Lord Shiva

Temple History

It is one of the 127 temples on the southern banks of the river Cauvery. The presiding Murti(deity) is 'Adhikumbheswara' and His consort is 'Mangalambhika'. It is also one of the 64 saktibheta sthala(Mantrabheta sthala). The Siva Linga is slightly tilted at the top towards left and hence the name kumbakonam (kumba - pot;konam -bend) and the deity kumbeshwara.

According to Hindu philosophy a particular period is ended with the pralaya-deluge. Brahma the creator has the responsibility of recreating the universe again. The present cycle of creation was to be done by Brahma, therefore He had placed the seeds of creation during the last deluge along with Amertha - nectar in a pot called kumbam in Sanskrit. The coconut was placed on the mouth of kumbam and was sanctified with a yagnopavetha before the deluge. During the deluge the kumba had floated from Himalayas down south and settled in a place presently located in Tamil Nadu. Since the kumba had come to rest and the Amertha-nectar had flown through the nostril of the Kumba the location is known as Kumbakonam. In Tamil kumba is known as kudam and nostril as mooku hence the place is known as Kudanthai in Tamil.

According to legend, Lord Shiva in disguise of a hunter came to the location and broke the kumba with the arrow. The Amertha-nectar had fallen on a spot and a water body - tank was created. The tank is known as Mahamaha theertham. Once in twelve years on the particular day (in the solar month of masi - Feb-Mar) it is considered as auspicious to take bath in the tank. People from all over India come to take bath during this time to Kumbakonam.

The place where the kumba came to rest and Lord Shiva appeared to ensure recreation of current cycle of creation is presently where Kumbeswar temple is located. The maha maham tank is just around two kilometers.


Additional Information

The Kumbeswarar (Linga) is on the form of conical lingam. The left of the main deity has another shrine for the goddess namely Mangalambigai. This temple outer prahara has an important shrine called as Kumba muni Siddhar.

During cosmic dissolution, a pot containing nectar (Amrta) was floating and lord Siva came in the disguise of a hunter and pierced the pot with an arrow ,thereby making the nectar to flow through it's nostril on all sides . Hence this place is named Kudamooku (kuda - pot; mooku - nostril or tip). The objects such as mango leaf,sacred grass (Tharppai),hoop (uri), Bell tree leaf (Bilva), coconut and the sacred thread (poonool)which adorning the pot fell into different places due to whirl wind. They appeared as Siva lingas and later on they became Siva temples.

From Trichy Airport ,Adi Kumbeswarar Temple is 98.5 KM. It is 2.5 KM from Kumbakonam station and 2.2 Km from Kumbakonam bus stand. From Mottai Gopuram Bus Stop the temple is 35 m.
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