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One of the most ancient temples in Kumbakonam, the small Nageswara Swami – Shiva temple, one of the finest early Chola temples, is noted for the quality of its sculpture, thought to have been completed a few years into the reign of Parantaka I (907 – 940).Adisesha and Surya had worshipped Sri Nageswara here. When Adisesha was groaning under the weight of the world, he came to Kuvinvanam, the present Nageswara temple and did penance. Siva and Parvati appeared before Adisesha and blessed him with enough strength. A well in the temple is called Naga Theertham.
Standing in a courtyard, the principal shrine to Shiva is connected to a columned mandapa. Both share a base carved with scenes from the epics and lotus petals. The main niches on the sanctum wall contain sculptures – on the north, Dakshinamurti (“south-facing” Shiva as teacher), on the west Ardhanarishvara (male Shiva and female Shakti in one figure) and Brahma on the south. Joining them are high-relief near-life-size sculptures of unidentified figures, perhaps worshippers, donors or royalty. Within the courtyard, a shrine to Nataraja features rearing horses and wheels, with tiny figures as spokes.
The sun’s rays fall on the lingam in the central shrine through an opening in the eastern tower for 3 days in a year – on the 11th, 12th and 13th days in the month of Chithrai (April / May).
Panch Bootha Sthalam
Pancha Bootha Sthalam 3 Night 4 Day
The Pancha Bhoota Sthalam are the five temples dedicated to Lord Shiva representing Wind, Water, Fire, Earth & Space, – they are Kalahasti Sri Kalahastheeswara Swami Temple at Srikalahasti near Tirupati (37 kms) is the nothermost Panchabhoota Stalam Temples in South India (representing Land or Air) , Kanchipuram – Ekambareshwar temple (representing Land or earth) , Tiruvannamalai – Arunachaleswara Temple (Representing Fire), Chidambaram – Natarajar Temple (Representing the Sky), Trichy -Thiruvanaikal or Jambekeswaram temple (representing Water)
Day wise Itinerary for Pancha Bootha Sthalam 3 Night 4 Day
Start by morning to Kalahasti temple and visit Sri Kalahastheeswara Temple and then move to Kanchipuram and visit Ekambaleshwar Temples in Kanchipuram – Night halt in Kanchipuram
Morning proceed to Tiruvanamalai visit Arunachaleswara temple- proceed to Chidambaram – Night halt in Chidambaram
Morning visit Natraja temple Chidambaram and then move to Trichy visit Thiruvanaikal Shiva temple – Night halt in Trichy
Morning Trichy Srirangam Vishnu temple and return to Chennai by evening for onward journey