Banapuriswarar Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Kumbakonam Town in Thanjavur District in Tamil Nadu. Presiding Deity is called as Banapuriswarar / Somanathar and Mother is called as Soma Kamalambal / Kamalambigai.The temple is one of 12 Shiva temples connected with the Mahamaham festival, which takes place in Kumbakonam every 12 years.
According to Hindu 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 Hindu 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.
These Temples are
Adi Kumbeswarar Temple (place where the Amrutha Kalasa stayed). It is believed that Lord Kirata Murthy (Lord Shiva) himself made a Shivalingam with the broken pieces of the Kalasa by mixing nectar and sand with it. He worshiped this lingam and stayed back in this place.The Shivalingam is in the shape of the neck of a pot (Kudamukku in Tamil).
Once, Sage Vyasa was cursed by Nandi Deva. As per the advice of Lord Vishnu, Sage Vyasa installed a Linga and worshipped Lord Shiva here to get rid of his curse. Linga installed by Sage Vyasa can be found in the prakaram.
King of Vanga Desa Worshipped Lord Shiva here
King of Vanga Desa (now Bengal) worshipped Lord Shiva here for curing his wife Gandhimathi suffering from a prolonged illness, as advised by Sage Soodha. He also did some renovations in the temple. He was blessed with children too.
Banapureeswarar Temple Kumbakonam History
The Temple is believed to be built during 6th Century AD.The last consecration of the temple was held on 26 October 2015. This temple is under the administrative control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of Government of Tamil Nadu (HR & CE).
The Temple is facing east with three tired Rajagopuram. The Sanctum Sanctorum consists of Mahamandapam, Artha Mandapam and Sanctum. Presiding Deity is called as Banapuriswarar / Somanathar and is facing east. He is housed in the sanctum in the form of Lingam. He is facing east. Vinayaga, Dakshinamoorthy, Arthanareeswarar, Brahma and Durga are the Koshta Idols located around the sanctum walls.
Mother is called as Soma Kamalambal / Kamalambigai. She is housed in a separate south facing shrine in Maha Mandapam. Her shrine is situated in the northern side. She is in standing posture with four hands. She is holding Rudraksha and Lotus flower in two hands and other two hands showing varada and Abhaya Hasta.
Linga installed by Sage Vyasa can be found in the prakaram. There is a shrine for Lord Vishnu with his consorts Sridevi & Bhudevi in the Temple premises. Hanuman can be found facing Lord Vishnu Shrine. There is a Durga Shrine in the north west corner of the Temple.
The shrine houses a big Durga Idol.There are shrines for Vinayaga, Lord Murugan with his consorts Valli & Deivanai, Chandikeswarar, Durga, Bhairava and Navagrahas in the Temple premises. Sthala Vriksham is Vilwa tree. It is on the southern side of the prakaram.
Banapureeswarar Temple Kumbakonam Opening Time
The temple remains open from 07.00 AM to 11.30 AM and 05.00 PM to 08.00 PM.
Banapureeswarar Temple Kumbakonam Festivals Mahashivaratri in February-March is grandly observed. Maha Magam, Purattasi Navaratri, Margazhi Thiruvadhirai, Arudhra Darshan and Masi Magam are the festivals celebrated here. Monthly Pradosha pujas are regularly followed.
How to Reach Banapureeswarar Temple Kumbakonam?
The Temple is located at about I Km from Kumbakonam Bus Stand and 2 Kms from Kumbakonam Railway Station. Kumbakonam is well-connected by road and rail with the rest of India. Kumbakonam is located at about 6 Kms from Thirunageswaram, 8 Kms from Patteeswaram, 9 Kms from Thiruvidaimarudur, 9 Kms from Nachiyar Koil, 15 Kms from Papanasam, 34 Kms from Mayiladuthurai, 35 Kms from Thiruvaiyaru, 40 Kms from Thanjavur, 42 Kms from Thiruvarur, 88 Kms from Trichy, 101 Kms from Trichy Airport and 283 Kms from Chennai.
There are regular government and private bus services to Chennai, Thanjavur, Mannargudi, Trichy, Chidambaram, Tiruppur, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Coimbatore, Palani, Thoothukudi, Madurai, Sivagangai, Puducherry and Tirunelveli. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operates daily services from Bengaluru and Mysuru to Kumbakonam.