About the Temple
The ancient temple of Aadi Kumbeswarar is consecrated to the Lord Shiva. It is located in the town of Kumbakonam in Thanjavur. Lord Shiva is worshiped as Aadi Kumbeswarar and is represented by the lingam. Lord Shiva in the temple is Swayambumurthi. The base of the Lingam is broad at the bottom and narrow at the top. His consort Parvati is depicted as Mangalambigai Amman. This outer complex of temple has a shrine called as Kumba muni Siddhar. The temple complex is huge with great architecture. It has three Gopurams and three Praharams in the eastern, northern and western directions.
The Aadi Kumbeswarar Temple is surrounded by high walls and it has four massive towers that preside over a 4 acres. The rajagopuram over the eastern entrance is nine-layered and 128 ft tall. The sculptural art of this temple is amazing. Each and every mandapam, pillar and ceiling are ornamented. The large block of ceiling stone of the hall leading to the main sanctum depicts the scenes from the Puranas as well as representations of the 12 zodiac signs and the 27 aster-isms on.
It is said that the swayambhu lingam in the Kumbeswarar sanctum is made by Lord Shiva when he mixed the sand with the nectar of immortality. The idol is never bathed due to its brittle composition. As a further protection, the idol is encased in silver.
The sanctum of Goddess Mangalambigai is grand. The 4-foot tall idol, sheathed in gold, stands on a gold peetham which is energised by 72 crore mantras. Its walls and ceiling are decorated with vegetable dye paintings and gem ornate work.
The temple also houses other deities such as Valanchuzhi Vinayagar, Natarajar, Somaskandar, Ashtalingas, Pitchadanar, Mahalakshmi, Annapoorani, Kiradhamoorthy, Saptha Kannigas, Navagrahas and Kumba Munivar.
Once, Lord Brahmma asked Lord Shiva about the process to restart the creation. Lord Shiva suggested that he should make a magic pot with the nectar and the sand collected from sacred places and float it in the flood water. Lord Shiva also taught the process of leaving the pot on the water. The pot stopped at a place. Lord Shiva shot an arrow on the pot. The nectar splattered and spread on all directions. That nectar mixed with the sand and became a Lingam. This Lingam is known as Aadi Kumbeswarar.
Festivals and Celebrations
Sabthasthanam festival is celebrated in Chithirai when the Lord visit 7 places within a distance of 20 km.
Tirukalyanam or wedding festival is observed during Vaikasi. Tirumanjanam, Aadi Perukku, Aadi Pooram and Panguni festivasl are observed with special pujas.
Butter pot festival on the Aswathi star day in Masi and the procession of Panchamurthis festivals are grandly celebrated in the temple.
On the day of the Maham Star in the Tamil month of Maasi, Maha Maham festival is celebrated. Once in twelve years the Maha Maham is celebrated on a grand scale when Guru enters the Simha Raasi. It is a national festival. Devotees throng the temple from all over India.
How to Reach
By Road: The temple is located in the heart of Kumbakonam town. Kumbakonam is well connected to all the major towns and cities. Kumbakonam is about 90 kms from Trichy and about 40 kms from Thanjavur.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Kumbakonam Railway Station.
By Air: The nearest airport is Thanjavur which is 30 km away from Kumbakonam.