Temples around Kumbakonam
When I started making a directory of temples in and around Kumbakonam I knew it’s like disturbing the hornets nest but then I wanted to do it desperately since people visit Kumbakonam only for the Navagraha temples and a few other important temples in and around, whereas the region holds most sacred temples for every half km on an average. There are specialised temples for every known human problems of today. Many of the temples are in good conditions and many without even oil for lamp. Only if more people start to visit these areas, these temples will get some refresh. So many months back I made a start and completed the list of temples around Kumbakonam only now (still I am working on the directory within city). There will be plenty of more temples which I don’t know / didn’t list out and as usual, readers may please comment with some useful unlisted information and corrections for the sake of everyone.
Legend of Kumbakonam:
At the end of every yuga, the destruction of all the living beings in the earth through flood takes place and this is called Pralayam. Lord Shiva arranged to put the sample of seeds of living organisms in a pot (Kumbham or Kudam) filled with amirtham (nectar) and keep it atop Kailash (as a backup in safe vault!). When the Brahma pralayam started, it killed all living creatures on the earth. The flood water level rose so high that it got the pot kept in Kailash floating for years. Eventually when the pralayam stopped, the pot settled in Kumbakonam (got its name since the Kumbham settled here). Then Shiva took the form of a Hunter and split opened the pot with his arrow. The life on earth started flourishing again.
So, this is the place from where the life on earth restarted after the pralayam.
Significance of Kumbakonam:
There is a popular saying in Sanskrit noting Kumbakonam as more sacred than Varanasi (Kasi). A sin committed at some ordinary place is washed off by a visit to a holy place; a sin done in a sacred spot is washed off by going on a pilgrimage to Varanasi; if one dares to commit a sin in that sacred city too, that sin is wiped off at Kumbakonam; and any sinful act done at Kumbakonam is washed off there itself.
Since the no of temples is too high, I have put the list into two.
Around Kumbakonam – 1 (this page):
Kumbakonam – Papanasam (Tanjore)
Kumbakonam – Innambur – Thiruppurambiyam
Swamimalai – Thiru Aadhanoor – Thiruvaikavoor
Kumbakonam – Swamimalai – Ganapathy Agraharam (Thiruvaiyaru)
Kumbakonam – Valangaiman – Needamangalam (Mannargudi)
Around Kumbakonam – 2:
Kumbakonam – Thiruppananthal (Anaikkarai / Chennai)
Kumbakonam – Aduthurai (Mayiladuthurai)
Kumbakonam – Thiruneelakkdi (Kollumangudi – Peralam – Karaikal)
Kumbakonam – Nachiarkoil – Thirucherai (Kodavasal –Thiruvarur)
Last Updated: 21st Dec 2012
Vaishnava Nava Graha Temples in Kumbakonam
The Shaiva Navagraha temples of Kumbakonam are highly popular but it may not be known to many that there are Vaishnava Navagraha sthalams are also there around Kumbakonam and they are:
- Sun (Suryan) : Sri Sarangapani temple (Thirukudanthai-Kumbakonam)
- Moon (Chandran): Sri Naadan Kovil (Thirunandipura vinnagaram)
- Mars (Sevvai): Nachiyaar Kovil (Thirunaraiyur)
- Mercury (Budan): Valvil Ramar Kovil (Thirupullamboothangudi)
- Jupiter(Guru): Andallakummaiyyan (Thiruaadhanoor)
- Venus (Shukran): Valvil Ramar kovil (Thiruvelliyankudi)
- Saturn (Sani) : Oppiliappan Kovil (Thiruvinnagaram)
- Dragon’s tail (Rahu): Gajendra Varadan kovil (Thirukavithalam)
- Dragon’s head (Kethu): Jagat Rakshakan kovil (Thirukudaloor)
- Mandi : Saranathan Kovil (Thirucherai)
Kumbakonam is a temple town like Kanchipuram and this page gives a comprehensive list of temples.
Apart from the temples, some of the other religious places not to be missed are:
Raja Veda Kavya Padasala
A 450+ years old Veda Padasala located at Kamakshi Jyoshiar street.
Moola Brindavana Shri Vijayendra Teertharu
Located at Solaippan street, this is the Moola Brindavan of Shri Vijayeendra Theerthar, the Parama Guru (Guru of Guru) of Shri Raghavendra Theerthar. Sri Raghavendhra Theerthar spent a significant part of his early years here. Make sure you visit the sacred seating where he used to sit and learn scriptures.
Kumbakonam – Papanasam (Tanjore)
Dharasuram Iravadheeswarar Shiva temple
Distance: 3 kms from Kumbakonam
Main Deity: Iravadeeswarar with Dhaivanayaki amman
Theertham: Brahma theertham
Sthala Vruksham: Padari
The temple is a sculptural gallery and a recognised UNESCO World Heritage monument.
Iravatham, the white coloured elephant of Indhran, lost its white colour due to a curse of Sage Dhurvasar. It prayed Shiva of this place and got its colour back. So the name of Shiva here is Iravadheeswarar.
An asura named Thara worshipped Shiva here along with his 100 wives and so the name Tharasuram.
Built by Raja Raja Chola II, this is one of the four temples along with Tanjore Brahadheeswarar (Raja Raja Chola), Gangai konda Cholapuram (Rajendhra Chola) and Thirubhuvanam (Klothunga Chola III), which are built by the four Chola kings as a show of their kingdom’s artistic and architectural skill. This temple is more popular for architectural and sculptural work than worship and diviinity.
The temple is full of intricate sculptural works carved all over without leaving even an inch of empty space. It will take many hours to completely see the sculptural works. The main mantapa is called Raja Gambira as the elephant draws the chariot. A mantapa has been specially built for Lord Sarabheshwara. There are musical steps. There are many miniature carvings in the size of match stick.
The name Patteeswaram was derived from the daughter of the Divine Cow Kamadenu PATTI who worshipped the lord here.
Distance: 6 kms from Kumbakonam, very near Dharasuram.
a) SCN023 – Dhenupureeswarar Temple
Main Deity: Swayambu linga known as Patteeswarar, Denupureeswarar with Amman Jnanambikai Palvalai Nayaki
Sthala Vruksham: Vanni
One of the 276 Thevara Padal petra sthalams; This was once the capital of Chola King in the name Pazhayarai.
- The Koti Theertham well in the temple is said to have been created by Rama and is considered to be equivalent to Dhanushkoti.
- Shiva is said to have created a roof lined with pearls (muthu pandhal) in order to protect Sambandar from the scorching summer sun. He is said to have requested Nandi to shift aside, in order to be able to see beautiful sight of Sambahandhar arriving through the peral roof. This is a Pancha Nandhi kshetram and all the 5 nandhis are shifted aside.
- Rama’s worshipping of Siva seeking pardon for the sin of having slained Vaali is commemorated each year during the Tamil month of Margazhi
- Markandeya and Viswamitra worshiped in this place
This is a typical big Chola temple with lots of beautiful and intrinsic sculptures, pillars and mandapams. Spread over 4.4 acre area with 4 Rajagopurams on four directions and 3 praharams
b) Durgai Temple
A Vishnu Durgai amman shrine, as an annexe to the Dhenupureeswarar temple is nowadays highly (more) popular as a separate temple of its own.
The Chola kings including the Great Rajaraja Chola were staunch devotees of Durga Devi. She was the protecting deity of the Cholas from the northern side of their palaces. Lord Vinayaka, Lord Muruga and Lord Bhairava were also protecting the kings from other entrances. After the end of the Chola regime, the Durga is installed in Thirupatteeswaram temple (Some say, the Kali at Udayalur village nearby is the original Devi temple of Cholas).
The Goddess here is known by many names such as Vishnu durga, Durga lakshmi, Navasakthi Nayaki, Navayoga Nayaki, Navagraha Nayaki, Navaratri Nayaki, Navakoti Nayaki, to name a few. Unlike in other temples, the Durga here is very soft in look and grace (Shanta Swarupi). the Gooddess appears in a Tribanga stature, eight hands, three eyes and jewels in the ears. Generally, the Lion carrying Kali would be looking on the right side. But the Shanta Swarupi Durga’s Lion here faces the left side. She holds conch, wheel (Vishnu Durga), bow, arrow, sword, shield and a parrot.
The Navakoti archana is popular here.
c) SCN022 – Thiru Sakthi Mutram Shiva temple
Distance: 6 kms from Kumbakonam; next street to Patteeswaram Durgai/Dhenupureeswarar temple
Main Deity: Sivakozhundheeswarar with Periyanayakai amman
Theertham: Soola theertham
Significance: One of the 276 Thevara Padal petra sthalams
Parvathi devi did penance standing in one leg and the Lord appeared as a huge column of fire (Jyotiswaroopam) in front of her. Knowing that the Jyotiswaroopam is nothing but the Lord Himself, she embraced Him and hence the names Sivakkozhundeeswarar and Sakthi Mutham.
This place was once called as Rajarajapuram.
- Sthala Vinayagar is Vallaba Vinayagar
- A separate shrine of Parvathi devi penancing in one leg and embracing Shiva in linga roopam is in front of the main shrine. This shrine is very special for marriage prayers. The main lingam has the traces of agni in it.
- The shrines for Natarajar and the Sarabeswarar are of importance here.
- Thirunavakkuarasar was asked by Shiva to go to nearby Nallur to get deeksha from Him.
- Sekkizhar has mentioned about Shiva of this place in his book Periya puranam.
The region of Patteeswaram, ThiruSakthiMutram, Muzhaiyur was called Pazhayarai and was the ancient capital of Cholas before Tanjore. Raja Raja Chola I was brought up here. Even after cholas moved their capital to Tanjore, they lived here. There are 4 temples around Pazhayarai (Patteeswaram) in each directions. Vada thali (North), Then thali (South), Keezh thali (East) and Mel thali (West). The palace of Cholas in CholarMalihai (Mailhai meaning palace) village near Patteeswaram is in ruins and there is only a mud mound now. Also, the samadhi of Raja Raja Chola is said to be in Udayalur nearby in a private property without any big monument but there is also a controversy about the authenticity of it.
Pancha krosha sthalams
Keezh Pazhayarai, Thirunallur, Thiruvalanchuzhi, Patteswaram, ThiruSakthimutram and Avoor are called Panch korsha sthalams. It is considered very sacred to worship all these 5 places on a single day during Dakshinayanam.
a) SCN024 – Keezh pazhayarai Vada thali
Distance: 12 kms from Kumbakonam and 2 kms east of Patteeswaram in the Avoor road (Actually this is east of Pazhayarai and I don’t know why this is called Vada thali. Knowledgable people may please clarify).
Main Deity: Swayambu linga known as Somanadhar with Somakalambikai
Theertham: Soma theertham.
Sthala Vruksham: Nelli (amla)
- One of the 276 Thevara Padal petra sthalams
- One of the Arunagirinadhar’s Thiruppugazh sthalams
- A mada koil built by Ko Chengat Chola
- Birth place of Amarneethi Nayanar, one of the 63 Nayanmars
- Birth place of Mangayarkkarasiyar, one of the 63 Nayanmars
- Garuda wanted to release his mother from being a slave. So he got pot full of nectar from Indhran and on his way back he was attacked by asuras. Three drops of nectar fell down in this place and they became Linga, Goddess and the Theertham. Garuda had a dip in the theertham and worshiped Shiva here. He made a pond known as Satayu theertham.
- Chandran (Moon God), Aadhi seshan worshipped here
- This temple was closed and covered under the Jain influence during ThiruNavukkarasar period and was subsequently opened and put on worship when ThiruNavukkarasar took the fasting Sathyagraha.
The temple has east facing Rajagopuram with 3 praharams
b) Parasunathar temple at Muzhaiyur (Then Thali)
A Thevara Vaipu Sthalam at East of Patteeswaram.
The main deity, Parasunathar, is a Swayambu lingam with eight stripes with Ambal Gnanambihai.
Nandhini, daughter of Kamadhenu worshipped here.
Parasuramar worshipped here to clear off the sin due to the killing of his mother.
c) Dharmapureeswarar (Vallalar) Temple at Muzhaiyur (Vada Thali)
About 100 meters from Parasunathar (Then thali) temple at Muzhaiyur
d) Keezh Thali – Details not known
e) Mel Thali or Aarai metrali
in West – Swayambu lingam Kailasanathar with ambal Sabala nayahi. Sabali,the daughter of Kamadhenu worshipped here. A thevara Vaipu thalam.
1 km north of Patteeswaram. Swayambu lingam Chandra mouleeswarar with Soundravalli. A Thevara vaipu thalam. Not sure whether this is one of the Keezh thali, Then thali
g) Sri Gopinatha Swamy Temple
Twin Anjaneyas are present here
The village also has a name Sivapadasekara mangalam obtained from the name Sivapadasekaran which is an alias of Rajarajan. It is believed the that the samadhi of the great king is also located in the village. The village was given as a gift by the king to one of his wives by name Ulagamuzhuthudayal and the village was named Ulagamuzhuthudayalur which eventually became Udayalur.
1) Selva Maha Kali Amman
Some say that this is the original Kali temple of Cholas.
2) Sri Kailasanathar Temple
3) Perumal Temple
4) Samadhi of Rajaraja Chola
This is said to be the samadhi of Raja Raja Chola in a private property without any big monument but there is also a controversy about the authenticity of it.
Sri Pushpambikai Samedha Sri Brahma Gnana pureeswar temple at Korkai
Very uniquely, the Nandi Mandapam has two nandhis side by side; one facing the Lord and the other facing the Goddess. The temple is connected with Korakka Siddhar. The temple has a big heritage and was flourishing with 7 praharams during the Cholas time!
Nadhan Koil Nandipura Vinnagaram Vishnu temple
Distance: 14 kms South West of Kumbakonam; 3 kms East of Pateeswaram near Korukkai village
Main Deity: Srinivasar in sitting posture, west facing with Shenbagavalli Thayar
Theertham: Nandhi theertham
Significances: One of the 108 Divya Desams
- Nandhi, the gate keeper of Lord Shiva, wanted to meet Lord Vishnu at Vaikuntam and entered without securing the permission of the security guards (Dwarapalakas) of Vishnu. This angered the Dwarapaalakaas who cursed the Nandi. Nandi undertook penance here as directed by Lord Shiva, got the dharshan of Lord Vishnu and relieved of curse. Hence the name Nandipura Vinnagaram. An image of Nandi can be seen on one of the walls of the temple.
- Goddess Lakshmi wanted to reside in the heart of Lord Vishnu. She undertook a penance at this place facing East. It is said that the Lord appeared before her (facing west) and accepted her wishes.
- Another version being that Vishnu, who originally faced the east, turned westward to look at King Sibi saving a bird by providing flesh from his thighs.
- Jaganadha perumal with Sword, Bow, Chakram, Sanku and Dandam in his hand.
- Sthala Vinayakar is Siddhi vinakayar
- On fridays special abishekam is performed.
- Built by the Pallava King Nandivarma, the Nathan koil is in the Shenbakaaranya Kshetram, which runs from here up to Mannargudi.
- The temple is owned and maintained by Vaanamaamalai Mutt.
- It is a belief that husband and wife misunderstandings will be solved if one visits this temple on an Ashtami day.
Temple Timing: 6:30 am – 12 noon and 4 pm – 8 pm
6 pooja services daily
Contact: Suresh Bhattachar @ 99434 42100 / SethuRama Bhattachar @ 94424 21035 (or) 0435 2417575
Manian Mr. Srinivasan 98436 08738
SCN021 – Avoor Pasupatheeswarar Temple
Location: Near Patteeswaram; Kumbakonam-Patteeswaram: 6 kms; Patteeswaram-Avoor: 4 kms
Significances: One of the 276 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
Main deity: Swayambu linga Pasupatheeswarar with two ambals Pangajavalliand Mangalambihai
Vayu God brought some mount pieces of Kailayam one of which is Avoor Pasupatheeswaram and the other is Nallur Panchavarneswarar (nearby).
Since divine cow Kamadhaneu worshipped Shiva here, the place is called Pasu(cow)-patheeswaram.
Brahma, Vishnu, Dasarathar, Saptha Rishis, Indhran, Sun, Vashistar and NavaGraha worshipped Shiva here.
Avoor presented the great Sanga Pulavargal (Ancient Vocalist) Avoor Kizhar, Avoor Moolangizhar and Perunthalai Sathanar to the world.
The temple has five majestic gopurams. This temple is a Maadakkovil built at an elevation by Ko Chengat Cholan. Once it was the fort of Chola Kingdom.
Murugan here is seen with bow and arrow as a hunter.
Sthala Vruksham: Peeple (Arasu)
Theertham: Brahma, Kamadhenu, Chandra, Agni, Poihaiyaru
Oothukkadu Sri Kalinga Nardhana Krishnan temple
It can be reached through Kumbakonam-Patteeswaram-Avoor-OOthukkadu route.
Kumbakonam-Patteeswaram: 6 kms; Patteeswaram-Avur: 4 kms; Avoor – Oothukkadu: 3 kms
Alternately, it can be reached from Thirukkarugavur near Papanasam also.
Thirukkarugavur-Oothukkadu: 7 kms
Main deity: Lord Veda Narayanar with Sridevi and Bhudevi but is more known as Kalinga Narthana Krishnar temple after the discovery of the panchaloka idol of Kalinga Narthana Perumal from the temple tank.
Considered a Vaishnavaite Navagraha Parihara Sthalam for Raghu Dosham and Sarpa Dosham (for Child Birth).
Oothukkadu is more known for the great musician Mahakavi Venkatasa Subbhayyar.
It is believed that Sage Naradha witnessed the Kalinga Narthanam that Lord Krishna performed in front of the divine cows Nandini and Patti, children of Kamadhenu and prayed to Him to remain in the village in the dance posture and bless the devotees. So did Lord Krishna also.
The panchaloka idol of Sri Kalinga Narthana Perumal discoevered from the temple tank is about 2.5 ft high. Lord Krishna, portrayed as a five-year old boy, is seen dancing with His left foot on the serpent’s head and his right leg in the air. Krishna is depicted holding the tail of the serpent with His left hand and showing Abhaya Mudra with His right hand. It is so intricately sculpted that one can insert a thin piece of paper between the Lord’s left leg and the head of the serpent. According to the temple Bhattacharya, the beauty is that the weight of the Lord’s body rests on the left hand that holds the serpent’s tail. One can also see the scars on the right leg of Lord Krishna formed due to the violent beating from Kalinga’s tail.
Mahakavi Venkatasa Subbhayyar, popularly known as Venkata Kavi, who lived in the 17th century CE spent his entire life in front of the thulasi mada composing a number of melodious songs in praise of this deity. Due to the extreme devotion of Sri Venkata Kavi to the Lord, he is believed to be a reincarnation of Sage Naradha who witnessed the Lord’s dance in the village. Some of the famous songs include “Thaye Yasodha”, “Alai Payudhe Kanna”, “Paal Vadiyum Mugam”, “Asaindadum mayil”, “Enna Punniyam” and “Aadadhu Asangadhu Va Kanna”. The starting verses of some of these songs can be found on the temple walls. It is believed that Lord Krishna appeared in person and danced to these melodies. Lord Krishna also performed the entire Kalinga Nardhanam for the pleasure of Sri Venkata Kavi.
Temple timings: 10 a.m. to 12 noon and from 5 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Special puja is performed every month on the day of Rohini, birth star of Lord Krishna.
Contact:04374-268549, Jayarama Battachariar: 94426 99355
SCN025 – Thiruvalanchuzhi Vellai Vinayagar Temple
Distance: 7 kms from Kumbakoonam en route Papanasam (Tanjore). The temple is about 100 meters away from the main road, on the road to Swamimalai.
Main Deity: Swayambu linga known as Valanchuzhi nadhar with Periyanakai amman; Valanchuzhi Vinayagar or Vellai Vinayagar
Theertham: Cauvery, Arasalaru and Jada theertham
Sthala Vruksham: Vilvam
One of 276 Thevara Padal petra sthalams
Arunagirinadhar sang Thirupugazh hymns.
The temple is known more for the Dwajasthamba Vinayahar in a separate shrine than the main deity Valanchuzhi nadhar.
This is one of the Panchakrosha sthalams along with the nearby Thirunallur, Patteswaram, Keezha Pazhayarai and Avoor. It is considered very sacred to worship all these 5 places on a single day during Dakshinayanam
- The Valanchuzhi Vinayakar or Sweta Vinayakar or Nuraippillaiyaar here is made of sea foam and is white in colour. So there is no abishekam for Him. Legend has it that the Celestial Gods (Devas) formed this image out of the sea foam that was generated when the milky ocean (Thirupparkadal) was churned by them, in their quest for the celestial nectar (Amritam). Indhra, the King of Devas is said to have had this image in his possession after gaining immortality through Amritam and during his penance at Swamimalai set the image down at Tiruvalanchuzhi after which it could not be moved and became rooted to the spot.
- Once (river) Cauvery was flowing through this place and she entered into the hole through which Aadhiseshan came out from the Badhala logam on a Shivarathri day and worshipped Shiva. So Cauvery went down till the Badhala logam. Heranda maharishi entered into the hole and brought Cauvery back to the earth. When she came out she took a turn around right side and started flowing in order to avoid the hole where she was trapped last and hence the name Valanchuzhi. There is a separate shrine for Heranda maharishi. A nearby shrine at Kottaiyur is also associated with Heranda Munivar.
- Many sages and Devas attended a yagna conducted by Durvasa maharishi and each one has installed their lingams here. There are about 20 of those lingams present in the outer praharam, some of which have square avudayar.
- Aadhiseshan is considered to worship Shiva here on every Shivarathri day.
- This is a huge temple in a sprawling 7.25 acre area with 5 mandapams.
- The front mandapam housing the Vellai Vinayagar is considered to be created by Indhran and is filled with very artistic pillars with intrinsic carvings. Around 6 feet high stone lamps and a huge grilled stone window in front of Vellai Vinayagar are of great merit.
- Ambal Brihannayaki (Periyanayaki)’s shrine is located to the right of Shiva’s shrine here.
- Murals from the Nayaka period depicting the Pradosha dance of Shiva and images of celestial nymphs display enormous detail.
- This temple is managed as a sub temple of the popular Swaminathar Temple (Subramanya) nearby.
SCN020 – Thirunallur Sri Kalyanasundareswarar temple
Distance: 5 kms east of Papanasam. In the Kumbakonam – Papanasam route, after Sundara Perumal koil, take a diversion at Uthani village for about 2 kms to Nallur.
Main deity: Swayambu linga known as Periyandeswarar, Kalyana Sundarar, Pancha varneswar, Sundara nathar, Soundara naayakar with Ambal Giri Sundari, Parvatha Sundari Kalyana Sundari, Malaiazhagi, Vanduvaazh kuzhali
Sthala Vruksham: Vilvam
Theertham: Saptha sagaram (seven seas)
- One of the 276 Thevara Padal petra sthalams
- The miracle here is colour of the deity changes its color five times during daytime as Copper, Light red, Molten gold, Emerald and Multicolor for every 2 hours and 20 minutes and so the name Panchavarneswrar. Research has been done for colour change but the reason is still unknown
- There are two lingams on a single square avudaiyar (not anywhere in the world).
- Since Lord Shiva gave Deeksha to Thirunavukkarasar by placing His feet on him, as a rare custom in a Shiva temple, the devotees are blessed by placing the sataari (Lord’s legs) on their heads as in Vishnu temples.
- Arunagirinadhar sang Thirupugazh
- It is believed that the Lingam starts from the land and ends at the top of the mount
- It said that the Jada mudi of lord Shiva is present at the back of temple, so we are not allowed to make a full round. Oblations to the manes take places here.
- The lingam has many holes across. Sage Bringi, an ardent devotee of Siva, was not ready to worship the Goddess. So he took the form of vandu (bee family) and worshipped Shiva alone by flying around Him. Hence there are small holes on the Shiva linga. Vaalakilya munivar performed thapas as vandu (beetle) in the holes and attained mukthi here.
- Kundhi devi got rid of her curse by taking a dip in the Saptha Sagar Theertham on a Masi magham day.
- Muchukundha cakravarthi who belongs to Dwaparayuga, the third yuga, has worshipped here.
- Amarneethi Nayanar, his wife and son were sanctified here
- This is a 4 acre temple with 3 praharams and 5 tier rajagopuram
- In the garbhagraha, at the back of main lingam we can see sudai sculpture of Lord Shiva and Parvathi devi together in bridal form along with Brahma and Vishnu
- There are shrines for Kailasa Ganapathi, eight lingas, sapthamathas, Kasi vinayagar, 63 Nayanmars and Natarajar
- Koshta moorthies are Dhakshnamoorthy, Sattanathar, Murugan, Mahalakshmi and Durga
- Ashtapuja Kali with 8 arms is present in the south prahaaram of this temple. According to Bujandar naadi, Sri Maha Kali who was responsible for defending this region against the invasion of Malik Kafoor is glowing with Her divine presence here. Worshipping Her on Fridays and Ashtami is believed to absolve many doshams of devotees.
- In this Shiva temple we can see Narasimha idol in the Viman
- One of the maada temples of the Chola king Kochengat
Temple Timing: 7 am to 12.30 am & 4 pm to 7 pm
Contact: Sri S Kannan(Pichai) Gurukkal at 04374 222863
Soundaraja Perumal Temple at Sundara Perumal kovil village
SCN019 – Thiruppalathurai Sri Palaivana nadha Swamy temple
Distance: 12 kms from Kumbakonam; just before Papanasam, on the Kumbakonam – Tanjore main road itself.
Main Deity: Swayambu linga known as Palaivana nadhar with Dhavalambigai or Dhavala Vennakai mangai, both east facing.
Sthala Vruksham: Paalai and Panai (Palm) tree
Theertham: Indra, Vashista, Yama and Cauvery
Name: Since the temple has paalai as sthala vruksham on the bank of Kudamurutti (a branch of Cauvery) river, the place is known as paalai-thurai(river bank).
One of the 276 Thevara Padal Petra sthalams
The tiger sent by the arrogant rishis of Dharukavanam is said to have been vanquished by Shiva and the skin of the tiger is the dress for Him here.
Vasishtar, Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Arjuna are said to have worshipped here.
The temple with 2 prakarams occupies an area of 3 acres with a 5 tiered Rajagopuram.
There is a world famous granary (Store House of paddy) in front of the temple with a breadth of 86 feet (26 m) and a height of 36 feet (11 m) and capacity of 3,000 Kalam (measure) constructed by Nayaks in 1600 – 1634. State Archaeological Department declared it as a protected monument.
1) 108 Shivalayam temple
Distance: 16 kms from Kumbakonam
Main Deity: Ramalinga swamy with Parvathavardhini amman
Sthala Vruksham: Villvam
Theertham: Surya theertham
- This is called Keezhai Rameswaram and possibly the only (ancient) place in the world where 108 big separate lingams are present in one place
- A Naadi jyothida parihara sthalam
- It is believed that worshipping Lord Shiva in this temple would remove all our sins and worshipping in this one temple is equivalent to worshipping in 108 temples
- It is believed that the Surya of this temple is the force behind Ramar getting the power by chanting Adhithya Hridhayam (Surya worship).
Ramar, after worshipping at Rameswaram to ward off the evil effects of killing Ravana found the Brahma Harthi dhosham was still following Him due to the killing of Karan and Dhooshan in the war. Ramar instructed Hanumar to bring one Shivalinga from Kasi. Since it got delayed, Rma and Sita themselves collected sand from nearby Kudamurutty (a branch of Cauvery) river and made 108 Shiva lingams under a vilva tree. Meanwhile, Hanuman brought the Shivalinga from Kasi also. Since Ramar got his dhosham cleared off, this place is called papa(bad karma)-vinasam(ward off).
There are 106 Shivalingas arranged equally in three rows in a separate mandapam and it is a wonderful sight to see so many lingams in one place. The presiding deity in the sanctum is Sri Ramalingaswany since it was worshipped by Sri Ramar. Hanumantha lingam, the huge lingam brought by Hanumar from Kasi is kept in a separate annexe to the temple on the southern side.
Rama blissfully granted that all the devotees should worship the 106 lingams, the main deity Ramalingeswar, the Hanumanthalingam (the108th Lingam) and finally the Ambal Parvadavarthini in that order to make the worship complete and accomplish their prayers.
We can see Bairavar, a huge 6 feet Surya bhagawan and his son Sani bhagawan – all in a separate shrine. It is believed that the Surya of this temple is the force behind Ramar getting the power by chanting Adhithya Hridhayam (Surya worship).
Vishnu durgai is present in the koshtam.
It is believed that one’s desire will become true if one circumambulate the outer praharam by 108 times.
Timings: 6 am to 12 pm and 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm
Contact: 04374 221095
Note: This is the birth place of famous Papanasam Sivan. Also, this is the birth place of Sri Sri Ravishankar of Art of Living and his house of birth is present in the South mada street of the Perumal temple.
2) Sri Pankajavalli Thayaar Sametha Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple
Located within the Papanasam town, this temple, though not a Divya desam, was visited and sung by two of the Azhwars – Nammalvar and Thirumazhisai Alwar. It is also said that the Chola King Prathapaveeran had taken a holy bath in this temple pond and got relieved from the Brahmahathi Dosha.
V. Venkatesan , Ph : 04374-222203
G. Kumar, 04374-222948 Off : 04374-222348
3) Dhamodhara Vinayagar alias Rettai Pillaiyar Temple
This is another popular temple at Papanasam where the twin Vinayagars are present.
Sri Ramalingaswamigal Madam at Vangarampettai
Note: Further on this route towards Thanjavur is covered under Thanjavur directory
Papanasam – Saliyamangalam
Sri Ranganathar Temple at Sonthamangalam
A 1100 years old temple was dismantled and renovated recently. As instructed to him, King Rajaraja Chola did daily annadhana and worshipped the Lord Sri Ranganathar here to get child and attain mukthi.
SCN018 – Thirukkarugavur Sri Garba Rakshambihai Temple
Distance: 21 kms from Kumbakonam; diversion from Papanasam towards south for 6 kms.
Main Deity: Swayambu linga known as Mullai vana nadhar (Lord of the Jasmine Garden) with Karukatha nayaki or Garba Rakshambikai
Sthala Vruksham: Mullai
Theertham: Thirupparkulam, a big and beautiful temple tank just in front of the temple; Brahma, Ksheera Gundam; Sathya koopam; Vrudha Cauvery
- One of the 276 Thevara padal petra sthalams and the significance of the temple has been explained in the Skandha puranam.
- A highly popular temple for child boon and safe delivery
- An orphan pregnant girl here was taken care of her pregnancy period by this Goddess and so is known as Karu(fetus)-katha(protector)-nayaki and the place as karu-kavoor.
- Vedhika, wife of Sage Nidhruva, conceived after many prayers. Once while the sage was away, the pregnant Vedika was deep asleep when Sage Urdhvapada came to her door asking for alms. She did not hear him and failed to respond. Sage Urdhvapada cursed her and the foetus slipped out of her womb. She prayed to the Goddess here who appeared and protected it, keeping it in a pot till it developed into a male child Naidhruvan.
- The temple occupies an area of 3 acres with east facing 5 tier Rajagopuram and 2 praharams.
- The main deity is a huge self-manifested lingam made of ant-hill mud and one can see the mark of the mullai (jasmine) creeper around it. Therefore there is no water abhisekam and worship is offered only with “Punuhu”. This Punuhu Chattam is offered by devotees who want to be cured from diseases.
- Pregnant ladies pray for safe and easy delivery of the child. Abortion or death due to pregnancy does not take place after worshipping here.
- Childless couples pray for child boon
According to Sri Manamadurai Swamigal, the couples who visit the following temples in the given order are bound to get child:
1) Ettiyathali near Aranthangi
2) Thirukkarugavur Garbarakshambigai (this temple)
3) Karuvalarcheri and
Kumbakonam – Innambur – Thiruppurambiyam
NCN045 – Innambur Shiva temple
Distance: 7 kms northwest of Kumbakonam
- One of the 276 Thevara Padal petra sthalams
- Since the Lord gave dharshan to an elephant, the lingam, the sanctum and the entrance to the sanctum are all huge. We can have the dharshan of this huge lingam from a very close proximity and it is an amazing experience – A must visit temple.
- A temple to conduct ”Vidhyapyasam” function to the kids
Main deity: Huge swayambu linga known as Ezhuthari natheswarar, Iravatheswarar, Atcharapureeswarar with amman Sugandha Kundhalambiki
Shiva preached grammar to Agastiya muni.
Iravatham (Indra’s elephant) worshipped Shiva and got blessed.
Lord appeared in human form and submitted the temple accounts to the King on behalf of a Shaiva bakthar, Suthasman. Because of this, the Lord is also called Atcharapureeswarar. So, devotees conduct ”Vidhyapyasam” function to their kids here.
The place got its name ”Ínnambur” since Surya worshipped Lord Shiva here.
There are two ambal shrines; Nithya kalyani to the right of Shiva; Sugantha kunthalambigai in the outer praharam (this is the main ambal).
Natarajar in this temple is very beautiful.
The vimanam is a huge Gajaprashta vimanam.
The rays of Sun fall on the Lord during the mornings of 13, 14 and 15th of Panguni month
Sthala vruksham: Sanbakam
Contact: N.Balasubramaniya Gurukkal @ 96558 64958
Sri Devi Boomi Devi Samedha Srinivasa Perumal Temple at Innambur
The idol of Lord Venkateswara was taken from Tirupathi to Navalpakkam, in Kanchipuram district for safe custody when the fear of Moghul invasion was haunting the minds of devotees at Tirupathi.
The ancestors of Sri.Kasturi Ranga Iyengar, the founder of “The Hindu”, who constructed this temple, secured the idol of Lord Venkateswara with His consorts for installation at Innambur.
Daily pujas are performed uninterruptedly as per Sri Vaikanasa Agamam.
NCN046 – Thiruppurambayam Sakshinadhar Shiva temple
Location: 10 kms from Kumbakonam
Main deity: Swyambu linga as Sakshinadhar with Amman Karumbanna Sollammai
Sthala vruksham: Vanni and punnai
Theertham: Brahama theertham and Manni river; Saptha Sagara Koobam
- One of the 24 important temples for Lord Dakshinamoorthy
- One of the 276 Thevara padal petra sthalams
- Arunagirinadhar sang Thiruppuazh
- Mentioned in Pattinathar’s work
- The 63rd Thiruvilaiyaadal took place here
During the Pralaya flood, Vinayagar of this temple saved the world by diverting all the seven seas into the well here, called “Saptha (seven) Sagara (sea) Koobam” which is located on the eastern bank of the temple tank outside. So the Vinayagar here is called ‘Pralayam Katha Vinayagar’. He is made of all sea products like sea foam, sea shells etc.,. No abishegam is being done to this Vinayagar on any other day except the Vinayaga Chathurthi during which He is given a honey abhisheham. The entire honey being poured during the night long abhishham is fully absorbed by the Vinayagar (The legend of Kumbakonam city is connected mainly with the Pralayam).
The 63rd Thiruvilaiyadal of Lord Shiva took place here. Rathna valli, daughter of a businessman visited the temple with her fiancee but unfortunately he died of snake bite. Sambandhar was present in the temple at that time and he sang an hymn in praise of the Lord and got back life to Rathnavalli’s fiancee. Sambandhar got them married in the presence of God as a witness. Later when Rathnavalli’s marriage was challenged, the Lord here stood as a witness for the marriage and so the Lord here is known as Sakshinadhar.
Worshipped by Agasthiar, Brahma, Sanahathy Nalvar and Viswamithrar.
Lord gave dharshan as Dhakshinamoorthy to a poor man.
The temple is surrounded by Manniyaru, Kollidam and the Cauvery.
Once this was occupied by the Pandya kings and Varaguna Pandyan built the temple in brick work. In 880 AD, the historical war that paved way for the start of Chola kingdom took place here and Adhithya Chola I converted this into a stone temple, in memory of his victory in that war.
This is one of the 24 shrines special to Dakshinamurthy and He is located in an exclusive shrine outside the temple at the southern bank of the temple tank just opposite the Rajagopuram.
Ashtabuja Durgai is present.
Apart from the separate shrine for the main ambal Karumbanna Sollammai, there is also a separate shrine for Guhambiha seen with Arumugar as a child in her lap in the form of sudai sculpture. Women worship her for child boon and safe delivery.
Swamimalai – Thiru Aadhanoor – Thiruvaigavoor
Sudharshana Chakra Anjaneyar temple at Thiru Aadhanoor
This is a small but popular temple with lots of significances. Anjaneyar is uniquely facing North directions. He is having the Navagrahas along the tail path and rounding up the 27 Rasi chakras at the end of the tail.
Thiru Aadhanur Divya Desam
Distance: Around 8 kms from Kumbakonam; Diversion from Swami malai towards north for about 3 kms en route Thiruvaigavur between Cauvery and Coloroon rivers.
Main deity: Aandalakkum Aiyan East facing Bujayanga sayanam i.e., in sleeping posture with the measure under his head as a pillow and palm leaf with pin in the left hand – a beautiful deity who stays in our memory for long.
Goddess: Kamalasini / Ranganayaki / Bhargavi Thaayar
Theertham: Surya pushkarani
- One of the 108 divya desams
- Aadanur is one of the only two divya desams (the other being Srirangam) where one finds the special Thirumana Pillar on either side of the Lord inside the sanctum.
- This temple is said to be a Parihara Sthalam for avoiding fire accidents in the house, factories and buildings; to prevent from electrical hazards and electrical shocks.
- People who have “Sevvai Dhosham” in their horoscope should visit this temple and do prayers to Lord Vishnu and Thayar with a sari and Ghee Dheepam to improve their prosperity.
This temple is referred as Aadhi Rangeswaram in the Brahmanda Puranam indicating that this shrine predates Srirangam Ranganatha temple.
Thirumangai azhwar and Lord Ranganatha:When Thirumangai azhwar was short of funds for the construction of Srirangam temple, he was asked to go to Adhanur for help. Here, he met a business man and got an empty Marakkal (a measuring bowl) from him. The business man said he was a messenger of Lord Ranganatha and that he would get what he wanted if he held the empty bowl in his hand and recited thrice the name of his favourite Lord. Thirumangai agreed and asked for wages for all those working here. The business man laid a condition. For all those who worked sincerely here, the sand would turn to Gold. For those who were lazy and insincere, the sand would remain as is. To Thirumangai’s shock, a majority of the sand that was measured with the empty bowl remained sand and did not turn to gold. Wondering who this person was, he gave him a chase (as the man had begun to leave). After a long chase, he found in front of him his very Lord providing him darshan with the Marakkal.
Brighu Maharishi: Indhra was cursed by Brighu Maharishi, when the garland Indhra got from the rishi was crushed by Indhra’s elephant, Iravadham. Indra undertook penance here and was liberated from the curse when Goddess Lakshmi, who was born here as Bhargavi, Brighu Rishi’s daughter, married Lord Vishnu and provided dharshan to him. Brighu Rishi is believed to have installed the idol.
Agni: Lord Shiva, who had Brahmahathi Dosham, looked up to Agni to liberate him from the curse. However, he only managed to pass on this Dosham to Agni too who then undertook penance here and invoked the blessing of Vishnu to get liberated from this.
Kamadhenu: Seeking presence in Vaikuntam, Kamadhenu undertook penance here. Hence, one finds the idols of Kamadhenu and daughter Nandini at this Divya Desam. Since the cow worshipped the Lord here, the place is called AAdhanoor (‘Aa’ means cow).
This place is called Bhargava Kshetram
Thiru mangaiAzawar is seen near the feet of the lord inside the Garbagraham which is unusual (normally you can see the Azhwars only outside).
Alongside are Kamadenu, Brighu Rishi and Agni (Lord of Fire)
Anjaneyar holds Sudharshana chakra with his tail on his shoulder and it appears as if he is carrying some luggage.
The temple is under the administration of Ahobila Mutt.
Temple Time: 7:30 am – 12:30 pm and 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Contact: Seshadri Bhattachar @ 0435-2441025
Ahobila Mutt Jeeyars’ Brindhavanam at Thiru Aadhanoor
Five Azagiya Singars’ brindavanams are located within hardly a km distance from the Divya Desam. The blessings of five Acharyas can be had at one time here.
Thiru Pullam Boodham Kudi Ramar Temple (Divya Desam)
Distance: 5 kms from Swamimalai; 1 km from Thiru Aadhanur en route Thiruvaigavur
Main Deity: Valvil Raman east facing bujanga sayanam (sleeping posture) with Portamaraial or Hemambujavalli
Theertham: Jhatau theertham and Kruthra theertham
- One of the 108 divya desams
- Belongs to the Ramayana period
- Many devotees are believed to have got employment after visiting Yoga Narasimhar Sannidhi at this temple, so much so that the devotees have named it the Udyoga Narasimhar.
- This is a Vaishnava Navagraha Parikara Sthalam dedicated to Budhan (Mercury)
Jatayu Moksham:This is the only Divya Desam where Rama is seen with conch and chakra in a Bala Sayanam posture after granting the eternal bliss to Jhatau. Since this relates to the period when Ramar and Sita were separated, Sita is not seen with the Moolavar deity. While performing the last rites, Raama felt the absence of Sita and Goddess Lakshmi came out of the Golden Lotus from the temple tank to stand by His side for the last rites. Hence Thaayar here is called Potraamaraiyaal.
Pithru Saabha Nivarthi:Rama, who had not been able to perform the last rites for his father as he was away in the forest, derived some consolation by performing Jatayu’s obsequies and giving moksham to the Bird. In the Ramayana, this episode is referred to as the death of the second father. It is believed that those who failed to perform last rites for their parents will get liberation from their ‘parental curse’ (Pithru Saabham Nivarthi) if they visit this temple.
Thiru Mangai Azhvaar:Thirumangai, who passed this way, found a person relaxing in a sleeping posture under the tree, and walked away mistaking him for a Kshatriya. On turning back, he found Raama in his full divine form with Conch and Disc and four hands.
Utsava vighara is Rama with four hands.
The temple is managed by Ahobila Mutt.
Temple Time: 7:30am -12:30 pm and 4 pm – 7:30 pm
Contact: Gopalan Bhattachar @ 94435 25365
1) Thyaga samudhram, the nearby village is considered to be the place where Jatayu breathed last. Thyaga meaning sacrifice.
2) There is also a Lakshmi Narasimhar temple near this Ramar temple
Koonancheri Shiva temple
Location: 1 km west of Pullamboothangudi.
Main deity: Sri Kailasanathar with two ambals – Parvathi devi facing south and Soundarya Nayahi Amman facing east
“Oonam theerkum koonancheri” is a popular phrase about this temple, i.e., any deformities in the body can be cured by sincerely praying here.
Once a saint named Thanavar who was living here, prayed for a child to Lord Shiva who responded with a message to the saint that he should take up teaching of Vedas to children. He obeyed the divine order and soon Thanavar’s wife became pregnant. Once when he was uttering a Vedic mantra, a student began to sleep for which the saint reprimanded him.The infant from the womb of his wife advised the saint not to scold the boy who out of tiredness slept without his knowledge.Thanavar got angry and cursed the foetus that it would be born with eight dimensions (ashtavakran). Since he learnt Vedas in the womb stage, the boy’s deformity was rectified after he undertook a Shiva pooja by installing eight lingams.
Ashta (8) lingams here were worshiped by Sage Ashta vakra who had Ashta (eight) vakras (deformities) in his body. He preached Ashta Vakra Geetha to the king Janaka.
On auspicious days like Ashtami, Pradosham and New Moon, if one prays offering eight different flowers, it is believed they will obtain all wealth and the desire will get fulfilled.
V.Nagaraja Gurukkal: 88838 38026 / 98431 38641 / 95859 67429
S Lakshminarayanan: 98841 26417
Thirumandangudi Sri Ranganathar Temple (Thondaradipodi Azhwar temple)
Location: Adjacent village to Koonancheri
Significances: Avathar sthalam (birth place) of Thondaradi Podi Azhwar
Thondaradipodi Azhwar wanted Sri Ranganathar to get up from his reclining posture and so composed Thirupalliyezhuchi. The Lord granted his wish and so is in a standing posture. There is also Srinivasa Perumal next to Thondaradipodi Azhwar idol in the Azhwar shrine.
Contact: Mr.Sridhar 94458 62016
Shiva Temple at Pattavarthi
NCN048 – Thiruvaigavur Shiva Temple
Distance: 15 kms from Kumbakonam and 12 kms from Papanasam.
Main Deity: Swayambu lingam known as Vilva vaneswarar with Valaikai nayaki.
Sthala Vruksham: Vilvam
Theertham: Yama theertham
One of the 276 Thevara Padal petra sthalams.
Sung by Arunagirinadhar (thiruppugazh) and Vallalar
When a hunter was chased by a lion, he climbed a tree, started plucking leaves and throwing them down one by one the whole night. The leaf incidentally was vilvam and they were falling on linga under the tree. Being a Sivarathri day, Shiva was pleased blessed and him.
All the nandhis here are facing outside unusually to encounter the lion.
No dwarabalakas are seen here.
Beautiful Arumugar (Murugan) is present.
Contact: Mr.Hariharan Iyer – 93443 30834
NCN047 – Thiruvijayamangai Shiva temple
Location: 3 kms east of Thiruvaigavur
Main deity: Swayambu lingam Visayanathar east facing with Mangalambigai
Theertham: Arjuna, Kollidam, Manniyaru
Legend: Arjunan undertook penance and got his pasupatha asthram (weapon).
Significances: One of the 276 thevara padal petra stalams
The lingam has the scar marks.
There is some confusion about which temple is Visayamangai. Some say that the temple at Govandha puthur nearby is actually Visayamangai.
Note: Sundara Perumal temple is another popular temple in this village
Kumbakonam – Swamimalai – Ganapathy Agraharam (Thiruvaiyaru)
Swamimalai Subramanya Swamy temple
Distance: 7 kms from Kumbakonam in the Kumbakonam – Thiruvaiyaru road
Main Deity: Subramanyar; Sunderaswar and Meenakshi
One of the six important temples (padai veedu) of Murugan
In this place the Son was the preceptor to his own father. Subramanya preached the meaning of pranava mantra to Lord Shiva like guru and student.
There are 60 steps to the sanctum on a hillock, each one representing the Tamil year.
Lord Subramanya is standing alone without any of His consorts.
There are shrines for Meenkshi and Sunderaseewarar, Subramanya with Valli & Devainai, Somaskander, Visalakshi Viswanadhar
Complete details of the temple are given in the following link.
Kabisthalam Vishnu Temple
Distance: 3 kms from Papanasam; 10 kms from Kumbakonam in the Kumbakonam – Thiruvaiyaru route.
Main Deity: Gajanderan Varadhan in a reclining posture facing East with Ramamani vali thayar or Potramaraiyal
Theertham: Gajandra pushkarani, Kapila theertham, Cauvery and Chakra theertham
One of 108 divya desams and also known as a Pancha Krishnaranya kshetram (5 important Krishna Kshetrams), the other four being Thiru Kannapuram, Thiru Kannamangai, Thiruvazhandur and ThiruKannangudi.
Gajendhra moksham: When the elephant king, Gajandra was caught by the crocodile while drinking water in the banks of the Cauvery river, he cried the name of Lord Vishnu for rescue. Lord Maha Vishnu, on his Garuda Vaahanam appeared and rescued Gajendra from the clutches of the Crocodile by hurling His Chakra at the crocodile and killing it.
Aanjaneyar was given the seva of Sriman Narayanan and so this sthalam is called as ‘Kabishthalam’, ‘Kabi’ meaning monkey.
In addition to showing up the form of Sri Ramar for Anjaneyar and Sri Vaikundanathan for Gajendra Alwaan, He also showed up as ‘Kannan’ at the river side. That’s the reason this kshetram being known as ‘Krishnaranya kshetram’. This is the only divya desam where the Lord gave dharshan to two animals.
Note: On the opposite side of the main road, is the temple tank / Cauvery bank where the actual Gajendhra moksham incident was supposed to have taken place.
Aaduthurai (Thirukoodalur) Divya Desam
Location: In the Kabistalam – Thiruvaiyaru route, 6 kms from Kabistalam; 20 kms from Kumbakonam; 2 kms before Ganapathy Agraharam, on the main road itself. The place is better known as Aaduthurai Perumal koil than Thirukoodalur, not to be confused with the more popular Aduthurai near Thiruvidaimarudhur.
Main Deity: Jagadhrakshan or Vayyam Kaatha perumal or Uyyanthavar in standing posture with thayar Padmasini
Theertham: Cauveri and Chakra theertham
- One of the 108 Divya desams.
- Kethu parihara sthalam of Vaishnavaite Navagraha worship.
- The temple is a purana sthalam as well as a prarthana sthalam and is known as Sangama kshetram.
- In the sthalavruksham jackfruit tree behind the main sannadhi, there is a natural formation of big conch (chanku) which got formed when it was being planned to cut down a portion of the tree for renovation purpose.
Hiranyaksha, a demon went on a destruction spree and pushed the earth into the sea. He did not spare even Brahma and the Vedas. Mahavishnu then took the Varaha (boar) Avatar and lifted the earth from the ocean with the help of His tusks. He killed Hiranyaksha and salvaged the Vedas. Since He saved the world from extinction, He is known as ‘Vaiyam Kattha Perumal’ or ‘Jagatrakshakan’.
A king by name Ambarishan was a devout Vaishnavite. In his devotion to Lord Vishnu he neglected his kingdom. As a result he lost his kingdom to the neighbouring king. Undeterred, the king continued his service to Vishnu. Once when he was in a deep state of meditation, Durvasa Maharishi came to meet him and the King did not notice the sage. Durvasa Maharishi felt insulted and so cursed him. A shaken Ambarishan prayed to Lord Vishnu seeking his help. Mahavishnu was angry with Durvasa Maharrishi and was about to apply the discus intending to cut off the Sage’s head. Before any damage could be done, the Sage realised his folly and apologised to the Lord. As a mark of gratitude, Ambarishan built a temple at the same spot where the current Aduthurai Perumal Koil is located. The Lord is also known as Ambarisha Varadar. The Lord here is seen with his discus ready to leave His hand and He is known as Prayoga Chakradari. Devotees who pray here are believed to be protected by the discus of Vishnu.
Bathing in the holy rivers, according to Hindu scriptures, washes away one’s sins. These holy rivers that accumulate the sins washed away by the people purify themselves by having a dip in the Cauvery. Cauvery who accumulated all the sins approached Brahma for a solution to the problem. Brahma directed Cauvery to pray to Lord Vishnu at this sacred place and accordingly Cauvery was purified. Praying at Aduthurai Perumal Koil is believed to absolve the devotees of all their sins and enable to attain Moksham or Salvation.
Nandhaga Munivar came to this holy place accompanied by all the Devas. Koodal in tamil means together. Since they all came together, this place came to be known as Thirukoodalur.
The original temple built by Ambarishan was washed away by floods. Mahavishnu appeared in the dream of Rani Mangammal of Madurai and asked her to build a new temple for Him. The present temple was built by her. In one of the pillars of the temple we can see the image of Rani Mangammal.
Timings: 7:30 am to 12.30 pm and 4:30 pm to 8.30 pm
Contact: Sri Venkatesa Bhattar at 04374-244279, 93452-67501, 93443-03803,
NCN049 – Vada Kurangaduthurai Shiva Temple
There are two places in the name Kurangaduthurai and they are called so since Lord Shiva in these palces were worshiped by the two monkey (Kurangu) kings of Ramayana. This place is called Vada Kurangaduthurai since it is located on the northern side of the Cauvery and worshipped by Vali. The other one, Then Kurangaduthurai, is more popular and better known as Aduthurai near Thiruvidai marudhur which is located on the South side of the Cauvery and worshipped by Sugreevan.
Location: Less than a km from Aduthurai Perumal koil en route Ganapathy Agraharam
Main deity: Swayambu lingam Azhagu Sadai mudi nathar with ambal Azhagu Sadai mudi ammai
Sthala Vruksham: Coconut
- Special temple for Pregnant women to pray
- One of the 276 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
- Natarajar who is normally seen as a metal icon in all the temples is present here with Sivahami ammai as stone sculpture
- Arunagiri nathar sang Thiruppugazh on this Murgan
- The milk during the abhisheham of Vishnu Durgai changes to blue
During a hot summer when a pregnant woman was passing with acute thirst, the Lord bent the coconut tree and arranged coconuts to quench the thirst of the woman.
Vali’s tail got cut in the Ramayana war and so he worshipped Shiva here for the growth of the tail.
Chittukurvi worshipped the Lord here.
The temple has a 5 tier Rajagopuram with 2 praharams.
Dakshinamoorthy, Vishnu Durgai with 8 hands ae very special here.
Ganapathi Agraharam Sri Maha Ganapathy temple
Location: 2 kms from Aduthurai Perumal koil enroute Thiruvaiyaru
Main Deity: Ganapathy
A highly popular and powerful Vinayaga temple.
On Vinakaya Chauthi day everyone in the town celebrate in the temple only and nobody performs puja at home.
People will get relieved of their worries by worshipping here.
Sage Agasthiyar has installed the Lord here.
Sage Gouthama is said to have prayed Lord Ganesha here to for the welfare of the world, to get rid of famine and drought.
Kumbakonam – Valangaiman – Needamangalam (Mannargudi)
SCN068 – Amirtha Kalasa nathar temple at Sakkottai (Kalayanallur)
Location: 5 kms southeast of Kumbakonam
Main deity: Amirtha Kalasa nathar with ambal Amirtha valli
Sthala Vruksham: Vanni
One of the 276 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
One of the three places associated with the legend of Pralayam connected with Kumbakonam along with Aadhi Kumbeswarar temple and the Mahamaha tank
- It is believed that the God of Creation, Brahma will go for a sleep once in a while and it will result in the destruction of all the living beings in the earth through flood and this is called Brahma pralayam. Lord Shiva arranged to put sample of seeds of living organisms in a pot (Kumbham or Kudam) filled with amirtham (nectar) and keep it atop Kailash (as a backup in safevault!). When the Brahma pralayam started, it killed all living creatures on the earth. The flood water level rose so high that it got the pot kept in Kailash floating for years. Eventually when the pralayam stopped, the pot settled in Kumbakonam (got its name since the Kumbham settled here). Then Shiva took the form of a Hunter and split opened the pot with his arrow. The life on earth started flourishing again.
There are 3 important places associated with this great legend and they are:
1) The place where the pot settled is Kalayanallur (the legendary name of Sakkottai) and the deities are called Lord Amirtha Kalasa nathar and ambal Amirtha valli.
2) Aadhi (meaning very first or beginning) Kumbeswarar temple within Kumbakonam city is connected with the legend of Shiva taking the form of a hunter and breaking open the pot.
3) Upon breaking open the pot, the seeds and the amirtham poured out into the famous Mahamaha tank within the Kumbakonam city.
- This temple is also referred to as Kottai Sivan temple, attributing to the belief that the temple was surrounded by a fortress (but now this is a small temple). Given the Sakya (Budhist) population that surrounded this area once, this shrine was also known as Sakya Kottai which is now known as Sakkottai.
This is a small temple, a single prakaram with a tank adjacent to it.
Contact: Anand Gurukal: 97882 02923
SCN069 – Marudhanallur (Thiru Karukkudi) Shiva Temple
Location: 8 kms southeast of Kumbakonam
Main deity: Swayambu lingam Sargunalingeswarar, Karukkudi nadhar with Sarvalankara Ambikai, both east facing in marriage posture.
Theertham: Yama theertham
Significances: One of the 276 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
Rama sent Hanumar to bring one Shivalinga from Kasi but since it got delayed, Ramar Himself made a Shivalingam out of river sand. The lingam brought by Hanumar is present as Hanumantha lingam separately (Similar Hanumantha lingam is also available at Papanasam 108 Shivalaya).
Brahma, Ramar and King Sargunan worshipped Shiva of this temple
Linga is of mud and small in size, about half feet height Avudayar. Impressions of hands while making the linga are visible on the linga.
Marudhanallur Satguru swamigal mutt
This is located near the Shiva temple
Karuvalarcheri Shiva Temple
Location: 12 kms from Kumbakonam en route Valangaiman; 2 kms east of Marudhanallur
Main deity: Swayambu lingam, Lord Agastheesvarar with ambal Sri Akilandeswari
This is a popular and powerful prarthana sthlam for child birth. Akilandeswari ambal here is known as Karu Valarkkum Nayagi – the Goddess who blesses the growth of foetus. Thus this temple complements the famous temple of Garbha Rakshambika who is Karu Kaakkum Nayaki – the Goddess who protects the foetus.
There is no abhishekam for amman and only oil bath is given. Also only the face of the amman will be shown to the devotees on normal days and full darshan will be only on Sivarathri and all the nine days of Navarathri. All archanas are done only to the moola Sri chakra maha meru and Sri chakram.
Contact: S.Vembu Kurukkal / V.Subramaniyan Kurukkal @ 0435 2000538 / 93448 95538
Also: 0435 2430598, 98438 99924, 94438 73137
Adjacent to this temple is the temple of Lord Sri Lakshmi Narayana, making Karuvalarcheri a wonderful Siva-Vishnu sacred spot.
According to Sri Manamadhurai Swamigal, the couples who visit the following temples in the given order are bound to get child boon:
1) Ettiyathali near Aranthangi
2) Thirukkarugavur Garbarakshambigai (near Karuvalcehri)
3) Karuvalarcheri (this temple) and
1) Seshasayee Bhumi Neela Sameda Varadaraja Perumal temple
According to Agasthiyar.org, this is a Pitru Mukti Temple for ancestor salvation. The Seshampadi village and this temple are sacred places for the performance of Karunya Tharpanam. It is the tharpan ceremony wherein the well being of all beings (human, animal, bird, etc.) is prayed for without any caste, creed, religion or nationality considerations. It is a sincere expression of compassion and consideration for all beings. While Pitru Tharpanam is the tharpan ceremony offered to one’s own ancestors, Karunya Tharpanam transcends all such boundaries and covers the gamut of all beings.
This is a temple of Adi Sesha. He is the eldest brother of Vasuki, who was used to wrap around the mountain during the churning of the Milky ocean to get divine nectar. Adi Sesha, Vasuki incidentally decapitated Rahu-Ketu while they stole a sip of the Nectar/Ambrosia from Mohini. Adhi sesha accompanied Lord Vishnu in his Dashavtaar as Lakshman in Ram Avataar, as Balarama in the Krishna Avataar. Thus Adi Sesha is basically a protector, a shield, a kavach against evil. Hence the worship of the ever powerful Adi- Sesha is also a potent panacea for people undergoing the Rahu and Ketu bad times. The worship of Lord Vishnu, the Master of Adi- Sesha is also an effective panacea.
2) Naganatha Shiva temple
This temple is important for Rahu and Ketu worship.
1) Varadaraja Swami Temple
Bhoomi Neela Sameda Varadarajaswami, Rukmini Satyabhama sameda Venugopalaswami Temple.
There are shrines for Vinayagar and Anjaneyar
Festivals: Garuda Sevai, Radha Kalyanam, Koodarai Valli
Vikrama Solesvarar Temple at Thippirajapuram
Abhirami Ambika Sameda Vikrama Solesvarar.
There are shrines for Somaskandar, Natarajar, Dakshinamurthi, Pillaiyar, Subramanyar, Durgai and Navagraham.
1) Maha Mariamman Temple
This is a highly popular and powerful Mariamman temple in this region. People will be freed from fear and diseases by worshipping here. Padai Kavadi, an unusual ritual is famous here. Full details are available in the following official website.
2) Sri Kailasanathar temple
3) Sri Madhuvana Ramaswamy Temple
4) Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple
Amman is Unnamalai amman
5) Sri Thayyal nayahi amman temple
SCN097 – Swarnapureeswarar Temple at Aandan Koil
Distance: 2 kms southeast of Valangimaan; Kaduvaaikaraiputtur is the historical name
Main deity: Swayambu linga known as Swarnapureeswerar / Semponnnathar with Sornambikai / Sivasekhari / Shivambika amman
Sthala Vruksham: Vanni
Theertham: Thirisoola Gangai, Kudamurutti
One of the 276 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
Kasyapa Muni worshipped Shiva here.
King Musukunda and Kandadevar had got the dharshan of Shiva here.
Appar composed the Pathigam.
Shiva and Parvathi chose this shrine as a resort, in acknowledgement of its richness and fertility.
The Ganges appeared here.
Parvati worshipped Shiva with flowers, gold and the waters of the Ganges. Hence the name Semponnnathar.
The river Kaduvaai is now known as Kudamurutti.
The sun’s rays illuminate the sanctum of this small temple for a three-day period in the Tamil month of Chittirai
Padagachery is about 6 kms from Valangaiman. You have to proceed for about 4 kms in the Needamangalam route and then take a diversion towards west (right side) for another 2 kms to reach Padagachery.
When Seetha Devi was kidnapped by Ravana, she dropped her ornaments one by one at various places in order to show the way she was being taken to Sri Rama and Lakshmana. During that, the place where she dropped her Padagam (Golusu) is Padagachery.
1) Ramar Temple
There is a Ramar temple here with the name of the Perumal as “Kandu Ullam Maghizhntha Perumal”, meaning ‘Feeling happy after seeing (Seetha’s Padagam)’.
2) Padagachery Sri Ramalinga swamigal
Padagachery Sri Ramalinga swamigal (NOT the Vallalar Ramalinga Swamigal) is a great saint who lived (1876-1949) here. He was born in Coimbatore and stayed on here to renovate old temples and built new ones with aid from philanthropists. The significance of Sri Padagachery Swamigal was felt and put on record by none other than His Holiness Jagath Guru Sri Chandrasekarendhra Saraswathi Swamigalof Kanchi mutt.
He was known for feeding the poor and animals and he used to do Bairava Pooja. During one of his Bairava poojas, he asked to put 108 leaves first and serve food. Then from different directions, 108 dogs came, took the food and vanished. People couldn’t recognise from where they came and to where they vanished. After that only devotees took food.
The stick he had used and the Kamandalam are present in the mutt here. Outside the sanctum on the river bank stands a Rudraksham tree (beeds) and it’s a beautiful serene atmosphere.
His Samadhi is interestingly situated near Chennai Thiruvotriyur Vadivudai Amman temple (Pattinathar’s Jeeva Samadhi is also in Thiruvotriyur only)
3) Shiva Temple
There is a a Shiva temple also here.
SCN098 – Aabathsakaayeswar Temple at Alangudi (Navagraha Guru Temple)
Location: 17 kms south of Kumbakonam enroute Needamangalam (Mannargudi); 7 kms north of Needamangalam.
Main deity: Swayambu lingam as Aabatsakaayar with Goddess Sri Elavarkuzhali Ammai
Sthala Vruksham: Poolai
Theertham: Brahma Theertham
- One of the 276 Thevara Padal Petra Sthalams
- Navagraha Sthalams for Guru (planet Jupiter)
- People whose birth star is Punarvasu should visit this temple on a Punarvasu Nakshatra day and stay in the temple premises atleast for two and half hours.
- Lord Shiva is present here after consuming the deadly poison emitted during the churning of the Paarkadal (milky ocean). Hence the place is known as Alam(poision)-gudi(drink). Since the Lord came to the rescue of devas by drinking the poision, He is known as “Aabathsagayeshwarar” (One who defends from the danger).
- Lord Dakshinamurthy here is said to have preached the Devas who were swooned under the impact of the poison.
- Devas also had a horrid time by Gajamuha suran and Lord Ganesha subdued Gajamuhasuran, and hence Lord Ganesha is worshipped in this sthalam as ‘Kalangaamal kaatha Vinayagar’.
- Goddess Parvati undertook severe penance to marry Lord Siva and then married Lord Siva and hence this place is also hailed as Thirumana Mangalam.
- Lord Siva as a ferryman (boatman) helped Sundaramurthy Swamigal to cross the river Vettaru, a branch of river cauvery, 3 km away from Alangudi, which was in spate, to reach this place. The boat capsized hitting a rock, on the way. Lord Siva seated on his Rishaba Vahana helped him reach the sthala safely. Sundarar received his Gnana upadesam after his darshanam of Dakshinamurthy at this sthalam.
- Vishwamithrar, Thirumal, Brahma, Lakshmi, Garuda, Ashta Thikku Balagas, Ayyanar, Veera Badrar, Mukunda Chakravarthy, Suvasanan, Sundarar have worshipped at this sthala.
Poojas and Worship for Lord Guru:
Lord Dakshinamoorthy here is known as “Sri Guru Bhagavan” or “Brahaspati” for his excellence in education and fine arts. Thursday is auspicious to him. Yellow color garment and chick pea (konda kadalai) are offered to bring happiness to a Guru devotee. It is believed that students, in order to excel in education, can offer kondakadalai garland (chick pea is soaked in water and made as a garland) to Lord Guru. New Moon Day (Ammavasai), Full Moon Day (pournami), Guruhorai, Days falling on stars like punarpoosam, Visagam and Pooratathi are very auspicious for Sri Guru Bhagavan. Offering prayers on these days are very special.
Four worship services are offered daily.
Temple timings: 5:30 am to 12 noon and 4 pm to 8 pm.
Govindakudi – Valangaiman
Komuktheeswarar Sivan Temple Govindakudi
Location: Govindakudi is 2 kms South of Patteeswaram and 7 kms North-West of Valangaiman
Location: Chandrasekarapuram can be reached through many different routes. It is around 3.5 kms North-West of Valangaiman; around 5 kms South-East of Patteswaram through Govindakudi;
1) Shiva temple
Lord Shiva here was worshipped by Chandran, the Moon God, to get rid off his sins. So, this is considered as a good parihara sthalam for people going through chandra disha.
Said to be worshipped by 8 rishis
Mandara kshetram (meaning a tree Mandara tree churned out of Parkadal).
On full moon day the rays from moon are reflected on Lord Sivan and hence Lord name is Chandrasekaran and the place is known as Chandrasekarapuram
2) Sri Navaneetha Krishna Perumal Temple
3) Sri Kamakshi amman temple
It is said that people having Siruvachur Madhura Kaliamman temple as their kuladeivam can worship here also.
Kumbakonam – Papanasam – Kabistalam – Kumbakonam is a triangle. So you can take route of Kumbakonam – Papanasam – Kabsitalam – Ganapathy Agraharam – Kabistalam – Kumbakonam, or the reverse as per convenience.
“Thamiazhaga Sivathalangal”, a book by J.C.Murali
Sadhura Pathippagam, Somangalam, Chennai – 602109