Moolavar : Gajendra Varadhar, Adhimoola Perumal, Kannan
Urchavar : Shenbagavalli
Amman / Thayar : Ramamani Valli, Pon Thamarayal
Thala Virutcham : Magizhamboo
Theertham : Gajendra Pushkarini, Kabila Theertham
Agamam / Pooja : Vaikanasa Agama
Old year : 1000-2000 years old
Historical Name : Thirukavithalam
City : Kabisthalam
District : Thanjavur
State : Tamil Nadu
Lord Perumal is in a reclining (Bhujanga Sayanam) posture facing east. The Vimana above the sanctum sanctorum is called Gaganakrutha Vimana. Devout Gajendra the elephant also called Indrajumnan, the crocodile called Koohoo, Sage Parasara and Sri Anjaneya had worshipped the Lord in this temple and had His darshan
Greatness Of Temple:
Saint Tirumazhisai Azhwar had praised Perumal of this temple as “Attrangarai kidakkum Kannan – Kannan reclining on the river bed”. Since then He is endearingly called Kannan by the devotees and the name had come to stay. Among the celebrated five Perumal temples as Pancha (five) Krishna Kshetras, Kabisthalam is one. Other four are Tirukannamangai, Tirukannapuram, Tirukovilur and Tirukannangudi. It is also noteworthy that of the 108 Divya Desas, only in this temple, Perumal had granted darshan two non-humans, an elephant and a crocodile
King Indrajumnan was a staunch Vishnu devotee. He will ever be drowned in the thoughts of Lord Vishnu and would not do anything without prayer to the Lord. During his meditation none would call on him and he too would not grant audience to any. It so happened that during his puja time, Sage Durvasa known for his temperament came to see him but had to wait. As he could not meet the king for a long time, he entered his Kudil the meditating room and stood before him. The king was so deep in his prayers and did not recognize the presence of the sage before him. The angry sage shouted that the king would be born an elephant as he was proud of his Bhakti. The king woke up from his meditation and sought the pardon of the sage holding his feet. Durvasa took pity on him and said that even as an elephant he would still be a staunch Vishnu devotee and added that a crocodile would hold his leg while bathing in a tank and Perumal would rush to his rescue when he cried Aadhimoolame. The sage said that he would be relieved of the curse and attain salvation.
A demon, Koohoo by name was residing in a tank and had the habit of pulling the legs of those coming for a bath and harassed them, which he did to Sage Agasthya too. The angry sage cursed him to become a crocodile. When begged for the relief, the sage told the demon that he would be relieved of the curse when he caught the legs of Gajendra. Lord Vishnu would rush there to rescue the elephant when His discuss would hit him and the curse would disappear.
The curses of two sages met in Kabila theertham east of the temple. When Gajendra cried Aadhimoolame for relief from the grip of the crocodile’s teeth, Lord rushed, cut the crocodile and protected Gajendra and granted salvation, thus goes the story.
Tiru Kabisthalam is located near Tanjavur and is abut two kilometers from the city. The deity here is is Gajendra Varadhan, Aadi Moola perumal and Thayar is Ramamanivalli,Senbakavalli thayar. Sthala vrksham is Makizam. Lord is in reclining posture, the poojas are conducted as per Vaikasana agama sastra. Pushkarini is Gajendra Pushkarini and Kapila theertham. Vimanam is Gagana Aahrti vimanam.
Sri Hanuman, Gajendran, Sage Kapila have had dharshan of the Lord here. The shrine obtained its name from Sri Hanuman worship and is called Kapisthalam, “Kapi:” means monkey.
The story of Gajendra who was a King Indradymna in his previous birth was very proud of his Vishnu Bakthi and his Aradhana observance, at that time sage Durvasa happened to visit him and as he was immersed in his daily pooja, he ignored the sage!
The sage wanted him to realize his mistake and cursed him to be born as an elephant heading a heard and on the king’s plead for atonement he suggested that he would not forget the Lord in the new birth also and continue his pooja by offering lotus flowers!
In the meanwhile a crocodile dwelling in a tank full of lotus flowers in a forest where Gajendra lived used to attack all those coming to that tank, he was a demon called “Hohoo”and once sage Agastya came there and as usual the crocodile attacked him and he cursed the crock that he would meet his end soon in a battle with an elephant! When the demon begged to be pardoned, sage said that Lord Vishnu would be giving him Moksha!
Then days passed and one day the elephant King Gajendra came there to pick flowers for his daily offerings to God and was besieged by the crocodile and a bitter battle ensued for many years with all the members of His heard helping him to fight off the crocodile, but in vain,gradually the elephant grew weak and was losing the battle for life. Only then it occurred to the elephant that surrendering to the Lord is the only way to get salvation.
So he cried out “Aadimoolame!” meaning the Parabrahman, Lord in Vaikunta heard the call and rushed on the back of Garuda with his consorts to his rescue, he issued his Chakrayuda and killed the crocodile and granted moksha to Gajendra as well as the demon, and took Gajendra to Vaikunta in a celestial vehicle!