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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Kumbakonam Temple Visits III

Tiruchatthimuttham:
This temple is located near Patteeswaram.The nearest railway station is at Darasuram, which is on the Thanjavur - Kumbakonam section of the Southern Railway. Located at a distance of about 8 Kms from Kumbakonam.The deity is known as Sivakozhundeeswarar and the goddess is perianayagi ammai. This the 22nd amongst the Tevara Sthalams South of the river Cauvery and the saint Tirunavukarasar has sung hyms of the Lord.
Swamimalai:
Swamimalai is a sylvan village, located about five kilometers west of Kumbakonam on the banks of a tributary of river Cauvery. Swamimalai is hailed as one of the 6 padai veedu shrines of Skanda where he sojourned during his battle against the demon Soorapadman. It has been praised in Tirumurugaatruppadai of the tamil sangam period and by the Tiruppugazh hymns of Arunagirinathar. Swamimalai is located in the vicinity of the temple town of Kumbhakonam. Very closeby is the grand temple of Tiruvalanchuzhi now in a state of neglect.
The presiding deity,Swaminathan, here expounded the inference of the Pranava mantra OM to his own Father Lord Siva Himself. The temple is built on an artificial hillock of about 60 ft height with stone steps representing the Hindu cycle of 60 years - leading to the Lord. On the ground level there are shrines to Sundareswarar & Meenakshi. The temple has an imposing golden chariot made out of 7 Kilos of gold, 85 Kilos of silver and other metals like copper.
For more details log onto: http://murugan.org/temples/swamimalai.htm
Tirukkudamookku Adi Kumbeswarar: This is an ancient temple dedicated to Shiva in the heart of the town.The Adi Kumbeswarar Temple is the most important shrine in the temple town of Kumbakonam and 26th in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located south of the river Kaveri. The temple is said to be over 1300 years old. The Saivite Saints Sambandar, Appar have sung its praise. The Chola and Naik Kings patronized this temple The Mangalambikai shrine here is revered as a Shakti Peetham (Mantra Peetham). The Mahamagam festival,held once every 12 years,attracts crowds from all over India.
The Temple: This temple covers an area of about 4 acres & the rajagopuram rises to a height of 128 feet and is endowed with several images of great beauty. Four prakarams line this temple.
The huge Mahamagam tank is surrounded by 16 picturesque mandapams, dating back to the 16th century. The Kalyana Mandapam hall in the temple, is the seat of the Tirukkalyana Utsavam. The Navaratri mandapam bears a carvings of the 12 zodiac signs and the 27 asterisms. This temple also houses two nadaswarams made of stone. Many images in this temple deserve mention, especially those of Kiratamurthy and Subramanyar. The Image of Lord Subrahmanya, is a rare specimen. It has six heads but only six hands holding different kinds of weapons.
Kumbeswarar is represented as a Shivalingam fashioned out of earth - (said to have been made by Shiva in the guise of a hunter - Kiratamurthy). Shiva is also known as Amudha Kumbhesar and Amudheesar. The Kumbariya Vinayakar shrine is situated near the tank, while Aadi Vinayakar is worshipped in the temple. Moorka Nayanaar is one of the 63 Nayanars associated with this temple.
Legend:
According to purana, a pot (kumbam) containing nectar and the seed of creation, was decorated by Lord Brahma with the sacred thread, with coconut and mango leaves on the top and was kept on the peak of Mount Meru. At the time of deluge, the sacred pot was carried by the currents and reached Kumbakonam where it got tilted. Now Lord Shiva disguising as a hunter and aimed an arrow at the pot and all materials inside the pot fell at different places, where we find today shrines dedicated to Siva. The nectar settled at two places one of which became the famous Mahamaham Tank. Out of the pieces of the broken pot Lord Siva made out a Sivalingam and entered into it. This now enshrined in the temple, and hence the name Adi Kumbeswarar, meaning one who entered the Kumba or vessel long long ago. Now you know how Kumbhakonam got its name !
For more details log on to the official temple website: http://www.adikumbeswarar.org/

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