Sri Yathothkari Temple

Kanchipuram is the land of temples. Kanchpuram is a world renowned religious place with Shiva temples, Vishnu temples, Jain temples and Goddess Parvati temples. Sri Yathothkari Temple is a Vishnu temple in Kancheepuram. Sri Yathothkari Temple is the 47th Divya Desams out of the 108 Divya Desams all over the world.

Vishnu Temples in Kanchipuram

Legends behind Yathothkari Temple

Sri Yathothkari Temple is also known as Thiruvekka temple or Sri Son vannam seitha perumal temple. There are two popular legends behind this temple.

According to the first legend,  once Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Lakshmi had a dispute over who has the greatest merit over the two. Unable to settle the dispute between themselves, they both went to Lord Indra. Lord Indra decided in favour of Goddess Laskhmi to be the greater of the two, unsatisfied with the decision Goddess Saraswati went to his better half Lord Brahma and ask for a decision. Lord Brahma too ruled in favor of Goddess Lakshmi and declared her the greater in merit of the two, this angered Goddess Saraswati a lot. Meanwhile Lord Brahma had to perform a Aswamedhayaga in kancheepuram to fulfill his desire of meeting Lord Vishnu, since Goddess Saraswati was very angry Lord Brahma had to perform the Aswamedhayaga without his consort, which angered Goddess Saraswati even more. Goddess Sawaswati decided to disrupt the proceeding of the Aswamedhayaga and took the form of Vegavathi river and tried to drown the Aswamedhayaga. Lord Vishnu took Sri Deepaprakasar, Sri Velukkainathar, Sri Ashtabujar and Sri Yadokthakar in an effort to avert the disruptions to Lord Brahma’s Aswamedhayaga. In the last form which is Sri Yadokthakar, Lord Vishnu laid down on his serpent couch reposing before the stream of Vegavathi river. Goddess Saraswati was abashed and could not go beyond the reposing lord. Goddess Saraswati realized her folly and gave up her plans; she decided to enter a fissure on earth to proceed as an underground stream and reached the other end of the sacrificial site only to join Brahma in compromise. Lord Vishnu in this reposing form or lying posture came to be known as Sri Bhujagasayana meaning the Lord lying on the serpent couch.

Another legend states that once a great sage and poet, who also was one of the 12 great poets known as Alwars, Bakthisarar visited Kancheepuram and stayed there at the temple of Lord Bhujagasayana, a form of Lord Vishnu, serving Lord Bhujagasayana. Kanikannan a devotee of Lord Vishnu heard that Bakthisarar is in Kancheepuram and went to him to become his disciple. Days passed on fine until one day when the Pallava king of Kancheepuram Pallavaraya called Kanikannan to his palace and ordered him to bring his master Bakthisarar for some personal favor. Kanikannan refused the king’s request as his master Bakthisarar never left his abode to visit anybody. The king was angry but he again demanded Kanikannan to sing a song in praise of him. Kanikannan declined his request as he never sings for any mortals. This made the king very furious and he banished Kanikannan from Kancheepuram as punishment. Kanikannan returned to the temple and told the matter to Bakthisara. Bakthisara was very aggrieved listening to the story and decided to accompany his devotee Kanikannan to exile. Bakthisara prayed with Lord Bhujagasayana to accompany them. Lord Bhujagasayana could not see the pain of his devotee and decided to leave kancheepuram as well, so Lord Bhujagasayana came to be known as "Lord Yadokthakari or Sonnavannam Seida perumal' meaning the Lord who acted according to the wishes of his devotee. When the three of them exiled the city, kancheepuram went to darkness. The Pallava king got worried and he went to them with folded hands requesting them to return to Kancheepuram. Lord Bhujagasayana, Bakthisarar and Kanikannan abided and returned back to Kancheepuram.

Architecture of Yathothkari Temple

Yathothkari Temple is spread over an area of about 4 acres, has two prakarmas (open courtyards), a five tier rajagopuram (massive gateways) facing west. The main shrine is that of Lord Yathothkari or Sonna Vannam Seitha Perumal reclining on his serpent couch but his head on his left side instead of his right side in all other temples. He did so only to make the world know by this difference in his posture how faithfully he carried out the wishes of Bakthisara, the sincere devotee. Consort of Lord Yathothkari is known by the name of Sri Komalavalli. There is a separate shrine for Goddess Komalavalli. The sacred spot where the Lord spent one night in their company is called "Orirukkai" It is in the lotus tank of this temple that the first of the Alwars, the Poigai Azhwar was born in a Lotus of the poigai pushkarni or the temple tank. There is also a beautiful idol of Goddess Andal or Bhooma Devi, an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu who conquered Vishnu by her love and devotion. There is a shrine for Lord Ram along with Lakshman and Sita. Opposite to the main shrine there is a small shrine of Garuda.    

Temple entry timings in Yathothkari Temple

Temple is open from 07:00 am to 10:00 am and 05:00 pm to 08:30 pm. Puja are offered twice a day in this temple

Yathothkari Temple in KancheepuramFestivals celebrated in Yathothkari Temple

In the month of Asvija (September – October) Aippasi Thiruvonam day is celebrated as the Saturumurai day of Poigai Azhwar in this temple on a grand scale. A golden palanquin is used during festivals here.Also Vaikuntha ekadasi is celebrated for 22 days in the Tamil month Margazhi (December- January). The brahmotsavam of Lord Yathothkari is celebrated in asterism Revathi in the month of Panguni (March – April).

Temples near Yathothkari Temple

  • Kamakshi Amman
  • Aatcheeswarar
  • Kachi Anekadhangavadeswarar
  • Deivanayaka Easwarar
  • Satyanathaswami
  • Kalva Perumal

Hotels near Yathothkari Temple   

GRT Regency Kanchipuram Hotel
Address: 487 Gandhi Road, Kanchipuram
Telephone: 91-44-2722 5250

Hotel Tamil Nadu
Address: MGR Kovalam Road, Near Lighthouse, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, India
Telephone: 91-4652-246257

Hotel Kanya Residency
Telephone: 91-4652-248468

M.M. Hotel
Address: No. 65-66, Nellukara Street, Kanchipuram, India
Telephone: 91-44-2723 0023

Crescent Crest
Address: 10, NH 4, Chennai Bangalore Highway, Sriperambudur,, Kandur, India

Address of Sri Yathothkari Temple

Sonnavannam Seitha Perumal Temple
Ennaikaran, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu 631501
Phone: 044 – 37209752, 99747 61694

How to reach Sri Yathothkari Temple

Sri Yathothkari Temple is about 3 km from the Kancheepuram central bus stand, there are regular buses plying from Chennai to  Kancheepuram.

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