by Suhasini on 11/06/10 at 4:10 pm
God has eight hands with eight different weapons in this temple.
Ashtabujakaram temple, one of 108 Divya desams (108 holy adobes of Lord Vishnu) is located towards south of Rangaswamy tank in Chinna Kanchipuram, South India. As per the legend, Lord Vishnu took eight weapons in his eight hands to fight the demons intruding the yagna conducted by Lord Brahma. Hence, he got the name Ashtabujakaram (Ashta=”Eight”; karam=”hand”).
As per another legend, Indira sent Devakanyas to divert the sage Mahasudha from penance in this place. The sage, attracted by ladies who had taken the form of elephants, took the form of elephant and started living with them. When he realized his mistake, he sought help of the sage Markandeya. Markandeya suggested him to worship Ashtabujakaram. The sage worshipped Vishnu with lotus flower in the form of elephant. One day, the elephant’ leg was caught by a crocodile. The elephant cried for Lord’s help. Lord Vishnu rescued the elephant by killing the crocodile, and this incident is termed as ‘Gajendra Mokhsa’.
The main deity Ashta buja Perumal (Vishnu) is seen with ashta bujam (eight hands) having weapons – chakra, knife, flower, arrow, sanku, bow, kedaya and gadha – in each hand. The God in this temple is also referred as Gajendra Varadan, and Adi Kesava Perumal. There is a separate shrine for the goddess Pushpavalli. Next to the goddess shrine, there is a shrine for BhooVaraha. There are also small shrines of Garuda, Hanuman, and Andal in this temple. Outside the temple, the tank where the elephant Gajendra got Moksha is situated.