Sri Swayambhu Varasidhi Vinayaka Swamy Temple


Among the historic temples of the country, the prominent Swambhoo Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka Temple of Kanipakam located 75 km from Tirupati in Chittor District of Andhra Pradesh. There is relation between the history of Sri Varsiddhi Vinayak Temple of Kanipakam and Siddhi Vinayak Temple of Inavilli exists in the catchment area of Godavai River in East Godavari District. Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Inavilli exists in a temple complex but Vara Siddhi Vinayak is the only Deity in the temple at Kanipakam. Both are self manifested temples emerged from Fire and Water and the two are natural elements. Under the auspices of Sri Malladi Bhava Naarayana Avadhani, maternal grandfather of Sri Pada Sri Vallabha, incarnation of Lord Dattatreya Swarna Maha Ganapathi Yajna was performed and at the end, the local scholars argued that the Vinayak should receive the substances with his trunk besides appearing with golden lights. 

Sri Swayambhu Varasidhi Vinayaka Swamy Temple

Lord Vinayaka emerged from the ash of the Yajnagundam in the form of a human and changed his form to Maha Ganapathi shining with golden light receiving the substances. Vinayaka get angry on the three pundits argued about his existence. He cursed the first one to become blind, second as dumb and third one as deaf since he has not agreed the truth of Vinayak existence even seen with his eyes, mocking the expression of truth and behaving of not hearing the truth expressed by the devotees respectively. Lord Vinayaka given redemption to is curse stating that they released from the curse when they touch his self manifested idol in their re-birth.     

As per the local legend there were three brothers with congenital disabilities of blind, dumb and deaf of Kanipakam Village living modestly irrigating a small extent of land near the Village Viharpuri and present Kanipakam with the water lifted from the ground well  in their land. Two brothers used to lift the water from the ground well and the third one watering to their land. Once drought occurred in the area and the groundwater receded in the absence of rains and  the well dried up leaving them in despair. The dumb go down into the well and started removing the sand and clay with a shovel. The other two proceed to carry the sane and clay to the ground. Then the shovel of the dumb man strongly hit a rock under the water. Blood gushed from the rock and mixed with the water in the well. Surprisingly the blood ensnared dumb man began to speak on par with others. The deaf man’s body was drenched with  water and he was freed from his disability. The blind man touches the stone with the help of his brothers in the well and his blindness disappeared. The villagers were aware of the news and tried to pull the stone out of the well. Their attempt to move the stone was unsuccessful but the stone emerged as Vara Siddhi Vinayaka. Still today, the idol is in the temple tank named Kalyani. The sacred water in the temple tank never dries up. The bottom of this idol is not visible and proves the power of God. Lord Ganesh remained in a seated position in the well filled with water. The well overflows with clean water during rainy season and the water offer as Tirtha to the devotees. Devotees arrive from different parts of the country visit the temple and pray the Deity. White, Yellow and Red colors appear on the forehead of Ganesh. Satyarishi Sri Bapanna Avadhanu and his brother-in-law Sridhara Avadhanulu visited Kanipakam Village and installed the idol of Vara Siddhi Vinayaka. The Chola kings have arranged a pedestal to the Ganesh Idol thousand years ago on the well and built temple to settle the internal disputes and to end the bad feelings among the people. Later after two hundred years, the temple developed during the reign of Vijayanagara Kings. The well became famous as temple tank with the name of Kalyani. The well is always filled with water. Devotees visit Sri Vara Siddhi Vinayak take bath in the holy water of the temple tank and pray to remove their sins and to solve their problems. The fame of Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka spread all over the world. The size of the statue of Ganesha is increasing day by day and now the statue is only visible up to the knees and abdomen. It is a living proof that silver shield presented to the Vara Siddhi Vinayak fifty years ago does not fit now to the idol of Lord Ganesh. The word Kanipakam’ originates from two Tamil words – ‘Kani’ meaning ‘wetland’ and ‘Pakam’ meaning ‘flow of water’. Thus the village become famous with the name of Kanipakam. There is a river named Bahuda flowing near Sri Vara Siddhi Vinayaka temple.

As per legend the two brothers named Sankha and Likhith started their pilgrimage to Kanipakam. Likhith got hungry due to the long and difficult journey made by them and cut a mango from the nearby mango orchard to eat without permission of the owner of the orchard ignoring the advice of his brother Sankha. Sankha who was Committed to speak truth, went to the king of the region  to seek punishment to his brother for cutting the mango without prior permission and committed sin. The king given punishment of cutting the hands of Likhith. Then they reached the temple of Sri Vara Siddhi Vinayak and take bath in Bahuda River. Surprisingly, Likhit regained his lost hands. Hence forth the river named after Bahuda mixing Bahu (Hands or Bahuvulu) and da means given (icchunadi telugu). Every day anointing with Milk and Ganapathi Homam and Kalyan festival performed to Sri Vara Siddhi Vinayaka.

kanipakam ganesh idol

Brahmotsavam and Lamps festival are celebrated in the temple. Brahmotsavam is traditionally celebrated for twenty days in every year from Vinayaka Chathurdhi. The Festival idol of Sri Vara Siddhi Vinayak will be carried in procession every day on different beautifully decorated vehicles. The float festival attracts the pilgrims from all over the country. Dress Code is there and the pilgrims have to wear customary cloths. 

Free lunch will be provided to 2000 devotees every day. There are temple Choultries and Wedding Halls available for accommodation and marriages. There are nearby medium and upper class hotels to the temple. Online seva of accommodation and worship is available to this temple. Pilgrims may travel to Tirupathi by train or by air and reach the temple by road from tirupathi. It is desirable to visit the temple in Tirupathi Tour. 

The story of the birth of Lord Ganesh and his physical appearance has to be subtly known on this occasion. Lord Shiva arrived to Gaurikund near Kedarnath Shrine to meet Maa Parvathi in the form of Gauri and the boy breathed by Goddess Gauri prepared with the soap suds on her body. Lord Shiva gets angry and cut off the head of the body with his Trident. Lord Shiva on the request of Parvathi affixed the head of Gajasura to whom he has given boon of worshipping his head with universe and given breath to the boy. The boy with the head of an elephant Gajasura became famous with 108 names include Gajanana. Lord Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva with their consorts, Indra and all the Deities blessed and given boons to Gajanana also called as Parvathi Nandan.  Lord Shiva made him the head of masses declaring him to be the first worshipper before worship of any Deity. He is became famous as Vignesh since he remove all hurdles (Vignamulu) and blessing his devotees. The temple of Ganesh without head removed by Lord Shiva is at Mundkatiya near Gaurikund and Kedarnath Shrines. It is un-fortunate to note that the temple is not popular and perhaps it may be reason that the idol is not visible as such in their thoughts. Pilgrims has to visit the temple which has greater importance of the birth of Lord Ganesh on par with Kedarnath and Gaurikund shrines in their Char Dham Pilgrimage and the Government have to provide basic amenities to the pilgrims and got the repairs to the road which was damaged in 2013 floods. This is the only way to the Pilgrims and Government to offer tributes to Lord Ganesh. 

The temple kept open from 4-00AM to night 9-30 PM.