Category Archives: Kumbhakonam

Cakrapani Temple


Cakrapani temple is dedicated to Sudarshana-chakra, the disk of Lord Vishnu, used for killing demonic elements. Vishnu holds in His hands four symbols: conchshell and louts flower used for blessings to pious and club and disc for killing demons. His disc is called Sudarshana (literally “auspicious vision”), because it sees all miscreants in the same way and doesn’t discriminate between small or great demons. All are getting Sudarshana’s mercy. All light sources and illuminating objects like Sun and Moon are reflecting the rays of Sudarshana-chakra. Sudarshana’s light enable us to distinguish one thing from the other, good and evil and therefore it is related to knowledge and transcendental wisdom. In Bhagavad-gita and other scriptures we can read phrases like “the torchlight of knowledge” and “sword of detachment” and this connection with Sudarshana-chakra can bring us better understanding of those phrases.

Chakrapani Swami

Ram Swami Temple

Ram Swami Temple

Ram Swami Temple was built in 16th and 17th century by Nayak king Raghunath. The main Deities are Sita, Ram, Lakshman, Satrugna (His brothers) and Hanuman. Deities are from the black stone decorated with silver paraphernalia. On the road to the temple and on the walls and towers, there are many paintings and sculptures with the scenes from Ramayana. In right down corner of this wall painting there is Hanuman bringing the Himalayan mountain to rescue his Lord Ramacandra. Here is the whole story…

Ram Swami Temple

Hanuman and Pushpa-samjivani: Ravana’s son Indrajit fought with many mystic weapons during the battle of Lanka. He could be invisible for others and by his special snake weapon he made Ram and Lakshman unconscious. The physician from Ravana army and Vibhishana advised Hanuman to bring medical plant Pushpa-samjivani from one Himalayan mountain “Pushpa-samjivani” means “the flower of revitalization” and its leaves had such power that by eating it one didn’t feel hunger and thirst for 5 years. One didn’t get sick also and furthermore it had the power to bring one back to life. The Pushpa-samjivani plant could be recognized by its special glare. Local rishis were often taking advantage of it, because by its power they could meditate undisturbed for years. When they saw Hanuman approaching, they knew that he wants Pushpa-samjivani, because there was nothing else interesting – just sages meditating with closed eyes. They began to fear about their plant and by their mystic power they caused all the plants on the mountain to look as Pushpa-samjivani. Since all plants had the same glare, Hanuman was in his search for medicine perplexed. “If I cannot find the proper one, I will take the whole mountain with me,” told Hanuman to himself and started to lift it. Surprised rishis fled and Hanuman flew to Lanka with the whole mountain in his hand. In the meantime, Jambhavan tied all dead bodies of demons to heavy stone and throw them to ocean knowing that Pushpa-samjivani will revitalize everybody present. Then the plant brought Ram, Lakshman and the whole army of the monkeys back to consciousness. Ramacandra finally won the battle of Lanka.

Nagesvara Temple

Nagesvara Temple

Nageswaran temple otherwise known as “Koothandavar kovil”.Chola dynasty constructed this temple during 12 th century.This temple stands as a great marvel of Chola’s architechture,building technology.The design and orientation are structured in such a way that it allows the sun rays inside the temple only during the month of Chithirai.The Karuvarai of Nageswaran temple has similarity with that of Sarangapani temple,as it is made in the form of a chariot. The temple consists of two gopurams in the eastern and western directions.

Main Deity

Nageswarar Swamy


Sarangapani Temple

Sarangapani Temple is one of the most important Vishnu temples in South India (the others are Sri Rangam and Tirupati). Seven Alvars, important personalities from Shri sampradaya, sung the glories of this temple. It was built from 13th to 17th century by Nayak kings, but the inner sanctum is older and it dates back to the beginning of their era. Gopuram is 44 m high. South gate is used as the entrance in times when sun is on the southern hemisphere and northern gate serves as the entrance when sun travels north. There are many Deities in the temple and we can also find the sanctum of Komalavalli (Lakshmi) and Pathala Shrinivas (Vishnu).

Sarangapi Temple

History of the temple is connected with the story from Krishna book. The sages headed by Maharishi Saunaka on the banks of Sarasvati wanted to find out which god is the highest. They send Bhrigu Muni to visit them and test them. At the end Bhrigu pronounced Lord Vishnu as the greatest since He didn’t loose His temper even after being kicked by Bhrigu in the chest. Lord Vishnu, on the contrary welcomed Bhrigu with sweet words and gave him proper honour to a visiting brahmana..

. Tri Kudandai

Sarangapi Deity

After that incident Bhrigu regretted his offence and prayed to be able to serve the Lord in two next births. In Ramacandra’s pastimes he was Guha and thereafter he was born as the sage Hema. Hema rishi prayed for Shri Vishnu’s help in a place of present Kumbakonam. Here Bhrigu also got the blessing to have Lakshmi as his daughter. In this way Lakshmi could be reunited with her husband Shri Vishnu through him. Finally Lord Vishnu descended on Earth in His chariot to get in marriage the hand of daughter of Hema rishi. The central sanctum and mandapa (hallway) of the temple has the shape of a chariot and in the basement wheels and elephant pulling the chariot are clearly visible.