- Sarangapani Temple
Vaishnava temple - a great contribution by Nayaka kings to religion has several
unique features that set it apart from other shrines. Its extensive area covers
three acres of land and is munificently endowed by the rulers from time to time.
The temple is dedicated to Vishnu and it is richly ornamented. The twelve-tired
tower built to a height of 147 feet is quite imposing. The temple contains
several ornamental figures and two big chariots of supreme craftsmanship. It was
two majestic entrances - one on the southern, and the other on the northern
sides. Strange to observe the practice that the visitors are made to enter the
temple through the southern during the Uttaraiyana month - 14th Jan to 15th
July, and through northern during the Dakshinayan period - 16th July to 13th
Jan. The fore and the rear of the sanctum sanctorum is so sculptured to resemble
a chariot fitted with wheels and horses, that they seem ready for an aerial
flight. The stonecutters workmanship is worthy of appreciation. The chariot
shaped garbhagriha is adorned with Vaithiga Vimana and has a strange legend and
publishes to the world that Lord Sri Mahavishnu is bhaktaparadeena and grants
the desires, if properly involved. The Goddess is called Komalavalli Thayar.
According to legend, sage Hemarishi of great spiritual standing desired to see
Sri Mahavishnu with Saranga in his hand. He did penance here and when the Lord
was pleased, he descended in his chariot direct to the spot, where the sage was
doing penance. Hence the chariot shaped sanctum. There is a sculptural
representation of this fascinating legend in this temple. Among the others
deserving an indispensable darsan is the Aravamudar image installed in a
separate beautiful shrine. The special feature of this Aravamudar is that, he is
in the posture of rising in hurry to giving darsan to saint Tirumalisai Alwar.
Ah! what a kinghip! How .benign is the lord!! And how much power the devotion
embodies!!! The holy temple tanks are called Hema Pushkarini and Cauvery thirtha.
lies in the centre of Kumbhakonam amidst residential quarters, accessible by