Located one km West of Kanchipuram Bus Stand is the Pandava Dhootha Perumal temple, one that was renovated by the Kulothunga Chola I.
The entrance to the temple through the very old looking temple tower is rather sedate. This leads one to a very small sized sanctum However, this modest entry sets one up for quite an unexpected surprise - A gigantic over 25 feet tall Lord Krishna in a majestic sitting posture (facing East), almost suggestive of the Lord’s Vishvaroopam.
In order to make peace with the Kauravas, Krishna goes to Hastinapura to the court of Duryodhana on behalf of the Pandavas. With a plot to kill Krishna and thus to put all hopes of a peace treaty, Duryodhana digs a pit and tops it with bamboo sticks. On this bamboo topped pit, he puts up a grand stage, thus setting up Krishna for a mega fall.
Once he enters the hall, the all knowing Krishna presses the stage with his little toe to send it crushing below. And immediately after, Krishna displays his Vishwaroopam to the blind Dhirdharashtra (and only to him), by giving him the vision.
Seeing the Lord in his full divine form, a delighted Dhirdharashtra requests Krishna to make him blind again, for he does not want to see anything else after having seen the Lord himself. Says Dhirdharashtra to Krishna, “I have seen you in your full form. This is enough. No more do I want the vision.”
Years after this episode, Arjuna’s Grandson Janmejaya, who listened to the Mahabharata story from Vaisampaayana wanted to relive the moment (that of Lord Krishna displaying his Vishwaroopam) and undertook penance at this place. Krishna is believed to have provided Darshan to Janmejaya, as ‘Pandava Dhootha’, in the same way he had in the Mahabharatha episode.
Name of the Lord
Having played the role of a messenger for the Pandavas, Krishna, here at this temple, is known by that same name- Pandava Dhootha Perumal.
Four Azhvaars have praised the Lord here. Thirumazhisai Azhvaar refers to 3 temples in Kanchipuram as representative of the 3 postures of Lord Vishnu. Among the Divya Desams, this temple (Thiru Paadagam) was just referred to as ‘Lord in Sitting Posture’ in those days, while Thiru Ooragam was referred to the Lord in standing posture and Thiru Vekka as the Lord in Sleeping Posture. It was only later that other Azhvaars referred to Lord Vishnu and his 3 postures.
“நின்றதேந்தை ஊரகத்து, இருந்ததேந்தை பாடகத்து
அன்று வேக்கனை கிடந்தது எண்ணிலாத முன்னெல்லாம்
அன்று நான் பிறந்திலேன் பிறந்தபின் மறந்திலேன்
நின்றதும் இருந்ததும் கிடந்ததும் என் நெஞ்சுள்ளே ”- Thirumazhisai Azhvaar
Just in the way Krishna protected the Pandavas, it is believed that the Lord here will protect devotees who pray with sincerity and unflinching devotion.
There is said to have been a 18 day debate between Ramanuja and a Saivite Scholar. Having lost the debate to Ramanuja, the Saivite Scholar is said to have become his discipline and changed his name to Arulaala Perumal Emberumaanar. His descendents are the ones currently managing the temple.
Moolavar : Pandava Dhootha Perumal
Goddess : Rukmini
Azhvaars : 4 Azhvaars have praised this Lord - Thirumazhisai, Thirumangai, Bhoothath and PeyAzhvaar
Time : 7am-11am and 4pm-730pm
Contact : TV Srinivasan Bhattar @ 94438 84698
Address : 28B/75 Pandava Perumal Koil Street, Kanchipuram 631502