Ramalingaswami, Papanasam, Thanjavur

Basic information about the temple

Moolavar:RamalingaswamiAmbal / Thayar:Parvatavardhini
Deity:SivaHistorical name:
Vriksham:Teertham:Surya Teertham

Age (years):


Timing:6.30 to 12.30 & 4 to 8Parikaram:

Temple group:
Sung by:

Temple set:



City / town:PapanasamDistrict:Thanjavur
Maps from (click): Current location Kumbakonam (18 km)Thanjavur (26 km)

Ariyalur (38 km)Thiruvarur (54 km)


Papanasam is located about 15km from Kumbakonam, after Swamimalai and Umayalpuram, near the south bank of the Kudamurutti river.

Sthala puranam and temple information

After rescuing Sita, Rama conducted brahmahathi dosha nivaranam pujas at Rameswaram. However he also wanted to propitiate Lord Siva for getting rid of the sins of killing Kara and Dooshana, and stopped here. He installed 107 lingams and asked Hanuman to bring one Lingam from Kasi to make the count 108. The main lingam is therefore named Ramalingaswami and the one brought by Hanuman is called Hanumanta Lingam. All the lingams including the main deity are facing west (which is considered special and powerful). The main deity in the sanctum sanctorum and 106 lingams are in an adjacent hall with Hanumanta Lingam separately outside.

It is believed that worshipping Lord Siva at this temple removes all sins (and hence, the place is called Papa-nasam). Worshipping at this one temple is equivalent to worshipping at 108 temples.

This temple is locally referred to as the 108-Lingam temple. This place is also called Keezh Rameswaram.

Suryan at this temple is considered to be the force behind the power Rama obtained by chanting Aditya Hrudayam.

This temple’s strong connection with the Ramayanam explains why Anjaneyar and Sugriva are present in the prakaram, facing each other. Both of them had their parts to play in Rama’s rescue of Sita, and are hence remembered in this way.

Uniquely, Kamdhenu also occupies a place opposite Siva along with and equal to Nandi. Agastyar prayed to Kamadhenu here as advised by Lord Siva.

The vimanam atop the garbhagriha (Ramalingaswami) is similar to the one at Ramanathaswami temple at Rameswaram. Similarly, the vimanam atop the Hanumanta Lingam is similar to the one at the Kasi Viswanathar temple at Tenkasi. Given the importance placed on worshipping the vimanam, those who are unable to visit Rameswaram or Tenkasi can instead do so here.

The Palaivananathar temple at Papanasam – a Paadal Petra Sthalam – is close by.

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 (including Swamimalai) have several accommodation options for all budgets, including some resorts.

Papanasam is the birthplace of Papanasam Sivan (Carnatic music composer and singer), and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Art of Living).



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