Weather :

Time Required : 2-3 hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Timings : 6:00 AM - 12:30 PM, 4:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Sarangapani Temple, Kumbakonam Overview

Sarangapani Temple, an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is located in the town of Kumbakonam in the South-Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The beautiful temple is located on the banks of River Kaveri and is frequented by devotees of Lord Vishnu from all over the world. Along with being a sacred place of worship, the temple is a work of art in itself, with several tiers of intricately carved and colourfully decorated mythological sculptures and images. The grandeur of the temple is breathtaking. It has the tallest tower in the town. As one explores the Sarangapani Temple, they are bound to feel a certain vibe as hundreds of devotees transmit energies through their prayers and the experience is surreal.

Sarangapani is the deity who is an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The temple is considered to be one of the 108 holy temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu in India. It is also regarded as one of the five sacred temples dedicated to an avatar of Lord Vishnu, Ranganatha. Locals know it well by the name Pancharanga Kshetram on the banks of the sacred River Kaveri. Many believe that taking a dip in the holy waters of River Kaveri and offering their prayers to Lord Vishnu will wash off all their sins. Some say there are several ways to achieve the same goal of peace, tranquillity and happiness. A visit to Sarangapani Temple is one of those. This temple should be included on your list of attractions to visit this year.

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Legend of Sarangpani Temple

Sarangapani Temple was of tremendous importance during the reign of the Chola Dynasty, the Vijayanagara Dynasty and the Madurai Nayaks. According to a legend, sage Hemarishi performed penance at the location with a wish to obtain Goddess Lakshmi as his daughter. Lord Vishnu, pleased with his dedication, appeared before the sage in the avatar of Sarangapani and granted his wish.

Goddess Lakshmi emerged in between thousands of lotuses on the Potramarai Tank. She was named Komalavalli, meaning the one who appeared from lotuses. Later on, Lord Vishnu came back to earth again in a chariot as the Aravamudhan to convince Goddess Lakshmi to marry him. When she agreed, they got married.

Religious Significance of Sarangapani Temple

Sarangapani Temple is of significant religious importance to the devotees. It is the third most important temple after Srirangam and Tirupati. The temple has been mentioned in several verses of Divya Prabandham which was written by the Alwars. It is also known as the Divya Desam which is one of the 108 temples of Lord Vishnu and important references about this temple has been made in the Vaishnav Canon.

Because it lies on the banks of River Kaveri, it is also one of the five temples dedicated to Ranganatha. Hence, it is also included in the Pancharanga Kshetram. The temple is also mentioned in some sacred texts in the place of Vatarangam. Sarangapani Temple is one of the five Vishnu temples associated with the Mahamaham Festival or the Kumbh Festival that is celebrated once in 12 years.

Architecture of Sarangapani Temple

The most striking feature of the Sarangapani Temple is the main gateway or the rajagopuram. It is 173 feet tall with eleven tiers and is the tallest temple in Kumbakonam. Each tier is adorned with figures depicting Indian mythology and legendary stories. The site has water bodies and shrines inside a walled compound; only the Potramarai tank is located outside the entrance on the western side of the premises.

At the centre is a shrine that has a chariot with elephants and horses. This shrine depicts the story when Lord Vishnu descended to earth. It has an idol of Sarangapani where he is seen resting his head on his right hand. The sanctum has images of sage Hemarishi and Goddess Lakshmi. The Potramarai tank has mandap called the Hemarishi Mandap. The temple walls have 108 karanas sculpted on them.

Festivals Celebrated at Sarangapani Temple

Akshaya Tritiya: Celebrated in the Hindu month Vaishakh every year (April or May), Akshaya Tritiya marks the annual festival of Hindus to celebrate spring and infinite prosperity.

Chithirai: This festival is celebrated in the Tamil month of Chittirai (April/ May) every year for an entire month and is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi.

Uriyadi Utsavam: Uriyadi Utsavam is celebrated every year in August on the occasion of Krishna Jayanti.

Navaratri: Navaratri is celebrated every year between September and October to celebrated Goddess Durga.

Deepavali: The festival of Deepavali is celebrated with great enthusiasm. The Lakshmi Narayanaswami Pooja is the most important pooja done at the temple and attended by devotees in large numbers.

Pongal: Pongal or Makar Sankranti is the festival to celebrate the onset of the harvest season. It is observed with great enthusiasm in January every year.

Masi Magam: This festival is celebrated between February and March (in the Tamil month of Masi). It is considered highly important to wash off the sins by taking a dip in river Kaveri and offering prayers to the deity.

Sarangapani Temple Pooja Timings

Tiruvanandal - 8:00 AM
Kala Santhi - 9:00 AM  
Uchikalam - 12:30 PM
Ntiyanusandhanam - 6:00 PM
Irandamkalam - 7:30 PM 
Ardha Jamam - 9:00 PM

Best Time To Visit Sarangapani Temple

September to February is an appropriate time to visit Sarangapani Temple as the weather stays pleasant throughout the day. Also, all the major festivals are celebrated during these months at the temple.

How To Reach Sarangapani Temple

The route to Sarangapani is well connected by road within Kumbakonam. The temple is about 2 kilometres away from the centre of the town. Tourists can hail buses or hire cabs/ taxis to commute within the city.

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