Tuesday Jun 25, 2024

Kumbakonam Kalahasteeswarar Temple, Thanjavur


Kumbakonam Kalahasteeswarar Temple, Thanjavur

Madathu Street, Kumbakonam,


Tamil Nadu 612001






Kalahasteeswarar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Kumbakonam Town in Thanjavur District in Tamil Nadu. Presiding Deity is called as Kalahasteeswarar and Mother is called as Gnanambigai / Gnanaprahalambigai. The temple is one of 12 Shiva temples connected with the Mahamaham festival, which takes place in Kumbakonam every 12 years.

Puranic Significance 

The temple was renovated by Sarfoji Maharaja of Thanjavur in 18th Century CE under the guidance of then Kanchi Peedathipathi. The last consecration of the temple was held on 26th October 2015.

Maha Pralayam:

According to mythology, at the end of every Yuga, there is a huge flood called Maha Pralayam occurs and the whole world immerses in a deluge on account of the wrath of god Shiva for the sins committed by humans in earth. Lord Brahma prepared himself for the next cycle of creation. He put all the seeds from which creation would sprout in amrita (the elixir of immortality) along with four Vedas and Puranas and kept them together in a clay pot. On top of the pot, he placed a coconut with mango leaves and wrapping around the pot’s neck a sacred thread. He then placed the pot on the peak of Mount Meru in the Himalayas. When the Maha Pralayam started, it destroyed all living creatures on the earth. The Amutha Kalasa also got displaced and started floating on the seas for years. Eventually when the Pralayam stopped, the Kalasa settled in Kumbakonam. Then Lord Shiva took the form of a hunter (Kirata Murthy) and split open the pot with his arrow. The life on earth started flourishing again. It is believed that when Lord Shiva opened the pot with his arrow, the pot broke and fell in various places across the earth. Each of these items became Shiva Lingas and temple has been established later.

Equivalent to Kalahasthi:

This Temple is considered equivalent to Kalahasthi. As Kalahasthi is the place for relief from Doshas caused by Rahu planet. This Temple also offers the relief from Rahu Dosha.


Prayers offered here to the Lord Shiva and Gnanaprahalambigai are equal to the Vayu Lingam of Kalahasti itself. Abishekams to Jwarakeswara are performed with hot water and offerings are usually boiled rice with pepper and vilva leaves to appease the Lord who can alleviate Jwara (fever). Devotees pray here for relief from critical and prolonged diseases

Special Features

This temple is facing towards east with five tiered Rajagopuram. Lord Vinayaka and Lord Muruga grace at the Rajagopuram entrance. There is an entrance to this Temple via Kamakshi Josiyar Street. Presiding Deity is called as Kalahasteeswarar and is facing east. He is housed in the sanctum in the form of Lingam. Dakshinamoorthy, Lingothbhava and Durga are the Koshta Idols located around the sanctum walls.

Mother is called as Gnanambigai / Gnanaprahalambigai. She is housed in a separate south facing shrine. Mother shrine is situated to the right side of sanctum. There is a west facing shrine for Lord Shiva Surya in the temple premises. There is a separate shrine for Nataraja in the temple premises. Lord Nataraja is holding the court along with Mother Shivagami. Manickavasagar can be found in this shrine.

There is a shrine for Jwarahareswarar / Juradeva in the temple premises. He appears with three legs of which two are on the ground and one is in folding position. As illnesses occur due to three problems in bones, veins and skin, it is said that Lord Juradeva has three legs to protect the sick devotees. Abhishek to Lord is performed with hot water.

There is a shrine for Kalyana Sundareswarar with Katyayini in the temple premises. Lord Kalyana Sundara Murthy and Mother Kathyayini appear in marriage attire with a walking stick. It represents the tradition of bridegroom going to Kasi symbolically during the wedding ceremony. There is a shrine for Durga in the temple premises. She is called as Ashtadasa Bhuja Mahalakshmi Durga as she is having 18 hands. Mother Durga is the authority on Rahu planet.

There are shrines for Siddhi Vinayaga, Meenakshi Sundareswarar, Kasi Viswanathar, Saraswathi, Lakshmi, Ganga, Navagrahas, Anjaneya and Rahu in the temple premises. When the bell of this temple rings, it sounds OM. Sthala Vriksham is Vilwa Tree.


The wedding celebration of Lord Kalahastheeswarar is celebrated in this temple on the Makara Sankranti day (Thai Pongal in Tamil) taking place almost on the 14th January each year. During Mahamaham, Lord is taken in procession for Theerthavari. Pujas to Mother Durga is performed during Rahukalam time.


18th Century CE

Managed By

Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department (HR&CE)

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