Nageswaran Temple Kumbakonam

Nageswaran Temple in Kumbakonam is a 12th century temple which stands as a great example of Chola’s architecture and is famous for its sculptures. Nageswaraswamy Temple is also known by the name Koothandavar Kovil and is located near Kumbakonam Old Bus Stand in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the guise of Nagaraja, the serpent king. This temple is noted for its shrine dedicated to Lord Rahu, one of the Navagrahas.

Temple Architecture

Nageswaran Temple is constructed in such a way that it allows the sun rays falls on the Shivalingam (Nageswaraswamy) for three days, during the Tamil month of Chithirai. The sanctum sanctorum of temple is made in the form of a chariot, similar to that of Sarangapani temple. Nageswarar swamy, in the form of a Lingam, is the main deity of the temple and the goddess here is Brihannayaki Amman.

The inner walls of the prakaram surrounding the sanctum have sculptures that depict the whole story of Ramayana. The Nataraja shrine is adorned by the 12 zodiac signs, 2 enormous horses and 4 elephants – all in stone. The niches on the sanctum wall contain various sculptures – on the north, Lord Dakshinamurti, on the west Ardhanarishvara and Lord Brahma on the south.

Nageswaran Temple Kumbakonam

The statue of Gangai Vinayagar brought by the victorious chola army during Rajendra Chola's Ganges expedition is housed in the ardha mandapam, in front of the sanctum of Nageswarar

Temple Legend

It is believed that Sun God Surya worshipped Lord Shiva at this place. The sun rays that falls on the Shiva Linga during the month of Chithirai is due to this reason. Mythological serpents Adiseshan, Dakshan and Kaarkotakan worshipped Shiva here.


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