Someswara Swamy Temple is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in Kumbakonam Town in Thanjavur District in Tamil Nadu. Presiding Deity is called as Someswara Swamy / Someswarar / Kayarohana Swamy / Vyazha Somesar / Sikkesar / Somanathar and Mother is called as Thenar Mozhiyammai / Somasundari. The temple is one of 12 Shiva temples connected with the Mahamaham festival, which takes place in Kumbakonam every 12 years. This Temple is situated in the southern portion of Sarangapani Temple.
The presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Thevaram. written by Tamil saint poets known as the Nayanmars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam. This Temple is the 145th Devaram Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalam and 28th sthalam on south of river Cauvery in Chozha Nadu. Lord Murugan of this Temple is praised by Saint Arunagirinathar in his revered Thirupugazh hymns. This temple is also known as Kudanthai Karonam and located near Potramarai Kulam.
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).
As per legend, Nava Kannikas (representation of nine holy rivers) came to Kumbakonam to take bathe in the Mahamaha Tank to cleanse themselves of the sins set on them by sinners. When they came to Kumbakonam, there was chaos all around the place. Mother Parvathy embraced Lord Shiva in fear. Hence, the place came to be called as Kaya Arohanam (Kaya means body and Arohanam means embraced). Hence. Lord Shiva came to be called as Kayarohanar.The place came to be called as Kaya Arohanam and later got corrupted to Karonam.
Once. Chandran due to Brihaspati curse came to Kumbakonam and worshipped the Lord Sikkeshwarar. He excavated a tank for the worship. This tank came to be called as Chandra Pushkarini. It does not exist now. Chandra is also called as Soma. Hence, the place also came to be called as Somesam and Lord came to be called as Someswarar,
As per legend, Guru (Planet Jupiter) worshipped Lord Someswarar. Hence, Lord Shiva came to be called as Vyazha Someswarar (Guru Sikkeshwarar).
It is believed that Chola King Parantaka installed a Shiva Linga in this Temple and worshipped the Linga for Child Boon.The Linga installed by him came to be called as Chozheeswarar.
As per legend, Lord Vishnu worshiped Lord Shiva here for one year to receive a boon to battle and destroy demons.As Vishnu (Mal) worshipped Lord Shiva here, Lord Shiva came to be called as Maleesar (Mal means Lord Vishnu).
Holier than Kasi
There is a popular saying in Sanskrit – Kumbakonam is more sacred than Varanasi (Kasi). A sin committed at some place can be washed away by visiting a nearby holy place. A sin committed in one of the sacred places is washed away by going on a pilgrimage to Varanasi. However, if one commits a sin in Varanasi itself, it can only be washed off in Kumbakonam. Similarly, any sinful act done at Kumbakonam is washed away there itself.
Someswara Swamy Temple History
It is claimed by few people that Kudanthai Karonam mentioned in Devaram hymns refer to Kasi Viswanathar Temple. However, the seventh song mentions about Thenarmozhiyal, consort of Someswar of Someswaran Temple. Hence. Someswaran Temple can be considered as actual Paadal Petra Sthalam. The Temple was constructed by the Cholas.The Temple was extensively renovated byVijayanagara Kings and the Nayak Kings.The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
The Temple is facing towards east with 5 tier Rajagopuram. It has single prakaram. There are three entrances to the temple. Someswaran Temple is situated in the southern portion of Sarangapani Temple. The temple shared a larger space during initial construction, but later Sarangapani Temple adjacent to it occupied more space. Dwajastambam. Balipeedam and Nandi can be found facing the sanctum in the prakaram.
The sanctum sanctorum consists of sanctum, antarala and Arthamandapam. Presiding Deity is called as Someswara Swamy / Someswarar / Kayarohana Swamy /Vyazha Somesar / Sikkesar / Somanathar and is facing east. He is housed in the sanctum in the form of Lingam. The Bana (prominent cylindrical structure of Linga) is of special type known as Narmada Bana. Lord is a Swayambhu Murthy.
Vinayaka, Dakshinamurthy. Arthanareeswarar. Brahma and Durga are the Koshta idols located around the sanctum walls. Chandikeswarar can be seen in his usual location. The Vimana over the sanctum follows vesara style. There are 8 sculptures on the sanctum wall in worshipping posture. Procession Idols of Nataraja with his consort Shivakami and Somaskandar are placed in the hall in front of the sanctum.
Mother is called as Thenar Mozhiyammai / Somasundari. She is housed in a separate shrine.The Vimana over her shrine follows vesara style. There is a separate shrine for Saint Thirugnanasambanthar near Mother Shrine.Thirupathigam (hymns of Nalvar) in the form of epigraph is found in this temple. Lord Somaskandar can be seen in the inner mandapam.
There is a shrine for Lord Nataraja with his consort Mother Sivakami in the temple premises. He is named Kana Nattam Udayar meaning that the Lord would have no loss if devotees overlook praying to him, but it would be a loss only to such indifferent ones. Praying in this shrine brings the devotee progress in his trade and promotions in job.
There is a shrine for Lord Murugan in the Temple premises. He is gracing the devotees along with his consorts Valli and Deivanai.The idol of Lord Murugan is unique here. He can be seen with six faces and twelve hands, seated on his peacock mount and wearing footwear (Padarakshai). Lord Murugan of this Temple is praised by Saint Arunagirinathar in his revered Thirupugazh hymns. There is a unique custom of placing the Shadari (crown) on the head of the devotees similar to the practice in Vaishnava temples.
There is a shrine for Lord Maleesar and Mangala Nayaki immediately after Rajagopuram entrance. As Vishnu (Mal) worshipped Lord Shiva here. Lord Shiva came to be called as Maleesar. There is shrine for Lord Chozheeswarar with his consort Thirupurasundari, believed to have been worshiped by Chola King Paranthaka Chola, in the temple premises.
There is a shrine for Kalyana Vinayakar in the temple premises. Ladies worship him for 1 I consecutive Mondays to get relief from obstacles, including marriage proposals. There are shrines for Nalvar, Bairavar, Saneeswarar, Navagrahas. Chandran and Surya can be seen in the prakaram. Theerthams associated with this Temple are Mahamaha Theertham, Potramarai Tank and Soma Theertham.
Sthala Vriksham is Vilvam tree. It is believed that in the year 1964.100 devotees undertook the task of writing the five holy letters (Panchakshra Mantra – Shivaya Nama) one lakh time each thus making a total of one crore.They bound each such book and preserved it in a box which can be seen even now.
Someswara Swamy Temple Opeing Time
The temple remains open from 6.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Someswara Swamy Temple Festivals
Maasi Brahmotsavam (Feb-Mar) and Maha Shivarathri (Mar-Apr) are the festivals celebrated here with much fanfare.All the other Shiva related festivals are also celebrated here.
Someswara Swamy Temple Prayers
As Moon and Jupiter worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple, Mondays and Thursdays have huge crowd in the temple. Praying in Lord Nataraja shrine, brings the devotee progress in his trade and promotions in job. Ladies worship Kalyana Vinayagar Shrine for 11 consecutive Mondays to get relief from obstacles, including marriage proposals. Devotees offer garlands of Arugampul (a grass variety) as their prayer commitment.
How to Reach Someswara Swamy Temple?
The Temple is located at about 2 Kms from Kumbakonam Railway Station and 2 Kms from Kumbakonam Bus Stand. 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.