Dotted with paddy fields, betel leaves, and temples, Kumbakonam literally winds around its two rivers -Cauveri and its tributary Arasalaru. With 60 temples dotting its landscape it is truly Gods favoured spot in Tamilnadu.
The city gets its name from 'Kumbam' (pot) filled with Amrit (nectar) and seeds of creation floated by Lord Shiva who proclaimed that the place where the pot touched the ground and rests would be considered as the holiest place in the world, giving this place its name. A trip to the city of Kumbakonam is a rejuvenating experience. Famous temples in this city include:
Legend has it that the Lord's Kumbha(pot) with nectar and seeds of creation rested here and the nectar pooled in a place which became the famous Mahamatham Tank. The Lingam here was made with the wet sand soaked with the remaining nectar. An important Saivite Kshetra, The Mahamaham Festival is celebrated once in 12 years here. The year 2004 will see this festival celebrated in all its pomp and glory. It is belived that on this auspicious day the tank receives supplies of water from the Ganges and eight other holy rivers and all the deities are said to remain present here on that occasion.
It is belived that Markandeya, the son of a sage got a fresh lease of life here and freedom from Lord Yama, the God of Death. Since death was conquered at Tirukkadaiyur, it is not unusual to see couples who have celebrated their 60th and 80th birthdays visiting the Kala - Samhara - Moorthi here.
Considered to be among the 108 Tirupatis, (Vishnu shrine) this temple is two thousand years old with traditional origins and features in the paeans of the earliest Alwars , Bhutathalwar and Peyalwar.
You can see Lord Rama in his coronation ensemble here. Both Rama and Sita are seated on the same peeta and Hanuman is depicted as singing paeans to the Lord with a Veena.
This temple in Thirukkarugavur is a living testimony of divin grace. As the legends goes, the deity here, Garbharakshambigai (one who protecting the womb) offered protection to a pregnant woman by protecting the embryo in a divine pot till it bloomed into a fullfledged human being. An overjoyed mother took a promise from the Goddess that she would continue to protect women during pregnancy and childbirth. The temple here is an important destination for pregnant mothers and the uniform experience of women here bears unfailing testimony to this belief.
Nageswara, Chakrapani, Kasi Viswanatha, SOmeswara, Somanatha, Gautameswara and the Vedaranya Perumal temples.
An outstanding example of the Chola legacy, this city reached its pinnacle in the latter half of the Chola reign between the 10th and the 14th century as a center of learning and culture. The rice bowl of Tamilnadu, Thanjavur is known for its exquisite handicraft, especially the hand -drawn Thanjavur paintings and south Indian musical instruments that are still made by the worksmiths here. This city lives in its architectural wonders and timeless temples. Please visit the templs in and around Thanjavur.
A temple that's world famous for its architectural feat - the Vimana here soars high and still does not cast a shadow of its upper half. The Brahadeeswara Temple is a Shaivite destination and house a gigantic Lingam in its sanctum sanctorum and the second largest Nandi Bull at the entrance
'Endharo mahanubhavo' echoes in every corner of this musical town where Saint Thyagaraja - the soul of Carnatic school attained moksha. Come January, classical sings flock this city to sing paeans and odes to this great artist.
.Famous for its Sivan temple and silk-weaving, this houses the famous Iravatheeswara temple. Iravadam or the white elephant and the mount of Lord Indra, lost its colour due to a curse and regained it all this temple. This temple was built by Rajendra Chola.Other Temples in and around Thanjavur
Mariamman temple, The Golden Kamakshi Amman Temple.
SP holidays Pvt.Ltd has a special package that takes you to the temples in and around Thanjavur.
The Navagraha temples are an integral part of every Hindu's life who is born with a constellation of planets. There are 9 Navagraha temples in Tamilnadu, each dedicated to one planet and all on the banks of Cauveri near Thanjavur.
65 kms from Thanjavur via Kumbakonam, this temple is dedicated exclusively to Surya and has the Sun God praying to Lord Siva Suryanarayana.
15 kms from Thanjavur, this temple for the moon God, has Lord Chandran worshipping Lord Siva. The moon rays infact fall on the Lingam.
This temple is dedicated to Mars or the sevvai graham. The presiding deity here is Sri Vaidyanatha Swami who is hailed as the healer of all ills. This temple is located in Sirkazhi -90 kms via Kumbakonam and Mayavaram.
105 kms via Kumbakonam, the bestower of knowledge or Bhudha is worshipped here. Wednesday are auspicious days of worship.
This Guru Kshetra is dedicated to the biggest planet Jupiter and is associated with wisdom and prosperity. Thursdays are special days for this temple. It is 39 kms from Thanjavur via Needamangalam.
It is belived that Lord Vishnu worshipped Shiva here to get rid of his dosham (obstacle). Fridays are auspicious in this temple and devotees offer white flowers to the Lord. It is 62 kms via Kumbakonam.
No human being escapes the hardship and miseries of Sani Bhagwan. And according to the Hindu philosophy, Sani in the seventh house of the horoscope influences a person's life for seven and a half years and does a lot of bad and a little bit of good. This temple dedicated to Saniswara makes this seven and a half year period easier to handle. The Sani Peyarchi Festival which marks the movement of the planet from one Rasi to the other is held once in two and a half years and attracts huge crowds. This temple is 125 kms from Thanjavur near Karaikal.
Rahu is a shadow planet with a human's head and a snake's body. Cursed by a rishi to be so, this planet is supposed to have worshipped Shiva in this temple on Sivaratri for redemption. Sundays are very auspicious here. This temple is 45 kms from Thanjavur.
110 kms from Thanjavur, this temple is dedicated to Kethu, a shadow planet with a snake's head and human body. Kethu is considered as a bestower of Gyana (knowledge).
SP holidays Pvt.Ltd has a special package that takes you to the temples in and around.
A small bustling town on the banks of Cauvery, Trichy was originally known as Tiruchirapalli and gets its name from the three -headed Aura Tirusiras, who was granted a boon by Shiva here. Well connected by rail,road and air it is the central point to major pilgrim centers. You can visit all these holy places in and around Trichy. Please find below the details:
Situated on an 83 mts high rock, the Uchi Pillayar Temple can be accessed by the 420 steps carved out of the rock. Inscriptions on this temple go back to 3rd century BC.
The nerve center of the Srivaishnava philosophy, the Srirangam temple houses Lord Ranganatha reclining on the lap of Adishesha (the Serpent God). It is belived that the shrine emerged from the ocean (parkadal).
It is named after an elephant- worshipper of Lord Shiva that obtained Moksha here.A Pancha Bhoota Sthala(Lingams representing five elements), it is belived that the Lingam here was made by Parvati out of water particles. The water from which the Lingam was made can still be seen around the Lingam here.Other Temples in and around Trichy
Samayapuram Mariamman Temple, Jain Pilgrimage center - Sitannavasal, Moovar Temple - Kodumbaloor, Murugan Temple -Viralimalai.
SP holidays Pvt.Ltd has a special package that takes you to the temples in and around Trichy.
Skanda also known as Murugan, Kartikeya and Subramanya is a revered deity in Tamilnadu. The Arupadai Veedu of Skanda are the 6 most important temples where Skanda the Commander of the Devas, sojourned during his battle with the demon Soorapadaman.Palani
This temple enshrines Dhandayuthapani in a hill temple. At the foot of the hill is Tiru Aavinankudi. The Lord here is considered to be the very epitome of knowledge - "Pazham Nee".Tirupparamkundram
This temple near Madurai enshrines Subramanya celebrating his marriage with Deyvanai, the daughter of Indra.Pazhamudircholai
This temple near Madurai is a simple shrine on the Pazhamudhircholai hill enshrining Lord Subramaniam.Swamimalai
This temple enshrines Lord Swaminathan in a temple built with a flight of 60 steps symbolizing the 60 years that constitute the cycle of years in the Indian calendar.Tiruchendur
This temple enshrines Lord Senthilnatha in a vast temple with a lofty gopuram visible for miles, on the shores of the ocean in southern part of Tamilnadu.Tiruttani
This temple lies on the way to Tirupati and enshrines Lord Subramanya in a hill temple accessed through a flight of 365 steps. It represents the site of Skanda's marriage with Valli.
SP holidays Pvt.Ltd has a special package that takes you to the temples in and around Arupadai Veedu.
Madurai or the city of sweetness gets its name from Madhu or honey that supposedly fell on the Shiva Linga in the Kadamba forests. A city dotted with legends and temples, this city elebrates the beauty of princess Meenakshi and her divine consort-Shiva who came to marry her. It is belived that Lord Vishnu performed kanyadhan of Goddess Meenakshi with Lord Shiva. Madurai is also one of the 51 Shakti Peetams. The entire city celebrates the divine presence through the year and festivals are a way of life in this city. Madurai is easily accessed by rail, road and air. Please visit temples in and around Madurai.
Goddess Meenakshi stands with a parrot and boquet radiating love and compassion. Her divine consort Sundareshwarar is also in this temple in front of the Kampathadi Mandapam which depicts the wedding of Meenakshi. The hall of thousands pillars here has Lord Nataraja in his dancing pose with his left foot raised doing a gnanasundara thandavam. An architectural wonder, all the 985 pillars in this temple appear in a straight line from whichever angle it is seen.Azhagar Temple Azhagar Hills
It is belived that Lord Vishnu came to Madurai as Sundararajar or Kallazhagar to perform the kanyadhan of his sister Meenakshi. Abhishekam for this Lord is performed with water only from Noopura Ganga, a sacred theertham on the hills.Tirupparamkundram
This temple near Madurai enshrines Subramanya celebrating his marriage with Deyvanai the daughter of Indra. This temple has been revered by the thevaram hymns of the nayanmars. This shrine also has a cave temple dedicated to the elements of earth.Other Temples in and around Madurai
Koodal Azhagar Temple, Mariamman Temple, Pazhamudircholai.
SP holidays Pvt.Ltd has a special package that takes you to the temples in and around Madurai.
This conch shapped island at the tip of India is called the Varanasi of the South. It was here that Lord Rama, built a bridge across the sea to rescue his consort SIta, from her abductor, Ravana. Rama is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva to cleanse away the sin of killing Ravana. Rameshwaram is full of temples that are mostly associated with Ramayana.Ramanathaswamy Temple
Famous for its 1200 gigantic granite columns, this temple has 22 sacred wells, with water in each of them tasting different.Agni Theertham
It is believed that Rama worshipped Lord Shiva to absolve himself from the killing of Ravana in this temple.Devipattinam
It si believed that Lord Rama stopped here on his way to Lanka and made the Navagrahas here from the ocean sand to appease the planets. The unique thing about Devipattinam is that it is the only place in the world where the Navagrahas are located inside the sea.DhanushkodiI
Dahnushkodi named after Rama's bow. The boulders around the sea between Sri Lanka and this place known as Adam's bridge,are belived to be used by Hanuman to reach across Sri Lanka. Dhanushkodi was completely destroyed by the cyclones of 1964. Kothandaramaswamy temple is the only salvage of the cyclone.Other Temples in and around Rameshwaram
Rama Temple - Tiruppulani, Sethu - Ramanathapuram.
SP holidays Pvt.Ltd has a special package that takes you to the temples in and around Rameshwaram.
The art of worshipping the Almighty
In temples across the country, God is worshipped through Abishekas. Different temples use different substances deeply rooted in the practices of our ancestors. Each of these things are supposed to have a definite significance for the devotee.Water : Peace of mind
In some places they burn lamps made of bell metal to absolve all sins and iron lamps to dispel fear.TRAVEL TIPS:
Please go through the travel tips for South India temples. The weather in all these places are humid and hot. From September to February they get a little cooler. Cottons are ideal for traveling to all these places. You can wear flat slippers or sneakers.
It is suggestible to contact you doctor for inoculation and get yourself inoculated fro Malaria and Polio if you are visiting from countries other than India. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times.