28 July'08: The Vaikunda Perumal Temple was built by the Pallava king Nadivarman II during the 7th century. This is particular temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Lord is in the sitting posture. The Goddess is known as Sri Vaikundavalli Tayar. In fact, Lord Vishnu's image can be seen in standing, sitting and reclining forms on the towering vimanas. There are also many beautiful lion pillared cloisters as well as several bas reliefs in the main shrine of the temple. Inscriptions on the walls that tell of the history of the temple as well as of the city itself . The sculptures are mindblowing and comparable with those in the Kailasanathar temple as they belong to the same era. These sculptures are a legacy of India's architectural history & richness and must be preserved at all costs for the sake of posterity. India's Department of Archeology maintains & preserves this temple.
As per legend devoted worshippers of Siva, on the occasion of Maha Sivarathri, would be blessed with sons who will be devotees of Lord Vishnu. The Pallava king was blessed with a son Parameswara Varman who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and built this Vaikuntha Perumal temple, in the 7th century A.D.
This temple gains local importance on the holy night of the Vaishnavites - Vaikunda Ekadasi. Except on that day, this temple is easily accessible to tourists
Kachapeswara Temple: (Siva Kanchi) This temple is believed to have been built by the Pallava dynasty. Legend has it that Vishnu worshipped Siva in the form of a Turtle. The main deity is therefore known as Kachapeswarar - Kacchapa meaning turtle. This is a beautiful temple (but no great architecture) with regular poojas and coming under the administration of the Hindu Religious & Endowments Board. Moolavar Amman is absent but there exisits a shrine for Utsavar. There are also shrines for Vishnu Durgai, Pancha Shakti Vinayakar & Vishnu worshipping Shiva under Murukkai tree (Sthala Vriksham). There is a nice & clean temple tank with steps all around, where devotees can have "Snanam".
Legend: The Devas approached Lord Vishnu and wanted to know the secret of achieving eternal life. HE asked them to get Mout Meru, churn it in the ocean & drink the resultant nectar that is produced. So Devas brought the Meru and with the help of Asuras churned the Ocean using Vasuki as the rope. This churning produced great disturbance undersea and therefore Vishnu took the shape of a turtle and went under water and pivoted Mt.Meru on his back to facilitate smooth churning. However many undersea creatures were disturbed and Vishnu was advised by Siva to go to Kanchipuram and do penance in the form of a turtle under the Murukkai tree.
Sriperumbudur: We left Kanchipuram around 4.30 pm reached the Bangalore-Chennai highway (15 km from Kanchipuram) drove eastward, crossed the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial (an outstanding architectural feat comprising seven beautiful columns) & took a diversion to the left into Sriperumbudur town and visited the ancient Adikesava Perumal Temple, the Avatara Sthala of Saint Ramanuja, the great philosopher of Vaishnavism. Three important idols of the saint carved out during his lifetime, have been installed in Srirangam, Sriperumbudur, his birthplace, and Melkote.
The idol installed in the Sriperumbudur temple was embraced by him, and he transferred all his spiritual powers to it (it is known as "Thaanuhanda Thirumeni" meaning the idol embraced by him).
Ramanujam spent much of his life in Kancheepuram in the service of Lord Varadharaja Perumal. It is said that Perumal appeared in his dream and asked him to go to Srirangam to promote Vaishnavism from there. Hence, at the age of forty he went to Srirangam, where he first performed the daily temple duty of Thirumanjam Kaikariyam (carrying water for the holy bath of the Lord). However, he was elevated to be the Madathipathi of Srirangam Math. Born in 1017 CE, he lived for 120 years and attained Nirvana at Srirangam, where his body has been preserved in a Samadhi.
We reached Chennai around 8.30 pm. For photo gallery log onto: http://picasaweb.google.com/ramakrishnan49/VaikundaPerumalTemple