Sri Sarangapani Perumal Temple, also known as ‘Sarangapani Temple’ is situated in Kumbakonam, Tanjore district of Tamilnadu. Sarangapani Temple is one of the 108 Divya Desam Temples, which are dedicated to Lord Vishnu and also named as ‘Thirukkudanthai’. Sarangapani Temple is said to be contributed mostly by the Chola kings, Vijayanagar Empires and Madurai Nayakars. The Rajagopuram (the gateway) of this temple stands at a height of 173 feet and the Rajagopuram has eleven-tiered structure. The shrine is structured in the way that the chariot is pulled by elephant and horses, represents the Lord from heaven in chariot.
The mythology was that the sage Hemarishi performed penance at Potramarai tank to procure Goddess Lakshmi as his daughter. Lord Vishnu was pleased by the Worship made by the sage Hemarishi and asked Goddess Lakshmi, His consort, to born as a daughter of the sage. Goddess Lakshmi, as a child, was found by the sage Hemarishi on the Potramarai tank, which was filled with lotus flower. And as the child was found among the lotus flowers, the child was named ‘Kamalavalli’.
The main deity of this Sarangapani Temple is Lord Sarangapani, with His head relaxing on His right hand. This temple is revered as one of the Pancharanga Kshetrams (five sacred temples) dedicated to Lord Ranganathar(Lord Vishnu) on the banks of river Kaveri. The Pancharanga Kshetrams are:
- Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple, Srirangam
- Parimala Ranganatha Perumal Temple, Mayiladuthurai
- Sarangapani Temple, Kumbakonam
- Sri Appakkudathan Temple, Trichy
- Sri Ranganatha Temple, Srirangapatna (Karnataka)
The idols of Goddess Lakshmi, sage Hemarishi and various other images are also found in this temple. The temple tank of Sri Sarangapani Perumal temple is called Potramarai tank. There are two entrances found for this temple:
- Utharayana Vaasal, remains open from 15th of January to 15th of July.
- Dhakshanayana Vaasal, remains open for the rest of the months.
Some of the key transitions among 108 transitions in Bharatanatyam, the famous classical South Indian dance are carved around the temple. Sri Sarangapani Perumal Temple is the largest temple among the sacred temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu in Kumbakonam. Sarangapani Temple is respected in Divya Prabandham, and hymns sung by Goddess Andal, Periyalvar, Bhoothathalvar, Thirumalisai Azhwar, Peialvar, Nammalvar and Thirumangai Azhwar.
- Tiruvanandal Pooja – 8:00 a.m.
- Kala santhi Pooja – 9:00 a.m.
- Uchikalam Pooja – 12:30 p.m.
- Ntiyanusandhanam Pooja – 6:00 p.m.
- Irandamkalam Pooja – 7:30 p.m.
- Ardha Jamam Pooja – 9:00 p.m.
- Akshaya Tritiyai – April or May
- Vasantotsavam – May or June
- Pavitrotsavam – July or August
- Sri Jayanthi – August or September
- Navaratri Utsavam – September or October
- Deepavali – October or November
- Deepa Utsavam – November or December
- Pongal (Sankaramana Utsavam) – December or January
- Ratasaptami – January or February
- Masi Magaham (Float Festival) – February or March
- Brahmmotsavam (Tirukkalyanotsavam) – March – April
There are regular government and private bus services to Chennai, Thanjavur, Mannargudi, Tiruchirapalli, Chidambaram, Nagapattinam, Coimbatore, Madurai, Pondicherry, and Tirunelveli. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operates daily services from Bangalore and Mysore to Kumbakonam.
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.
The nearest international airport is at Tiruchirapalli, which is 91 km (57 miles) from Kumbakonam.
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