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Varadharaja Perumal Temple

Varadharaja Perumal Temple of Kanchipuram is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and is known by various other names like the Hastagiri or Attiyuran. It is one of the Divya Desam shrines (108 temples of Vishnu), and is believed to have been visited and patronized by the 12 Vaishnava Tamil poet/ saints – Azhwars. The temple was built in 25 acres of land. The temple is located in a suburb of Kanchipuram known as the Vishnu Kanchi that is home to many famous Vishnu temples.

History
According to popular beliefs, the temple was first built by the Pallava King Nandivarman II. The temple was originally built by the Cholas in 1053, and was expanded during the reigns of the great Chola Kings Kulottunga Chola I and Vikrama Chola. When a Mughal invasion was expected in the year 1688, the main image of the deity was sent to Udayarpalayam, which is now part of Tiruchirapalli District. It was brought back with greater difficulty after the involvement of local preceptor who enlisted the services of general Todarmal.

Architecture
The temple shows the architectural skills of ancient Vishwakarma Sthapathis in temple architecture and is famous for its holiness and ancient history. The temple has 3 outer precincts (prakarams) namely Azhwar Prakaram, Madai Palli Prakaram and Thiru Malai Prakaram.

The main sanctrum of the temple faces west, and the eastern gopuram is taller than the western gopuram. One of the most famous architectural pieces in the temple is the huge stone chain sculpted in a single stone. There is a 100 pillared hall which has sculptures depicting Ramayana and Mahabaratha.

The main shrine of the temple has murals of the late Vijayanagara Empire on the ceiling. Other significant features of the temple are beautifully carved lizards and gilded with gold, over the sanctum.

Apart from the main idol, the temple has the wooden image of Varadarajaswamy preserved within a silver box from which water is pumped out every 40 years. There is a shrine of Narasimha on the hillock.

How to reach
By Air - The nearest Airport is 60 km away from Kanchipuram and located is at Chennai – “Anna International   Terminal”   and “Kamaraj   Domestic Terminal “.

By Train - Trains for Kanchipuram are available from Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tirupati, and Bangalore.

By Road - Kanchipuram is 75 kilometers away from Chennai and is well connected by a network of roads with the other important towns and cities of Tamilnadu.



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