Chennai: The nearly 2,000-year-old Sarngapani (Aravamudan) temple situated between Cauvery and Arasalaaru rivers in the temple town of Kumbakonam is all decked up for the Maha Samprokshanam on Monday. The temple may have been in existence for even longer as temple authorities say that only the shrine is 2,000-year-old. The Nayak kings had undertaken a massive renovation of the temple in 16th century.
Located about two km from Kumbakonam railway station and bus stand (Kumbakonam is about 273 km from Chennai and 40 km north east of Thanjavur), the temple is held by the Vaishnavites in high esteem, next only to Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple in Tirupati and the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam. The presiding deity is Sri Sarngapani Swamy (Lord Vishnu who has a bow in his hand). Seven Alwars, besides Kambar, have sung in praise of the Lord. His consort is Goddess Komalavalli Thayar and her sannadhi is situated to the right of the Lord’s.
The HR&CE department undertook renovation to the tune of Rs 2.12 crore and officials under the temple executive officer C. Nirmala Devi completed the work on time. In addition to spending Rs 41 lakh to renovate the gigantic rajagopuram, the officials have renovated the gopurams of Sarngapani Swamy and Komalavalli Thayar.
The colossal rajagopuram with numerous images etched on it, including Lord Narasimha Swamy’s incarnation, is about 150 feet high and is said to be the third tallest temple tower in the state, next to the rajagopurams of Srirangam temple - 236 ft and Srivilliputhur Andal temple’s - 192 ft. “The Maha Samprokshanam will be held on July 13 between 5 and 6 am,” says Ms Nirmala Devi.