Sunday, December 25, 2016

Adikesava Perumal Temple, Vallipuram, Kanchipuram

Adikesava Perumal Temple, Vallipuram, Kanchipuram
Adikesava Perumal Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu located at Vallipuram, a small village approximately 15 kms from Chengalpattu town in Kanchipuram district of Tamilnadu. This entire region, consisting of Chengalpattu, North Arcot and South Arcot districts of Tamil Nadu formed part of the ancient territorial region known as Thondaimandalam. The river Palar which flowed through the heart of this region contributed to the prosperity of many settlements in this area, including Kanchipuram, the ancient Pallava capital.

The Pallava and Chola rulers constructed many temples in the villages and towns of this area with the Vijayanagara dynasty also subsequently contributing to the architectural development of the temples already existing there. The village of Vallipuram, situated close to the Palar, on its northern bank, might have been a Chaturvedimangalam, or a village of scholars learned in the four Vedas, like many others in the nearby areas.
According to the Manasara, an ancient text in Sanskrit on civil engineering, a village should have a Siva temple on the north-east, a Vishnu temple on the south-west with a tank on true west. The village of Vallipuram has such an arrangement, conforming to the rules laid down in this treatise.
The Temple
The temple, as well as the central sanctum-sanctorum, faces east. The main stone image of Sri Adikesava Perumal, enshrined here is in a standing posture, wearing a Salagrama garland, holding the conch and discus in his upper left and right hands respectively. His lower right hand is in abhaya hasta and lower left hand is in kati hasta, resting near his hip. His consorts, Sri Devi and Bhu Devi are seen on either side. All the three images are seen on the same pedestal. It is interesting to note that unlike most temples, there is enough space between moola-Vigrahas and the rear wall for a person to circumambulate these images.
The bronze processional image is also worshipped by the name Sri Adikesava Perumal and has the conch and discus in his upper hands and the lower hands are in abhaya hasta and kati hasta just like the main image. He too wears a Salagrama garland. The beauty of the images, both the achala-bhera and the chala-bhera, are truly captivating. On observing closely, one can even see the beautiful long and pointed tips of the nails of the Utsava-vigraha. The other bronze images which are kept here are Chakrattazhvar, Andal and the Snapana Bhera.

This temple is a beautiful specimen of Chola architecture, consisting of a garbha-griha, the antarala (passage between the garbha-griha and the mandapam), the maha-mandapam and the agra-mandapam. In the antarala, the bronze image of Sri Bhakta Anjaneya can be worshipped, along with the icons of Vishvaksena, Nammazhwar and the great Srivaishanva Acharya, Sri Vedanta Desika. The mandapam in front houses the processional image of Ambujavalli Thayar, the consort of Adikesava Perumal as also the stone images of all the Azhwars.
The image of the Bhudattazhwar with his right hand in jnana-mudra resting on this chest is very reminiscent of a similar one worshipped at Mamallapuram, his birthplace, not too far from Vallipuram. Above the central sanctum is the vimana in typical Dravidian style of architecture belonging to the Chola epoch. It contains beautiful stucco figures of Lord Vishnu in various forms like Sri Adikesava, Varaha, Venugopala, Lakshmi-Narayana, Krishna, Lakshmi Narasimha and Sita-Lakshmana-Hanumath Sametha Sri Kodandarama.
The shrine for Ambujavalli Thayar, enshrining the stone image of this Goddess, is located in the circumambulatory passage, to the right of the main sanctum and faces east. Both the stone and processional deities have the thumb of both palms slightly bent as though beckoning the devotees to her presence. The sanctum of Sri Andal, also east-facing is seen on the other side of the main garbha-griha.

The sanctums for Garuda and Bhakta Anjaneya are also in this temple. While the former is situated directly in front of the main mandapam within the temple precincts, the shrine for Hanuman is located at a short distance from the temple, but directly facing the main sanctum. The sacred temple-tank is located behind the temple. There was once an underground passage leading from the temple to the tank.
Immediately in front of the entrance to the temple is a tall single-stone deepa-sthambham belonging to the Nayaka times. From the post-Nayaka times, the history of this temple is one of neglect. Till recently this temple was in a very dilapidated condition, overgrown with weeds, penetrated by the roots of trees and infested with snakes. This temple was renovated and reconstructed by philanthropists, with the Samprokshanam having been performed in 2007.
Temple Opening Time
The temple is open only in the mornings from 8 to 9 am.
Connectivity
Vallipuram is a small village approximately 15 kms from Chengalpattu town. Vallipuram is a Village in Tirukalukundram Taluk in Kanchipuram District of Tamilnadu State, India. It is located 52 Kms towards South from District headquarters Kanchipuram, 10 Kms from Tirukalukundram and 73 Kms from State capital Chennai. The temple is located 3.5 kms further from Aanoor on the Northern bank of the Palar River. Nearest Railway Station is located at Chengalpet and Nearest Airport is located at Chennai.

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