Chitragupta temple is situated at Nellukara Street at Kanchipuram, in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is primarily dedicated to the Hindu deity Chitragupta, who is considered as the assistant of Yama (the Hindu god of death). It is said that Chitragupta had emerged from a painting. Lord Shiva had assigned Chitragupta as an accountant who keeps record of all good and bad deeds by human beings. This unique shrine has a three-tiered Rajagopuram (gateway tower) with just one precinct around the sanctum sanctorum. The temple is presently managed by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Tamil Nadu state government.
About The Deity
The presiding deity Chitragupta (Moolavar) appears sitting while holding a Ezhuthani (pen) in his right hand and a palm leaf. This signifies his nature of work. The Utsava moorthi of the deity is a panchaloka vigraha (idol) of who graces along with his consort Karnikambal. Lord Chitragupta is considered the Athi Devathai for the navagraha Kethu. Hence offering prayers to Chitragupta at this temple relieves a person from the evil effects of Kethu during its transit period. However, astrologers also consider Lord Vinayaka as the Prathi Devathai for Kethu who relieves people from the evil effects of planet God Kethu.
History of the Temple
Archaeologists say that Chitragupta temple was built in Kanchipuram sometime during the ninth century by the Cholas. The temple is maintained by people of a particular community in Kanchipuram from time immemorial.
A Chola minister named Thulabharam Mandapam Kanakarayar a minister made an icon of the deity. This icon is separately placed in the temple and is taken in procession during festive days. In 1911, two small panchaloka idols of Chitragupta and his Consort Karnikambal were found underground when the temple was dug out for renovation works. However these idols could not be used for worship since they are carry minor damages. They are presently being kept along with the presiding deity. The last kumbhabhishekam of the temple was performed on July 14, 1918. Later, in August 1944, some repair works were undertaken in the temple complex. That is also when other deities such as Navagrahas, Durga and Vinayakar were consecrated in this temple.
Legend and Stories
Parvathi giving life to a picture of rainbow colors created by Shiva
According to Legends, Lord Shiva is believed o have presented a picture of the rainbow colours. Goddess Parvathi is said to have bestowed the picture with life, which eventually became Shri Chithra (picture) Guptha Swamy.
Kamadhenu delivering Chitragupta
Another version of the legend reveals that the divine cow Kamadenu gave birth to Shri Chitragupta Swamy in order to relieve Indra Deva from a curse. That is why we avoid cow’s milk and curd to sanctify the deity of Shri Chitragupta Swamy. ‘Chith’ means inner conscience. ‘Aptham’ means hidden conscience. Whatever we hold back in our conscience is brought out by Shri Chitragupta and plans the life of a person. Thus he got the name Chitragupta.
Yamadharma praying to Shiva for an Assistant
This version of the tale reveals that Lord Yama was finding it difficult to keep record of the deeds performed by chores of people in the earth. He wanted an assistant to help him maintain the record and thus prayed Lord Shiva for the same. The kind Lord is said to have instructed Brahma Deva to provide Yama with an assistant. Brahma realised that it was possible only by Sun God (Surya Devan) to create such a person. So, Brahma is believed to have created a fire within the sun which turns him romantic. That’s when the seven colours of the rainbow integrate to forms into a beautiful maiden called Neeladevi. The sun God and Neeladevi together create a male child through their love who was born in the Tamil month of Chithirai and on a full moon day. Hence the child was named Chithraputhiran. This child is believed to have carried a book in his left hand and a writing nail in the right ever since birth. Since Chitragupta was born of a rainbow, people usually offer the deity with multi coloured clothes).
Chitragupta praying to Lord Shiva
Another legend informs us that Chitragupta performed severe penance worshipping Lord Shiva. The pleased Lord blessed him with immense intelligence and brilliance. In order to test the powers bestowed by the Lord, Chitraguptha began the job of creation. Brahma the divine Creation was offended by his act and thus complained it to the Sun God. The Sun God in turn advised his son Chitragupta that his actual job is to record the good and bad deeds of human beings and not creation, which is the work of Brahman.
Sun God instructing Chitragupta to help Yama
Lord Surya decided to get his son married in order to bring him into control. The Virgins, descendants of Shiva namely Mayabrahman’s daughter Prabhavathy, Manu Brahmma’s daughter Neelavathy, Viswa brahma daughter Karnagi were married off to Chitragupta. However Lord Yama who was annoyed by Chitragupta’s happy married life, complained to his father the ‘Sun God’ to send Chitragupta to help him at once. Thus Chitragupta went along with his wives to Yama’s world and is still there accounting the goodness and evil activities of mankind.
The day of Chithra Pournami (full moon day of the Chithrai month) witnesses special pooja commemorating the birth and marriage of Chitragupta.
Poojas / Sevas
Below mentioned are the special Pujas performed in this temple.
- Parihara Abishekam
- Sarpa Dosham / KalaSarpa Dosha, Rahu, Ketu Pooja
- Parihara Chitranna Milk Abishekam
- Rahu Ketu Peyarchi
Devotees are of the opinion that Chitragupta is the Athi Devathai for Kethu, which is one of the Navagrahas. Hence any offering made to Chitragupta is said to relieve us from sorrows and hardships due from Kethu dosha. The offering comprises of cereals, seven lamps, and multicolor clothes with an Abhishekam.
People worshipping Chitragupta at the temple is said to be blessed with wealth and prosperity. Few believe that visiting Kalahasti alone for Naga dosha is incomplete, since Kalahasthi is only a Rahu Parihara sthala. Hence they recommend a visit to this Chitragupta temple on the same day, which will provide complete relief from Naga dosha.
- Sree Sakthi Residency
Address: 71 Nellukkara Street, Kanchipuram 631502, India
- Yatri Nivas
Sri Kamakshi Amman Sannadhi Street
- Hotel Tamil Nadu
Opp; Railway Station, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu - 631 502
How To Reach Chitragupta temple, Kanchipuram
Chitragupta temple is adjacent to the Kanchipuram Central Bus Stand. The closest located Railway Station is the Kanchipuram station while the nearest airport is the Chennai Airport.
Hospital Road, Nellukara street,
Near By Kanchipuram Bus Stand,
Kanchipuram – 631501.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Removal of adverse effects of Kethu transit
- Restoration of lost property
Daivi Hyesa Gunamayi Mama Maya Duratyaya Mameva Ye Prapadyante Mayametam Taranti Te
Meaning -According to this sloka, the heavenly maya of God is very complicated, but those who worship God will be able to overcome it.
Balam Balavatam Caham Kamaragavivarjitam Dharmaviruddho Bhutesu Kamo'smi Bharatarsabha
Meaning -According to this sloka, God is the isolated and aloof strength of the controlling and virtuous craving in men.
Ye Caiva Sattvika Bhava Rajasastamasasca Ye Matta Everti Tanviddhi Na Tvaham Tesu Temayi
Meaning -According to this sloka, though the only source of satva, rajas and tamas (good, obsessive and dark) elements is God, they are not present within the God or the deity.
Tribhirgunamayairbhavairebhih Sarvamidam Jagat Mohitam Nabhijanati Mamebhyah Paramavyayam
Meaning -According to this sloka, the entire world doesn't recognize the eternal God beyond them, because they are consumed by the elements of satva, rajas and tamas (good, obssessive and dark).
The temple is open from 6 A.M to 9 P.M