Basic information about the temple
|Moolavar:||Gomukteeswarar||Ambal / Thayar:||Mangalambika|
|Timing:||to & to||Parikaram:|
|Sung by:||Temple set:|
|City / town:||Govandakudi||District:||Thanjavur|
|Maps from (click):||Current location||Kumbakonam (9 km)||Thanjavur (32 km)|
|Tiruvarur (43 km)||Ariyalur (47 km)|
Sthala puranam and temple information
Govindakudi is located on the road from Kumbakonam to Avoor.
Sage Vasishta was on a pilgrimage in the south of Bharat, and wanted to visit as may Siva temples as possible. When he came here, he wished to offer abhishekam, and prayed to Siva to help him out. In response, Siva sent Kamadhenu over, to provide the milk for the abhishekam. The sage crafted and installed a Lingam, to which he completed his worship and abhishekam. Kamadhenu provided milk for the abhishekam, and also installed a separate Lingam as a mark of gratitude for allowing her to help the great sage.
Kamadhenu being a cow (go, in Sanskrit), came here, and so the place was called Go-vanda-kudi. Over time, this has corrupted to Govindakudi. This entire region is made up of places named with respect to cows. Patteeswaram refers to Kamadhenu’s daughter Patti; Avoor refers to the land of cows (aa in Tamil means cow); and Oothukadu refers to Kamadhenu pouring (oothu in Tamil) milk.
The temple is administered by the Appakutti Iyer Dharma Sthapanam, and is complete in all respects as a Siva temple, including a north-facing shrine for Soolini Durga at the entrance, in front of the temple’s gopuram.
Going by the architecture and sculptures here, the core temple seems to be from the Chola period, while the rest of the structural temple is relatively more modern, perhaps from the Nayak period.
There is a dhwajasthambam at the entrance, followed by a Nandi. A beautiful Vinayakar is in a separate shrine outside the garbhagriham, whose entrance is flanked by two dwarapalakas.
The temple has a single prakaram, but houses all the deities one sees normally, both in the koshtams and the parivara devata shrines in the prakaram. These include Narthana Vinayakar, Dakshinamurti, Lingodhbhavar, Brahma and Durga in the koshtams. As is custom, Dakshinamurti’s koshtam shrine is has its own vimanam.
In the prakaram, there are shrines for Rettai Vinayakar, Murugan and his consorts, as well as a mandapam that houses three Lingams – Kasi Viswanathar, the Lingam installed and worshipped by Sage Vasishta, and the one installed by Kamadhenu. There is a separate shrine for Chandikeswarar as well.