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Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram

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Varadharaja Perumal Temple, also known as Hastagiri and Attiyuran, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the Divya Desams, the 108 Vishnu temples thought to have been visited by the Alvars, or the 12 poet saints. It is located in Kanchipuram’s Vishnu Kanchi neighbourhood, which is home to many prominent Vishnu temples.

Ramanuja, one of the foremost Hindu scholars of Vaishnava Vishishtadvaita philosophy, is said to have lived in this temple. Kanchipuram Varadharaja Perumal temple is known as ‘Perumal Koil’ among the Divya Desams. For Vaishnavites, this is one of the most sacred places.

The temple is especially notable for ‘Athi Varadar,’ a one-of-a-kind statue of Varadaraja fashioned of a particular Athi wood, a fig tree, that is kept inside the temple pond and brought out for public viewing every 40 years.

Story/Legend of the Varadharaja Perumal Temple

There are a few stories associated with this temple, the majority of them involve the Goddess Saraswati. Indra, the celestial ruler, was cursed by Saraswati to become an elephant, but his curse was lifted by Vishnu’s favour here. Hastigiri means “elephant hill,” and Indra is thought to be enshrined atop the Hastigiri hillock. According to another legend, Brahma sacrificed here, but his consort Saraswati, who had a quarrel with him, arrived in the guise of a raging Vegavati river to wash away the Yagya. But Vishnu placed himself on the road, stopping the waters and ensuring the sacrifice’s success.

Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram

This legendary Vegavati is considered to represent the Palar River of modern times. He is also claimed to have emerged from the sacrificial fire as Devaraja Swamy with the brilliance of infinite Suns and resided here. The processional deity’s visage was scarred when he emerged from the fire. It is also believed that two of Sage Gautama’s followers were cursed and transformed into lizards. They worshipped the Lord of this temple and were free of their troubles. Two lizards can still be found on the temple roof, as though to testify to the legend. 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 Varadharaja Perumal Temple

Around 350 inscriptions from various dynasties such as Chola, Pandya, Kandavarayas, Cheras, Kakatiya, Sambuvaraya, Hoysala, and Vijayanagara indicate numerous donations to the temple as well as Kanchipuram’s political condition. The Cholas restored Varadharaja Perumal Temple in 1053, and it was expanded under the reigns of the great Chola monarchs Kulottunga Chola I and Vikrama Chola. Later Chola monarchs added another wall and a gopura in the 14th century.

Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram

When a Mughul invasion was expected in 1688, the deity’s main image was sent to Udayarpalayam, which is today part of Tiruchirappalli district. It was returned with greater difficulty with the involvement of a local preceptor, who enlisted the assistance of General Todarmal. During colonial times, Robert Clive, a British commander, visited the Garuda seva festival and handed a beautiful necklace (today known as the Clive Maharkandi), which is ornamented on a particular occasion every year. The management is currently carried out by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

According to the temple’s historic inscriptions and archives, various figures from the Dvaita school of Vedanta, such as Vyasatirtha and Satya-Vijaya Tirtha, expressed interest in this temple. Vyasatirtha, a Dvaita saint and Kulaguru of Krishnadevaraya, gifted a village and a serpent chariot to Varadharaja Temple and created a festival in honour of Vijayanagara king Krishnadevaraya, according to a temple epigraph dated 1511 CE.

Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram

Another record, dated 1726 CE, says that Satyavijaya Tirtha, another Dvaita saint and Peetadhipathi of Uttaradi Matha, was honoured in the temple with several privileges. According to Raghava Iyengar’s work Sasana Tamil Kavi Saritham, an inscription at the temple shows that Parimelalhagar, who composed his Tirukkural commentary circa 1271-1272 CE, belonged to the priestly lineage of Ulagalandha Perumal temple.

Architecture of Varadharaja Perumal Temple

Chinna Kanchipuram is a hamlet on the eastern side of Kanchipuram, a South Indian town in the state of Tamil Nadu. The temple is recognised for its sanctity and historical history, and it occupies an area of 23 acres (93,000 m2), demonstrating the architectural talents of old Vishwakarma Sthapathis in temple architecture. Alvar Prakaram, Madai Palli Prakaram, and Thiru Malai Prakaram are the temple’s three outside precincts (prakarams).

Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram

There are 32 shrines, 19 vimanas (towers), 389 pillared halls (mainly with lion-style yali sculptures), and a few sacred tanks placed outside the compound. Anantha Theertham is the name of the temple tank. There are 96 ornately crafted pillars illustrating various Mahabharat and Ramayana stories. Rati, Manmatha, Lakshmi Narayana, Lakshmi Narasimha, Lakshmi Varaha, and Lakshmi Hayagreeva are among the most prominent sculptures.

Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram

The main sanctum faces west and is accessible via a 130-foot-tall, seven-tiered raja gopuram (main gateway tower). The presiding deity’s image is created in such a way that the Sun’s rays fall on the idol on the 15th day following Chitra Purnima. Hastagiri Hill is 360 metres (1,180 feet) long and 240 metres (790 feet) wide. In contrast to huge temples, where the raja gopuram is the tallest, the eastern gopuram is taller than the western gopuram. The massive stone chain fashioned in a single stone is one of the temple’s most notable architectural features. A 100-pillared hall houses sculptures illustrating the Ramayana and Mahabharata. It is a work of art of Vijayanagara architecture.

Facts about Varadharaja Perumal Temple

  • Varadharaja Perumal Temple is located in the ancient and historical temple town of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu.
  • It is located in a suburb of Kanchipuram known as the Vishnu Kanchi which is home to many famous Vishnu temples.
  • The temple is classified as a Divya Desam, one of the 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in the book.
  • The temple, along with the Ekambareswarar Temple and the Kamakshi Amman Temple in Kanchipuram, is known as Mumurtivasam (abode of the trio), whereas Srirangam is known as ‘Koil’ (meaning “temple”) and Tirupati as ‘Malai’ (meaning “hill”).
  • Aside from the main stone idol, the temple also houses a wooden figure of Varadharajaswamy fashioned of Atthi or fig tree and kept underwater in a secret chamber.
  • There is a shrine of Chakratalvar on the eastern side of the temple tank. The image of Chakratalvar (Sudarshana) in the temple is depicted with six hands.
  • The temple is frequently referred to as the divine repository of Sri Vaishnava literature. Thirumangai Alvar used all of his riches and taxes to build the temple, and the monarch punished him for not paying taxes and losing the kingdom’s wealth.
  • This massive temple, which spans 23 acres, is noted for both its religious significance and its architectural and sculptural splendour.
  • The temple is well-known for its massive umbrella, which is employed at joyful events. Thousands of people flock to the temple during the bhramotsavam (main festival) in Vaigasi (May/June), and this number doubles during the Garuda Vahanam and the Ther Thiruvila, the chariot parade.
  • The term ‘Varada Raja’ literally means ‘the king of boons.’ Thus the Lord remains a great benefactor. It is believed he can bestow educational excellence, prosperity, and family welfare on the devotees.
  • It is also believed that praying to Sudarshana Azhwar, the Lord’s great discus weapon, will eliminate impediments in marriage, guarantee victory in court proceedings, and provide mental calm.
  • People pray to Perundevi Thayar for progeny blessings and ailment cures.

Famous Festivals In Varadharaja 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.
  • Atthi Varadar – The 10-foot deity picture, Atthi Varadharaja Perumal (Atthi Varadar), is made of the Atthi or fig tree and is kept in an underground chamber inside the temple tank known as the Anantha Sarovaram/ Anantha Saras. Every 40 years, it is brought out for worship for 48 days.

How to reach Varadharaja Perumal Temple

Varadharaja Perumal Temple, also known as Hastagiri, Perumal Koil, or Attiyuran, is an old historical temple devoted only to Lord Vishnu, located in Kanchipuram, one of the Sapt Puris.

By Air: The nearest airport is Chennai, about 80 Km from the temple.

By Railway: Kanchipuram itself has a railway station and is connected with many important cities and towns.

By Roadways: Kanchipuram town is very well connected by road with cities like Chennai and Bengaluru and other places.

Also Read – Ashtabuja Perumal Temple

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Sunday 6 AM - 8 PM
Saturday 6 AM - 8 PM
Monday 6 AM - 8 PM
Tuesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Thursday 6 AM - 8 PM
Friday 6 AM - 8 PM
Address: Varadharaja Perumal Temple, West Mada Street, Nethaji Nagar, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: 04427269773Call Now
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Open Now

Sunday 6 AM - 8 PM
Saturday 6 AM - 8 PM
Monday 6 AM - 8 PM
Tuesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday 6 AM - 8 PM
Thursday 6 AM - 8 PM
Friday 6 AM - 8 PM
Address: Varadharaja Perumal Temple, West Mada Street, Nethaji Nagar, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: 04427269773Call Now