Varadharaja temple is the oldest temple in Kanchipuram and have been constructed by various kings in various timelines, starting from Krutha Yuga till Kali Yuga. The Main Deity of the temple is Sri Bho Samaetha Varadharaja Swami. The Lakshmi Devi is called Bharghavi. In addition to these moorthis there is Yoga Narashima moorthi and other small temples scattered around the temple premises and has 2 teerthas , Anatha Sarovara and Brahma Teertha (a well) inside the temple. To Know more about the kanchi Kestra click here.
Early History of the Temple
The place was called Srimushnam because, the place was void of any Sri. Bhoo Devi lost here youth and she felt the weight of Bhumi due to all the adharma done by the rakshashi. Bhodevi visits varaha swami and tells swami about her sufferings and pleads for rescue from the rakshasi. Varahaswami tells Bhumadevi that he would rise up from pathalaloka and save her from the rakshashi.
Varaha Swami rises above to the Bholoka via the Hole formed during the avatra , due to which a small Hump was formed in the surface of the earth. This Hump is later known as Hasti Giri / Hasthi Shila, where varadaraja would find his place.
After raising above to the bholoka, varaha swami shakes his body(similar to that of a varaha) by which the sweat and water from his body drops out to form the Anantha Srovara. This Anatha Sarovara later in kaliyuga will be the place for Sesha devru and Athi Varadha. From Kanchi, Varaha devru goes to Srimushna and Kills JillakaRakshashi. As per the wish of Bhommadevi , varahdevru stays in Srimushna and does anugraha to hari baktharu. Srimushna later becomes one of the 8 swayamvekta kestras
Lord Narashima avatara happend in Ahobilla. Brahma Purana quotes about a special boon got by HiranyaKashibu which is not mentioned in Bagavatha purana. HiranyaKashibu got a boon from Brahma asking that , for every drop of his blood spilt, a new HiranyaKashibu should be born. During the samhara of Hiranyakashibu, while tearing his stomach, numerous drops of blood spills and from each drop a new Hiranyakashibu will be born.
Narahima swami takes 1000's of Narashima avatara to kill each Hiranyakashibu. This event of wonder was witnessed by Kalanaemi, Viprachiti and the fellow asuras. This scene created great fear in the minds and hearts of those asuras. Fearing Narashima swami they ran from the place.
The asuras knew about the Hole created by varaha devuru in kanchi and decided to escape from Narashima swami by going to Patalaloka via the hole. Narashima swami was chasing all these asuras and during the chase before reaching the Hole , Narashima swami sat for a Gathika in a Hill and this Hill is called Gatikaachala, where Achala in samskrutha means Hill. After a gatika , Narashima swami chased the Asuras
The asuras on finding the Hole made by varahaswami, entered it and Narashima swami sat above the hole. He decided to kill them on their retreat.
Lord Narashima swami becomes the protector of this kestra bestowing 1000 times punya for a single karma performed by anyone in this kestra. Later Brahma visits the kestra to do one aswamedha Yaga, by which he gets 1000 times of punya and as a result result to this Lord Varadharaja gives him Darshan
Varadharaja Swami and his avatara in Kanchi
Lord Brahma was born from the Nabhikamala of Sri Hari. Brahma was given the duty of creation which he performs for a long time. Suddenly Brahma was unable to have the darshan of Sri Hari. Due to this he performed tapas in various punya teerthas to obtain the darshan of Sri Hari. The notable kestra was Prayaga Kestra. Brahma performed 100 Aswamedha Yaga in Prayaga kestra (by which it was named Prayaga) where he received a Ashareera Vani saying that he has to perform 1000 Aswamedha Yaga to get the darshan of Sri Hari.
Brahma pleaded and requested for a darshan as soon as possible and doing 1000 aswamedha would take a long time. Ashareera vani gave the details of Sathyavrutha Kestra and said that Lord Narashima, who is the protector of Sathyavrutha Kestra gives 1000 times punya to each karma.
Brahma reached Satyavrutha kestra and started performing his aswemedha yaga, without inviting Saraswathi for the yaga and with the presence of Gayathri and Saraswathi. Knowing this Saraswathi came down as Nadhi called Vegavathi to destroy the Yagna. Sri Hari made a avatara in a sleeping Posture (Yatoktakari) to prevent the nadhi from destroying the yaga. Saraswathi devi on realising her mistake pleaded to Sri Hari for apologies. Sri Hari gave her the Mukhya Nadhi stana. After this the Yagna completed and at the end lord varadharaja gave darshan to Brahma devuru. on Brahma's request varadharaja stayed in kanchi to bless the Bhatas. Kanchi git its name as ka- Brahma , anchita- archita:. the place where brahma made archana to god is called kanchi
Sri Bho Samaetha Varadharaja
this is yegnotbhava moorthi and the main deity varadharaja
Barghavi came from the putra kamaesti yaga of Sri Brigu maharishi. refer here for more details
3 other Brahma Kararchita moorthis
Stana Moorthi Atthivaradha
made of Atthi wood . Darshan only for 48 days, once in 40 years
for more details on atthi varadha click here
Nithya Abhiseka Moorthi, Pranatarthi Varadha (Rajataprathima)
Boga Moorthi (Tambra Prathima)
made out of copper
The Golden and Silver Lizard
*a detailed explanation of the story would be written as a separate blog in future. stay tuned