The city of Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the capital of Tamil Nadu state. It’s geographically located on the Eastern Coast of India in the Bay of Bengal, there are some fabulous temples in Chennai. In fact, the state of Tamil Nadu is famous worldwide for it’s food, music and temple architecture. Here’s a run down of the most famous temples in Chennai.
Shirdi Sai Baba Temple
This is a well-known Sai Baba temple in Chennai, which located in Mylapore. It was made in loving memory of the great Sai Baba and is built out of pure white marble. There is a golden arch that sits on the top of the wall of the shrine. The temple is among the two shrines that have been structured in his name in the city. This one was built in 1952 by Narasimhaswami, a loyal devotee of Sai Baba. A merchant donated a sum for the construction and since then it has become one of the most trusted places of worship.
Unlike other places, here devotees are allowed to touch the Sai baba idol. There is a holy fire that is lit continuously, and Agni puja is done on Sundays. Devotees can also offer garlands and clothes to their deity. A very special mention about this temple is that it welcomes and upholds different religious faiths and beliefs as well. Not only do they allow followers of the other religions to enter but also have arrangements for them to follow their faith while still seeing Sai Baba. Every Thursday, the Quran is read out by a Muslim saint at 4:30pm and every Sunday, the Bible is also read out loud. The temple should be certainly visited by all those who see themselves as loyal followers of Sai Baba.
One of the most famous temples in Chennai is the Kapaleeshwar Temple. According to the history, it is supposed that this temple was first situated very close to the seashore, where it was either demolished by Portuguese explorers or through sea erosion. The present temple, however, was built by Vijayanagar Kings during the 16th century as a dedication to the Hindu Goddess named Karpagambal. This Goddess is known as another form of Parvati, who is also recognisable as Durga or Shiva’s wife.
The temple is found in Mylapore in Chennai and is truly gorgeous and exotic in appearance. The gopura and architecture is a lovely treat to the eyes. It also has a big tank on its west and is surrounded by broad streets on all four sides. The whole view is extremely enchanting. The Dravidian form of its architecture is what brings thousands of historians and travel lovers annually to this divine location. The temple conducts six daily pujas. The evening puja is considered the most incredible experience at the temple as the Shodasa Upacharas with waving of lights are performed during it.
The Parthasarathy Temple is the well-known temple of Lord Krishna. It was constructed in the 8th-century at Triplicane, Chennai. The word Parathasarthy means charioteer of the famous mythological character Arjuna. The structure of the temple is quite extravagant, and this temple serves as one of the best temple templates of style, technique and imagery. It is one of the eldest structures in Chennai. The mandapas (pillars) and gopuram (towers) are carved skilfully and are naturally representative of standard south Indian temples. Visiting this temple is surely going to be a wonderful experience as it also features in the list of best temples in Chennai.
In the list of temples in Chennai, the Ayyappan Temple is one which is a devotion to the Hindu God Lord Ayyapan. This is the first temple that was dedicated to him. It also holds the idols of Lord Vinayaka and Lord Subramanian. The temple is artistic and beautiful on arrival. Beautiful carvings and paintings and a well-maintained and clean premise make it an appeasing visit for everyone. Ayyappa devotees are seen to throng this temple for its simplicity and authenticity. It follows the traditional services conducted at the Kerela style ayapppan temples. The architecture also is made around the typical Kerela feel and practice, including the 18 steps to the shrine. A huge meditation hall houses pilgrim during festivals witnessed by music performances and events. Easily accessible, in the heart of the city and absolutely serene, it is a great place to go to if you are hoping to explore more of the Kerela culture.
Madhya Kailash Temple
In the wide collection of Shiva temples in Chennai, the Madhya Kailash Temple is one of the more well-known ones. This is a beautiful temple complex in Chennai, and it is known as Nuddukayilai in Tamil, representing the vast and rich culture and history of Hinduism. Venkata Ananda Vinayakar is the main deity surrounded by shrines of Lord Shiva, Surya, Devi and Vishnu. Vinayaka is a type of ‘Om’ and to celebrate it, the famous eight bells have been integrated in the temple. The temple has become renowned for its ‘Adhyantha Prabhu’ idol. The clear feature of this god is that it demonstrates Lord Ganesha in its right frame and Lord Hanuman in its left. The architecture is outstanding, and the appearance of this temple is superb. On Vinayaka Chaturthi day, the sun rays drop on the main idol, which makes the temple yet more famous and auspicious. The interiors are beautiful and peaceful.
Vadapalani Murugan Temple
This temple originally began as a thatched shed when it was made in around 1890. Therefore, it enjoys a great deal of history and prominence. The Vadapalani Murugan Temple is an important temple in Chennai for marriage. It is a renowned Murugan temple in Chennai. Most of the Tamilians like to get marriage ceremonies here with around 7000 couples going in for the same every year. Apart from being a popular hotspot for marriages, it has gained popularity due to its patronage by cinema stars. It’s a common occurrence for South Indian actors to come to offer their prayers here before a film release. It is also in the list of must-visit old temples in Chennai due to its rich legacy of around 125 years. Tourists and devotees are always known to visit the temple. The temple is truly brilliant.
The Ashtalakshmi temple is one of the most famous temples in Chennai dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi – a consort of Lord Vishnu. She is known as the deity of wealth and knowledge. Astha stands as a significance of one of the eight forms of this Goddess and is a rich temple to visit. The temple is located just a few meters away from Basant Beach. Therefore, the beautiful Bay of Bengal coastal setting makes the atmosphere yet more mesmerizing. The temple itself is attractively done up with tiers of multi-colours and the structure was designed to resemble the holy symbol of ‘Om’. You can also hear the gushing sound of the waves even as they get lost in this divine setting.
If you enjoyed this blog on the most famous temples in Chennai you might also like to read about the best places to visit in Pushkar – India’s Holy Lake.