Varaheeswarar Temple, Damal, Kanchipuram
Varaheeswarar Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva located at Damal Village in Kanchipuram District of Tamilnadu. Damal in located in Bangalore highway after Kancheepuram entrance. There are temples around Kanchipuram where Lord Vishnu worshipped Lord Shiva in all the ten avathaarams. This is one of those ten temples that correspond to Varaha avathaar.
As per Purana, God Vishnu after his varaha Avathara he did not return back to Vaikundam. Devas requested God Siva to help them. God Siva in the form of hunter pierced his arrow on Varaha and Lord Shiva pacified Varaha by plucking out his protruding teeth and then Vishnu realized his reason of Varaha avatara. This incident took place in Damal and, as proof; we can see Chanku and chakra embossed on the Shivalinga, who is called Varaheeswarar.
Here, Vishnu to get rid of his sin in killing Hiranyakshan. Many believe it is a Kethu parihara sthalam. People with Kethu dosham can perform pooja in this temple and seek the blessings of the Lord.
The presiding deity is God Varaheeswarar (Varaha means boar and Ishwarar means Shiva) and his consort is known as Sornambigai. Sarabeswarar is also present in the temple. Many of the columns at the front of the Varaheeswarar Temple are carved with various depictions of Bhairava, a form of Shiva who is always accompanied by his faithful dog. On other columns one sees other gods, like Hanuman. Along one wall is Ganesha, the elephant God, dressed in a clean cloth and other deities too who grace the devotees from niches in the wall.
There are many trees around the temple and an atmosphere of peace. The temple architecture seems to resemble that of the Chola, Pallava and Vijayanagara dynasty period. The arch of the temple is made from stone with Ganga and Yamuna Devi sculptures. There is a separate sanctum for Gods Ganapathy and Subramanyar. A four pillar mandapam is seen. On Maha Sivarathri day, the sun’s rays fall on the Siva Lingam in the evening (4.30-6).
Elephant is present before Ambal Sannadhi (Normally Lion will be there). Main deity Lingam having snake roopam on it and also Sudarshana Chakram and Sangu on it. Sun and Moon Eclipse can be seen over main door of Moolavar Sannadhi. Ashta (Eight) Bhairavars are available on pillars at outer Praharam. Two faced Bhairavar is located in a separate Sannadhi. The wonder of the temple is that on Rathasapthami day, in the Tamil month of Masi (February-March), the sun’s ray’s fall directly on the Shiva Linga.
The Varaheeswarar temple is the oldest known shrine of Damal. The 7th century Pallava elements in the adhisthana portion of the mahamandapa and other damaged sculptures of Nandivarman III Pallava date it back to at least the Pallava period. However, it probably goes back to even pre-Pallava times, when the temple and the Shiva Linga would have been made out of perishable materials (like clay or wood). The temple bore the brunt of the many wars of the medieval and modern periods of South Indian history.
As the temple is situated to the west of the village, at its entrance, it became an easy target for invaders and looters. The temple also has some interesting sculptures of various forms of Shiva, as well as carvings of incidents of great Indian epic, the Ramayana, on the pillars in the inner and outer verandahs and has 16 sculptures of Bhairava with the dog. Earlier, there were some unique pieces of the Pallava, Chola and Vijayanagara periods. These are now either dilapidated or lost to vandals and neglect..
Inside the temple, where, over the centuries, open windows in the roof had been sealed up and spaces going below the floor level had been blocked off too, all the coverings were removed during the restoration so that light could stream through again, once more creating beautiful patterns of light and darkness, as the sunlight falls among the carved columns.
Narasingeswarar Temple is just opposite the Varaga Eswarar Temple. This is another one of the ten temples where Mahavishnu worshipped Shiva during the ten avatars. This temple corresponds to Narasimha avathaar.
Damal, Kanchipuram District
Phone: 044 24453709
Damal village is on Bangalore, Chennai high way. It is about 14 kms from Kancheepuram Town and 85 kms from Chennai. Damal is located at a distance of 3.5 kms from Thiruputkuzhi / Baalu Chatram. There are 3 ancient temples here and are visible from the national highway itself.