Vallipuram Sri Adhikesava Perumal Temple
The temple is open only in the mornings from 8 to 9 am.
Vallipuram, a small village approximately 15 kms from Chengalpattu town in Kanchipuram district is home to an ancient temple dedicated to Vishnu worshipped here as Sri Adikesava Perumal. This entire region, consisting of Chengalpattu, North Arcot and South Arcot districts of Tamil Nadu formed part of the ancient territorial region known as Tondaimandalam. The river Palar which flowed through the heart of this region contributed to the prosperity of many settlements in this area, including Kanchipuram, the ancient Pallava capital. The Pallava and Chola rulers constructed many temples in the villages and towns of this area with the Vijayanagara dynasty also subsequently contributing to the architectural development of the temples already existing there.
Vallipuram follows the Manasara – an ancient text in Sanskrit on civil engineering. According to this ancient knowledge, a village should have a Siva temple on the north-east, a Vishnu temple on the south-west with a tank on the true west. The main stone image of Sri Adikesava Perumal, enshrined here is in a standing posture, wearing a Salagrama garland, holding the conch and discus in his upper left and right hands respectively. His lower right hand is in abhaya hasta and lower left hand is in kati hasta, resting near his hip. His consorts, Sri Devi and Bhu Devi are seen on either side. All the three images are seen on the same pedestal.
This temple is a beautiful specimen of Chola architecture, consisting of a garbha-griha, the antarala (passage between the garbha-griha and the mandapam), the maha-mandapam and the agra-mandapam. In the antarala, the bronze image of Sri Bhakta Anjaneya, can be worshipped, along with the icons of Vishvaksena, Nammazhwar and the great Srivaishnava Acharya, Sri Vedanta Desika. The mandapam in front houses the processional image of Ambujavalli Thayar, the consort of Adikesava Perumal as also the stone images of all the Azhwars. The image of the Bhudattazhwar with his right hand in jnana-mudra resting on this chest is very reminiscent of a similar one worshipped at Mamallapuram, his birthplace, not too far from Vallipuram.
Above the central sanctum is the vimana in typical Dravidian style of architecture belonging to the Chola epoch. It contains beautiful stucco figures of Lord Vishnu in various forms like Sri Adikesava, Varaha, Venugopala, Lakshmi-Narayana, Krishna, Lakshmi Narasimha and Sita-Lakshmana-Hanumath sametha Sri Kodandarama.
The sanctums for Garuda and Bhakta Anjaneya are also in this temple. While the former is situated directly in front of the main mandapam within the temple precincts, the shrine for Hanuman is located at a short distance from the temple, but directly facing the main sanctum. The sacred temple-tank is located behind the temple. There was once an underground passage leading from the temple to the tank.
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