Because of his pride, Brahma was unable to see Lord Narayana, who is the antaryami of all. When Brahma realized this, he decided to do tapas. He then had to find a place to do penance. He realized that of the fourteen lokas, only Bhoo loka was suitable, said T.N. Aravamudachariar, in a discourse. Of the seven dhveepas, only the Jambu dhveepa was suitable. Of the nine varshas, only the Bharata varsha was suitable. So he chose Bharata varsha in Jambu dhveepa in Bhoo loka, as the place for his penance. An asareeri instructed him to go to Kanchi for his penance. Brahma instructed Viswakarma to construct the altar for his yaga in Kanchi. Vedanta Desika describes all this in his Mei Viratha Manmiyam, and then talks of the greatness of Kanchi.
He says that Rama who finished off the ten-headed demon Ravana, and Krishna who ate lots of curd and butter, both reside in Kanchi. Kanchi is a town, which is very much like the Lord’s discus, for just like the discus, this sacred town too destroys the sins of Lord Narayana’s devotees. Viswakarma not only built an altar, but also established a city, which he built according to the Silpa Sastras, and thus was born the marvellous city of Kanchi, says Desika. So rich was this city that gems and gold shone there. Brahma was pleased with the appearance of the city. For a yaga, a man’s wife has to be present. But Saraswathi was not with Brahma at that time. She had asked him who was superior — Lakshmi or Saraswathi. Brahma had replied that Lakshmi was superior because She resided on Vishnu’s chest. Brahma had also said that the river Ganga was superior to the river Saraswathi. This had angered Saraswathi, and hence the separation. Desika records that Brahma sent his son Vasistha to pacify Saraswathi and bring her to the yaga.