Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My Travelogues-Kanipakam

Friends recently I visited some temples in Tirupati area. I would like to share some of my travelogues with you. The main problem when we visit the temples is they don't allow cameras or cell phones inside the temple. So one has to deposit them at the counters before going in. There is always a long queue in front of these counters. So one is forced to keep them in car if we travel by car. Many a time this deters me from taking photographs as one has to walk a long distance to recover the camera and take photographs. Moreover one can only take pictures from outside. So I am afraid there are very few pictures. But I would like share what I have along with the legends associated with the Temples. The first part of the series is....


Hindus worship God in various forms. One of them is Ganesha or Vinayaka-the God with an Elephant face. He is worshiped first before starting any venture or even before offering prayers and rituals to other Gods. Here is one temple of Ganesha:

Sri VaraSidhi Vinayaka Swami

The temple of Sri VaraSidhi Vinayaka Swamy is situated on the banks of River Bahuda in Kanipakam village, 12 kms from Chittoor and 70Kms from Tirupathi. The temple was constructed by King Kulothonga Chola I, belonging to the famous and powerful Chola Dynasty (which ruled South India during the later half of the 9th century till the beginning of the 13th centuries). The temple was later expanded by the Emperors of Vijayanagara in 1336.

This is the tank or Koneru where we wash our hands and feet
before entering the temple
. Every temple has one

The Legend of the Temple

The place was originally known as KaniParkam."Kani" means wetland and "Parkam" means flow of water into wetland. According to the legend of the temple there were three brothers and each one had a handicap. Viz., Dumb, Deaf and Blind. They were farmers, cultivating a small piece of land. In olden days water was drawn from the well by way of 'Piccota System'. As one of them used to irrigate the field through the channels, the other two used to ply on the Piccota. During one such operation they found that the water in the well dried up. One of them climbed down into the well and started digging it up. He was taken aback to see the iron implement hitting a stone like formation. He was shocked to see blood oozing out from it. Within in a few seconds the entire water in the well, turned blood red in colour. Thus, startled by this divine sight, all the three became normal getting rid of their deformities.

The villagers came to know about this miracle and thronged to the well.They tried to deepen the well further. But their attempt proved futile because the 'swayambhu' (the self-manifested) idol of Lord Vinayaka emerged from the swirling waters. Lots of coconuts were offered and the milk from the coconuts covered the entire area. This led to the modification in the usage of the word 'Kaniparakam' and was later pronounced as 'Kanipakam'. Even today the idol is in the original well and the springs of the well are perennial and eternal. During the rainy season, the holy water from the well overflows.The holy water from the well is offered to the devotees as "Theertham".

This is the temple of Kanipkam
This is another view of the temple

Another striking and strange feature of the idol is that it is still growing in size. At present, we can see the knees and the abdomen of the idol. An ardent devotee had offered a 'Kavacham' (Armour) to the Lord, fifty years ago but today it is out of size and doesn't fit the idol.

The Swayambhu idol of Kanipakam known as Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka is famous as up-holder of 'Truth'. Day to day disputes between people are resolved by taking a 'special oath'. The people in the dispute take a holy dip in the temple tank and swear before the lord. It is taken as gospel truth. There are instances when the person who committed that sin voluntarily agrees as soon as he had the dip and much before entering the temple itself. It seems the Lord lawns invisibly on the sinner and makes him repent & feel guilty for his sinful deeds.Many cases of disputes not solved by courts were stated to have been solved here. The glory of the Lord spread far and wide and the honorable courts uphold the 'special oath' in their judicial pronouncements. That is how he is known as "Pramanala Devudu " or God of Pledges.

The legend of Bahuda River

Long ago there lived two brothers Sankha and Likhita. They were on a pilgrimage to Kanipakam. As the journey was tiring, the younger brother Likhita felt hungry. Spotting a mango grove he plucked a mango in spite of objections from his elder brother not to steal. Sankha felt bad and reported this to the ruler of that area and pleaded for punishment for the sin committed during the pilgrimage. Likhita's both hands were chopped of as punishment.

Later they took bath in the river near Kanipakam temple. Lo Behold! The chopped arms were restored to Likhita as soon as he had a dip in the sacred waters of the river. Thus the river beside Kanipakam temple is now known as 'Bahuda' (Bahu means human arm).

This is the temple elephant used for carrying the Lord (Idol) -all decked up in the processions carried out on festivals and other occasions so that people can have a glimpse of Him. many of the pilgrims visiting the temple, especially children feel that being blessed by an elephant is good.

I had a very good darshan (view) of the God as there were not many people. We offered prayers, some flowers, a garland and the priests lighted some camphor known as Arati, as is done in our temples and offered to God. They blessed us all for good health wealth and happiness. I chated with them to know the legends associated with the temple which I have written above. My mother and brother came along with me.

I would like to have your suggestions and comments and also whether you want to know any thing else about this place. Please feel free to voice your thoughts and queries,

1 comment:

CrazyKwilter said...

Thanks for sharing with us! It's very interesting.