Chitragupta Temple Kanchipuram
Chitragupta Temple located in Kanchipuram is dedicated to Chitragupta .The holy temple city of Kancheepuram is famous not only for a number of Shiva temples and the Vaishnava Temple, but also because of the presence of a unique and a separate temple dedicated to Lord Chitragupta. Chitragupta is considered the chief accountant and the minister of Lord Yama, or the God of Death. There is no other separate shrine or temple that has been built devoted to Chitragupta, other than the Chitragupta temple in Kancheepuram. .
The presiding deity at the Chitragupta temple, Kancheepuram is in a sitting posture holding a pen in the right hand. The left hand holds a palm leaf, both symbols of his work. There is also the Utsava Panchaloka idol of Chitragupta whioch is seen along with his consort Karnikambal.
The temple is a striking work of traditional architecture that is found in most of the temples in South India. It has Rajagopuram which is three-tiered and a sanctum sanctorum. According to Hindu mythology, Chitragupta was born from a painting that Lord Shiva drew in detail and was appointed to keep an account of the good and the evil deeds of humans on earth to help maintain Dharma. He was therefore named Chitragupta, Chitra (painting/ picture) and Gupta (accountant).
Lord Brahma created Chitragupta through the Sun God , and he is considered the younger brother of Lord Yama. Chitragupta keeps record of all the good and evil deeds of humans and accordingly decides to send them to heaven or hell. People believe that Chitragupta is the Athi Devathai for Kethu which is one of the Navagrahas. So, anyone who worships Chitragupta at the temple would be endowed with prosperity and wealth. The vices of the Kethu would also be mitigated. There are a large number of worshippers and devotees who come to the temple to perform pujas, especially during the Pournami or full moon every month. The Chitra Pournami is celebrated on a grand scale annually.
The elegant temple was built during the 9th century by the Chola Dynasty. Further renovation and expansion work was taken over by several other kingdoms which ruled Kanchipuram after Chola Dynasty. Today, the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department maintains the temple and promotes it as a major tourist attraction of South India.
Chitragupta is also considered planet Ketu's Adi-devata and is also believed to have born to the sacred cow, Kamadhenu and was brought up by Lord Indra and Goddess Indrani. The idol of Chitragupta is in a sitting posture with a pen in his right hand and some documents in his left hand. The Chitragupta Temple is considered of high religious importance. Devotees flock here in huge numbers especially during the festival of Chitra Pournima which is celebrated every year in April.