Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Aadi Kumbeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||MangaLambikai|
|Deity:||Siva||Historical name:||Tirukkudazhukku / Kudamukku|
|Vriksham:||Vanni||Teertham:||Aadi Vinayakar Teertham|
|Agamam:||Age (years):||Timing:||6 to 12.30 & 4 to 9.30||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
Kumbakonam Sapta Sthanam, Mahamaham festival, Story of Kumbakonam
|City / town:||Kumbakonam||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Kumbakonam (3 km)||Mayiladuthurai (40 km)|
|Thanjavur (40 km)||Tiruvarur (43 km)|
The temple is located in the heart of Kumbakonam. Kumbakonam is about 40km from Thanjavur and 99km from Tiruchirappalli.
Sthala puranam and temple information
This is one of 12 temples directly associated with the origin of Kumbakonam and the Mahamaham festival. According to that puranam, Brahma put together the seeds of all living organisms and also the Vedas and Puranas, in a pot which came to be called the Amrita Kalasam (pot of nectar). Kumbham is the Sanskrit and Kudam the Tamil, for a pot of this type. This was decorated with various items like flowers, vilvam, auspicious cloth, chandanam (sandal paste), and sacred thread, a coconut was kept on top of it. The whole thing was tied together, similar to the kalasams we see today at domestic functions and in temples. The pot was kept on the top of mount Meru. When the pralayam began, it destroyed all creatures on earth. The Kumbham prepared by Brahma was also displaced, and floated on the flood waters for years and years. Finally, it settled at a spot (which is regarded as modern day Kumbakonam). Siva, in the guise of a hunter, broke open the kumbham with his bow and arrow (banam, in Sanskrit). This temple’s location is believed to be the place where the kumbham came to rest. (Read the full story of the origin of Kumbakonam, and about the related Mahamaham festival.)
This is considered the oldest temple in Kumbakonam, and certainly the oldest Kumbeswarar temple, and hence the Lord is also called Aadi Kumbeswarar.
The nectar out of the kumbham fell in two places (the Mahamaham tank, and Portamarai tank which is located between this temple and the Sarngapani temple.) The temple and the Mahamaham tank are the centre of the town around which the entire town lives and breathes.
The Kumbakonam Masi Magham is a very popular festival conducted every 12 years. It is believed that all the sacred rivers of our land – the Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Narmada, Saraswati, Kaveri, Kumari, Sarayu and Bayodhini – come to take a dip in the Mahamaham tank on that day of the festival, to wash off the sins gathered by them from the devotees bathing in them.
To obtain the divine mango fruit from Lord Siva and Parvati, Vinayakar went around them saying the parents are the world for everyone. To depict this, both Siva and Parvati shrines are within the same campus unlike other temples. The lingam of the main deity is broad at the base and becomes sharper at the top.
The temple was built by the Chola dynasty in the 7th century and later expanded by Tanjore Nayaks in the 16th century.
One unique feature of the temple is the Navaratri mandapam where all the 27 stars and 12 grahas are depicted.
Vinayakar here is called Aadi Vinayakar as he came here ahead of Lord Siva and Parvati.
It is said that Lord Siva gave 36 crore mantras to Parvati, just as he gave one half of himself as Ardhanareeswarar. The Goddess already possessed 36 crore mantras, and so, put together she was endowed with 72 crore mantras. She is called Mantra Peeteswari and wears a yellow sari with turmeric on her body and kumkumam on her face.
Murka Nayanar is said to have attained mukti in Kumbakonam, at this temple.
This temple is one of the 7 Kumbakonam sapta sthanam temples (not to be confused with Tiruvaiyaru Sapta Sthanam temples). The others are Amritakadeswarar, Sakkottai; Koteeswarar, Kottaiyur, Thanjavur, Kapardeeswarar, Tiruvalanchuzhi, Thanjavur, Kailasanathar, Melacavery, Thanjavur, Atmanathar, Darasuram, Thanjavur, and Sundareswarar, Swamimalai.
This temple is also one of the 12 temples associated with the Kumbakonam Mahamaham festival.
Other information for your visit
Kumbakonam is a temple town, and there are a number of temples in and around Kumbakonam. Please visit the pages on Kumbakonam, Near: Kumbakonam, and Near 25: Kumbakonam, for more information on these.
Kumbakonam and its outskirts have several accommodation options for all budgets, including some resorts.