Varadharaja Perumal Temple or Hastagiri or Attiyuran is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in the holy city of Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the Divya Desams, the 108 temples of Vishnu believed to have been visited by the 12 poet saints, or Alwars. It is located in a suburb of Kanchipuram known as the Vishnu Kanchi that is a home for many famous Vishnu temples.
Indra, the king of celestial deities, after getting released from the curse of Goddess Saraswati, installed the silver and golden lizards who were the witness of the ordeal. Brahma performed a yagna here, which was about to be washed away by the fast flowing river Vedavathi. The temple deity, Vishnu laid himself flat to stay the flow and the yagna was successfully performed. Vishnu emerged with brilliance of thousand Suns as Devarajaswamy and stayed here permanently. As is the case with the association of South Indian temples with a sacred tree, the name of the temple, Attigiri is derived from Atti tree, considered sacred to Vaishnavas.
The Temple is huge within a 23-acre (93,000 m2) complex and shows the architectural skills of ancient Vishwakarma Sthapathis in temple architecture and is famous for its holiness and ancient history. The temple has 3 outer precincts (prakarams) namely Azhwar Prakaram, Madai Palli Prakaram and Thiru Malai Prakaram. There are 32 shrines, 19 vimanams, 389 pillared halls (most having the lion type yali sculpture) and sacred tanks some of which located outside the complex.
The main sanctum faces west and can be entered through a 130 feet tall, 7-tiered rajagopuram (main gateway tower). The eastern gopuram is taller than the western gopuram, which is contrasting to large temples where the rajagopuram is the tallest one. One of the most famous architectural pieces in the temple is the huge stone chain sculpted in a single stone. There is a 100 pillared hall which has sculptures depicting Ramayana and Mahabaratha. It is a masterpiece of Vijayanagara architecture.
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. Another significant feature of the temple are beautifully carved lizards and gilded with gold, over the sanctum. 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. The origin of the mask of Narasimha is mysterious and believed to possess inexplicable powers.
In the second 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 third precinct has the shrine of Goddess Perundevi Thayar - it is customary for devotees to visit the shrine first before visiting the main Perumal shrine. There are four small pillared halls, identical in structure; called Thulabara Mandapas built during the 1532 for a ceremony of Achutaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire.
The image of Chakrathazwhar (Sudarsana) in the temple is depicted with six hands. There festival image of the temple has seven different images of Sudarshana depicted within the same Chakra.
The ancient Athi Varadaraja Perumal idol is 40 feet long in a reclining posture brought out once in 40 years for darshan. Chakkarathazwar shrine is on the eastern side of the temple tank. Huge in size, He has 16 hands holding conch and discus.
Festivals & Fairs in Temple:
This is a temple that celebrates some festival each month. Famous among them is the 10 day Vaikasi Brahmmotsavam beginning on the Poornima-Vishaka star day. Purattasi Navarathri festival is of a 10 day celebration. Vaikunda Ekadasi is observed in December-January. All festivals draw huge devotee crowd.
The temple remains open every day from 6:00 AM - 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Nearby Places to Visit:
- Kamakshi Amma Temple
- Ekambarnath Temple
- Kumarkottan Temple
- Kailashnath Temple
City : Kanchipuram
Dist. : Kanchipuram
State : Tamil Nadu
Country : India
PIN : 631501
How to Reach:
Chennai is the nearest airport to Kanchipuram.
Trains for Kanchipuram are available from Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tirupati, and Bangalore.
Kanchipuram is 75 kilometers away from Chennai and is well connected by a network of roads with the other important towns and cities of Tamilnadu.
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