Rajagopala Swamy Temple
Rajagopala Swamy Temple- Kumbakonam

Rajagopalaswamy Temple is dedicated to Vishnu located at Mannargudi, Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu. Kumbakonam is a temple town with many Hindu temples located in and around it. Majority of the temples are dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The word Mannargudi is derived from the Tamil word Mannar referring to Vishnu and gudi referring to a place, meaning the “Place of Vishnu”. The town was also called “Mannarkovil” or “Rajamannarkoil” after the Rajagopalaswamy temple. The temple is spread over an area of 23 acres and is one of the important Vaishnavite shrines in India. The temple is called Dakshina Dwarka along with Guruvayoor by Hindus.  The image of the presiding deity is 156 Feet tall. There is a big tank at the entrance of the shrine where rain water is collected. Theertham Tank is a little far from the temple.  This is the place where sages performed penance for the darshan of Lord. This theertha is considered as Jamuna River-Yamuna- and is praised as Haridra Nadhi. The float festival is celebrated here on Aani Poornima day in June-July. The temple complex has 16 gopurams , 7 prakarams, 24 shrines, seven mandapams and nine sacred theerthams . The utsava is a bronze figure from the Chola period. It shows keshabanda type of coifure and restrained ornamentation, typical of the Chola bronzes of the 11th century. Thayar has a seperate sannadhi here and Sengamala thayar is called padi thandaa patni meaning that she wouldnt go out of the temple even for the annual festivals. The temple tank is called Haridra Nadhi, 1,158 feet long and 837 feet broad, making it one of the largest temple tanks in India.

The temple is also known as Dakshina dwarka and it is believed that staying here overnight is equivalent to donating 1000 cows. The utsvar is Rajagopala swamy with Rukmini thayar and Satyabama. There are small calves around the Lord and the idol is very very beautiful and eye catching. The utsavar wears a kundalam in one ear and an earring in another. He carries a golden rod and is also called Rajamannar. Adi Kumbeswarar Temple is considered to be the oldest Shaiva (the sect of the god Shiva) shrine in the town, believed to be constructed by the Cholas in the 7th century.

History

This temple was originally built by Kulothunga Chola King I, with brick and mortar. Indicated by a various stone inscription found on the site. This place Mannargudi Sri Rajathi Raja chathurvedhi Mangalam and the town started to grow around the temple. The rulers of the Chola empire, Rajaraja Chola III, Rajendra Chola III and Thanjavur Nayaks kings, Achchu and Deva Raya, expanded the temple. The temple contains inscriptions of the Hoysala kings and some Vijayanagara grants and many records of the later Nayaks and Marathas. The Thanjavur Nayakas have converted the temple to their dynasty and main shrines and significant additions. The current temple structure,hall of 1000 pillars, the tower and the large square wall of the tower Built by Vijayaraghavan Nayakar. Raghunatha Pattam, a theory of Nayak to the king’s main deity It explains the beautiful armor embedded in the armor. He erected the big tower in the temple so that he can view the Srirangam Ranganathaswamy temple from the top of Mannargudi.

Rajagopalaswamy Temple- Kumbakonam
A view inside the Rajagopalaswamy Temple

The Nayaks were especially interested in music and it was promoted in both the temples. Instruments like Mukhavina, Dande, Kombu, Chandravalaya, Bheri and Nadhaswaram were commonly used in the temple service. Historian K.V. Soundarajan, Rangandha temples in south India built are during the 9th and 10th centuries The Nayaks were especially interested in music and it was promoted in both the temples.  Instruments like Mukhavina, Dande, Kombu, Chandravalaya, Bheri and Nadhaswaram were commonly used in the temple service.

Presiding deity

The moolavar presiding deity, is found in his manifestation as Rajagopalaswamy. His consort is known as Sengamalavalli.There is another temple in the same name at Thoppu Street in Kumbakonam.

Opening time

Morning 6.30 a.m. to 12.00 a.m.

Evening 4.30 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.

Speciality

Five Vishnu temples are connected with Mahamaham festival which happens once in 12 years in Kumbakonam.

  • Sarangapani Temple
  • Chakrapani Temple
  • Ramaswamy Temple
  • Rajagopalaswamy Temple
  • Varahaperumal Temple.

Festival

  • Rajagopalaswamy Temple is known for annual Panguni Brahmotsavam (Mar -Apr ) for a period of 18 days.
  • Summer festival in Chithirai – Vaikasi (April to June)
  • Aadi Pooram (July-August)
  • Navarathri in Purattasi (September-October)
  • Oonjal festival for Rajagopalaswami in Masi (February-March)

Garudasevai

  • Garudasevai is one of the main festivals of the temple

 

By Bus

Kumpakōṇam is a city and a special grade municipality in the Thanjavur district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located 40 kilometres from Thanjavur and 273 kilometres  from Chennai. It is the headquarters of the Kumbakonam taluk of Thanjavur district. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operates daily services from Bangalore and Mysore to Kumbakonam.


By Train

Kumbakonam is connected by rail with most important towns and cities in South India. The Mysore- Mayiladuthurai Express connects Kumbakonam with Mysore and Bangalore. There are regular express trains that connect Kumbakonam with major cities in the state like Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchirapalli.


By Air

The nearest international airport is at Tiruchirapalli, which is 91 km (57 miles) from Kumbakonam.

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  • Sri Anaiappa Sastha Temple
  • Sivan Temple
  • Amman Temple
  • Varadharaja Perumal Temple

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