Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Koneswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Periyanayaki, Brahannayaki|
|Timing:||6 to 12 & 4 to 8||Parikaram:|
|Temple group:||Paadal Petra Sthalam (Kaveri Then Karai)||–|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Kudavasal||District:||Tiruvarur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Kumbakonam (18.2 km)||Tiruvarur (22.3 km)|
|Mayiladuthurai (38.3 km)||Thanjavur (47.9 km)|
Kudavasal is located almost midway between Kumbakonam (18km) and Tiruvarur (20 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 mouth of the kudam / kumbham rested at this place, and so the place gets the name Kuda-vasal or Kuda-vayil (both meaning the same – mouth of the pot). (Read the full story of the origin of Kumbakonam, and about the related Mahamaham festival.)
Every piece of the kumbham that landed on earth, became a Swambhu murti Siva Lingam. One piece fell here as well, and over time, was covered by an anthill.
Lord Siva is said to have come out of a pot (kudam) to cure the leprosy of Sage Deenabandhu, here.
According to another legend, in order to release his mother, Vinata, from bondage, Garuda got some nectar in a pot. Kadru wanted to stop the nectar from reaching Vinata, so she roused an asura to fight Garuda, who placed the pot on an anthill, before commencing the fight. After the fight was over, the victorious Garuda noted that the pot had gone into the anthill, and so he broke the anthill – only to find Lord Siva in the form of a Swambhu murti inside. He prayed to Siva and narrated his mother’s plight to the Lord, and with His blessings, was able to rescue Vinata. Garuda then built a temple here for Siva. Garuda praying to Lord Siva is depicted in the sculptures on the temple wall.
A drop of the nectar fell here and became the temple tank, so on the day of Mahamaham, it is considered sacred to bathe at this temple’s tank.
This temple has some unique features. Though a west-facing temple, due to it being a maadakoil, the entrance to the garbhagriham is through steps on the southern side. Therefore, devotees will have to nearly complete one full pradakshinam of the temple at ground level, in order to reach the sanctum. Also, the avudai is square, which is unusual for temples in this region.
There are several different shrines here for Vinayakar, who is worshipped here as Siddhi Vinayakar, Anumati Vinayakar, Maalai Vazhipaadu Vinayakar and Adigaja Vinayakar.
Some of the older names of this place are Garudathiri (due to the association with Garuda) and Vanmikaachalam (due to the anthill connection). The temple features two different Bhairavar murtis, and interestingly, one of them is depicted without the dog vahanam. While the temple has a flat gopuram, the suthai sculptures on the vimanam as well as other sculptures in the temple depict various events from the puranams.
Other information for your visit
Chandrasekhar Gurukkal: 94439 59839