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Monday, February 6, 2023

Kanipakam Varasiddhi Vinayaka Swamy Temple, Andhra Pradesh

Kanipakam temple is in Irala Mandal, Chittor district, Andhra Pradesh. The prime deity of this Temple, Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka Swamy is a swayambhu, self-manifested murti. A very interesting fact associated with this temple is that Sri Vinayaka murti size is increasing day by day.

Temple History

Kanipakam Vinayaka temple was constructed in the early 11th century by the Chola king Kulothunga Chola I and was expanded further in 1336 by the Emperors of Vijayanagara dynasty. Bhagwan Ganesha’s murti in this Temple is gradually growing in size! At present one can see the knees and the abdomen of the murti.  

In 1947 a devotee Sri Bezawada Siddaiah of Aragonda Gollapalli village, Andhra Pradesh presented a Silver Kavacha (armour) to Him which correctly fitted the murti. Now, it is not fitting the murti as it is growing in size. The silver Kavacham of various sizes since 1945, are displayed at the main entrance of the temple. It is interesting to note that there will be water at the same level around the base of the murti in all seasons. This sacred water is given as theertham to all the devotees.

Legend

Once upon a time there lived 3 farmers with physical deformities and they were dumb, deaf and blind by birth. They owned a piece of land. In olden days water was drawn from the well by way of Piccota (two people standing on wooden log to pump the water from the well) system. As one of them used to irrigate the field through the channels, the other two used to ply on the piccota to pump the water from the well.

On one such operation as they found that the water in the well got dried up and they could no longer pull water out of the well, one of them got into the well and started digging it up. He was astonished to see the iron implement hitting a stone like formation whereupon blood started oozing out from it and the entire water in the well-turned red in colour. After this divine experience miraculously all the three became normal getting rid of their deformities.

As soon as the villagers came to know this miracle, they thronged to the well and tried to deepen the well further. But their attempt proved futile and the ‘Swayambhu’ murti (self-manifested) of Bhagwan Vinayaka emerged from the swirling waters of the well. Villagers offered coconuts and the thirtham from the coconuts started flowing and covered the nearby area spanning 1.25 acres of land. Kani is a Tamil word for 1.25 acres of land. Parakam means flowing (waters). Hence, the village thereafter came to be called as Kani Parakam, which over a period of time became ‘Kanipakam’.

Even today the murti is in the original well and the springs of the well are perennial and fresh. During the rainy season, the holy water overflows from the well. The holy water from the well is offered to the devotees as Tirtham.

After the self-manifestation of Bhagwan Vinayaka Swamy at Kanipakam, two brothers wanted to have Darshan of Bhagwan Swayambhu Sri Vinayaka and during their journey the younger brother became very tired, hungry and ate a mango fruit from the tree against his elder brother’s advice who warned him not to take the fruit, since it belongs to the king. The Elder brother dragged his younger brother to the king and narrated the theft of fruit committed by his brother and requested to impose punishment.

The king ordered to cut off the both hands of the younger brother who had stolen the fruit without permission, and the punishment was implemented. The elder brother became very sad for this unfortunate incident which resulted in loss of hands of his younger brother and took a holy bath along with his younger brother in the river near the Swayambhu Vinayaka Temple before going to darshan. When both the brothers took bath in the river surprisingly, the younger brother regained his both hands. Thereafter, the river in which Bhagwan Vinayaka gifted the lost hands (Bahuda) is called ”Bahuda River.”

Beliefs

Resolving disputes:

The Swayambhu Sri Varasiddi Vinayaka Swamy Alayam (Temple) has also become very popular as “Sathya Pramanala Nilayam” (place of swearing the truth). There is a practice in vogue at Kanipakam temple wherein people suspected for being guilty are asked to take a holy dip in the temple pond and swear in front of Sri Ganesha. It is believed that those who do untruthful pramanams will be punished within 40 days. Several disputes among the local people are settled by this method if the persons swear before the God. For this special oath (swearing ceremony) Rs.516/ is collected by temple authorities.   

Devotees also take “Ganapathy deeksha” for 41 days, 21 days, 11 days, depending on their prayers and vows. On the last day of the deeksha they offer their prayers to the God in the Kanipakam temple. The Moola Vigraha (Main deity) in this temple faces towards the north, which is a rarity. The first rays of the sun fall on the feet of Bhagwan’s murti. Gradually the sun rays disappear after reaching the head of the Sri Ganesh.  Annual brahmotsavam is celebrated from the day of Ganesh Chaturthi for 21 days in a grand scale.

How to reach Kanipaka Vinayaka Temple?

A.P.S.R.T.C runs direct buses to Kanipakam which is about 70 Km from Tirupati. Devotees can reach the temple from Chittoor and it is 12 km.

Reference:

  1. https://www.tirumalahills.org/2021/09/kanipakam-vinayaka-vari-devasthanam.html.
  2. https://tms.ap.gov.in/VVSKPK/cnt/about-temple
  3. https://tirupatitirumalainfo.com/kanipakam/.
  4. https://srikanipakadevasthanam.org/en-in/home.

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Dr. B.N.V. Parthasarathi
Dr. B.N.V. Parthasarathi
Ex- Senior Banker, Financial and Management Consultant and Visiting faculty at premier B Schools and Universities. Areas of Specialization & Teaching interests - Banking, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Economics, Global Business & Behavioural Sciences. Qualification- M.Com., M.B.A., A.I.I.B.F., PhD. Experience- 25 years of banking and 16 years of teaching, research and consulting. 200 plus national and international publications on various topics like- banking, global trade, economy, public finance, public policy and spirituality. One book in English “In Search of Eternal Truth”, two books in Telugu and 38 short stories 50 articles and 2 novels published in Telugu. Email id: [email protected]

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