Ashtapuja perumal temple is one of the 108 divya desam temples situated in Kanchipuram. The perumal in this sthalam is called 'Ashtapujanga perumal' and he is seen with eight hands ( Ashta - eight, Puja - hand). He is also known as Adikesava Perumal and He holds Chakaram, Sword, a Flower and an Arrow on four of His right hands and Sangu ( a conch), Bow, a shield and Gadha (A mace or a big club we find used by Hanuman and Bhima).
The sthalapuranam of this temple is also associated with that of Saraswathi and Lord Brahman.All the asuras who were sent by Goddess Saraswathi to destroy the yagam performed by Brahma were killed by Sri Narayana. Saraswathi finaly sent a ferocious snake.Lord Narayana took the form of Ashtabhuja Perumal holding eight different weapons to kill the snake. The snake then surrendered to Lord Vishnu and He ordered the snake to stay in the Vaayu end of the yaaga sala as "Sarabeswaran" to gaurd Lord Shiva's yagam.
There is a pushkarni ( a lake or pond) here and as per legend there used to be an elephant called Gajendra who performed pooja to Maha Vishnu using the lotus flowers from this pond. One day a crocodile caught Gajendra and there was a big struggle. The elephant was about lose the battle when cried 'Adimoolamae' seeking Sri Narayana's help.Sri Narayana rescued the elephant Gajendra from the crocodile's mouth using his 'chakra' cutting the neck of the crocodile. He then gave motcham ( salvation) to the elephant here.
The Moolavar of this Sthalam is Sri Aadikesava Perumal. Other names are Gajendravaradhan, Chakrathaarar. Moolavar is in standing position facing West . Prathyaksham for Gajendran the Elephant.
Thayar of this sthalam is Alarmelmangai thayar.
There are sannadhis for Bhoovarahan and another for Anjaneya
Mangalasasanams The temple is revered by the verses of Tirumangai azhwar ,Peiazhwar,Vedantha Desikar and Manavala Mamuni
Temple Timings The temple is open from 7:00 AM till 10:00 am and from 5:00 pm till 7:00 pm
How to reach?
Kanchipuram is around 75 kms from Chennai off the Chennai- Vellore/ Bangalore highway via SriPerumbudur. Kanchipuram is well connected by several bus services from Chennai. There is a railway station in Kanchipuram with a few train services from Chennai in the mornings.