Monday, May 7, 2007


Pathasarathy Temple : 28 April'07
From Mangadu we drove straight to Triplicane to visit the Parthasarathy Temple.
Originally called Thiru-alli-keni, Triplicane was once a suburb of Mylapore. Dominated by a temple Triplicane was for many years a Brahminical stronghold. Today it has a mix of Hindus,Muslims & Christians.The temple and its environs retain the traditional flavour. The four streets around the temple still have old-world houses and in spite of the invasion of modern gadgets like TVs, cars and dish antennas, something of the old Triplicane remains intact.
This temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, was built in the 8th century AD under the patronage of the Pallavas, housing the idols of the five avataras of Sri Vishnu. It has a small temple shrine dedicated to Vishnu's consort called Vedavalli Ammai. While dedicated to Vishnu in his incarnation as Krishna, the Parthasarathy Temple at Triplicane enshrines images of the five incarnations of Vishnu including that of a wounded Krishna. Parthasarathy literally means the 'charioteer of Arjuna'. Partha is another name for Arjuna and Sarathy means charioteer. Lord Krishna served as the charioteer of the Pandava Arjuna in the Great War of Mahabharatha. It's one of the oldest surviving temples in Chennai. It was built by the Pallavas and later renovated by the Vijayanagar rulers. The main shrine is for Venkatakrishnan with Rukmini, Balaraman, Satyaki, Anirudha, Pradyumna - in a standing posture facing east. There are shrines for Ranganathar in a reclining posture with a separate sanctum for his consort Vedavalli. There are shrines facing the east for Rama along with Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata, Shatrugna and Hanuman, Varadarajan seated on the Garuda, and Narasimhar in a seated posture. Apart from these, there is a separate shrine for Andal. Amongst the 108 Divya Desams this is the only deity where the Lord is depicted sporting a moustache.
The Teertham "alli-keni" (lily pond) comprises five holy teerthas namely Indra,Soma, Agni,Meena & Vishnu. It is so sacred that there are no fish to be found in this pond.This teertham is used for the Lords Tirumanjanam (Abhishekam)
Among the 12 Alwars (the great saints in Vaishnavite tradition) three of them namely Peyalwar, Thirumazhisai Alwar and Thirumangai Alwar have sung about the deities of this temple.
The annual Bhrammotsavam is celebrated in the month of Chittirai. Vaikuntha Ekadasi celebrated in Margazhi is one of the important festivals. The float festival is held in the month of Feb-Mar. There is a beautiful glass palanquin. The Utsavar is Parthasarathy. The image of Krishna bears the scars from Bheeshma's arrows.
Kapaleeswarar Temple,Mylapore :
This ancient Siva temple, situated at Mylapore is little more that 350 years old and is considered by Hindus to be one of the most sacred Hindu, sites in Southern Part of India. The temple is the biggest in the city and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It contains inscriptions dating back to the 13th century AD, and is a fine specimen of the Dravidian style of architecture. The 37 metre gopuram is especially noteworthy for its intricate carvings depicting tales from Hindu mythology.
The original temple was submerged under the sea and the current temple structure was a later construction. The Moolavar is Kapaleeswarar and Amman is Karpagambal. You enter the temple from the East gopuram(Raja Gopuram) and the first Sannithi is Narthana Vinayagar where you offer prayers. As you go around clockwise you see sanctums of Annamalaiyar & Unnamulaiammai. There is a niche with peep holes in the wall on the South side from where you can see Unnamalai ammal. Next is the Singaravelar sannithi along with consorts Valli & Devayanai. To the left of this is the Kolu Mandapam. Beyound the Mandapam facing North are the Sannathis of Palani Andavar & Vayilar Nayanar ( whose birth place is Mylapore). Then you come to the Dwaja Sthambam with a large stone Nandi facing Kapaleeswarar. You enter the Mahamandapam from where you enter the shrines of Kapaleeswarar facing West (considered special) and Karpagambal facing South. There are several other deities such as Durgai, Brahma Chandikeswarar,Lingeswarar,Dakshinamurthy located around the Kapaleeswarar Sannithi. You also see the Palliarai, bronze idols of Natarajar & Sivakami, Somaskandar,Chandrasekarar. There are moolavar stone idols as well bronze utsavar iodols of the 63 Nayanmars, the saints who were devotees of Lord Siva are placed in the Kapaleeswarar Sannadhi. After offerring prayers to the deities you emerge and walk again westwards and circumambulate again from the Dwaja Sthambam. On the West side outer prakaram you find sanctums to Arunagirinathar, Gnanasambandhar & Angampoompavai. The Large Temple Tank is located outside the West Gopuram. To the North side prakram is the sthalavriksham and a shrine where ambal in the form of a peacock is offerring prayers to the Lord. The go-shala is also located in an enclosure behind the sthala vriksham. There are about a dozen cows housed there and they provide all the milk required for the temple poojas. On the North East corner is the shrine of Saneeswarar facing West. On the Eastern side prakaram are the Navagrahas & shrine to Jagadeeswara.

The famed 'Arupattu Moovar' festival is held in the month of Panguni. The Teppam or float festival in the large temple tank during Thai masam and the biweekly Pradosham festival also draw huge crowds here.
Parvati (Karpakambal) in the form of a peacock, Mayil is said to have worshipped Shiva (in a legend similar to that at Mayiladuturai), hence the name Mylapore. According to a legend Thirugnanasambandar brought a dead girl,Angampoompavai, back to life in this temple. This event is enacted on the 8th day of the annual festival in the month of Pankuni. This ancient Shiva temple shrine is a must-see pilgrimage spot for visiting devotees.


  1. Chennai Mylapore Kapaleeswarar Temple annual festival, Rathotsavam, Panguni Uthiram, and all other major celebrations during Panguni masam are to be held in 2011. Panguni Masam 2011 starts on March 15 and end on April 13. Panguni Uthitam 2011 date is March 19. You can watch these celebrations online. Kapaleeswarar Ratholsavam for 2010 is over on March 26 and Arupathmoovar on March 27, 2010.

  2. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!

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