Sri Chakrapani Temple is situated at the temple town of Kumbakonam, in the Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu State, India. The temple is primarily dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
About The Temple
The temple is one of the finest examples of south Indian temple architecture. The shrine is known for housing beautiful pillars. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Vishnu who graces here as Lord Chakrapani and appears having 8 arms. There is a bronze statue of King Serfoji II who is seen worshipping the lord, as he is believed to have been cured of an illness by this God’s divine grace. A Panchamukha (Five faced) Anjaneya is installed in the Prakaram (temple corridor).
In the year 1620, Govinda Dikshitar, the royal divan (administrator) of the Nayaks, constructed the Ramaswamy Temple at Kumbakonam. That is when he also built the commercial corridor between the new temple and the older Chakrapani temple.
The eastern and western entrances of this temple are known as “Thatchinaya Vayil” and “Utharavana Vayil” respectively. The outer Prakara of this temple is built like a balcony. The Agampara Vinayakar, Panchamuga Aancheneyar and Vijayavalli are the other deities gracing in the temple. Lord Brahma, Surya and Agni are seen worshipping Lord Chakrapani.
Since the Sudarshana Chakram here turned very bright that it even overshadowed the Surya Bhagavan (Sun God). This resulted in the place becoming too hot. In order to prevent this place from overheating again, Sudarashanavalli Thaayar was installed alongside Chakrathaazhwar. Generally, Vijavalli Thayar is seen as the consort of Chakrathazhvaar but she graces from a separate shrine here.
To the north of the temple is its tank named Amirtha Pushkarani. The Ganges is holier than the river Yamuna. One Brahmin named Surya Bandu taking the asthikalasa of his father along with his disciple came to Kumbakonam on his way to mix the ashes of his father in the holy Ganges. He placed the kalasa on the banks of the Holy Chakrapadithurai and did his Sandyavadana in the Holy Cauvery. The disciple was hungry and he opened the kalasa to know if it contained some eatables. Then to his wonder he saw the red lotus flowers and so closed it. They reached Kasi. There the Brahmin opened the kalasa and saw the bones & ashes. At that time his disciple told him when had happened in Kumbakonam. So he returned to Kumbakonam. He opened the pot and mixed the ashes in the water of the holy Chakra Theertha. It is told that his father had informed him to mix the ashes in such a tank where they turned to be lotus flowers.
A dip in this holy tank is a blessing on the day of the Thula month of Tamil year. The Sthala Purana has spoken very high of this Thula masa dip and giving ‘Dana’ to the deserving.
Legend and Stories
According to Hindu Mythology, the Sri Chakra (also called Sudarshana), is the most powerful weapon of Lord Vishnu. The God once aimed the weapon to kill the demon king Jalandasura. The divine Chakra on killing the asura, settled on the banks of River Cauvery. Lord Brahma established the Sri Chakra in this place and began offering worship to it.
Since the Chakra glowed thousand times brighter than the Sun, the Sun god became jealous of the Sri Chakra. He thus increased his brightness to over power the Chakra. The divine Sri chakra drew the sun’s brightness to its self to teach him a lesson. Then the sun God who realised his mistake, surrendered to the Chakrathazhwar. It is said that Sri Chakrapani Swamy (Lord Vishnu) came out of the Shri Chakra and gave his divine Dharsan to the Surya bhagvan. The Sun God built a temple for this Lord here and also requested him to grant him a boon that this holy city of Kumbakonam be named after him as "BASKARA KSHETHRA". The kind Lord Vishnu granted Surya’s wish and thus this Baskara Kshetra became a renowned Pilgrimage site (Prarthana Stala).
Lord Vishnu graces sitting the Garuda vahana on the days of Magam and Chithirai stars every month. The wedding of the Lord and the thayaar is celebrated on the day of Akshaya Trithiya. The Theppotsavam (float festival) is celebrated on the day of Vaikasi Visakam (May-June).
August – September
The Pavitrotsavam is a prominent festival celebrated in many Vishnu Temples across the country in the Ram month of Aavani.
Full moon in May – June
Chakrapani Temple Float Festival
The Float festival (Theppotsavam) is held on the Full Moon day (Poornima) in the Tamil month of Vaikasi.
April – May
The annual Brahmotsavam is held in the Tamil month of Chittirai (April – May). The ten day festival is celebrated along with Lord Sarangapani gracing from the Sarangapani temple.
March – April
The Ratha utsavam (chariot festival) falls on the Magam nakshatra in the Tamil month of Maasi. The Utsava moorthi (processional image) of Lord Chakrapani is taken around the four main streets (Maada Veedhi) surrounding the temple in a chariot on this day. It is noteworthy that the auspicious occasion of Maasi Magam is widely celebrated across all Shiva and Vishnu temples in Kumbakonam, thus making it the prominent festival of this town.
March – April
Sarangapani Koil Theppotsavam
The Float Festival of the nearby Sarangapani temple is associated with the festival of Maasi Magam of the Chakrapani Temple. It is called the Masi Maha Brahmotsavam.
It is believed that people who go through mental or physical illnesses get relieved of their problems. The place is said to spread positive energy on the devotees through their sincere prayers and faith that they have on the god which help them to get cured of their illnesses. People also believe that circumambulating the shrine helps in fulfilling their wishes.
The Sun God is regarded as the head of all the planets (Nava Grahas). The Sun God himself had completely surrendered to Lord Vishnu here. Thus worshipping this divine Lord Chakrapani at this temple is said to relieve all planetary doshas. Those who are affected by the Ezhara Shani (seven and a half years of Saturn’s reign), Ashtama Sani, Ragu dosha, Ragu buddhi, Kethu dosha are said to get relieved of its ill effects on paying a visit to this temple. The Lord is also known to grant child boon to childless couples.
Items like Thulasi, Kumkum, Vilvam, Vanni, Chemparuthi, Arali are usually offered to this Lord since Surya Bhagvan, Agni Deva, Lord Brahma, sage Markandeya and Ahirbudhanya Maharishi are believed to have performed archana to the Lord with the above mentioned commodities. Sudarsana Homam is also performed by few devotees at this sacred shrine.
The special rituals such as the Sudarshana Homam, Thirumanjanam (anointing) and Sahasranamam Archanai are performed on the Lord in this temple.
Prasad and Offering
The Prasadam (offering) in Chakrapani Temple, Kumbakonam to the main deity is a sweet pudding made with wheat called ‘Gothumai Payasam’.
How To Reach Sri Chakrapani Temple, Kumbakonam
The nearest airport is the Trichy airport.
The nearest railways station is the Kumbakonam railway station.
The temple is just 2 km from the Kumbakonam railway station on the Swamimalai road. Buses and cabs are available to reach the temple.
Sri Chakrapani Temple,
Kumbakonam, Thanjavur district,
Tamil Nadu, Pincode - 612001.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Relief from diseases
- Purchase of vehicles
- Gain Knowledge
Achutham Keyshavam Rama Narayanam Krishna Damodaram Vasudevam Harim Shridharam Madhavam Gopika Vallabham Janaki Nayakam Ramachandram Bhajey
Meaning -Oh Lord who cannot be perished, who also has names like Keshava, Rama, Damodara, Narayana, Sridhara, Madhava, Krishna, Ramachandra the beloved of Janaki, let me say your name regularly.
Vasudeva Sutham Devam Kamsa Chanoora Mardhanam Devaki Paramanandham Krishnam Vande Jagathgurum
Meaning -I bow to you O Krishna, the ultimate guru, Devaki and Vasudeva's son, and the destroyer of Kamsa and Chanur.
Adharam Madhuram Vadanam Madhuram Nayanam Madhuram Hasitam Madhuram Hridayam Madhuram Gamanam Madhuram Mathuraa Dhipate Rakhilam Madhuram
Meaning -Meaning - Sweet are Your lips, sweet is Your face, sweet are Your eyes, sweet is Your smile, sweet is Your heart, sweet is Your gait, O Lord of Mathura, everything about You is sweet.
Alokya Mathur Mukha Madarena Sthanyam Pibantham Saraseeruhaksham Sachinmayam Devam Anantha Roopam Balam Mukundam Manasa Smarami
Meaning -I think of this Balamukundan as the one who looks lovingly at his mother's face while taking milk from her, who has eyes similar to the red lotus, who is the embodiment of truth and intelligence and other forms.
The temple is open from 7.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.