Kumbakonam, called the temple city of South India is situated in Thanjavur District in Tamilnadu. Kumbakonam is not only known for its temples, but also for the carved panchloha idols, brasswares, silk and betel leaves. The mahamaham festival is celebrated once in 12 years near the mahamaham tank with outmost enthusiasm. Kumbakonam is a temple town filled with history, culture and heritage.
Kumbakonam is one of the commercial centres, nestled along the Cauvery River some 37 Kms northeast of Thanjavur. Kumbakonam is a good base to visit the superb Chola temples nearby, or to head east to the coastal towns of the Cauvery Delta. Kumakonam has now gained importance especially for silk and metal manufacturing activities.
Mahamaham is a Hindu Kumb Mela festival celebrated every 12 years in a town called Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu, India. Hindus consider taking a holy dip at the Mahamaham tank on the day of Mahamaham as sacred. The last Mahamaham was celebrated on March 6,2004, with people from various places taking the holy dip in the Mahamaham tank.
This temple is an ancient and placed its name in Indian history. The presiding Deity of this temple is Lord KUMBESWARA and the presiding Goddess is Sri MANGALAMBIGAI.
Tradition goes to say that during the Mahapralaya(Great Floods) after DWABARAYUGA, A KUMBAM(Pot) full of amirtham and seeds for creation was set afloat by Siva. It was proclaimed by Shiva Himself that the place where the pot touched the ground and had its rest would be considered as the holiest places in the world.
Sri Nageswaran Temple :
The temple had been sung by Appar. Wide corridors with excellent carve works and statues are seen. God : Nageswaran Goddess : Brihun Nayagi. A Chariot with Nataraj's "Ananda Thandavam" pose is one of the examples of rich art work.
Brahman Temple :
Pleased by the prayers of Brahma, Vishnu appeared here as " Vedanarayan " and "Varadharaja". The temple is in the banks of Arasalaru river.
Sri Kasi Vishwanathar Temple:
This temple has been praised by Sambandhar in his "Devaram". It is situated in the north eastern side of Mahamaham tank. God : Kaayarohanar. Goddess : Vishalakshi. The nine rivers called as Navakannigas are here in the form of statues. The corridors have very attractive sculptures.
Ramaswamy Temple :
Sculpture works of the Nayakars' period decorate the pillars of the temple where Lord Rama is in the ( rarely seen elsewhere ) Pattabhisheka scene with Sita and his three brothers and Anjaneya at his foot. The paintings which depict Ramayana and the Dasavathara, seen in the corridors are very attractive.
An artistic tower of 147 feet high is the highlight of this temple. The Lord Vishnu is seen in his Ananda Sayanam pose under the Aathiseshan in a chariot. Separate shrines are the for Goddess Komalavalli, Anjaneya and Desikar.
Vaikunta Ekadesi which includes 21 days of festival and the car festival during the month of Chithirai ( Apr. / May ) are the important festivals.
Someshwar Temple :
God : Someshwar, Chikkesswar Goddess : Somasundari. Wide corridors and high compound walls isolate you from the busy bazaar street to divert the mind towards the Lord.
Sri Chakrapani Temple :
This temple is in the southern side of cauvery where Vishnu appears with the majestic " Sudharsan Chakra ". Fort Like walls are seen around the shrine.
Sri Kambatta Vishwanathar Temple :
Nayak kings have built this temple which is also called as " Malathivanam ".
Sri Banupurishwarar Temple :
This temple is in the north eastern side of the city in a isolated place. God: Shiva called as Banupurishwarar. Goddess : Somakalambigai. This is the place where Shiva in the disguise of a Hunter broke the pot with an arrow.
Navagraha Temples ( Sthalams )
Navagraha temples are temples devoted to Navagraha - the nine (nava) major celestial bodies (Grahas) of Hindu astronomy. These celestial bodies are named
- Chandran(Moon) - Thingaloor - Kumbakonam
- Guru(Jupiter) - Alangudi - Mannargudi to kumbakonam road
- Raghu - Thirunageshwaram - Near by Mayiladuturai
- Suriyan(Sun) - Suriyanar kovil - Near by Aduthurai
- Sukkran(Venus) - Kanjanoor
- Sevvai(Mars) - Vaitheeswaran koil
- Bhudan(Mercury) - Thiruvenkadu - Near chidambaram
- Kethu - Kelaperumpallam - Near Poombuhar
- Sani(Saturn) - Thirunallaru - Near by Karaikal