VARADARAJA TEMPLE

Varadarajar temple is a massive and impressive edifice. The Hundred-Pillar-hall erected during the Vijayanagar period in this temple is noted for its exquisite sculptures.This is an extremely large temple with abundant sculptures. This temple is made up of several sub-shrines. This is also called the Devaraja Swamy temple.

This temple provides a glimpse of 16th century pillared pavilion with an exuberant workmanship.this temple situated on the top of Hastigiri or Elephant Hill. One has to ascend 24 steps up the hill to reach the sanctum sanctorum.Lord Varadaraja is in standing posture facing towards the west with his gracious look. The figure is huge in size with four hands holding the insignias of Sankha, Chakra, etc., and richly decorated with costly jewels.The main Deity of Sri Varadaraja Perumal in this temple is very large, and is believed to be second in size to none other than the Deity of Sri Venkateswara of Tirumala-Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh. Significant among other things in this temple are the sculptures of two lizards carved on the ceiling of the corridor enclosing the Sanctum. The lizards, one covered with a sheet of Gold and the other with a sheet of Silver.The sculptures of the Sun and the Moon can be

found beside those of the lizards.The sculptures and paintings in this temple are absolutely amazing. Significant among the sculptures is the "Nooru Kaal Mandapam" or 100 Pillar Hall. This entire masterpiece has been sculpted out of a single rock.The ornamental rings carved out of a single stone

 

 

in a chain at the four corners are the special features of the hall.The riders on horseback , beautiful figures of Rathi and Manmatha, exquisite temple jewellery are other notable features.

This temple is an important stopover point for almost all tourist buses that come into Kanchipuram. Although the temple never gets crowded (it is too big), the queue at the Sanctum gets backed up very often. Note that as a tradition, Vaishnavite temples always close at Noon, to be reopened in the evening. You can expect the Santum of this temple to be closed in the afternoon, too. While you are there, don't forget to taste the food sold at the Temple's Madappalli (Kitchen). There are stories about how Arignar Anna, strikingly one of the strongest atheist leaders known in Tamilnadu, loved the food from this temple's kitchen. Anna's house is located right next to the temple premises and has been converted into a Memorial Center.