Ashtabhuja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram: History, Timings, and Darshan

Ashtabhuja Perumal Temple Kanchipuram is one of 108 Divya Desams, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

About two kilometers separate this temple from the Lord Varadaraja Perumal temple. It’s located in Chinna-Kanchipuram. It faces away from the Yathoktakari temple. Under a Chakragosha vimana, the Lord is depicted standing and facing west.
The Lord is depicted here with eight hands, as the name suggests (Ashta means eight, Bhuja means hands). On the right, Lord Vishnu’s four limbs are seen holding an arrow, a sword, a lotus blossom, and the sudarsana chakra, or celestial discus. The four arms on the left are holding a mace, a shield, a bow, and a celestial conch.

Legends of Ashtabhuja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram

This temple’s Sthlapurana describes Goddess Saraswati’s subsequent attempt to stop Lord Brahma’s penance. She unleashed an army of devils this time.
Lord Vishnu killed all these demons. She then dispatched Sarabha, a strange kind of ferocious animal.
As previously said, Lord Vishnu took on an extraordinary shape with eight arms bearing eight weapons to defeat this beast, and he destroyed Sarabha. For this reason, the Lord is referred to as Ashatabhuja Perumal.

Gajendra Moksham at Temple Tank

Some people think that this is the location where God came to save elephant Gajendra’s limb from a crocodile. An elephant by the name of Gajendra is said to have visited the Ashtabhuja Perumal temple tank every day, picked a lotus, and offered it as a sacrifice to the Lord.

When the elephant was attempting to remove the lotus from the tank one day, a crocodile grabbed hold of its leg and pulled it inside. The elephant cried out to the Lord, pleading for help. The crocodile was killed by the God using his Chakra, freeing Gajendra from its grip. This occurrence is supposed to have happened in the temple’s tank.

This Ashtabhuja Perumal temple is special because it is the only Vaishnavite shrine in Kanchi with a Paramapadavasal, which is the entrance to Paramapadam, or Vaikuntam, the place where the Lord resides and which is where everyone desires to go to become one with the All-Pervading Lord.

The name of the goddess is Pushpakavalli Thayar. Here, worshiping the Goddess is customarily performed before worshiping the Lord.

Ashtabhuja Perumal Temple History

On the northern wall of the Astabhuja Perumal temple’s central shrine, there is an inscription in Tamil that refers to the region that Chola King Rajendran I ruled (1034 AD). In Eyir Kottam, a district of Jayankonda Cholamandalam, it documents the tax-free donation of 1000 kuli of land as devadana and the sale of 3600 kulis for 47 kalanju by the people of Kanchipuram. These people worship Thiru Astabhujagrahattu Mahavishnu, offering sacrifices to the deity and lighting a perpetual lamp in the temple.

An additional inscription in Tamil, dating to the reign of Kulottunga I (1110 A.D.), can be found on the southern wall of the Ashtabhuja Perumal temple. It details the donation and sale of specific lands by the assembly of Rajasundari Chaturvedimangalam, a Brahmadeya village, to fund the kitchen expenses of the Astabhuja Paramasvamy temple in Kanchipuram.