Kanipakam Temple is one of the holy abodes of Lord Vinayaka (Ganesha) – the beloved son of Shiva and Parvati. It is present on the banks of river Baahuda, in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. Ganesha is the controller of ‘Ganas’, the remover of obstacles, and the Lord of wisdom. It is usually visited when one is visiting Tirumala Balaji Temple.
The word ‘Kanipakam’ originates from two Tamil words – ‘Kani’ meaning ‘wetland’ and ‘Pakam’ meaning ‘flow of water’. The idol of ‘Swayambhu’ Vinayaka is inside ‘Kalyani’, a lake in which the idol was originally found. ‘ The kanipakam temple has Chola architecture, with a simple yet elegant Gopuram for the temple complex that houses temples of two other deities – Sri Manikanteshwara and Sri Varadaraja Swamy.
What is the history of Kanipakam Temple?
According to the history of Kanipakam Temple, farmers used manual labour to plough the lands and used a system ‘Picota’ to irrigate the land. Once upon a time, three brothers – one was deaf, the other deaf and another dumb. They did farming on a small piece of land.
One fine day, they observed that the water in the well had dried up and so, decided to get into the well and dig it up. But to the enormous surprise of the brothers, they hit a stone-like formation and blood oozed out of the ground.
Within a short span of time, the entire well got filled with the red blood. By the divine sight, they lost their disabilities. The villagers, seeing the brothers in perfect health, were utterly perplexed and tried to dig up the well further. But their attempts were in vain because a ‘Swayambhu’ idol of Vinayaka swirled amidst the well.
Amazed by the miracle unfolding in front of their eyes, the villagers offered prayers to Lord Vinayaka by performing Aarthi to the newly found idol and offering tender coconuts, as Lord Ganesha is fond of them. To this very day, the idol is in the well and the springs in the well are perennial and eternal. Also, the holy water overflows during the rainy season. Yet another strange feature of the idol is that it is still growing in size!
What is the significance of the Kanipakam Temple?
The significance of Kanipakam Temple is that Lord Ganesh is ‘Varasiddhi Vinayaka’ here because he fulfills the ardent wishes of his devotees when they offer prayers with devotion and sincerity. Also, there are several occasions when a person voluntarily admitted to wrong-doing acts on entering the temple.
This sacred shrine of kanipakam temple is widely believed to be an upholder of truth and justice. The aura of the Divine Almighty is such that, or takes a dip in the holy water. It is as if the Lord evokes a sense of fearful guilty conscience in the mind of the person and makes him genuinely repent for the same.
To this day, the temple solves everyday quarrels between villagers by the two people taking a ‘Pramanam’ – a special oath in which they take a dip in the Pushkarini and testify before the Lord.
Devotees who wish to give up bad habits like smoking or excessive drinking – take a bath in the holy place and take an oath in the kanipakam temple by contributing Rs. 516/-. This is a Seva popular as ‘Pramanam’.
What are the timings of Kanipakam Temple?
Here are the timings of Kanipakam Temple:
|Open||6 AM||9:30 PM|
|Morning Darshan||6 AM||11 AM|
|Evening Darshan||12 PM||5 PM|
|Ganapathi Homam||9:00 AM||12:00 PM|
What are the festivals celebrated at the Kanipakam Temple?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Kanipakam Temple are:
- Brahmostavam: It takes place for a duration of twenty-one days. During the evenings, devotees take the ‘Utsava Moorthi’ into the town in different kinds of colorful Vaahanas (vehicles) on all days – Hamsa vaahana (Swan), Mayura vaahana (Peacock), Mooshika vaahana (Mouse), Shesha vaahana (Snake), Vrishabha vaahana (Bull), Gaja vaahana (Elephant), Pushpa Pallakki (Flowered palanquin), Vimanotsava (Airplane), to name a few.
- Deepotsava: It is the celebration involving floating of lamps in the Kalyani. It is another important festivity and the temple looks magnificent amidst hundreds of floating lamps, under the starry sky.
How to reach Kanipakam Temple?
Here’s how to reach Kanipakam Temple:
- Air – One can avail direct flights to Tirupati from Hyderabad and Chennai only.
- Rail – Mysore – Tirupati Fast Passenger operates daily, departs Bangalore at 8.15 PM and reaches Chittor at 2.30 AM.
- Road – Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) runs daily buses between Bangalore and Chittoor.
Where to stay nearby?
The Temple Management runs 6 guest rooms and Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams Trust runs the operations of 14 rooms for devotees. Another accommodation complex with 100 rooms is under construction. Besides the Temple accommodation, several private hotels and lodges also provide good quality accommodation to the devotees, in Chittoor city.
What are some temples nearby?
Some of the temples near Kanipakam Temple are:
- Manikanteswara Temple: The ancient temple of Manikanteshwara exists since the times of the Chola King Kulothunga Chola. People believe that he built 108 temples of Shiva, to obtain relief from the sin of killing a Brahmin – “Brahma Hatya Papam’. Famous for the Chola architecture, the exquisite sculpture of the idol adds on another striking feature to the divine altar.
- Varadaraja Swamy Temple: This Kshetram of Lord Ayyappa, also known as Harihara is a landmark in the surroundings, owing to the vast temple compound structure and the architectural marvel in the temple complex, that also houses two other deities – Sri Anjaneya Swamy and the Nava Grahas.
- Ardhagiri Sri Veeranjaneya Swamy Kshetram – Present at a distance of 15 km from Kanipakam, this holy shrine dates back to Threta Yuga or the times when Lord Rama fought against Ravana the abductor of Sita. Devotees also believe that the Lord fulfills the wishes of those who pray overnight on a full moon night. Cultural programs take place throughout the night for the benefit of the devotees.