Kanchipuram Kamakshi Temple is situated in the heart of Kanchipuram! Virtually the entire Kanchipuram city is built around the Kamakshi temple. Gods like Shiva and Vishnu also appear to surround the Kamakshi temple and emit their blessings from there. Kamakshi Temple is also affectionately called Kamakshi Amman Temple Kanchipuram.
History and Architecture
Kanchipuram Kamakshi Temple is dedicated to Kamakshi Devi, who is considered to be the form of Hindu Goddess Parvati. Probably the temple was built by the rulers of the Pallava dynasty in the 6th century. The unique thing about the temple is that Kamakshi, the presiding deity of the temple, is in a sitting posture rather than standing. Devi is sitting in a yoga pose and there is a very peaceful and stable environment around her. Surprisingly, this is the only temple in the city dedicated to Goddess Parvati yet still very popular among Hindus. Many parts of the temple have been rebuilt because the original structures were either destroyed in a natural disaster or could not stand for so long. However, all the rulers of Kanchipuram tried their utmost to keep the temple in its original form. But those who have a special interest can identify the original works on the walls of the temple at the time of the construction of the temple.
On one side of the Kanchipuram Kamakshi Temple is Shiva Kanchi or the big Kanchi. Many Shiva temples are established here along with some Vishnu temples. On the other side of the Kanchi Kamakshi Temple is located Vishnu Kanchi or the small Kanchi, where many huge Vishnu temples and some Shiva temples are also located.
Legends and Mythology
According to beliefs, the Kamakshi temple has been in existence for many ages. According to the records received, Sri Chakra of this temple was founded by Adi Shankara. It is believed that between the 5th and 7th century the Kanchipuram Kamakshi Temple was established but the exact time could be debatable. According to archaeological literature, this temple is about 1800 years old. That is when this region was dominated by the Pallava emperors and Kanchipuram as their capital.
Kamakshi is composed of three words' sandhi, ka, ma, and aksha. Means Saraswathi, Ma means Lakshmi and Aksha which means eye or eyes. That is the goddess, Saraswathi, and Lakshmi who have eyes. It is believed that the goddess incarnated as a girl to kill the demon Bhandasura and she was sitting in this temple. The idol of this temple is considered to be Swayambhu. That is, this idol is not made by anyone, but it was incarnated on its own. It is also believed that the Goddess resides in this temple in three forms, Sthul, Saksham, and Shunya.
According to the story, Kamakshi Amma had done penance by standing on one foot above the tip of the needle, in order to get married to Lord Shiva. Her sire was fulfilled and she was married to Lord Shiva in the month of Falgun. There was also a gold portrait of Goddess Kamakshi in which she was depicted standing on one leg in a posture of penance. This painting is also called Bangaru Kamakshi. In anticipation of an attack on the temple, this picture was transferred to Thanjavur. This picture is still in Thanjavur.
The main sanctum of Kanchipuram Kamakshi temple is called Gayatri Mandapa. Here Kamakshi Amma is sitting in the yoga posture of Padmasana. Her posture is Pancha Brahmhasan. Kamakshi Amma has four hands. There are a bunch of sugarcane and five flowers in the lower hands. In the upper two hands, she is wearing arms, a loop, and anklets. There is also a parrot nearby, which does not have the sight of people suddenly. The idol of the Goddess is always decorated with a bright-colored sari and complete makeup.
How to reach Kamakshi Temple
Kanchipuram Bus Stand is located at 700 m away from the temple and one can walk to the temple. There are several governments and private buses available at the bus stand which will take you to the temple. The nearest railway station is the Old Kanchipuram Railway Station which is at a distance of 1 km and it will take the 15-minute walk to reach there or one can hire an auto-rickshaw.
Best time to visit Kamakshi Temple
People can visit the temple throughout the year while the best time to visit the temple is during the winter season from October to March. During the early mornings, the scenic beauty of the temple and its surrounding enhances.
Places to visit Kamakshi Temple
Kanchipuram is renowned as the temple city. Each of the temples in the city has a unique significance and different histories in the religion of Hinduism. The popular places to visit near the temple are Kailasanatha Temple, Ulagalanda Perumal Temple, Chitragupta Swamy Temple, Sankara Mutt, Sri Ekambareswarar Temple, etc.
Kanchi Kamakshi Temple Timings: 5:30 A.M to 12:30 A.M and 7:00 P.M to 6:00 P.M. It is open till 9:30 pm on Friday and is open till 10:30 pm on full moon days.
Kanchi Kamakshi Temple Entry Fees: Nil