Kamakshi Amman Temple is one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas devoted to Goddess Kamakshi. It is located in the historic city of Kanchipuram, near Chennai, India. Its construction is credited to the Pallava kings, whose capital was in the same city. It is said that the original statue was seen with two hands adorning a parrot in her right hand. The two handed goddess was said to be ruined during wars and invasion and was replaced by a golden idol by the Vijayanagara Empire. The main Deity is seated in Padmasana which signifies peace and prosperity. It is the only goddess temple in the city of Kanchipuram out of the hundreds of temples in the city.
Legend of the Kamakshi Amman Temple
According to the famous legend of Goddess Sati who married to Lord Shiva against his father Prajapati Daksha wishes. As a result he insulted Shiva and Sati, and not invited them in the grand Yagya where all the gods were invited. Sati went to yagya even when she was not invited and as a result she was insulted by Daksha. Unable to withstand this insult, Sati sacrificed herself in the fire. Lord Shiva became angry at his wife’s death and wild, grief-stricken Shiva wandered the universe with her half-burnt corpse. To overcome this grief, Shiva has to get rid of Sati’s corpse but his love wouldn’t let him do it. Finally, Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshan Chakra to dismember her body into 51 parts, each of which fell on different places on the earth, each creating a Shakti Pitha. The Kamakshi Amman Temple was the place where the navel of Goddess Sati fell and now it is revered as the holiest place to worship goddess Sati.
According to another famous legend, Adi Shankaracharya placed the Sri Chakra on the Shrine.
Architecture of the Temple
The temple is built in an area of 5 acres. The sanctum houses the image of Kamakshi in seated posture and is surrounded by the trinity of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. There are smaller shrines of Bangaru Kamakshi, Adi Shankara. and Maha Saraswathi around the sanctum. Everyday the temple rituals start with the Gau Pooja and Gaja Pooja. There is a separate shed with elephants, which performs pooja to the deity by trumpeting every day early morning 5.AM. In front of the Grabagraha there is a Gayatri Mandapam to the right of the shire we can see the deities arupa lakshmi, swaropa lakshmi. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
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