Kanippakkam is the small village situated at Chittor District of Andhra Pradesh. “Kani” means a portion of the land; “Pakam” depicts the flow of water on the land. Hence the place got its name. The place is famous for a few temples. The place is one of the major pilgrimage destinations in the State. River Bahuda flows in the area. Kanippakkam was earlier known as Vihara Puri.
As the place encompasses both Saivaite and Vaishanvite temples, it is called as Sri Hari Hara Kshetram and Sri Shiva Vishnu Kshetram.
Sri Vara Siddhi Vinayaka Temple
This temple is dedicated to the worship of Bhagwan Ganesha and is commonly known as Kanippakkam Vinayaka Temple. Here the vigraha of the main Deity is self-manifested (Swayambu).
As per the legend, there were three brothers. One could not talk, the other could not see and the third one could not hear. Together, they were digging up a drywell for water as the area was drought hit at that time.
When they were digging, the two of the brothers sighted blood oozing from a rock. Soon on touching the blood, their deformities had vanished. They got surprised and called the villagers for help. The villagers were surprised to see the blood and they tried to wash away the blood with water. Then the idol of Sri Vinayaka emerged.
Soon on sighting Sri Vinayaka, they had broken a coconut to offer as Neivedyam. But from the broken coconut, huge amount of water gushed out in a stream.
The villagers had decided to worship Sri Vinayaka idol at the same place. Sri Vinayak is named as Sri Vara Siddhi Vinayaka. The ancient well is the main sanctum now. Even now, in winters, water springs appear there. The water from the main sanctum is given as theertham to the devotees.
Sri Vinayaka Murthy is growing. Now the knees and the abdomen of the Deity are visible. The Kavacham / armor used 50 years ago could not be fitted to the Murthy now. Nijaroopa Dharisanam without any armor is offered to the devotees early in the morning.
As per the legend, it is believed that Sri Vinayaka would keep growing in size till the end of Kali Yuga and that He would appear directly thereafter.
Sri Vara Siddhi Vinayak at this temple is revered as the crusader and upholder of truth. Every evening, the instance of Sathya Praman takes place.
If a devotee has to prove its innocence, he takes a holy dip in the temple tank and take an oath in the presence of Sri Vinayak Murthy. It is believed that those who lie in His presence would be punished. The practice of lighting a mud lamp named Sathya deepam is also being followed.
The devotees sincerely vow to ardently perform milk abhishkam to Sri Vara Siddhi Vinayak of this temple and pray to Sri Vinayak for the alleviation of their problems and worries. They believe that their troubles vanish on this prayer and they do perform abhishekam with devotion.
It is believed that the ill effects of Kethu planet alignment would be cured if the devotees pray to and worship Sri Vinayaka at this temple.
The procession Deity, the urchava murthy of Sri Vinayak is with Sri Siddhi and Sri Buddhi. Kalyanam urchavam is done to this swamy regularly.
It is believed that the temple was built in 11th Century by the Chola King Kulothunga Chola I and was later expanded by Vijaya Nagara Kings in 1300s.
There is a dedicated shrine for Sri Veera Anjaneya Temple in the main mandapam. The temple also has a dedicated shrine for Sri Naga. Devotees worship here for alleviation of Naga dosham in their horoscope.
The temple has a golden chariot. Devotees perform anna praasana (giving first solid food to the new born baby) and aksharabyaasam (first education to the child) functions.
The temple tank is in front of the temple.
Vinayaka Chathurthi festival is celebrated as 21 days Brahmotsavam in the temple. The temple is under the auspices of Thirumala Thirupathi Devasthanam (TTD). At that time, the float festival is observed at the temple tank.
The temple is open from 04.00 A.M to 9.30 P.M. The day commences with suprabhatha seva / bindhu theertha abhishekam followed by nijaroopa darshan, panchamrutha abhishekam, pala abhishekam, poolangi seva (only on Thursdays), maha aarathi, unjal seva and ekantha seva. Kalyana mahotsavam and Ganapathi homam are conducted frequently.
There is also the practice of getting blessings through vedic chants. The devotees gather in a mandapam and they all are blessed by the vedic scholars with vedic chants.
Sri Manikandeswara Temple
This temple is near Sri Varasiddhi Vinayak Temple.
The temple is ascribed for the worship of Bhagwan Shiva. The temple is believed to be built by the Chola King Kulothunga who had vowed to build 108 Shiv Temples. Bhagwan Shiv is called as Sri Manikandeswara and His consort Sri Parvathi Devi is called as Sri Marakathambika. The temple is said to be built as per Sri Viswakarma design.
As per another legend, it is believed that the King Sri Raja Raja Narendra had built this temple to alleviate Brahma-hathya dosha.
Sri Nandi Deva opposite Sri Manikandeswara is in an enclosure. On the perambulation of the main sanctum, we can have the blessings of Sri Vinayaka and Sri Subramanya. On the outer walls of the Garba Graha, Sri Vinayak, Sri Dakshina Murthy and Sri Durga Devi are depicted.
Special Kumkuma archana is done to Sri Marakathambika.
As Sri Manikanda is the other name for Bhagwan Sri Ayyappa, some devotees refer to this temple as Sri Ayyappa temple.
The temple is open from 05.00 A.M to 08.00 P.M. The morning Puja is called Suprabatha Seva. Archana and abhishekam are done on regular basis. Apart from these, Pradosha Kala Puja, Pournami Puja, Rudra Homam, Chandi Homam, Maha Kumba Arathi and Sarpa dosha Puja are done.
Sri Varada Raja Swamy Temple
This temple is also nearby Sri Varasiddhi Vinayak Temple.
This is ascribed for the worship of Sri Maha Vishnu who is called as Sri Varada Raja Swamy. He blesses us with Sri Devi and Bhu Devi on either side. His consort Sri Mahalakshmi is called as Sri Perundevi Thayar. Both Swami and Thayar shrines are in the main sanctum. There are dedicated shrines for Thayar, Andal, Alwars and Sri Anjaneya.
It is believed that conducting Sathya Narayana Puja at this temple shall bestow auspicious and virtuous benefits to the newly married couple.
The temple is open from 05.00 A.M to 08.00 P.M. The morning Puja is called Suprabatha Seva. Maha abhishekam is done every Friday. Apart from regular Archana, Sahasra Nama Archana, Sudarshana Homam, Thomala Seva, Nithya Kalyanam and Maha Arati are conducted.
Ardhagiri Anjaneya Swami Temple
This place is situated at a distance of 18 Kilometers from Kanippakkam. As per the legend, during Ramayana war, Sri Bharatha had stayed back waiting for call from Sri Ram. He was staying at a forest nearby. At that time, to revive Sri Lakshman, Sri Hanuman was transporting Sanjeeva Parvatham from Himalayas.
Sri Hanuman was passing by the forest where Sri Bharatha stayed. To Sri Bharatha, who did not know about Sri Hanuman then, had mistaken the moving mountain as a Rakshas; So he had sent an arrow to break the mountain. A piece of the mountain fell on that place.
Sri Bharatha had later realized that it was Sanjeevi Mountain carried by Sri Anjaneya.
A Hanuman temple was built in that area. Ardhagiri means half mountain.
The temple is in a picturesque place. We have to go past the temple tank to reach the sanctum. There is a pathway at the tank steps which lead to the sanctum. The sanctum can also be reached by walking past the tank.
The main sanctum is in the huge hall. After Dwajasthambam, there is a pathway to reach the sanctum. Sri Anjaneya Swamy is depicted in the stone pillar. We are blessed with His profile pose. After having His darshan and doing archana, we have to take the perambulation.
The entire temple premises is serene.
After coming out from the temple, we can sight a small hillock with steps. The hillock houses Sri Sastha temple and at the top, we have a Shiv temple. We have to enquire about the availability of the Pujaris there before mounting the steps.
At the green space near temple tank, there is a miniature Shiv Ling with a miniature Nandi. Though the entire area is abounded with monkeys, the visit to the temple is really a rejuvenating experience.
Kanippakkam can be reached by bus from Chittoor. The bus stand is very near Sri Vara Siddhi Vinayak temple.
The other temples in the surrounding area are Sri Subramanya Swami Temple at Valli Malai, Sri Mogiliswara Swamy Temple at Bangaru Palayam, Sri Boyakonda Gangamma temple at Diguvapalli and Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy temple.