Pureprayer takes you on SpiRitual Journeys to famous Lakshmi temples of India on the festive occasion of Shravan Shukravar and Vara Mahalakshmi festival. In this instalment you will be visiting Sundara Maha Lakshmi Temple in Arasar Koil.
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What is Vara Maha Lakshmi Vrat?
Vara Maha Lakshmi Vrat is performed to propitiate Lakshmi, the giver of wealth. This festival is performed in the second Friday before full moon in Shravanmaas occurring in the month of August or September. You can click here to know more about Vara Maha Lakshmi Vrat in Kannada.
Where is the Sundara Maha Lakshmi Temple?
Sundara Maha Lakshmi temple is located in the village, Arasar Kovil of Kanchipuram district about 15 km from Chengalpet (Chengal Pattu) and 70 km from Chennai City. The main temple is known as Kamala Varadaraja Perumal temple. A special puja is organized in the temple during the the days of Varalakshmi Vrat and on every Friday. Sundara Maha Lakshmi represents all the 64 forms of Goddess Lakshmi symbolising different kinds of wealth. The temple entrance is known as Shree Purandhan vassal (Meaning: Entrance to Sri Puram). Nava Graha Worships are performed in this temple and are considered very effective. Offering worships to Lord Shukra during Shukra Hora (occurs early in the morning) is said to bring a lot of positivity in life.
What is the legend of Kamala Varadaraja Perumal?
The legend here is that, Lord Brahma the creator did a long penance under the Peepal tree here as ordered by Lord Vishnu. At the end of the penance, Lord appeared as Kamala Varadaraja Perumal before Brahma to bless him. After this, Brahma went the nearby river, now known as Palar (Meaning: River of Milk). When he tried to collect the sand for building a temple, he got the images of Lord Vishnu and his consorts. Brahma installed these after constructing the temple and offered worships.
Kamala Varadaraja temple is built in Dravidian style. Cholas, Pandyans, Vijayanagar dynasty and Nayaks have contributed to the construction and improvisation of the temple. Many inscriptions, dating as far back to 13th Century CE have been found here. Pillars producing sounds of musical instruments like the pillars of Hampi are an interesting feature.
Sundara Maha Lakshmi:
Goddess Lakshmi has been installed in a separate shrine here. She is in a seated posture in Padmasana (Lotus Posture). She is also called as Perundevi Tayar. Maha Lakshmi is holding lotus bud in the two upper hands. She is assuring Abhaya (Meaning: Protection) with lower right hand and giving Var (Meaning: Granting desires) in the lower left hand. A unique feature of the image is, the right foot has six toes instead of five. This is said to represent Lord Shukra also known as Bhargav.
The shrine looks like a small Mantap. The mantap is believed to have been built during Vijayanagar Empire. It has been built with 24 pillars and is related to Gayatri Mantra. Some of the pillars produce the musical sounds like the stone pillars of Hampi.
Kamala Varadaraja Perumal is the main deity in the temple. Sundara Maha Lakshmi has been installed in a separate shrine. Andal, Hanuman and Vishvaksenar have also been installed. Images of Azhlwars, Desikan, Manavala Muni can also be seen.
Many inscriptions belonging to 12th Century CE have been found here. An inscription refers to the donation of three cows and a calf by a commoner here. An inscription erected during the rule of Raja Raja Chola who ruled from 1216 to 1250 has been studied and estimated date is mentioned as 24th of August in the year 1237.
Temple Address: Padalam GST-Cheyyur Rd, Madurantakam, Arasar Koil,Kanchipuram District, Tamil Nadu 603308
What are Nearby Places?
Sri Kanchi Varadaraja Swamy temple:
Sri Kanchi Varadaraja Swamy temple is located about 54 km from Sundara Maha Lakshmi temple in Arasar Koil. This region of the city is popular as Vishnu Kanchi. Sri Varadaraja Swamy temple is on a hill called Hastigiri. This is one of the 108 Divya Desams visited as a part of Sri Vaishnava Yatra.
Ulagalanda Perumal Temple:
Ulagalanda Perumal in Kanchi dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of Trivikrama is located about three km from Kanchi Varadaraja Swamy temple. This is one of the 108 Divya Desham temples believed to be at least 13 centuries old. Lord Vishnu came down to the city of Mahabali to seek three feet of land. When Mahabali agreed, Lord Vishnu changed his form to Trivikrama and covered earth and space with each foot. Mahabali understood that Vishnu had come in the form of Vamana to grant him salvation and offered his head for Trivikrama to put his foot.