Sights to See
Kumbheswara Temple: The town of Kumbakonam derives its name from its presiding deity, Lord Kumbheswara. According to legend, it was here that, after the great deluge which destroyed the world, Lord Shiva as Kirata (hunter) shot an arrow at apot (`Kumbha') containing nectar and spilt it, thus making the place sacred. The linga of this temple is said to be composed of fragments of a pot installed in a box.
Nageshwara Temple: This Shiva temple contains a separate shrine for the sun, who is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva at this place. To this day, the rays of the sun are seen to fall on the central linga on certain days of the year. The Nataraja Mandapa is fixed on large wheels carved out of stone and appears like a chariot drawn by horses.
Ramaswami Temple: This temple lies to the west of Kumbakonam and is believed to have been constructed in the 16th century by Raghunatha Naik, King of Tanjore. The popular legend about the construction of this temple is that the king discovered the idols of Rama, Sita and some other deities in the tank at Darasuram and installed them here. Rama is represented in his coronation robes. The `Mahamandapa' in front of the temple has several fine sculptures of Vamana-Trivikrama, Vishnu with his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi, and of the marriage of Parvati.
Sarangapani Temple: This temple is dedicated to Sarangapani, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu when he appeared with a `Saranga' or deer to a sage called Hema rishi, who had performed penance. The central shrine of the temple is in the form of a chariot drawn by horses and elephants with openings on either side, showing the descent of Lord Sarangapani from the heavens in a chariot. The hermitage of the sage is said to have been on the bank of the temple tank named Pottramarai.
Mahamagham Tank: This tank is the venue for the famous Mahamagham festival which takes place once in 12 years when Jupiter passes the constellation of Leo. Pilgrims from all over the country gather here to take a bath in the tank on this day which is said to wash away one’s all sins. The tank is situated in the heart of the town covering an area of 20 acres.