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"Kani" means wetland and "Pakam" means flow of water in Tamil.
Kanipakam is home to a popular Hindu temple of Lord Ganesha called as Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple. It was constructed in the early 11th century CE by the pandian King Maravarman sundara pandian and a siva temple by Kulothunga Chola I and was expanded further in 1336 by the Emperors of Vijayanagara dynasty.
According to the temple legend there were three brothers, each with a handicap: one was mute, one was deaf and one was blind. They earned their livelihood by cultivating a small piece of land. They used channels to irrigate their fields, and as one of them guided the water, the other two drew water. On one such occasion they found that the water in the well dried up and they could no longer continue their work. One of them got into the well and excavated it. He was taken aback when his shovel struck a stonelike formation. He was shocked to see blood oozing out from it. Within a few seconds the clear well water turned blood red. This divine sight cured the three brothers on the spot. As soon as the villagers discovered this miracle, they thronged to the well and tried to deepen the well further but were thwarted when the swayambhu idol (the self-manifested) of Lord Vinayaka emerged from the swirling waters.
Ultimately they offered many coconuts with prayers before the new idol. The coconuts' water covered than one and a quarter acres. This incident led to the modification of the usage of the Tamil word Kaniparakam into Kanipakam. Even today the idol is in the original well and the springs of the well are perennial. During the rainy season, the holy water overflows from the well even today..
Another striking and strange feature of the idol is that it is growing in size. At present, we can see the knees and the abdomen of the idol. The old and present Kavachams are on public display in the temple and the temple is planning an expansion. The holy water from the well is offered to the devotees as theertham.
The legend behind Bahuda River
Long ago there lived two brothers Sankha and Likhita. They were on a pilgrimage to Kanipakam. As the journey was tiring, the younger brother Likhita felt hungry. Disregarding the advice of the elder brother he plucked a mango from the mango grove. Sankha felt bad and reported this to the ruler of that area and pleaded for punishment for the sin committed during the pilgrimage. Thus Likhita was punished severely being deprived of both arms.
Later, they bathed in the river near Kanipakam temple. Lo Behold! The chopped arms were restored to Likhita as soon as he had a dip in the sacred waters of the river. These incidents lead the ruler to rename the river as Bahuda-(Bahu means human arm). Thus the river beside Kanipakam temple is now known as 'Bahuda River'.
Nearest railway station and bus station is Chittor although direct bus Services have begun to run from Tirupati and Sri Sailam Nearest Airport is Tirupati Airport(TIR). Direct Flights are available from Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
Places of Interest
Dakshina Patha Palem also known as D.P Palayam is one of the nearest villages to visit. Sri Veera Vijaya Anjaneya Swami temple is famous in this village. Every month during the full moon day special poojas, aaradhans are performed to lord Hanuman, thousands of people in and around Chittoor, Gudiyattam and Vellore visit this temple.
One can reach D.P Palayam from Chittoor. From Chittoor APSRTC operates direct bus D.K Cheruvu this travels via Paradarami and D.P Palayam. People can also reach Paradarami and then can reach D.P Palayam by any Share Autos or TNSTC buses or any private bus.