Sarangapani Temple, Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu

Address: Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 612001
Phone: 0435 243 0349
Deity: Sarangapani; (Vishnu) Komalavalli Thayar; (Lakshmi) Aravamuthar
Architectural style: Dravidian architecture

This is one of the 108 Divya Desams located on the banks of the sacred river Kaveri. The temple also has the distinction of being a Pancharanga Kshetra. The temple tank is called Potramarai and located opposite the western entrance.

History

The 2000 year old Sarangapani Aaravamudhan temple is housed between two rivers, Cauvery and Arasalaaru, in the heart of Kumbakonam, once the capital of the Chola Kingdom.

It is said that Sage Hema Rishi had performed penances on the bank of the temple tank ‘Potramarai’ to get Lakshmi Devi as his daughter. Being pleased by the penances, Lord Vishnu appeared and blessed the Sage with the boon of getting Lakshmi Devi as his daughter. Lakshmi Devi manifested on a lotus flower in the Potramarai tank and hence was called Komalavalli.

Some parts of the temple is believed to have been built in the 7th Century AD by the famous Pallava King Mahendra Varma but the real construction of the temple is said to have been done by the Cholas and later renovated by the famous Vijayanagara King Krishnadevaraya.

Sarangapani Temple had a devotee called Lakshmi Narayanaswami. During his lifetime he was engaged in the Nityakainkarya (daily rituals) of the temple. With the help of kings and the wealthy people in the kingdom, he was able to procure ornaments for the deities and landed properties for the temple. He also built the Rajagopuram (main tower) and other mandapams inside the temple complex. When the devotee passed away on a Deepavali (Diwali) day with no heirs, the Lord himself is supposed to have performed the devotee’s funeral rites. Since then, on every Deepavali day, shraadam (death rites) is performed to Sri Lakshmi Narayanaswami on behalf of the Lord in the temple.

The Sarangapani Temple existed during the Pallava period. However, the current structure is attributed to the period of Vikrama Chola (1121 CE onwards). Later, the Cholas built the superstructure of the 11-tiered gopuram but the tower was actually completed by the Vijayanagara rulers.

Official Contact Details

Sri Sarangapani Swamy Temple

Kumbakonam, Tanjore (District)

Phone: +91-435 – 243 0349, 94435 – 24529

Soundara Raja Bhattar @ 94863 10896/ 0435 2427218

E-mail: sarangapanitemple@gmail.com

Festivals

There is no Swarga Vaasal at the Sarangapani temple. About 50000 people are expected to attend the Vaikunta Ekadesi festival. There are festivals all through the year at this temple.

June – July:

Pavitrotsavam:

The Pavitrotsavam (cleansing ritual) is performed in Ani.

Navarathri & Other Events:

Navarathri the ten day festival in honor of Shakthi and her manifestations (September – October), Dolothsavam in Margazhi (December – January), Maasi Magam (February – March the day when the star Magam reigns in the skies) Panguni Uttiram (March – April the day when the star Uttiram reigns in the skies) are grand occasions.

March – April:

Float Festival:

The grand float festival is conducted in Maasi Magam (March – April) on the Hema Pushkarani (temple tank) in front of the temple. Colorful festivals are held here and at the Chakrapani temple in Kumbakonam.

January 14th:

Silver Chariot Procession:

The first day of Uttarayanam, January 14th is celebrated with the silver chariot procession in the Sarangapani temple which attracts hundreds of devotees.

May – June:

Spring Festival:

Vasantotsavam to herald spring occurs in Vaikasi.

January – February:

Brahmotsavam:

Brahmotsavam, the temple’s main festival, is celebrated in Thai.

Important Festivals Tamil English
Akshaya Tirthiyai – 12 Garuda Sevai Chaitra Brahma Utsavam Chittirai April – May
Vasantotsavam Vaikasi May – June
Pavitrotsavam – Ekadasi Jyeshotsavam Adi July – August
Sri Jayanthi – Uriyadi Utsavam Avani August – September
Navarathri Utsavam – Saraswathi Puja – Vijayadasami Purattasi September – October
Deepavali – Shraddha of Sri Lakshmi Narayanaswami Aippasi October – November
Deepa Utsavam – Unjal Utsavam Karthigai November – December
Pakal Pattu – Ira Pattu Pongal Sankaramana Utsavam Margazhi December – January
Kanu Utsavam – Amavasya – Rathasapthami Tai January – February
Masi Maham – Float Festival Masi February – March
Brahmotsavam – Tirukkalyanotsavam Panguni March – April

 

How to Reach

Sri Sarangapanai Temple lies in the Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu. It’s about 3 kms away from Kumbakkonam railway station, which is on the chennai – Thanjore main line. Bus facility and staying facilities are ample.

Photo Gallery:

 

Legends

As per Hindu legend, Sage Brigu came to Vaikunda to test the patience and tolerance quality of Lord Vishnu by hitting on his chest.  Lord did not prevent the sage nor grew angry against him. But Lord simply smiled.  Mother Lakshmi asked the Lord how he could allow other male to touch her also while hitting him as the chest of Lord is her home.  The sage fell at the feet of Mother Lakshmi and said that he was given the job of finding a God so soft in nature for conducting a Yagna to whom it was to be dedicated.  I hit Lord for this test and meant no motives.  He also begged Mother that she should be born his daughter.

Mother Lakshmi happily blessed the sage.  She promised the sage to leave Lord for him and advised him to take on penance to realize his wish.   The sage performed penance in Kumbakonam and found Mother on the Hema Pushkarani Theertha on a Lotus.  He took the child and named her Komalavalli.  Vishnu descended to earth as Aaravamudhan in a chariot drawn by horses and elephants from his abode Vaikuntam. He stayed in the nearby Someswaran Temple to woo Lakshmi to marry him and the couple eventually got married. The name Sarangapani (“one who has the bow in his hand”) derives from the Tamil word Sarangam meaning bow of Vishnu and pani meaning hand. He gave his daughter to Perumal in a grand wedding.  Perumal came to wed Mother holding a bow-Sarnga, hence is praised as Lord Sarangapani.  The place thus is revered as the Avatara Sthala-birth place of Mother Komalavalli-Lakshmi.

Temple Architecture

Sarangapani Temple’s Vaideeka Vimanam (special style of dome over sanctum) is considered to be an offshoot of the Srirangam Pranava Vimanam, which is a replica of the Pushpaka Vimanam (flying chariot from the Ramayana) presented to Vibishana of Sri Lanka by Rama after the ten-headed Ravana was killed. The main temple has a beautiful mandapam (hall) in front of the temple. Click to read complete Sarangapani Temple Architecture 

Source:

The contents of this page is compiled from various sources. We have tried to list all major sources here.

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