ITZ KUMBAKONAM - TEMPLE TOWN
Kumbakonam is a town in Thanjavur District of Tamil Nadu. The town is popular for the Betal Leaf Combination (Vettrilai Cheeval) and for the thick-strong coffee. The town is bounded by two rivers - " River Cauvery" on the north and "River Arasalar" on the south. Kumbakonam gets its name from the deity Lord Aadhi Kumbeshwarar. A traditional representation of South Indian Culture, the town is known for its temples, intricately carved panchaloha idols, exquisite brass wares especially lamps and silks(kancheepuram and kumbakonam are the very well known silk producers). The place, like many other sacred places has a unique festival known as the Mahamaham festival. The festival celebrated once in twelve years coincides with the entry of Sun and Jupiter into constellation of Aquarius and Leo respectively. People from all walks of life have a dip in the Mahamaham tank along with the presiding deities of the town.
Kumbakonam is full of temples. Every street, road, locality has a prominent temple. Better read some litereture on them before your visit them. The Sankara Matam and associated institutions preserve and represent all that is great about the Hindu ancient scholarly tradition.
Some of India's world renowned scholars and intellectuals hail from Kumbakonam including the genius mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujam. The Town High School and the Kumbakonam Arts College are the grand old centres of education with the latter built on the banks of River Cauvery (kaveri) sometimes referred to as the Cambridge of South India.
It has an excellent road link to all the navagraha temples (gods representing nine planets).
The town which was orginally a religious town become an industrial center during last quarter of the 19th Century and early period of 20th century. Predominance was gained for Silk Industries and Metal manufacturing.
The major supplier of silk sarees to the Indian market is the Kumbakonam silk industry.
All the South Indian Brass Pooja articles and utensils are manufactured in Kumbakonam and these articles are manufactured nowhere in South India other than Kumbakonam. KuthuVilakku and Statues are the famous articles. Stainless Steel utensils are manufactured.
Betelnuts, Suparis are manufactured in Kumbakonam.
Brass ornamental Lamps (Kuthuvilakku) are also manufactured in Naachiyar Kovil. It is near by Kmbakonam just 8 Km towards Tiruvarur.
To Know about kumbakonam history http://heritagetown.org
Getting into Kumbakonam:
Kumbakonam is well connected to all major towns and cities of Tamilnadu. Frequent bus services are operated by both government & private transportations, by connecting all major cities.
Kumbakonam is 92 Kms away from Trichy by road & 40 KMS from Tanjore. From Chennai it takes 6 to 7 hours to reach Kumbakonam.
Southern railway connects Kumbakonam to all the major cities via Tanjore & Mailaduthurai. To see Kumbakonam Train Timings.
Trichy Airport is the closest air terminal for those who plan to reach Kumbakonam. Kumbakonam can be reached from Trichy in about 3 Hrs by road.
There are several prominent temples in the town:
Surrounding Kumbakonam are the popular Navagraha temples. Although the presiding deity in all these temples are various forms of Shiva, the Navagraha Sannidhis are quite popular.
There are lots of budget restaurants in Kumbakonam. Although food in general will be tastier all around the city, it might not be hygenic. Check out the hotels around as some also have good restaurants. Hotel Raayas is better for Non Vegeterian and if you are after some quality Parottas and tasty Non-Veg, Hotel SHANMUGA seems to be the place as it is the LOCAL'S Favourite. Hotel Meenatchi Bhavan, Archanas and Venkatramana are all good for a veggie.
Sterling Resorts provide excellent food for the rich. But if a simple home style food of the local cuisine is what you want, try out one of the 'mess'.
Coffee You'll be missing the essence of the trip if you didn't taste the coffee here. Kumbakonam filter coffee is one of the best in India.
There are quite few good hotels that one can stay in. It is better make an advanced reservation to save time from running around to find a good place, especially when you have the family with you.
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