About Kanipakam
Local Info and Accommodation
Getting there

Kanipakam is a small village in Irala mandal of Chittoor District. Situated on the banks of Bahadu River about 11kms from Chittoor town, the village is famous as a pilgrimage centre. Significant for its purity and rich heritage, Kanipakam is famous for Sri Vara Sidhi Vinayaka Temple which has a swayambhu (self-manifested) idol of Lord Ganesha.

The name Kanipakam means flow of water into wetlands. “Kani” means ‘wetland’ and “Pakam” means ‘flow of water’. The beauty of the place and the prominence for its sanctity, makes it a must-visit place.

There is a general belief that Lord Ganesha is the upholder of truth and in Kanipakam, many people experience this belief when they confront the idol of Lord Ganesha. Day-to-day disputes between people are resolved by taking a special oath. The accused in the dispute are made to take a dip in the pushkarini (Temple tank) and swear before the lord. There are instances when the person who committed the sin accepts his mistake as soon as taking the dip or much before entering the temple. It is said that the lord makes the sinner repent and feel guilty for his sinful deeds. To experience this divine power, one has to visit this beautiful temple of Lord Ganesha at Kanipakam.


The formation of the temple and the idol of God has an amazing history behind it. According to the legend of the temple, there were three brothers, each of them either dumb, deaf or blind. They were earning their livelihood by cultivating a small piece of land. One of them used to irrigate the field through channels while the other used to work on drawing water from the well. One day they noticed that the water in the well got dried up and they could no longer continue their work. Seeing this, one of them got into the well and started digging it up. He was startled to see the iron implement hitting a stone like formation. Later, blood started oozing out from it and the entire water in the well turned blood red in colour.

Witnessing this divine sight, all the three brothers were reinstated to normal form, from their deformities. The news spread like a fire and the villagers gathered at the well to deepen it further. But their attempt was in vain as the ‘Swayambhu’ idol of Lord Vinayaka emerged from the swirling waters. Ultimately they offered many coconuts with all prayers and modesty offering Mangalarathi (hymns of God) . The coconut water flowed into the channel to a distance of more than a quarter acres. Even today the idol is in the original well and the springs of this well are perennial and eternal. Even now, during the rainy season, the holy water from the well overflows. This water is offered as theertham to devotees.

Another amazing feature of the idol is that it is still growing in size, earlier only face was visible and now abdomen and knees.

There is a legend on the river that is flowing besides the temple. The tale goes that, there lived two brothers Sankha and Likhita who were on their way, to pilgrimage, to Kanipakam. As the journey was tiring, the younger brother Likhita felt hungry and he plucked a mango from a mango grove in which they were resting, much against his brother’s wish. Sankha felt bad and reported this to the ruler of that area and pleaded for punishment for the sin committed by his brother during the pilgrimage. Thus, Likhita was punished severely being deprived of both his arms. Further on their journey, they took bath in the river near Kanipakam temple and were astounded to see the chopped arms of Likhita were restored as soon as they took a dip in holy water. This incident spread like fire and the river was named as ‘Bahuda’, meaning ‘Human arm’. Thus the river beside Kanipakam temple is known as ‘Bahuda River’.


There are some other temples to visit like Sri Manikanteswara Swami temple and Sri Varadaraja swami temple around the Kanipakam temple. The temple opens at 4:30am with the early morning prayers.

Special Pooja is performed once in a year and Prasadam will be sent to the member devotees. Nitya Annadanam, that is, free meals is provided daily in the afternoon for nearly 150 members and the tickets are issued near the place where annadanam takes place.

Donations can be made for Nitya Annadanam which starts with a minimum cost of Rs.1116/-. The money has to be donated in the form of bank drafts, money order or can be given personally.

For accommodation, there are rooms available by Kanipakam Devasthanam and nearly 14 rooms by TTD Choultries. There are some 100 rooms under construction for accommodation. Also, you can stay at Tirupati which is nearly 70kms from Kanipakam.


Kanipakam can be reached by air, rail or road. There are trains that travel via Katpadi or Tirupati. You can get down at Katpadi or Tirupati and reach Kanipakam by bus, taxi or car.

The nearest airports are Bangalore, Chennai and Tirupati. From here you can hire a taxi and reach Kanipakam.

The temple is just 70kms from Tirupati and can be easily reached by car. A drive through the ghat road and the petty villages definitely serves the best option to reach here.

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