South Indian City Guide - Tamilnadu - Kumbakonam

Famous as 'Temple Town', Kumbakonam is located in Tanjore district and is 40 km away from Tanjore. Kumbakonam is considered as one of the ancient towns in Tamil Nadu.The temple town is renowned for the Mahamaham celebration that is rejoiced once in every 12 years in the Mahamaham tank installed in the center of the town.

Kumbakonam - Tamilnadu

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Panchaloha idols, bronze lamps and Betel leaves are the symbols of Kumbakonam. Betel leaves grow here abundantly which are used all special occasions as well as for daily usage. Dozens of holy places are dotted around the city, which provide an opportunity to visit the nearby Chola temples at Kumbakonam. Kumbakonam has one more to its cap that this is the birth place of the world renowned mathematician Ramanujam.

The city is delimited by two rivers, the Arasalar River on the South and Cauvery River on the North.

Places to visit

Adhi Kumbeswarar Temple

It is the foremost one among the Saivite shrines and situated in the heart of the town at Big Bazaar Street. The presiding deity is Shri Adhi Kumbeswarar (Lord Shiva) and Parvathi (Manthrapeeteswari Mangalambika) is the Consort of the lord. The complex of the shrine is massive and features attractive artwork. The illustration of 27 stars with the 12 zodiac signs engraved on a big block of stone in the Navarathri Mandapam, is the unique feature of this temple. The eminent celebration of Hindus Mahamaham is related with this shrine.

Sarangabani Temple

It is the biggest temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu sited in Kumbakonam. Lord Sarangabani swamy also called Lord Vishnu is the main deity with his consort Lordess Komalavalli Thayar (Lakshmi). The Inner sanctum (Karuvarai) and roof (Vimanam) are finished with 12 carved columns shaped such as a chariot. This holy place is in the shape of a chariot that was the artwork of Cholas.

Nageswara Temple

It is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the semblance of Nagaraja, the 'serpent king'. Also identified as 'Koothandavar Kovil', it is sited next to the Kumbakonam's old bus stand. The designs as well as the orientations are planned in such a way that it permits the sunrays in the shrine only during the Chithirai, the Tamil month. This is the location of a yearly carnival that celebrates the adoration of the Lingam (Lord Shiva) by the Sun. Hence it is also called as Keel Kottam or Soorya Kottam. It is the oldest temple of the town.

Chakkarabani Temple

This shrine is counted among the most significant Vishnu temples located in South India with Srirangam & Thirupathi. According to myth, Surya (The Sun) once vied with Vishnu to choose who is brighter. Vishnu came out in the form of Chakra to put down the arrogance of Surya. Sri Chakkarathalwar with Sri Sudharsanavalli and Sri Vijayavalli is the main deity of Chakkarabani temple. Like Lord Shiva, Lord Chakkarabani also has a 3rd eye in his forehead. The eastern as well as the western doorways of this holy place are recognized as 'Thatchinaya Vayil' & 'Utharayana Vayil' correspondingly. The external prakkaram of this shrine is designed in the shape of a balcony.

Rama Swamy Temple

Lord Rama with his consort Sita, is the main deity of this temple. The holy palce also features the idols of Lakshmana and Hanuman. This place of worship consists of one Maha Mandapam, one Gopuram & Karuvarai (Inner Sanctum). The Maha Mandapam's columns are improved with some of the illustrious stone carvings of Meenakshi Kalyanam, Sukreeva Pattabhishekam, Vamana Avatar and Ramayana. The wall paintings done on outer Prahara (passage) elucidate the sequence of events from 'Ramayana' the great epic.

Ways to Get in

Road

The city is well linked with other cities of Tamilnadu.

Railways

There is a railway - junction in Kumbakonam. It is well associated with Trichy, Tanjore, Chennai, Mysore and Bangalore.

Airways

Trichy is the nearby airport. Next nearby airport is at Madurai; which is about 220 kms by highway. Chennai airport is also there from where you can get in. Kumbakonam is about 320 kms south of Chennai by highway.

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