(Last Updated on : 14-08-2010)
The Chakrapani temple is situated on the south bank of the river Kaveri, approximately two kilometers towards the north-west from the Kumbakonam railway station. It is an antique temple where the legendary stories have attached a majestic grandeur. Moreover the Chakrapani temple deserves special mention as the legendary stories depict it to be the only temple where the principal deity is Sri Sudarsana (Chakrapani). Sri Sudarshana or Chakrapani is believed to be the most potent of all the weapons (ayudhas) of Sriman Narayana. Hence the temple of Lord Sri Chakrapani is considered as a sacrosanct. Sri Sudarsana is considered as the sacred will (sankalpa) of Lord Vishnu. According to the legendary stories associated with the temple it is believed that Lord Vishnu once dispatched Sri Sudarsana to destroy the demon Jalandasura in the nether-world (patal-loka). Having executed this task, Sri Sudarsana emerged from below the earth at Kumbakonam on the bank of the Kaveri and reached Lord Brahma who was then bathing in the river. Following this legendary story, the small town of Kumbakonam is considered sacred. With this task of Sri Sudarsana, Brahma was extremely delighted and eventually he consecrated the image of Sri Sudarsana at this place and worshipped him.
Meanwhile, Surya or Bhaskara (the Sun God), who was conceited on account of his own brightness and brilliance, noticed that Sri Sudarsana's popularity was much more than his own. In order to remove Surya's conceit, Sri Chakrattazhvar absorbed Surya's glow into His own and the former became dull and powerless. Surya, in order to regain his lost splendor, surrendered to Sri Sudarsana. From the legends it is known that on full-moon day in the month of Vaikasi (May-June), Sri Chakrapani, with eight arms and the third eye on His forehead, and His body the color of fire, restored to Surya his lost glory. Surya requested Sri Sudarsana that this place be named Bhaskara Kshetra after his own name and his boon was granted. The place where Sri Sudarsana emerged from below is called as Chakratirtham and Chakra paditthurai. As the legendry stories depict, right from that time Lord Sri Sudarsana is worshipped as a god and his highly venerated by the devotees.
However the legendary stories associated with the temple has endowed the temple with an added grandeur of majestic greatness.