Nagaresu Kanchi-Sri Devaraja Perumal koil Part-1
Perumal koil is what we call Kanchi Varadaraja’s temple. What does Perumal mean? It refers to ‘The Supreme’. Sage Brighu has proved who is the Supreme but among archadivyamangala vigrahams why is Varadan’s abode called ‘Perumal-koil’. Ranganatha or Periya Perumal dwells in Srirangam, Srinivasa is the Lord of Kali-yugam yet Kanchipuram is called ‘Perumal-koil’. Inorder to understand why, we have to look at various aspects. First we shall make a tour of the temple, then look at what happens daily at Perumal koil and then at the utsavams held every month and the, famous ‘Vaikasi Brahmotsavam’ and ‘Swami Desikan’s Purattasi utsavam’.
Desiring to stay one year in this divyadesam to get a feel of the place, the way people live here and to understand to some extent the greatness of this place we moved to a rental accommodation a year back. This is a humble attempt to capture the ethos of this beautiful place, The Beautiful Perundevi Thayar and Perumal and the thousands of involved devotees who contribute their kainkaryam to Perumal.
Varadan is part of everyone’s life here and even if we miss seeing Him for a day we feel deprived.
Let us begin our divine expedition from the ‘gopura-vasal’ (gopuam entrance). As we enter we can see a majestic white gopuram with Vadagalai Tirumans and vendors selling fruits. To our right we have shops selling puja items and photos but the shopkeeper says ‘balli-padam theesko’ (buy lizard photos).
After crossing the shops we see a tall four pillared mandapam. During one of our visits a local taught us how to proceed to worship Perumal. After reaching the ‘naal kaal mandapam'(four pillared mandapam) we turned left and moved along the banks of the pushkarni(temple tank). The first sannidhi we spotted on a raised platform was a sannidhi for Venugopala swami but the nameplate was in Telugu. It was closed at the time of our visit. A grilled gate has been put and we can have darsan of Sri Venugopala(Flute Krishna) with His Legs entwined. This sannidhi is behind a four pillared mandapam next to the Annadanam koodam. As we moved in pradkshinam we saw a mandapam with dasavatharas at the entrance. This was used as a cowshed and a stable for the temple horses. There was a white horse which leads temple procession carrying a drum and a brown one which wanders around the temple. Both were busy eating hay. Then there was a shrine for Sri Bhoo Varahan .The Lord who brought Bhumi(Mother Earth) from the sea seems to be comforting Bhooma Devi by placing Her on His Lap. Truly Beautiful divyamangala vigraham. As we moved along and turned right we spotted a huge Arasamaram (Peepul tree) with stone serpents. On moving further we saw a sannidhi where Sri Ranganatha was reclining. These sannidhis can be seen through grilled gates. On turning right we reached Chakrathazhwar sannidhi. Before entering the sannidhi we went near the fences of the pushkarni to enjoy the view of the gopuram,Venugopal sannidhi mandapam, the beautiful white figurines of dasavatharams and the water-body before us.
Photos & Videos: Sundararajan
Write-up by Vyjayanthi Rajan
To be continued……..