Ashtabujakaram is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu.It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Ashta Bhuja Perumal and his consort Lakshmi as Alamelumangai.
The temple is originally believed to have been built during the rule of Pallavas. The temple has inscriptions from the period of Kulothunga Chola I indicating gifts of land to the temple. There are contributions mentioned in the same inscription indicating contributions from the local people for the perpetual lighting of the temple. There are inscriptions in the Southern walls of the temple from Kulothunga I indicating the sale of lands by Rajasundari Chaturvedimangalam to meet the kitchen expenses of the temple. Another inscription from the same period on the same walls indicates gift of tax-free land in Chola Chaturvethimangalam to the temple for two years and levying the tax of not more than 2 paise per veli subsequently. There are a lot of gifts endowed to the temple during the Pallavan kings.
Ashtabhujakaram temple is located in Vishnu Kanchi or Chinna Kanchipuram in Hodgosonpet, located 2 km away from Varadaraja Perumal Temple. The temple is a small one with a tank in front and has a three-tiered gopuram that pierces the concentric rectangular walls. The presiding deity of the temple is Astabhuja Perumal facing West, whose image in the central shrine is sported with eight hands. The eight hands are sported to have a sword, shield, mace, bow, arrow, lotus, conch and chakra. He is seen having Mahalakshmi in his chest and sported with a garland made of Saligrama. There is a separate shrine for Pushpakavalli Thayar, the consort of Perumal. There is a four pillared hall named Friday Mandapam in front of the shrine.
It is customary to worship Thayar before proceeding to the worship of Perumal. There is a shrine for Varaha Perumal in the complex, who is sported in seated posture under the hoods of two serpents. The temple also has shrines dedicated to Hanuman, Alwars, Andal, Chakra and Sarabeswara. The temple tank, Gajendra Pushkarani, is located outside the entrance tower.
Sri Aadhikesava Perumal Temple Kanchipuram
As per Hindu legend, once there was an argument between Saraswathi, the consort of Brahma and Lakshmi on superiority. They went to Indra, the king of celestial deities. Indra judged Lakshmi as superior and not satisfied with his argument, Saraswathi went to her husband, Brahma. He also chose Lakshmi to be the superior one. Saraswathi was unhappy with the decision and decided to stay away from Brahma. Brahma did a severe penance praying to Vishnu and did an Aswametha Yagna. Saraswathi was still angry that the yagna, which usually is done along with consorts was done alone by Brahma.
She tried to disrupt the penance in various ways, but Vishnu interfered in all her attempts. After all the demons were killed by Vishnu, who were sent by Saraswati to destroy the yagna done by Brahma, she finally sent a ferocious Sarpam. Lord Vishnu took the form of Ashtabhuja Perumal holding eight different weapons to kill the snake. The snake is found on the Vaayu end of the yaaga sala as "Sarabeswaran" in this temple. Another legend associates this temple to Gajendra moksham given by Vishnu to the elephant king Gajendra. As per the legend, the elephant Gajendra used to worship Vishnu with the lotus fetched from the temple tank everyday. Once while picking up lotus, a crocodile caught the leg of Gajendra, who started calling the name of Vishnu for help. Vishnu sent his discus to punish the crocodile and relieve the elephant.
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