Famous Temples in Chennai
The temples of Chennai represent the splendor of culture, religion and architecture of Tamil Nadu state. Among all the metropolitan cities of India, Chennai seems to have been the most blessed by the divine power. The most famous temples are Ashta Lakshmi Temple, Kalikambal Temple, Kapaleeswarar Temple, Kriyaa Sakthi – Kodiyidai Amman, Kundrathur Temple, Mangadu Kamakshi Temple, Marundeeswarar Temple, Parthasarathy Temple, Thiruverkadu Mariamman Temple, Tyagarajar Temple, and Vadapalani Dandayudhapani Temple.
Ashta Lakshmi Temple:- The Ashtalakshmi Temple is the embodiment of eight forms of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. The temple is located at Besant Nagar on shores of Bay of Bengal. The temple architecture is unique, with the deities installed at four levels. It looks different than the other South Indian temples.
Kalikambal Temple:- The Kalikambal temple is in the heart of old Madras, in George Town .It stands for its historic significance and traditions of festivals that attracts thousands of devotees throughout the year. The presiding diety is goddess Kamakshi and Kamateswarar. During Rahukalam on Tuesdays and Fridays women throng to worship Durga by lighting ghee lamps. There are also idols of Ahora Veerabhadra Swamy and Mahakali who give darshan to the devotees. There is a Kodimaram where the Bali Peetham and an image of the Lion are present.
Kapaleeswarar Temple:- The temple is in Mylapore is one of the ancient Siva Sthalas in south India. The Siva lingam was consecrated by Brahma .Once Brahma did not pay respect to Lord Shiva and Parvathi when he met them at Mount Kailash. Shiva was angry with the behavior of Brahma and plucked off one of Brahma’s head. Brahma realized for his act. He at once came to Mylapore installed a Siva lingam and started doing tapas propitiating lord Shiva. As Shiva took away one of Brahma’s head- kapalam and Brahma installed a Siva lingam to atone for his sin, the Siva lingam here came to be called Kapaleeswarar.
Kriyaa Sakthi – Kodiyidai Amman:- The temple is located in a place called Thirumullaivaayil, Chennai. The primary deity is the Goddess Kriyaa Shakti.According to history of this temple, King Thondaiman on his way to fight the rogues who tortured the people of Thondai Mandalam, was caught among the Mullai creeper. While clearing the creepers, he hit the Lord Shiva who then appeared with Devi Uma and Nandi and blessed the king for his good mission. God Shiva then sent his Nandi Deva to fight and destroy the rogues. The king then obligingly got a Shakti temple constructed in the name of the Lord and Devi.
Kundrathur Temple:- The presiding deity is in the form of Lord Shiva and is known as Lord Subramanian who sits atop the hill along with the goddess Valli and Deivanai in Kundrathur.The temple is located in a small town called as Kundrathur district, Chennai. There is a saying that the Lord halted on the hills of Kundrathur during his journey from Tiruporur to Truttanigai. One interesting feature of the temple is the placement of the idols of the deities. When viewed from all ends, God Subramanian can be seen along with one Goddess at atime. In other positions both the Goddesses (Valli and Deivanai) are seen together with the Lord.
Mangadu Kamakshi Temple:- Mangadu is a small town situated 24 Kilometers away from Chennai in between Kundrathur and Poonamallee. In olden days this place was full of mango tress and Goddess Kamakshi Devi worshipped Lord Shiva and won his heart. It depicts that goddess Parvati performing one of her innumerable penance’s by standing on one leg over five fires with the rudrakshamala held in one hand and an expression of serene contentment on her face. It is said that Sri Vaikunda Perumal came to this place with gifts and ring for the marriage of Sri Kamakshi with Lord Sri Velleswarar.
Marundeeswarar Temple:- Marundeeswarar or Lord Shiva is the presiding deity .This deity is said to have been worshipped by Valmiki, the author of the epic Ramayana. The temple is at Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai. According to mythology a great saint Agastya, named the deity Aushadeeswarar. It is said that the Sun and the Moon performed puja at this temple every evening. The main lingam is named as Swayambu. He is also called Palvannanathan because Kamadhenu used to shower him with milk constantly.
Parthasarathy Temple:- The temple is located at Triplicane, near Marina beach in Chennai. The presiding diety is Lord Shiva.Vaikuntha Ekadasi is the time of the year when the eminence of this temple is truly reflected by the extent of the crowds gathering here. This temple also contains a number of shrines dedicated to Sri Ram, Ramanuja and Narasimha.
Thiruverkadu Mariamman Temple:- The temple is believed to be a Goddess of procreation and remover of all human ailments. The primary deity in the temple is the Mariamman popularly known as Amman or mother. Sunday is a very auspicious day in the temple. Mythology says that the Goddess Devi Karumamariamman one day disguised herself as a nomadic lady as the Sun God’s misbehavior angered her. The Sun God was cursed by Devi and then after repenting the Devi Marriamman blessed him and Sunday was from then onwards celebrated in a special way in this temple.
Tyagarajar Temple:- One of the most sacred temples in the Saivite traditions, its origins lie in antiquity. The temple is at Thiruvarur. Shiva is the principal deity worshipped in the Tyagarajar Temple, as Tyagarajar and Adipureeswar.
Vadapalani Dandayudhapani Temple:- Temple is located at Vadapalani. The Skanda Sashti festival is one occasion that attracts huge numbers of crowds to this temple. According to the sthalapurana, one Muruga devotee by name Annaswami Tambiran with his limited means built a small thatched hut and kept a Murugan painting for his personal worship primarily.