Sri Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu is one of the 51 Shaktipiths devoted to Kamakshi Devi. The word Kamakshi is a formation of 3 words, ‘Ka’ which means ‘Saraswati’, ‘Ma’ which means ‘Laksmi’, and ‘Akshi’ means ‘eyes’. The name concludes as the god lives in Kanchi Kamakshi Devi with Devi Lakshmi and Devi Saraswati as both of her eyes.
The temple is located at Kanchipuram or Kanchi in Tamil Nadu.
It is one of the 51 Shaktipiths and a prominent one. It is believed that the ‘Adishakti’, ‘Navel’ part had fallen here.
Why it is a Shaktipith?
Devi Sati was the daughter of Daksh-Prajapati and despite him not agreeing to her marriage with Bhagwan Shiva, she got married. After this, he organised a Yagna, in which he insulted Shiva (who was not even present in the Yagna) in front of Sati. When sati could not handle the insult anymore, she flew into a rave and burned herself to death. After this incident, the horrific destruction continued, and Shiva went into grief carrying Sati’s body and roaming around the world.
According to sources, Bhagwan Vishnu, this way Shiva would destroy the world and therefore he cut Sati’s body into 51 pieces (some days 108 pieces) with his Sudarshan Chakra. The body parts fell into different places on earth, each part was a manifestation of the deity Adi Shakti, which later became Shaktipith.
Mythology behind temple
According to historical records, Kamakshi Devi was born to kill the Asur(devil) Bhandasur, she took Kanga Swarup and say in the temple. Later on, Devi Kamakshi prayed while standing on her one foot on a needlepoint, under a mango tree with a Shivling to marry Shivji, after long shiva got impressed by her dedication and appeared before her. He agreed to marry her as Kamakshi Devi, a divine form of Parvati. They got married in the month of Phalgun in the Uttara Nakshatra. One more story related to this temple pacifies that Darshrath, Father of Shri Ram performed ‘Putra Kameccha Yagna’ here to get sons. And thus it is believed that childless couples pray here to get a child.
Architecture and Idol of the temple
The temples spread across an area of 5 acres with many shrines, both small and big. The sanctum of the temple is called Gayatri Mandap. In the sanctum (Garbhagriba) there is a silver-covered pillar which has a hole in it, representing Devi’s navel. The door leading to the main sanctum is called Bilvadwar. It is also believed that the 24 pillars of the Gayatri Mandap represent 24 letters, Gayatri Chand.
The idol of Devi Kamakshi is sitting in Padmasana position signifying peace and prosperity. She has four arms, lower hands holding sugarcane and a bunch of five flowers. The upper hands hold Pasha and Ankush. The idol looks beautiful with a Green sari and mesmerizing Shringaar.
There is a total of 5 shrines in the temple dedicated to Kamakshi Devi, the main deity known as Sri Lalitha Maha Tripurasundari. The other four are Tapas Kamakshi (Devi who prayed under the mango tree and married Ekambarabathar), Anjana Kamakshi (Bhagwan Ram prayed to her), Swarna Kamakshi (also known as Bangaru Kamakshi, the form which was created from the third eye to serve as the shakti of Ekamranatha named Ekambika), Utsava Kamakshi (the idol which is taken during processions and festivals).
The Gopuram on the top of the main sanctum is also beautiful to take a glimpse of, it shimmers in gold. The temple tank behind the temple is called Panchganga.
Festivals are celebrated at the temple.
Alongside regular Puja and Prayers, many festivals are also celebrated in this temple. During the month of Phalgun, Bhagwan Shiva and Kamakshi Devi’s marriage is celebrated here. Couples desiring to get married should attend this celebration. Chaitra and Sharda Navratri is also celebrated here.
How to reach Kamakshi temple?
- By bus, the Kanchipuram bus station is at 800 meters distance from the temple.
- railway, the Kanchipuram station is 1 km from the temple.
- By Air, the nearest airport is Chennai International Airport at a distance of 75 km.
Kanchi Kamakshi Temple Pooja Timings,
In the Daily Darshan, rituals take place as worship in the temple. The general timing of the temple is
|Morning Puja Timing’s||Evening Puja Timing’s|
|5:30 AM to 12:15 PM||4 PM to 8:15 PM|
Famous temples near Kanchipuram
While a visit to Kamakshi Temple, devotees can visit some nearby temples as well which are as follows,
- Kaushimeshwara Temple – A temple dedicated to Bhagwan Shiv.
- Adi Kamakshi Temple
- Sankupanj Ganpati Temple
- Kumarakottam Temple
- Ulagalanda Perumal Temple
Address – Kamakshi Amman Sannathi St, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. 631502.
Website – www.kanchikamakshi.com
Contact number – +914427233433, +919445633433.