About Kumbakonam

Ideal Trip Duration: 2 Full Days

Base Station: Kumbakonam

Nearest City to Kumbakonam: Tiruchirappalli (105 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Kumbakonam: November to March

Peak Season: December to February

State: Tamil Nadu | District: Thanjavur

Kumbakonam Weather: Summer: Maximum - 40°C and Minimum - 24°C
Winter: Maximum - 33°C and Minimum - 18°C

At a distance of 35 km from Mayiladuthurai, 43 km from Thanjavur, 54 km from Karaikal, 65 km from Nagapattinam, 72 km from Chidambaram, 105 km from Trichy, 129 km from Pondicherry, 235 km from Madurai and 282 km from Chennai, Kumbakonam is one of the ancient temple town located amidst the two rivers Cauvery and Arasalar in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu.

The name Kumbakonam in English means the Pot's Corner. In olden days it was called Thirukudamookku and it is also popularly called as Kudanthai now. According to history, Kumbakonam dates back to the Sangam period and was ruled by the Early Cholas, Pallavas, Medieval Cholas, Later Cholas, Pandyas, the Vijayanagar Kings, Madurai Nayaks, Thanjavur Nayaks and the Thanjavur Marathas. It rose to be a prominent city between the 7th and 9th centuries AD, when it served as a capital of the Medieval Cholas. The town reached the zenith of its prosperity during the British Raj when it was a prominent center of European education and Hindu culture; and it acquired the cultural name, the Cambridge of South India.

Kumbakonam is known for its temples and mutts (monasteries). There are around 188 Hindu temples within the municipal limits of Kumbakonam. Adi Kumbeswarar temple, Nageswaraswamy temple and Kasi Viswanathar temple are the prominent Shiva temples in the town and it has one of the few temples dedicated to the god Brahma. Sarangapani temple is the largest Vaishnava shrine present in Kumbakonam. The Dhenupureeswarar Temple at Patteeswaram, the Oppiliappan Kovil, the Swamimalai Murugan temple and the Airavateeswarar temple at Darasuram are the other temples located in the vicinity of Kumbakonam.

Kumbakonam also has a number of mutts. Sri Sankara mutt of Kanchipuram, two Vellalar mutts in the nearby towns of Dharmapuram and Thiruppanandal and a Raghavendra mutt in Kumbakonam are the different mutts here. There is also a branch of the Vaishnava Ahobila mutt in Kumbakonam.

The town is well - known for its prestigious educational institutions and carved Panchaloha idols, silk products, brass and metal wares. It is primarily a market town for the predominantly agriculture based villages surrounding it. Betel leaves are cultivated more in Kumbakonam since it is also called as Kumbakonam Vettrilai (in Tamil).

The important festival of Kumbakonam is the Mahamaham festival. It takes place once in 12 years during the Tamil Month of Masi (February/March) and lakhs of pilgrims visit Kumbakonam and takes a holy bath in the sacred Mahamaham tank which is situated in the heart of the town.

Trichy Airport is the nearest airport, which is about 95 km from Kumbakonam. Kumbakonam Railway Station is well connected by train with Chennai, Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Pondicherry, Mysore, Mayiladuthurai, Thanjavur, Trichy, Bhubaneswar, Madurai, Coimbatore, Tirupati, Bangalore and Thirunelveli. Kumbakonam is well connected by road with Chennai, Madurai, Rameswaram, Karaikal, Trichy, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Thanjavur, Thirunelveli and Trivandrum.

The best time to visit Kumbakonam is from November to March, while the peak season is from December to February. Tourists in Kumbakonam can avail various accommodation options, ranging from budget hotels to 5 star hotels.

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Other Info
Internet Availability: Average
STD Code: 0435
Languages Spoken: Tamil and English
Major Festivals: Mahamaham Festival
Notes/Tips:
None

How to Reach Kumbakonam

By Air

Nearest Airport: Tiruchirappalli - Tiruchirapalli Airport (95 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Kumbakonam Railway Station (0 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Kumbakonam Bus Station (1 Kms)

Top 15 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

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#1 of 22 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

At a distance of 2.5 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station, Adi Kumbeswarar Temple is a famous Hindu temple located in the center of Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. This temple is considered to be the 26th Paadal Petra Sthalam in the Chola kingdom that spread south of the River Cauvery.

Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, also known as Thirukudamooku, is dedicated to the Lord Shiva, and was built during the Chola dynasty in the 9th century, while the temple was renovated by Govinda Dikshitar, the Chieftain of Achutha Nayakar of Thanjavur in the 16th century AD. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

According to mythology, when the world was facing destruction due to the devastating tsunami, Lord Brahma approached Lord Shiva to know from where he had to restart creation. Lord Shiva suggested that Brahma make a magic pot with the sand collected from various sacred places and floats it in the flood .....

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Heritage

#2 of 22 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

At a distance of 34 Kms from Thanjavur & 284 Kms from Chennai, Darasuram, a small town 8 Kms away from Kumbakonam is known for the Airavathesvara Temple built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12th century CE. This temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site 'Great Living Chola Temples'.

This temple is a storehouse of art and architecture. The vimana is 85 feet high. The front mandapam itself is in the form of a huge chariot drawn by horses. The temple has some exquisite stone carvings. The main deity's consort Periya Nayaki Amman temple is situated adjacent to Airavateshwarar temple.

The legend goes to show that Airavata, the white elephant of Indra, worshipped Lord Siva in this temple; so did also the King of Death, Yama. Inscriptions on the temple walls say that it was known in those days as Raja Rajeswaram and Raja Rajapuram.

Timings: 6 AM to 7 PM

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#3 of 22 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

At a distance of 2 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station and 500 m from Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, Sarangapani Temple is a Hindu temple situated in Kumbakonam.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Sarangam means bow and pani means hand. The deity is having a bow in the hand. Also known as Tiru Kudanthai is the third of the 108 Divya Desams. The Sarangapani Temple is also one of the Pancha Ranga Khestras with the other four being Srirangapatnam, Srirangam, Appalarangam, Parimala Ranganatha Perumal Temple at Mayiladuthurai and Vatarangam at Sirkazhi.

The Sarangapani Temple existed during the Pallava period. However, the current structure is attributed to the period of Vikrama Chola (1121 AD onwards) and it was renovated in 16th century during the period of Nayaks.

Sarangapani Temple is the biggest Vishnu temple in Kumbakonam. It is of great religious significance and considered to be second only to the Srirangam Temple in Trichy. The temple boasts of 5 prakaras and a holy .....

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#4 of 22 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

At a distance of 5 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station, Uppiliappan Temple also known as Thiruvinnagar is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu situated near Thirunageswaram, a village in the outskirts of the Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. It is counted as the 60th among the 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

The temple is believed to be constructed by the Medieval Cholas of the late 8th century AD, while later contributions made by Thanjavur Nayaks. The temple has two inscriptions dating from the Chola period.

According to mythology, Lord Oppilliappan married Bhoomidevi here. The Lord came in the form of an old man and asked Markandeya to give his daughter Bhoomidevi in marriage to him. Markandeya said that his daughter was too young to cook food and that she did not even know how to use salt in cooking. To this the Lord said that he would accept the food even without salt. Hence the Lord gets the name Uppiliappan and salt is not added in the prasadam prepared in the .....

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#5 of 22 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

At a distance of 400 m from Thiruvidaimaruthur Bus Stop and 9 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station, Mahalingaswamy Temple is a Hindu temple located in Thiruvidaimaruthur in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple complex is one of the largest temple complexes in Tamil Nadu. The present masonry structure was built during the Chola dynasty in the 9th century, while later expansions are attributed to Thanjavur Nayaks during the 16th century. There are 149 inscriptions associated with the temple indicating contributions from Pandyas, Cholas, Thanjavur Nayaks and Thanjavur Maratha kingdom.

The temple has a five-tiered Rajagopuram and three precincts, each enclosed inside huge walls and having gateway towers for each of them. The temple is rectangular in plan with East-West orientation and has four entrances in each of the four directions. The three precincts are called Aswametha Pradakshina, Kodumudi and Pranava. Pranava precinct has lot of sculptures .....

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#6 of 22 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

At a distance of 2 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station, Ramaswamy Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located on the southeastern portion of the Porthamarai Kulam in Kumbakonam.

This temple is dedicated to Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Achutha Nayaka of Thanjavur constructed the temple during the 16th century CE. The temple was built in Dravidian architectural style. This temple consists of one Gopuram, one Maha Mandapam and Sanctum Sanctorum. The columns of Maha Mandapam are enriched with some of the famous stone carvings of Vamana Avatharam, Meenakshi Kalyanam and Sugreeva Pattabishekam. The outer Prakaram consists of 219 wall paintings, which explains the series of incidents from the great Epic Ramayana.

This temple, known as the southern Ayodhya, is unique as Rama and Sita are in a Pattabishekam posture-Coronation scene. Lakshmana stands next to Rama, holding a bow and arrows; they are flanked by Bharatha holding an Umbrella and Shatrughna holding a fan. This .....

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#7 of 22 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

At a distance of 8 km from Kumbakonam, Patteeswaram is famous for the Sri Durga Shrine and a Shiva Temple called Sri Dhenupureeswarar or Thenupureeswarar Temple.

Dhenupureeswarar Temple is fairly a big temple and is dedicated to Hindu god Shiva. This temple has 5 tall gopurams and 3 prakarams. The sanctum sanctorum of the main deity Thenupureeswarar is located in the central mandapam of the first prakarams. There are shrines for Chandikeswarar, Natarajar and Sun god. To the north of the main sanctum sanctorum is the shrine for the female deity Sri Gnanambikai.

According to the legend, divine cow Kamadhenu's daughter Patti is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva here and hence this sthalam is called as Patteeswaram. Sage Viswamitra got the title of Brahma rishi at this Sthalam. Sri Rama is said to have worshipped Shiva at this sthalam to absolve himself of the Chaayadosham which he got by killing Vaali. Shiva is said to have blessed Sambandar by sending through his Shivaganas .....

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#8 of 22 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

At a distance of 1 km from Thirumangalakudi Bus Stop and 15 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station, Suryanar Kovil or Suryanarayana Temple is an ancient temple located in Suryanar Kovil. It is situated on Kumbakonam - Kadhiramangalam road.

The present masonry structure was built during the reign of Kulottunga Chola in the 11th century and was called Kulottunga Chola-Marttandalaya, while the later additions were done by the Vijayanagar Kings. The Suryanarayana Temple at Suryanar Kovil is one of the Navagraha temples and is dedicated to Suryan. The temple also has separate shrines for the other eight planetary deities.

According to the legend, once Sage Kalava was suffering from leprosy, he prayed to Navagrahas. The planets were pleased by his devotion and granted his wish. Brahma was furious because nobody had the right to change the destiny of a person. He cursed the nine planets to suffer from leprosy. On being cursed, all the nine planets performed severe penance to please Lord .....

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#9 of 22 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

At a distance of 3 km from Suryanar Kovil and 18 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station, The Agneeswarar Temple is a Hindu temple situated at Kanjanur in Tamil Nadu.

The presiding deities of temple are Lord Shiva as Agneeswarar and Goddess Parvathi as Karpagambal. Kanjanur is one of the nine Navagraha sthalas located in the Cauvery Delta region dedicated to planet Venus, called Sukran. Unlike other Navagraha temples, the main deity, Agneeswarar in the form of lingam depicts Lord Sukran.

The temple was built by the Medieval Cholas and renovated by the kings of the Vijayanagar Empire. Lord Brahma is said to have been blessed with a vision of Shiva's marriage with Parvathi here. Agni is said to have worshipped Shiva here, hence the name Agneeswarar. This shrine is also referred to as Palaasavanam, Brahmapuri, Agnistalam and Neelakudi. The important feature is that the oil Abishekam performed to the main Siva lingam is fully absorbed by the idol.

This temple has a five tiered .....

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#10 of 22 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

At a distance of 1 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station, Mahamaham Tank is a huge temple tank located in the heart of Kumbakonam town in Tamil Nadu. It is considered to be the foremost and one of the largest temple tanks in Tamil Nadu.

The tank covers an area of 6.2 acres and is trapezoidal in shape. The tank is surrounded by 16 small Mandapams (shrines) and has 21 wells inside the tank. Govinda Dikshitar, the chieftain of Ragunatha Nayak of Thanjavur, constructed the sixteen Mandapams and stone steps around this tank. Brahmatheerthesar, Mukunthar, Thalesar, Rishakesar, Umaipakesar, Nairuthesar, Brahmeesar, Gangatheerthesar and Seshtra Paleesar, are the names of deities located in these Mandapams.

There are 21 wells inside the tank in the shape of small spring wells. Beginning the eastern side of the tank, there are 8 wells in the name of celestial deities namely Indra, Yama, Agni, Niruthi, Vayuya, Kubera and Isanya respectively. In between the Vayu and Kubera wells, the ninth .....

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#11 of 22 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

At a distance of 9 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station, Nachiyar Kovil or Thirunarayur Nambi Temple is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, located at Thirunaraiyur village of Kumbakonam.

The temple is believed to have been built by Kochengat Cholan. He is believed to have built 70 temples dedicated to Shiva and only Vishnu temple at Thirunaraiyur. The later contributions to the temple were made by Medieval Cholas and Vijayanagar kings. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu. The temple is the place where god Vishnu is believed to have initiated Pancha Samskara (religious initiation) to Thirumangai Azhwar.

The temple was constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture. The temple has a 5-tiered rajagopuram on the eastern side, rising up to a height of 75 feet. The entrance through the eastern gateway leads to a hall of 16 pillars, called Neenila Mutram. Thirumangai Azhwar, Ramanuja, Koorathazhwar and idols of eleven azhwars are the other shrines here. .....

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#12 of 22 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

At a distance of 5 km from Kumbakonam Railway Station, Sri Naganathaswamy Temple or Rahu Sthalam is an ancient Shiva temple situated at Thirunageswaram in Kumbakonam Town of Tamilnadu.

The presiding deity of the temple is Arulmigu Giri Gujambika Sametha Naganathaswamy. It is believed to have been built by Aditya Chola I in the 9th century AD. The inner mantapa was built by Seikkizhar, and the outer mantapa was built by Govinda Dikshitar (17th century AD) a minister to Acchuthappa nayak.

Sri Naganathaswamy Temple is one of the 9 Navagraha Temples around Kumbakonam and is dedicated to Rahu. The temple has a separate shrine for Rahu. Here Rahu Bhagawan can be seen with his two consorts Nagavalli and Nagakanni together. Sri Naganathaswamy Temple is one where Lord Shiva was worshipped by Rahu and got relieved of a curse. A unique feature of the temple is that Rahu Bhagawan is seen with human face. Usually in other places, Rahu is seen with a serpent face.

The Thirunageswaram .....

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#13 of 22 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

At a distance of 13 km from Kumbakonam, Sri Kalyanasundareswarar Temple, also known as Panchavarneswarar Temple is an ancient Shiva shrine located at Nallur in the outskirts of Kumbakonam. This is one of the top temples in Kumbakonam.

The original masonry structure was built during the Chola dynasty in the 9th century, while later expansions are attributed to Vijayanagar rulers. The main deity here is Panchavarneswarar and he is also known as Kalyanasundareswarar. The Shiva Lingam at Kalyanasundareswarar Temple, Thirunallur is a swayambhu lingam. The miracle of the temple here is the color of the deity changes 5 times a day as copper, light red, molten gold, Emerald and Multicolor for every 2 1/2 hours. This is one of the Mada Koil or temples built at an elevation by Kochengat Cholan. This is one of the 275 Padal Petra sthalams of Lord Shiva.

According to the legend, during the divine Shiva-Parvathi wedding in Mount Kailash, the place went down due to the heavy weight of .....

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#14 of 22 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

At a distance of 9 km from Kumbakonam and 37 km from Thanjavur, Swamimalai, situated on the banks of river Cauvery, is known for Sri Swaminatha Swami Temple dedicated to Lord Murugan. Swamimalai is famous for being one of the six Padai Veedugal (Battle Camps) of Lord Murugan, the others being Thiruparamkundram, Thiruchendur, Palani, Thiruthani and Pazhamudhircholai.

The temple of Swaminatha is very ancient one and believed to be existed before 2nd century BC. It is said that Parantaka Chola I upgraded this temple. The temple was greatly damaged during the Anglo-French war between Hyder Ali and British in 1740.
The presiding deity Lord Murugan is depicted here as expounding the meaning of Pranava mantra 'Aum' to his father Lord Shiva. According to legend, Brahma disrespected Murugan at the time of visiting Mount Kailash. The child Muruga got angry with Brahma and asked him how he was creating living beings. Brahma said that he was creating with the help of the Vedas. On hearing .....

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#15 of 22 Places to Visit in Kumbakonam

At a distance of 500 m from Thirubhuvanam Bus Station, 9 km from Kumbakonam and 50 km from Thanjavur, Thirubhuvanam is well known for Kampahareswarar Temple, also known as Sarabeswarar temple. It is an ancient temple situated in Thirubhuvanam on Mayiladuthurai - Kumbakonam road.

The Kampaheswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva; the temple enshrines Kampaheswarar as the presiding deity, worshipped in the form of a Shiva Linga. According to legend, Shiva is believed to have relieved Kampa (quaking) of a king haunted by evil spirits on account of the king killing a Brahmin by mistake. This led to the name of Kampaheswarar.

The temple was built by Kulottunga Chola III (1178-1216), to celebrate a military victory. However, Pandyan kings have completed the construction of this temple. The architecture of the temple resembles Brihadeshwarar Temple of Thanjavur, Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram and Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple. It is believed that the temple was .....

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