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Kumbakonam Temples
 
History of Kumbakonam

Kumbakonam is very famous for the large number of temple and tanks has different names like kudanthai, kudamooku and Baskarashetram from times immemorial. Kumbakonam town is very famous for Mahamagam festival, which is celebrated once in every 12 years. This town has 188 temples of various historical periods.

 
In the 7 th century it was the capital of chola kings and it is located admist the two rivers cauvery and Arsalar. It is primarily a market town for the predominantly agriculture based villages surrounding it. The town was originally a religious centre. During the early period of 20 th century, the town has gained importance especially for silk and metal manufacturing activities, which supports sizable number of workers in the town. The major supplier of silk sarees to the Indian silk saree market is the Kumbakonam silk Industry only.
 
Darasuram
 

Darasuram Airavatesvara Temple is situated in the south west direction of Kumbakonam at about 3km. This temple was built by Raja raja II during 1146 1163 AD.This Temple is famous for Art and Architecture. This is one of the oldest of Chola temples. There is a separate Amman temple for Goddess Deivanayagi Amman. The main deity Linga named Airavatesvarar. The Linga was worshipped by the Devendram's elephant named Airavatham and hence the name Airavatesvarar. This Temple is renovated and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.Darasuram is a small town near Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu State in southern India . It is known for the Airavatesvara Temple built by Rajaraja Chola II in the 12 th century CE. The Temple is a storehouse of art and architecture. The vimana is 85 feet high . The temple has some exquisite stone carvings.The legend goes to show that Airvata the while elephant of Indra, worshipped lord siva in this temple, so did also the king of death, yama. Tradition has it that the presiding deity Airavateswarar cured yama himself. Who was suffereing under a Rishi's curse from a burning sensation all over the body. Yama took bath in the sacred tank and got rid of the burning sensation. Since then the tank is known as Yamateertham.

 
Swamimalai
 

The Swamimalai is one of the six (padal petra sthalangal) temples of Lord Karthikeya. It is fourth among the Padai Veedugal. The sacred story associated with this temple is that Lord Karthikeya expounds the meaning of pranavam (AUM) to His father, Lord Shiva, at this location. Hence, one can see the Lord Karthikeya depicted as Guru (teacher) and Lord Shiva listening as shishya (disciple)in the raja gopuram of the temple complex.

 

The reintiation and reassertion of the knowledge takes place after an intense debate with regards to the pranava mantram (AUM) between Lord Brahma (who is the embodiment of creationary aspect) and Lord Karthikeya, during which Lord Brahma fails to adequately convey the meaning of AUM. Hence, Lord Karthikeya suspends Lord Brahma from his duties by imprisoning him. Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakthi object and Lord Shiva asks Lord Karthikeya if He(Murugan) is aware of the meaning. In response Lord Murugan says that He is well aware of it and that He will teach Lord Shiva the meaning of the mantram if He(Lord Shiva) will take Him (Lord Murugan) as His Guru. Thus Murugan imparts this universal mantra to His fatherThe Murugan here is also known as Swaminathan and "Thagapan Swami" (literally "Father God" - referring to the fact that Murugan taught His father and hence was His father's Guru.)

 

Sarangapani

 

The Biggest temple in this city is that of Sarangapani which rises up to 150mt with 9 tiers. The Bows held by Vishnu in different aspects carry different names. There is a bow called Sarangam and the Lord who wields it is called Sarangapani, Who is housed here. Of the 108 Divya-desas, the most important is Thiruvarangam. Next comes Tirumalai and the third is this sthala.

 

The temple ia a very beautiful one with four circuits. At the back is the Golden Holy Tank. Tirumal came with his Sarangam and married Andal. It is believed that the sage built this temple for that Sarangapani and in the month of Thai, his wedding festival is conducted in a grade scale.

 

The tank is doubly sacred. It gave birth to the goddess and when the nectar pot broke some nectar fell into this tank. In TamilNadu Temple cars are famous. Out of them the most famous are those of Thiruvarur, Thiruvidaimaruthur and this temple. The car of this temple is very big and cannot easily be drawn. After 1933, the car festival has not taken place. But In 2007 the car festival of this temple was celebrated in a very big way.

 
Chakrapani
 

Chakrapani koil is near the river Cauvery. Next to Sarangapani temple this is the biggest Vaishnavite temple. Chakrapani is the weapon (Discus) wielded by Vishnu. Chakra (The Wheel) is a very sacres one to Hindus. The Vedas declare that the immeasurable universe is a wheel. The Pralaya (deluge) is the uprising in fury of the waters that assume the shape of a wheel, because of its churning. Its was called jalormi Chakram. Vishnu wields the Chakra to uphold righteousness. What other symbol can signify the Supreme being better than the wheel which has no beginning or end.

 
Oppiliappan
 
Oppiliappan, also known as Thiru Vinnagar is a very sacred place, where boons are granted to devotees. The legend of this sthala is found in Brahmanda purana in Sankrit. This place is about 12 kms from Paradise Resort. This pilgrim centre bears many names such us Akasa Nagaram, Vaikunta Nagaram, Thiru Vinnagar, Oppiliappan sannadhi, etc. One deity of this place is known as Thiru Vinnagarapan, Oppiliappan, Srinivasan, Venkatachalapathi etc. and the goddess is called Bhumi Devi, Bhumi Nachiar, Tharani Devi And VasundaraiIt is said that this deity gave darshan to Nammalwar in five forms Namalwar has sung praising these five forms. Further Poygai Alwar, Peyi Alwar and Thirumangai Alwar have enloguized this deity in psalms. This deity gave darshan to garuda, Kaveri, Dharma devatai, and Sage Markandeya. Three sacred rivers Dakshina Ganga, Dakshina Yamuna and Dakshina Godavari flowing in the south of the temple are now known by the names Nattru, Arisil and Kirtimanaru respectively. The river Arisil is the same that flows south of Kumbakonam. This Temple is the only one in the south to have the river Cauvery as a goddess in a sanctum.
 
Pattisvaram
 

The Cholas reigned with capitals in more than one place. Tanjore, Gangaikonda Cholapuram were their capitals for some time. But in between, a place very near Kumbakonam called Pazhayarai was also their capital. Pattisvaram was a suburb of this Pazhaiyarai, and it was also known as Mazhapadi.

 

As it was the capital of the Cholas for sometime, Historians and art lovers apart from pilgrims will find it very interesting. Pattisvaram is about 2kms from Paradise Resort. The Presding deity is Dhenupuriswarar also called Pattiswarar; and Gnanambikai also called Palvalai - Nayaki is the goddess . Patti, the daughter of the divine cow Kamadhenu worshipped here and so the place got the name Pattisvaram. The temple is fairly a big one and sports 5 big gopurams. Three prakarams surrounded the sanctum. Thirugnana Sambanda visited this shrine and composed hymns. It was a very hot day and a pearl canopy (pandal) was provided by God to protect him from the sun.

 

 


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