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Hindu Books > Temples And Legends of India > Temples And Legends Of Tamilnadu > Kumbhakonam

Temples And Legends Of Tamilnadu Introduction

Kumbakonam is one of the oldest towns of South India. It is the headquarters of the taluq of the same name in the District of Tanjore in Madras State. The distancefrom Madras to this town in 194 miles by the Southern Railway. During seventh century A.D., Kumbakonam was the capital of the Chola kings. There are numerous ancient temples in the town and also the famous Maha Makham Tank. Besides, there is a temple dedicated to Lord Brahma which is very unique and rare in India.

The legend connected with the origin of the Sarangapani temple is as follows : -

Maharshi Saunaka and others assembled on the bank of river Saraswati to perform a sacrifice. They wanted to know who was the highest of the three Gods so that they could invoke Him to the sacrificial fire. To settle the disputed point regarding the superiority among the Gods, they requested Sage Bhrigu to meet the three Lords separately and pronounce a judgement.

Sage Bhrigu met Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara individually and pronounced Vishnu to be the greatest because, in spite of his giving a kick to Vishnu, Vishnu did not lose his temper, but in turn showed every respect to him and washed his feet.

Bhrigu repented for his action and wanted to serve Lord Vishnu in two births. During his first rebirth he was known as Guha during the epic period of the Ramayana and in his next birth he was known as Sage Hema. He did penance and Vishnu gave him darsan. He wanted three boons viz., (i) Goddess Lakshmi (Vishnu's consort) should be born as his daughter, (ii) Vishnu should become his son-in-law and (iii) he should get Sayujya Moksham i.e.,liberation in physical form. Vishnu granted the boons and directed him to find Lakshmi on a thousand-peatal-led lotus where she had been praying for re-union with Vishnu after her departure in anger when Sage Bhrigu dealt a kick to him in her presence.

Author : Shri R. K. Das

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