KUMBAKONAM / KUDANTHAI TRAVEL GUIDE
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.