Sarangapani Vishnu Temple is the largest temple in Kumbakonam and has the tallest temple tower in the town. The temple enshrined within a huge wall and the complex enshrines all the water bodies of the temple except the Potramarai tank. The rajagopuram (the main gateway) has eleven tiers and a height of 173 ft (53 m).
The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Sarangam means bow and pani mean hand.
The inner temple is within the form of a chariot-Rathakaram and the Lord is in a sleeping pose on the Serpent bed. The sculpture has got high artistic value and is worth seeing. There are two gates for having darshan. One opens from 14th January to 15th July (Uttarayana Gate) the second one other from 16th July to 13th January (Dakshinayana Gate). The other idols positioned near the main idol are as follows:
- near the head -Surya Dev
- near the chest of the Lord -Laxmi Devi
- in Nabhi (Naval) of Lord -Bramha
- near the Charanas (feet of the Lord) -The Saptha Nadhis (7 rivers)
God was Prathyaksha to Mema Muni and Hema Thirth is here.
A place without heaven’s gate:
Heaven gates often found in divine lands. But, there is no heaven gate in this place. There is a reason for this. Vishnu came here directly from Vaikunda. Therefore, there is no gate of heaven because one can attain Paramapadam (salvation) by worshiping him. Also, there is a belief that if one passes through the Utrayana and Tekshinayana gates here, one will reach Paramapadam. One should visit Swami from Tai to Ani through the Utrayana gate and from Adi to Margazhi through the Tetshinayana gate.
Once Bhrigu Maharishi visited Vaikundam and went to kick Thirumal’s chest to test his meekness. Thirumal did not prevent this. “Lakshmi, angry that you did not prevent me from touching another man’s foot while I was living in your chest, ” separated from her husband. Realizing the mistake, Bhrigu Maharshi apologized to Thirumal. To Lakshmi, Mother! Don’t get angry. Who among the deities is sattvic to bestow the fruit of a sacrifice? The gods entrusted me with the responsibility of knowing. As a result of that experiment, I pretended to kick your husband.