Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple
LocationKanipakam Vinayaka Temple is located at Kanipakam village in Irala mandal in Chitoor district of Andhra Pradesh. It is situated just 11 km away from the district headquarters. The temple is popularly known as “Sri Varasidhi Vinayaka Swamy Temple”. It is the holy residence of Lord Ganesha, also known as Lord Vinayaka in South India. The idol of Lord is self-manifested one. Kanipakam is very close to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu borders.
About the TempleThe temple was established in the early 11th century by Kulothunga Chola, the great Chola King and then developed further by the rulers of the Vijayanagara dynasty. There are many myths and legends associated to the temple.
According to one legend, there were three brothers who used to live in this village. Each one was born with physical deformities. They were deaf, blind and dumb by birth. As they were farmers, they used to earn their livelihood by cultivating their small piece of land. In ancient times, the water was drawn from the well by the Piccota system.
Therefore, one of those farmers used channels to irrigate their fields, while the other two used to draw water. One day, they came to know that the water in the well dried up. To see the actual cause of it, one of them got into the well and started digging it up. As he was doing his work, his shovel struck a stone like formation. He was shocked to see blood coming out from it. The clear water of the well soon turned into blood red colour. Thus, amazed by this divine experience, all the three brothers got rid of their deformities on the spot. As soon as the villagers came to know about this miracle, they flocked to the well and tried to dig the well further. But their attempt goes in vain as the “Swayambhu” idol of Lord Vinayaka emerged from the whirling waters. The villagers started to offer coconuts with prayers beneath the new idol and as a result, coconut’s water covered the entire area of 1.3 acres. Kani symbolises wetland and Parakam means flow of the water in Tamil. This lead to the name of the village as “Kaniparakam” and later was pronounced as “Kanipakam”. Even today, the original well exhibits the real idol. The springs of the well are considered as eternal. The holy water from the well overflows even today, during every rainy season. The most interesting and striking feature of the idol is that it is still growing in size. The knees and the abdomen of the idol can be seen at present. An avid devotee had offered a “Kavacham” to the Lord fifty years ago and now it doesn’t fit the idol and out of size. Theertham, the holy water from well is offered to every devotee who comes here.
One more legend associated to the temple is of Bahuda River. There were two brothers named Sankha and Likhita who was on pilgrimage to Kanipakam. As the journey was long and tiring, Likhita felt hungry and without his elder brother advice, plucked the mango from mango grove and ate it. Sankha felt bad and reported this incident to the ruler of the area and demanded punishment for this sin. Thus, Likhita was punished severely which resulted in loss of his both arms. Before entering the Kanipakam temple, they took bath in the river flowing near to the temple. As soon as Likhita took a dip in the sacred waters of the river, his chopped arms were restored. This miracle leads the ruler to rename the river as Bahuda River (bahu means human arm).
The Swayambhu idol of Lord Vinayaka is the upholder of the truth. The villagers of Kanipakam have a belief that, without the interference of the court, police and middlemen, the disputes are settled. It is all due to the purification and transformation of the hearts of the rivals under the Lord’s divine spell.
Best Time to VisitAugust to March
Temple TimingsThe temple remains open for public from 4AM to 9:30PM every day.
The annual Brahmotsavam commences from Ganesh Chaturthi which comes in the month of August or September. It goes on for 20 days with all traditional rituals and exuberance. The Utsavamurthi (Festive idol) is taken out in procession on all the days joyfully decked on different vahanams (carriages). The soulful participation of the devotees is mind boggling. This festival attracts pilgrims from all over the country.