Saturday Jun 15, 2024

Madhavaram Sri Kari Varadaraja Perumal Temple- Chennai


Madhavaram Sri Kari Varadaraja Perumal Temple- Madhavaram, Chennai- 600060. Tamil Nadu


Sri Kari Varadaraja Perumal Amman: Kanavalli Thayar


The Kari Varadaraja Perumal Temple in Madhavaram, a suburb of Chennai, is a significant religious site with a history dating back approximately 500 years. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu as Kari Varadaraja Perumal and the Divine Mother Shakti as Kanakavalli Thayar.

Temple Location:

  • The Kari Varadaraja Perumal Temple is situated on Perumal Koil Street in Madhavaram, Chennai. It is approximately 1 kilometer away from the Madhavaram Bus Depot.

Idols and Deities:

  • As you enter the temple, you’ll find a colossal 21-foot idol of Lord Hanuman (Anjaneyaswamy) that was installed in February 2001.
  • The temple’s sacred tree, known as the Sthala Viruksham, is a Vanni Tree under which Naga Devathas (serpent deities) are worshipped.
  • Kanakavalli Thayar has her separate shrine within the temple premises.

Legend of Kari Varadaraja Perumal:

  • The name “Kari Varadaraja” derives from the story of a king named Indra-dhyuman. He was cursed by the sage Agasthiyar to be reborn as an elephant due to his disrespectful behavior.
  • Knowing that his life as an elephant was his last birth, the king prayed to Lord Vishnu. Vishnu guided the king to a place where harvested paddy lay like mountains, and there, the king was transformed into an elephant.
  • The elephant retained memories of its previous life and offered a lotus to Lord Vishnu every day.
  • A Gandharva named Goo-Goo came from Devaloka, transformed into a crocodile, and began playing in the temple pond. This caused interruptions during the sage Bharadhwaja’s Sandhi pooja.
  • In response, the sage cursed the Gandharva to remain a crocodile. However, the sage also revealed that the Gandharva could regain his original form if he caught the legs of the Vishnu-bhakta elephant.
  • One day, as the elephant attempted to take a lotus from the temple pond, the crocodile caught its leg. When the elephant called out to Lord Vishnu, Vishnu appeared, rescued both of them, and granted them liberation (Moksha).
  • Thus, the name “Varadharaja” refers to Lord Vishnu’s role as the “boon-granting king” who bestowed salvation on the elephant.

Features of the Temple:

  • The primary sanctum of the temple houses Lord Varadaraja Perumal with Sridevi and Bhoodevi in a standing posture.
  • The temple also has separate shrines for Kanakavalli Thayar, Chakrathalwar, Andal, Sudarshanalvar, Narasimhar, Dhanvantari Bhagavan, and Lakshmi Varagar.
  • Lord Varadaraja in this temple is known for the unique feature of opening His eyes to bless His devotees.
  • There’s a 21-foot-tall sculptural form of Lord Hanuman (Anjaneyar) in front of the temple, serving on a north-facing pole.


  • The main festivals celebrated at the Kari Varadaraja Perumal Temple include Kungumarchanai, Thai, Audi Friday, Navratri, Panguni Uthira Thirukkalyanam, and Tamil New Year.


500 Years old

Managed By

Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department (HRCE)

Nearest Bus Station


Nearest Railway Station


Nearest Airport


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