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SriVaishnavam - The Philosophy !
108 Dhivya Desam - Ashtabhujakaram

Location :  Kancheepuram  
Perumaal :  Aadhikesava Perumal (Ashtabhuja Perumaal)
Thaayaar :  Alarmelmangai (Padmasini)
Theertham : Gajendra Pushkarini
Paasuram  : ThirumangaiAzhwar, PeyAzhwar
Vimaanam : Gaganakriti, Chakrakriti
Travel Base : Chennai, Kancheepuram

Description: This Dhivya desam is located in the temple town of Kancheepuram, 1.5 km west of the Varadharaja Perumal temple.

The Dhivya Desams revered by the Azhwars in Perumaal Kanchi are Aththigiri (the vast Varadharaja Perumal temple), Ashtabuyakaram, Thiruttankaa, Thiruvelukkai and Thiruvegkaa, while those in Shiva  Kanchi are Thiru Oorakam (Ulagalanda Perumaal Koyil) , Thiru Neeragam, Thiruppaatakam, Nilaattingal Tundam, Thirukkaaragam, Thirukkaarvaanam, Thirukkalvanur, Thiruppavalavannam and Parameswara Vinnagaram. The vast Ekambreswarar temple (Prithvi Stalam)  revered by the Tevaram hymns, is located in Periya (Shiva) Kanchi, as are the Kamakshiamman and the Kumara Kottam temples.

 

Deities: The Moolavar here is Adikesava Perumal also known as Gajendravaradan or Chakradharar, in a standing posture facing west. Thaayaar here is Alarmelmangai or Padmasini. The image of Adikesava Perumal has 8 arms, with 8 weapons (the discus, sword, a flower, an arrow, the conch, a bow, a shield and a mace). The Utsavar has 4 arms bearing a mace and a spear.

 

The Temple: This temple with a single prakaram covering an area of about an acre has a 3 tiered rajagopuram in its northern entrance and the temple tank Gajendra Pushkarini across from it. There are shrines to Bhuvaraahar, Aandaal, PeyAzhwar and Hanuman.

 

Legends: This temple is associated with the legend of Gajendra Moksham (as in the Varadharaja Perumaal Koyil and Kapistalam), where it is believed that a devout elephant Gajendran, who was in the habit of making an offering of lotus flowers from the Ashtabhuja temple tank, to Perumaal was caught by the grip of a crocodile. The pleas of the elephant were answered by Perumaal who vanquished the elephant with his disc. Legend has it that PeyAzhwar was blessed with a vision of Gajendramoksham at this shrine.

 

Legend also has it that a vast army of titans sought to upset a ritual being conducted by Bhrahma and upon his request, Perumaal armed with eight different weapons warded off the intruders. Ashtabhuja Perumaal is Perumaal conceived and worshipped thus.

 

Festivals: Bhramotsavam is celebrated in the month of Chiththirai, and Gajendramoksham in Aadi.