Saturday, 13 July 2019

Parameswara Vinnagaram -Vaikunta Perumal temple, Kanchipuram - 8th century Hindu temple

Parameswara Vinnagaram  temple/Vaikunta Perumal (Vishnu/en.wikipedia.org/
A visit to Kanchipuram, Close to Chennai, Tamil Nadu  will baffle you, because this ancient city, once the capital of Pallava Dynasty, is endowed with so many historical Hindu temples whose antiquity varies. Among the 18 Vishnu shetrams - all Divyadesam shrines, Thiru Parameswara Vinnagaram or Vaikuntha Perumal temple is worth a visit. It is not a massive temple, but architecturally it is a beautiful one. 

Thiru Parameswara Vinnagaram or Vaikunta Perumal temple, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu dedicated to  God Vishnu is  Divayadesam shrine* one among the 108) glorified in the Divya Prabandham, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD.  Built in the Dravidian style of architecture, here Sri Vishnu is worshipped as  Vaikuntanathan and his  consort  being Lakshmi as Sri Vaikundavalli.  Six daily rituals  are done according to  Vaikasana Agama and Thekalai Sampradhayam.  The Pallava king Nandivarman II (720-96 CE), was the earliest builder of this temple and later   Medieval Cholas and Vijayanagar kings made further contributions.


Vaikunta Perumal temple, Kanchi, TN tamilnadu-favtourism.blogspot.com
Legend has it that the place where the temple is located was called Vidarbha Desa that was ruled by one Viroacha. Viroacha had no hair owing to his sins committed in the previous generation.  Upon intense prayer to Shiva at Kailasanathar Temple, the god gave a boon The Dvarapalas (the sentinels) of the Vishnu temple will be born as sons to him. The princes  grew up and became devotees of  Vishnu and conducted yagna for the welfare of the people of their kingdom. Quite happy over the young princes' devotion, God Vishnu  appeared as Vaikundanatha before them.  The belief is  Vishnu appears to devotees just like the way he appeared to the Dvarapalakas Pallavan and Villalan.
Vaikunta Perumal temple, Kanchi, TN tamilnadu-favtourism.blogspot.com
Vaikunta Perumal temple, Kanchi, TNtamilnadu-favtourism.blogspot.com
Pallava King Nandivarman II in 690 CE,  being a devotee of Vishnu not only  renovated old temples and but also built several new ones.  Parameswara Vinnagaram or the Vaikunta Perumal temple at Kanchi  has inscribed panels of sculpture portraying the events leading up to the accession of Nandivarman Pallavamalla to the throne.  Saint Thirumangai Alvar lived during his period. 
One king Abhimanasiddhi, according to 8th century inscriptions near the sanctum, donated  a bowl and an image made of gold measuring 1,000 sovereigns.  Again there was  a gift of golden bowl weighing ten thousand kalanju. Yet another gift of 3,000 kalanju of gold to meet daily expenses of the temple; all during the period of of Dantivarman I in 813.

The temple has a rectangular plan  with a  flat granite gateway tower. The vimana  resembles a Vihara, this being due to  a stepped pyramidal roof. The image of Vishnu has three  different postures  in different sanctuaries -  seated (ground floor), lying (first floor; accessible to devotees only on ekadashi days) and standing (second floor; inaccessible to devotees). This type of sanctum is rare in Tamil Nadu temples.  There are many sculptures and nicely craved images of gods, animals etc; architecturally it is a beautiful temple.

Mention may be made of  the panels of Mahendravarman I and Narasimhavarman I  and they show the battles with Pulakesin II of the Badami Chalukyas.  Other panels  show the search and the finding of a successor after Paramesvaravarman II's early death. The successor is  Nandivarman II, who built this temple.
Vishnu deity. Vaikunta Perumal temple, Kanchi, TN anudinam.org
The Vaikasi Brahmotsavam, -in Vaikasi (May–June), and Vaikunta Ekadashi- in Margazhi (December–January) are the two major festivals celebrated in the temple. Divine hymns  from Nalayira Divya Prabandham are recited by a group of temple priests amidst music.
It is an interesting temple to visit, a paradise for photographers. 
The temple is said to be  the second oldest extant temples in Kanchipuram after the Kailasanthar temple.  The entire temple is surrounded by a granite wall enclosing all the shrines and water bodies. Lots of devotees visit this temple.  The temple being  a protected heritage  monument, is under the management of ASI - the Archaeological Survey of India.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiru_Parameswara_Vinnagaram