Andhra Pradesh has plenty of historical monuments. It has temples with architectural beauty, which attract many pilgrims and tourists from all over. Tirumala lies in the midst of the Seshachalam hills, which are 2,000 feet above the sea level. It has also worldwide importance as a major tourist centre.
Srikalahasti is also a famous pilgrim centre and the temple here is dedicated to Lord Siva known as Vayulingam and considered as Dakshina Kasi. Apart from those two temples there is another famous temple in chittoor district that is Sri Vara sidhi Vinayaka Temple which is significant for its purity and rich heritage.
Kanipakam (The abode of Magnificent and Mysterious Vinayaka)
Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple or Sri Varasidhi Vinayaka Swamy Temple is a Hindu temple of Ganesha. It is located in Kanipakam in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, India. This historic temple is in Kanipaakam in Irala Mandal, Chittoor District. It is about 11 km from Chittoor town. Kanipakam is a small village on the bank of Bahuda River. "Kani" means wetland and "Pakam" means flow of water into wetland. The temple is a very ancient temple and the Idol is a Swayambhu and the devotees are drawn from different parts of the world and with the firm belief that this is the Prathyaksha Daivam and truth prevails on confession. Day by day there is an increase in the number of Devotees visiting this temple.
During the British rule in India, on account of their unmistakable divine experiences, it was a practice to ‘acquit’ an ‘accused’ if he were to swear at the threshold of Lord Vinayaka In Kanipakkam. Such was the influence this ‘Affectionate Vinayaka’ wielded on the practical western minds! If an accused were to claim his innocence in the presence of the ‘lord at kanipakkam’ it was legally accepted in the chittoor court as a divine approval of his veracity.
About The Temple
The temple was built in the early 11th Century CE by the Chola King, Kulothunga Chola I. It was expanded in 1336 by the Emperors of Vijayanagara Dynasty. This temple is 500 years old. The well from where Lord Vinayaka appeared as Swayambu still exists. The well water is offered as Prasad to the devotees. There is also a Nagar (Snake) shrine in the temple, worshipped by the devotees for relief from snake aspects. During Nijaroopa Darshan, devotees can have a glimpse of the deity in all its majesty, as the “Nijaroopa Darshanam”, i.e., that it is holy in its truest form. One can see water around Varasiddi Vinayaka main idol during this time.
The sub temples include:
1. Sri Veeranjaneya Swamy temple
2. Sri Varadaraja Swamy temple
3. Sri Manikanteswara temple.
The above three temples are very nearer to the main temple and there is a master plan get the three temples in one compound.
About the Deity
The first part of every mantra is ‘Om’. Om symbolizes ‘Ganapathi’ the God of the Ganas, who fought against the demons and the rakshas (the evil doers). When the yagnas could not be continued and Rishis were not let to live in peace and to continue to perform the rituals they approached Lord Siva. Lord Siva was pleased with the penance of the Rishis and assured them that they would be relieved of their suffering. That was the advent of Lord Vinayaka as the lord of the Ganas assuming the position of Ganadhipathi. Lord Vinayaka is also called Parvathi Thanaya, Ganesha, Lambodara, Gajanana, etc., related to his birth. There are various versions in the Puranas like Padma Purana, Linga Purana, and Siva Purana about his divine birth and existence who is worshipped by Gods too, to overcome obstacles before their start anything. Even Pooja to other Gods and Goddesses begins with invocation to Lord Ganesha. Lord Vishnu proclaimed that worship revolved to any God is futile, if it is not invoked by the blessings of Lord Vinayaka.
The self manifested idol of Kanipakam (Swayambhu)
The idols are of three types. In some holy places the presiding deities are not manmade. They are self manifested. In some places Gods themselves install the idols of other deities. There are some holy places where idols are installed by humans and worshipped. Kanipakam Varasiddhi Vinayaka is a self manifested one. Soulful prayers of ardent devotees are well received and performing Abhishekam to the self - manifested idol fulfils are wishes. People affected by chronic diseases and Grahapeedas (planetary disorders) offer special sevas to the Swayambhu Vigraha and are sure to get relieved from the problems by His Grace. The striking feature of the Moola Vigraha (Main deity) is that it faces towards north, which is a rarity. The first rays of the sun, fall on the feet of the Lord. Gradually the sun rays disappear after reaching the head of the Lord. It is also believed that the ardent devotees and staunch believers can even hear the ‘Omkaranada’ (chanting of the ‘Om’) at midnight amidst silence. It is deemed that Lord Anjaneya stays to safe guard Lord Lakshmi Narayana as he dwells there.
1000 Years Old Magnificient And Mysterious Growing Lord
The presiding deity of Kanipakam is the all pervading power who casts a spell of divinity, purity and curative power. The silver armour which was quite ‘fit’ when it was donated in the year 1945 could not fit the idol as it was evident that the idol of Lord Vinayaka is gradually growing in its size and dimensions says Chandramouli Gurukkal, the eleventh successor of the chief priests.
Legend and Stories
Sthala Purana (history of the place)
Once upon a time there lived three farmers with physical deformities.They were dumb, deaf and blind by birth.They owned a piece of land. Water was drawn from the well by the Piccota system in those days. One of them used to irrigate the field through the channels. The other two used to ply on the Piccota. On one such operation, they found that the water in the well dried up and they could no longer continue their job. One of them got into the well and started digging it up. He was taken aback to see the iron implement hitting a stone like formation. Later, he was shocked to see blood oozing from it. Within a few seconds, the water in the well, turned blood red. Startled by this divine experience, all three became normal, getting rid of their deformities. As soon as the villagers came to know about this, they thronged to the well and tried to deepen the well. Their attempt proved futile because the ‘Swayambhu’ idol (the self-manifested) of Lord Vinayaka emerged from the swirling waters.
After this miracle, coconuts were offered and the theertham from the coconuts covered the entire area. This led to the modification in the usage of the word ‘Kaniparakam’ and was later pronounced as ‘Kanipakam’. Even today the idol is in the original well and the springs of the well are perennial and eternal. During the rainy season, the holy water from the well overflows even today. Another striking and strange feature of the idol is that it is still growing in size! At present we can see the knees and the abdomen of the idol. An ardent devotee had offered a ‘Kavacham’ (armour) to the lord fifty years ago, but today it is out of size and doesn’t fit the idol. The holy water from the well is offered to the devotees as Tirtham (Holy water).
The legend behind Bahuda River
Long ago there lived two brothers Sankha and Likhita. They were on a pilgrimage to Kanipakam. As the journey was tiring, the younger brother Likhita felt hungry. Disregarding the advice of the elder brother he plucked a mango from the mango grove. Sankha felt bad and reported this to the ruler of that area and pleaded for punishment for the sin committed during the pilgrimage. Thus Likhita was punished severely being deprived of both arms. Later they took bath in the river near Kanipakam temple. Lord behold! The chopped arms were restored to Likhita as soon as he had a dip in the sacred waters of the river. These incidents lead the ruler to rename the river as Bahuda (bahu means human arm). Thus the river beside Kanipakam temple is now known as Bahuda River.
1. Vinayaka Chaturti in August-September.
2. Ugadi (Telugu New Year Day)
3. January 1 (New Year)
Brahmotsavams and Utsavams
Brahmotsavam is held in Kanipakam for Lord Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka every year. It starts from Vinayaka chavithi and goes on for 20 days.The Utsavamurthi (Festive idol) is taken out in procession into town on different Vahanams.The soulful participation of the devotees is praise worthy.The float festival attracts pilgrims from all over the country.
Below are the Different Appearances of God:
- Hamsa Vahanam
- Peacock Vahanam
- Mooshika Vahanam
- Shasha Vahanam
- Vrishabha Vahanam
- Gaja Vahanam
- Thiru Kalyanam
- Vadayathu Utsavam
Morning Abishekam is performed on all the days of Bramhostavam. Hamsa Vahanam, around 6-7 P.M when Star Chitta enters Kanya lagnam.
The list of Vahanams in the Order is:
- Adhikara Nandi Vahanam
- Ravana Bhramha
- Yali Vahanam
- Surya Prabha
- Chandra Prabha
- Kamadhenu Vahanam
- Poling Seva
- Kalpvriksha Vahanam
- Puspha Pallaki
Full moon day attracts thousands of pilgrims. It is said that prayers offered overnight on a full moon day are well received by the Lord. Cultural programs one organized throughout the night. Garlands made of betel leaves, black gram and Tulasi adorn the Lord.
Details of Daily Sevas
Rs.551/- 2 persons allowed. Devotees will be given 5 laddus, ½ Kg of pulihora, 1 shesha vastram, 1 blouse piece, 1 silver dollar.
4.00 A.M to 5.00 A.M
This Seva is for awaking the swamy, its pleasure to have the first Darshan of Swamiji. This can be experienced only by having first Darshan at early Morning.
Rs. 150/- 1 or 2 persons allowed. Devotees should get minimum of 2 litres of milk
7.30 A.M to 8.00 A.M ,12.30 P.M to 1.00 P.M, 2.00PM to 2.30PM , 3.30PM to 4.00 PM and 5.45PM to 6.15 PM
Ganapathi Sahasra Namarchana
Rs. 151.00/- Pooja samagri will be arranged by devasthanam. Two laddus and two vada prasadam will be presented as prasadams.
5.30 AM to 6.00 AM,9.00 AM to 10.00 AM,11.00 AM to 12.00PM
Rs. 151/- 1 or 2persons are allowed. Devotees will be given 2 laddus.
9.00 A.M to 12.00 Noon
In Ganeshaporanam, this vratham has prominent role. This vratham was performed by Lord Krishna and Bramha. This Vratham can be performed by the couple those who don’t have children, for Business Development, for overcoming all the frustrations and especially for Court Case Salvations.
Ganapathi Modaka Pooja
Rs. 300.00/- Couple or single person will be allowed. Pooja samagri will be arranged by devasthanam.
Before 12.00 PM
Phodasa Ganapathi Pooja
Before 12.00 PM
Rs. 1000/- couple or single person allowed, pooja samagri will be supplied by devasthanam, chakkara pongali and pulihora prasadam will be presented
Rs. 200.00/- Couple or single person will be allowed. Pooja samagri will be arranged by devasthanam.
Before 12.00 PM
Rs. 500/- 2 persons allowed in the first instance along with children and 3 persons will be allowed later. Devasthanam will supply Pooja samagri.
5.30AM to 6.00AM, 9.00A.M to 10.00A.M , 11.00A.M to 12.00 noon,1.00PM to2.00PM and 6.15PM to 7.15PM
Pavalimpu Seva (EkanthaSeva)
Rs.150/- 2 persons allowed, Devotees should get the pooja samagri.
9.30 P.M to 10.00 PM
Sri Ganapathi and Ammavaru will be rested in Addala Mandapam in the temple. The newly married couples, couples to have the children, the couples with problems in married life can perform this seva and can get the problems solved.
616/-, 1 person or couple will be allowed per ticket. The devotees will be given shesha vastram, 1 blouse piece, 2 laddus and 2 vadas.
11.00 AM to 12.00 PM
The persons who are having KujaDosham (Objections for their Marriage) can get their problems by performing this seva.
250/-, 1 person or couple will be allowed per ticket. The devotees will be given 1 seshavastram, 1 blouse piece, 2 laddus and 2 vadas.
6.30 PM to 7.30 PM
They devotees will be having chance to keep the lord on their Shoulders and can go round the Temple and they send the lord to Sleep by swinging in the Cradle.
Rs. 500/- the Devasthanam will supply Pooja samagri.
9.00AM to 12.00 Noon
In Day to day life there is lot of competition and Objections for all the works, in the same way lot of frustrations in Education, Employment, marriage and Business. By Performing this Homam, One can overcome such Frustrations.
Ganapathi Modaka Pooja
Rs. 300/- Devasthanam will supply Pooja samagri.
Before 12.00 Noon
From the past History, we all know that Lord Vinayaka is Very Fond of Kudumulu; all the Hindus celebrate the Occasions by giving the Kudumulu as Food to Lord Vigneswara.
Ganapathi Sahasra Namarchana
Rs. 150/- Devasthanam will supply Pooja samagri.
10.00 A.M to 11.00 Noon , 1.00 P.M to 1.30 P.M , 3.30 P.M to 4.00 P.M & 6.00 P.M to 6.30 P.M
Ganapathi Patra Pooja
Rs. 58/- Devasthanam will supply Pooja samagri.
Before 12.00 Noon
Shodasa Ganapathi Pooja
Rs. 500/- Devasthanam will supply Pooja samagri.
Before 12.00 Noon
There are 32 Avatarams of Ganapathi. This pooja will be performed by using 16 of those 32 Avatarams. They will give the prasadams to devotees’ by performing archana to all the 16 Avatarams. Actually we get more peace and happiness by performing archana to one avataram. The result of performing archana to 16 avatarams can be unbelievable.
Rs. 300/- 1 person or couple allowed . It’s performed before 12 in the morning.
Before 12.00 Noon
Ganapathi was Very Fond of Coconuts, this seva can be performed by giving 8 Coconuts to ganapathi. By this one can get blessings from Ganapathi and all the problems will be solved, they can live peacefully.
Rs. 1000/- per family. Every Thursday.
Sri Ganapathi is decorated by different colour flowers in his Garbalayam and Antralayam. By performing this Seva one can get more wealth through Lakshmi Blessings.
Rs. 50/- (Auto & Scooter), Rs. 125/- (Car, Jeep), Rs. 150/- (Other Four wheelers)
Rs. 5/- per head. Done near Swami vari Kalyana Katta.
Rs. 516/- per each Pramanam.Everyday at 5 Pm
Navagraha Tiela Abhishekam
Sani Dosha Nivarana Jyothi
Sri Veera Anjaneya Swamy Archana
Sri Veera Anjaneya Swamy Harathi
Sri SitaRama Kalyanam
Sri Veera Anjaneya Swamy Vadamala Pooja
By this, the people who are having ‘Navagraha Dosam’ they can overcome the Dosam. The children’s who are having the problems in future can be eradicated by this Seva.
Akshrabyasam, Anna Prasana
Rs. 116/- 2 laddus & 1 Brass dollar will be given. Ticket should be taken before 12pm.
Namakaranam (Naming Ceremony)
Rs. 116/- & 1 Brass dollar will be given.
Subhakaryamula Aahvana Poojalu
Uthsava Murthy Harathi
Uthsava Murthy Archana
MahaHarati (Kumba Harati)
Rs.25/-, one person will be allowed, 1 Laddu will be given as Prasadam.(6.00 P.M to 6.15 P.M daily)
Rs. 1116/- is the minimum.
1. Saswatha Kalyanotsavam - Rs. 15,116/-
2. Saswatha Unjal Seva - Rs. 7,500/-
3. Saswatha Abhishekam - Rs. 7,500/-
4. Saswatha Ganapathi Homam - Rs. 7,500/-
5. Saswatha Puja - Rs. 1,516/-
6. Saswatha Nithya Archana - Rs. 1,516/-
7. Saswatha Vuchitha Prasadam - Rs. 1,516/-
4.00 AM to 9.30 PM
The time of the seva is between 5 pm to 5.15 pm everyday which is called Pramanam.
Various Darshans and timings
Nijaroopa Darshan - 5.00 AM to 5.30 AM, 7.00 AM to 7.30 AM,8.30 AM to 9.00 AM,10.30 AM to 11.00 AM
Athi Seeghra Darshan - 5.00 AM to 5.30 AM,7.00 AM to 7.30 AM,8.30 AM to 9.00 AM,10.30 AM to 11.00 AM,4.30 PM to 5.00 PM
1. Free Darshan - During temple timings apart from Abhishekam time.
2. Prathyeka Darshan (Special darshan) - Rs. 10/-. Entry through a special “Q” for darshan.
3. Sheeghra Darshan - Rs. 51/- (per person)
4. Nijaroopa darshan - Rs. 50/-
Prasad and Offering
Devotees perform milk abishek for relief from prolonged diseases and for solutions for problems among couples, money matters etc. They also perform Ganapathi Homam for which they have to register in advance. Prayers to God of passionate devotees are generally welcomed and performing Abhishekam to the self-showed symbol satisfies all our wishes. Individuals influenced by endless infections and Grahapeedas(Planetary issue)offer pujas to the Swayambhu Vigraha and are certain to get assuaged from the issues by his Grace.During Brahmotsavam, a special Laddu is prepared. It is auctioned to the public. Last year the Laddu’s weight was 21 kgs. Last year it was bid for 1.21 lakhs. The entire amount goes to the development of the temple.
A joint commissioner of Endowments Department heads the Devasthanam’s administration. There are nearly 75 employees working in various wings of establishment of Devasthanam.
Main source of Income
The main sources of income to the temple are seva tickets, hundi Collections, shop rents and land revenue.
The Devasthanam has few rooms nearer to the temple. There is a TTD choultry adjacent to the Devasthanam choultry consisting of more than 15 rooms. Apart from this there are hotels in and around the temple.There are 6 rooms run by the Kanipakam Devasthanam and 14 rooms run by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Choultries.
Guest rooms at Kanipakam
Donations are invited for constructions of rooms in the Guest House at an estimated cost of Rs. 2 crores 60 lakhs by the Devasthanam. Cost of each room is estimated Rs. 1 lakh 50 thousand. Donor’s name will be displayed and will be allowed to stay for 40 days in a year, free of cost.
Saswatha Nithyannandana Scheme (Free Meals)
There is no gift superior to Annadanam (donation of food). To provide food to the poor and hungry is a noble tradition followed by us since the Vedic times. Annadanam is offered on the interest accrued on the endowment made by the devotees in their name, on any day they prefer. Devotees can send any amount. Those who donate an amount of Rs. 1,00,116/- will be honoured as Maharaja Poshakas; those who donate Rs. 50,116/- will be honoured as Raja Poshakas; those who contribute Rs. 2,116/- will be honoured as Maha Poshakas; those who contribute Rs. 10,116/- will be honoured as Poshakas; and those who contribute Rs. 1,116/- will considered as donors. These donations under section 80 (G) are exempted from Income Tax. Every day at 12 noon, more than 300 tickets are issued for free meals near the Annadana Bhavan.
Best Time to Visit
September to February.
Ideal Trip Duration
Half Day to Full Day.
August to October and April to May.
Summer: Maximum - 45°C & Minimum - 22°C
Winter: Maximum - 28°C & Minimum – 15°C
Telugu, Tamil, English.
No Restriction with dress code.
Temples in and around Kanipakam
The temple of Manikanteshwara is very ancient. Archaeologists date this to the times of Rajakulothunga Chola. The legend is that he built 108 temples by ordain of Lord Shiva to relieve him from ‘Brahma Hathya pathakam’ (the sin of killing Lord Brahma). The temple is famous for its architecture. The exquisite sculpture is an added attraction to the temple.
Varadaraja Swamy Temple
The temple of Sri Varadaraja Swamy makes it a Hari Hara Kshetram. The width and height of compound wall of this temple is commendable and it stands as a land mark in the surroundings. The other temples inside are that of Sri Anjaneya Swamy and the Navagrahas.
Sri Boyakonda Gangamma Temple
This temple is a powerful Sakthi temple located at a distance of 70 km from Kanipakam. Sri Boyakonda Gangamma devi is a sister of Sri Venketeswara Swamy. This makes Sri Gangamma one of the most significant Goddess connected with Tirupati.
Ardhagiri Sri Veeranjaneya Swamy Kshetram
That Faith can move the mountain is proved at this temple. 15 kms away from Kanipakam is Sri Veeranjaneya Swamy temple of Ardhagiri. The famous temple that attracts devotees from far and wide has a legend. It seems in Treta Yuga, during a battle Lakshmana went unconscious. In order to save his life Lord Hanuman carried Sanjeevani Parvatha. During the Journey, a piece of Sanjeevani Parvatha fell here. Later that place was called Aragonda. It is a belief that the Sanjeevaraya Pushkarini (tank) water here never gets dried up. Devotees carry water from this pond for intake as it is said to cure all diseases and it stays fresh for a long period. It is the belief that the water cures acute cases. This has been proved in the cases of Psoriasis, initial stage of TB, Asthma, Cancer, Joint Pains. The experiences of the patients who were cured have been recorded and they stand as testimony to it.
- The significant feature of the Moola Vigraha (Main deity) is that it faces towards north, which is a rarity. The first rays of the sun, fall on the feet of the Lord. Gradually the sun rays disappear after reaching the head of the Lord.
- The main idol is said to be growing in size, year after year, and the silver Kavacham of various sizes since 1945, are displayed at the main entrance of the temple.
- Resolving disputes: It is believed that people come here and resolve their disputes by taking a 'special oath'. As per rituals the people in dispute take a holy dip in the temple tank and swear before the lord.
The significance of the Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka is that he is an upholder of ‘Truth’. Day to day disputes between people is resolved by taking a special oath (Pramanam). The people involved in the disputes i.e., both the parties take a holy dip in the temple tank (Pushkarini) and swear before the lord. It is taken as gospel truth. There are instances when the person who committed the sin voluntarily agrees as soon as he had the dip and much before entering the temple itself. It seems the lord dawns invisibly on the sinner and makes him repent and feel guilty for his sinful deeds. Thus the glory of Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka spread far and wide and the honorable courts upheld the ‘Special Oath’ in their judicial pronouncements.
The villagers of Kanipakam believe that the disputes are settled without the interference of the court, police and middlemen. It is all due to the purification of the hearts of the rivals under his divine spell. The guilty accept their guilt and pray to HIM for his forgiveness. Devotees who wish to give up bad habits like smoking, drinking, etc take bath in the pushkarini and take are oath in the temple at Kanipakam by contributing Rs. 516/-. People pray here for relief from snake issues. Every evening an event called Satya Pramanam is conducted in the temple. Those accused of cheating others on money matters and cheating women are asked to depose before the Lord if they are really innocent. No one can escape punishment awarded by Lord Vinayaka if they dare speak lies. Andhra devotees regard Kanipakkam Vinayaka as their Chief Justice.
Tirupati is the nearest airport. Direct flights are available from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai to Tirupati.
The nearest railway station is Chittoor. It is well connected to Bangalore, Chennai and Tirupati via Train. There are trains that travel via Katpadi or Tirupati, but do not touch Chittoor. In such cases, Katpadi (just 35km from Chittoor) or Tirupati (70 km from Chittoor), are convenient points to alight.From Katpadi/Tirupati, you can reach Chittoor by train or bus.
One can reach this place by bus.Regular APSRTC buses are available from Chittoor and Tirupati, Kanipakam is 11 km from Chittoor and 75 km from Tirupati.
Sri Swayambu Varasidhi Vinayakaswamy Vari Devasthanam,
Kanipakam, Irala Mandal Chittoor District – 517 131. (A.P) India.
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- To find resolutions to conflicts
Vakratunda Mahakaaya Suryakoti Samaprabha Nirvighnam Kuru Mey Deva Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvada
Meaning -I pray to thee O Lord, who has a curved trunk and a strong body, the shine of a million suns, to remove all the hurdles that may block me from all the tasks I intend to perform.
Agajaanana Padmaarkam Gajaananam Aharnisham Anekadantham Bhaktaanaam Ekadantam Upaasmahey
Meaning -The sun to Mother Parvati's lotus face, I worship Lord Ganesh, with the elephant face, the one who grants a lot of wishes, the one with the single tusk, I salute thee to grant my wish.
Gajaananam Bhoota Ganaadhi Sevitam Kapitta Jamboophaala Saara Bhakshitam Umaasutam Shoka Vinaasha Kaaranam Namaami Vighneswara Paada Pankajam
Meaning -Oh elephant-faced Lord, who is served by all the Ganas, who consumes the essence of Kapitta and Jamboophala, His favourite fruits, who is Uma's son, who destroys the gloom of His devotees, who handles hurdles, we worship your lotus feet.
Tatpurushaaya Vidmahe Vakratundaaya Dheemahe Tanno Danthihi Prachodayaat
Meaning -We meditate on the great power, we call upon the single tusked Ganesh, who grants wishes.
5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.