Situated just over 10kms from Kumbakonam on the Thiruvayaru road (about 5 kms East of Koodalur Divya Desam), Lord Gajendra Varadhan at Kapisthalam is in a reclining posture facing the East.
Raja Indirajimnan was a staunch devotee of Vishnu. He used to be so immersed in his prayers that he would forget the world around him. One day, Sage Durvasa came to see him. The Sage, renowned for his instant anger, waited for a while but with no sign of the King coming out of his prayers, became furious and cursed him thus- “The fact that you are a great devotee has made you arrogant and you have disrespected a Sage, who has come to meet you. May you turn into a mad elephant.”
Realising his folly, Indrajimnan begged for forgiveness. The Sage who is also know for showing sympathy agreed to reduce the impact of the curse stating that he would continue to be devoted to the Lord as ‘Elephant Gajendra’ and that he would one day be relieved of his curse by Vishnu himself.
Another story goes that Asura Guhu once playfully pulled the legs of Sage Agastyar while he was having bath. Angered at this act, the Sage cursed him instantly turning the Asura into a Crocodile.
Legend has it that Maha Vishnu, on his Garuda Vaahanam (a vehicle of the Lord) rescued Elephant (King) Gajendra from the clutches of the Crocodile (the Asura) on the banks of the river by hurling his Chakra at the crocodile and killing it. Thus the Raja was rid of his curse and attained Moksham.
This episode is known as Gajendra Moksham and is enacted here every year during the month of Panguni (March-April).
This is the only divya desam where the Lord provides Darshan to two animals.
It is a Praarthana Sthalam for Rahu
ThiruMazhisai Azhvaar’s only Paasuram here at Kapisthalam goes thus:
Kootramum Saara Koduvinaiyum Saara, Thee
Maatramum Saara Vagai Arindhen
Aatrankarai Kidakkum Kannan, Kadal Kidakkum Maayan,
Urai Kidakkum Ullathu Enakku(2431)
Meaning: As long as Lord Krishna, who resides in the Ocean and on the (Cauvery) riverside, resides in me, I need not fear anyone. No demon will come near me. With Krishna by my side, I know the way.
This is one of the ‘Pancha Krishna Kshetrams’ -5 Krishna Kshetrams.
(the other four are – Thiru Kannapuram, Thiru Kannamangai, Thiruvazhandur and ThiruKannangudi)
Priest: O.S. Seshadri Bhattachar- 04374 223434
Thanjavur Dist 614 203
Temple Timings: 630am-12noon and 5pm-730pm
Frequent bus services between Kumbakonam and Thiruvayaru.
Nearest rail head: Papanasam Railway Station