Kumbakonam is a famous temple town, located in the Thanjavur District in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Kumbakonam is called temple town because of the large number of temples within the town and the surrounding areas. The Kumbakonam town is known for its intricately carved panchaloha idols, fine brasswares especially lamps, silk and betel leaves. Kumbakonam is located 273 km south of Chennai, 96 km east of Tiruchirappalli and about 40 km northeast of Thanjavur. The Cauveri River on the north and Arasalar River on the south bind the temple town of umbakonam.
Temples of Kumbakonam
As noted above, Kumbakonam is known for its temples. Some of the famous
temples of Kumbakonam are the Sarangpani temple (a Vaishnavite temple),
Chakrapani temple, Kumbeswara temple, Nageswaran and the Airavatesvara
The main residing deity at the Chakrapani Temple is Chakraraja. The
Chakrapani temple is also a superb exponent of the early temple
architecture. The most peculiar point about the Chakrapani temple is
that Vilva archana, which is normally performed in Shiva temples, is
also performed here for Lord Vishnu .
Kumbeswara is an important Saivite temple situated in the central part
of the Kumbakonam town. Shri Adhi Kumbeswara is the presiding God with
Manthrapeeteswari Mangalambika as his Consort. The Kumbeswara temple
complex is quite enormous and beautiful. The Mahamaham festival, which
takes place once every 12 years during the Tamil Month of Masi
(February-March), is the main festival. The Mahamaham festival attracts
lakhs of pilgrims from different parts of India.
Nageswaran Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Aditya Chola constructed
the Nageswaran temple during the12th century. The Nageswaran is a great
example of the Chola architecture and astronomy. The Sanctum Sanctorum
of the Nageswaran temple is similar to that of Sarangapani temple.
Sarangpani is a famous vaishnav temple. It is also known for its tall
gopuram (tower). The Chariot festival, which takes place every year, is
one of the biggest festivals.
Someswar Temple is located in the southern portion of Sri Sarangapani
temple. The architectural style of Someswar temple resembles the
Dravidian style of temple architecture of 13th century (Chola period).
The Airavatesvara temple is situated at Dharasuram, 4 km west of the
Kumbakonam town. The Airavatesvara (Airavat means white elephant) temple
was constructed by Rajaraja Chola and is a superb example of the Chola
architecture. Stories from epics and Hindu mythology are depicted all
over the temple.