Adhi Kumbeswarar Temple, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu

Adhi Kumbeswarar Temple

Kumbakonam Adi Kumbeswarar Temple: One of the biggest temples in Kumbakonam, this temple is located in the centre of the town. It sits on around 4 acres of land, with a 300-foot-long tunnel leading to the temple. There are three prakarams in all. A 11-story Eastern tower that dominates the skyline and there is also four gopurams in each direction. The towers in the north and west are shorter, while the one in the south is unfinished (Mottai).

A number of Mandapams have elaborate art work. This temple has to have existed before the 7th century because some of the Thevarams on this Lord were sung at that time. The Chola Kings built the following edifice in the 9th century, while the Vijayanagar and Tanjavur Kings completed the final significant construction in the 16th century. It is now maintained by the TN Government’s HR & CE department.

Shri Mangal Ambika and Shri Adi Kumbeswarar are the presiding deities. This Lord is said to be responsible for the town’s name. We’ve previously witnessed the narrative of the Kumbam being swept away by floodwaters and eventually resting in this location. According to the temple’s sthala puranam, the Lord appeared as a hunter, fired an arrow, and smashed the pot. Kumbakonam is roughly translated as Jug’s Corner since the Jug (kumbam) landed here. This town’s old names are Kudavayil and Kudamukku, both of which draw their meanings from the same narrative. The Lord smashed the Kumbam, and the nectar floated into two tanks: Mahamaham and Potramarai.

The Lingam is created by the Lord Himself, according to the Sthala Puranam. It was not created by mankind or Devas. The Lingam is wide at the base and narrows toward the summit. No abhishekam is conducted because the Lingam is composed of sand. Ambal Mangalambika’s shrine is located on the left side of the main temple, parallel to the Lord and facing the same easterly direction. The shrine of Somaskanda is on the right. In addition to the main shrine, the Lord may be found lounging in a glass chamber.

This is a Paadal Petra Sthalam (sung by Appar and Sambandar), as well as a Shakthi Peetam, and the Ambal is also known as Mantra Peeteswari Mangal Ambika. According to the sthala puranas, Shiva bestowed 36 crores of His Mantra Shakthi power to Ambal, in addition to Her own 36 crores, making it a one-of-a-kind temple with 72 crores Mantra Shakthi power. As a result, she is known as Mantra Peeteswari. In the Tamil month of Chithirai (Apr-May), the Utsava Murthis of this temple are brought around to the adjacent 7 Shiva temples for a special Sapthasthanam celebration.

In reality, the prakarams have a huge number of sub-shrines, the majority of which include art works that are not only gorgeous but also one-of-a-kind. For example, the Karthikeyan at this temple has only six hands, rather than the usual twelve! Aarukala Vinayakar, Vallabha Vinayakar, Valanchuzhi Vinayakar, Sabha Vinayakar, Mudra Vinayakar, Kumbamuni Vinayakar, and Navaneetha Vinayakar (also known as Butter Vinayakar) are some of the Vinayakars. Butter is often linked with Lord Krishna, and I’m seeing a Vinayakar with this prefix) and so on. Each is handled differently. The same is true for the number of Murugan shrines.

This temple is related with a variety of bodies of water. There are three wells within the temple: Mangala Kupam, Kura, and Naga. There are four tanks within the temple complex: Chandra, Surya, Gauthama, and Varaha. Outside the temple, there are seven tanks: the Mahamaha tank, the Potramarai tank, the Varuna theertha, the Kashyapa theertha, the Matanga theertha, the Chakara theertha, and the Bhagavatha theertam (the latter ones are the various bathing ghats in the Cauvery River).

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