Kamakshi Amman temple – Vishnu in Amman temple

Kamakshi temple

The Kamakshi Amman temple located in Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu is one of the ancient Sakthi peethas. The presiding deity Kamakshi Amman gives darshan to devotees with a lasso and a goad in the upper two hands hand and a bunch of flowers in the lower two arms along with a parrot perched on the flower bunch and a sugarcane bow. The meaning of the word “Kamakshi” is “Ka” meaning Goddess Saraswati (Goddess of Education), “Ma” meaning Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth), “Akshi” denoting the eye. The name as a whole refers as the Goddess lives in Kanchipuram with Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi as her both eyes.

As per the legend, one day Goddess Shiva entered unexpectedly into Parvati’s place. At that time some yoginis were present undressed. Goddess Parvathi closed the three eyes of Lord Shiva immediately without any thought. But as Lord Shiva’s eyes resemble Sun, Moon, and fire, the world became dark completely because of her action. Goddess Parvathi also became dark. She was surprised and asked God Shiva how this happened, and how to remove her dark color complexion? God Shiva explained the reason and advised her to do penance to get rid off the sin that was generated by her action. Goddess parvathi accepted and came to earth as Katyayini (Daughter of Katyayana Maharshi) and went to Varanasi and became as Annapurna and did annadana and changed her dark complexion into golden complexion. After that, she came to Kanchi and did penance to God Shiva.

She did penance with Pancha Bana mantra beneath a mango tree. God Shiva suffered with this penance and sent Ganga to test her devotion. Ganga came aggressively to destroy Goddess Parvthi’s puja. But Goddess Parvathi stopped and caught Ganga in a holy Kapala, along with Ganga, Lord shiva was also caught in that holy Kapala. God Shiva became enraged and increased the water flow tremendously, Goddess Parvathi was afraid and prayed to Maha Vishnu for advice. He advised her to completely surrender to God Shiva. Goddess Parvathi prayed to lord Shiva and hugged the Shiva Linga she made and completely surrendered to Shiva. Even today, we can see some marks of Parvathi’s jewels on Ekamreshwara Shiva Linga. The mango tree is still present in the Ekamreshwar temple. God Shiva accepted her devotion and married her. At that time Goddess Parvathi fulfilled all her devotees desires. Hence the name Kamakshi.


The Kamakshi Amman temple located in the temple town of Kanchipuram is one of the ancient temples in India. It is one of the 18 Shaktippethas, One of the Panchabhoota lingas (Prithvi linga), one of the seven moksha puras, 14 out of 108 divyadesams present in Kanchi. This Kamakshi Amman temple is the only Goddess Parvathi temple where there is shrine dedicated to God Vishnu within the temple premise.

For details on this shrine and how to get there, visit Ishta Devata


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3 Comments on “Kamakshi Amman temple – Vishnu in Amman temple

  • Also, there is a phenomenal reason for the “alakshmi” shrine in the Kamakshi shrine. Once Mahalakshmi was apparently asked by Lord Mahavishnu to pay for her “arrogance” as she thought she was better than Him. So Mahavishnu decides to send her without a roopam and Kamakshi, the ever gracious mother, tells her to stay with her in Kanchipuram. Even today, the ritual is to smear the Kamakshi kumkum on Alakshmi (as a reminder that arrogance does not take one too far) and then apply it on us. So later Mahavishnu actually comes in the form of Varaha perumal (Kalvar perumal – nama) and takes Sri Mahalakshmi back to his nivasam…It’s a must see and of course, another rare Varahi ambal is present as well.

    • Thanks for sharing this interesting story, Raghav. One more reason to visit this amazing shrine


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