Kanipakam Vinayaka temple

Weather :

Time Required : 2-3 hrs

Entry Fee : Entry: Free,
Pujas and Sevas vary from INR 116 to INR 7500 depending on the type of ritual you wish to perform at the temple

Timings : Entry: 4:00 AM - 9:30 PM,
Darshan: 6:00 AM - 1:00 PM, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Kanipakam Vinayaka temple, Chittoor Overview

Chittoor is a district laden with important temples, one of them being the Kanipakkam Vinayaka Temple. Apart from Tirupati, Tirumala and Srikalahasti, the Vinayaka Temple in Kanipakkam is another reason why pilgrims flock to the district of Chittoor. Situated 56 km from Tirupati, the small town of Kanapakam is the abode of great deity Vinayaka. The temple was ideated and constructed in the 11th century CE by Kulothunga Chola I, a revered Chola king. It was then rebuilt in 1336 by the Vijayanagara dynasty rulers. What makes the temple special are the fables and legends associated with it! It is reported that the idol of Vinayaka grows every year, it has been reported that an armor offered to the deity 50 years ago does not fit anymore! It makes for an ideal weekend devotional trip for city dwellers as well as it is a pilgrimage site as well as a beautiful getaway.

This historic temple with Ganesha as its primary deity is also known as Shrine of Water and is in Irala Mandal of Chittoor district. The regal temple has immense religious significance and importance because of its miraculous idol. The water found in the complex is believed to be holy and can cure various deformities. Pilgrims visit this temple before going to Tirupati since it is a Vinayaka Temple.
The Kanipakam temple is very well maintained by the authorities despite being a major crowd puller and is a rapidly developing complex. It acts as a magnet for devotees of Lord Ganesha during the rainy season when the main historical and legendary well fills up with water. This unique sanctuary of Ganesha is in the middle of a river. Its significance lies in its purity and rich heritage.

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History of Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple

The opulent temple was constructed in the early 11th century by the Chola king, Kulothunga Chola I and further expanded in 1336 by the emperors of Vijayanagara dynasty. The name Kanipakam itself breaks into Kani (wetland) and pakam (flow of water into wetland) due to its presence next to river Bahuda. A Siva Temple was also created in the complex when Kulothunga Chola expanded the temple. It was to show his devotion to Lord Shiva as well as Lord Ganesha.

Kulothunga Chola was a very religious person who dedicated his life to restoring and renovating old temples and building new ones. The Kedah region in Malaysia also has instances of the architecture used during the expansion of this temple due to the growing reign of Kulothunga Chola. He was a devotee of the Sun God, and the structure of the Kanipakam Vinayaka temple is very similar to the Pudukottai temple that he constructed.

Legend of Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple

The famous idol which led to the construction of the Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple has many legends linked to it. The most famous legend speaks of three farmers who had physical deformities, i.e., they were dumb, blind and deaf by birth. They needed water to irrigate their fields. They found a dried up well and decided to dig it more. One of them started the work and was surprised to see his iron implement hitting a stone-like formation. As he continued to dig, he found that blood was oozing out of the stone. Soon the whole water had turned red because of the blood. He called out to the other two farmers to witness the event.

As they had been present for such divine intervention, their deformities had disappeared. When the villagers found out about their miracle, they thronged to the well and decided to deepen it. However, they couldn't as a self-manifested idol of Vinayakar emerged from the waters of that very well.

Even today, the idol resides in the well, and its water branches are perineal and eternal. During the monsoon season, the well overflows and the water is provided to the devotees as Tirtham, holy water.

The river of Bahuda, along with the banks of which the temple is built, also has a very famous legend. Two brothers Sanka and Likhita were on a pilgrimage when the younger brother Likhita felt hungry. Ignoring his elder brother's advice, he plucked a mango from the nearby mango grove and ate it. Sankha felt betrayed and reported his actions to the ruler, who in punishment deprived Likhita of both his arms. Later, when Likhita was taking a dip in the Bahuda river, a miracle occurred. Both his arms were restored! Hearing this, the ruler renamed the river as 'Bahuda' meaning human arm.

Festivals Celebrated at Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple

The temple celebrates two major festivals that coincide - Brahmotsavam that falls during the Ganesh Chathurti celebrations between the English months September and October. This makes the entire celebration a 20-day affair. According to legend, Lord Brahma descends on to Earth and performs the utsav in 9 days. It is supposed to be a cleansing ceremony for the devotees who attend it.

During the Brahmotsav, Vahanans (processional vehicles) are carried around the complex of the temple through the rows of devotees. Most of these processions are on chariot-like wooden vehicles. Each day has a significance of its own, and from the second day, the chariot goes around once in the morning and once in the evening.

Devotees from all around the world come to Chittor to attend the festival as it is one of the most pious festivals of the Hindu religion. All the temples in Chittor celebrate the Brahmotsavam in a very grand manner due to the importance of the Tirumala Temple. All the three temples, including Kanipakam Vinayagar Temple, are visited during this time of the year.

Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple Sevas and Timings

There are a lot of sevas that a devotee can participate in at the magnificent temple. The first seva of the day is Suprahatham Binduteerthaahishekham which happen at 4:00 AM - 5:00 AM. It awakes the god and is the first darshan of the Lord. Then is the Paalabhishekam where devotees offer the Lord milk. This seva happens throughout the day, with each session being 30 minutes long. It starts at 7:30 AM and ends at 6:15 PM.

For couples who are hoping to start a family or any particular issue related to wealth and health, Sankatahara Ganapati Vraham is the perfect seva. It happens from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Special Abhishekham occurs 5 times in a day, each Abhishekham being half an hour long. It starts at 5:30 AM and ends at 7:15 PM. The newly married couples or couples having issues at home can participate in the Pavalimpu Seva that happens from 9:30 AM to 10:00 AM.

Nithya Kalyanotshavam seva is for couples who are facing a lot of trouble in getting married because of external objections. The timings for this seva is 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. If you are hoping to get a better darshan and be closer to the idol, you can opt for the Vunjala Seva where the lord is placed on the devotee's shoulders and the idol is later placed in a cradle and put to sleep by them. This seva starts at 6:30 PM and ends at 7:30 PM, making itvthe last seva of the day.

Tips For Visiting Kanipakam Vinayaka temple

1. Prasadam is served for free outside the temple from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
2. Headwear like caps and hats are prohibited inside the temple premises.
3. Don't buy prasadam from street vendors who sell spurious items at more rates. The prasad is available at the temple counter.
4. Facilities to deposit luggage, mobile phones and footwear are also available.
5. Avoid visiting during the monsoon season as it is very crowded and becomes a major pilgrim site at that time.

How To Reach Kanipakam Vinayaka temple

APSRTC buses run directly from Tirupati to Kanipakam Vinayagar Temple which is a distance of 70 km. Trains are available from Tirumala to Chittor, although the frequency is a little less. People can take buses or autos from Chittor which is just 12 km away.

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