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Bragatheeswarar Temple
Shrine

Rajaraja Cholan, the Great Chola king built The Bragatheeswarar (Peruvudaiyar) Temple, also known as Big Temple. "In the twenty-fifth year of Rajaraja Cholan (A.D 1009-10) on the 257th day of the year the king handed over the copper pot for the finial at the top of the Vimana". It weighed about 235 lbs., and was overlaid with gold plate of the weight of 292.5 Kalanju or nearly 35 lbs. Troy.

 
Gangai konda chola puram
Shrine

Gangaikondacholapuram, now in the Udaiyarpalayam taluk of Tiruchi district, in Tamilnadu, was erected as the capital of the Cholas by Rajendra I, the son and successor of Rajaraja I, the great Chola who conquered a large area in South India at the beginning of the 11th century A.D. It occupies an important place in the history of India. As the capital of the Cholas from about 1025 A.D. for about 250 years, the city controlled the affairs of entire south India, from the Tungabhadra in the north to Ceylon in the south. The great temple of Siva at this place is next only to the great temple of Tanjore in its monumental nature and surpasses it in sculptural quality.

 
AIRATESWARA TEMPLE (DARASURAM)
Shrine

Four kilometers southwest of Kumbakonam, this temple was built by Rajendra Chola is a superb example of the 12th Century Chola architecture. Renamed after Airavata, the elephant mount of Lord Indra and who saivites believed worshipped Shiva at the temple, most of shrine is constructed out of granite. The remarkable sculptures of the temple depicting Shiva and stories from the epics make it unique. Darasuram is also a silk weaving centre.

 
SWAMIMALAI
Shrine

Four kilometer west of Kumbakonam, is one of the six abodes of Lord Muruga, standing on the banks of river Cauvery. The deity is called Swaminathan, as Lord Muruga preached the meaning of "pranava mantra" to his father Lord Shiva. This is the only temple where Lord Muruga is seen with his consort Devayani. The sixty steps to reach the shrine represent the sixty years of the Tamil Calender.

 
UPPLIAPPANKOVIL
Shrine

About 7 kilometres from Kumbakonam, Vishnu shrine and may perform their vows here. All food offerings at the temple are strictly and completely saltless. Salt or any food item containing salt is not allowed in the temple beyond Garuda's Sannidhi. It is a sin to carry salt inside the temple. Hence the Lord is also called as 'Lavana Varjita Venkatesa' i.e. Venkatesa who avoids salt.

There is no separate shrine for Bhoomidevi here and as already stated, Bhoomidevi is sitting with folded hands by the side of the Lord in the main sanctum sanctorum. The utsava deity oppiliappan is never taken out of the temple, without His consort, Bhoomidevi.

 
THIRUVIDAIMARUDUR - Mahalingaswamy Temple
Shrine

Ten kilometer north of Kumbakonam, tiruvidaimarudur temple with an imposing gopuram and huge linga enshrined in the sanctum. It is a Mahalinga sthala (Big Linga shrine) and also one of the Jothilinga sthala. There are 159 inscriptions. One of the inscriptions states that there was a theatre for enacting Dramas (Natakasala) and the artist received 1 veli (approximately 3 acre) as a gift for developing the art. Aryakoothu and Chakkaikoothu were enacted during festivals. Mud pots were used to bring water from Cauvery for Thirumanjanam (abhiseka). The temple was a centre for fostering fine arts.

 
PATEESWARAM
Shrine

The temple is located 6km away from Kumbakonam on the Kumbakonam- Aavoor road. The temple is 3 km away from Darasuram. Tirugnana Sambandar came to Thirusattimutram with Adiyars for worshipping. Then he started towards Patteeswaram. Since the Solar movement was towards the Mituna star causing oppressive heat waves, the child sambandar could not manage. The Lord sent his bhoodaganas to decorate the streets with beautiful Muthu pandal. The bhoodaganas prepared the pandal without Sambandar's knowledge. Sambandar was astonished by the reverrence of God and enjoyed the shade offered. Inorder that Sambandar has a view of the Sanctum sanctorum from outside, Shiva ordered Nandi to shift position. The Lord is reverred by the hymns of Thirugnana Sambandar.

 
THIRUPANANDAL
Shrine

This Shivastalam is an Upadesa Stalam with Shiva facing West and Ambal facing East. Sambandar is said to have visited here. This shrine is also known as Taalavanam. Tiruppanantaal is considered to be the 39th in the series of the Tevara Stalams located in Chola Nadu north of the river Kaveri.

 
KUMBESWARAR TEMPLE
Shrine

This is an ancient temple dedicated to Shiva in the heart of the town. The Mahamakham tank where the Makham festival takes place once in 12 years is associated with this temple. The temple is said to be over 1300 years old. The Saivite Saints have sung its praise. The Chola and Naik Kings patronized this temple. The temple is in possession of two granite Nadaswarams (oboes). Adi Kumbeswarar temple is the major one among the Saivite temples and located in the centre of Kumbakonam at Big Bazaar Street. This temple covers an area of 30181 sq.ft. with a length and breadth of 750 feet, and 252 feet respectively. This temple comprises of three Praharas and three Gopurams in the eastern, northern and western directions. It is believed that Govinda Theeksithan, the Chieftain of Achutha Nayakar of Thanjavur, renovated this oldest temple during 16th century. The East Gopuram consists of 9 stories with a height of 128-ft. Mangala Theertham, Marriage hall and small temples for Muruga, Ganapathi and Mangalambigai are other major constituents of this temple.

 
SARANGAPANI TEMPLE
Shrine

Largest of 18 temples in Kumbakonam, revered as one among the three major shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The largest 11 storey gopuram is 44 meter tall and has the dancing poses of Shiva, a rather unusual feature in a vaishnavite shrine. There are two entrances, uttara vassal - opens when the sun reaches the tropic of Capricorn, in the north and dakshina vassal - opens when the sun reaches the tropic of Cancer, in the south.

 
NAGESWARA TEMPLE
Shrine

Dedicated to Shiva in the guise of Nagaraja, a serpant king. The temple is so oriented that it allows the sun rays inside it only during the month of Chitthirai (April - May).

 
RAMASWAMY TEMPLE
Shrine

This is another period shrine of 16th Century. The mahamandapa of the temple has beautiful carved pillars, notable among these being the coronation of vibhishana and a dancer with veena.

 
CHAKRAPANI TEMPLE
Shrine

This temple is situated on the southern bank of Cauvery in Kumbakonam Railway station, Thanjavur district, Tamilnadu. It is the second Vaishnavite temple in Kumbakonam town. Here the main deity is Chakraraja and Sudharshana Chakra.

The Eastern and Western entrances of this temple are known as "Thatchinaya Vayil" and "Utharavana Vayil" respectively and outer Prakara of this temple is made in the form of balcony. Agampara Vinayakar, Panchamuga Aancheneyar and Vijayavalli are the important idols located in this temple. This temple is considered to be one of the most important Vishnu temples in South India, along with Srirangam and Tirupati. Seven of the Alwars sang the glories of this temple. Lord Sarangapani is the presiding Deity of the temple.

The images of Chakrapani with eight arms and Sudarshanavalli Thayar with a gracious visage are inspiring. Brahma, Surya and Agni are depicted as worshipping the Lord. According to legend, Surya once competed with Vishnu to decide who was brighter. Vishnu appeared in the form of a Chakra and put down the pride of Surya. Like Shiva, Lord Chakrapani has a third eye on His forehead.