Sri Varadharaja Perumal Temple Kanchipuram

Varadharaja Perumal Temple or Hastagiri or Attiyuran is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in the holy city of Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu, India.

The temple

It is an ancient temple built by the Cholas in 1053 and one of the 108 divyadesams the holy abodes of Vishnu. It is located in part of Kanchipuram called the Vishnu Kanchi that is a home for a lot of famous Vishnu temples, including this temple and one of the greatest Hindu scholars, Ramnujacharya is believed to have resided in this temple . The temple is a huge one on a 23-acre (93,000 m2) complex and is famous for its holiness and ancient history. Another significant thing about the temple are beautiful carved lizards and platted with gold, over the sanctum.The temple is originally built in 1053 and it was expanded during the reings of the great Chola kings Kulottunga Chola I and Vikrama Chola. In 14th century another wall and a gopura was built by the later Chola kings. It has got a huge Prakaram. The tower is also huge and beautifully carved. It is one of the 108 Divya desam. Lord Varadharaja Swamy resides in the upper prakaram. Beneath the sannidhi there is a shrine for Lord Narasimha. There is a separate Shrine for Perundevi Thayaar. Sudarshana, Azhwar’s Shrine is near the temple tank and it is in the outer prakaram. The architecture was from Chola and Vijayanagar kingdom. The stone chains in hundred pillared mandapam depicts the complicated architecture.


The Legend is that Lord Brahma worshipped Lord Varadharaja Swamy in Krita Yuga, Gajendra in Treta Yuga, Brihaspati in Dvapara Yuga and Ananta Shesha in Kali Yuga. It is believed that Airavata, the elephant of Indra in the form of a hill bears the image of Lord Varadharaja Swamy. The wonders and the greatness of this temple and the Lord Sri Varadaraja, who is also in other forms in the nearby temples in the Kanchipuram and the holy water are very much elaborated in the sacred text called “Sri Hastigiri Mahatmayam”.This is a great temple.


Kanchipuram Idli is a special prasadam available in temple. It is a huge Idli which is added with spices. Other Prasadams are also available.

Darshan, Sevas and Festivals

The temple tank, under which the deity Atthigiri Varadar is preserved.
Annual Brahmotsavam will be held on Tamil month of Vaikasi. Garuda Seva and Rath Yatra is very famous. Adhyayana Utsavam during Margazhi is also famous.
At the temple pond, one finds the shrine of ‘Atthigiri Varadar’. The deity of this shrine is carved out of a special type of wood, called Atthi wood. The deity is preserved under the pond, and is brought out only once in 40 years, for a period of 48 days. The next viewing of this deity is scheduled for the year 2019.


Bhoothathalvar, Peyalvar, Thirumangai Alvar have composed many paasurams in praise of Lord Varadharajaswamy. Vedanta Desika has composed lot of scripts praising the Lord. Thirukkachi Nambi is a noted devotee in this temple, who is one of the acharya of Sri Ramanuja. He serves the Lord here with Tiru Aalavattam (fan) daily. It seems Lord will speak to him regularly. Sri Koorathazhwan, the famous disciple of Ramanuja after arguing and got the success in proving Sri Vishnu Paratvam in the Chola’s court(KirumiKanda Chola) lost his eyes there.

After that, by the compulsion of Ramanuja he came here to this temple and compose “Sri Varadaraja Stavam” in praise of this lord. “Sri Sthuthi” was sung in praise of Goddess Perundevi Thayaar. On account of that, there was a huge sum of gold coins fell from sky in order to acknowledge the work. Varadaraaja Panchaasath was also written by Vedanta Desika and Devaraja Mangalam by Swamy Manavalamamuni in praise of Lord Varadharaja Swamy.