Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Amritakadeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Amritavalli|
|Timing:||10 to 11 & 5 to 7||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Sakkottai||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Kumbakonam (3 km)||Tiruvarur (37.4 km)|
|Mayiladuthurai (38.2 km)||Thanjavur (41.5 km)|
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. The mid-portion of the kumbham that broke open, fell here. (Read the full story of the origin of Kumbakonam, and about the related Mahamaham festival.)
This place is also known as Kalayanallur (a derivation / corruption of kalasa-nallur).
Sakiya Nayanar was born in Sangamangai near Kanchipuram and believed strongly that only Lord Siva could help him cross the ocean of life. Though he used to dress in the Sakkiar style (giving him his name), he used to pray to Lord Siva before his meals, would not eat without completing his prayer. One day when he was out in the forests, he could not locate any flowers for his worship. So he kept a stone on the Lingam instead, and the stone turned into a flower. This continued to happen every day. One day, he forgot his puja and sat down for his meal. But then he suddenly remembered what he had forgotten, and rushed to the Lord with the stones he had collected for the day’s worship. He found the stones were falling at the feet of Lord Siva at Kailasam. The Lord appeared with Parvati and blessed him. Because of this incident this place is called Sakkottai.
The temple is essentially a Chola temple, with subsequent improvements by the Nayaks. The name of the place – Sakkottai – is thought to have evolved from Sakkiar-kottai (Sakkiar refers to Buddhists, as per Samnandar’s Tevaram).
This temple is said to be approximately 1500 years old, and is connected closely with Sakiya Nayanar. The Lord here is a Swambhu murti and it is here he married Parvati as Ambika, after being please with her penance.
Brahma had prayed here to the Lord. Sundarar had sung in the praise of the Lord.
Other information for your visit
Kumbakonam and its outskirts have several accommodation options for all budgets, including some resorts.