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Ashtabuja Perumal Temple Kanchipuram

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The Ashtabuja Perumal Temple or Ashtabujakaram is a well-known 108 Divya Desams Hindu temple located in Kanchipuram, a city in Tamil Nadu, India. It is an important pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Vishnu and one of India’s 108 Divya Desams (sacred abodes of Vishnu). The temple is mentioned in the Nalayira Divya Prabandham, an early mediaeval Tamil canon of Alvar saints from the sixth to ninth centuries CE.

The Pallavas of the late eighth century CE are thought to have restored the temple, with additional contributions from Mediaeval Cholas and Vijayanagara kings. The temple’s walls bear three inscriptions, two from the reign of Kulothunga Chola I (1070-1120 CE) and one from the reign of Rajendra Chola (1018-54 CE). The temple is surrounded by a granite wall, which encloses all of the shrines and two pools of water. The temple has a four-tiered raja gopuram, which serves as the temple’s gateway tower.

Story/Legend of the Ashtabuja Perumal Temple

This is one of the numerous temples in Kanchipuram that carry the same narrative of Goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati’s conflict. Once upon a time, Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity, and Saraswati, the Goddess of wisdom, had a major debate over who was the mightier of the two. Lord Indra was appointed as the judge to render a decision in this matter. And Indra chose Lakshmi as the more powerful of the two. Everyone accepted the judgement, including Saraswati’s consort Brahma, Lakshmi’s consort Vishnu, and Lakshmi herself, but Saraswati, as the loser, became enraged. She subsequently withdrew from Brahma and began interfering with his prayers.

Ashtabuja Perumal Temple Kanchipuram

In addition, when Brahma attempted to execute the Ashwamedha Yagna sacrifice, Saraswati sent her demons to wreak havoc. She also sent a gigantic serpent to the sacrifice site, Yagasala, to ruin it. Then Lord Vishnu appeared as Ashtabhuja Perumal, bearing eight different weapons in his eight hands, and slew the serpent while protecting the sacrifice. This is reported to have occurred where the temple now stands. This temple is considered one of the 108 Divya Desams.

What is Divya Desams– A Divya Desam or Vaishnava Divya Desam is one of the 108 Vishnu and Lakshmi temples recorded by the Alvars, the poet-saints of the Sri Vaishnava faith. 105 of the 108 temples are in India, one is in Nepal, and the final two are thought to be in space, in Tirupparkatal and Vaikuntham. They are distributed over the Indian states of Tamil Nadu (84), Kerala (11), Andhra Pradesh (2), Gujarat (1), Uttar Pradesh (4), and Uttarakhand (3). Muktinath, Saligramam is Nepal’s sole Divya Desam. The 12 Alvars respect the Divya Desams in the Naalayira Divya Prabandham, a collection of 4,000 Tamil hymns.

History of Ashtabuja Perumal Temple

The Ashtabuja Perumal Temple was initially thought to have been built during Pallavas’ reign. Inscriptions from the reign of Kulothunga Chola I (1070-1120) indicate land contributions to the temple. Contributions from the local people are listed in the same inscription, suggesting contributions to the temple’s everlasting lighting.

Ashtabuja Perumal Temple Kanchipuram

Inscriptions from Kulothunga I can be seen on the temple’s southern walls, stating that Rajasundari Chaturvedimangalam sold lands to cover the temple’s culinary expenditures. Another inscription from the same period on the same walls mentions the temple receiving tax-free land in Chola Chaturvethimangalam for two years and then levying a fee of no more than 2 paise per veli. There are a lot of gifts endowed to the temple by the Pallavan kings.

The architecture of Ashtabuja Perumal Temple

Ashtabuja Perumal Temple is 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) from Varadaraja Perumal Temple at Vishnu Kanchi or Chinna Kanchipuram in Reddypet. The temple is tiny, with a tank in front, and a three-tiered gopuram (gateway tower) piercing the concentric rectangle walls. The temple’s principal deity is Astabhuja Perumal, who is depicted with eight hands in the central shrine. The sword, shield, mace, bow, arrow, lotus, conch, and chakra are displayed on the eight hands. He is depicted with Mahalakshmi on his breast and a shaligrama garland around his neck.

Ashtabuja Perumal Temple Kanchipuram

Pushpakavalli Thayar, Perumal’s consort, has a separate temple. In front of the shrine is a four-pillared hall called Friday Mandapam. Before worshipping Perumal, it is customary to first worship Thayar. In the compound, there is a shrine for Varaha Perumal, who is seated beneath the hoods of two serpents. There are further shrines devoted to Hanuman, the Alvars, Andal, the Sudarshana Chakra, and Sharabha at the temple. Gajendra Pushkarani, the temple tank, is located outside the entry tower.

Facts about Ashtabuja Perumal Temple

  • The Ashtabujakaram or Ashtabuja Perumal Temple is a famous Hindu temple located in Kanchipuram, a city in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
  • The temple is revered in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the 7th–9th century Vaishnava canon, by Pey Alvar and Tirumangai Alvar in one hymn.
  • The Ashtabuja Perumal Temple is classified as a Divya Desam, one of the 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the book.
  •  The temple is also associated with the legend of Gajendra Moksham, where Lord Vishnu gave salvation to an elephant called Gajendra.
  • This Ashtabuja Perumal Temple was established in the 8th century by the Pallava kings, with modifications and expansions by the Cholas and Vijayanagar kings.
  • The temple is one of the 14 Divya Desams in Kanchipuram.
  • The temple is thought to be where Brahma committed penance in order to obtain Vishnu’s wishes, as well as one of the few places where Brahma worshipped Vishnu.
  • The temple is one of four at Kanchipuram that include the Yathothkari Perumal Temple, Deepaprakasa Perumal Temple, and Varadaraja Perumal Temple, all of which are associated with the mythology of Brahma enduring penance.
  • Manavala Maamunigal, Vedanata Desikar, and Pillai Perumal Iyengar all praise the temple.
  • Vishnu is a caring God, and his love and blessings are available to every one of his believers equally.
  • The enormous grace with which he treated the elephant was proof of his love. As a result, it is said that the Perumal here bestows his blessings on his believers, wanting nothing but pure love and devotion in return.
  • His grace is beyond incomprehensible. Goddess Lakshmi here might also bestow abundance and happiness on her worshippers for the rest of their lives.
  • The great annual festival, Brahmostavam, is celebrated here during the Tamil month of Chittirai (April-May), whereas Vaikunta Ekadasi is observed during the Margazhi (December-January).

Famous Festivals In Ashtabuja Perumal Temple

  • Brahmmotsavam is the major festival celebrated in the temple.
  • Chitra Poornima is also a major occasion for celebration in the temple.
  • Vaikuntha Ekadashi – Vaikuntha Ekadashi celebrated during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December–January) is the major festival celebrated in the temple.
  • The Gajendra Moksha event is also celebrated as a festival in the Tamil month of Aadi (July-August).
  •  Navaratri, Srirama Navami

How to reach Ashtabuja Perumal Temple

Ashtabuja Perumal Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in Kanchipuram town, in Tamil Nadu.

By Air: The nearest airport is Chennai, at a distance of about 80 kilometres.

By Railway: The nearest railway station is in Kanchipuram itself, not very far from the temple.

By Roadways: Kanchipuram is well connected to most of the cities in the state and beyond. Local transportation is also plentiful, with buses, vehicles, and cabs providing excellent connections.

Also Read – Deepaprakasa Perumal Temple

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Open Now

Tuesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Saturday 6 AM - 8 PM
Sunday 6 AM - 8 PM
Monday 6 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Thursday 6 AM - 8 PM
Friday 6 AM - 8 PM
Address: Divyadesam Sri Ashtabujakara Perumal Temple, Gandhi Road, Chinna Kanchipuram, Ennaikaran, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
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Open Now

Tuesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Saturday 6 AM - 8 PM
Sunday 6 AM - 8 PM
Monday 6 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Thursday 6 AM - 8 PM
Friday 6 AM - 8 PM
Address: Divyadesam Sri Ashtabujakara Perumal Temple, Gandhi Road, Chinna Kanchipuram, Ennaikaran, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India