26. Sri Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, Thirukkudamooku, Kumbakonam (Chola Nadu - South of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Adi Kumbeswarar
Name of Goddess : Sri Mangala Nayaki, Sri Mantrapureeswari
Holy water (Theertham) : Maha Maham Theertham/Potramarai Theertham
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Vanni
Thevaram : Thirunavukkarasar ; Thiru Gnana Sambandhar
District : Thanjavur.
Location : Kumbakonam.
Timings : 06:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 04:00 p.m. to 09:30 p.m
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 26th sthalam on the southern side of river Cauvery. Thiruganasambandar and Appar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Shiva of this temple. The most important shrine in the temple town of Kumbhakonam (Kudandai, Kudamookku). The Mangalambikai shrine here is revered as a Shakti Peetham (Mantra Peetham). The Kumbheswara temple in Kumbhakonam (Kudandai - Kudamookku) is considered to be the 26th in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located south of the river Kaveri. The Mahamagam festival associated with this temple attracts crowds from all over India.
This temple is located in Kumbakonam 37 kms in the southwest direction from Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu. The carpet area of the temple is 1,97,904 sqft and is built east-facing. This temple has a tower in 9 stages and four corridors (Pragarams). The deity is called Kumbeswarar and it is said that the deity is self incarnated and is 'Prithivi swaroopam' in the east facing pose. The Lingam's top looks like the neck of a pitcher. The Lord's consort Devi Mangala-Nayaki has a separate sanctum also in the east facing pose.
- It is considered as one of 275 Paadal Petral Stalams.
- Moolavar is made of sand with a golden cover in inclined position. No abisekam and punuku is applied.
- There are about 14 theerthams. Architecture is beautiful.
- Nandhi is little big and beautiful.
- Unfinished Rajagopuram is called as mottai gopuram is a land mark for the temple.
- Karuvarai vimanam is in Gopuram shape.
- Separate sannadhi for ambal Sri Mangalambigai.
The huge Mahamagam tank is surrounded by 16 picturesque mandapams, dating back to the 16th century.
The Kalyana Mandapam hall in the temple, is the seat of the Tirukkalyana Utsavam. The Navaratri mandapam bears a carvings of the 12 zodiac signs and the 27 asterisms. This temple also houses two nadaswarams made of stone. Many images in this temple deserve mention, especially those of Kiratamurthy and Subramanyar.
Kumbeswarar is represented as a Shivalingam fashioned out of earth - (said to have been made by Shiva in the guise of a hunter - Kiratamurthy). Shiva is also known as Amudha Kumbhesar and Amudheesar. The Kumbariya Vinayakar shrine is situated near the tank, while Aadi Vinayakar is worshiped in the temple.
Moorka Nayanaar is one of the 63 Nayanars associated with this temple.
Festivals: Six worship services are offered each day here. The annual festival in the month of Masi is well attended. The Mahamaham tank is the center of great festivity once every 12 years - when Jupiter is positioned in the zodiac sign of Leo, and the sun is positioned in Aquarius and the moon is in the aster-ism of Magam (Maasi Magam) - when Kumbeswarar is taken in procession there. Thousands of pilgrims converge for a dip in the Mahamagam tank during that time. Several other minor festivals are celebrated each month here.
Kumbeswarar Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located at the center of the Tamilnadu town Kumbakonam, India. The famous Hindu festival of Mahamaham is associated with this temple.
The huge temple is reported to be more than 1300 years old. This temple covering an area of about 4 acres in the heart of the temple town of Kumbakonam.
The Raja Gopuram at the east rises to the lofty height of 128' with nine terraces, a symbol of grandeur and splendor of the deities as also the majesty, immensity and all pervasiveness of the universal consciousness. In the northern and western sides there are small Gopurams and the Mottai Gopuram at the South. Four prakarams line this temple and are lined with local shops, that it is hard to visualize the spread of the temple by looking at its entrance.
At the eastern end of the first circumambulatory path of the Mulavar shrine in the Southern side there abide the sixty three saivaite saints. In the northern part there are Bhairava, Kalabhirava, Jvarahareswara, Chasta, Sivalingam, Govinda Dikshitar and his consort Nagammal and ChandraSurya. In the South there are the Big Four of Saivism, 63 Nanmars, Sapta Kannikas. In the west there are Vinayaka, Bhikshatana, Subramanya Kartikeya Shrines and continuing there are Tejo Linga, Akshaya Linga, Kotilinga, as also Annapurani, Gajalakshmi, Mahalakshmi, Saraswati. At the center of the northern circumambulatory path there is Navaneetha Vinayaka and to the west is the chamber of rest and respite of the Lord and Sri Ambal and to the east abides Sri Kirathamurti holding the bow and arrow facing south in the standing posture. He is the principal Deity of this temple.
The centre of attraction at the inner circulatory path is the shrine of the Mulavar at the Sanctum sanctorum. The Mulavar Sri Parameswara in the self - originated linga form abides in all splendor and grace facing east. At the entrance of the Arthamandapa the sentinels - Dhwarapalakas - Chandi and Mundi stand in vigil on either side. At the Mandapa - Swami Mandapa - western to this and in its southern side there is Aarukula Ganapati. At the centre of the mandapa there abides the Nandi followed by the sacrificial altar and behind this is Nandi made of brass, all facing Sanctum sanctorum. Passing through the southern gate of Mahamandapa we have the statue of Soma Skanda facing east.
Western to the Sabhamandapa in the souththere is Sabha Vinayaka and at the entrance towards Mahamandapa there are sentinels on either side and continuing we have NandiDeva and Kasiviswanatha. Northern to this mandapa Lord Nataraja abides in all glory and grandeur persecuting the cosmic dances.
At the Navaratri Mandapa situated inside the second circumambulatory path - Mahamandapa - Nandi abides facing the Mulavar and behind it there is the sacrificial alter. Southwest to Nandi there abides Vallabha Vinayaka and at the northwest there is Shanmukha with six faces and twelve hands. Northern to Nandi abides Navagraha shrine.
Southeast to second circumambulatory path is situated the temple kitchen and at the Northeast the Yagasala. Southern to the Yagasala there abides Lakshmi Narayana Perumal and eastern to this there is the flag mast of the temple.
At the outer circumambulatory path in the southwest, Kumbha Muni Siddha abides in meditation, upon the Gopura in bas - relief. Vinayaka of this shrine is called Adi Vinayaka, in the northwestern end there is Adhi Linga shrine facing east. To the east of this circumambulatory path at the gateway of Kailasagopura are Mutra Vinayaka to the left and Balan Dandayuthapani to the right. Northwest to the Rajagopuram there is Mangalakupa a well and adjacent to it is the elephant shed and the Tirukkalyanamandapam. Southern to the Rajagopuram is the flower garden west wards to the flower - bower abides the Vannimara Vinayaka shrie facing east.
The Navaratri mandapam bears a carvings of the 12 zodiac signs and the 27 asterisms. This temple also houses two nadaswarams made of stone. Many images in this temple deserve mention, especially those of Kiratamurthy and Subramanyar. The Kalyana Mandapam hall in the temple, is the seat of the Tirukkalyana Utsavam.
Kumbeswarar is represented as a Shivalingam fashioned out of earth - (said to have been made by Shiva in the guise of a hunter - Kiratamurthy). Shiva is also known as Amudha Kumbhesar and Amudheesar. The Kumbariya Vinayakar shrine is situated near the tank, while Aadi Vinayakar is worshipped in the temple. Moorka Nayanaar is one of the 63 Nayanars associated with this temple.
Conferring all auspiousness to these who worship her with all their hearts, the deity of this kshetra is called Sri Mangala Nayaki and as the deity shines lustrously at the mantra peeta ,one of the distinguished Sakthi peetas, the deity is famous as Sir Mantra Peeteswari. Moreover as the deity relieves all the diseases of the votaries, She is called the dispeller of diseases and disabilities. one of the big Four of Saivism, tirujana sambandar calls the deity as Valar Mangai in his Thevaram.
History / Legend:The place from where Lord Siva shot the arrows at the pot became a famous sacred kshethram called 'Bana-puresam' (banam means arrow). The deity is named Bana-puriswarar. The day on which the planet Jupiter moves into the star Makha is considered auspicious. This usually happens on the full-moon day in the middle of February once in 12 years. The whole month starting from that day is celebrated as 'Maha-makam'. Thousands of devotees take a dip in the 'Maha-makam' tank during this month.
It is said that during this period confluence of eight holy rivers into that tank takes place.
The rivers are:
Inscriptions in this temple say that Sri Rama, Devi Chandi, devotee Sulochana and many others attained liberation by taking a dip in this tank. It is surrounded on all sides by 16 beautiful meditation halls which were built in the year 1542. Sri Rama on his way to Lanka came here and worshipped Lord Kasi Viswanatha in this temple. This temple contains marvelous sculptures. A Single block of stone in the Navaratri hall is inscribed with all the 27 stars and 12 zodiac signs which is unique.
The famous temple in Kumbakonam is Adi kumbeswarer temple. In this place the sacred Amutha Kumbam has its resting for sacred rise. Because of this, this place is named as Kudamooku and in due course Kumbakonam and then Kudanthai. The temple situate in the midst of the populated area of residence and business attracts large gathering of devotees every day. The structure of building is monumental and carries the glory of historical period. The temple is beautiful in structure and of art. The Rajagopuram is fantastic and is rich in structure and height. There are 3 prakaram in and around the temple of course three Gopuram for each prakaram. In the east side Amman temple is located and the deity is Mangalambigai. The main idols of the temple are Adi Kumbeswarar, Sri Mangala Nayaki, Lord Ganapati & Lord Muruga (Karthikeya) and Kiratamurti. The unique feature of this temple is the 27 star sign and 12 sun shines that are sculptured in a large block of stone. The other major parts of the temple are Marriage hall and Mangala Theertham.
The Linga is broad at the bottom and narrows at the top in the shape of a needle. There is a Nadaswaram (a musical instrument) made of stone which is well maintained. A lion carrying some stones on head in the front hall of the temple stands as an example of the Tamil sculpture art.
When the world was facing destruction due to the devastating tsunami, Lord Brahmma approached Lord Shiva to know wherefrom He had to restart creation. Lord Shiva suggested that Brahmma make a magic pot with the sand collected from various sacred places and float it in the flood water and also taught the procedure of leaving it on the water. The pot stopped at a place. Lord Shiva shot an arrow on the pot. The nectar spilled and spread on all directions. That nectar mixed with the sand and became a Linga. This Linga is Kumbeswarar.
When it was time for the destruction of this world a huge Pralaya came up. In order to save the vedha's Amirtham (Tamil language) and tools necessary to create lives on earth, Lord Brahma collected all these things and put them in a mud pot and kept the pot safety on the top of the Mount Meru (mythology).
Pralaya kalam (ie) the period of non stop heavy rain came and the pot of Brahma was washed away by the flood. In due course moving in the south direction it came to halt at a particular place. Then for the wish of all Devar's (ie) heavenly people Lord Shiva broke the pot with an arrow. Immediately Amudham (ie) the liquid given eternity flowed from the pot and formed two tanks. One is known as Mahamaha kulam and the other is Potramarai kulam. The remains of the pot and Amudham joined together to form Lord Kumbeswarar otherwise called (Shiva) in the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple. In the name of the broken pot (ie) Kumbam (Tamil language) that place was called Kumbakonam. The city of Kumbakonam, is linked to several instances & puranas in the Hindu mythology. Mythological legend has it that there was a deluge after the Dwapara Yugam; a pot of nectar and the seeds of creation were placed in a pot (kudam) and set adrift in the deluge. The drifting pot settled at Kumbakonam giving its ancient name Kudamookku. Kumbakonam is also colloquially known as Kudanthai,
It is considered that post deluge and just before the advent of Kaliyuga the celestial pot that contained the nectar came to rest here. Lord Shiva disguised as a hunter, shot an arrow at the pot that was held by Lord Brahma and broke it. Its contents spilled all over resulting in the revival of life. Kumbham means the pot and Konam means crooked. The place where the nectar fell is known as the Mahamaham tank. The temple belongs to the 7th century and has been expanded by Nayaks during the 15-17th century. The temple is the largest Shiva temple of Kumbakonam. It has a 9-storeyed rajagopuram and three concentric compounds, elongated along an east-west axis have triple set of gopurams.
Deity Kumbeswarar is in the form a lingam. It is believed that it was made by Shiva himself when he mixed nectar of immortality and sand. Manthrapeeteswari Mangalambika is his consort and her shrine is kept parallel to the left of Kumbeswarar shrine. The temple has a colonnaded hall as well as sacred vehicles which carried deities during festival processions. Navarathiri Mandapam has 27 stars and 12 rasis carved in a single block. Subramanya idol have six hands instead of 12, stone nagaswarams and Kiratamurti.
There are six major Shiva temples in Kumbakonam, all related to the pot of nectar shattered by Shiva as Kiratamurthy. They are:
1. Adi Kumbeswarar – the pot of nectar itself,
2. Nageswarar – the bilva leaf in the pot fell here,
3. Someswarar – the thread tying the pot (also known as Kudanthai Kaaronam)
4. Abimugeswarar – the coconut in the pot,
5. Gautameswarar – the sacred thread (also called Yagnopaveeteswarar), and
6. Bana Pureeswarar – it was here that Shiva broke the pot with an arrow (Baanam).
Location: This temple is located 06 Kms from Kumbakonam near Swamimalai (one of the 6 abodes of Lord Murugan). It is about 01 Km from Swamimalai. One can also reach Tiruvalanchuzhi via Dharasuram.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Sri Tiru Valanchuzhi Nathar Temple,
Pin code: 612 703.
Phone: +91 435 2454421 and +91 435 2454026.