MY kumbakonam trip

Well, i am back after a short gap 🙂 Did u miss me ?? 😛 never mind … even i was too busy to log into WordPress  .This has to be one of the best trips out of the very few trips i have ever gone to 😉 .

Kumbakonam is located around 280 km south of chennai . If u are curious about the geographical details , Help urself and find a map 😉 .

So my journey started from kanchipuram after a short stay with my college  friends in the hostel .Got a bus  at 9 Pm sunday night  , narrow aisle ,  no push back seats , the journey was quite forgetful , to make things worse the roads were in a pretty bad state 😦 . I was hardly able to sleep during the whole journey .It was almost 530 when we reached kumbakonam bus stand and i was the happiest person to get down from the bus which looked more or like a vehicle made out of  junkyard wars.

kumbakonam is rightly called the temple ciy  . Almost every street u step in has a temple and mind it that almost 70 percent of them are huge .The complex architectural structures, intricate sculptures and inscriptions would just amaze you. Sometimes i wonder why did they built so many temples so close to each other .Not to forget that there are countelss number of temples surrounding kumbakonam.

I am not a religious person and i normally elude visiting temples but this trip has changed my perception totally.  Well ,all thanks to my freind yuvanash for helping me to do so. I have learned that temples are more than just a place of worship . Temples can be a great source of information in understanding our rich culture and heritage .

Some of the places that i realy enjoyed visited are mentioned below ..

DARASURAM temple is located just outside the kumbakonam town about 4 km away and was built in 12 century  AD by the cholas . The temple has been declared as a world heritage center by UNESCO and has been maintained by the archeological department of India very well.

The temple is preceded by a huge lawn with lush green grass which adds to the beauty of the temple .The pic on the right is the entrance of the temple .Just before the entrance there is small mandapa which has steps made up of special types of rocks . The steps give sound of seven swaras when beaten with a another rock.Unfortunatly the place was sealed as the people were almost destroying it in the name of chekcing the sounds 😛 .The temple is an excellant example of the artistic excellence , the people had those days. The sculpture below depicts one of the scenes from ramayana .

RAmayana sculpture

BULL and elephant having a common face

This pic above as u can see has two animals with one face .If u see from the left u can see a bull and if u see from right u can see an elephant.Well ,the reason behind this sculpture is still a mystery to me. I might need to google it to know the story behind it.

This one has a dancer with one face but three pairs of legs which clearly shows the imaginative skills of the artist those days .there was a sculpture which depicted two men holding each others legs and forming a circle like a wheel . unfortunately i dont have any pic of that :(. The temple is full of pillars which has inscriptions of varopus dance poses probably bharatnatyam and each pillar is unique by its style of design.IT would probably take a whole day if u want to have a close look at each and every sculpture present in this temple .


Bhragadeeswarar temple in tanjore is again a world heritage center maintained by indian archeological department .The temple is completely constructed out of granite stones . The temple was built by one of the chola kings at around 1000 AD . The temple is located inside a fortress which ofcourse is not in perfect shape now . Its one of the tallest temples with the tower reaching a  height of 70 metres . thats quite tall isn’t it .Local people say the that the tower shadow never falls on the ground. unfortunately i was in the temple at about 12 so couldn’t observe the shadow .


The top dome of the temple gopuram is believed to be made up of a single stone which measures about 80 tonnes . The nandi statue on the right pic is the biggest nandi according to sources.It is about 12 feet high sitting on an elevated platform.The shiv lingam inside the main shrine is also the biggest i have seen .

The whole atmosphere inside the temple campus would transport you thousand years back.  I felt like stepping inside  a time machine to go back and look how these huge and marvalous structures were  created .The more you look at these majestic creations 1000 years old more you get obsessed with them.


Gopuram view



Grand Anicut OR KAllanai

Grand Anicut OR KAllanai

KALLANAI is another magnificent example of the grandeur and excellance of ancient architecture  .Kallanai also called as Grand annaicut is a dam built across river cauvery around 2000 years around , yes thats about the time the  (A.D)  era started and it still stands as the major source of irrigation down south for many  villages .

This was the only tourist place in my whole trip whihc is not a temple 😛 . The place is really awesome .I couldn’t resist but to remove my clothes and have a plunge into the river and try my swimming skills 😆 . thankfully It was not that deep .

The nearest town to kallanai is Trichy about 25 km far .



Sarangapani Temple is one the main temples devoted to lord vishnu . The temple is located within the kumbakonam town so we just had to walk for about 10 mintues from my freinds house to reach It .The temple’s gopuram is again huge which is full of breathtaking sculptures .The fact that each and every part of the gopuram has been painted makes it much more imposing and magnificent.

The temple is about 2000 years old however the painting works on the temple tower wont give u minute impression of the temple’s age.

The main shrine has been desinged in the form of chariot which was visible in many other small temples too .The chariots were shown being pulled by elephants and horses on either side.

I dint take the pics of them so u can take a look of it over here and here .

Erotic sculptures at sarangapani temple 1

The Temple gopuram’s first row has been filled with sculptures with erotic poses that too on both sides . I wonder what was in the architects mind when he ordered poses like this to be sculpted on the temples main gopuram .

Erotic sculptures at sarangapani temple 2

Some of the other places i enjoyed visiting  were Tanjore Palace built arounf 1500 AD and Poondi Matha Basilica which was visited by john pope paul II . Then there was swamimalai temple , ramasamy temple , thirunageshwaram temple and uppali appan temple .

There are loads of temples in and around kumbakonam that i visited which are unique in their own way .Obviously i cant write about each and everyone of them . So i guess i should stop here after all u must be getting bored of reading it for so long .I am sure many of them would have said ” i quit”  midway and closed this site 😛 .

A big thanks to the very few people who have come reading this far 😉  .I wont take any more of ur time .

Signing off

arvind ..


47 responses to “MY kumbakonam trip

  1. oh these many temples in a single City ? our Rajas were really crazy right ? 😉

  2. Oh God! these are all huge temples :)..we have got only 1 temple looking somewhat like dis in Kerala …n i have been there twice .. 😛
    n there is a story behind each of these sculptures ..rite 🙂
    Well i like visiting temples coz of the peaceful atmosphere n the smell of sandals and all…btw many of my frns like temples coz they get to c bful gals in temple always 😉

  3. lol nice 🙂 man we are originally from kumbakonnam.( i mean my grand father,lol i am chennai born ) …where did u stay?

  4. Looks like u had a wonderful trip. Nice pictures and description. I didnt quit midway 🙂

  5. ahhh……… 8th class history revision, no, totally, we studied abt all these temples….gotta say that arvind puts it forth more interestingly though…..

  6. Ok the post was looking better when I read it in google reader. But here it is scattered everywhere.. 😛

    BTW nice post and looks like you had a great trip. And there are so many temples huh? @-) phew!
    I liked the the bull and the elephant art. Its nicely done… 🙂

  7. so many beautiful temples at a single place……………..coool…………it seems like u really had a very good time there

  8. I am envying you your trip! I had heard of Tanjore but not Kumbakonam. We went to Puducherry and Chennai some months back but I had no idea about this place. We would have planned another day and gone to this place. I love history and love seeing temples, but not for religious reasons. I just love immersing myself in that ancient atmosphere.
    Good pics by the way. What camera did you use?

  9. Cool pics..Really it was a fine trip..We had very nice time there…

  10. Woah, wicked! I like temples. I’ve not been to many but I think they’re interesting and amazingly built. The efforts people take to decorate the walls and the pillars. In my 10th class, I had made a history project on the temples of India. The things I discovered back then was amazing and you only reminded me of all that today. And so many temples maybe were because a different king built each one and they were for different Gods too, right?

    The pictures are amazing, especially the bull and the elephant one. Shows people were so good back then too. But people are creative now also, it’s just that this creativity goes at different places and you might not get to see it that often and that’s why we consider that people were creative back then. Tell me, who would wanna create a house like that today? Saare pagal bolenge. The style of architecture has changed big time. But the time around when these temples were made was great for India because the ethnic Indian architecture got mixed up with that of the Mughals and Persians and blah blah, I’m sure you’ve read that in the history books.

    And finally, erotic statues. My God, only I know how much pain I had to take in omitting them from my project. Agar lagaata toh pata nahi teacher ko kya lagta but fact remains that these are a part of the Indian culture. Sex wasn’t considered evil then, yeh toh abhi ki baat hai. Sadly, even though we have so many mandirs to remind us, nobody would understand.

  11. @ dinu
    yeah they were crazy fighting for gods… 😛

    @ allrekha
    yeah ..each sculpture hs a story ..but not many know them ..
    and i know many guys do go there to look at some good looking girls

    i am topo from mayavaram just next from you know that place ????
    well,i stayed in my freinds house ..

    @ reema
    yeah i enjoyed the trip very much…thanks for not quiting 😛

  12. @ prex
    welcome to my blog..
    yes history books were good but i rarely rememberstudying of these temples in detail..i read about the kings and their useless fights over a region 😛

    @ joel
    well , just through reader , yes it looks much better anyways this isn’t tat bad so i would spare my time by not formatting it again..
    yes all temples nearby .. 😛 thats y it is called temple town .
    and there are lots of interesting sculptures..
    i dint take pic of them . 😦 was getting late as so many temples were pending .

    @ aravind
    yup enjoyed it to the maximum .. 😀

    @ nita
    oh… u did miss the best places.. chennai and pudduchery doesnt have that much of historical strucutures ..
    best places are kumbakonam , kanchipuram and mahabalipuram …
    went to mahabalipuram ??? its near chennai … the temples there are dated quite old …
    next time plan and visit these places … 😉

  13. @ vivek
    yes we enjoyed a lot … 🙂
    thanks fpor dropping by .. 😛

    @ ish
    yeah only two gods are prominent here in south . LOrd vishnu and lord shiva ..
    and yes , i guess the kings used to built temples to show the superiority among themselves..
    but whats strange is there cant be two kings at a time and the temples are quite close to each other …neary 5 mintues from each other .. ..
    well mughals persians came too late..these temples were made during the starting of christ period nearly 2000 years old. .. these are pure indian marvels …
    these days they study for civil engineering and BArch …wonder what would it have taken to built structures as huge as this those days with no equipments like crane.. no cement ….
    Its just amazing …..
    erotism isn’t a new thing after all kamasutra was given to the world by us . its again strange how opinions have changed about sex over a period of time

  14. Nice post da, i didn’t expect such a nice post this soon. it must have had taken so much time. right?

    moreover abt the dancing girl..the girls posture will look perfect in all poses,ie close two pairs of legs, u will find a new pose with the other pair.. like that

  15. @ yuvanash
    thanks ..
    well yes it did take about an hour and a half to write..uploading the pics and formatting it took lot of time…

    thanks for reminding about the dance pose..i guess i forgot to mention that ..
    i would update it soon 😉

  16. Lovely pics!
    Guess they are really as interesting as they used to tell us in school….

  17. dude, that looks like one awesome trip you went on!

    I am officially jealous!

  18. I went to mahabalipuram. It was wonderful and I did a post on it too. but not those other places.

  19. wasshappening

    Wow!What can be more exciting than tripping?!
    Nice pictures…and it wasn’t boring at al…i enjoyed reading it…

  20. I want to go there too. I want to go. Everyone travels always and I am left to see photos. They are nice BTW. 🙂

  21. @ raghav
    interesting in school .. well , i used to sleep during our history class

    @ canopener
    😛 visit india sometime .. 😉

    @ nita
    yeah ,saw ur mahabalipuram ..i have heard its beautiful to visit sometime ..

    thanks for reading it completely …i am glad that u enjoyed

    thanks 😛

  22. Yes, we definitely missed you 🙂 But you are back with a bang!! I was awe-struck looking at The Bull and the Elephant sculpture. And yes, this is a looong post, but you know what? We ought to know our culture and take pride in it! So a looong post would definitely not hurt 🙂 Waiting for your next post… 🙂

  23. Welcome back, dude..! I’m glad to see you had a lot of fun! 😀
    I haven’t been there myself… Hope I can find the time to do so! 🙂

  24. well, that was pretty descriptive post about temples of kumbakonam and informative too.

    I loved your pics too. Why don’t you create a slideshow of the,m (there must be more pics you have), caption them and put on slideshare? It can be easily shared with viral and copyrighted to your name. What say?

  25. Woww, lovely pictures and enjoyed reading about it!! next weekend trip shall be this side of the country….

    I too am not a very religious person, but love going to temples, just to enjoy the architecture…. makes me wonder how creative our ancestors where… awesome stuff~~

  26. meri school ki yaadein became taaza :mrgreen: yaar maybe i shld go with u 2 visit temples 😉 coz i find them horribly boring especially with family :mrgreen: i have been to temples in k’taka n tamil nadu n 4 some strange reason i find them all d d same 😯 bt i gotta admit they r awesome 2 look….n u know wat???? K’taka mein there is one temple where they have gr8 carvings with spaces left in between n they have supposedly given a challenge 2 ppl after them to carve in those spaces d way they have….khulla challenge 2 us yaar…..n obviously no1 hs been able 2 do it… bow 2 our ancestors 🙂

  27. The pics are fabulous and your descriptions only made ’em better. 🙂

    Bonus points for the long post. 😀

  28. @ manoj
    thanks …i am glad people like u are still there who love our culture despite being away from india


    thanks ..
    yeah make a short trip i am sur eu will like it

    well..gald that u liked the post..
    i will try to put the photos in slideshare 🙂

    yup/..makes me wonder too .. 😉 .. make the trip fast ..u will enjoy it
    thanks …

    @ ridhimma
    mere saath aayegi toh i will find it horribly boring :mrgreen:
    he he ..just joking .. 😉
    i have never been to karnataka 😦

    @ ashish
    Thanks for the bonus points 😛

  29. @arvind
    x-) x-) x-) stupid mere saath aane k liye log marte hai :mrgreen: itz okie…mat aa….hmmmmmmmmmmppppppppppphhhhhhhhhhhhh

  30. @riddhima

    log marte hai .. 😛
    mein nahi marna chaahta … 😀
    apne boy freind ke saath jayio 😀

  31. BF hota toh tujhe kyun poochti :mrgreen: mat aa…i know tu kiske saath jaana chahta hai???? 😉 heheheheheheheehhe…..mere saath aane k liye line lagegi…. 😆

  32. n BTW mera spelling upar galat hai…tu maar khaega arvind….tere ghar mein ghoos k maarungi tujhe 😡

  33. @ riddhima
    mein kisi ke saath nahi jaane chahata …abhi toh jaake aya hoon..thoda rest…
    tu apni line ke saath hi jaayiyo ..
    spelling mistalke hi hai na .. 😛
    itna kyun natak kar rahi hai

  34. @arvind
    stupid ek baar nahi…hameshaa karta hai tu yeh mistake….itni baar comment karke n baat karke bhi tujhe mera spelling nahi aata??????? itz shocking 😡 …..thoda toh apne english medium education ka respect kar :mgreen: n mein jaaongi apn future bf k saath…..tu ghar par hi baith… 😆

  35. @ riddhima
    dekha sahi sahi likha hai tera naam …

    ab itna mushkil naam hia toh kya karoon ..

    haan chale jaoyiyo…
    bechara !! 😛

  36. @arvind
    tere liye tera naam chodkar sab mushkil hai :mrgreen: n thanx theek spelling likhne k liye……aapki meherbaani 😆 ….n mein jaaongi…n he will be very lucky…. :mrgreen:

  37. @ riddhima

    nahi tera naam chodkar sab aasan hai .. 😛

    lucky ?? : ROLF 1!!

  38. @arvind
    hmmmppppppppppphhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……… 😡 mera naam tv par bhi aata hai…. :mrgreen: infact mere naam ki ladki serial ki lead heroine hai 😆 hurray….!!!!

  39. sanchitguliani

    really nice pics dude!!
    I did not like temples but they look interesting now…… only because of you.. 😉

  40. Hampi (The Vijayanagara Empire) is also a good place, I have been told by many. This empire was known for its cultural richness.

  41. @riddhima
    ha ha ha. … chal khush hoja 😛

    @ sanchit
    thanks a lot

    @ manoj

    I have never visited karnataka 😦 😦

  42. i shall use THIS post as a guide, if ever i do go to kumbakonam! =)

  43. @ riddhima
    apni shakal kyun baar bar dikhati hai

    @ gaythri
    my pleasure 😉

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