Kamatchi Amman Temple - Kanchipuram
There are many Amman temples in and around Tamilnadu, but the most famous and powerful temple is Sir Kamatchi Amman temple at Kanchipuram. This temple sprawls across an area of 5 acres, and is the most beautiful Amman temple next to Madurai Meenakshi Amman. The very first sight of this vast temple, will spur our devotional spirit. There are four towers ( kopuram) facing east, west, south and north. The inner tower of Kamatchi shrine is cladded fully with gold and it’s a spectacular sight to see this sparkling golden tower.
Sri Kamatchi amman has devotees from all over the world, the temple is always found crowded and is engaged in one or other celebrations. The sacred tank ( theppakulam) is located at the center and adds more beauty to the temple. Devotees after worshipping Goddess Kamatchi, sits beside the tank and enjoy the incredible ambiance. The architecture of this temple is purely Dravidian and is believed to be 1000 years old. Even though it’s an Amman shrine, other Hindu gods are also found. There are separate sanctums for Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Vinayaka, Lord Ayyappan, Lord Kalabhairavar, Goddess Mahisha Sura Marthini, Lord Shiva, Lord Muruga and the Kalvar Perumal (one of the 108 divya desa Perumal).
Kamatchi Amman Temple Location :
Kamatchi Amman temple is located at Kanchipuram.
It’s an unwritten fact that, all Ammans are vigorous, pious and furious, but against the law of nature Kamatchi Amman is very sublime, serene, and calm. Her face is carved in such a way that, just a look at it will soothe our tensed mind. She graces from her shrine in Yogic posture ( Padmasana Posture), and has four arms. In the upper left hand is the Sugarcane bow, in the right upper hand is the Lotus and parrot, in the lower hands she has powerful weapons ( pasana, angusa). The posture of Goddess insists that, She is the ruler of the world and all the happenings in this universe is under her control.
Kamatchi Shrine is located in Gayathri Shrine (mandapam) and the tower above her shrine is embellished with gold. In the beginning Kamatchi Amman was also very furious, vigorous and angry, later She was calmed down by Sri Adhi Shankara Charya. He is the one who realized the anxiety of Goddess Kamatchi and installed a Divine Charkara in front of her and sang a song to personify Her. Kamatchi was very pleased by Sri Shankara charya’s devotion and blesses him in a very calm state. A moon shaped crown adorn Goddess Kamatchi’s head. Anointments were done to both the Goddess idol and Sri Chakra.
The legend has it that, Goddess Parvathi in order to marry lord Shiva, performed hard penance. Once She was praying to Lord Shiva, by creating a mud idol in Kanchi. To test the perseverance of Parvathi, Lord Shiva created a massive flood, Parvathi suddenly hugged the sand idol of Lord Shiva and saved it from dissolving. She also did penance by standing on the tip of the needle, surrounded by five fire pits (pacha Agni). Pleased by her devotion, lord Shiva appeared before her and married her.
Yet another legend is that, Goddess Mahalakshmi was cursed by Lord Perumal to be born as Arupa. Lakshmi did many atonement to get rid of her curse, but finally got relieved only after getting vermilion from Goddess Kamatchi.
Greatness of the Goddess
It is a belief that, many decades ago the king Dhasaratha and his wife, were childless. They visited all the temples in India praying for a child. At last they visited and did “Putra Kameshi Yagam” (a ritual for child birth) at Sri Kamatchi temple and was rewarded with a child by the blessings of Sri Kamatchi. Dharasatha was touched by Sri kamatchi’s blessing and offered her all his wealth.
Saint Adhisankara is a renowned saint of India, his fame has reached all over the world. He has attain enlightenment at Sri Kamatchi Peeda (Stand). He was born and brought up in Kerala, as he traveled across India, he happened to come to this temple, as he stepped inside the temple, he was stunned to find an incredible power inside the shrine of Goddess Kamatchi. Later he found out that Goddess Kamatchi was very furious and angry, so in order to pacify her he created a divine chakra (Wheel) and placed before the Goddess. This divine chakra calm down the Amman and turned her to the peaceful mode. He later established Kanchi Kamakodiagal Ashram and attained enlightenment ( Sarva Nyanam).
Yet another miracle of this temple is, once a dumb devotee named Mookan visited this temple. He begged Goddess Kamatchi to restore his speaking ability. Seeing his ceaseless prayers, Kamatchi blessed him with vocal gift. He later became a great poet and started writing songs on Shri Kamatchi.
Kamatchi Amman Temple Festivals:
Like all Amman temples, Tuesdays and Fridays are very special. Navarathri falls in the month of August and is celebrated grandly. Other than that Bhramotsavam and Pournami (Full Moon Day) are also famous festivals in this temple. The temple is open from 5 am to 12 am then from 6pm to 9.30 pm.
How to reach Kamatchi Amman Temple ?
Sri Kamatchi temple is located in Kancheepuram near Chennai. There are many buses from Chennai to Kanchipuram. From Kanchipuram you can take a taxi or bus to reach this temple.
Nearest railway station is at Chennai.