Sunday, 13 October 2013

Kanchi Kamashi Ammavarru - Kanchipuram

Kanchi Kamashi:-

Temple of Goddess Kamashi is situtated 350 km away from Shiva temple of God Ekagreshwar in Shivkoji city near Kanjivaram of Tamil Nadu. This temple has the idol of Kamashi which looks like Tripur Sundari. It is the first Shakti Peeth of South India. Kamashi temple is also known as Kam Koti.

Kanchipuram, amongst the seven sacred cities of India, is a paradise of beautiful temples nestled on the banks of the River Vegavathy in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. With a great number of shrines, it is no surprise that the town is an illustrious pilgrimage site for Hindu devotees. In addition to these, the place also boasts of several famous mosques and churches. It brings so much more to make the visitors holiday experience in Kanchipuram memorable and remarkable. From historic shrines, striking silk sarees, picturesque old buildings, charming landscape, lively culture to exotic cuisines, all of them can be scouted in one place and that is Kanchipuram.

It is said to be bones of Sati devi falls here. In some other text it referred as her hip falls here. The term ‘Kanchi’ means hip ornament in sanskrit. This place is considered to be center for the universe so it termed as kanchipuram. There is no other shakthi shrines in this city as this is only shakthi temple and named as kamakshi means she is the eye for trinity shiva, vishnu and brahma.

Devi sitting posture is padmasan and her face is terrific with sharp teeths projected outside two sides of mouth which looks very fierce. She has four arms – two of them armed weapons and abhaya mudra, a skull pot in another two. She holds moon,snakes and human skull in her head which makes her look and the place so unusual. She has three eyes are for the sun, moon, and fire. She surrounds by three demons and Lakshmi, Saraswati at her side.

It is believed that the temple was established by Shankracharya. Eyes of Goddess Kamashi had fallen at this place and they are significant for black magic. The alphabet ‘K’ of Kamashi stand for Brahma, ‘A’ for Vishnu and ‘M’ for Mahesh. Hence, the three eyes of Kamashi symbolise the Tridev.

Sun and Moon are her main eyes. Fire is generated from the light of her care. Kamakshi is harmony on one side and symbolises Sarastwati as ‘Ka’ and Maha Lakshmi as ‘Maa’. It contains the double of context. Shakracharya said about this temple that.
She is said to have pleasure with lord Shiva in the Mani island of Parijat forest which is situated in the middle of Sadhu ocean.

Shiva Kanchi and Jain Kanchi are not the different places but a huge part of Shiva Kanchi city. Kamash is the epitomize of Goddess Tripur Sundari. In the womb house of Ekamreshwari temple is the beautiful idol of Goddess Kamakshi. The premises of temple also contains the temple of Annapurana and Devi Sharda. There is an idol of Shankracharya in the temple.

In the Kamkoti temple, Adha Lakshmi, Visha Lakshmi, Santan Lakshmi, Sobhagya Lakshmi, Dhan Lakshmi, Veery Lakshmi, Vijay Lakshmi, Dhany Lakshmi is worshipped. At the doors of temple, there are 4 temples of Maha Vishnu and a temple of Rup Lakshmi. There is a temple of Adhidevta Sri Mahashasta which is about 100 in numbers.

There is a mythological belief that skull of Goddess Sati had fallen here. Shakti is called Devgharbha and Bhairav is called Ruru.

About Deity:-
It is interesting to note that the main deity is seated in a majestic Padmasana posture, an yogic posture signifying peace and prosperity, instead of the traditional standing pose in most other temples of Parvati. The goddess holds a sugarcane bow and lotus and parrot in the lower two of her arms (Many of the Hindu god forms generally have four arms) and has the two divine instruments Pasa and Angusa in her upper two arms. It is interesting to note that there are no traditional Parvati or Shakthi shrines in the city of Kanchipuram, apart from this temple, which is unusual in a traditional city that has hundreds of traditional temples. There are various legends attributed to it. One of them according to Kamkshivilasa is that the Goddess had to absorb all the other shakthi forms to give boon to Manmatha (the Hindu god of fertility and love). Another legend attributes it to the Raja Rajeswari pose of the deity that signifies an absolute control over the land under its control, leaving no other forms of Shakthi. Legend has it that Kamakshi offered worship to a Shivalingam made out of sand, under a mango tree and gained Shiva’s hand in marriage.

The Goddess also has a Chandraperai (a shape of moon like structure) in her forehead. The Goddess Kamakshi is situated in the middle of temple premises.

It is believed that Kamakshi was originally a Ugra Swaroopini, and that Aadi Sankaracharya, upon establishing the Sri Chakra, personified her as the Shanta Swaroopini (see also Akhilandeswari at Tiruvanaikkaval). It is believed that during the days of Adi Sankara, the presence of the Ugra Swaroopini was felt outside the temple precincts, and that Sankaracharya had requested her not to leave the temple complex. Symbolic of this, the festival image of Kamakshi, takes leave from Sankaracharya, at his shrine in the inner prakaram, each time she is taken out in procession.

About Temple:-

The Kanchipuram Kamakshi temple is situated at nealy about 5 acres of land and has four entrances. The Temple was built in the 14th Century by the great Chola artisans. Kanchi Kamakshi temple is situated at about 5 acres of land and has four entrances.

 The main entrance of the temple has a Kalabhairavar deity on its left and the Mahishasura Mardini deity on the right. On the centre of the entrance you can see a huge Dwajasthampa. Moving further to the entrance of the Kamakshi deity you can see a Vinayaga deity. Moving on a straight line further, Goddess Kamakshi is visible. Goddess Kamakshi is surrounded by deities of Ayyapan, Saraswati, Annaporani and Adisankaracharya on its outer prakaram Holidays Planer. The Goddess also has Varahi, Arupalakshmi Kalvarperumal (one of the 108 Divya Desam of Vaishanavities), Roopalakshmi and Arthanariswarar deities surrounding the sanctorum of Goddess on its Gayatri Mandapam. There is Santhanasthampam inside the prakaram of
Goddess which is called the Nabisthan of the Goddess. There is a Srichakra Yantra (Sri Kamakoti Peetam) established by Jagadguru Sri Adisankaracharya in front of the Goddess deity. There is also a temple tank inside the premises. Kamakshi temple has a close relation with the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam and its successive Sankarcharyas. The temple has a gallery of Adisankarcharya’s Life history inside the temple premises itself. Goddess Kamakshi is the main deity and the temple is one of the fifty one Shakti peetas. The temple is spelled as Nabisthana – Ottiyana peetam. The temple also has a golden Gopuram on the sanctorum of the Goddess Kamakshi deity which is visible to all devotees.

In Shakti Kanchi, there are two Kamakshi temples. One is old and another one is new. The old temple, Adi peetha Parameswari temple present near Kanchi kamakoti peeth. Some people consider that this is the original temple of Kamakshi mata. 

The new temple, which is famous temple of Kanchi kamakshi mata is also present near old temple. This is a big temple complex. Kamakshi mata present here in the form of Lalita devi. Previously Kamakashi mata present in hard form, but Jagadguru Adishankaracharya established Srichakra and cooled her, and started Goddess Lalita worship. A Kamakoti bila (cave) present in the sanctum sanctorum. The entrance present behind the goddess idol. A pushkarini (holy lake) present back to sanctum sanctorum.

Architecture of Temple:-
Kanchi Kamakshi Amman kovil is located at about 5 acres of land and it has four entrances. The main entrance
of the temple has Kalabhairavar deity in its left and Mahishasura Mardhini on the right. In the center, there is a huge Dwajasthampa (pillar), moving further there is a Vinayagar.

On further moving, one can have darshan (sight) of Goddess Kamakshi seated in Padmasana (seated in the form of lotus), a yogic posture signifying peace and prosperity. The Goddess holds a Sugarcane bow on her left upper arm, lotus and parrot in her right upper arm. The Goddess also has divine chakras called Pasa (lasso) and Angusa (goad) in her arms. The deity also has a Chandrapirai (moon) on her forehead. The place where Goddess resides is “Gayatri Mandapam”.

Goddess Kamakshi is surrounded by shrines of the deities like Ayyappan, Saraswati, Annapoorani and Adisankaracharya on its outer prakaram. The Goddess also has Varahi, Arupalakshmi Kalvarperumal (one of the 108 Divya Desam of Vaishanavities), Roopalakshmi and Arthanariswarar deities surrounding the sanctorum of Goddess on its Gayatri Mandapam.

The Goddess lives in temple in 3 forms – Sri Kamakshi, Sri Bilahasam and Sri Chakram.

Sthala purana:- 
One day Lord Shiva enterd unexpectedly into Maa Parvati's place. At that time some yoginis were present without dress. Maa Parvathi close the three eyes of Lord Shiva immediately without any thought. But as Lord Shiva's eyes resemble Sun, Moon, and fire, the world became dark completely because of Maa Parvathis action. Goddess Parvathi also became dark. She surprised and asked Lord Shiva how this happened? and how to remove her dark color complexion? Lord shiva explained the reason and advised her to do penance to get rid off the sin that was generated by her action.

Maa parvathi accepted and came to earth as Katyayini (Daughter of Katyayana maharshi) and went to Varanasi and became as Annapurna and did annadana and changed her dark coplexion into golden comnplexion. After that she came to Kanchi and did penance for Lord shiva. She did penance with pancha bana mantra beneath a mango tree. Lord Shiva suffered with this penance and send Ganga mata to test her devotion. Ganga mata came aggressively to destroy Maa Parvthi puja. But Maa parvathi stopped and caught Ganga in a holy Kapala, along with Ganga Lord shiva also caught in that holy Kapala. Lord Shiva became angry and increased water flow tremendously, Maa Parvathi afraid and praised Maha vishnu for advise. He advised to completely surrender to Lord Shiva and this is the only solution in this critical situation. Maa parvathi praised lord Shiva and hugged Shiva linga and completely surrendered to Lord Shiva. Today also we can see some marks of Parvathi mata jewels on Ekamreshwara Shiva linga. A manog tree also present in Ekamreshwar temple.

Lord Shiva accepted her devotion and married her again on request of Pramatha ganas. Lord Vishnu, Lord Brahma and Katyayana maharshi conducted the Shiva paravtahi kalyanam. At that time Maa Parvathi fulfilled all her devotees desires with her looks. hence the name Kamakshi mata.

Temples inside the compond :-
In  Pradakshina marga from Dwajasthamba you can see 
1. Kalabhairava Swamy
2.. Kasi Viswanatha Swamy
3. Pancha Theertham along with statues of devils who are guards for that Theertham)
4. Bootha Janartha Temple(back side of Theertham, beside Kamakshi Devi Temple)
5. Durga Devi
6. Kanchi Vruksham(tree).

As per the legend:-
Tthe goddess Parvathi, wife of Lord Shiva, closed his eyes from behind playfully. Immediately the entire universe was covered in darkness. The goddess Parvathi got a curse due to this and had to born on earth as Kamakshi. Goddess Kamakshi was praying under a mango tree with a Shiva lingam made of sand to marry Lord Shiva. At that moment, Lord Shiva incarnated as Kamba river with high tides to test Kamakshi. Kamakshi grasped the idol closely with her two hands and prevented it from getting eroded in the tides. She also performed Pooja by sitting in a needle tip surrounded by “Panchakagni” (surrounded by 5 fires) to free herself from the interest of livelihood. The Lord Shiva became happy, gestured before her and married her. When the goddess was performing penance, her fury was felt well beyond the Champaka grove affecting the villagers outside. The saint Dhurvasa requested her to become peaceful.

Accordingly to another legend, a demon named Bhandakasur was troubling the Devas. Devas came to Kanchipuram and took the form of parrots. They were living in Champaka tree and were praying to Kamakshi Amman. Kamakshi killed the demons and saved the devas.

Once the goddess Lakshmi was given curse by the Lord Vishnu to incarnate as Arupa form (deformed). Lakshmi came here and worshipped Kamakshi and became beautiful again. The Santhana Sthambha inside the Gayatri Mandapa of this temple is associated with the kind Dasrat, the father of Lord Rama. He came to this temple and prayed to Kamakshi Amman for the grant of a boon to get sons. In olden days, there was a king named Akasa Bhoopathi didn't have son. He came here and prayed Kamakshi Amman. Kamakshi's son Lord Ganesha incarnated as the son (Thundir Maharaja) of the king. You can find the idol of Thundir Maharaja in this temple.

About Kanchipuram:-
Kanchipuram is one of the seven sacred cities in India .The word Kanchi literally means the gold ornament worn round the waist by women (girdle or oddanam).Puranas, Kavyas, inscriptions and historical works point out to the importance of the city from different angles. The Bhagavata Purana refers to Kanchi as ‘Kamakoti-Puri Kanchi’ (in the southern recensions of the Purana). Vallabha- charya, in his ‘Subodhini’ commentary on the Purana, styles the city as ‘Kamakotipuri’.History proclaims that Kanchipuram was ruled by the Pallava Kings. The city is most famous for its silk production and old temples. The city is located on the Palar river. The city has all types of people from weavers to Vaishnavites. The city has many big temples.

History buffs will certainly love Kanchipuram since the city has a glorious historical past. The Pallava Kings made Kanchi their capital between the 3rd and the 9th centuries. The Pallavas put in a lot of effort and money to make the city worth being their capital.

They built strong roads, building structures, ramparts as well as wide moats in and around the city. The Pallavas traded with Chinese traders and the city of Kanchipuram is mentioned in a travelogue by Chinese traveler, Xuanzang who came to the city sometime in the seventh century. In his travelogue he writes that the city had brave, kind and learned people who also believed in social justice.

In the 11th century the Chola Kings took over the reign of Kanchipuram and ruled the city until the 14th century. The Cholas did not make Kanchi their capital but it was an important city even then. In fact, the Chola Kings carried out lot of construction in the city and even started expanding it towards the eastern side. From the 14th century until the 17th century the Vijayanagra dynasty had political control over Kanchipuram.

Sometime towards the end of the 17th century the Marathas took over the city but soon lost it to Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor. With the advent of French and British traders to India, the city was soon under the control of the British Empire and was ruled by British General Robert Clive.

This rich historical past of the city is still visible to the modern travelers. Influences of different cultures can be seen in the art and architecture of the various constructions within the city. Today, the city is as famous for its temples as it is for its perfect amalgamation of the different Indian as well as western influences.

Siva Temples:-

    Ekambareswarar Temple
    Kailasanathar Temple
    Karaithirunathar Temple
    Muktheeswarar Temple
    Iravatanesvara Temple
    Karchapeswarar Temple

Vishnu Perumal Temple:-

    Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple
    Sri Adhikesava Perumal Temple
    Sri Ulagalantha Swami Temple
    Sri Pavala Vanar Temple
    Sri Vaikunda Perumal Temple
    Sri Jagadeeshwarar Temple

Other Temples:-

    Kamakshi Amman Temple
    Kumarakottam Murugan Temple
    Chitragupta Temple
    Onakanthan Tali
    Kanaka Durga Temple

Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple:-
Sri Devaraja Swamy Temple, popularly known as Sri Varadarajar Temple is situated at the eastern corner of Kancheepuram. It is one of the Divya Desams. It is located in a suburb of
Kanchipuram known as the Vishnu Kanchi . Main Deity is Varadaraja Perumal and consort Perundevi Thayaar During the bhramotsavam(major festival) in Vaigasi (May/June), the Garudasevai is the Important Festival.

Sri Ulagalandar Temple:-
This vaishnava Temple was bulit in chola period .The main deity of this temple is 35 feet high and 24 feet wide posing with one foot on earth and the other on the sky. This form is called
Trivikrama.This temple is one of the 108 Divya Desam's of Lord Vishnu.

 Sri Vaikunda Perumal Temple:-
This temple is built by The Pallava ruler, Nandivarman in the seventh century AD.Sri Vaikunda Perumal temple is famous for its architecture. The Lord is in the sitting posture. The Goddess is known as Sri Vaikunthavalli Tayar. It has great sculptures and inscription which speak of its
history and the history of the city itself. Its inner walls are decorated with lion shaped pillars.

 Sri Vijayaraghava Perumal Temple:-
This temple of Vijayaraghava Perumal is one of the 108 Divyadesams where Lord Rama is said to have performed the funeral rites for Jatayu, the giant bird which valiantly fought to
prevent Ravana from abducting Sita, the wife of Lord Rama to Lanka.

Ashtabujam - Sri Aadhikesava Perumal Temple:-
Ashtabujam - Sri Aadhikesava Perumal TempleThe Perumal here is found along with 8 hands and each of them holding 8 different weapons and the 8 weapons are called as "Divya
Aayudha Aazhwargal". The Perumal gave His prathyaksham (seva) for Gajendran, the elephant.

Thiru Neeragam - Sri Jagadeeshwarar Temple:-
Sri Jagadeeshwarar TempleNeer, the water is the primary and necessary element for all the things in this world to survive. To explain this, the Perumal is giving his seva as "Jagadeswar Perumal". The Perumal is also called as "Thiru Neeragathan" found along with "Nilamangai valli Thaayar".

Kamakshi Amman Temple:-

The Kamakshi Amman templeat Kanchipuram is an ancient one . The Goddess Kamakshi is in a sitting posture in the temple The Goddess holds a Sugarcane bow on her left upper arm and Lotus, Parrot in her right upper arm. The Goddess also has divine chakras called Pasa and

Angusa in her arms. Kanchi Kamakshi temple is situated at about 5 acres of land and has four entrances. The annual festival falls in the Tamil month of Masi, which runs from March/April. During this time the Car festival  and Float festival are held.

Sri   Ekambareswarar Temple:-
Sri Ekambaranathar temple which is a very ancient sacred temple  All the four reputed tamil saivita saints Thirugnana Sambandhar, Appar, Sundarar and Manikkavasagar, the four divine saint singers - naalvar have sung in praise of the glory of Lord Sri Ekambaranathar, There is no
separate shrine for Parvati within the temple. The sthala-virutcham or temple tree is a 3,500 year old mango tree. In the temple, Shiva is said to have manifested himself in the form of Prithvi Lingam.

Kailasnathar Temple:-
Kailasnathar Temple is built by the Pallava Dynasty during the first quarter of the eighth century. The temple is built of red sandstone and has innumerable carvings of Pallva art, of which the
Urdhva Thandava dance of  Siva and the laughing face of Parvathi are worth seeing. The architechture of this temple resembles the shore temple at Mamallapuram.

Sri kacchapaeswarar Temple:-
 Kacchapa Eswarar temple was built by pallava Dynasty.In this temple, siva appears as being worshipped by vishnu in the form of turtle (kurmemerali)."Kacchapam" is a Sanskrit word for
"Turtle".hence the name "Kacchapa Eswarar Temple" .

Kumara Kottam Murugan Temple:-

Sri Kumara Kottam temple is located in Kanchipuram. In this temple, the sacred Kanda Puranam in praise of Lord Muruga was composed by the saintly scholar Kachiappa Sivachariyar. The two most important festivals celebrated in this temple are Skanda Shashti
 Vaikasi Vaisaka Festival. This temple in behind the Kamakshi Amman Temple.

Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham Mutt:-
Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham was established by Sri Adi Sankara in the year 482 B.C It is in the Heart of the Kanchiipuram.

Chitragupta Temple :-

This  temple in the centre of Kanchipuram near the bus stand. He is an assistant to Yama dharma  to account the sins and goodness of all  people.  On Chithra Pournami (full moon day of the Chithrai month) special pooja and the marriage celebrations of Chithraguptar takes
place. Most importantly there is only one temple for Chithraguptar which is in Kanchipuram.

Jain Temples at Tirupparuthikkundram:-
 Kanchipuram is an important landmark in the history of the Jains. Many of the Pallava kings belonged to Jainism.The temples of the Jaina Tirthankaras were built in the Ninth Century A.D.
The temples contain several fresco paintings and a grand image of Bhagwan Mahaveer.

 Sri Subramaniya Swami Temple:-
Subramaniya swami temple was built around 1915. For Hindus on a pilgrimage trip, this temple is a mandatory place to visit. It gains its significance due to its location. The way this temple is
located in the city is a rare phenomenon mentioned in Hindu scriptures. It is called the "Soma Skandha" Posture.

In the Hindu religion, elephants represent Lord Ganesh, one of Hinduism's most important Gods. At many temples (especially large ones) an elephant will be present to bestow blessings on visitors/pilgrims. Just hold out your hand with a coin - palm up. Using his trunk, the elephant will take the coin and give it to his handler. The elephant then puts his trunk on your head and gives you a blessing.

Puja :-

Abhishekam (3 times a day)

Morning - Starts at 5:30 a.m.

Afternoon - Starts at 10:30 a.m.

Evening - Starts at 4:30 a.m.

Santhana Kappu (Sandal Darshan)

Every Wednesday and Saturday evenings

Pournami Pooja / Navavarna Pooja (Full Moon day)

Night 9:30 p.m. onwards every month

Saharsranamam Archana (Daily)
Morning - 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Evening - 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Ashtothram Archana

Morning - 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Evening - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Thanga Ratham (Golden Chariot)

Only on specific days


By Road:-

Many buses are available between Kanchipuram and Chennai. State owned public transport system connects Kanchipuram to many cities in and around Chennai. Private tourist bus services are also available from Kanchipuram to Chennai and also to Bangalore.

By Rail:-

Kanchipuram has a railway station, but is not well served by trains. Only few trains run through Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram rail line is connected to Chennai, Pondicherry, Nagaercoil and Madurai.

By Air:-

The nearest airport is Chennai International Airport (75km), which is well connected to all major cities in India.


  1. The only city of temples where we can see the combination of Shaiva, Vaishnava and Jaina temples surviving for centuries. It shows the peaceful co-existance of all religions in India

  2. yes sir you are correct. For more information visit also

  3. Nice post. The charming natural beauty blended with the religious allure makes the city a sought after destinations for travelers. Click here to know about hotels in Kanchipuram.

  4. The Kamakshi Amman temple located in Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu is one of the ancient Sakthi peethas. The presiding deity Kamakshi Amman gives darshan to devotees with a lasso and a goad in the upper two hands hand and a bunch of flowers in the lower two arms along with a parrot perched on the flower bunch and a sugarcane bow.

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