The Varadaraja Perumal or Devarajaswamy temple is at the heart of Vishnu Kanchi in Kanchipuram.
The temple complex dates from the 12th century. The idol of Sri Varadaraja Perumal is housed in the sacred Pushkarini tank . The deity is taken out only once in 40 years for worship by devotees.
This temple is a Divya Desam, one of the 108 primary Vishnu temples.
The 100 pillar hall [actually 96 pillars] is an art lovers delight, boasting magnificent stone sculptures, carvings, pillars and fine architectural detail including chains made entirely out of stone.
The 96 carved granite pillars are in 12 rows of 8 each with 4 on either side of the central aisle. A huge platform rests on a large granite tortoise in the junction of two aisles. The equestrian statues and Yazhis are similar to the magnificent horse pillars of Srirangam. The incarnations of Lord Vishnu are depicted in various panels.
A young temple priest moonlighting as a guide will gladly open the 100 Pillar Hall for visitors during the hours when the sanctum is closed for worship. Photographer will go beserk here. The temple priest also recommended a visit to the Sri Vaikuntha Perumal temple for its frescoes and sculptures.
The Dhwajasthambham is also made of a single piece of stone.
At present [Sept. 2009], the temple towers - gopurams - are covered due to periodical restoration work in progress. However, apart from worship, the temple is worth a lengthy visit if only for the 100 Pillared Hall.
Kanchipuram is a short drive from Chennai and the Varadaraja Perumal temple certainly rates as a must see.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.