Kamakshi Amman Temple

Kamakshi Amman Temple

Kamakshi Amman Temple

 

 

 

Kamakshi Amman Temple
Kamakshi Amman Temple is an ancient shrine dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi ,located at Kanchipuram . The Goddess Kamakshi prevails in the form of Shakti. There are 51 Shakti Peetas across the country. The goddess residing place in Kanchipuram is called as “Nabisthana Ottiyana Peetam”. The Goddess is called as “Sri Kamakshi. The word is derived from the heritage “Ka” means Goddess Saraswati (God of Education), “Ma” means Goddess Lakshmi (God of Wealth), “Akshi” means Eye. The name kamakshi as a whole refers as the god lives in Kanchi with Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi as her both eyes.
Kamakshi Amman sanctum faces south-east in the middle of the Gayatri Mandapa. The beautiful deity of the Devi is in the Padmaasana posture, holding a bow of sugarcane and five arrows (pancha paana) of flowers. She is worshipped as Rajarajeshwari, Maha Tripurasundari, Lalitha and Kameshwari.The Kamakoti Peeta or Sri Chakra is in front of the Goddess and all pujas are offered to this.
Pujas are performed according to Chintamani Tantra, prescribed by sage Durvasa. There are separate shrines for sage Durvasa, a Devi Upasaka, Thundira Ganapathi, Goddess Annapurni and Adi Shankara.
During festival processions, the Devis idol is taken out only after formally seeking Adi Shankaras permission. This is in fulfillment of a divine promise.
The original processional deity in gold, Swarna Kamakshi, was taken to a shrine in Thanjavur in the year 1767 at the time of Muslim invasion. There She is worshipped as Bangaru Kamakshi. In its place in Kanchipuram, Her golden Paadukaas (holy feet), consecreted by Kanchi Paramacharya Sri Chandrashekharendra Saraswathi, are worshipped.
There are four entrances to the temple, but the eastern entrance is considered the main gateway. A beautiful Gopura adorns this gate. The sacred tank in the temple is known as Pancha Ganga Theertha

About Temple
Kamakshi Amman sanctum faces south-east in the middle of the Gayatri Mandapa. The beautiful deity of the Devi is in the Padmaasana posture, holding a bow of sugarcane and five arrows (pancha paana) of flowers. She is worshipped as Rajarajeshwari, Maha Tripurasundari, Lalitha and Kameshwari.The Kamakoti Peeta or Sri Chakra is in front of the Goddess and all pujas are offered to this. Pujas are performed according to Chintamani Tantra, prescribed by sage Durvasa. There are separate shrines for sage Durvasa, a Devi Upasaka, Thundira Ganapathi, Goddess Annapurni and Adi Shankara. During festival processions, the Devis idol is taken out only after formally seeking Adi Shankaras permission. This is in fulfillment of a divine promise. The original processional deity in gold, Swarna Kamakshi, was taken to a shrine in Thanjavur in the year 1767 at the time of Muslim invasion. There She is worshipped as Bangaru Kamakshi. In its place in Kanchipuram, Her golden Paadukaas (holy feet), consecreted by Kanchi Paramacharya Sri Chandrashekharendra Saraswathi, are worshipped. There are four entrances to the temple, but the eastern entrance is considered the main gateway. A beautiful Gopura adorns this gate. The sacred tank in the temple is known as Pancha Ganga Theertha.

Mythology
According to a legend, Devi Parvati, in one of her playful moods, closed the eyes of Lord Shiva and darkness enveloped the whole universe. Shiva got angry with His consort and cursed an otherwise golden complexion of hers to turn dark, proceed to the Earth and do penance till He came and married Her again. Meanwhile, a sage by name Karthyayana was doing tapas in the Himalayas. Devi Parvati came to the sage as a small child. The sage named her Karthyayani and was bringing Her up. At the age of eight, she realised the secret of her birth and proceeded to the Satyavrata Kshetra, the present Kanchi. The girl dressed like a tapaswini carried along with Her a Yoga Dhanda, Akshamaala, Kamandala, Ganga water and sand scooped from the holy river and other items for her penance. She stopped over at Kashi, which was going through a period of famine. She assumed the form of Annapurni and was doing Annadaana for 12 years. Later she resumed Her journey towards South and reached Kanchi. Here as she began her penance under a mango tree, all the things she carried changed into different divine forms. She prepared a Linga out of the Ganga sand and started doing tapas on Panchaagni (fire surrounding Her and the Sun above), standing with one foot on a needle. It continued for years. In order to test the intensity of Her tapas, the Lord sent Ganga as river Vegavathi, which flooded the area. The Devi held on to the Linga close to Her chest to protect the Linga made of earth.. Pleased with Her penance, the Lord gave Her darshan and promised to marry Her on the Full Moon day of the month of Panguni (March-April). Brahma, Vishnu and the Devas arrived for the divine wedding of Lord Ekambareshwara (Shiva) and Devi Kamakshi. The place where Kamakshi did penance is known as Maangaadu (mango grove), a small temple town 23 km from Chennai, where Tapas Kamakshi is worshipped. Since the Linga was made of sand, Kanchi is held sacred as Prithvi (earth) Kshetra. The Prithvi Linga is worshipped as Lord Ekambareshwara. The legendary mango tree is worshipped on the Ekambareshwara temple precincts even today. The four branches of the tree are said to represent the four Vedas. Kamakshi is enshrined in the Kamakoti Peeta, which is the present Kamakshi temple. A unique feature about Kanchipuram Shiva temples is that there is no separate sanctum for Shivas consort, who is Kamakshi Herself. After Her marrige, Devi Kamakshi is said to have performed all the 32 prescribed Dharmas in Kanchipuram. Kamakshi Vilasam: Another legend speaks about Devi Kamakshis appearance in Satyavrata Kshetra through Bilakasha (the entrance of a tunnel that had its origin beneath the Peeta of Lord Shiva in the Himalayas). When Lord Shiva was doing penance, Manmatha aimed his arrows to disrupt the Lord, who in anger turned him to ashes. From the ashes a demon by name Bandasura emerged. He is the symbol of Kama and Krodha (Rajo guna). Devi Parvati, in the form of Lalithambika, waged a war and annihilated him. Again, another asura called Bandakasura (Thamo guna) forced the entire earth and Devaloka to plunge into darkness and the Devas were put into a state of inertia. The Devas rushed to Kailas and appealed to Lord Shiva to save them from Bandakasura. The Lord ordained them that Devi Kamakshi would redeem them at the appropriate time and asked them to wait at the entrance of Bilakasha. The Devas transformed themselves into parrots and waited on the Champaka trees reciting Vedas, awaiting the Devis arrival. The Goddess appeared before them in Jyothi swaroopa (form of light) the combined shakti of Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Parvathi with the letters of Gayatri Mantra guarding Her with a celestial light. Kamakshi Devi learned about the Devas plight and promised to annihilate the asura, waiting in Kailas. She took the form of Bhairavi, holding different weapons in her 18 hands, and started towards Mount Kailas. There She killed the asura and broug

About Place

The Golden City of Kanchipuram is situated on the banks of Vegavathi river in Tamil Nadus Kanchipuram district. It is revered as one of the seven sacred places of India. An ancient pilgrim centre, venerated by both Saivites and Vaishnavites, Kanchipuram was a glorious seat of learning, philosophy, art and architecture and was hailed as Khatika Sthaana (university centre) equal to Benares. In Puranic period, the place was known as Satyavrata Kshetra and during Saivite saints time, it was called Kachchi and Kanchipuri. During the Pallava period, the entire region was known as Thondai Mandalam or Thundeera Naadu. The Cholas renamed it as Jayamkonda Cholapuram. Sage Patanjali had mentioned about Kanchi in his famous work Maha Bhashya (second century BC). The Sangam period Tamil epic Manimekalai speaks volumes about the glorious days of Kanchi. Buddhism and Jainism flourished here during the first century AD till the advent of Saivite saints. Over the centuries, Kanchipuram has remained a great religious centre. It is one of the Pancha Bhutha Sthalas (Lingas representing the Five Elements) dedicated to Prithvi or Earth. The sacred shrine of Devi Kamakshi is prime among the 51 Shakti Peetas situated all over India. Many Saivite and Vaishnavite saints have sung in praise of the innumerable shrines of Lord Shiva and Vishnu and Devi Kamakshi. Adi Shankara established the Kamakoti Peeta in Kanchipuram. Tamil saints like Poigai Alwar, Vedanta Desikar, Ramanujar, Aalavandaar, Tirukachi Nambi, Appar, Sundarar, Manickavasagar, Gnanasambandar and Pattinathu Adigal were closely associated with this pilgrim centre. Chanakya, the author of Arthashastra, was born in Kanchi. The celebrated poet Kalidasa acclaimed this sacred place as Nagareshu Kanchi. The poem reads: Pushpeshu Jaaji Purusheshu Vishnu Nadeeshu Ganga Nagareshu Kanchi. This City of Thousand Temples is mainly divided into Shiva Kanchi and Vishnu Kanchi, predominated by Eshwara and Vishnu temples respectively.

Travel Guide To Kamakshi Amman Temple

Air: The nearest airport is Chennai , 85 km away. From there one can take a bus or rive down to Kanyakumari in about two and a half hours.
Rail: There are direct trains to Bangalore, Chennai, Tirupati, Mumbai and Jammu Tawi. Nagercoil, another important rail junction, is about 20 km away. From there, one can take direct trains to Madurai, Guruvayur, Mumbai and Gandhidham (Gujarat).
Road: From Kanyakumari, long-distance buses ply to Rameswaram (410 km), Madurai (245 km), Tiruchi (385 km), Chennai (703 km), Tirupati via Kanchipuram (850 km), Bangalore (675 km), Mysore (650 km) and several other tourist and pilgrim centres

Temples Around

SRI SHANKARA MUTT This is one of the Shankara Peetas established by Sri Adi Shankara. Kanchipuram is the home of religion, besides culture, art, learning, philosophy and music.

 

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