Rajendra Chola-I (1012-1044 A.D) son of the Great Rajaraja-I (who established Tanjore “Big Temple” 985-1012 A.D), Madurantakan or Rajendra Chola is established this temple in between 1020 to 1029 A.D for their main deity shiva (Brihadeeswarar). This place is the capital of Cholas after they moved from Tanjore. He has the other name “Gangaikonda Chola” and named the capital as “Gangaikondacholapuram“. More details in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangaikonda_Cholapuram).
Main Tower (Gopuram) and Nandi (Big Bull)
The temple entrance is facing east. The main tower is built in such a way that, the shadow never falls on the ground at any time of the day. In evenings, the sun shines on the face of Big Nandi and the light is reflected inside the temple on the main deity (Shiva) inside the sanctum. This golden light brighten up the temple inside. This is so amazing. Even after switching off all the tube lights, with the reflection from nandhi, you can see the main deity clearly. This is a rare sighting.
The Nandhi statue is 11 feet in height and 15 feet length. The height of the main tower is close to 182 feet or 55m. The size of the Lingam is very huge and it seems they make rice using 100 rice bags and perform “Rice Abhishekam” or “Annabhishekam”. This is one of the famous festivals held here. This temple complex is in 6 acres of land. This vimana is Octagonal(8) sided where Tanjore is Quadragonal(4) sided. The main deity is Peruvudaiyar. The whole temple is full of rich and intricate carvings.
Singa muga kinaru or Simhakeni (Well):
There is a well with the big lion statue and it is the entrance to the steps of the well. This is also called “Singa muga kinaru” (or) Simhakeni. This sacred water has been used only for temple abhishekam.
Stay and Food:
There are plenty of options in Kumbakonam and Thanjavur and don’t forget to try “Kumbakonam Degree Coffee” which is famous here.
Distance and Route Details:
From Kumbakonam – 35Kms
From Thanjavur (Tanjore) – 72Kms
Route: On the Kumbakonam to Chennai Road. Available SETC Buses, TNSTC Buses and Private vehicles.
Nearest Air port: Trichy or Trichirappalli, Tamil Nadu
Nearest Railway station: Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu
Temple Timings: Opening hours: 6 am till 12 pm and 4 pm till 8 pm (Maintained by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India)
Kala Sandhi (Morning Pooja) 9:00 AM
Uchi Kalam (Mid Noon Pooja) 12:00 PM
Sayaratchai (Evening Pooja) 6:00 PM
Artha Jamam (Night Pooja) 8:00 PM
Kumbakonam called as a “Temple Town” in Tamilnadu. So you can travel many temples nearby and see the Arts and Culture of those temples.
1. Darasuram Temple – Famous for Airavatheeswara (Shiva) – The protector or the elephant “Ayiravatam”
2. Thanjavur / Tanjore Temple – Brihadeeswarar Temple
3. Patteeswaram Temple – Famous for its Shiva and Durga (Shiva wife)
4. Thiruvaiyaru – Known as Dakshina Kailasam (Southern abode of Shiva)
5. Poondi Madha Basilica – Catholic pilgrimage centre near Thiruvaiyaru
6. Kumbakonam Temples:
Adi Kumbeswarar Temple – Shiva Lingam
Ramaswamy Temple – Worship of Vishnu.
Sarangapani Temple – Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu
Chakrapani Temple – Vishnu Temple
Nageswaraswamy Temple – Dedicated to Lord Shiva
Someshwaran Temple – Shiva Temple
Mahamaham tank and Kasiviswanathar Temple – Worship of Shiva..
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