Visited on: 29th September, 2016


Kudanthai is now known as Kumbakonam. Kudanthai Karonam is the name of the temple that is located in the heart of Kumbakonam town. It is on the Chidambaram to Tanjure (via Mayiladuthurai) route. It is about 35 kms from Mayiladuthurai. Kumbakonam has a railway station and this temple is about 2 kms away from the station.

Other Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams near this place are –

Kudanthai Kudamukku (Sri Adhi Kumbeswarar Koil), Kudanthai Keezhkottam (Sri Nageswarar Koil), Thiruvalanchuzhi and Thirunageswaram. 

History of the Temple

Kumbakonam, popularly known as the “temple city”, is located on the banks of the river Cauveri. Cauvery and Arasalaru rivers flow in such a manner that they look like garlands adorning this place.

There are two nearby temples in this city - Sri Kasi Viswanathar temple and Sri Someswarar temple. Both the temples’ authorities claim that their temple is the Paadal Petra Sthalam where Saint Thirugnanasambanthar rendered his Pathigam. The saint ends each of the stanza with the word “Karonathare”. Incidentally, both these temples have a legend associated with “Karonam”.

However, in the 7th stanza of his hymn, the saint referred to the Goddess as “Sri Thenar Mozhiyaar”. This is the name of the goddess at Sri Someswarar temple.

12 famous Shiva temples participate in the renowned “Mahaamaham” festival during which “Theerthavaari” happens in the Mahaamaha tank. This festival is celebrated once in 12 years in Kumbakonam. These 12 Shiva temples are:

  1. Kasi Viswanathar Temple, Kumbakonam
  2. Aadhi Kumbeswarar Temple, Kumbakonam
  3. Someswarar Temple, Kumbakonam
  4. Nageswarar (Vilvavaneswarar) Temple, Kumbakonam
  5. Kalahasteeswarar Temple, Kumbakonam
  6. Gauthameswarar (Upaveethanathar) Temple, Kumbakonam
  7. Koteeswarar Temple, Kottaiyur
  8. Amirthakalasanathar Temple, Kalayanallur
  9. Bhanapureeswarar Temple, Kumbakonam
  10. Abhimukeswarar Temple, Kumbakonam
  11. Aathikambatta Visvanathar Temple, Kumbakonam and
  12. Ekambareswarar Temple, Kumbakonam.

Simultaneously, 5 Vaishnava temples from Kumbakonam also participate in this festival. However, instead of their Theerthavaari in Mahaamaha tank, the Theerthavaari happens in the river Kaveri. These Vaishnava temples are:

1. Sri Saarangapani temple

2. Sri Chakrapaani temple

3. Sri Ramaswami temple

4. Sri Rajagopalaswami temple and

5. Sri Aadhivaraha Perumal temple.

Sri Someswarar and Sri Thenar Mozhiyammai temple

This temple is on the eastern side of the famous “Potramarai Kulam” (tank) and next to the famous Vaishnava shrine, Sri Sarankapani temple. 

This temple is under the administrative control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of Government of Tamil Nadu (HR & CE).

General Information

Sri Someswarar, Sri Kayarokanar, Sri Viyazha Somesar, Sri Sikkesar
Sri Thenar Mozhiyammai, Sri Somasundari
Theertham (Holy water)
Mahamaha Theertham (tank), Potramarai tank
Sthala Vriksham (Sacred Tree)
Vilvam tree
Pathigam (Hymn) rendered by
Saint Thirugnanasambanthar

  • This is one of the 276 Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams and 28th Shiva Sthalam on the Southern bank of the river Cauveri in Chozha Nadu (Thenkarai). 
  • Lord Shiva in this temple is a Swayambumurthi (self-manifested).
  • This east facing temple has single corridor and its main tower (Rajagopuram) has 5-tiers.


According to Hindu mythology, at the end of every “yuga”, there is a huge flood that leads to the destruction of all living beings in the earth. This is called the “Pralayam”. Lord Shiva, through Lord Brahma, arranged for the seeds of all living organisms and four Vedas and Puranas to be put in a pot (“Amutha Kalas” or Kumbham or Kudam in Tamil) filled with nectar (“amirtham”). This was decorated with flowers and cloth and a string was tied to it. This was kept on top of the Mount Kailash. When the Maha Pralayam started, it destroyed all living creatures on the earth. The Amutha Kalas also got displaced and started floating on the seas for years. Eventually when the Pralayam stopped, the Kalas settled in Kumbakonam. Then Lord Shiva took the form of a hunter (Kiratha Murthy) and split open the pot with his arrow. The life on earth started flourishing again.

It is believed that when Lord Shiva opened the pot with his arrow, the pot broke and the decorative items on it fell in various places across the earth. Each of these pieces became Shivalingams.

These places are -

  1. “Kumbesam” – this is the place where the Amutha Kalas stayed. This is presently known as Sri Aadhi Kumbeswarar temple (“Aadhi” means “the very beginning”). It is believed that Lord Kiratha Murthy himself made a Shivalingam with the broken pieces of the Kalas by mixing nectar and sand with it. He worshiped this lingam and stayed back in this place. The Shivalingam is in the shape of the neck of a pot (“Kudamukku” in Tamil).
  2. Somesam – This is the place where the Kalas’s string (“Uri” / “Sikkam” in Tamil) fell. This place is presently known as Sri Someswarar temple.
  3. Nagesam – This is the place where the Kalas’s “vilvam” (leaf used in poojas) fell.  This place is presently known as Sri Nageswarar temple.
  4. Abhimugesam – This is the place where the Kalas’s coconut fell. This place is presently known as Sri Abhimugeswarar temple.
  5. Gautamesam – This is the place where the Kalas’s sacred thread fell.  This place is presently known as Sri Gautameswarar temple.
  6. Kudavoil - This is the place where the Kalas’s rim fell. This place is presently known as Sri Koneswarar temple at Kudavasal.
  7. Kalayanallur (Saakkottai) – This is the place where the mid-portion of the Kalas fell. This place is presently known as Sri Amirthakalasa Nathar temple.
  8. Bhanathurai, - This is the place where Lord Shiva broke the Kalas with his arrow. This place is presently known as Sri Bhanapureeswarar temple.
  9. Maalathivanam – This is the place where the Kalas’s flowers fell.  This place is presently known as Sri Aathikampatta Viswanathar temple.
  10. Sri Kalahastheeswarar Koil – This is the place where the Kalas’s “Chandan” fell.
  11. Sri Ekambareswarar temple - This is the place where the Kalas’s other decorative items fell.
  12. Kottaiyur Sri Koteeswarar temple - This is the place where some drops of the nectar fell.

The nectar from the Kalas is believed to have reached the Mahaamaham and Potraamarai tanks.

This nectar is also believed to have spread around an area of about 24 kms. In this radius, there are five Shiva temples which are known as “Panchakurosa Sthalams” (“pancha means five and “kurosa” is a unit of measurement used in ancient times). These temples are Thiruvidaimaruthur, Koranattu Karuppur, Thirunageswaram, Swamimalai, and Dharasuram

Anecdotally, since the Kalas (also called Kumbam) settled in this place, it gets the name of “Kumbakonam”.

Other Legends

As per legend, it is believed that when the “Nava Kannikas” came to Mahaamaha tank to take a dip, there was a lot of noise and chaos. Goddess Parvathy embraced Lord Shiva (in the form of Arokanam) in fear. Hence this place gets the name “Kaya Arokanam” (“Kayam” means body and “Arokanam” means embraced) and the lord is known as “Sri Kayarokanar”. “Kaya Arokanam” has now changed to Karonam.

Lord Mahavishnu is believed to have worshiped Lord Shiva here for one year to receive the boon to fight and destroy demons. Hence Lord Shiva here is known as “Sri Maleesar” (“Mal” meaning Lord Mahavishnu).

Planet Jupitar (Guru/ Viyazhan) and Lord Chandran (moon) are believed to have worshiped the lord here. Chandran is also known as “Soman”, hence this place gets the name “Somesam” and the lord is praised as “Sri Viyazha Someswarar”.

It is also believed that Chola King Paranthakan visited this place, installed a Shivalingam and worshiped it to seek the lord’s blessing for “santhana prapthi” (child boon). The lingam installed by him is known as “Sri Chozheesar” (derived from Chola).

Deities in the temple

Other than the Shrines and idols of lord Shiva and goddess Parvathy, shrines and idols of lords “Kalyana Sundara Vinayakar” and Murugan with his consorts, Nalvar, Bairavar, Saneeswarar, Navagraham and Suryan can be seen in the corridor.

Procession idols of Natarajar with Sivakami and Somaskandhar are placed in the hall in front of the sanctum.

There is also a separate shrine for Saint Thirugnanasambanthar near Goddess Parvathy’s shrine. 

In the “koshtam” (place surrounding the sanctum sanctorum), idols of Vinayakar, Dakshinamurthy, Arthanareeswarar, Brahma, Durgai and Chandikeswarar can be seen.

There are shrines of Lord Chozheesar and Goddess Thiripurasundari, believed to have been worshiped by King Paranthakan. There are also shrines for Lord Maleesar and Goddess Mangala Nayaki, believed to have been worshiped by Lord Mahavishnu.

Salient Features

This temple is one of the participating temple in the Mahaamaham Theerthavaari.

The Mahamaham festival takes place once in every twelve years during the Tamil Month of Masi (February - March), when lakhs of pilgrims from various parts of India visit Kumbakonam to take a holy dip in the sacred Mahamaham tank which is located in the heart of the town. After the dip here, devotees also take a dip in the nearby Potramarai tank and in the river Kaveri (Sakkara Padithurai bathing ghat).

The huge Mahamaha tank covers of an area of about 6 acres and it has 16 entrances. At each entrance, there is a shrine for Lord Shiva. These shrines are collectively called “Sodasa Mahalingaswamy” (“Sodasam means 16 in Tamil). The names of these 16 Shivalingams are –

  1. Brahmatheertheswarar
  2. Mukuntheswarar
  3. Thaneswarar
  4. Vrushabeswarar
  5. Baneswarar
  6. Koneswarar
  7. Bakthikeswarar
  8. Bairaveswarar
  9. Agastheeswarar
  10. Vyaseswarar
  11. Uma Bakeswarar
  12. Nirutheeswarar
  13. Brahmeswarar
  14. Gangathareswarar
  15. Mukthi Theertheswarar
  16. Kshetrabaleswarar.

Mahamaha Theertham is known as -

Brahma Theertham in “Kruthayugam”

Papanodam in “Threthayugam”

Mukthi Theertham in “Thuvabarayugam” and

Kanya Theertham in Kaliyugam.

It is believed that there are 20 wells and Theerthams inside the Mahamaha tank, these are theerthams dedicated to Indra, Agni, Naga, Thiruthi, Varuna, Vayu, Kubera, Eesanya, Brahma, Ganga, Yamuna, Godhavari, Narmada, Saraswati, kaveri, Kumari, Bayoshini, Sarayu, Kanniya and Devas.

The idol of Lord Murugan is unique here. He can be seen with six faces, seated on his peacock mount and wearing footwear (“Padarakshai”). Another significance in this shrine is that every month on Karthikai day, “Sataari” (crown) is placed on the devotees’ head similar to the practise in Vaishnava temples.

This temple is considered to be significant for its three important attributes – Moorthy, Sthalam and Theertham - glory of Lord, sacredness of the land and the auspicious temple tank.

It is believed that in the year 1964, 100 devotees undertook the task of writing the five holy letters (“Panchakshra Mantra” - “Sivaya Nama”) one lakh time each thus making a total of one crore. They bound each such book and preserved it in a box which can be seen even now.

As lords Chandran and Jupiter worshipped Lord Shiva here, devotees gather in large number especially on Mondays (auspicious for Chandran) and Thursdays (auspicious for Jupiter).

Saint Arunagirinadhar has sang songs in praise of Lord Murugan of this temple in his revered Thirupugazh.

There is a popular saying in Sanskrit - Kumbakonam is more sacred than Varanasi (Kasi). A sin committed at some place can be washed away by visiting a neaby holy place.  A sin committed in one of the sacred places is washed away by going on a pilgrimage to Varanasi. However, if one commits a sin in Varanasi itself, it can only be washed off in Kumbakonam. Similarly, any sinful act done at Kumbakonam is washed away there itself.

The architecture and the beautiful sculptures in this temple highlight the excellence of the Dravidian school of architecture that flourished during the Chola period (13th century).

Greatness of this temple

Devotees pray to Lord Kalyana Vinayakar in this temple for 11 consecutive Mondays in order to seek the lord’s blessings and remove obstacles from their marriage proposals. 

Important Festivals

“Maasi Maham” Brahmotsavam in the Tamil month of Masi (Feb-Mar) is celebrated here in a grand manner.

Almost all festivals related to Shiva temples are celebrated here.

Temple Timings

From 06.30 AM to 12.30 PM and from 04.00PM to 08.30 PM.

Temple Address

Sri Someswaraswamy Temple,
Kumbakonam Post & Taluk,
Tanjure District,
Tamil Nadu – 612 001.
Tele: +91 435 243 0349.


Sri Kasi Viswanathar and Sri Visalakshi Ambal Temple

This north facing temple is on situated on the northern side of the famous “Mahaamaha Kulam” (tank). 

This temple is under the administrative control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of Government of Tamil Nadu (HR & CE).

General Information

Sri Kasi Viswanathar
Sri Visalakshi
Theertham (Holy water)
Mahamaha Theertham (tank)
Sthala Vriksham (Sacred Tree)
Vilvam tree
Pathigam (Hymn) rendered by
Saint Thirugnanasambanthar


According to legend, Lord Ram was advised by Sage Agasthiyar to worship Lord Shiva here to acquire the traits of “Rudramsam” (Rudra meaning anger) before waging a war against the demon Ravana. As Lord Ram received the blessing of “Aarokanam” (fulfilment of every desire), this place gets the name Arokanam which has later been changed to “Karonam”.

Another legend is that all the nine revered rivers (Kaveri, Ganga, Yamuna, Narmadha, Saraswathi, Godhavari, Dhungabatra, Krishna and Sarayu) went to Lord Shiva and requested him to cleanse them since a large number of people took dips in them to get relieved from their sins. It is believed that Lord Shiva took them first to “Panchakurosa Sthalams” for taking a dip in the holy water and then brought them to this place. Here they were advised to take a dip in the “Mahamaha Kulam” on a Mahamaham day in order to be cleansed of their sins. It is believed that all the nine rivers accompanied Lord Shiva in the form of angels (Navakanniyars). It is also believed that thereafter Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathy appeared before them in the form of Kasi Viswanathar and Visalakshi and stayed back in this temple.

Deities in the temple

Other than the shrines of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathy, shrines and idols of Vinayakar, Murugan, Natarajar, Dakshinamurthy, Lingothbavar, Bairavar, Saneeswarar, Suryan, Chandran, Mahishasura Mardhini, Sapthamadhas, Jyeshtadevi, Anjaneyar and Navagraham can be seen in the corridors.

Beautiful idols for all the 9 rivers can be seen in this temple.

The Shivalingam installed and worshiped by Lord Ram is known as “Kshetra Mahalingam” and this can be seen in the outer corridor.

Salient Features

Lord Shiva in this temple is a Swayambumurthi (self-manifested).

This temple is one of the participating temple in the Mahaamaham Theerthavaari.

The significance feature of this temple is that a Shivalingam is installed under a Neem tree.

This temple has 2 corridors and its main tower (Rajagopuram) has 5-tiers. Before the main tower, there is a beautiful arch with the sculptures depicting Lord Shiva accompanying the nine angels to the Mahaamaham tank.

This temple is also popularly known as “Nava Kannigaikal” temple.

Greatness of this temple

It is believed that those seeking “Santhana Prapthi” (child boon) can pray to the lord here. 

Devotees believe that by worshiping the lord here, obstacles from their marriage proposals will be removed and they will also be absolved of the sins of their previous birth. 

Important Festivals

“Maasi Maham” Brahmotsavam in the Tamil month of Masi (Feb-Mar) is celebrated here in a grand manner.

Almost all festivals related to Shiva temples are celebrated in this temple.

Temple Timings

From 06.00 AM to 12.00 Noon and from 04.30PM to 08.30 PM.

Temple Address

Sri Kasi Viswanathar Temple,
Kumbakonam Post & Taluk,
Tanjure District,
Tamil Nadu – 612 001.
Tele: +91 435 2400658.

Pathigam (Hymn) with English transliteration

Saint Thirugnanasambanthar visited this temple and sang this Pathigam.

Devotees visiting this temple should make it a practice to recite this Pathigam.

வாரார்கொங்கை மாதோர்பாக மாகவார்சடை
நீரார்கங்கை திங்கள்சூடி நெற்றிஒற்றைக்கண்
கூரார்மழுவொன் றேந்தியந்தண் குழகன்குடமூக்கிற்
காரார்கண்டத் தெண்டோ ளெந்தை காரோணத்தாரே.

“Vārārkoṅkai māthōrpāka mākavārsaṭai
nīrārgaṅgai thiṅkaḷchūṭi netṟi'otṟaikkaṇ
kūrārmazhuvoṉ tṟēnthiyanthaṇ kuzhakaṉkuṭamūkkiṟ
kārārkaṇṭath theṇṭō ḷenthai kārōṇaththārē”.

முடியார்மன்னர் மடமான்விழியார் மூவுலகும்மேத்தும்
படியார்பவள வாயார்பலரும் பரவிப்பணிந்தேத்தக்
கொடியார்விடையார் மாடவீதிக் குடந்தைக்குழகாருங்
கடியார்சோலைக் கலவமயிலார் காரோணத்தாரே.

“Muṭiyārmaṉṉar maṭamāṉvizhiyār mūvulakum'mēththum
paṭiyārpavaḷa vāyārpalarum paravippaṇinthēththak
koṭiyārviṭaiyār māṭavīthik kuṭanthaikkuzhakāruṅ
kaṭiyārchōlaik kalavamayilār kārōṇaththārē”.

மலையார்மங்கை பங்கரங்கை அனலர்மடலாருங்
குலையார்தெங்கு குளிர்கொள்வாழை யழகார்குடமூக்கின்
முலையாரணிபொன் முளைவெண்ணகையார் மூவாமதியினார்
கலையார்மொழியார் காதல்செய்யுங் காரோணத்தாரே.

“Malaiyārmaṅkai paṅkaraṅkai aṉalarmaṭalāruṅ
kulaiyārtheṅku kuḷirkoḷvāzhai yazhakārkuṭamūkkiṉ
mulaiyāraṇipoṉ muḷaiveṇṇakaiyār mūvāmathiyiṉār
kalaiyārmozhiyār kāthalseyyuṅ kārōṇaththārē”.

போதார்புனல்சேர் கந்தமுந்திப் பொலியவ்வழகாருந்
தாதார்பொழில்சூழ்ந் தெழிலார்புறவி லந்தண்குடமூக்கின்
மாதார்மங்கை பாகமாக மனைகள்பலிதேர்வார்
காதார்குழையர் காளகண்டர் காரோணத்தாரே.

“Pōthārpuṉalsēr kanthamunthip poliyavvazhakārun
thāthārpozhilchūzhn thezhilārpuṟavi lanthaṇkuṭamūkkiṉ
māthārmaṅkai pākamāka maṉaikaḷpalithērvār
kāthārkuzhaiyar kāḷakaṇṭar kārōṇaththārē”.

பூவார்பொய்கை அலர்தாமரைசெங் கழுநீர்புறவெல்லாந்
தேவார்சிந்தை அந்தணாளர் சீராலடிபோற்றக்
கூவார்குயில்கள் ஆலும்மயில்கள் இன்சொற்கிளிப்பிள்ளை
காவார்பொழில்சூழ்ந் தழகார்குடந்தைக் காரோணத்தாரே.

“Pūvārpoykai alarthāmaraiseṅ kazhunīrpuṟavellān
thēvārsinthai anthaṇāḷar sīrālaṭipōtṟak
kūvārkuyilkaḷ ālum'mayilkaḷ iṉsoṟkiḷippiḷḷai
kāvārpozhilchūzhn thazhakārkuṭanthaik kārōṇaththārē”.

மூப்பூர்நலிய நெதியார்விதியாய் முன்னேஅனல்வாளி
கோப்பார்பார்த்தன் நிலைகண்டருளுங் குழகர்குடமூக்கில்
தீர்ப்பாருடலில் அடுநோயவலம் வினைகள்நலியாமைக்
காப்பார்காலன் அடையாவண்ணங் காரோணத்தாரே.

“Mūppūrnaliya nethiyārvithiyāy muṉṉē'aṉalvāḷi
kōppārpārththaṉ nilaikaṇṭaruḷuṅ kuzhakarkuṭamūkkil
thīrppāruṭalil aṭunōyavalam viṉaikaḷnaliyāmaik
kāppārkālaṉ aṭaiyāvaṇṇaṅ kārōṇaththārē”.

ஊனார்தலைகை யேந்தியுலகம் பலிதேர்ந்துழல்வாழ்க்கை
மானார்தோலார் புலியினுடையார் கரியினுரிபோர்வை
தேனார்மொழியார் திளைத்தங்காடித் திகழுங்குடமூக்கிற்
கானார்நட்டம் உடையார்செல்வக் காரோணத்தாரே.

“Ūṉārthalaikai yēnthiyulakam palithērnthuzhalvāzhkkai
māṉārthōlār puliyiṉuṭaiyār kariyiṉuripōrvai
thēṉārmozhiyār thiḷaiththaṅkāṭith thikazhuṅkuṭamūkkiṟ
kāṉārnaṭṭam uṭaiyārselvak kārōṇaththārē”.

வரையார்திரள்தோள் மதவாளரக்கன் எடுப்பமலைசேரும்
விரையார்பாதம் நுதியாலூன்ற நெரிந்துசிரம்பத்தும்
உரையார்கீதம் பாடக்கேட்டங் கொளிவாள்கொடுத்தாருங்
கரையார்பொன்னி சூழ்தண்குடந்தைக் காரோணத்தாரே.

“Varaiyārthiraḷthōḷ mathavāḷarakkaṉ eṭuppamalaisērum
viraiyārpātham nuthiyālūṉtṟa nerinthusirampaththum
uraiyārkītham pāṭakkēṭṭaṅ koḷivāḷkoṭuththāruṅ
karaiyārpoṉṉi chūzhthaṇkuṭanthaik kārōṇaththārē”.

கரியமாலுஞ் செய்யபூமேல் அயனுங்கழறிப்போய்
அரியவண்டந் தேடிப்புக்கும் அளக்கவொண்கிலார்
தெரியவரிய தேவர்செல்வந் திகழுங்குடமூக்கிற்
கரியகண்டர் காலகாலர் காரோணத்தாரே.

“Kariyamāluñ seyyapūmēl ayaṉuṅkazhaṟippōy
ariyavaṇṭan thēṭippukkum aḷakkavoṇkilār
theriyavariya thēvarselvan thikazhuṅkuṭamūkkiṟ
kariyakaṇṭar kālakālar kārōṇaththārē”.

நாணார்அமணர் நல்லதறியார் நாளுங்குரத்திகள்
பேணார்தூய்மை மாசுகழியார் பேசேலவரோடுஞ்
சேணார்மதிதோய் மாடமல்கு செல்வநெடுவீதிக்
கோணாகரமொன் றுடையார்குடந்தைக் காரோணத்தாரே.

“Nāṇār'amaṇar nallathaṟiyār nāḷuṅkuraththikaḷ
pēṇārthūymai māsukazhiyār pēsēlavarōṭuñ
chēṇārmathithōy māṭamalku selvaneṭuvīthik
kōṇākaramoṉ tṟuṭaiyārkuṭanthaik kārōṇaththārē”.

கருவார்பொழில்சூழ்ந் தழகார்செல்வக் காரோணத்தாரைத்
திருவார்செல்வம் மல்குசண்பைத் திகழுஞ்சம்பந்தன்
உருவார்செஞ்சொல் மாலையிவைபத் துரைப்பாருலகத்துக்
கருவாரிடும்பைப் பிறப்பதறுத்துக் கவலைகழிவாரே.

“Karuvārpozhilchūzhn thazhakārselvak kārōṇaththāraith
thiruvārselvam malkusaṇpaith thikazhuñsambanthaṉ
uruvārcheñchol mālaiyivaipath thuraippārulakaththuk
karuvāriṭumpaip piṟappathaṟuththuk kavalaikazhivārē”.