hunter, shot an arrow at the pot held by Brahma and broke it, making it contents spill resulting in the revival of life. Kumbham means the pot and Konam means crooked - the pot the broke when Shiva's arrow hit it. The place where the nectar fell is the Mahamaham tank.The name of the town Kumbakonam is thus derived from Kumbeswaran temple.
The Navarathiri Mandapam has 27 stars and 12 rasis carved in a single block.The idol of Subramanya having six hands instead of 12, stone nagaswarams and Kiratamurti are main attractions of the temple.Kumbeswarar temple is approached by a corridor 330 ft long and 15 ft wide. There are five silver plated chariots in the temple used to carry the temple deities during festive occasions.The temple is the largest Shiva temple of Kumbakonam and has a 9-storeyed rajagopuram with 125 ft tall.It is spread over 4 acres in the centre of the town.The temple has 3 concentric compounds elongated along an east-west axis has triple set of gopurams.

Sarangapani Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu and it is the largest Vishnu temple in Kumbakonam and has the tallest temple tower in the town. The temple is enshrined within a huge wall and the complex enshrines all the water bodies of the temple except the Potramarai tank. The rajagopuram has eleven tiers and has a height of 173 ft. There are five other smaller gopurams in the temple. The rajagopuram has figures depicting various religious stories.The twin temple chariots are the third largest in Tamil Nadu each weighing 300 ton.The temple is revered in Nalayira Divya Prabandham
The temple faces east and the Potramarai tank is located outside the western entrance. The central shrine of the temple is in the form of a chariot drawn by horses and elephants with openings on either side showing the descent of Sarangapani from heaven in the chariot.It is one of the Divya Desams, the 108 temples of Vishnu revered in Nalayira Divya Prabandham by the 12 poet saints.This temple is along Kaveri and is one of the Pancharanga Kshetrams.The temple is believed to be of significant antiquity with contributions at different times from Medieval Cholas, Vijayanagar Empire and Madurai Nayaks. The temple is enshrined within a huge granite wall and the complex contains all the shrines and the water bodies of the temple

Nageswaran Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Kumbakonam.The temple is incarnated by the hymns of Thevaram and is classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. Shiva in the guise of Nagaraja the serpent king and is located in the centre of Kumbakonam.This place has been referred in Thevaram written by Saint Tamil poet Thirugnana Sambanthar of 7th Century AD.Aditya Chola constructed this temple during the 9th century. It is great marvel of Chola architecture building technology and astronomy. The orientation is structured in such a way that it allows sunlight inside the temple right on the sanctum only during the Tamil month of Chithirai.It bears another name called Surya Kottam or Keezha Kottam. The Sanctum of Nageswaran temple is similar to Sarangapani Temple and Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram as it is made in the form of a Chariot. The temple consists of three gopurams in the eastern, western and southern directions

Ramaswamy Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Rama an incarnation of Lord Vishnu located in Kumbakonam.The temple has beautiful architecture pieces and has been built by the Nayakkar kings. Govinda Dikshitar the prime minister of the Nayaks constructed the temple. He added a commercial corridor between his new temple and the older Chakrapani temple.The temple has a 3-tiered gopuram surrounded by walls. The central shrine houses the image of Rama in a seated posture with his consort Sita. The other images are of his brothers Lakshmana, Bharatha and Chatruguna in standing posture and Hanuman in worship posture. The pillars in the hall near the gopuram are sculpted with exquisite finesse depicting various episodes of the epic Ramayana. Each pillar is carved out of a single stone and the delicacy is very prominent. Rama in the temple is depicted with Vyakarna Mudra while Hanuman is depicted holding manuscripts.The temple is atytpical of Nayak style of temples.

Chakrapani Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in 2 km away towards North West from the Kumbakonam Railway Station. In the temple Lord Vishnu appears in the form of a Chakra to put down the pride the Sun who subsequently became his devotee.Like Shiva Lord Chakrapani has a third eye on His forehead. The temple is one of the most prominent temples in Kumbakonam.The temple is noted for its exquisite pillars. The presiding deity Chakrapani has 8 arms. There is a bronze image of king Serfoji II worshipping the lord as he is said to have been cured an illness by the grace of this God. A five-faced Hanuman is erected in the prakaram of the temple.The Eastern and Western entrances of this

Airavatesvara Temple is a Hindu temple of Dravidian architecture located in the town of Darasuram near Kumbakonam.This temple is built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century CEand also it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.This temple was added to the list of Great Living Chola Temples in the year 2004. The Great Living Chola Temples includes the Brihadeeswara Temple,Gangaikonda Cholapuram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. All of these temples were built by the Cholas between the 10th and 12th centuries CE and have a lot of similarities
The Airavatesvara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shiva is here known as Airavateshvara because he was worshipped at this temple by Airavata the white elephant of the king of the gods Indra. Legend has it that Airavata while suffering from a change of colour curse from Sage Durvasa had its colours restored by bathing in the sacred waters of this temple.The temple and the presiding deity derive its name from this incident.Yama took bath in the sacred tank and got rid of the burning sensation. Since then the tank has been known as Yamateertham.The main deity's consort Periya Nayaki Amman temple is a detached temple situated to the north of the Airavateshvarar temple. This might have been a part of the main temple when the outer courts were complete. At present it stands alone as a detached temple with the shrine of the Goddess standing in a single large court.The vimana tower is 24 m high.The south side of the front mandapam is in the form of a huge chariot with large stone wheels drawn by horses.There are various inscriptions in the temple. One of these records the renovation of the shrines by Kulottunga Chola III.

Thenupuriswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the holy village of Patteeswaram.The temple is incarnated by the hymns of Tirugnana Sambandar and is classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam.The name Patteeswaram was derived from the daughter of the Divine Cow Kamadenu patti who worshipped the lord here.The Lord asked his vehicle Nandi to move a little so he could enjoy seeing the Child Gnanasambandar coming to have his Darshan.Sri Rama was relieved of Sayagathi dosha for killing Vaali.Goddess herself performed penance here.Sage Viswamitra was admitted in the company of Brahma rishis with the backing of Gayatri Mahamantra in this place.Markandeya worshipped here.All the Navagrahas here face the Sun. And they are positioned as per the Aagama tradition.
The temple of Patteeswarar presents a magnificent sight with five lovely gopurams and three prakarams. It measures 650 feet east to west and 295 feet south to north. Pattisvara the presiding deity manifests himself in the form of Linga in the central mandapam of the first prakaram. In the northern part of the first prakaram Goddess Parvathi lies in a separate shrine. A sculpture of Parvathi doing penance is also found inside the temple.

Uppiliappan Temple is also known as Thiruvinnagar of Venkatachalapathy Temple is a temple dedicated to Hindu god Vishnu located near Thirunageswaram. Constructed in Dravidian style of architecture the temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. It is counted as the 60th among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu.The main shrine of the temple houses the image of Oppiliappan in standing posture and it also houses the images of Bhoomidevi and sage Markendeya. Uppiliappan is believed to have appeared for sage Markandeya and Hindu gods Bhoomadevi, Brahma and Shiva.
The temple is believed to be of significant antiquity and is believed to be initiated by the Medieval Cholas of the late 8th century AD with later contributions at different times from Thanjavur Nayaks. The temple has two inscriptions dating from the Chola period.The temple has a five-tiered rajagopuram and enshrined within a granite wall. The complex contains all the shrines and water bodies associated with it. The Sahasradhari plate and pot are made of gold for performing Thirumanjanam to the presiding deity. The temple also maintains golden sword, diamond crown and gold arm guard for the image of Hanuman. The shrine over the sanctum is plated with gold.

Sooriyanar Temple is in East of Kumbakonam on Kumbakonam - Mayiladuthurai road. It is exactly 2Km to the north of Aduthurai and the temple is well connected from lower Anicut and Thiruppanandal.It is dedicated to the worship of the Hindu Sun-God and the other Navagrahas and is considered one of the Navagraha temples.Inscriptions from the period of Kulottunga Chola I 1075-1120 refer to this temple as the Kulottunga Chola Martanda Alayam. Kulottunga Chola is said to have had a good relationship with the Gahadwal dynasty of Kanauj 1090 – 1194 whose rulers were Sun worshippers and hence Suryanar Koyil is considered to be an expression of their influence in South India.
The temple tower is 15.5 meter in height and consists of three tiers. At the top of the tower are five domes. To the north of the rajagopuram lies the sacred bathing ghat, called Surya Pushkarni. It is important to bathe in this ghat before offering worship at the temple. If not, one should at least sprinkle its water on one's head.Special features of the temple All the grahams face Surya Bhagawan in this temple. As soon as one enters the temple there is a sacrificial platform. To its east lies a mandap where one can see an idol of a horse. The one-wheeled chariot is drawn by seven horses.Lord Siva pleased with their devotion absolved them of their sins and decried that there will be nine sannadhis for the navagrahas in the Suryanar temple and those who pray here will get relief from their problems.

Swamimalai Murugan Temple is a Hindu temple located in Swamimalai which is 5 km from Kumbakonam on the banks of a tributary of river Cauvery. The temple is one of the six holy shrines of Murugan called Arupadaiveedu. The shrine of the presiding deity Swaminathaswamy is located atop a 60 ft hillock and the shrine of his mother Meenakshi and father Shiva is located downhill. The temple has three gopuram three precincts and sixty steps.As per Hindu legend Muruga the son of Shiva extolled the meaning of the Pranava Mantra to his father at this place and hence attained the name Swaminathaswamy. The temple is believed to be in existence from the Sangam period from 2nd century BC and was believed to have been modified by Parantaka Chola I. The temple was greatly damaged during the Anglo-French war between Hyder Ali and British in 1740.

Tirunageswaram is one of the famous Navagraha shrines which is located 7 km from Kumbakonam.This temple is mentioned in the hymns of Thevaram and is thus classified as a Paadal Petra Sthalam. Rahu is the Navagraha which is associated in this temple.The temple is another masterpiece which exhibits the Chola style of architecture. It is believed to have been built by Aditya Chola I in 10th century A.D. Later rulers have modified the temple with their own additions.The temple has a separate shrine for Rahu.The temple is located on the southern bank of the river Kaveri in Kumbakonam.Goddess Girigujambal has a separate shrine inside the temple campus as it is believed that the goddess is in thava kolam.
Many serpents including Adishesha, Takshaka and Karkotaka worshipped Shiva at this place leading to the name Tirunageswaram.The temple covers an area of 630 ft South-North and 800 ft East-West with concentric sub lanes and four major streets around the four sides. There are four gateways along the four sides with entry gopuram and a surrounding compound
wall.The path leading to the main shrine in the second precinct has a hall decorated with Nayak style pillars with yalis. The hall was constructed by Govinda Dikshitar, the minister of successive Nayak rulers Achuthappa Nayak 1560–1614 and Raghunatha Nayak 1600–34. In the front hall on the eastern side artistic pillar with older and nine horses design is found and similar pillars are found on the southern side as well.