Saturday, 13 July 2019

Pandava Thoothar Perumal temple - Kanchi - rare temple with Sri Krishna in Viswaroopam (giant size)

Pandavathoothar Perumal Temple or Thirupadagam in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, is  said to be one of three oldest temples in  this temple town; the other two being Ulagalantha Perumal Temple and Yathothkari Perumal Temple. Built by the Pallavas of the late 8th century AD, with later contributions from Medieval Cholas and Vijayanagar kings, it is a Divyadesam shrine 
glorified by the Azhwar saints of 6th–9th centuries AD. Here, Vishnu,  is worshipped as Pandava Thoothar Perumal 
and his consort is Lakshmi as Rukmini. Pada meaning  big 
and Agam meaning  residence; ''Thirupadagam'' implies that 
Sri  Vishnu resides here with his giant form. The temple follows  the Thenkalai  Sambrathayam  of Vaishnavite tradition and follows vaikanasa agama.
Pandava Thoothar Perumal temple, Kanchi, templepurohit.com
Pandava Thoothar is believed to have appeared before the  Pandava
brothers, hence the name. Three yearly festivals are given due importance and among them the Krishna Janmashtami festival, that is held in the Tamil month of Aavani (August–September) is quite popular and is celebrated with religious fervor and Bhakti. 
Pandava Thoothar Perumal temple, Kanchi tripadvisor.in
The legend of this temple has close links with  an episode in Mahabharata. The cousins Kauravas and Pandavas had  an eternal enmity over the rights to rule the kingdom. The foamer were greedy and evil minded people thoroughly misguided by their equally bad uncle Sahuni. Once Krishna was on a visit to Hasthinapura to meet Kauravas with a missive (message or in local language Toothu) from Pandavas. Duryodhana head of the Kouravas, being vicious as he was, in order to kill Krishna he had a huge pit dug, and  covered it with a carpet and a chair studded with gems. Besides, he had  wrestlers hidden in the pit to  finish  Krishna.  Krishna, being an  avatar of Vishnu took  
Vishvarupa - a giant form in the court. Dhritarashtra, blind father of Duryodhana was just overwhelmed and requested Krishna to make him blind again as he did not wish  to see anything after this  Vishwaroopa Darshanam.  Janamajeya, the great-grandson of Arjuna was blessed with Vishwaroopa Darshanam in the later 

period. 
God Krishna revealing his giant form- Viswaroopam upis.com
The temple has three inscriptions on its walls, two dating from the period of Kulothunga Chola I (1070–1120 CE) and one to that of Rajadhiraja Chola (1018-54 CE). The inscriptions  on the  western wall of the central shrine from the period of Rajadhiraja Chola II (1166-78 CE)  mention  about gifts of 32 cows for lighting lamps of the temple.Close to the Ekambareswarar Temple, he main entrance of the temple faces east.   The temple  with a rectangular plan has a four-tiered rajagopuram and a single precinct enclosed in the walls. The Maha mandapa is believed to have been built by the Cholas, whereas the adjacent hall, it is believed,  was built during Vijayanagara Empire. The sanctum has a huge image of the deity - Pandava Thoothar,  25 ft (7.6 m).tall.  Believe it or not such a giant image of  Sri Krishna  consecrated about 1000 years ago  is one of its kind in India, The Sri Krishna  is seen seated in Arda Padmasana posture with his right leg bent to the basement.  He  appeared as a human, hnce  there are only two hands to the deity, 
The east facing shrine has a  vimana  called Bhadra Vimana. The preceding hall to the main sanctum, Mukha Mandapa, has bronze images of the festival deities (Utchavars)  of the temple and Azhwars. The idol of  Arulala Permula Emburamanar, the disciple of Ramanujais a unique one here.  It is to be noted that his image is  rarely found in other Vishnu temples.  The Shrine dedicated  of Rukmini, consort of Krishna  is to the south of the main shrine.  The temple, with all  shrines and two bodies of water are enclosed by a granite wall

Azhwar saints such as  Peyalvar, Bhoothathazhwar,
 Thirumazhisai Aazhwar, Nammazhwar and Thirumangai 
Azhwar  have sung in praise of  the different forms of Pandava Thoothar. An interesting feature is there is separate shrine for  Saint Emperumalar  who, it is believed, was born in this plac. Once  he had a debate (Dhargam)  with saint Ramanuja for 18 days and finally became his disciple. 
    
 Krishna Janmasthami, celebrated during the Tamil month of Aavani (August - September) is a major festival.  The other major festival is during Bharani of Karthigai (November–December) in honour of Arulala Peruman Emperumanar.
The temple, with all  shrines and two bodies of water are enclosed by a granite wall.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandava_Thoothar_Perumal_Temple