Chakrapani Temple, Kumbakonam

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Chakrapani Temple
A Vishnu temple located in Kumbakonam town
Chakrapani Temple, Kumbakonam
Country India
State Tamil Nadu
District Thanjavur
Location Kumbakonam
Primary deity Chakrapani(Vishnu )
Seetha Devi (goddess)
Architectural styles Dravidian architecture

Chakrapani Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu located in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, India. This temple is located 2 km, away towards North West from the Kumbakonam Railway Station. In the temple, Vishnu appears in the form of a discus or Chakra to put down the pride of Surya(the Sun), who subsequently became his devotee.[1] Like Shiva, Lord Chakrapani has a third eye on His forehead. The temple is one of the most prominent temples in Kumbakonam.[2]


Chakrayuda Purusha, the image of the deity

As per Hindu legend, Chakra (also called Sudarshana), the discus, is the most powerful weapon of god Vishnu. He once sent his weapon to nether world to kill king Jalandasura. The weapon is believed to have come out of the nether world through river Kaveri. God Brahma, who was taking bath in the river, got imprsesd and installed the image of Sudarshana in the place where the temple is now located. Surya, the Sun god, who was glowing in brilliance, had his brightness diminished by the effulgent Sudarshana. Surya worshipped Sudarshana and pleased by his devotion, Sudarshana restored all the powers of Surya.[3] Vishnu attained the name Chakrapani from then on.[4]

The Temple[edit]

The temple is noted for its exquisite pillars. The presiding deity, Chakrapani has 8 arms. There is a bronze image of king Serfoji II worshipping the lord as he is said to have been cured an illness by the grace of this God. A panchamukha(five-faced) Hanuman is erected in the prakaram (outer precincts of the temple).[5]

In 1620, when Govinda Dikshitar, divan-administrator for the Nayaks, constructed the Ramaswamy Temple, Kumbakonam, he added a commercial corridor between the new temple and the older Chakrapani temple.[6]

The Eastern and Western entrances of this temple are known as “Thatchinaya Vayil” and “Utharavana Vayil” respectively and outer Prakara of this temple is made in the form of balcony. Agampara Vinayakar, Panchamuga Aancheneyar and Vijayavalli are the important idols located in this temple.


Chakra Padithurai is a famous ghat in Kumbakonam parallel to the shrine of the temple situated across the river Cauvery. Neivethanam (sacred offering) performed everyday for the deity is dependent on the smoke emnating from the burning of corpses from the ghat. It is pertinent to an ideology that God performs the chakra (cycle) of life and death. The important and peculiar point about this temple is that Vilva (Bilwa) archana which is normally performed in Shiva temples is also performed here for the Perumal (Lord Vishnu).


  1. ^ Ayyar 1991, p. 325
  2. ^ South Indian Railway Company 1926, p. 57
  3. ^ Madhavan 2007, pp. 98-100
  4. ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 81. 
  5. ^ Tourist Guide to Tamil Nadu. P.70
  6. ^ Diaspora of the gods: modern Hindu temples in an urban middle-class world .P.246. Joanne Punzo Waghorne