Category Archives: Kumbhakonam

How to Reach Kumbakonam

How to reach Kumbakonam

By Bus:
Tamil Nadu state transport corporation buses connect Kumbakonam with almost all cities in Tamil Nadu. Regular buses are available from Trichy, Chidambaram and Chennai to Kumbakonam.

By Rail:
Railways connect Kumbakonam with almost all cities in Tamil Nadu.

By Air:
Nearest Airport is at Trichy.

Lord Balarama

Lord Balarama also made a pilgrimage to Kamakosthi-puri, as we read in Srimad-Bhagavatam: Sb10.79.11-15: ” In the southern provinces known as Dravida-desa the Supreme Lord saw the sacred Venkata Hill, as well as the cities of Kamakosti and Kanci, the exalted Kaveri River and the most holy Sri-Ranga, where Lord Krsna has manifested Himself.”

Nityananda Prabhu likewise traveled to Kamakosthi-puri, as described in Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat, Adi Lila 9, which narrates Lord Nityananda’s pilgrimage and His meeting with Madhavendra Puri: ” Lord Nityananda went from there to the Dravida territory. He travelled through different pilgrimage spots touching such places as Vyenkatanatha, Kamakosthipuri and Kanci, then arriving at the banks of the sacred Kaveri. [He travelled through different pilgrimage spots touching upon the places of Vyenkatanatha, Kamakosthipuri and Kanci, arriving at last at the sacred river Kaveri.”

In February 1905, HDG Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur also went on pilgrimage to various holy places in South India, visiting Simhachal, Rajmahendri, Madras, Peremvedur, Tirupati, Kanjiveram, Kumbhakonam, Srirangam, Madura, etc.

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu at Kamakosthi-puri

In the summary of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya lila 9, we read that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu made a stop at Kamakosthi-puri during His southern India travels, on his way to southern Mathura (Madurai).

CC Madhya 9 Summary: “Finally the Lord went to Sri Ranga-ksetra, where He converted a brahmana named Venkata Bhatta, who, along with his family, became a devotee of Krsna. After leaving Sri Ranga, Caitanya Mahaprabhu reached Rsabha-parvata, where He met Paramananda Puri, who later arrived at Jagannatha Puri. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu then proceeded further, arriving at Setubandha Ramesvara. At Sri Saila-parvata, the Lord met Lord Siva and his wife Durga in the dress of a brahmana and brahmani. From there, He went to Kamakosthi-puri and later arrived at southern Mathura.”

In his purport to Madhya lila text 9.78, Srila Prabhupada provides more detail about the Lord’s pilgrimage to Kamakosthi-puri, which is also known by the names Kamakosni and Kumbhakarna. While serving as the capital of the Chola kingdom, the place was known as Kumbhakonam, and it commonly goes by that name today. Madhya 9.78 “At Kumbhakarna-kapala, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu saw a great lake and then the holy place named Siva-ksetra, where a temple of Lord Siva is located.

PURPORT : Kumbhakarna is the name of the brother of Ravana. At the present moment the city of Kumbhakarna-kapala is known as Kumbhakonnam; it is situated twenty miles northeast of the city of Tanjorean. There are twelve temples of Lord Siva located at Kumbhakonnam, as well as four Visnu temples and one temple to Lord Brahma. Siva-ksetra, within the city of Tanjorean, is situated near a big lake known as Siva-ganga. At this place, a large temple of Lord Siva known as Brhatisvara-siva-mandira.”

Later in Madhya lila, we read the following narratives: Madhya 9.177-178. “After talking with Lord Siva, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu took his permission to leave and went to Kamakosthi-puri.”

Kumbhakonam and Deity of Panca tattva of Mayapur

Panca Tattva of Mayapur

Kumbakonam is also well known for the intricately carved Pancha loha (5 metal) deities made there, a craft that is now famous in ISKCON, since the Pancha-tattva Deities installed at Sridham Mayapur were crafted here. This finished Deities, each weighing about 3 tons, departed Kumbakonam on January 31, 2004, first making a stop at the Sri Swaminathar Swami temple, which was circumambulated by their Lordships on the truck before heading towards Their new home at Mayapur dhama.