Friday, July 22, 2016

Varadharaja Perumal Temple (Hastagiri), Kanchipuram – First Prakaram (Thiru Malai Pradakshinam)

Varadharaja Perumal Temple (Hastagiri), Kanchipuram – First Prakaram (Thiru Malai Pradakshinam)
The first prakaram is on the Hastagiri hill. It houses the sanctum, and the two co-axial walled mandapams. The sanctum houses the imposing image of Varadaraja Perumal. The sanctum is the womb of the fire, that is believed to hold the manifest universe within which the standing Vishnu appeared. This prakaram is also called as Thiru Malai Pradakshinam.
In this precinct downstairs contains four shrines, of which the important one is of Malayala Nachiar (Kerala consort), presumably built during the Chera kings in the early 14th century. The first prakaram houses the shrine of Varadarajaswamy is on a small hillock 10m tall and a flight of 24 steps, termed "Hasthagiri". It has murals of the late Vijayanagara Empire on the ceiling.
Other significant features of the temple are beautifully carved lizards and gilded with gold, over the sanctum. Belief is that one will be relieved of all diseases if one prays to Lord Varadarajan and touches the Lizard on the way out. The vimana over the sanctum of Varadaraja Swami is called Punyakoti Vimanam and the one over Perundevi Thayar shrine is called Kalyana Koti Vimanam.
Apart from the main stone idol, the temple has the wooden image of Varadarajaswamy preserved within a silver box from which water is pumped out every 40 years. There is a shrine of Narasimha on the hillock. It is said that the Narasimhar Sannadhi is first Sannadhi to be built. The origin of the mask of Narasimha is mysterious and believed to possess inexplicable powers.
This Prakaram is also known as “Senaiyar Kone Thirumutram”.  This Corridor also consists of the shrines of Dhanvantri, the deity for Medicine. There is an entrance to take us from this corridor to inner Corridor. Opposite to this entrance is the Sannidhi of Periya Thiruvadi (Garuda). Andal Sannadhi & Vishwaksenar Sannadhi is also situated in this Corridor.
Some of the famous Sannadhis in this prakaram are;
·        Azhagiya Singar Sannidhi
·        Andal Sannidhi
·        Malayala Nachiyar Sannidhi
·        Dhanvanthari
·        Sri Varadaraja Swamy Sannidhi on small hillock
·        Golden Lizard