Kanipakkam Swayambu Ganesha temple
Andhra Pradesh is rich in historical monuments. It posseses many holy temples with architectural beauty, which attract large numbers of pilgrims and tourists from inside and outside the country. Sri Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple is located at a distance of 12 kms, from Chittor town in Andrapradesh, India. Kanipakam is a small village on the bank of Bahuda River.
The Sthalapurana ( Story behind the temple )
"Kani" means wetland and "Pakam" means flow of water into wetland. According to the legend of the temple about 1000 years back, there were three brothers and each one had a handicap. Viz., Dumb, Deaf and Blind. They were earning out their livelihood by cultivating a small piece of land.
In olden days water was drawn from the well by way of 'Piccota System'. As one of them used to irrigate the field through the channels, the other two used to ply on the Piccota. On one such operation they found that the water in the well got dried up and they could no longer continue their job. One of them got into the well and started digging it up. He was taken aback to see the iron implement hitting a stone like formation.
Later, he was shocked to see blood oozing out from it. Within in a few seconds the entire water in the well, turned blood red in colour. Thus, startled by this divine sight, all the three became normal getting rid of their deformities. As soon as the villagers came to know about this miracle, they thronged to the well and tried to deepen the well further. But their attempt proved futile because the 'swayambhu' idol (the self-manifested) of Lord Vinayaka emerged from the swirling waters.
Ultimately they offered many number of coconuts with all prayers- modesty kneeling before the new idol. They declared the ideal of “SWAYAMBHU” and tendered number of coconuts. The coconuts water flowed into the channel to a distance of more than one and a quarter acres. The indication of this led to the modification in the usage of the Tamil word “KANIPARAKAM” and later pronounced as KANIPAKAM. Even today the idol is in the original well and the springs of the well are perennial and the eternal. During the rainy season, the holy water from the well overflows even today.
Another astonishing feature is that the idol is growing in size. In 1947 a devotee Sri Bezawada Siddaiah of Aragonda Gollapalli village presented a Silver Kavacha to the Lord which correctly fitted the idol. Now, it does not fit the idol any more, since the idol is growing in size. There is water at the same level around the base of the idol irrespective of seasons. This sacred water is given as theertham to all other devotees. It is believed that the idol will be growing in size regularly until the end of Kaliyuga and in the end Lord Sri Vinayaka will appear in person.
Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka as up-holder of 'Truth'
The swayambhu idol of Kanipakam is the up-holder of truth. Day to day disputes between people is resolved by taking a 'special oath'. The people in the dispute take a holy dip in the temple tank and swear before the lord. It is taken as gospel truth. It is widely believed if anybody does a false swearing before the lord he will be punished. For this swearing ceremony a sum of Rs. 516/- is collected by temple authorities. This ceremony is done everyday.
The legend behind Bahuda River
Long ago there lived two brothers Sankha and Likhita. They were on a pilgrimage to Kanipakam. As the journey was tiring, the younger brother Likhita felt hungry. Disregarding the advice of the elder brother he plucked a mango from the mango grove. Sankha felt bad and reported this to the ruler of that area and pleaded for punishment for the sin committed during the pilgrimage. Thus Likhita was punished severely being deprived of both arms.
Later they took bath in the river near Kanipakam temple. Lo Behold! The chopped arms were restored to Likhita as soon as he had a dip in the sacred waters of the river. These incidents lead the ruler to rename the river as 'Bahuda' (Bahu means human arm). Thus the river beside Kanipakam temple is now known as 'Bahuda River'.
In the ancient Vedas, Lord Sri Vinayaka hailed as possesser of gunas of all gods, gandharvas, demons and human beings. In 'Adarvaseershopanishath' Lord Sri Vinayaka is extolled as the parabhramha embodiment of paramathma that have (The absolute). Hence by taking 'Ganapathi deeksha' the devotees can fulfill all their wishes with the blessings of Lord Ganesha. The deeksha will be for a of 41 days (Mandalam), 21 days (half mandalam), 11 days(Ekadasa). It is like Swamy Iyyappa (or) Lord Sivadeeksha. And the rules and regulations are almost the same. Sri Ganesh Deeksha can be started in any Ganesh temple but should end at Sri Varasidhi Vinayaka Temple at Kanipakam only.
Incase you would want to travel to Kanipakkam You can reach chittoor by air, rail or road. There are trains that travel via Katpadi or tirupati, but do not touch Chittoor. In such cases, Katpadi (just 35km from Chittoor) or Tirupati (70 km from Chittoor), are convenient points to alight. From Katpadi/Tirupati, you can reach Chittoor by train or bus.