The Chakrapani Temple is located in Kumbakonam, a town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, one of the principal deities in Hinduism, the temple is renowned for its unique architecture, intricate carvings, and beautiful frescoes that adorn its walls.
The Chakrapani Temple is a significant pilgrimage site for devotees of Lord Vishnu and those seeking spiritual healing. The temple offers several special pujas, including the Sudarshana Homam, Thirumanjanam, and Sahasranamarchana, for devotees facing problems due to planetary movements or going through the seven and a half year Saturn period. The temple’s annual Brahmotsavam festival is a grand celebration that lasts for ten days and attracts thousands of devotees from all over the country.
Legend of Chakrapani Temple
The Chakrapani Temple is associated with Hindu mythology and is dedicated to the worship of Chakra, also known as Sudarshana, the powerful weapon of god Vishnu. According to legend, Vishnu sent his weapon to Patala Loka to kill the demon Jalandasura, and the weapon is believed to have emerged from the Patala Loka through the river Cauvery. God Brahma, who was bathing in the river, was impressed by the weapon’s prowess and installed the image of Sudarshana at the spot where the temple now stands.
Another story states that Lord Shiva sent his discus, Sudarshana, to kill King Jalandasura. During its journey, Sudarshana appeared through the river Kaveri, where God Brahma was taking a bath. Sudarshana’s appearance dimmed the brightness of the Sun god, Surya. To regain its radiance, Surya prayed to Sudarshana, who restored all of Surya’s powers. From that day on, Vishnu was known as Chakrapani.
The Chakrapani Temple is also known for its exquisite pillars and a bronze image of King Serfoji II worshipping the deity. The temple is located in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu and is a prominent site for the Masi Magam festival, which commemorates Surya’s worship of Chakrathazhwar. During the festival, the temple car is drawn through the streets of the temple.
Architecture of Chakrapani Temple
The Chakrapani Temple boasts an impressive architecture with its beautifully sculpted pillars and granite walls enclosing all the shrines. The entrance to the temple is marked by a five-tiered rajagopuram, the gateway tower. The presiding deity of Lord Vishnu has eight arms, each with a weapon, and a third eye on its forehead. It is housed in the central shrine located on an elevated platform. The temple’s outer Prakara is designed in the form of a balcony, while the eastern and western entrances are called “Thatchinaya Vayil” and “Utharavana Vayil,” respectively. Apart from the main deity, the temple also houses other important idols such as a panchmukha (five-faced) Hanuman, King Serfoji II worshipping Lord Vishnu, Agampara Vinayakar, Panchamuga Aancheneyar, and Vijayavalli.
The Chakrapani temple celebrates several important religious events throughout the year. The 10-day Brahmotsavam held during the month of Chitirai (April-May) and the Chariot Festival are among the most prominent. The Pavitrotsavam, which is a festival dedicated to purification, and the Float Festival or Theppotsavam held in the month of Vaikasi are also celebrated with great enthusiasm. These festivals attract devotees from far and wide to partake in the festivities and seek the blessings of Lord Chakrapani. Additionally, the temple is one of the five Vishnu temples that are connected with the Mahamaham festival, which takes place once every twelve years in Kumbakonam. The temple’s unique religious practices, such as the daily Neivethanam offering that is dependent on the smoke emanating from the nearby ghat where corpses are burnt, and the Vilva archana performed for the Perumal, further add to the religious significance of the Chakrapani temple.
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.
How to reach
The Chakrapani Temple is located in Kumbakonam, a town in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, India. The town is well-connected by road, rail, and air.
The nearest airport is the Tiruchirapalli International Airport, located about 91 km away from Kumbakonam. From the airport, one can take a taxi or a bus to reach the temple.
The Kumbakonam Railway Station is just 2 km away from the temple, and trains from major cities in India connect to this station. One can also take state-run buses or hire a taxi to reach the temple from the railway station.
Kumbakonam is well-connected by bus to all major cities in Tamil Nadu and neighboring states, and one can take a bus to reach the temple as well.