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Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Best Time: Nov-Feb Read More

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"The Cambridge of India"

Kumbakonam Tourism

Sandwiched between two great rivers of southern India, Cauvery and Arsala, Kumbakonam is a gorgeous temple town in the heart of the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu.The town is a place for the lovers of history and those seeking to understand India's cultural roots and Hinduism.

The town is also known for its grand festival called Mahamaham festival which is celebrated every twelve years at the Mahamaham Tank. The town is one of the oldest in Indian history, and known for its famed temples, Chola heritage and also for its marvelous educational institutes.

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History of Kumbakonam: Spinning Back the Wheel of Time

The town of Kumbakonam has had an incredibly vibrant history through the wheel of time. Dating back to the Sangam period, the town was under the rule of the famous South Indian ruling communities, the Cholas, Pallavas, and Pandayas. The city rose to prominence later, and under the British Raj it came to be known as the "Cambridge of South India" and became an important centre of Hindu culture and the European education.

Slowly, many temples started coming up in the town, and thus, it came to be known as an important religious centre. Being one of the most important cities even in many historical eras, Kumbakonam gained its development at an early stage, and thus became one of the most important places in Thanjavur district and an important tourism centre in the southern India. The art, architecture and the cultural and religious tolerance of the area have been alluring tourists for visiting Kumbakonam since long.

Kumbakonam - The Culturally Heterogenous Town

Popularly known as the "Temple Town", Kumbakonam is famous for its cultural diversity and tolerance. With about 188 temples in the town, the place is popularly now known for being a religious centre, and a beautiful depiction of the art and culture of the area. With temples like Airavatesvara Temple, Uppiliappan Temple, Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, Nageshwara Temple and Chakkarapani Temple in its locality, no one will dislike this beautiful city of temples.

The famous festival of Mahamaham is an extremely sought after event, which attracts tourists from all over the world. Celebrated in the Mahamanam Tank, the festival is known for taking a holy dip, and attracts lakhs of tourist all throughout the festival. Kumbakonam is thus an incredibly beautiful place, which should be on everyone's travel list.


Kumbakonam, known as Coombaconum during the British rule, literally means - Pot’s Corner. According to myth, the town of Kumbakonam is believed to be the resting spot of Kumbha or mythical pot of Lord Brahma, which contains the seeds of all the living things on earth. The pot came to rest here following the pralaya or the dissolution of the universe, and the festival of Mahamaham is celebrated every 12 years in commemoration of this event. Kumbakonam is also known by many other names such as - Baskarashetram, Kumbam and Kudamukku.

Temples of Kumbakonam

Kumbakonam is often referred to as the ‘Temple Town’ or the ‘City of Temples’. The town has around 188 Hindu temples, and several thousand more surrounding its outskirts. The oldest Shaiva temple of the town, the Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, is believed to have been constructed by the Cholas in the 7th century, worshipping Lord Shiva. The Nageswaraswamy Temple is built in honour of the Sun God Surya. The largest Vaishnava temple in Kumbakonam built for Lord Vishnu is the Sarangapani Temple.It is one of the 108 temples, or Divya Desams, worshipped by the Tamil Alvar saint-poets, who are ardent bhakts or devotees of Lord Vishnu.The Ramaswamy Temple has depictions from the Hindu epic Ramayana on its walls. During the Mahamaham Festival, millions of pilgrims take a holy dip in the Mahamaham tank. Apart from these, the town of Kumbakonam also has many mathas or monasteries. Some of the famous include - Sri Sankara matha and Raghavendra matha.

Restaurants and Local Food in Kumbakonam

Vegetarian food rules the roost here with pre-dominantly Tamil cuisines on offer. One can get authentic South Indian cuisines which will tickle your taste buds.
Also don't forget to have coffee Kumbakonam as it has one of the best filter coffees in the world.
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Suggested Itinerary for Kumbakonam

Taking into account the number of temples in the city, it won't be feasible for the tourists to visit each one of the temples. A 2-day trip might be a suitable option for the travellers to plan their visit to Kumbakonam.

Day 1: Utilise the first day to start with a visit to Mahamaham Tank and the Airavatesvara Temple, located at a drive of 10 minutes from each other. Uppiliappan Temple, located at a drive of 20 minutes, can also be visited on this day. Next at a 17-minute drive is Adi Kumbeswarar Temple, which can be your last stop for the day.

Day 2: Utilise the second day further to explore more temples and a few more tourist attractions in the town, and also explore the local markets and shop for the local goods, which will be memorable for you the rest of your life.

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Commuting within Kumbakonam

Kumbakonam Photos

Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu
Adi Kumbeshwara Temple
Nageswaran Temple
Sarangapani Temple

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FAQs on Kumbakonam

What is famous about Kumbakonam?

The town is very well connected with the modes of transportation, providing better accessibility to the tourists. The temples and the famous festival of Mahamaham are things tourists look forward to while visiting this town. The culture and religious tolerance of the city beautifully depict the cultural diversity India is associated with.

What is not so good about Kumbakonam?

Apart from temples and religious event, the place might have a lack of interest for its tourists as it offers a limited number of options. During the Mahamaham festival, the place might get a little too crowded.

Who should visit Kumbakonam?

Everyone having an eye for the religious and cultural beauty of the country can visit Kumbakonam, ranging from young people to couples, and families. Kumbakonam is a place which will interest everyone visiting it.

What is the best time to visit Kumbakonam?

Located in the tropical area and the Deccan region of the country, Kumbakonam has the typical tropical climate, with pleasant winters and hot and dry summers. The monsoons are accompanied with moderate rains and erratic shower spells, thus making the time one of the suitable time to pay a visit. The summers are hot and largely uncomfortable for one to visit the place.

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What is the local food in Kumbakonam?

Vegetarian food rules the roost here with pre-dominantly Tamil cuisines on offer. One can get authentic South Indian cuisines which will tickle your taste buds.
Also don't forget to have coffee Kumbakonam as it has one of the best filter coffees in the world.
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What is the best way to reach Kumbakonam?

It being one of the important tourist destination in the Southern India and a part of the much sought after district of Thanjavur, Kumbakonam is conveniently linked with the rest of the country with numerous options of transport. A well-developed road network, numerous rail routes and a major railhead in the town itself, and proximity to two of the major airport of Peninsular India makes it easier for tourists to plan their trip down to Kumbakonam, hassle free. The modes vary in the time taken and the fares, thus making it easier for people to choose the best option suiting their needs.

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What are the things to do in Kumbakonam?

The top things to do in Kumbakonam are Adi Kumbeshwara Temple, Nageswaran Temple, Shopping in Kumbakonam, Mahamaham Tank, Sarangapani Temple, Airavatesvara Temple. You can see all the places to visit in Kumbakonam here

What are the places near Kumbakonam?

The top places near to Kumbakonam are Thanjevur which is 34 km from Kumbakonam, Pondicherry which is located 115 km from Kumbakonam, Mayiladuthurai which is located 30 km from Kumbakonam, Munnar which is located 272 km from Kumbakonam, Velankanni which is located 58 km from Kumbakonam

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Kumbakonam Reviews

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Smv Impexs

on Suryanar Koil Temple 1 year ago
We don't know our kuladeivam. how to find kuladeivam? how can we identify because we have searched more then 30 years so if anybody know about the procedure then kind share me the details

Brikut A

on Ayyavadi Pratyangira Devi Temple 4 years ago
Ayyavadi Pratyangira, the Goddess adorned with Shree Chakra Thaatanka/ earrings and has Aadi Moola Pralaya Bhadrakali on Her HRIDAYAM. Read more at

Rohit Shroff

4 years ago
- While visiting the temples make sure you keep all your footwear together to avoid losing them.
- Advance book hotels especially if visiting during peak season.
- Do not leave the town without (Read More) having the filter coffee or else your journey will be incomplete.
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