Friday, July 22, 2016

Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram – The Temple

Varadaraja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram – The Temple

This temple is facing towards west with five tiered Rajagopuram. The Rajagopuram is about 160 feet (49 m) tall. There is another gopuram on the eastern side. This gopuram has seven tiers and is about 180 feet (55 m) tall. The eastern gopuram is taller than the western gopuram, which is contrasting to large temples where the Rajagopuram is the tallest one. The temple covers an area of about 23 acres (93,000 m2).

There are about 32 shrines, 19 Vimanas, 389 pillared halls (most having the lion type Yali sculpture) and sacred tanks some of which located outside the complex. There is a separate shrine for Koorath Alwar, located outside the temple complex. Thirukkachi Nambi Shrine can be seen to the west of this shrine. The temple has three precincts (prakarams) namely Azhwar Prakaram, Madaipalli Prakaram and Thirumalai Prakaram.

First Prakaram:

For brief details, please refer below link;

Second Prakaram:

For brief details, please refer below link;

Third Prakaram:

For brief details, please refer below link;

Murals / Paintings:

The ceilings of the sanctum are adorned with Vijayanagara murals. Murals can be found in the various Mandapas in the temple. Most of these murals / paintings / frescos in this temple were commissioned during the 16th century CE during the rule of Vijayanagara kings. These paintings are not only artistic but also assume archaeological significance recording the events and social life in 16th century CE.


Theerthams associated with this temple are Vegavathi River, Anantha Saras,  Sesha Theertham, Varaha Theertham, Padma Theertham, Agni Theertham, Kusala Theertham and Brahma Theertham. The main Theertham of this temple, Sesha Theertham, is situated on the north side of the 100 pillared Mandapam in the outer prakaram.

Sthala Vriksham:

Sthala Vriksham is Arasu tree (Bodhi tree).

Temple Car:

The temple car is believed to have been donated by Krishnadeva Raya in 1517 CE. The wooden car of this temple is stationed at Adison Pettai, a center place at Kanchipuram.    

Clive's Mahara Kandi:

Robert Clive was responsible for the establishment of British rule in India. He has donated a gold ornament with precious stones. This is called Clive Mahara Kandi and is used in Swamy Alankara daily.

Plaez Ornaments:

Col. Loyonal Plaez was the Collector of Kanchipuram (Chengalpattu) 200 years back. He was an ardent devotee of Lord Devaraja Swamy. He donated precious ornaments to the Lord. These ornaments are used for Swamy Alankara during festive occasions.