Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu

Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple
Ssriram mt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pandavathoothar Perumal Temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu and it is located in Kanchipuram in the Tamil Nadu state. The temple is also known as Thirupadagam. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu. The temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. Lord Vishnu is worshipped as Pandava Thoothar Perumal and his consort Lakshmi as Rukmini.  

Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple Legend

As per legend, the temple story is recall one chapter in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Once Lord Krishna as a Pandavas missive, went to the Kauravas. The Kouravas king Duryodhana had a plan to arrest and kill Krishna in Hastinapura. For that he (Duryodhana) dug a deep pit and covered it with a carpet and a chair studded with gems. Also he had hid some wrestlers in the pit to fight Krishna. Krishna who is the avatar of Lord Vishnu portrayed as Vishvarupa to all of them and to the blind king Dhritarashtra who is father of Duryodana. When Krishna offered a boon to Dhritarashtra, he requested Krishna to make him blind again as he did not want to see anything after seeing the Vishwaroopa.  Krishna also appeared in the same form to Janamajeya, the great-grandson of Arjuna, who was doing penance to view god in Viswaroopa. Pada means big and Agam means residence, signifying Thirupadagam as the place where Vishnu resides with his giant form.

Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple
Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple

Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple History

It is believed that the temple have been built by the Pallavas of the late 8th century AD. Also Medieval Cholas and Vijayanagar kings had done some contributions in later. The temple has a set of inscriptions related with Cholas. The south wall of the temple has inscriptions of Kulothunga Chola I, dated in his 39th year. Records gift of two kalanjus and two manjadi by a merchant to the pujari(temple priest) who were to supply two malis of curd daily. There are inscriptions on the base of the western wall of the central shrine from the period of Rajadhiraja Chola II (1166-78 CE) indicating gifts of 32 cows for lighting lamps of the temple. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple Architecture

Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the main entrance of the temple faces east and the temple has a rectangular plan. The temple has a four-tiered rajagopuram and a single precinct enclosed in the walls. The Maha mandapa is believed to have been built by the Cholas. The central shrine of the temple has a large image of the presiding deity Pandava Thoothar seated in Arda Padmasana posture, which has a height of 25 ft. The right palm depicts the Abhaya Mudra for protection and the left arm depicts Varada Mudra for giving boon. The shrine faces east and the vimana of the temple is called Bhadra Vimana. The preceding hall to the main sanctum, Mukha Mandapa, has bronze images of the festival deities of the temple and Azhwars. The most prominent of them is of Arulala Permula Emburamanar, the disciple of Ramanuja, whose image is rarely found in other Vishnu temples. The Shrine of Rukmini is located to the south of the main shrine and has the image of Rukmini.

Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple
Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple

Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple Festivals

The major festival of the temple is Krishna Janmasthami, celebrated during the Tamil month of Aavani (August – September). The other major festival of the temple celebrated during Bharani of Karthigai (November–December) in honour of Arulala Peruman Emperumanar.

Temple Timings

The temple is open from 7.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.

Pooja Timings

The temple rituals are performed six times a day: Ushathkalam at 7 a.m., Kalasanthi at 8:00 a.m., Uchikalam at 12:00 p.m., Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m., Irandamkalam at 7:00 p.m. and Ardha Jamam at 10:00 p.m. Each ritual has three steps: alangaram (decoration), neivethanam (food offering) and deepa aradanai (waving of lamps) for both Pandava Thoothar and Rukmini.

How to reach the Pandava Thoothar Perumal Temple

By Air

The nearest airport is Chennai International airport at the distance of 75 KM. Someone can hire a taxi to reach the temple.

By Rail

The temple is close to Kanchipuram railway station which is connected with Chennai and other cities in South India.

By Bus

Bus services are available from Chennai, Pondicherry, Nagaercoil, Madurai and Bangalore to Kanchipuram city. The temple is only 1 km from the Kanchipuram bus stand.


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