Kumbakonam, is a pretty little town in Tanjavur district and is situated at a distance of 40 kms from Tanjore which is famous for its 'Big temple' . Kumbakonam is known as the "temple town" as there are about 60 odd temples in and around .There is a constant flow of pilgrims to this town as many famous and ancient temples are here with in a radius of few kilometers . It is a one stop destination to visit many of the ancient monuments and heritage sites as this region was under the Chola dynasty.Many villagers here are agriculturists as the land is made fertile by the Ganges of South , river Kaveri and the town is famous for brass vessels and the famous degree coffee.
This time, I am taking you to the famous and oldest temple of Adi Kumbeshwara . Kumbha means a pot and it is believed that an Amrit Kumbha ( Pot of nectar) with seeds of creation was set afloat by Lord Shiva during the Maha Pralaya ( floods) and it landed at this place . The divine nectar flowed out and it became the Mahamaham tank and every12 years, pilgrims from all over the globe converge here to participate in the great Mahamaham festival; the Kumbhmela of South and to have a holy dip in the famous tank to get rid of all their sins.
The town also derives its name from this' Kumbha' legend.The temple of Adi Kumbeshwara swamy is right at the centre of the town and the temple is connected to the main gate by a long corridor which is lined with shops selling souvenirs and trinkets.
The presiding deity is Adi Kumbeshwara ( Shiva) and the Amman here is Mangalambigai. As we enter inner prakaram of the the temple, on to the left there is a shrine for the Lord Vinayagar. There are also shrines for Durga, Shanmugha (Muruga) and Lord Nataraja and Kiratha moorthy ( another form Of Shiva) The Idol of Durga and Mangalambigai are of exquisite beauty.
How to reach-
Nearest airport is Trichy . Kumbakonam has a railway station with express trains connecting Bangalore, Chennai etc. Bus services are excellent inTamil Nadu and one can reach any part of Tamil Nadu using this service.
Good hotels are available in Kumbakonam to suit the tastes of all sections of the society.