June 12, 2010

God with eight weapons in eight arms - Ashthabhujakaram temple, Kanchipuram, India

Ashthabhujakaram temple, one of the 108 Divya Desams (108 holy adobes of Lord Vishnu) is located towards south of Rangaswamy tank in Chinna Kanchipuram, South India. As per the legend, Lord Vishnu took eight weapons in his eight arms to fight the Asuras intruding the yagna conducted by Lord Brahma. Hence, he got the name Ashthabhujakaram (Ashtha="Eight"; karam="hand").

As per another legend, Indra sent Devakanyas to divert the sage Mahasudha from penance in this place. The sage, attracted by ladies who had taken the form of elephants, took the form of elephant and started living with them. When he realized his mistake, he sought help of the sage Markandeya. Markandeya suggested him to worship Ashthabhujakaram. The sage worshiped Vishnu with lotus flower in the form of elephant. One day, the elephant's leg was caught by a crocodile. The elephant cried for Lord's help. Lord Vishnu rescued the elephant by killing the crocodile, and this incident is termed as 'Gajendra Mokhsa'.

The main deity Ashtha bhuja Perumal (Vishnu) is seen with ashtha bhujam (eight arms) having weapons – discus, sword, flower, arrow, conch, bow, kedaya and gadha – in each arm. The God in this temple is also referred as Gajendra Varadan, and Adi Kesava Perumal. There is a separate shrine for the goddess Pushpavalli. Next to the goddess shrine, there is a shrine for BhooVaraha. There are also small shrines of Garuda, Hanuman and Andal in this temple. Outside the temple, the tank where the elephant Gajendra got Moksha is situated.

Happy travelling.

Site Name: Ashthabhujakaram Temple
1) Vishnu with eight arms
2) The site where Gajendra Moksha took place

Location: Chinna Kanchipuram, 75 kms from Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Kanchipuram
Nearest Airport: Chennai (around 75 kms)
How to reach: Easily reachable by road and train
Hotel: A lot of luxury hotels and budget hotels are available
Restaurants: There are a lot of good restaurants in the city

1 comment:

  1. good info kk. where do u get to know these legends ???