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Aadi Kumbeswarar Temple
About Shiva  -  Shiva Image Gallery
Pooja Cost : US$ 9.00 Leadtime : 5 Days
Location : Kumbakonam.
Main Deity : Adikumbeshwarar.
Other Deities : Mangalambigai.
Nearest Town : Kumbakonam District : Thanjavur State : Tamil Nadu
Adikumbeswarar is another form of Lord Siva and considered very sacred. The temple is situated at an area of 189000 sq feet and main gopuram is 128 feet in height. The temple contains some wonderful pieces of sculpture and architecture. On a single block of stone in the Navarathri Mandapam all the 27 stars and 12 Rasis (signs) have been carved out. The Image of Lord Subrahmanya, enshrined in the part of the temple, is a rare specimen. It has six heads but only six hands holding different kinds of weapons.

According to purana, a pot (kumbam) containing nectar and the seed of creation, was decorated by Lord Brahma with the sacred thread with coconut and mango leaves on the top and was kept on the peak of Mount Meru. At the time of deluge, the sacred pot was carried by the currents and reached Kumbakonam where it got tilted. Now Lord Shiva disguising as a hunter and aimed an arrow at the pot and all materials inside the pot fell at different places, where we find today shrines dedicated to Siva. The nectar settled at two places one of which became the famous Mahamaham Tank. Out of the pieces of the broken pot Lord Siva made out a Sivalingam and entered into it. This now enshrined in the temple, and hence the name Adi Kumbeswarar, meaning one who entered the Kumba or vessel long long ago
The great Mahamaham festival, attracting lakhs of people from far and wide, is celebrated in honour of Lord and it takes place once in 12 years. It is celebrated on the conjunction of the moon with the Maha nakshatra and Jupiter crosses one Rasi or sign in about one year. It comes to Simha Rasi or Leo every 13th year and it is considered specially sacred. It is believed 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.
Lord has a number of festivals round the year. Every year in the month of Maasi (Feb-Mar) a festival is conducted and the image of Lord Kumbeswara is taken out in a procession. It is celebrated for 10 days during that period.

Others include, Theppam festival during Panguni (Mar - Apl), Sapthathanam during Chitirai month (Apl - May). During this festival Lord's idol will be carried in a palanquin to nearby villages. Marriage festival for Lord Adikumbeswarar and Goddess Mangalambigai will be conducted during Vaikasi (May - Jun). Daily poojas are conducted six times from morning to evening.
Image / Content source : sofnets.com