Kumbakonam going students can visit various small scale industries engaged in the production of brass, bronze, copper and lead vessels, silk and cotton cloths, sugar, indigo and pottery. The main industrial players in and around Kumbakonam includes Raman & Raman, Nelson Papers ltd, The Thanjavur District Co-op. Milk Producers Society, Thanjavur Spinning Mill, Thiru Arooran Sugar Mills, Arignar Anna Sugar Mills etc.
Kumbakonam is one of the oldest and holiest places in South India, held sacred by devotees of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu alike. This ancient town, located between Rivers Kaveri and Arasalar, is home to about 188 temples which are located in and around it.
Though the town dates back to the Sangam period, it came into prominence during the medieval Chola period in the 7th century AD and in the British period as the Cambridge of South India because of its many educational institutions. Kumbakonam is also well known for the Mahamagham festival which takes place once in 12 years
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.
How would you like to travel?
- 40 km from Tanjore
- 95 km from Trichy
- 76 km from Chidambaram
- Thanjavur Dist.Coop. Spinning Mill
- KR Ramaswamy Coop. Sugar Mill
And many More Industries for more information see state wise list of Industries
Gangaikondacholapuram (35 km): Gangaikondacholapuram was the capital of Rajendra Chola (1012-1044 AD), the son of the great Chola king Raja Raja. According to history, Rajendra Chola had conquered several northern kingdoms in order to bring the holy waters of river Ganges to his kingdom. As a mark of celebration, he created a “liquid pillar of victory” (Jalamaya Sthambha), a tank where the vassal kings contributed Ganga water as tribute to the conqueror. Hence he was called Gangaikondahola, the Chola king who brought the Ganga — and the town was named after him. The Shiva temple here, dedicated to Lord Brihadeeshwara, is similar in many aspects to the temple in Tanjore. There are some striking sculptures of Mahisasuramardini, Nataraja, Ardhanariswara, Chandikeshwara, etc.
Darasuram (3 km): Situated on the outskirts of Kumbakonam, Darasuram contains ancient temples of great architectural merit. The Airavateswara temple is the most important of them all. According to the Puranas, Shiva is said to have appeared here in the form of a Rudraksha (holy beads) tree. Yama, the god of death, did a long penance to Shiva at this spot to cure himself of an ailment and then obtained permission to build a temple and observe a festival (Mahotsavam) annually for 10 days which is still celebrated in the months of August-September.
Karaikal (55 km): A French territory till 1949, Karaikal is a small seaport town named after Karaikal Ammaiyar, the only woman among all the Saivite saints. The Ammaiyar temple in the heart of the town attracts large crowds during the annual Mangani (mango) festival. There are some old churches and mosques of importance in Karaikal.
Swamimalai (8 km):This is one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya. The temple has been built at an elevation of 30 m (100 ft). Lord Subramanya is called Swaminatha, because he initiated his father Lord Shiva, into the mysterious significance of the divine “Pranava Mantra”. The shrine to the Lord Subramanya is situated on top of the hill and the shrine of Shiva is situated below, indicating the fact that the son and father stood here as master and disciple.Tirubhuvanam (5 km):
The deity in this temple is called Kampahareswara, since Shiva was said to have removed the quaking (kampa) of a certain king who was haunted by evil spirit. The architecture is similar to the Tanjore, Gangaikondacholapuram and Darasuram temples. Tirubhuvanam is named after Kulothunga Chola III who called himself
Tirubhuvana Chakravarthi and was responsible for building the temple.
Tirunallar (50 km): Tirunallar is important for the Darbhareneswara temple. A legend says that king Nala was relieved of the affliction of Saturn (Sanneeswaran), after worshipping Lord Shiva in this temple. Among the Navagrahas (nine planets), Saturn occupies an important place. The Sani Peyarchi festival, held once in two-and-a-half years to propitiate the malefic effect of Saturn is attended by large crowds.
Tranquebar (Tarangambadi) (65 km): The brick wall which encircled this town is now in ruins. The river fortifications of this town were found by Ore Gedde on behalf of the Danish East India Company in 1620 AD. Built close to the sea in gothic style, it became the property of the King of Denmark in 1624 AD. In 1825, it was ceded to the English East India Company.