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43. Thirukkachchi - Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple

44. Ashtabhuyakaram - Sri Aadhikesava Perumal Temple
45. Thiru Vekka - Sri Yathothakaari Temple
46. Thiru Velukkai - Sri Azhagiya Singar Perumal Temple
47. Thiruthanka - Sri Deepa Prakasar Perumal Temple
48. ThirukKalvanoor - Sri Aadhi Varaha Perumal Temple
49. Thiru Ooragam - Sri Ulagalantha Perumal Temple
50. Thiru Neeragam - Sri Jagadeeshwarar Temple
51. Thiru Kaaragam - Sri Karunakara Perumal Temple
52. Thirukkaar Vaanam - Sri Thirukkaar vaanar Temple
53. Thiruparameshwara Vinnagaram - Sri Vaikunda Perumal Temple
54. Thiru Pavala Vannan - Sri Pavala Vannar Temple
Thiru Nilathingal Thundam - Sri Nilathingal Thundathan Perumal
56. Thiru Paadagam - Sri Pandava Thoodhar Temple
57. Thiruputkuzhi - Sri Vijayaraghava Perumal Temple

58. Thiruvallikkeni - Sri Parthasarathy Temple
59. Thiruneermalai - Sri Neervanna Perumal Temple
60. Thiruvedanthai - Sri Nithya Kalyana Perumal Temple
61. Thiru Kadalmalai (Mahabalipuram) - Sri Sthala Sayana Perumal Temple
62. Thiru Nindravoor (Thirunindravur) - Sri Bhatavatsala Perumal Temple
63. Thiruevvuloor (Tiruvallur) - Sri Veeraraghava Perumal Temple
64. Thirukkatikai (Sholingur) - Sri Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple

Varadaraja Perumal Kanchipuram -Perumal Koil among Divya Desams

Varadaraja Perumal is credited with the handing over of Ramanuja to Srirangam

The last temple (15th) in the series on Kanchipuram Divya Desams, ThiruKachi
Athigiri - Varadaraja Perumal temple is referred to as the Perumal Koil among Divya

While Srirangam is referred to as The Koil and Tirupathi as the Malai among
Divya Desams, Kanchipuram Varadaraja Perumal temple is known as the Perumal
Koil. Varadaraja Perumal temple is on a 22acre temple complex in Chinna (small)
Kanchipuram on the Kanchipuram - Chengalpet -Madras road.

There are two big Gopurams

1. The Eastern Gopuram built by Krishnadeva Raaya
2. The Western temple tower built earlier by the Pallavas.
The story-
Brahma completes Ashwametha Yaagam. Brahma wanted to see Lord Vishnu, on
earth, in his full form. He undertook penance and the Lord appeared in the form of
water in Pushkaram and in the form of forest in Naimisarinyam. He was then asked
to do Ashwametha Yaagam at Sathya Kshetram. It was here in Kanchipuram that
Brahma performed the Ashwametha Yaagam. As seen in the earlier Divya Desam
stories (relating to Kanchipuram), Saraswathi was angry that Brahma undertook the
Yaagam without her support and presence and adopted different ways to stop the

Lord Vishnu took different forms to thwart her attempts. At ThiruVekka, he stopped
river VegaVathi by sleeping across as a dam, at Ashtabhujam he came with 8 hands
to kill the asura and subdue Kaali, at Thiru Thanka, he appeared as a flame to
provide light (after Saraswathi had plunged the place into darkness). Finally, Lord
Vishnu is said to have landed here in his Punyakoti Vimaanam and appeared before
Brahmma to signal the completion of the Ashwametha Yaagam.

One finds the Azhagiya Singar (Lord Narasimhar) Sannidhi on the way to Varadaraja
Perumal Sannidhi. 24 steps from the Eastern side(entrance) leads one to the
Prakaram of the Varadaraja Perumal. Once into the Sannidhi, another few steps
takes one to the tall standing posture of VaradarajaPerumal, seen facing the West.

Brahmma visits Lord Varadarajan once a year

Belief is that Brahmma comes here once a year on the full moon day in the Tamil
month of Chitrai (April-May) -around mid night- for a darshan of Varadarajan. On this
day, it is the practice for the priests to place food inside the sanctum and to wait
outside for 24 minutes. At the end of this, the food is said to smell sweeter.

Suns rays on Lord Varadarajan

For 15 days succeeding this (after the full moon day in Chitrai), Suns rays fall
directly on Lord Varadarajan at the time of dusk. (At SriVaikuntam- Nava Tirupathi-,
Suns rays fall directly on Lord Vaikuntanathan on two days (April-May and October-
November period) every year.)

On a Trip to Pazhaya Seevaram

During the Muslim invasion, the moolavar deity(Lord Varadarajan) is said to have
been damaged. As a damaged deity could not be worshipped, it was immersed in
the temple tank. The moolavar that we see today at Kanchipuram was brought from
Pazhaya Seevaram, about 20kms from Kanchipuram. In memory of this, the Utsava
idol of Lord Varadarajan is taken on a procession once a year, during the Tamil
month of Thai (Jan-Feb) to Pazhaya Seevaram. Lord Narasimha is also taken on a
procession to Keezh Seevaram during the Sankaranthi period (Kanu).

Athi Varadan-The Original Moolavar- once in 40 years

The original moolavar of Lord Varadarajan which was immersed in the temple tank -
Athi Varadan- is taken out once in 40 years and placed outside for public worship for
a period of 10 days. This event took place last in 1979 and the next one is slated for

Street Procession
Every Friday, Goddess Perundevi Thaayar goes out on a procession within the
prakaram(Goddess does not leave the temple premises). Lord Varadarajan goes on
a street procession every month on Pancha Paravam days. When this falls on a
Friday, the Lord goes out on a street procession with the Goddess waiting at the
Main Gopuram for Lord Varadarajan to return. From the main gopuram, Lord
Varadarajan and Perundevi Thaayar come back together and both proceed to the
garden behind Sudhasaran sannidhi for the devotees to offer their worship.

The street procession of Lord Varadarajan on Garuda mount in the tamil month of
Vaikaasi is one of the most popular festivals here at Kanchipuram.

During winter, Lord Varadarajan wears a sweater to protect him from cold. Sacred
bath for the Lord during this period take place with hot water/milk.

On Navarathri(all days) and Theppotsavam festival days, Lord and Goddess are
seen together within the temple prakaram.

Golden Lizard
Two disciples of Gauthama Rishi used to fill water every day for their Guru. One day,
to their shock, they found a lizard jumping out when they placed the tumbler in
front of their Guru. An angry Rishi cursed the two for their carelessness and they
instantly turned into Lizards. The 2 disciples stayed here at Kanchipuram as lizards
until Indra came, as Elephant Gajendra, to worship Varadarajan Perumal and
relieved them from their curse. In memory of this, there is a golden lizard and a
silver lizard outside the Varadarajan Sannidhi. Belief is that one will be relieved of all
diseases if one prays to Lord Varadarajan and touches the Lizard on the way out.

Thirumangai Azhvaar, BhootathAzhvaar and PeyAzhvaar have praised Lord
Varadarajan. Kanchipuram is the birth place of Poigai Azhvaar and Vedantha
Desigan. It was here that ThirumangaiAzhvaar was given money for the
construction/renovation of the Srirangam temple.

Special Privilege to Vedantha Desikar

Vedantha Desikar( of Thoopal) visits Varadaraja Perumal once a year during the
month of Puratasi(Sept-Oct). This is the only Divya Desam, where Desikar enters the
Sanctum of Lord Varadaraja. No other Azhvaar has this privilege.

Brihaspathis curse
A debate took place in the court of the Devas as to which was more worthy Family
life or Life of a Sanyasi. When they could not come to a conclusive answer, the
Devas looked to their preceptor, Brihaspathi for a final decision. Brihaspathi
pronounced that Sanyasin was better.
Angered at this decision of not recognizing the difficulty of family life, Indra cursed
Brihaspathi to become a poor Brahmin with children. Leading this life, Brihaspathi
one day chased away a hungry dog which had come inside his house and was
cursed for not providing refuge to a hungry animal. And he was turned into a dog.

The Devas, by now, were feeling the absence of their preceptor. When Indra
approached Brahmma to help get Brihaspathi back amongst them, he was asked to
accompany Brahmma to ThiruKachi where Brihaspathi was already undertaking a
penance before Varadaraja Perumal. Answering their prayers, Lord Varadarajan is
said to have given Brihaspathi his original status and form.

The Name
As Lord Vishnu accepted requests of everyone and gave what they wanted, he came
to be called Varadar(one who gives).

Lord Varadarajan Saves Ramanuja

Aalavanthaan met Ramanuja for the first time here in Kanchipuram.The story goes
that Ramanuja once lost his way in the Vindhya forest. Lord Varadarajan is said to
have appeared as a hunter and carried Ramanuja all the way to Kanchipuram. A
tired Varadarajan (the hunter) asked Ramanuja for water. When Ramanuja brought
water from the street well, he is said to have seen Lord Varadarajan, along with the
Goddess, disappear right in front of him into the temple sannidhi. To this day, sacred
water for Lord Varadarajan is brought from this street well.

Ramanuja moved from Kanchi to Srirangam

ThiruKachi Nambi used to fan Lord Varadarajan to prevent the Lord from sweating
under the heat. It is believed that he also used to have daily interactions with the
Lord. Ramanuja, who was performing the daily rituals for Kanchi Varadaraja
Perumal, had to be moved to Srirangam to succeed Aalavanthan. ThiruKachi Nambi
is said to have got the permission from Varadarajan to allow Ramanuja to move to
Srirangam. Hence, Varadaraja Perumal is credited with the handing over of
Ramanuja to Srirangam.

Quick Facts
Moolavar : Lord Varadarajan West Facing Standing Posture
Goddess : Perundevi Thaayar facing East (Separate Sannidhi)
Azhvaar :Thirumangai(4),BhoothathAzhvaar(2), PeyAzhvaar(1)
Time : 630am-1230pm and 330pm-830pm
Contact : Rangaraja Bhattar @ 93643 22440/ 94449 93370 or Krishna @ 98412
Address : 54/40 South Mada Street, Chinna Kanchipuram 631 501
Festivals : All round the year- well known for Prabandham recital on all festive

How to reach
Temple town Kanchipuram is about 75kms from Madras. One can take the Madras-
Bangalore highway or Madras-Chengalpet route to reach Kanchipuram.

There are 15 Divya Desams in Kanchipuram alone. Also, in Kanchipuram, are two
famous Saivite Temples- Ekaambareswar and Kamakshi Amman Temples.
Auto Contact to take one around all Divya Desams in Kanchipuram: Narasimhan@
94432 30556/ Anand @ 99407 35272

ThiruPutkuzhi Vijaya Raghava Perumal

Two Divya Desams having the same story - Does the Jataayu Moksham story relate
to Pulla Bhoothangkudi or Thiru PutKuzhi?
Lord Vijaya Raaghavan on Horse Vaahanam is a special feature

Located 12kms west of Kanchipuram on the Madras -Bangalore Highway, near Balu
Chetty Chattiram (about 80kms from Madras), the Vijaya Raaghava Perumal temple
at ThiruPutkuzhi relates to the episode of Jataayu Moksham in the Raamaayana.

The Story - Jataayu Moksham??

Eagle King Jataayu, a friend of King Dasharatha, had fought a valiant battle trying to
rescue Sita from the Lankan king Ravana. Finally, the birds wings were cut off and
Jataayu is said to have found Moksham here. Legend has it that Raama, who had
not been able to perform the last rites for his father as he was away in the forest at
that time, derived some consolation by performing his obsequies and giving
moksham to the Bird. In the Raamayana, this episode is referred to as the death of
the 2nd father.
There is a separate sannidhi for Jataayu opposite the temple tank. On all festive
occasions, Lord first visits the Jataayu sannidhi during his street procession.

Raama is said to have sent an arrow that created a pit here to bring sacred water
into this place (this is where the temple tank is currently).

Horse Vahana- A Special Feature

On certain festive occasions, Lord Vijaya Raaghavan goes on street processions
mounted on his Horse Vaahanam. For a moment, one almost feels that this is a
real Horse, with its jumping stride and movements. The man who created this horse
specifically for Lord Vijaya Raaghava was asked to make another horse. He refused
to recreate his magic for anyone other than the Lord.

To this day, when the Lord is taken on a street procession on the Horse Vaahanam,
he visits the place where the horse maker lived to pay regards the creater.

Raamaanuja learnt his early lessons here

Raamaanuja learnt the advaitha lessons from Yaadava Prakaasar at this place. The
mandapam where he learnt his lessons still exist here.

Sri Devi to the Left of the Lord- A unique feature

Vijaya Raghava Perumal is seen in a sitting posture, having the bird (Jataayu) on his
thigh. Not able to bear the smell caused by the final rites and because of the flames
that arose out of the cremation of Jaatayu, Sri Devi Thaayar is said to have moved
to the other side of the Lord. At this temple, the Goddess is seen to the left of the
Lord Vijayaraghava with her head slightly turned in the Lords direction (in all Divya
Desams, Sri Devi Thaayar is seen to the right of the Lord). Also, the Thaayar
Sannidhi is to the left of the LordIn all Divya Desams, the Thaayar Sannidhi is
always to the right of the Lord.
2 Divya Desams with the same story
While each Divya Desam has its own unique story, the Vijayaraaghava temple at
Thruputkuzhi shares the same story as another.

As seen earlier in this Divya Desam series (in fact the first story in this series -
bhoothankudi.html), the Jataayu Moksham is a story that relates to Pulla
Bhoothangkudi Divya Desam (about 10 kms West of Kumbakonam). The question
arises as to how two Divya Desams can have same event connected to it.

There are many reasons to believe that Pullabhoothangkudi is more likely to be

connected with Jataayu Moksham and not ThiruPutkuzhi. ThirumangaiAzhvaar in his
praise of the Lord at Pulla Bhoothangkudi refers specifically to Raama with a bow
(called Valvil Rama) while in his praise of ThiruPutkuzhi Lord, Thirumangai does not
refer directly to Raama.

Also, in several of his Paasurams relating to Pullabhoothangkudi, Thirumangai refers

to the Raamaayana. Raama is said to have taken the Chola route to Thirupullani and
then to Lanka and is unlikely to have passed through Kanchipuram.

Childless Couple and Unmarried girls

Sincere prayers to Maragadavalli Thaayar at this temple, on 'No Moon' day, by
observing fast, is said to yield immediate results for childless couples and unmarried

Thirumangai has praised the ThiruPutKuzhi Lord with 2 Paasurams.

Thirumangai Azhvaar

There is no direct reference to Raama or any Raamaayana episode in the above

Pasuram. However, in ThirumangaiAzhvaars Periya Thirumadal, he says '
' referring to the Goddess, the location and the Lord. By Porethai,
Thirumangai is possibly referring to 'Lord Rama before the war/going for the war
(with Raavana)'

Management of the Temple and Temple Renovation

Sundara Pandyan, the Pandya King, was one of the earliest rulers to have renovated
this temple. Raayas, known for their attachment to Vishnu temples, are also said to
have contributed to the renovation of this temple.

Theppotsavam in Thai
10 day Brahmotsavam in Maasi
Rama Navami
Quick Facts
Deity : Vijayaraghavan, East facing sitting posture
Goddess : Maragadavalli
Azhvaar : Thirumangai Azhvaar 2 Paasurams
Timing : 7am-12noon, 4pm-7pm
Contact : V. Narayanan @ 2724 6501
Address : Vijayaraghava Perumal Koil, Thiruputkuzhi
Via Balu Chetty Chattiram, Kanchi District 631 551
How to reach ThiruPutkuzhi
Buses between Chennai and Vellore stop at Balu Chetty Chattiram. Several local
buses available from Kanchipuram.

Thiru Kalvanur, Thiru NilaaThingal Thundam

Yet another Controversial tale at the Kanchipuram Divya Desam
Two Divya Desams inside Big Saivite Temples

Divya Desams in Kanchipuram require a very in depth research and analysis and a
close look at historical records and inscriptions to answer a few of the unsolved
mysteries. Several of the Divya Desam temples here raise some very serious

In the earlier piece on Neeragam, Kaaragam and Kaarvannam, we raised questions

on how 3 temples came to be located within the Ooragam Divya Desam temple
complex. In a piece that follows this story, we throw up another big controversy
relating to yet another Divya Desam on the outskirts of Kanchipuram

Thiru Kalvanur and Thiru NilaaThingal Thundam Temple

Todays story relates to two Divya Desams in Kanchipuram which are housed inside
now well known and big Saivite temples - Thiru Kalvanur inside Kaamaakshi Temple
and Thiru NilaaThingal Thundam Temple inside Ekaambareshwar Temple. In both
these temples, its the Saivite priests who perform the daily poojas at the Divya
Desams (They are currently not too clued in on Azhvaars, Mangalaasaasanams,
Divya Desams and one really cannot blame them for that).

Both these Divya Desams seem to have a very small and almost insignificant
presence within these huge Saivite temples.

One wonders why. The Azhvaars who have praised the Lords at these two temples
dont seem to give an answer or even a clue.

For a city that boasts the now renowned Varadaraja Perumal Divya Desam ( to be
seen later in this series), these two Divya Desams seem to be almost anti climatic.

Were the Divya Desams inside Saivite Temples when Thirumangai praised the
In fact, the indications are that these two Divya Desams were not here inside the
Saivite Temples and may have been brought here much later, may be to show the
world the coming together of Saivism and Vaishnavism. For, if the Kaamaakshi
temple existed then in its current form and if the Divya Desam was in the place it is
now within the Kaamaakshi temple, it is very unlikely that Thirumangai Azhvaar
would not have made a mention of the presence of the Saivite giant. From this, one
can be sure that the two (Kaamakshi temple & Kalvanur Divya Desam as well as
Ekaambareshwar temple & NilaaThingal Thundathaan Perumal) were not in the
same place at the time Thirumangai praised the Kalvanur and NilaThingal Lord.

Whether the Divya Desam idol came up here later or if the huge Kaamaakshi and
Ekaambareshwar temples came up at the Divya Desam temple is a matter for
debate, research and analysis.

More Controversy
This is not the end to the controversy. There is one other twist within Thirumangai
Azhvaars praise of the Lord. In his Paasuram, Thirumangai Azhvaar says,

Kaaragathaai Kaarvannathullaai Kalvaa..

Kaamarubhoong Peyraathen Nenjinullaai

The Divya Desam inside Kaamaakshi temple is called Thiru Kalvanur and the Lord is
called Aathi Varaaha Perumal.

When Thirumangai Azhvaar praises the Lord as Kaaragathaai Kaarvannathullaai

Kalvaa, is he referring to the Lord at Kaaragam and Kaarvannam or is he referring to
the Kalvanur Divya Desam Lord within Kaamakshi temple as Kalva.

Thirumangai Azhvaar and his Paasurams

As seen in several of the Divya Desam stories featured in this series, Thirumangai
Azhvaar, who has praised the most number of Divya Desam deities (well over of
the 108), has sometimes praised the location alone, in others he has sung verses
combining location and the Lord. Sometimes, Thirumangai Azhvaar has sung praise
of the Lord with the location and related that particular Divya Desam with reference
to several others that he had already seen.

However, in this particular Paasuram, Thirumangai Azhvaar seems to have left a lot
to ones imagination. It looks like he has included 5 and more Divya Desams in this
one Paasuram but it does not give one a clear idea as to who he is referring to
specifically and also whether some of these temples actually were located in
For example, in line 3 above, he makes a specific mention of Ooragam Divya Desam
as Kachi Ooragathaai confirming the presence of Ooragam in Kanchipuram. No
such mention or reference relating to Neeragam, Kaaragam and Kaarvannam.

Reference of Kalvanur Lord in Thirumangai Azhvaars Paasuram

The only probable reference that Thirumangai Azhvaar has made of Thiru Kalvanur
in this Paasuram is the mention of Kalva, but as discussed above, one is not sure if
he is referring to Kaaragam / Kaarvannam as Kalva or are we to take that as his
reference of the Thiru Kalvanur Lord.

However, what one can be reasonably confident of is the fact that these 5-6 Divya
Desams were within a touching distance of one anotheras he has referred to all of
them in one single Paasuram.
Thirumangai Azhvaar must have visited each of these temples in one go and then
composed a combined praise of the Lord!!!!

Quick Facts
Moolavar ; Aathi Varaaha Perumal Standing Posture West Facing
Thayar : Anjilai Valli

Thiru NilaaThingal Thundam

Moolavar ; NilaaThingal Thundanthaan Perumal Standing Posture West Facing
Thayar : NilaaThingal Thunda Thayar

Thiru Neeragam,Thiru Kaaragam, Thiru Kaarvannam

3 Divya Desams within the Ooragam Temple Complex
Thirumangai Azhvaar praises all three Divya Desams in a single Paasuram

These 3 temples- Neeragam, Kaaragam and Kaarvannam- are currently found within
the Ooragam Divya Desam temple complex, North of Kanchipuram bus stand. All
these three temples have been praised by Thirumangai Azhvaar in a single
Paasuram along with Thiru Ooragam. There are no specific stories relating to any of
these temples. However, a close reading of the Paasuram throws open a few



ThiruMangai Azhvaar in his Periya Thirumozhi verse

Thirumangai specifically refers to Ooragam Divya Desam as Kachi Ooragathaai
confirming the presence of Ulagalantha Perumal in Kanchipuram.

However, when referring to Neeragam, Kaaragam and Kaarvannam in the same

Paasuram, Thirumangai does not bring the Kanchi connect, throwing open the
question as to whether these three Divya Desams were originally outside Kanchi
and were then brought into this temple complex much later, after Thirumangais

Thirumangai Azhvaars devotion and attachment to the Lord stands out. This can be
seen in the way he connects Lords from different Divya Desams in a single
Paasuram. Even as he is praising one Lord belonging to one Divya Desam, his
thoughts seem to be immediately moving to and connecting with Lords belonging to
other Divya Desams, that he had already seen.

This particular Paasuram is a perfect example of the beautiful way Thirumangai

connects different Divya Desams. Starting with Neeragam, he moves to Nilaa
Thingal and then to Ooragam and then brings in Kaaragam and Kaarvannam as

Deity : No Moolavar ,Jagadeeswara Perumal(Utsavar)Standing South Facing
Goddess : Nilamangai Valli
Kannan Bhattar

Deity : Karunakara Perumal Standing North Facing
Goddess : Padmaamani, Ramaamani
Vijaraaghava Bhattar

Deity : Kalvar Standing North facing
Goddess : Kamalavalli
Murali Bhattar

Temple Timing: 7am-12noon and 4pm-8pm

Contact : Raghu @ 94425 53820

Thiru Ooragam Ulagalantha Perumal

A Gigantic 30 feet Thiruvikrama with his left leg lifted at right angle and parallel to
the ground and with fingers of right and left hand describing the Maha Bali story

Ulagalantha Perumal temple is situated just a kilometer north of Kanchipuram bus

stand. Lord Vishnu is normally seen in one of the three postures- Standing, Sitting or
Sleeping posture. From that point, the Ulagalantha Perumal at Ooragam is no
different. However, while he is seen standing facing west, this is no simple standing
posture of the Lord. This unique posture of the Lord is detailed below in this story
that relates to Lord Vishnus Vamana Avatara.

Lord Vishnu who took the Narasimha Avatara to kill Hiranyakashipu, the father of
Prahalada then took the Vamana Avatara, the first avatara of Lord Vishnu as a
human being, to subdue the demon king MahaBali, the grandson of Prahalada, and
to restore Indras power back to him.

The story
King Bali had conquered almost the entire world and had gained such power that he
seemed irresistible. Indra looked up to Lord Vishnu to protect him from Bali and his
fast expansion. Disguising himself as a dwarf Brahmin, Lord Vishnu attends a
Yaagam undertaken by king Bali. Pleased with his presence, Bali greeted the
Brahmain and asked him what he could give from his huge empire.

Brahmin that he was and contended with what he had, the dwarf asked Bali for just
3 feet of land. Balis Guru, the knowledgeable and shrewd Sukraachaarya, who
knew the intention behind the Brahmins visit, advised the King against giving him
the 3 feet of land.

MahaBali, who was a great devotee of Vishnu, was also known for his upkeep of
Dharma. Having asked the Brahmin what he wanted and having promised him to
give whatever he wanted, MahaBali would not go back on his word, even if
something negative were to happen to him. And hence he readily agreed to part
with the 3 feet of land.

The Vamana measured the entire earth and sky with one step and the heaven with
his 2nd step. And having covered the entire universe with just 2 steps, there was no
place left for the third step.

The 3rd Step of Vamana and the end of King Bali

When asked where he could place his 3rd step, King Bali asked the Lord to place it
on him. And with this, Lord Vishnu placed his foot on King Balis head sending him
into the nether world, thus marking bringing to end the purpose of his Avataaram.

Thiru Vikrama Darshan to Bali

Bali, who was thus crushed, wanted to see the full form of the Lord who measured
the entire world. Answering his prayers, Lord is said to have appeared before Bali at
this place as Ulagalantha Perumal (the one who measured the entire universe).

Another Darshan in a smaller form

Having been reduced to a normal human being in the nether world, Bali was not
able to see the full manifestation of Lord Vishnu in this gigantic form. Hence, it is
believed that the Lord appeared once again before Bali in a smaller form at this
place as the serpent lord Adhisesha.

The name
As Uragam signifies Snake and Lord Vishnu gave darshan once again to Bali as the
Serpent Lord, this place came to be called Ooragam and the Lord came to be known
as Ooragathaan.

It is believed that this Lord fulfils the prayers of unwedded girls and childless

A description of Thiruvikrama

Over 30 feet in height

Left leg is seen lifted at a right angle(to the body), parallel to the ground.
Right leg is seen placed on Mahabalis head
2 fingers on his left hand stretched out referring to the two steps he took to
measure this world
1 stretched finger on his right hand indicates the question the Lord posed to
MahaBali as to where he could place his 3rd step

The gigantic Ulagalantha Perumal is special to Kanchipuram and a Lord of this size,
and in this form, cannot be seen in any other Divya Desam.

Thirumangai Azhvaar and Thirumazhisai Azhvaar have praised Ulagalantha Perumal.
Thirumangai Azhvaar has referred to all four Divya Desams in this temple complex
in a single Paasuram.

Quick Facts
Moolavar :ThiruVikraman Standing Posture West Facing
Thaayar : AmuthaValli
Time : 7am-12noon and 4pm-8pm
Contact : Vijayaraghavan Bhattar @ 94425 53820
Address : Ulagalantha Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram 631 502

Brahmotsavam in Thai
Panguni Utsavam
Thiru Velukkai Azhagiya Singar
Lord Narasimha chose to reside at this place to protect the people from evil forces

Located South of Thiru Thanka and about km West of Ashtabhujam temple is the
Narasimha temple in Thiru Velukkai.

Lord Vishnu who took the Narasimha Avataaram to kill Hiranya took another form of
Narasimha at this place and went behind a group of asuras who were causing
misery to people. The scared asuras ran away and were not to be found. Happy at
keeping the Asuras away from this place, Lord Narasimha decided to stay put at this
place so he could protect the people from evil force at all times.

Vel signifies desire and since the Lord chose to reside at this place out of his own
desire, this place came to called Thiru Velukkai.

PeyAzhvaar and Thirumangai Azhvaar have sung praise of the Lord.


- Pey Azhvaar

Quick Facts
Moolavar : Azhagiya Singar West Facing Sitting Posture
Thaayar : VelukkaiValli, AmruthaValli
Utsavar : Aal Ari, Mukuntha Naayakan
Time : 7am-1030am, 5pm-730pm
Contact : Raja Bhattar
Address : Velukkai Azhagiya Singar Temple, Kanchipuram 631 501

Thiru Parameswara Vinnagaram - Vaikunta Perumal

Beautiful sand stone sculptures around the prakaram leaves one amazed at the
artistic capabilities of the Pallavas
Situated one km off the Kanchipuram railway station, this Divya Desam has been
designated as a heritage temple and is under the archeological survey of India.

The story goes that a Gandharva beauty tried to distract Baradwaja Rishi in his
penance. A child was born to them and a perturbed Rishi prayed to Brahmma
regarding the childs up bringing. Vishnu and Brahmma came to his rescue and
promised to take care of the child. During the same period, a Pallava king, who was
childless, was undertaking penance. They presented this child to the Pallava King
and named him Parameswaran.

Another story goes that Lords security guards, Dwara Paalakaas, are said to have
born to a Vidarbha king, who was childless. Later the two are said to have
performed the Ashwamedha Yaagam, upon which Lord Vishnu is believed to have
appeared before them.

Lord and his 3 postures

Lord is said to have appeared before the devoted Parameswara Varma in his three
postures. Lord Vishnu is believed to have stood up and taught Parameswara 18
different arts of life. In his grand sitting posture, he is said to have passed on advice
to Parameswara, as an acharya would to his disciple. And is then believed to have
got into a sleeping posture so as to be served by Parameswara.

To mark these event, Parameswara Pallava is said to have built this 3 tier structure.
The 2nd tier is open only on Ekadesi days.The steps to the 3rd Tier are said to have
been damaged during Pallava Times because of rains and hence cannot be visited

So attached was the Pallava king to this temple, that he used to invoke the blessing
of this Lord before he embarked on any battle, especially before he went to face
their arch rivals, The Pandyas. This has been brought out beautifully by Thirumangai
Azhvaar in several of his Paasurams in praise of the Lord here.

Thirumangai Periya Thirumozhi

Krishnadeva Raya, who contributed to the development of several divya desams,

also helped in the renovation of this temple.

Artistic Pallava style Sculptures

The temple has beautiful old sculptures around the prakaram depicting the different
stages of Parameswaras life right from his childhood. The temple is a terrific
example of Pallava Architecture and is believed to have been built by them on a
single piece of rock.

Secret Underground Tunnel

Legend has it that there was a secret underground tunnel laid out from this temple
all the way to Mahabalipuram , on the eastern sea shore, as well as to Parameswara
Pallavas court. When Britishers got a scent of this, they came here to trace this.
Coming together as one, the devotees of this temple are said to have built out steps
across the tunnel to the temple sannidhi, thus turning away the Britishers.
About 3 lakh people visit this temple during Vaikunta Ekadesi festival

Quick Facts
Moolavar : Paramapatha Nathan sitting posture West facing Lord Ranganatha can
be seen in the 2nd tier Paramapathanathan is said to reside in Tier 3
Thaayar : Vaikunta Valli
Azhvaar : Thirumangai Azhvaar- 10 Paasurams (Periya Thirumozhi)
Contact : Devarajan Bhattar @ 044 2723 5273 / 99444 64383
Address : Vaikunta Perumal Koil,
68 Vaikunta Perumal Koil Street, Kanchipuram-2

ThiruThanka Vilakoli Perumal

Birth Place of Vedantha Desigar
Thoopal is the birth place of Vedantha Desigar, the acharya who created the
Vedantha Siddhaantha for Vaishnavites. Desigars life story has been depicted at
this temple in form of beautiful photographs.

Thiru Thanka Vilakoli Perumal temple is about km West of Thiru Vekka Divya
Saraswathis attempts to disrupt Brahmmas Yaagam continue
Having failed in her previous attempts to stop Brahmmas Ashwamedha Yaagam,
Saraswathi decide to take an extreme step. She used her powers and put the entire
place into darkness. Lord Vishnu appeared as a flame, thus providing the much
needed light to Brahmmas Yaagam.

Another Asura to destroy the Yaagam

Brahmma invited the Devas to attend the Yaagam. Not to be left behind, the Asuras
too decided to attend. However, Brahmma ignored them. Angered at Brahmma not
taking notice of their presence, the Asuras went to Saraswathi and poisoned her
thoughts once again. They decided to create a dangerous Asura to destroy the
Yaagam. The Asura, Maaya Nalan, went to the Yaagam in the form of a dangerous

Once again coming to Brahmmas rescue, Lord Vishnu took the fire in his hand and
held it so served as a lighting lamp. He appeared in this form before Saraswathi,
who had followed the Asura. Saraswathi accepted her mistake in trying to
repeatedly block the Yaagam and came back to Brahmma. It is believed that
Saraswathi herself appeared here as the sacred water, and a cold one at that, so
as to cool the hot burning hand of Lord Vishnu, who had taken the fire in his hand to
protect Brahmma.

Azhvaars high praise of this Lord

So impressed was Thirumangai Azhvaar with this Lord with the fire that he
compares the Lord here to ThiruKurundi Nambi, Kumbakonam Aaravamudhan,
Srirangam Ranganatha and Tirupathi Srinivasa.


Quick Fact
Moolavar : Deepa Prakaasar West Facing Standing Posture
Thaayar : Maragada Valli
Utsavar : Vilakoli Perumal
Contact: 94475 73942
Posted by PRabhu S at 8:46 PM 2 comments Links to this post
Labels: Divya Desams in Kanchipuram
108Divya Desam- Kanchipuram PavalaVannan
The Only Divya Desam where Lord Vishnu is praised for his colour

ThirumangaiAzhvaar was completely startled looking at the colour of the Lord here.
He had seen and praised different forms of the Lord but none had left him as
bemused as this one. He had never seen such a colour.

Not able to fathom as to who this one looked like, he wondered if this was similar to
the one at Kadanmallai (Mahabalipuram) or the one at ThiruperNagar. And quickly
realized that one was different and dissimilar. In different Yugams, Lord has been
seen in different forms and colour. Thirumangai could not relate to this one.

PavalaVannan Perumal Divya Desam is situated near the Kanchipuram New Railway
station off Madras Road.

The Story

Continuing her effort to stop Brahmmas Yaagam, Saraswathi sent Asuras. With
Brahmma once again looking up to Lord Vishnu for help, Vishnu took on the Asuras
and killed them all. In the process of slaying them, blood sprained all over his body.
This mix of blood on his body had given the Lord a different colour - Pavalam. And
he remained so ever after.
Opposite this temple, a km away and facing PavalaVannan is Pachai Vannan
temple (not praised by Azhvaar).

On the 5th day of Vaikasi, Kanchi Varadarajan comes here on a procession from
Chinna Kanchipuram.

Quick Facts
Deity : PavalaVanna Perumal
Posture : Standing West facing
Goddess : Pavalavalli Thaayar
Azhvaar : Thirumangai 1 Paasuram(2060)
Timing : 730am-1130am, 5pm-8pm
Tel : Rangaraja Bhattar @ 92453 71910 / 99521 84249
Address : 12B Kalandar Street, Kanchipuram 631 602

Kanchipuram Ashtabhujam
The only divya desam where Lord Vishnu is seen with 8 hands
Lord with 8 hands and Thirumangais curiosity

Located 2 kms South West of Varadaraja Perumal temple and km South of

ThiruVekka is the Ashtabhujam Gajendra Varadan temple in Kanchipuram.

The story of this temple too revolves around Saraswathis attempt to stop
Brahmmas Ashwamedha Yaagam.Continuing her quest to stop Brahmmas
Ashwamedha Yaagam, Saraswathi sends a dangerous looking Kaali along with an
asura. Lord Vishnu appeared with 8 hands with a weapon in each hand to kill the
asura and to subdue Kaali. In memory of this event, there is a Kaali temple next to
this Divya Desam.

Thirumangai Azhvaar had praised Lord Vishnu in different forms and sizes but he
had not seen one with 8 hands. Looking at this Lord, he could not understand who
the one with 8 hands was and how one could be in this form.He tires to recount all
the different forms of Lords Vishnu that he had praised but could not relate to this
one. Hence, in each of his Paasurams directed at the Lord here, he, with a lot of
curiosity, constantly asks the question 'who are you- the one with 8 hands.'

- Thirumangai Azhvaar in Periya Thirumozhi

Gajendra Moksham
An elephant which came to the temple tank to pick up flowers for the Lord was
caught in the clutches of a crocodile. Lord Vishnu is said to have hurled his disc at
the crocodile to save the elephant. Lord here is said to have provided a replayed
version of Gajendra Moksham to PeyAzhvaar.

This is the only Divya Desam in Kanchipuram that has a Swarga Vaasal ( Gateway to

10 day Brahmotsavam in Chitrai
Gajendra Moksham in Aadi
Pavitrotsavam in Avani
Margazhi Festival

Quick Facts
Moolavar: Gajendra Varadan Standing West facing Posture
Goddess : Alarmel Mangai
Utsavar : Aathi Kesavan
Azhvaar : Thirumangai, PeyAzhvaar- 12 Paasurams
Timing : 730am-12noon, 430pm-8pm
Contact : Arunachalam, EO @ 044 2722 5242 or Murali @ 98656 98666
Address : Ashtabhuja Sannidhi St, Chinna Kanchi

Kanchipuram Thiru Vekka

Sonna Vannam Seitha Perumal
The Only Divya Desam that features Lord Vishnu in a Maaru Sayanam
Lord Vishnu is seen sleeping in the opposite direction from Right to Left
Located in Chinna Kanchipuram 2 kms west of Varadaraja Perumal Koil, Sonna
Vannam Seitha Perumal gets one thinking. As one enters the Sannidhi, one feels
that there is something wrong, something different, that one is not normally used to
seeing in Vishnu temples.

It takes a little time for one to realize that Lord Vishnu, here at Thiru Vekka, is seen
in a different sleeping posture from right to left (Maaru Sayanam) with his head
resting on the left hand. In all other Divya Desams, where the Lord is represented in
a sleeping posture, he can be seen sleeping from left to right with his head resting
on his right hand.

Such is the fame of the Lord here that PeyAzhvaar in this Paasuram says 'One need
not stand atop mountains to penance. Neither does one need to be stick our neck
into ice cold deep water nor in the midst of five fires to penance. It is just enough if
we worship Sonna Vannam Seitha Perumal at ThiruVekka with flowers and a sincere
heart. And we will liberated from all our sins.'

The story
5 temples in Chinna Kanchipuram have stories relating to Brahmmas Ashwamedha
Yagna and Saraswathis anger at being ignored for the Yagna. To prove a point to
Brahmma that a yagna cannot be successful without her presence, Saraswathi tries
many different ways to stop the yagna. In the story relating to ThiruVekka, she takes
the form of a fast flowing river (VEGAVATHI) and tries to flood the place. Brahmma
looks up to Lord Vishnu to help him with the smooth and safe conduct of the Yagna.
Vishnu, this time, sleeps across the river as a dam, thus stopping the flow of the
river. With the river being blocked, Lord Vishnu, along with MahaLakshmi provides
darshan to Brahmma, who then continues his Yagna.

ThirumazhisaiAzhvaar and the Lord Leaving this Place

Once ThirumazhisaiAzhvaars disciple Kani Kannan was heard singing praise of the
Lord. Pleased with his voice, the king ordered that Kani Kannan sing praise of him
too. KaniKannan refused stating that he would sing praise only of the Lord and not
of others.An upset king banished him from the kingdom. Kanni Kannan narrated the
happening to his preceptor Thirumazhisai Azhvaar who decided to accompany him
out of the kingdom.

Thirumazhisai Azhvaar went up to the Lord and requested him too to join them on
their journey.

And the three left the place- This action plunged the entire kingdom into darkness.

Realizing his mistake, the king reached out to Thirumazhisai Azhvaar and requested
that the three of them come back to the kingdom. Thirumazhisai Azhvaar asked the
Lord to return to his residing place. The Lord is said to have followed this instruction
immediately and in this hurried return is said to have slept in the opposite direction.

In memory of the event marking Thirumazhisai Azhvaar leaving the place, the Lord
along with the idol of Thirumazhisai Azhvaar is taken in a procession to the nearby
river VegaVathi, every year during the Tamil Calendar month of Thai(Jan-Feb),

Other Reasons for Maaru Sayanam

Two other reasons are also stated for Lords opposite sleeping posture. Since he left
his residing place and later returned, he is said to have slept in the opposite
direction as proof that he had left the place once.

Legend also has it that, as Lord Vishnu came in a tearing hurry, on Brahmmas
request, to block River VegaVathi ( Saraswathi), he is said to have slept in the
opposite direction.

Name of the Lord

As the Lord listened, in strict obedience, to the instructions of Thirumazhisai
Azhvaar and did as the Azhvaar wanted, he is called Sonna Vannam Seitha

5 Azhvaars have sung praise of the Lord- Poigai, PeyAzhvaar, NammAzhvaar,
Thirumangai Azhvaar and Thirumazhisai Azhvaar. This is also the birth place of
Poigai Azhvaar.
In early days of Vaishnavism, this temple was referred to as the Lord representing
Sleeping Posture as can be seen from the songs of the Azhvaars.

Quick Facts
Moolavar : YaaThotha Gaari Perumal in a west facing maaru sayana posture
Goddess : Komalavalli Thaayar
Utsavar : Sonna Vannam Seitha Perumal
Birth place : Poigai Azhvaar
Timing : 8am-11am, 5pm-8pm
Contact : S. Ramanuja Acharya Bhattar @ 044 3720 9752
Address : Old 28, Aanai Katti Street, Chinna Kanchipuram 631 503

Thiru Paadagam Pandava Dhootha Perumal

Pandava Dhootha Perumal- A majestic 25 feet Lord Krishna

Located one km West of Kanchipuram Bus Stand is the Pandava Dhootha Perumal
temple, one that was renovated by the Kulothunga Chola I.

The entrance to the temple through the very old looking temple tower is rather
sedate. This leads one to a very small sized sanctum However, this modest entry
sets one up for quite an unexpected surprise - A gigantic over 25 feet tall Lord
Krishna in a majestic sitting posture (facing East), almost suggestive of the Lords

The Story
In order to make peace with the Kauravas, Krishna goes to Hastinapura to the court
of Duryodhana on behalf of the Pandavas. With a plot to kill Krishna and thus to put
all hopes of a peace treaty, Duryodhana digs a pit and tops it with bamboo sticks.
On this bamboo topped pit, he puts up a grand stage, thus setting up Krishna for a
mega fall.

Once he enters the hall, the all knowing Krishna presses the stage with his little toe
to send it crushing below. And immediately after, Krishna displays his
Vishwaroopam to the blind Dhirdharashtra (and only to him), by giving him the
vision. Seeing the Lord in his full divine form, a delighted Dhirdharashtra requests
Krishna to make him blind again, for he does not want to see anything else after
having seen the Lord himself. Says Dhirdharashtra to Krishna, I have seen you in
your full form. This is enough. No more do I want the vision. Years after this
episode, Arjunas Grandson Janmejaya, who listened to the Mahabharata story from
Vaisampaayana wanted to relive the moment (that of Lord Krishna displaying his
Vishwaroopam) and undertook penance at this place. Krishna is believed to have
provided Darshan to Janmejaya, as Pandava Dhootha, in the same way he had in
the Mahabharatha episode.

Name of the Lord

Having played the role of a messenger for the Pandavas, Krishna, here at this
temple, is known by that same name- Pandava Dhootha Perumal.

Four Azhvaars have praised the Lord here. Thirumazhisai Azhvaar refers to 3
temples in Kanchipuram as representative of the 3 postures of Lord Vishnu. Among
the Divya Desams, this temple (Thiru Paadagam) was just referred to as Lord in
Sitting Posture in those days, while Thiru Ooragam was referred to the Lord in
standing posture and Thiru Vekka as the Lord in Sleeping Posture. It was only later
that other Azhvaars referred to Lord Vishnu and his 3 postures.


- Thirumazhisai Azhvaar

Just in the way Krishna protected the Pandavas, it is believed that the Lord here will
protect devotees who pray with sincerity and unflinching devotion.

There is said to have been a 18 day debate between Ramanuja and a Saivite
Scholar. Having lost the debate to Ramanuja, the Saivite Scholar is said to have
become his discipline and changed his name to Arulaala Perumal Emberumaanar.
His descendents are the ones currently managing the temple.

Krishna Jayanthi
Vaikunta Ekadesi
Panguni Uthiram

Quick Facts
Moolavar : Pandava Dhootha Perumal
Goddess : Rukmini
Azhvaars : 4 Azhvaars have praised this Lord - Thirumazhisai, Thirumangai,
Bhoothath and PeyAzhvaar
Time : 7am-11am and 4pm-730pm
Contact : TV Srinivasan Bhattar @ 94438 84698
Address : 28B/75 Pandava Perumal Koil Street, Kanchipuram 631502