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Old 29th July 2019, 19:32   #1
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Default Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan

Summary of the day:

Distance Travelled during the day
: 550 Km

Date of Travel: 22-Jul-2019

Time taken: Start time: 4:00 am at Bengaluru and reached Kanchipuram at 8:00 am
Left Kanchipuram at 2:00 pm reached home at 6:50 pm (got stuck in the traffic jam for an hour at Bengaluru)

Route taken: Bengaluru – Hosur – Krishnagiri – Vaniyambadi – Vellore – Kanchipuram & return same route to Bengaluru

Total toll paid: Rs470 (to and fro)

Places visited: Athi varadar temple, Kanchipuram

As per the legend, the Lord Athi Varadar is taken out of the temple pond once in 40 years and the devotees can have darshan of the Lord for approx. 45 days at the Vasantha Mandapam, Varadaraja Perumal temple premises. Athi means Fig and hence Athi Varadar is the idol carved out of wood from a fig tree. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us and we felt blessed to have the darshan of the Lord before we start our journey to Delhi / Ladhak.

The darshan of Athi varadar was something which we were waiting to go, as it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The media telecast of the Athi Varadar darshan gave the devotees what to expect with regard to time of darshan. (Refer to the link for the story behind Athi Varadar ).

It was forecasted that daily 40K to 50K people are visiting Kanchipuram for the Athi varadar darshan. Looking into the humongous crowd, we decided for a one day trip from Bengaluru to Kanchipuram, anticipating a lack of accommodation facilities at Kanchipuram during this time. Our XUV 5OO had a full tank diesel when we left Bengaluru for our trip to Athi varadar, Kanchipuram.

We chose a Monday (especially to avoid large weekend crowds) and left Bengaluru at 4:00 am (after having a bath), waking up at Brahma Muhurtham (3:00 am). We packed some eats from home and drove along the Hosur road. An early start ensured we had an easy way out of Bengaluru towards Kanchipuram. We did not stop for breakfast anywhere and managed with what we carried from home thus saving time too.

We reached Kanchipuram at 8:00 am. As we entered Kanchipuram city, we were directed by several signboards to the Athi Varadar temple. After driving for a few km inside the Kanchipuram city, we were asked to park our vehicles at about 2.5 Km from the temple premises. We were lucky to get a convenient parking slot which was near to the start point of the walk towards the Athi varadar temple.

When enquired with the local policemen, they mentioned that during the first few days of the Athi Varadar darshan, the vehicles were allowed near the temple premises. However as the days went by, the crowd of devotees began to throng and they had to decide to stop all vehicles further away in order to manage the devotees.

As we entered the barricade, we started to walk towards the temple. Bravo to my septuagenarian mother-in-law (who was with us) walked with a walking stick, due to non-availability of any other mode of transport (bus, auto). As we walked a few meters, we stopped over for breakfast at a café and had idlis. We left behind our footwear in our car as we were advised by fellow devotees that there was no place to leave our footwear anywhere near the temple.

The weather at Kanchipuram that particular day was cloudy, with a slight drizzle that made our walk along much easier. We could only see a sea of people as we walked along. It was inspiring to see people with a handicap, aged people, children walking with such faith to have darshan of the Lord.

At 10:00 am we reached the main queue with a stanchion that organized the devotees into a 2-lines queue. The queue bifurcated to a normal and senior citizen queue as we entered the temple premises. The senior citizens queue was less dense and were provided with a wheelchair. As we pushed the wheelchair along the praharam of the temple, we were happy to be at close proximity of the Vasantha mandapam eagerly awaiting darshan.

The wheel chair queue was a separate one with a ramp leading to the darshan of the Lord Athi Varadar. However, we noticed that other devotees formed their own queue along with the wheelchair devotees causing congestion and delay. We waited patiently in the queue for over an hour for things to get sorted, eventually we fellow devotees decided to request the policemen, managing the queue to intervene. The good Samaritan policemen were kind enough to stop the queue of the standing devotees and made way for the wheel chair devotees.

The fire brigade personnel at the ramp and police who were appointed to help, were so kind and gentle with the senior citizens and helped in pushing the wheelchair up the ramp that was inclined at 45 deg angle. As we reached the Vasanta Mandapam, we cleansed our feet with tap water, and had darshan of the Lord who was in the “sayana tirukolam” (supine pose). The personnel also lifted a few wheelchairs of senior citizens who could not get up to give them a glance of the Lord.

The energy we felt after darshan was unbelievable. The whole wait the walk seemed all worth the effort to have a glimpse of the Lord for less than 30 seconds. We searched for the hundi to offer our kannikai but we were told there was no hundi kept.

We came down the ramp with Amma’s wheel chair, deposited the wheelchair and proceeded towards the exit queue, which was a merged queue of senior citizens and general. This was a tough game to manoeuvre. We again requested the policemen to make way for the aged and with a bit of being pushed managed to exit the temple. We finished our darshan by 12.30 pm, which was much quicker than what we anticipated.

We had sambar and curd rice at restaurant along the road and walked back (2.5 km) all the way to the place where the car was parked. We cleansed our feet off the slush gathered from the barefoot walk in the rain.

At 2:00 pm we drove back from Kanchipuram to Bengaluru and reached electronic city by 5.30pm, but being a Monday we were stuck in Hosur road traffic at Bengaluru and reached home by 6.50 pm.

Here are a few tips and pointer for those who wish to visit Kanchipuram during this period:
1. Be prepared to walk for 2 Km to 3 Km from the parking point to reach the temple. There are very few autos who could take you from the bye lanes (they would charge at will).
2. Getting a parking space for your car will also be a mammoth task. So have patience and be prepared accordingly to park at far off place.
3. The hotel tariff is hiked (even double). It is advisable to go for a day trip or stay outside Kanchipuram.
4. Facilities during this period are quite minimal (including Toilet facility, leaving footwears).
5. Senior Citizens can avail of a special queue, wheel chair/battery car only after reaching the temple premises or praharam.
6. One may need to walk barefoot from the parking space to the temple queue for almost 2.5 km, else one should be prepared to let go of their footwear.
7. Food facility is available throughout the walk of 2.5 Km. However, every restaurant is extremely crowded.
8. The last but not the least, Be prepared to wait in long queues and it might take between 3 hrs to 6 hrs to have darshan of the Lord. In case of weekends/holidays, the wait time might be longer.



Some of my other Travelogues

The Grandeur of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...elangana.html? (The Grandeur of Andhra & Telangana)


Rann of Kutch travelogue
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ous-kutch.html


108 Divya Desams: Vishnu Sthalams Travelogue
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ravelogue.html


Spiti Splendour - Delhi to Spiti in an XUV500
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ti-xuv500.html



Travelogue Delhi – Bangalore – Navagraha Sthalams – Ganapatipule – Delhi in XUV 5OO
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...apatipule.html


Travelogue to the Golden City, Jaisalmer
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...aisalmer.html? (To the Golden City, Jaisalmer)
Attached Thumbnails
Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan-1.-early-morning.jpg  

Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan-2.-chennasamudram-toll-gate.jpg  

Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan-3.-reference-point-start-walk-temple.jpg  

Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan-4.-along-walk-path.jpg  

Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan-5.-devotees-returning-darshan.jpg  

Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan-6.-signboard-leading-athi-varadar-temple.jpg  

Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan-6a.-wheel-chair-queue.jpg  

Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan-6b.-devotees-queue-inside-temple.jpg  

Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan-7.-exit-temple.jpg  

Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan-7a.-temple-gopuram.jpg  

Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan-8.-return-kanchipuram.jpg  

Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan-9.-enroute-bengaluru.jpg  

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Old 29th July 2019, 20:49   #2
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Default Re: Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan

thanks for sharing these details Sir. Even, I am planning to take my parents, but I have been warned by my friends from TN. Now, probably I will take a plunge and take them.
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Old 29th July 2019, 21:06   #3
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Default Re: Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan

Quote:
Originally Posted by knp View Post
thanks for sharing these details Sir. Even, I am planning to take my parents, but I have been warned by my friends from TN. Now, probably I will take a plunge and take them.
Please do visit Kanchipuram to have the darshan of Lord. It is worth a visit. The "nindra thirukolam" or standing posture of Athi Varadar is expected from 1-Aug-2019 till 17-Aug-2019.
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Old 29th July 2019, 21:46   #4
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Default Re: Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan

Thanks for the travelogue, we have been planning to visit but havent mustered enough courage after hearing couple of relatives who returned without having the darshan. Any idea on special admission tickets as I am planning to visit with my in-laws who are senior citizens and diabetic?. Also, our Tamil is very basic and communication might be an issue. Any information on special admission is welcome.
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Old 29th July 2019, 21:55   #5
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Default Re: Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan

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Originally Posted by mazda4life View Post
Thanks for the travelogue, we have been planning to visit but havent mustered enough courage after hearing couple of relatives who returned without having the darshan. Any idea on special admission tickets as I am planning to visit with my in-laws who are senior citizens and diabetic?. Also, our Tamil is very basic and communication might be an issue. Any information on special admission is welcome.
Mazda4Life,
these special tickets (Rs300) are available for the evening puja time. Not sure about the crowd at that hour. My suggestion is that one should try to be at Kanchipuram early in the morning hours. If you have senior citizens, it is much easier to get them into a separate queue (specially meant for sr. citizens). I have seen people from other states visiting the temple (not necessary to be well versed in Tamil).

Since I am travelling up North of India, I didn't want to miss this chance to have darshan of Lord Athi Varadar as the next opportunity will be after 40 Years (may not live that long!). Please do avail this opportunity!
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Old 29th July 2019, 23:45   #6
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Default Re: Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan

@ Vittal.
Your faith and enthusiasm are incomparable ! I won't be able to have the darshan this time; I guess I will have to live to my ninetieth year to cast my eyes on Athi Varadar.
I have been blessed to pray at the Varadaraja Swamy Perumal Kovil several times; my mausaji is the " Muthal Theertham " there !
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Old 31st July 2019, 14:26   #7
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Default Re: Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan

Thanks for your travelogue, even I had an opportunity to visit the temple last week. I had tried for Rs.500 tickets but was unable to get it. Tried again at 11am and managed to get Rs.300 tickets for 6pm darshan.

I traveled via Oragadam, Walajabad route from Chennai. We started around 3:30pm from T.Nagar and reached reached outskirts of Kanchi by 5:15pm. But our vehicles were stopped about few km earlier before Pachiappa college itself. The option was to take Mini-bus/Share auto which were very much crowded. Later managed to find an auto which took me directly upto West gate entrance. Crowd was in unimaginable numbers and entire street was full of heads only. We reached the Rs.300 queue entrance in West side around 6:15pm, but were allowed inside only around 7pm. Darshan was over in 1 hour and we were allowed inside vasantha mandapam.

Return to parking lot at 8 pm was a nightmare - since there thousands of people exiting the temple and only handful of autos, it took nearly an hour to reach back. Also there are no food options if you exit Kanchi via Walajabad route. We had dinner at a hotel in Walajabad junction and reached T. Nagar back around 11pm.

Athi Varadar will be in Nindra Thirukolam (Standing posture) from Aug 1 till Aug 17th. Hence they are expecting more crowds to throng in the following weeks. I would recommend to try online tickets or go via Sr. Citizen queue if possible. In case of neither, be prepared with food/water and reach at midnight to beat the morning rush.

Last edited by concorde24 : 31st July 2019 at 14:28.
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Old 3rd August 2019, 19:56   #8
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Default Re: Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan

Thank you much for the travelogue.

I visited Kanchipuram and had the darshan on 02nd August 2019.
  • Started from home at 3.10 AM IST. I had donor passes for three of us. I took the Kelambakkam-Vandalur-Orgadam-Walajabad-Kanchipuram route option.
  • Tanked up the car at Shell Kelambakkam. Mind you this is a 24/7 fuel station.
  • Reached Kanchipuram around 4.30 AM IST. Mind you there was reasonable traffic on the Walababad-Kanchipuram section. Motor vehicles coming from Chengelpet as well take the Walajabad route. We can very well work out that for most of these vehicles the destination will be Kanchipuram
  • So for vehicles coming in from Walajabad the parking will be at Pachayappa college ground. So, that's the place for parking.

    https://goo.gl/maps/5n7d37Kur5HjgA8y5

  • From here you can take share-auto or maxi-cab to the temple drop-off place. They charge roughly Rs 30 per person for the drop-off location.
  • Please note from the drop-off spot you still need to walk for a considerable distance, at least a walk for 15-20 minutes, to join either the general darshan queue or the VIP/donor darshan queue. There is sufficient number of police personnel and you can get guidance from them as to which is the path/route to the respective darshan queue
  • We spent about 2 hours in the donor darshan queue. I am told the wait time in the general darshan queue ranges between 5 & 6 hours on an average.
  • Please ensure that you take sufficient water with you and at least some snacks (biscuits etc..) as the wait time is significant.
  • It will be too tiring for children and kids. So, please plan well and take their well being into consideration if you are going to take children and kids
  • There is also a senior citizen queue and senior citizens can very well take that queue. I think you need to show an ID card (Aadhar or an equivalent one) as a proof of your age.
  • We had to walk quite a bit for the return as well before we reached the point where can take the share-autos or the maxi-cabs. In the return journey from the temple we walked for close to 30 minutes before we reached the spot where we found share-autos and the share-auto picked us up (Rs 30 per person) and dropped us back at the Pachayappa college ground parking location. The share-auto person can take you inside the parking location and you can request him to take him close to the location where you have parked your car.
  • Please note well the location of your parking spot as it can get quite difficult to find your car if you have not noted the specific location of your parking spot in the car parking space.

Hope this post is useful for people.

Last edited by searacer932 : 3rd August 2019 at 20:19.
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Old 10th August 2019, 07:52   #9
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Default Re: Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan

Quote:
Originally Posted by vittal View Post
Athi Varadar is expected from 1-Aug-2019 till 17-Aug-2019.
Per my reading in Hindu yesterday, it's only available till 16th as per the Kanchipuram Collector's orders
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Old 10th August 2019, 13:42   #10
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Default Re: Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan

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Originally Posted by karthikd21 View Post
Per my reading in Hindu yesterday, it's only available till 16th as per the Kanchipuram Collector's orders
Yes, But the collector also told, based on the crowd they can push it to the early morning of 17th August.

I had my dharshan on 23rd July without any trouble, as I booked Rs.300 online special dharshan tickets for 6 adults and the kids went free
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Old 10th August 2019, 14:30   #11
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Default Re: Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan

I wanted to have this once in lifetime Athi vardar's darshan right from day one and somehow couldn't manage it until my uncle got a couple of Donor Passes yesterday. Luckily he was able to get a VIP car pass (it didn't have the vehicle no and has been used atleast by 10 people before the police administration took it from me for the last time) and were able to park the car near to the temple. Donor pass visitors had a separate queue and we were supposed to have darshan with in an hour. But to our dismay, it took us 4:30 hours for the fantastic darshan of this 8 ft king with his mace in one hand and granting the wishes from the other hand. As per the authorities 2 lakh people had the darshan of the lord yesterday.

We started at 5:00 PM from Tambaram, took the Oragadam, Walajabad route and were in the queue by 6:30 PM. Started back by 11:45 PM after having some nice curd rice prasadam from the Ahobila Mutt and reached tambaram by 00:30hrs.
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Old 12th August 2019, 15:46   #12
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Default Re: Athi Varadar, Kanchipuram - A once in a lifetime darshan

Quote:
Originally Posted by knp View Post
thanks for sharing these details Sir. Even, I am planning to take my parents, but I have been warned by my friends from TN. Now, probably I will take a plunge and take them.
From last Saturday, its more than 2 Lakhs a day. Good if you get 300rs or 500 rs ticket online or VVIP/Donor pass. Normal queue takes anywhere around 8 hours, considering 16th night is the last day for dharshan (On 17th temple priests want to do some special pooja). Otherwise, best is to go with a senior citizen and take a wheel chair. Police helps Sr citizens, Pregnant women, devotees on wheelchair and kids. One can get dharshan in less than 3 hours.
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