Visit Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple in Chittoor: An Amazing Spiritual Destination in AP (2021)
Nestled in the Kanipakam Village of Chittoor district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka Swamy Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Also known popularly as Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple or Vinayaka Temple, this ancient temple is believed to be ideated and constructed around the 11th century CE by Kulothunga Chola I who was a revered Chola King. The Kanipakam Vinayaka temple was then built again in the year 1336 by the Vijayanagara rulers. Chitoor is a district in Andhra Pradesh that is popular for being decked up with a number of famous temples and Kanipakam Vinayaka temple is one of them. The prime deity of the temple is Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka Swamy (Lord Ganesh) and it is believed to be a swayambhu or a self – manifested idol of Lord Ganesh. This historical Kanipakam Vinayaka temple located in the Irala Mandal of Chittoor district is also often referred to as the Shrine of Water.
One of the interesting facts associated with the Kanipakam Vinayaka temple is that it is reported that the idol size of Sri Vinayaka idol is increasing day by day. As a result, the armour which was offered to the deity about 50 years ago does not fit on the idol any more. Even the water found in the temple complex is believed to be immensely holy and there is a common belief in people that this water has the ability to cure various kinds of deformities. Lying at a distance of about 68 km from Tirupati temple, pilgrims often visit Kanipakam Vinayaka temple before paying offerings at Tirupati, since it is a Vinayaka temple.
History of Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple
Constructed in the early 11th century by the Chola King, Kulothunga Chola I and further rebuilt and expanded in the year 1336 by the emperors of Vijayanagara dynasty, Kanpakam Vinyaka temple is one opulent one. When the temple was expanded by Kulothunga Chola, a temple for even Lord Shiva was created in the complex to show his devotion to Lord Shiva as well as Lord Ganesha. Kulothunga Chola was quite a religious person who dedicated most of his life restoring and renovating the old temples and built many new ones too. He was a devotee of the Sun God too and while visiting Kanipakam Vinayaka temple you would be able to notice that its structure is pretty similar to the Pudukottai temple which was also constructed by him.
Other than its rich history, it is the legend surrounding the famous Ganesh idol of the Kanipakam temple which adds on to its religious significance. Though there are many legends but the most popular one speaks of three brothers who were dumb, blind and deaf by birth. They were farmers and needed water to irrigate their fields. When they found a dried up well, they decided to dig it more in search of water. One of the brothers started doing the work and was surprised to see that iron implemented hitting a stone–like formation. He continued to dig and soon he noticed that blood was oozing out of the stone and soon the entire water of the well had turned red in colour because of the blood. He immediately called the other two brothers as well to witness this miraculous event. Since the three were present and witnessed such a divine intervention, all of their deformities disappeared. When the villagers got to know about this miracle, they ran to the well and decided to deepen it further. However, they couldn’t as the self – manifested idol of Vinayaka emerged from the waters of that very well and they were not able to find the base of the deity. Even today, the deity resides in the very same well and its water branches are perineal as well as eternal. In fact, during the monsoon season, the waters of the well even overflow, thereby providing the devotees with holy water as Tirtham.
Major Attractions at Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple
- The Vinayaka Idol: The presiding deity of Lord Vinayaka in the temple is pretty exceptional as it keeps growing in size If the legend surrounding it is to be believed, then according to them the Kanipakam VInayaka idol of Lord Ganesh will keep growing in size until the end of Kaliyuga and then Sri Vinayaka will himself appear here in person. Owing to its miraculous idol, the regal Kanipakam Vinayaka temple has immense religious significance and importance among the devotees.
- Resolving Disputes: There is common belief among people that the swayambhu idol of Sri Varaddhi Vinayaka is an up – holder of truth. By taking an oath here, the disputes of people resolve. Among the devotees, it is a regular practice to take a dip in the holy waters of the temple tank and swear before the lord to prove their innocence.
- Festivals and Celebrations: Like all the other temples, a plenty of festivals are celebrated here. However, the splendour, celebrations and energy level on Vinayaka Chaturthi and English New Year Day are just simply unmatched. The annual Brahmotsavam is celebrated from Ganesh Chaturthi and goes on for 21 days. It is celebrated with complete traditional rituals. The idol is decorated colourfully and is taken out for procession on all the days in different carriages. Even the float festival of the Kanipakam Vinayaka temple attracts pilgrims from all over the country.
- River Bahuda: The Kanipakam Vinayaka temple is located along the banks of river Bahuda and there is a popular legend circulating behind it. The story says that there were two brothers – Sankha and Likhita who were on a pilgrimage. Once the younger brother, Likhita felt hungry, ignoring the advice of his elder brother, he plucked a mango from the nearby mango grove and ate it. His actions disappointed Sankha and he reported his younger brother’s actions to the ruler, who in turn punished Likhita by depriving him of both his arms. Later, while Likhita was taking a dip in the Bahuda river, a miracle occurred and his hands were restored. Hearing this, the ruler named the river as ‘Bahuda’ which means ‘human arm’.
How To Reach Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple?
- By Road: A.P.S.R.T.C buses are available from Chittoor and Tirupati quite easily. They operate on a regular basis to make it convenient for visitors. Kanipakam is about 11 km away from Chittoor and approximately 75 km from Tirupati.
- By Train: The nearest railway station near the Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple is Chittoor. There are plenty of trains available that are well – connected to places including Bangalore, Chennai and Tirupati. From the station, you can take a bus or auto to reach the temple.
- By Air: The nearest airport to the temple is the Tirupati Airport. There are a number of flights available from Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad to Tirupati. The next nearest airport is the Renigunta Airport which is about 16 km away from Tirupati.
Major Hotels To Stay Near Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple
Hotel Bhaskara: Located in Chittoor district, this hotel near Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple offers a stunning terrace. Some of the other facilities that visitors get to enjoy while staying here include a restaurant, bar, room service, free Wi-Fi throughout the property, a 24 – hour front desk and airport shuttle too.
Distance from Kanipakam: approximately 1.0 km away
Hotel Bliss: Located in the foothills of Tirumala Shrine, this is a 3 – star luxury hotel. Boasting of housing around 117 well furnished rooms, a multi -cuisine and a pure vegetarian restaurant, 7 banquet halls, bar, a swimming pool and a world class techno gym, stay at this hotel is going to be a comfortable, luxurious and a memorable experience.
Distance from Kanipakam: approximately 57.8 km away
Fortune Select Grand Ridge: If you are visiting both Tirupati and Kanipakam Vinayaka temple, this is an ideal accommodation. At a distance of about 1.5 km from the city centre, both railways as well as bus stations are close. This is a 5– star hotel that provides top class facilities at very affordable prices.
Distance from Kanipakam: approximately 57.7 km away
Popular Places to Visit Near Kanikapam Vinayaka Temple
- Sri Lakshmi Narayana Swamy Temple: Lcoated in Vepamjeri village of Chittoor district, this temple is known to house a number of shrines and idols of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Lord Vishnu along with his consort, Goddess Lakshmi took bath in the Pushkarini of the temple and taking a bath here can get rid of all your sins.
- Sri Mogiliswara Swamy Temple: This temple is known to have a Swayambhu deity idol here and is flooded with devotees from all over the country during the Mahashivratri festival. It is believed that taking a bath in Pushkarini here improves fertility.
- Sri Boyakonda Gangamma Temple: Located at a distance of about 100 km from Kanipakam, this is one famous hill shrines in the state. Plenty of pilgrims worship the presiding deity of the temple Gangamma on a day to day basis. The scenery around is actually picturesque.
Kanipakam Vinayaka temple attracts attention and love from devotees from all over the country.