Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple, also known as Sri Varsidhi Vinayaka Swami Temple, is located in Kattamanchi, Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. There is a small village named Kanipakam, which houses the temple. Kanipakam is a Tamil word, formed from two words – “Kani” (wetland) and “Pakam” (flow of water into wetland) which is based on an ancient story. The main deity of the temple is Lord Ganesha. The idol of Lord Ganesha is still growing in the size. There is a 21-days festival, being conducted in temple campus from many years which starts on the Hindu festival of Vinayaka Chavithi. The idol of the temple is self-manifested (Swayambhu) and emerged from the continually flowing water.
Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple (Source: Flicker Photos)
Significance of Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple
The temple is said to be more than a 1000-years old and its idol is silver-covered. It is growing in size and is visible up to the abdomen and knees. It is believed that the God at this temple is the upholder of truth. People come here to resolve to interpersonal disputes and take a special oath. The holy water, flowing beneath the idol is considered as Teertham and the holy dip in this water clears off the disputes among the people. The culprit of dispute realizes their mistakes and voluntarily agrees to end the disputes. This beautiful place has two more temples – Sri Manikenteswara Swamy Temple and Sri Varadaraja Swamy Temple, to visit in the nearby area.
Chola King Kulothunga Chola I constructed Kanipalam Vinayaka temple in early 11th century. In 1336, Emperors of VijayNagar Dynasty showed interest in the temple and expanded it further.
According to the worshippers and legends of the temple, there were three brothers in the village and each of them was handicapped – one was Dumb, another was deaf and third was blind. They were making their living through cultivating their small piece of land.
One day, they found that the well, which was being used for irrigation, no longer has water for their crops. One of them started digging the well using an iron tool. He stopped this act when the tool hit a stone-like formation. Later, the people were shocked to see the well as water, blood-red in color, was oozing out of the well and the three brothers, who were dipped in it, had got rid of their deformities.
Surprised by this event, the crowd tried to dig the well deeper but an idol, appeared from the swirling water to interrupt them. The same idol of Lord Ganesha is placed in the temple and holds utter importance in the heart of its ardent.
Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple is a rare Ganesha Temple, with Lord Ganesha, sitting in the Garbh Griha. Varsiddhi Vinayaka holds his consort Siddhi at his left. Over this idol, a small idol of Ganesha is placed, which is the ancient idol, talked about in the story.
Before renovation of the temple in April 1979, its original site was worshipped by the devotees. After renovation, an auditorium was added for cultural programs and other religious activities. The temple also has a Gaushala and Praharam, in front of the auditorium.
- From Ganesha Chaturthi, a 21-days festival called Brahmotsav is Held at the temple. So, the best time to visit the temple is August or September.
- The ancient idol of Lord Ganesha is growing in size. Fifty years ago, a devotee offered Kavaram for the idol which doesn’t fit the idol now.
How to Reach
Chittoor Railway station, well-connected with all major cities, is 12 kilometers away from the temple. Kanipakam Vinayaka can be easily reached from the railway station and can be reached. There are numerous buses available to the temple from Chittoor at each 30-minute interval. The temple stays open from 4:00 AM to 09:30 PM.