Varadharaja Perumal Temple – Kanchipuram
Varadharaja Perumal Temple located in the holy city of Kancheepuram is one of 108 Divya Desams (Divine Abode) dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple forms a part of the Vishnu Kanchi, a suburb of Kancheepuram. The temple is believed to have been visited by the Alwars (the 12 poetic saints).
The temple is located on the west of Gandhi Road, beside Vedapureswarar Temple and comes under the administration of same Trust.
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Varadharaja Perumal Temple – Religious Importance
The Varadharaja perumal Temple built during the reign of the Chola Kings in 1053 is one of the most sacred places for Vaishnavites. The temple along with Ekambareswarar Temple and Kamakshi Amman Temple in Kancheepuram is collectively known as Mumurtisivam or the abode of trio. It is believed that once upon a time, one of the greatest Hindu scholars Ramanuja resided in this temple.
The temple was originally known by the names Hastigiri and Attiyuran. The temple gets the name Hastigiri in association of Gajendra Moksham, from the myth that Indra elephant Airavatam in the form of a fill bears the image of Lord Vishnu. The name Attiyur is derived from the fact that the original image of Varadharaja Perumal was made from Attimaram (fig tree).
The Temple – Legend
The legend associated with the temple states that after the Lord created the universe, Lord Brahma wanted Lord Vishnu to come down to earth. He performed Ashwamedha Yagna with his other consorts Gayatri and Savitri, without his wife Goddess Saraswathi. The enraged Goddess flowed in spate as River Vegavati. At the end of the yagna, The Lord himself along with his consort appeared out of flames as Lord Varadharaja and granted Lord Brahma’s wish.
Varadharaja Perumal Temple Architecture
The Varadharaja Perumal Temple is a huge one built on a 23-acre complex. It has a magnificent hall of 100 pillars. The temple is a beautiful structure lying inside three grand circles. It was constructed at various stages by various kings.
The Lord of this temple is Swayambhu (self manifested form). The idol of the Lord is 40 feet long in reclining posture. The Goddess of the temple is worshipped as Perundevi Taayaar. The other shrines of the temple include the Alwars, the Acharyas, Ramar, Andal and Varaaha Perumal.
One of the unique features of the temple is that the temple tank is drained once in every 40 years revealing a huge wooden statue of Lord Vishnu that is worshipped for 48 days.
The East Gopuram (temple tower) is 125 feet high and 99 feet wide. The West Gopuram is 96 feet and 92.5 feet wide. The engraved lizard carvings and ancient inscriptions add to the main attractions of the temple.
Varadharaja Perumal Temple – Timings & Pooja Details
The temple is open on all days from 6:00 AM to 12:30 Noon and 3:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Poojas are performed as below:
|Pooja Details||Pooja Details|
|Vishwaroopa Darsanam||6:00 AM|
|First Thiruvadhanam||6:30 to 7:30 AM and 7:30 to 9:00 AM|
|Second Nivedanam||10:00 AM to 11:00 AM|
|Thirukkapu Sathudal (Closing of Sannidhi)||12:30 PM to 3:30 PM|
|Sarva Darshan||3:30 PM to 6:00 PM|
|Third Thirumalai Sathupadi & Nivedanam||6:00 PM to 6:30 PM|
|Fourth Thiruvadanam||7:00 PM to 8:00 PM|
|Manna Senai Theermanam||8:00 PM to 8:30 PM|
The Varadharaja Perumal Temple – Festivals
- Brahmotsavam Festival (10 days) in the month of Vaikasi (May-June)
- Navarathri in the Tamil month of Purattasi (September-October)
- Vaikunda Ekadasi in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December-January)
How to reach Varadharaja Perumal Temple
The temple is easily accessible by bus or taxi from Kancheepuram. Kancheepuram is connected to major cities by road and is at a distance of about 75 kilometres from Chennai. Varadharaja Temple is located at a distance of 5 kilometres from Kancheepuram Railway Station. Chennai International Airport is the nearest airport to the temple at a distance of about 60 kilometres.
The Varadharaja Temple is an important religious center in the holy city of Kancheepuram and one of the well-visited temples in Tamil Nadu. Tourists are sure to get mesmerized by the intricate carvings and the majestic architecture of the temple in a serene atmosphere.