Athi Varadar – Lord Vishnu made of Fig tree, has raised from the temple pond on July 1st 2019 after 40 long years.
Athi Varada Perumal, 9 feet tall fig wooden idol is kept immersed in “Kanchipuram Varadaraja temple” Pushkarini (the temple’s pond) for 350 yrs, he raises out of pond once in 40 yrs.
Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple’s pond water was cleared to bring out the idol and placed in the temple mandapam for 48 days for devotees darshan.
There were footfall of lakhs of devotees every single day since day 1, to darshan Lord in the Sayana Kolam / Ranganathar Kolam (Lying posture). News is that the Lord will be placed in Nindra Kolam (Sri Venkatesa Perumal Kolam) in the last 10 days.
We were blessed to see him on Sunday 21st July 2019 in Sayana kolam, around 7pm, after waiting in que for 3.30 hrs, walked about 8kms from car parking to darshan.
We had planned for 2 days road trip from Bangalore to Vellore. On the first day we traveled from Bangalore, stayed in Vellore, traveled to Kanchipuram from Vellore for Athi Varadar Darshan. On the second day we visited Vellore Golden temple before we left to Bangalore.
For Athi Varadar Darshan: How We Reached Kanchipuram From Bangalore
- We started on 21st July Sunday Morning by 5.45 am from our home by car. We had breakfast at our all time favourite Krishna Inn in Shoolagiri (Right next to McDonald’s in Bangalore to Salem highways).
- Reached Vellore by 11am, had wonderful darshan in Vellore Shiva Temple – Jalakandeswarar Temple located inside the Vellore Fort.
- We checked in at the hotel Khanna Fiesta around 12 noon, took a much needed break from long drive before we got ready to leave to Kanchipuram.
- We had a light lunch in the ground floor khanna Veg restaurant, before we started our travel to Kanchipuram.
- We reached Kanchipuram before 4pm, parked our vehicle 1 km away from the Sri Varadaraja temple East gopuram. We then walked to East gopuram, left our footwear in the nearest shop, headed towards the gopuram entrance. We somehow had hope of getting special entrance for a fee, but we were told that there are no paid entrance, except for general que for all the devotees.
We joined the general que at 4.05 pm, walked among the flood of devotees, with the free biscuit pack and mini water bottle provided by the government service. There were people running among the crowd, some pushing and elbowing the people for a quick getaway, some lost temper and got into fist fights – but we stood in queue calmly to save energy to walk for 4hrs. Thankfully it was a slow moving queue, so we reached the darshan mandap in 3.5 hrs time, had wonderful darshan of Lord Athi Varadar in the Sayana Kolam.
There was also a special que from the temple entrance for family with elders and kids. Also there was a special que for devotees with VIP tickets, god knows how we couldn’t get one. For all of them it only took 45 mins to reach Darshan mandap.
There was a live telecast of the Lord and the pooja being performed to him.
There was also a team of doctors camp for first – aid just in case.
After Lord Athi Varadar darshan, we got back energy all the energy we lost standing /slow walking in the que. We came out of the temple (don’t know exactly which side of temple), walked for about 3 kms to reach the east gopuram to collect our shoes and walked for about 1km to reach our vehicle parking.
We have book marked the vehicle parking area in google maps, so it was no trouble getting to the vehicle in the dark.
- We then started the car and headed straight to Vellore, reached the stay by 9.30, with the rumbling stomach. We had dinner in the Veg restaurant where we stayed – Khanna Fiesta, Called Khanna Veg Restaurant in vellore centre town.
We didn’t want to eat in Kancheepuram because we knew from our last 2 times trip to Kancheepuram, we struggled to find good places to eat in the town (except for the monopoly Saravana Bhavan restaurant – taste and ambience not worth the money they charge). Wonder where people eat in this most visited pilgrimage place with footfall of lakhs of devotees all year round.
This was one of the reason for not choosing to book room in Kancheepuram, but even if we had tried we would not have got it in these 48 days.
Kanchipuram town is world wide famous for its unique traditional silk sarees. Kanchipuram is house for hundreds of handlooms for authentic and exquisite silk sarees manufacturing and retail sales.
Well, in both the visits in the past we have bought silk sarees from a famous shop. This time we didn’t plan for any shopping, our only intention was to get at least the glimpse of Lord Athi Varadar.
We were more than blessed to visit him on 21st july 2019, Sunday 7pm, a moment of glory with Lord Athi Varada Perumal.