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The temple town of Kanchipuram, in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is an abode to 108 Siva temples and 18 famous Divyadesa Vaishnava temples, also houses a separate and exclusive temple for Chitragupta, who is known as the chief minister and chief accountant of Lord Yama (the God of Death). The temple is stationed on the Nellukara Street, in the heart of the city. There is the only separate shrine for Chitragupta.
Chitragupta, is known to be created by Lord Brahma through the Sun God, who is considered as the younger brother of Yama. Chitragupta is known for keeping the track of all the good and evil deeds of human beings and the record of the very birth is estimated so as to grant one `heaven or `hell after the death. As per the archaeologists, the Chitragupta temple was erected in Kanchipuram during the Chola period in the 9th Century and is believed to be preserved by a particular community of Kanchipuram since the ancient times.
The deity in charge is moolavar and can be observed in a sitting posture holding the ezhuthaani (pen) in his right hand and a palm leaf in left, indicating his field of work. The utsava panchaloka, statue of Chitragupta can be observed with His consort Karnikambal. According to the beliefs, Lord Chitragupta is the Athi Devathai for Kethu, one of the Navagrahas, and the worshippers of Chitragupta at this temple, would be blessed with prosperity. It is said that not only this but also the evil consequences of Kethu during its transit period also tones down. Though, astrologers believe that Lord Vinayaka is the Prathi Devathai for Kethu.
Withstanding with the historical as well as the treligious importance, every year that a large number of devotees, who visit the temple and perform abishekams and pujas. Every month during Poornami, the full moon night the temple is all jam packed with the devotees. Chitra Pournami is a grand festival here, which is celebrated in a majestic way in the temple every year.
The temple is one of its kinds as people believe that Lord Chitragupta had fulfilled their prayers. It is believed that the two small panchaloka statues of Chitragupta with His Consort Karnikambal were found in the ground when decades back temple was excavated for its maintenance, dated as February 1911. The last kumbabhishekam of the temple was performed on July 14, 1918. Quite a lot of deities such as Navagrahas, Durga and Vinayakar were mounted in the temple.
In compliance with the legends and traditions, Lord Yama requested Lord Siva to get Him an intelligent chief minister and chief accountant for helping Him in looking after the good and evil deeds committed by the human beings. In return, Lord Siva discussed this matter to Brahma and Chitragupta was born to the Sun God and Neeladevi.