Varadaraja Perumal Temple Kanchipuram

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Road that leads to Varadaraja Perumal. "This temple is also called as Hastgiri (Hast means elephant, Giri means hill) and the sanctum is atop a small hill. It is one of the 108 Divyadesams of Vishnu where Alwars have sung in praise of the Lord. The tower that you see is about 180 feet high and was built in 11th century and was renovated by the Vijaya Nagara kings."

This is the gate. Found all temple gates to be huge, made of wood-some effort to push. "There are sannidhi''s for Rama,Yoga Narasimhar, Kannan, the Alwars, and the Acharyas, Kariamanikka Perumaal, Andal and Varaaha Perumaal. "

We enter inner courtyard of temple. U see 2 mandapas and then gopuram that takes you inside temple. There were 2 huge groups, one from Amdavad and another from Jammu. " This temple was commissioned by the Pallava King Nandivarman II and built circa 770 ce."

Back view of main gopuram with 2 mandapas. Right of pic is a 100 pillared mandpam carved out of a single rock. Its wow pics follow later in this album.

Images at lower level of mandapa. "The sanctum houses the imposing idol of Varadarajar and outside the inner prakaram of this temple there are two sacred lizards sculpted on the ceiling , covered with silver and gold sheets." Devotees can touch these lizards. It is believed to wash away their sins and bring prosperity.

Vimana of the first mandapa with main gopuram in background. Loved this, not seen anything like this elsewhere.

Temple tank. Something special about this temple, felt very much at peace and happy. "On the banks of the holy tank is the Chakrathazhwar shrine with Chakrathazhwar in front and Aadhiseshan holding Narashima moorthy at the back. " Missed seeing this shrine.

U see deepa sthamba (light post), a balli piTha (sacrificial stone), the brass coated garuda sthamba (eagle’s perch) and the inner gopuram. Right are sculptures with horses.

Devotees from Jammu. Some effort to come from Jammu to Chennai and then Kanchipuram. Met a lot of devotees from Jodhpur in Rameshwaram.

If I recall correctly this is the entrance to the basement where we see Azhagiya Singa Perumal in sitting posture and Arithra devi Thayar.

Not sure why people were crowded at entrance - is it the Perundevi Thayar Sannidhi. From where u turn right go up stairs darshan of Goldenlizard and Vardaraja Perumal.

After climbing up stairs open a huge hall whose walls are painted with images of Vishnu. Long line for darshan of Vardaraja Perumal but very well organised and moves fast.

After darshan you climb a small ladder to touch golden lizard as it is believed to wash away sins. On side image of sun and moon.

Devotee touching silver lizard. Pic 11 and 12 are courtesy a friend Pramod.

Overview of 100 pillared mandapam ie carved out of a single rock. Amazing work. Can any machine and technology of today make something like this.

Steps to the mandapam - side is what you see. What must have motivated kings and artisans to make these temples? "The original figure of Lord Varadharajar made out of fig-wood (Atthi) is kept at the bed of the temple tank and is taken out once in 40 years for worship for 10 days."

Top right and left are woman dancing. Right of pic is a horse, left is Yali. Right of pic is a single stone chain, missed taking it in full.

This gives you a sense of how long the mandapam is. Left is Shri Krishna playing a flute. Right looks like a mithuna couple.

This is as one enters mandapam, horses with warriors on its right are pillars with sculptures.

Earlier pic was on right of entrance, this is on the left.

Sculpture on pillar. Missed seeing "Kaliya Nardana sculpture, Kaliyan the snake is represented with a man''s head and snake''s body. Such images seen in Badami and Amaravati."

Top part of pillars, shows two elephants. There is a story to this - can someone help.

Lower sculptures on pillars first and third seem to be Lord Vishnu. On right is a platform, where on its 4 corners are sculptures of horses.

Sculpture top part of pillar. On left you can something in red, wonder what that is. I reached here close to closing time ie 1 pm or else would have taken a guide.

Forms of Vishnu, one with a flute and other Sheshnag.

Platform inside temple that I spoke about earlier. See sculptures of horses and warriors sitting on them.

Sculpture on pillar both will folded hands.

Sculpture of Vishnu with discus in one hand.

On way out after lizard darshan is Vahana Manadapam. Behind that is inner gopuram that is next to flag post. To see very good pics by Raju different from this album Click here