Kanchipuram – vaikuntha on earth
Posted by iskconklnews on May 15, 2009
By Uttama Caitanya Dasa
Pamho AGTSP AGTSGG
Our recent visit to Kanchipuram allowed us to re-visit some of the regular temples visited before as well as have darshan of never-before-visited temples. It was truly a splendid experience.
Kanchi is one of the 7 important holy cities of India. It is said there are
1000 over temples in this sacred and ancient city.
There are quite a number of divya desha temples (108 key Vaishnava sthalas) here as well as Deities glorified in the hymns of the Alvars (mangalasasanam).
There are also many Saiva temples here, some are very, very old.
One can visit almost all the key Vishnu temples and few Saiva temples in one day. I took about 6hrs with the help of an auto. For 600rps you can have have the service the whole day. But there are no darsan between noon till abt 5pm in most temples.
The nice thing abt Kanchi is that the temples are normally not very crowded like other places, expect during festivals. One doesn’t not get harassed by pujaris as well.
Here are temples visited:-
1. Ekambaranatha – first temple visited. Lord Siva temple. The names means lord of single mango tree. Here Lord Siva wed Parvati. Marriage was presided by Lord Visnu. Parvati was cursed to come down to earth by Lord Siva coz she disturbed his tapasya. She did penance under a mango tree to obtain her husband back. Lord Visnu awarded her the boon and she was wed here. The mango tree is still here and it bears mango of different type of flavours. Huge and beautiful temple. There is a divya desha Lord Visnu murti here as well.
2. Vijaya Raghava Perumal – This temple is located some 5kms from Kanchi. Place called Tiruputkuli. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama. It is said Jatayu was cremated here by the Lord. So this place is famous for performing last rites. Outside the main temple is a smal snrine for Jayatu.
3. Alagiya Singar Perumal – Temple of Lord Narasimhadeva – Yoga Narasimha.
4. Pavala Perumal –
5. Pachai Perumal – mean green Lord
6. Vaikuntha Perumal – The temple has three storey vimana tower. There sanctums one above the other – Lord Visnu is standing, sitting and reclining position.
7. Deepaprakash Perumal – birthplace of Vedanta Desika. Lord Visnu appeared here to dispel darkness created by Sarasvati.
8. Astabuja Perumal – the Lord assumed 8 hands to kill a demon here.
9. Varadaraja Perumal – The most imporant temple here and key shrine of Sri Vaishavas of the vadakalai sect. The Lord is named bestower of benedictions. All lot of stories abt this temple. Ramanujacarya spent many years here. He is said to have met Yamunacarya here as well.
10. Pandava Tootha Perumal – Huge deity of Lord Krishna in visvarupa form. 25ft high. It is said the Lord bestowed this special darsan to Janamejaya here.
11. Yathoktakari Perumal – The Lord is bhujangasayana form. The name mean He who did as requested. Tirumalisai alwar requested to Lord to follow him out of Kanci. The Lord did that and came back here and lied down once again.
12. Ulagalandar Perumal – Lord Vamana diety. 35ft in height. This temple also houses 3 other divya desa murtis – Neeragham, Karagham and Karvannam.
13. Kamakshi Amman Temple – Huge, ancient temple dedicated to Durga. One out of three famous Durga temples (Madurai Meenakshi, Kasi Visalachi) in India. There is a deity of Lord Varaha within the temple. Divya desa shrine as well. Important temple for the Sankaracarya followers.
14. Kailasanatha – Said to be the oldest temple in Kanchi. Dedicated to Lord Siva. Many wonderful sculptors surround the temple but are gradually eroding due to test of time.
Besides this there are many other temples that have their own tales to tell.
Kanchi is truly a remarkable visit.
Uttama Caitanya dasa