Kumbakonam, one of the special grade Municipal Towns of Tamil Nadu, is the second bigger town in Thanjavur District, also known as Temple city. It is located about 313 Kilometers away from Chennai on the South, about 90Km. from Trichy on the East and about 40km from Thanjavur on the North East. Also the well known Sun Temple of Suryanaar Koil is situated near Kumbakonam.
Adi Kumbeswarar temple is the major one among the Saivite temples and located in the centre of Kumbakonam at Big Baiaar Street. This temple covers an area of 30181 sq.ft. with a length and breadth of 750 feet, and 252 feet respectively. ‘This temple comprises of three Praharas and three Gopurams in the Eastern, Northern and Western directions. It is believed that Govinda Theeksithan, the Chieftain of Achutha Nayakar of Thanjavur, renovated this oldest temple during 16th century. The East Gopuram consist of 9 stories with a height of 128-ft. Mangala Theertham, Marriage hail and small temples for Muruga, Ganapathi and Mangalambigai arc other major constituents of this temple.
Nageswaran temple otherwise known as “Koothandavar Kovil” is located near the old bus stand area and Adithya Cholan of Chola dynasty constructed this temple during 12th century. This temple stands as a great marvel of Chola’s architecture, building technology and astronomy. 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, therefore, it bears another name called “Soorya Kottam’ or “Keel Kottam”. 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.
Achutha Nayaka of Thanjavur constructed the Ramasamy temple during 16th century. This temple is located on the south-eastern portion of “Porthamarai Kulam” and southern side of ‘Uchipilliar Kovil” junction. This temple consists of one Gopuram, one Maha Mandapam and Karuvarai. The columns of Maha Mandapam are enriched with intricate stone carving works of Rama-Katha. Vamana Avatharam, Meenakshi Kalyanam, Sukreeva Pattabisekam are some of the famuous carving works of this temple. The outer Prahara consists of all 219 wall paintings, which explains the series of incidents from the great Epic ‘Ramayanam”. Alwar Sannathi, Sreenivasa Sannathi, and Gopalan Sannathi are the other temples located within the temple complex.
Sri Sarangapani temple is located near to Uchipilliar Kovil Junction at Sarangapani East Street, This temple is considered one among the three major shrines of Lord Vishnu and it was renovated during the period of Nayaka Kingdom of 16th century. Sararigapani temple consists of the biggest Gopuram (l50ft), and five Praharas and one holy tank, known as “Porthamarai Kulam”, which is located behind the temple. The Karuvarai and Vimanam are made with 12-sculptured columns shaped like a chariot.
Chakkarapani Temple is located in the northern portion of Big Bazaar Street near the river Cauvery and second biggest Vaishnavite temple in Kumbakonam town. The Eastern and Western entrances of the temple are known as “Thatchinaya Vayil” and “Utharayana Vayil” respectively and outer Prakara of this temple is made in the form of Balcony. Agampara Vinayakar, Panchamuga Aancheneyar and Vijayavalli are the important idols located in this temple complex.