Kamakshi Temple in the city of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu State, is an ancient Hindu Temple dedicated to Goddes Parvati (called Kamakshi), the ultimate form of Goddess Lalita Maha Tripurasundari. It is one of the ‘Sacred Seven Places’ mentioned in the Puranas. That can grant ‘Moksha’ (Salvation) and also known as the “Nabhisthana Odyana Peetham”. Goddess Parvati has been installed in eight forms of Shakti in the temple complex. Nagareshu Kanchi is an old saying about the rich past of the region.
Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya, the proponent of Advaita Philosophy during 8th Century CE scholar and saint, re-established the Sri Chakram in this Kamakshi Devi temple. Four worship services are performed here every day as per Agama traditions.
Ka means Goddess Saraswati, Ma means Goddess Lakshmi and Akshi means eye. Hence, Kamakshi is with Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi as her both eyes.
Sri Vadiraja, the great seer in the 15th Century CE from Ashta Matha tradition of Udupi Kshetra, praises Kanchi Kamakshi’s beauty – “Shiva is having his third eye to see the beauty of Parvathi as if his two eyes are not sufficient. The beauty of Goddess Parvati is incomparable that even parama viraktha (meaning austere) Lord Shiva would get ‘Kama’ (evince interest) in Parvati (Source: TeerthaPrabandha).
What to see in Kanchi Kamakshi temple?
Kanchipuram was famous as a city of thousand temples in the past, probably during the Sangam age. Being one of the seven sacred places that are called ‘Mokshapuris’ capable of granting salvation, Kanchi Kamakshi temple is a must visit place for seeking peace and benevolence. When Lord Shiva was roaming carrying the deadbody of Sati, the Puranas state that, the Nabhi Bhaga (Navel part) along with the ‘Odyana’ (waist band) fell in this region.
Kamakshi Temple is believed to have been built during the reign of Pallava kings, whose capital was Kanchipuram. Tevaram and Divyaprabandham are the other ancient scriptures that explain the beauty and importance of Kanchi Kamakshi temple. The presiding deity Kamakshi in eight forms is the main draw of this temple complex.
Kanchi Kamakshi temple complex is spread over an area of about five acres and the city surrounds the temple. The temple complex is built with four entrances in four directions. A huge ‘Dhwajastambha’ greets as you step through the main entrance. A beautiful Kalyani (temple tank) called Panchaganga with majestic ‘Neerazhi mantapam’ is also part of the temple. There are several Mantapams adorning the temple.
Three forms of Kamakshi are worshipped in the sanctum. They are Sri Kamakshi, Sri Bilahasam and Sri Chakram. Kamakshi, the presiding deity installed in “Gayatri Mandapam”, is seated in Padmasana- Yogic posture of lotus signifying peace and prosperity. Goddess is holding a sugarcane bow and bunch of five flowers in the lower two of her arms and has a ‘Pasha’ (noose), ‘Ankusha’ (goad) in her upper two arms. A parrot is perched near the flower bunch.
According to the scriptures of ‘kamakshi Rahasya’, Gayatri Mandapam was built with the four walls representing the four Vedas and the twenty-four pillars representing the twenty-four syllables of Gayitri Mantra. The temple complex has a shrine for Sri Adi Shankara, who re-established the Sri Chakram.
Tapah Kamakshi is seen to the right of the presiding deity, close to the Bilahasam.
Adi Kamakshi Devi Temple:
Adi Kamakshi temple is close by the present Kamakshi temple. The Goddess Parvati here, is also called as Kirtimati.
Anjana Kamakshi is also known as Arupa Lakshmi and installed to the left of the presiding deity. Saubhagya Ganapati can be seen seated in the front.
Shrine of Swarna Kamakshi is in the second Parakaram (corridor). She is called Bangaru Kamakshi in Tamil.
An image of Sage Durvasa who was also known as Krodha Bhattaraka has been installed in a shrine, in front of sanctum of Kamakshi.
What is Nearby Kanchi Kamakshi Temple?
Ekambareswarar Temple is one of the five major Shiva temples of Pancha Bhuta Sthalam (Five elements of nature: Air, earth, fire, space and water) and is located within a walkable distance from Kamakshi temple. This temple is also addressed as ‘Ekamra’ due to a special mango tree in the outer court, that is revered as most sacred and it is believed, if worshipped by childless couple will be blessed with a child. A specialty of this mango tree is that, it yields different varieties of mango fruit in the same tree.
Kanchi Kailasanathar temple is said to be the oldest structure in Kancheepuram dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located within a walkable distance from Kamakshi temple. The Shiva lingam in this temple is 10 ft high. Kanchi Kailasanathar temple was built Pallava king named Narasimhavarman II, according to inscriptions.
What is the best time Kanchi Kamakshi Temple?
Every day is a day of festivity at Kamakshi Temple. Kanchi Kamkshi temple can be visited throughout the year. Climate is said to be pleasant from October to February, as it will be the winter season. Annual festival takes place Phalgunamaas (Masi in Tamil Calendar) during Feb-March. Other festivals include Shankara Jayanti, Aadi, Navaratri and Aippasi Pooram (Ashwayujamaas), and Vasanta Utsavam in Vaishakhamaas (Vaikasi in Tamil Calendar). All Fridays are considered sacred. Fridays of Ashadhamaas (Adi in Tamil Calendar) and Maghamaas (Thai in Tamil Calendar) are considered highly auspicious.
Kanchi Kamakshi Darshan:
Pureprayer now offers darshan and puja packages at Kanchi Kamkshi temple, for details call 080-6766-6666 or visit www.pureprayer.com