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96. Tirukudandaikeezhkottam


Location: Kumbhakonam near Kumbhakonam.
(Chola Naadu-South of Kaveri )
Shiva: Nageswara Swamy
Ambal: Periya Nayaki .
Vriksham: Vilvam
Theertham: Naaga Theertham
Patikam : Appar
Travel Base: Thanjavur
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Description: This Shivastalam is a grand temple in the temple town of Kumbhakonam and is known for its grand shrine to Nataraja - Aadalvallaar and for its beautiful sculptural work, vimanams and mandapams. Kudandai Keezhkottam  is considered to be the 27th in the series of Tevara Stalams in the Chola kingdom located south of the river Kaveri. 

The major Shivastalams in Kumbhakonam are the Kumbheswarar Temple, Kudandaikkaronam, and the Nageswarar Temple (Kudandaikkeezhkottam). Other temples in Kumbhakonam include the Ramaswamy temple and the Vaishnava Divya Desam Sarangapani temple.

Offering worship at Kudandai Keezhkottam (Nageswarar temple) in the morning, at Tirunageswaram at noon and at Tiruppampuram in the evening on a given day is considered to be of special significance.

Legends: Surya is said to have worshipped here to regain his lost splendour. The temple tank is also known as Surya Theertham. . Also known as Vilvavanam, it is believed that a vilva leaf from the pot carrying the celestial nectar (associated with the Kumbheswarar temple) had drifted away and landed here. Aadi Seshan is said to have worshipped here and Shiva is said to have blessed him with the might to bear the weight of the earth, here.

The Temple: In architectural splendour and in the wealth of sculpture, this temple exceeds many of the other Chola temples. The Nritta Sabha, or the dance hall, dating back to the 12th century, has an elevated mandapam with a flight of steps.The 12 zodiac signs, 2 mammoth horses, 4 elephants all in stone adorn the Natarajar shrine

So imposing is the shrine to Natarajar, that the hymns of Appar are addressed to Aadalvallar of Kudandai Keezhkottam in awe. The imposing Natarajar shrine here is shaped in the form of a chariot, and the shrine to the Sun God is also of great sculptural significance.

The Sun's rays fallon Nageswarar in the sanctum on the 11th through the 13th day of the Tamil month Chittirai (Aries) (hence Bhaskarakshetram).

Shiva here is also known as Paataala Beejanathar. Other shrines in the temple include those to Pralayakaala Rudrar and Kaali.

Festivals: Five worship services are offered each day. The annual Bhrammotsavam is observed in the Tamil month of Pankuni.

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