|Kamakshi Amman Kovil is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi, the presiding deity in this temple. It is located in the Kanchipuram city of Tamil Nadu, India.This is the only temple with a separate shrine to the Goddess Kamakshi. The main attractions of the temple are Golden tower, Lord Vishnu in sleeping postures, huge temple tank with fish, 3 temple elephants, monkeys and their antics are a sight to see.
The sanctum sanctorum of this temple can be reached by passing through a large mandapam (hall) with ornate pillars. The Devi is called by various names like Kirtimati, Devagarbha in extant Tantric works like Tantrachudamani.
LOCATIONKamakshi Amman kovil is located in the Kanchipuram town of Kanchipuram district, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Kanchi is famous for weaving of Kanchipuram silk sarees.
Here, Goddess Kamakshi is considered as the embodiment of the universal power. This is the reason why there
HISTORYThe temple was built by the Pallava kings, whose capital was Kanchipuram, around 6th century using Dravidian architecture. The original Kamakshi Amman Temple is currently known as Adi Peeteswari or the Adi Peeta Parameswari, which is located adjacent to the Kumarakottam, and is near to the presently famous Kamakshi Amman temple.
The famous 8th century scholar and saint Adi Shankaracharya, established the Sri Chakra at the original Kamakshi Amman temple. After traveling to all parts of the country, when Adisankara visited Kanchipuram, he felt the Goddess is in a ferocious mood that the entire sanctorum was very hot. To personify her and to accomplish her to normal state, the saint sung songs in praise of Goddess and established a Sri Chakra in front of her idol to keep her cool and personified. This Sri Chakram is visible to all of us and all the poojas are done to Sri Chakram also. The Saint established Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam and attained Sarvagyna peetam in this holy city.
This Sri Chakra soon became the All India famous Kamakoti Peeta. Various forms of animal and human sacrifices were practiced in ancient Shakthi temples and it is believed that Adi Sankaracharya brought a complete change to this practice. The Acharya changed the fierce form of worship into a sowmya (beautiful and peaceful) form.
The new Kamakshi Amman kovil also has a Sri Chakra that was established during the 16th Century by NrusimhAdvari, of the famous datham Anji family. There is a stone inscription near this Sri Chakra stating this fact. It is noteworthy that Arunagirinathar, a 15th Century Tamil Saint, sings in praise of the Goddess as devi of dark emarald complexion and the mother of Lord Muruga.
ARCHITECTUREKanchi Kamakshi Amman kovil is located at about 5 acres of land and it has four entrances. The main entrance
On further moving, one can have darshan (sight) of Goddess Kamakshi seated in Padmasana (seated in the form of lotus), a yogic posture signifying peace and prosperity. The Goddess holds a Sugarcane bow on her left upper arm, lotus and parrot in her right upper arm. The Goddess also has divine chakras called Pasa (lasso) and Angusa (goad) in her arms. The deity also has a Chandrapirai (moon) on her forehead. The place where Goddess resides is “Gayatri Mandapam”.
Goddess Kamakshi is surrounded by shrines of the deities like Ayyappan, Saraswati, Annapoorani and Adisankaracharya on its outer prakaram. The Goddess also has Varahi, Arupalakshmi Kalvarperumal (one of the 108 Divya Desam of Vaishanavities), Roopalakshmi and Arthanariswarar deities surrounding the sanctorum of Goddess on its Gayatri Mandapam.
The Goddess lives in temple in 3 forms – Sri Kamakshi, Sri Bilahasam and Sri Chakram.
LEGENDSLegend says that Kamakshi, an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi was praying to a Shiva Lingam (made up of mud) present under a mango tree for marrying Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva took a form of Kamba river to test the sincerity of Kamakshi. He came in the form of high tides and tried to wash away the lingam. Kamakshi prevented the idol from getting eroded in the floods. She also performed Pooja by sitting on a needle tip surrounded by “Panchakagni” (surrounded by 5 fires) to free herself from the livelihood. Lord Shiva impressed by her dedicated and devoted meditation, appeared before her and married the divine form of Goddess Parvathi.
It is also said that the Goddess Mahalakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu, was cursed by Him to incarnate as Aarupam (invisible) form. The Goddess comes to Kanchipuram and worships Lord Vishnu to free her from this Aarupam. After long and sincere prayers, the Goddess is given a Rupam (visible) form by Lord Vishnu. It is said that kumkum (red sacred powder) of Goddess Kamakshi has to be offered to the idol of Aarupa Lakshmi within the sanctorum, whereby the Goddess Lakshmi will fulfill your needs on the prayer.
POPULARITYThe temple is very famous for the festivals like Brahmotsavam (the annual temple festival) that takes place in the month of February, Navaratri festival – celebrated with grandeur every year and Pournami (Full moon day) festivals. Goddess Kamakshi is taken out on a procession within the temple premises every Friday evening on a Silver Chariot.
The temple timings is from 5.30 am – 12 pm and 4.00 pm – 8.00 pm (Fridays and Full moon days are considered
GETTING THEREKanchipuram can be easily reached by road, rail and air.
The closest airport to Kanchipuram is the Chennai Airport, with domestic connections to all the major cities in India and also with International connections.
Kanchipuram can be reached via Chengalpattu Railway Station on the Chengalpattu – Arakkonam line. Daily passenger train service between Chennai and Kanchipuram are also available.
It is easier to travel through bus from Chennai to Kanchipuram. Frequent bus connections make it convenient to travel by road.