Anandavalli Sametha Agastheeswarar Kovil at Pozhichalar is one of the Navagraha Temples around Chennai. This is probably the only Sani Parihara kshetram in Thondai mandalam. The Presiding Deity is known as Lord Agastheeswarar as this is one of the several temples where Sage Agastya worshipped. The Lord is facing East and His Consort Goddess Anandavalli is facing South in this temple. On 7th, 8th and 9th of the tamil month of Chittirai (Around Third week of April), the Sun’srays fall directly on the Shivalingam. The shivalingam here is a self manifested one or a Swayambhu. Lord Saneeswarar’s shrine is facing West. It is said that the Shivalingam was unearthed when the Mudaliars who owned these lands were ploughing their fields. This region was once ruled by Cholas. The original name of this place is Pugazh Chola Nallur which has been corrupted to Pozhichalur. As seen in many of the temples built by the Cholas around Chennai, the main Vimanam is Gaja Prushti Vimanan (shaped like the back of a seated elephant). This temple was built in the 12th Century AD. This temple is mentioned in Nadi Jodhidam for parikarams and hence it is popularly known as Naadi Pariharasthalam.
Legend goes thus; Saneeswarar causes a lot of turbulance and disturbance in the life of people when Saneeswarar is not favourably placed in their horoscope. He got worried about this as He thought that He was accumulating sin for these acts of His. He prayed to Lord Shiva and sought a solution. Lord Shiva asked Saneeswarar to go to Pozhichalur and woship Him there. Accordingly, Saneeswarar came to Pozhichalur and dug a pond called Nallar Sani Theertham and worshipped Lord Shiva there. He washed off all his in this tank. Since Saneeswarar himself was absolve of all His sins here, this is a Sani dosha nivarthi sthalam.
Lord Saneeswarar’s shrine faces west and is considered to be very powerful. This place is often referred to as Vada Thirunallar. He is seen with a Chin Mudra. It is said that it is third in the order of Sani Parihara kshetrams after Dharbaranyeswarar temple at Thirunallar and Kuchanur Saneeswarar Temple. Crow, which is the vahanam of Saneeswarar, are seen in large numbers when devotees make their offerings. Feeding the crows, dogs and cattle is said to rid one of the Sani dosham.
Idols of Vinayakar, Subramanyar, Dhakshinamurthy, Vishnu, Brahma and Vishnu Durgai can be seen in the koshtam. Interesting feature is that the koshta murthy of Vishnu is present in the place of Lingothbhavar. In the outer praharam, one can see Anjaneyar, Vinayakar, Subramanyar, Nagars and Shiva Lingam.
5.45 AM to 12.00 PM
4 PM to 08.30 PM
5AM to 01.00 PM
3.00 PM to 09.00 PM
Daily Puja Timings:
|5.45 am||Ushakalam Pooja|
|8.00 am||Kalashanthi Pooja|
|11.30 am||Utchikala Pooja|
|8.30 pm||Arthasama Pooja|
Bus routes to Pozhichalur.
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Neelakanteswarar Temple, Gerugambakkam, Kethu Sthalam
Neervanna Perumal Temple – Thiruneer Malai
Kunrathur Nageswarar Temple, Rahu Sthalam
Kunrathur Murugan Temple.
Temple Address and Contact Details:
Arulmigu Anandavalli Sametha Agastheeswarar Kovil
Phone : +91 44 22631410 & +91 44 32564022
Mobile :+91 93818 17940
Arulmigu Giriraja Kannigambal Sametha Jalanatheswarar Koil in Thankkolam is one of the Padal Petra Sthalams. Thirugnanasambandar has sung in praise of the Lord here. There is a seperate sannadhi for Ambal.This temple was originally built by the Pallavas and later improvements and additions were made by the Cholas and Hoysalas.
There are a few interesting legends associated with the temple. One of the loegends is associated with kamadhenu, the celestial cow. Sage Udhadhi, the sun of Guru Bhagavan had a son named Theerkadar. One day he saw Kamadhenu near his ashram. He was conducting a yagam and asked Kamadhenu to be there. Kamadhenu politely refused saying that she cannot take part with Lord Indira’s permission. The infuriated sage cursed Kamadhenu tolose all its Divine powers. Kamadhenu in turn cursed the sage to lose his spiritual powers and be an ordinary man. Sage Udhathi was saddened by this and approached Sage Narada for advice. Sage Narada advised him to worship Lord Shiva for salvation. Accordingly, he worshiped Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva then asked him to perform puja to Nandhi. He also asked him to perform abishegam to Him with the water that would spring from Nandhi’s mouth. The Sage did accordingly and got his son relieved from the curse of Kamadhenu. Kamadhenu too performed severe penance on the Lord and offered abhishegam with her milk. Lord Shiva was pleased with her devotion and restored her powers.
Another story is associated with Dakshan. Dakshayani was Dakshan’s daughter and married to Lord Shiva. There was an ego clash between the father-in-law and son-in-law. Dakshan planned to conduct an Yagna and did not invite Lord Shiva just to insult Him. However, Dakshayani wanted to visit the yagna. She went ahead and attended the yagna inspite of Lord Shiva not approving of the same. Dakshan insulted her too. This angered Lord Shiva and He sent Veerabadra to forcibly stop the Yagna. Veerabadra descended on the scene of the yagna with his army and created havoc there. He was instructed by Lord Shiva not only to cause destruction in the Yagna but also to destroy anyone who was in attendance. The attendees included the Devas and Lord Vishnu also. They were all killed by Veerabadra and his army. Lord Brahma then pleaded with Lord Shiva to pardon them and bring them all back to life. Lord Shiva acceded to Brahma’s request. However, since Dakshan’s head was severed and destroyed in the Yagna fire, he got the head of a goat and stayed so thereafter. Dakshan then realised his folly and cried out loudly to Lord Shiva here. The name of the village Thakkolam is derived from Dakkan + Olam meaning cry of Dakkan. Dakshan later performed the yagna in the prescribed manner and according due honour to Lord Shiva.
Meanwhile Dakshayani too was performing penance on Lord Shiva to pardon Her for going to the Yagna without the Lord’s approval. She made a Shiva Lingam out of sand on the banks of river Vrindha and performed penance on the Lord. There was flooding in the river and Dakshayani gently hugged the Lingam to save the Lingam from being washed away by the flood water. The impression formed by her chest can be seen on the Shiva Lingam.
This Shivalingam is not touched by anybody including the priests. He is known as Theenda Meniyar. It is believed that the Goddess is still hugging the Shiva Lingam and hence nobody touches it. There is no abishegam performed to the Shiva Lingam. The Shiva Lingam’s colour is white during the Dakshinayana period. Dakshinayana is the six month period from the Summer Solstice to the Winter Solstice. During Uttarayana which is between the Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice the colour of the Shiva Lingam is red.
Another interesting feature of this temple is that instead of the Lingothbavar as Koshta Murthy behind the Shiva Lingam one can see Mahavishnu in a sitting posture.
This is also a Guru Pariharam Sthalam. This is third after Abathsahayeswarar temple Alangudi and Medha Dakshinamurthy temple at Mayiladuthurai. Guru Bhagavan is in a very unique posture here. He is seen standing, with his left leg raised and placed on a platform. His head is slightly tilted to His left. Most of the idols in the koshta of this temple are slightly tilted to one side. It is very interesting, but I could not find out the reason for that.
Other Temples nearby:
Thripurandhakeshwarar Shiva temple, Coovum
Arambeshwarar Temple – Ilambayan Kottur
Arulmigu Subramaniaswamy Temple, Thiruthani,
Temple Timings: 6 AM to 12 Noon and 4 PM to 8 PM. However, on thursdays and sundays alone the Sivachariar obliges the devotees even if they visit outside these hours.
Arulmigu Giriraja Kannikambal sametha Jalanadeeswarar Temple,
Thakkolam – 631 151,
Temple Phone Number: +91-4177-246427. If you are visiting the temple on a thrusday or a sunday and are getting delayed for any reason, it will be a good idea to call up Babu Gurukkal and inform him of your ETA. His number is +91-9994786919
Mangadu is about 6.5 Kms from Porur Junction towards Poonamalee. Mangadu is the site for three temples; the famous Kamakshi Amman Temple, Velleeswarar Temple and the Vaikunta Perumal Temple. This whole area was once a mangrove and hence it is called Mangadu; Manga is mango and kadu is forest.
The Velleeswarar Temple is one of the Navagraha Temples around Porur. This is a Sukran Pariharam Sthalam. As with all temples, there are a few interesting legends associated with this temple too. Velleeswarar temple and the Kamakshi amman temple together are supposed to be one temple. Hence there is no shrine for Ambigai at the Velleeswarar temple and there is no Shiva Lingam at the Kamakshi Amman temple. Velleeswarar temple is just about half a kilometre from the Kamakshi Amman temple. Vaikunth Perumal temple is stones throw from the Kamakshi Amman temple. All the three temples have a common legend.
The legend goes thus; Goddess Parvathi was in a playful mood and she closed Lord Shiva’s eyes. Suryan and Chandran are the Lord’s two eyes. Since these two were closed the whole world plunged into darkness. This angered Lord Shiva and He cursed Goddess Parvati to be born in the Earth. He also said that He would come there and marry Her. Accordingly, the Goddess was born in Mangadu as Kamakshi. She performed penance here on fire.
Around the same time, Sukracharya the Guru of the Auras was also performing pooja to regain his eyesight (The story about this follows later). Lord Shiva gave preference to His devotees first and hence went to the puja being performed by Sukracharya. He also asked Kamakshi to go to Kanchipuram where He said he would come and marry Her. She is supposed to have had a darshan of Lord Shiva before She went to Kanchipuram. There is a Kamakshi Paadham at Velleeshwarar temple from where She had Her darshan.
She and Lord Shiva were married at Kanchipuram on Panguni Uthiram day. Vaikunta Perumal is supposed to have done the kanyadhan.
The Goddess can be seen at Mangadu temple as Tapas Kamakshi who is standing on Her left leg with Her right leg raised to Her left thigh. She is seen standing on fire. She is seen holding a jabamala above Her head in Her right hand.
In Her hurry to go to Kanchipuram, the Goddess left without putting out the fire. This made the whole area very hot and the people and all life forms were affected. Adhi Sankara who visited this village during the course of a journey installed Sri Ardhameru Sri Chakram. This brought relief to the humans and other living beings in the proximity. The lowest part of the Sri Chakra is in the form of a tortoise. This was made out of Ashta Kantham and hence no abhishegam is performed. Instead, application of sandal and punugu is done. Ashishegam is done only to the Kamakshi made of Panchaloha or five metals. This idol was installed by Sankaracharya.
Now, let us come back to the story of Sukracharya. When Lord Vishnu asked Bali for 3 steps of land in Vamana Avataram, Sukracharya tried to dissuade Bali from granting the boon. He took the form of a bee and blocked the mouth of the Kamandalam (a type of Jar, usually carried by rishis) from which Bali would pour water to signify the grant of the boon. Vishnu used a dharba to clear the blockage in the Kamandalam and in the process blinded Sukracharya in one eye. Vamana then took the Vishwaroopam and covered the whole universe in two steps. The 3rd step was placed on Bali. Sukracharya prayed to Lord Shiva in various temples to get back his eyesight and this is one of them. It is believed that praying at the Velleeswarar temple here will cure one of eye related ailments.
Since Goddess Kamakshi performed penance here before getting married to Lord Shiva, it is a belief that hurdles in marriage will be eliminated by praying to Mangadu Kamakshi. Devotees must come to the Kamakshi temple here for seven consecutive weeks. They can start it on any day of the week. However, they must come on the same day of the week for the remaining six weeks too. It is said that those seeking employment should worship at the Kamkshi temple here for six consecutive Tuesdays. Childless couple are blessed with progeny upon praying at the Kamakshi temple here for seven consecutive Fridays. The childless couple also tie a toy cradle with baby opposite to the Sanctum Sanctorum. This is usually done on the first and last Fridays. People undertaking this seven week prayer procedure must inform the priest about their intention in the first week. You will be taking with you a set of things required for the puja. This set should be available at the shops outside the temple. The priest will give you one lemon from the two in the puja set. This lemon has to be kept in the puja at your home and to be brought back the subsequent week along with two more fresh lemons. You will be given one fresh lemon by the priest every week and remember to take that back to the temple the subsequent week. You will not be given a lemon by the priest only in the last week.
Mangadu temple is located approximately 6.5 Kms from Porur Junction. These are the bus routes for reaching Mangadu.
|17B Cut||Koymabedu Market||Mangadu|
|578 Dlx||Kundrathur B.S||Sriperumpudur|
|PP66 Dlx||Vandaloor Zoo||Poonamallee|
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Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturdays : 6 AM – 1.30 PM
3 PM – 9.30 PM
Sunday, Tuesday and Fridays : 5 AM – 10 PM (Without Break)
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday: 11 AM – 12.45 PM
Mangadu Sri Kamakshi Amman & Sri Vaigunda Perumal Vagayara Devasthanam
Chennai – 600 122
Telephone: 91 44 26790053 / 26791883
Temple Website: http://mangadukamakshi.com/
Sundareswarar Temple, Kovur is one of the Navagraha temples in Chennai. It is the temple dedicated to Budhan. This temple dating back to the 7th century AD was built by Kulathunga Cholan. The 7 tiered Rajagopuram of this temple faces South. The Presiding Deity Sundareswarar and His Consort Sowndarambika also go by the names Thirumayileeswarar and Thiruvudainayaki respectively.
The Legend goes that Goddess Kamakshi was in penance at neighbouring Mangadu to win the hand of the Lord in marriage. The intensity of the penance was such that it radiated lot of heat. This heat was too much for the people and the live stock of the neighbouring villages. At the same time Lord Shiva was also in penance and hence did not respond to Goddess Kamakshi’s prayers. The sages and the Devas approached Mahavishnu and sought help in getting relief. Mahavishnu directed His Consort Mahalakshmi to do the needful and save the people. Accordingly, Mahalakshmi was born as a cow and worshiped Lord Shiva here. Soon Lord Shiva opened His eyes and the whole place started cooling down. Thus the people were saved from the heat generated by the penance of Goddess Kamakshi. This place was called Gopuri because Mahalakshi had taken the form of a cow here. Gopuri, however, over a period of time has now become Kovur.
Veerabadhrar, Lord Murugan with His Consorts Valli & Devasena and Navagraham are some of the other sannadhis in this temple. Aruipathimoovar or the 63 Naayanmaars (Shivite saints) are also present in this temple.
Saint Thyagaraja, the great music composer and poet was once passing through this village while on his way to Tirupati. He was attacked by a few dacoits. He got down from his palanquin and told the dacoits that he was not a rich man and they would not get anything from him. The dacoits asked Saint Thyagaraja about the identity of the two young men who threw stones at them. Saint Thyagaraja said that he was the only one traveling by the Palanquin. The dacoits insisted that they saw two young men. The saint immediately realised that it must have been Lord Rama and Lakshmana. He realised that this place had some divinity to it and visited the temple. During this visit he wrote and composed five songs in praise of Lord Sundareswarar. The Kovur Pancharatnams are “Ee Vasudha” (Sahana), “Kori Sevimpa” (Karaharapriya), “Sambo Mahadeva” (Pantuvarali), “Nammi Vachina” (Kalyani) and “Sundareswarun” (Sankarabharanam).
Some Photographs from my latest visit in April 2013. It is really pathetic to see the state of the temple chariot.
The Sthala Vruksham at this temple is Mahavilvam. Each stalk of this Mahavilvam tree has 27 leaves. The vimanam of the Sanctum Sanctorum is Gajaprushta Vimanam like the one at Madambakkam Dhenupureeswarar koil, Somanatheeswarar Temple at Somangalam or the Ramanatheeswarar temple at Porur.
The worship benefits at this temple includes alleviation of the malefic effects of an unfavourably placed Budhan in ones horoscope, childless are blessed with progeny, the hurdles in getting married are cleared, good agricultural yield and career growth. Budhan bestows wealth and wisdom on his devotees. Students who are weak in studies can pray here and reap the benefit. Businessmen can pray here to improve their business.
Location: Kovur is on the Porur Kundrathur road. It is just about 4.5 kms from the Porur junction. Here is the link giving the details of MTC buses connectivity to Kovur.
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Other Temples nearby:
The navagraha temples of Chennai are in fact around Porur and are at a radius of about 10 kms from Porur.
There are also alternate temples for some of the navagrahas. See my post on Kolapakkam to view the list.
Temple Timings: 7.00 AM – 12.00 Noon & 4.00 PM – 8.00 PM.
Arulmigu Soundarambiga Sametha Sundareswarar Alayam
Dhenupureeswarar Temple, Madambakkam is near Tambaram. Madambakkam is an upcoming suburb of Chennai off Tambaram Velachery Road. The Presiding Deity Dhenupureeswarar got His name because He gave moksha to a cow or Dhenu in Sanskrit. His Consort here is Dhenukambal. The Lord faces East and His Consort faces South in this temple. The Shiva Lingam is Swayambhu Lingam or Self Manifested Lingam.
Dhenupureeswarar temple was built by Parantaka Chola, also known as Sundara Chola between 956 – 973 A.D. Sundara Chola was the father of Raja Raja Chola I. Later, the temple was rebuilt by Kulothunga Chola. Additions were later made by the Cheras, Pallavas & Vijayanagara Kings. This temple is under the care of ASI. There are some exquisite sculptures in this temple. The inscriptions also provide a great insight into the history.
The Legend of the temple is associated with Sage Kapila. King Sagara had performed Ashwamedha Yagna. This Yagna is performed by a King to assert his supremacy over the neighbouring Kingdoms. During the yagna a horse is set loose and the king’s army follows it. Whenever the horse enters another kingdom, the king has to either fight or cede his kingdom to the King performing the Ashwamedha Yagna. In this instance, King Sagara’s 60000 sons were following the horse. As it wandered, it entered the ashram of Sage Kapila, who was then in deep meditation. In the meanwhile, Indira who was envious of King Sagara and also fearful of the consequences of a successful Ashwamedha Yagna tied the horse inside the Ashram. The King’s sons who found the horse tied inside the Ashram accused the Sage and wanted to take him into custody for capturing the horse. The Sage grew furious on being accused when he had done no wrong burnt down all the sons of King Sagara. Once he came to know the truth, he was repentant. He performed a puja to Shiva lingam. He was reluctant to place the Lingam on the ground and hence held the Shiva Lingam in his left hand while performing the puja with his other hand. Holding the Shiva Lingam with the left hand is a sin and hence he was to be born as cow for the atonement of his sins. One can see this image of Sage Kapila holding Shiva Lingam in his left hand in one of the pillars in the mandapam.
The Sage was born as cow at Madambakkam. The cow used to empty all her milk by performing abishegam to the Shiva Lingam in the forest. The cowherd was upset that he was losing the milk everyday. One day he lost his temper and beat the cow. In spite of the beatings the cow continued her practice of emptying her milk on the Shiva Lingam. One day the cowherd caught the cow in the act and beat her udder. The cow was in great pain. Unable to bear the pain the cow started running, when her hoof hit the Shiva Lingam and a portion in the top of the Lingam broke. This can still be seen in the Shiva Lingam here. The Shiva Lingam also started bleeding. The cowherd who noticed the Shiva Lingam and that it was bleeding. Both the cow and the cowherd then prayed to Lord Shiva for atonement. Lord Shiva appeared before them and pardoned them. He also blessed Sage Kapila who was reborn as the cow with Salvation. Indira is said to have prayed to the Lord at this place.
The vimanam of the Sanctum Sanctorum is a Gajaprushti vimanam which is a feature of quite a few temples built by the Cholas around Chennai. In place of Lingothbavar behind the Sanctum Sanctorum, there is Vishnu.
The weekly puja during the Rahukalam on Sundays (4.30pm to 6 pm) to Sarabeswarar is considered important. It is a staunch belief that all wishes will be fulfilled if one attends this puja for six consecutive weeks. Panguni Uthiram which would occur between the 3rd week of March to the 2nd week of April is the most important festival at this temple.
The temple tank which is adjacent to the temple is quite huge and is well maintained and filled with fresh water. Madambakkam was also known as Chaturvedimangalam in ancient times as it was the home of many vedic scholars who had mastered the Vedas.
Location: The temple is at a distance of about 3 kms from Rajakilpakkam on Tambaram Velachery Road. Buses operating in route 51G, 51k, 18L, X51D, X151, X70C & SM14ET go to Madambakkam. See this link for the frequency.
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Temple Timings: 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. & 5.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
Arulmigu Dhenupureeswarar Temple
Chennai 600 073.
Phone: +91- 44- 2228 0424
Marundeeswarar Temple, Tiruvanmiyur is one of the many ancient temples of Chennai. The 1 ½ ft tall Shiva Lingam here is a self manifested one or a Swayambhu.
Marundheeswarar is facing West. His Consort Thirupurasundari is present in a separate mandapam and is facing South. The shrines of Lord Vinayaka and Lord Muruga are facing East. Marundeeswarar Temple, Tiruvanmiyur is one of the 275 padal petra sthalangal. Appar and Thirugnana Sambandar have sung hyms in praise of Lord Marundeeswarar, confirming its existence during their time. Thus the temple is at least 1200 years old. Arunagirinathar has stayed at this temple and has sung eulogising Subramanya here. Stone inscriptions belonging to the 11th century AD are seen in this temple.
Lord Brahma, Lord Hanuman, Sage Markandeyar, Sage Valmiki, Sage Agasthya, Suriyan, Chandran and Indiran are all believed to have worshiped the Lord at this temple.
One of the legends of Marundeeswarar Temple, Tiruvanmiyur is connected to Sage Agasthya ending demon Vatapi’s life. Two demons Vatapi and Ilvala were brothers. They would slay all Sadhus by employing a peculiar ruse. The elder brother Ilvala would turn Vatapi into a goat and serve its meat to the visitor. Once someone ate the meat, Ilvala would yell out the name of Vatapi. Now, Ilvala knew a divine mantra to bring back someone to life from dead. Vatapi would then come out by tearing open the stomach of the person and as a consequence killing him. Their ploy yielded results until Sage Agasthya was once lured by the brothers to have a meal. However, Agasthya digested Vatapi before Ilvala called for him. Sage Agasthya is said to have developed severe stomach pain and was cured of the pain at this temple. Agasthya wanted to have comprehensive information of the variety of diseases that trouble human beings and their cure. Lord Shiva passed on the knowledge of the herbs and their curative powers to Sage Agasthya and hence the deity came to be known as Marundeeswarar or Aushadeeswarar. Marundu or Aushadam in Tamil means medicine. The devotees firmly believe that the abhishegam milk given by the priest after at Marundeeswarar Sannadhi has the power to cure any disease.
Once Sage Vashishta was in a state of Penance, Indira sent the Celestial Cow, Kamadhenu the divine cow to be with the sage and take care of his needs. On one occasion, the cow was late to dispense the milk for puja. The annoyed sage cursed it to turn into a normal cow losing its celestial standing. He also recommended Kamadhenu to go to this temple and worship Lord Shiva beneath the Vanni tree to get back its holiness. Kamadhenu bathed the Lord with her milk and her celestial stature was restored. She is supposed to be delivering milk to the lingam every day and the lingam is therefore white in colour. Because of the white colour, He is also known as Paalvannanathar – Paal meaning milk and Vannam meaning colour. The Lord here is also known as Vedapureeswarar. The Goddess is known as Chokkanayaki and Sundaranayaki apart from Thirupurasundari.
The Mahamandapam that houses the Presiding Deity has 108 lingams. There are also replicas of the Panchabootha Lingams. This mahamandapam also has the statues of the 63 nayanmars or the 63 of the most revered Shivaite Saints.
There is Mummudi Vinayagar Sannadhi just opposite to the Mahamandapam, where three Vinayagars are present side by side. In some temples rettai vinayagar or two Vinayagars side by side can be seen. This is even rarer. This type of Vinayagar can be seen in Periyakalanthai Atheeswarar Temple, near Kinathukadavu in Coimbatore District and Tharamangalam Kailasanathar Temple near Salem. The three Vinayagars represent the past, present and future. There is a belief that praying to Mummudi Vinayagar will absolve one of all sins committed. He also bestows happiness and well being in the present and in the future.
There are no Nvagrahas in this temple. This indicates that the temple is very ancient.
The Sthala Vruksham is Vanni maram and the holy theerthams are Jenmanasini, Kamanasini, Pavanasini, Gnanadhayini and Motchadhayini.
The temple is located on the ECR in Chennai. It is five minutes walk from the Tiruvanmiyur Bus Terminus. All buses plying on ECR stop very close to the temple. This temple is well connected with all parts of the city.
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Temple Timings: 6 AM to 12 Noon & 4 PM to 9 PM
Other temples nearby:
Ashtalakshmi Temple, Besant Nagar
Madhya Kailash, Adyar
Kapaleeswarar Temple, Mylapore
Ananthapadmanabaswamy Temple, Adyar
Karaneeswarar Temple, Saidapet
Marundeeswarar Temple, Tiruvanmiyur Address:
The Executive Officer,
Arulmigu Marundeeswarar Temple, Tiruvanmiyur,
Somangalam, a village close to Chennai is the seat of Kamakshi Amman Sametha Somanatheswarar Koil. This temple is one of the nine temples dedicated to navagrahas around Porur. This is a Chandran Sthalam. The village itself gets its name from Chandran or Soman as he prayed to The Lord at this temple to get rid of his sin.
King Dakshan gave all his 27 daughters in marriage to Chandran. Those 27 wives of Chandran are the 27 stars in Tamil Calendar. As Chandran’s favourite was Rohini and he spent most of his time with her, the others complained about this to their father. King Dakshan asked Chandran to treat all of them equally, which Chandran refused. An angry Dakshan, cursed Chandran that all his beauty and brightness will disappear slowly everyday. A worried Chandran, on the advice of Lord Brahma, then performed penance on Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared before him and adorned his forehead with the crescent-shaped Chandran. Shiva then came to be known as Chandrasekaran also. He blessed Chandran to regain his beauty and brightness slowly day by day. This waxing period of the moon is called Sukla Paksham or Valarpirai. Chandran gets back all his beauty and attains full brightness on Full moon day or pournami. From Pournami to the full moon day he again starts loosing his beauty and brightness till the New moon day or Ammavasai. This waning period of the moon is called Krishna Paksham or Theipirai.
There is also another interesting story pertaining to the waxing and waning periods of Chandran, which goes thus. When Lord Vishnu was distributing the Amrutham amongst the devas, at the behest of Sukracharya, one of the asuras in the guise of a deva consumed the nectar. Suryan and Chandran noticed this and complained to Lord Vishnu. An angry Vishnu used his chakrayudham (discus) to cut the asura into two and threw them away. The head joined with a snake’s body to become Rahu Bhagavan. The body portion kept growing because the asura had consumed Amrutham. This later joined with the head of a snake and became Kethu Bhagavan. Now, Rahu and Kethu did not forgive Suryan and Chandran. Rahu went after Chandran and started consuming him. This is one of the temples that Chandran prayed to Lord Siva and got his blessings. Shiva blessed Chandran with the power to grow back to full size in 15 days after being consumed by Rahu. That is why we have the waxing and waning moon. Shiva also blessed Chandran by adorning Chandran on his forehead so that anyone who prays Shiva will have to pray Chandran.
Inscriptions in the temple have brought to light the fact that this temple was built by Kulothunga Cholan. There are also details about various repair works and donations made to the temple by various rulers and the affluent from time to time. These include mention of donation of cows for meeting apart of the daily pooja expenses at the temple. This temple has been reconstructed several times over the years. Somaskanthan the local king, was one of those who constructed this temple. The King had channelled all his resources to the temple construction. While in the midst of the temple construction, an enemy King saw the opportunity and mounted an attack. The king was totally taken aback and was absolutely not expecting or prepared for this. He prayed to The Lord here to save him and his kingdom. The Lord immediately obliged by directing His vehicle Nandhi to fight the advancing army of the enemy. Nandhi is supposed to have blown away the enemy with one big snort. Lord Shiva then directed Nandhi to face East permanently and guard the kingdom against future attacks. The Nandhi is seen with his back to Lord Shiva and facing East. This is a rare feature in any Shiva temple.
The main shrine is a Gajaprushta vimanam, which resembles the back of an elephant in sleeping posture. There is a separate shrine for Kamakshi Amman facing South. Vinayakar, Dakshinamurty, Mahavishnu, brahma, Durga and Sandigeswarar are all present as Koshta murthys like in all Shiva temples. There is a separate shrine for Lord Murugan present with His wives Valli and Deivayanai. There are separate shrines for Bhairavar, Suryan and of course Chandran.
People pray here for getting rid of marriage obstacles, progeny, mental illness etc. There are two theerthams associated with this temple – Chandra theertham is located a bit away from the temple and Chandeeswara theertham is located adjacent to the temple.
Location: There are frequent buses from Kunrathur to Somangalam. The temple is about a kilometre from the Somangalam bus stop.
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Bus Routes: 578 A Vadapalani to Sriperumbudur
88M Broadway to Somangalam
M18S Broadway to Somangalam
M88R Broadway to Amarambedu
M89 Porur to Somangalam
Temple Timing: 8 AM to 10 AM & 5 PM to 7 PM
Arulmigu Kamakshi Amman Sametha Somanatheswarar Temple,
PIN 602 109
Sri Agastheeswarar Temple at Kolapakkam, near Porur, is one of the Navagraha temples around Chennai, expecially Porur. This temple is Surya Parihara Sthalam. There is a seperate shrine for Suryan facing West. Suryan is accorded prime importance in this temple. The Lord here got the name Agastheeswarar because Agasthyar the Great Sage is believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva here. His consort is Anandavalli. The Lord here was also worshiped by another Sage called Vakeesa and hence He is also known as Vakeeswarar.
The Sthala Vriksham is Arasa Maram or Peepal tree. The holy theertham is Amritha Pushkarni.
Kala Bhairavar is another very powerful Deity in this temple. Special puja is performed every Sunday to Kala Bhairavar during Rahu Kalam. Devotees believe that their wishes are fulfilled by worshiping Kala Bhairavar here for six consecutive Sundays. Offerings of red cloth, red flowers and wheat are made by the devotees to Suryan.
There are seperate shrines for Pillayar – known as Raja Ganapathy at this temple, Kasi Vishwanathar and Visalakshi, Kala Bhairavar, Lord Muruga with his wives Valli and Deivayani. The peacock which is the vahana or vehicle of Lord Muruga is made out of green coloured granite and is known as Maragadha Mayil. There is also the Rinavimochana Lingeshwarar who is supposed to free His devotees of all debts. According to scriptures, every human being is born with three types of debts. They are Deva rina (debt to God), Rishi rina (debt to Sages or Rishis) and Pitru rina (debt to ones ancestors). There are also well-defined means of repaying these debts. If a man does not repay these debts in his lifetime he will have another birth to repay. There is no escape from repaying these debts. Read more about how to rid of these debts in my post on Kadan Nivartheeswarar Temple at Thirucherai.
According to inscriptions, this temple has been built and rebuilt several times at various times by many Kings of various Dynasties. Some of them are Raja Raja Chola I, Raja Raja Chola II, Aditya Chola, Rajendra Chola and Sundara Pandyan. Vijakanda Gopala a Telugu Chola King and Vijaya Maharaja of Sumatra have also patronised and contributed to the temple at various times. The area surrounding temple also seems to have been the seat of Budhdhist activity in this region. Archeological evidence pointing to this has been unearthed by the ASI.
The temple was almost in ruins in 1998 before it was rebuilt. I have posted some snaps of how the temple looked prior to 1998.
This is one of the Navagraha temples around Chennai. The list is as follows
Chevvai Sthalam or Angakaran Sthalam – Vaitheeswaran Kovil, Poonamalee
Budhan Sthalam – Sundareswarar Kovil, Kovur & Karaneeswarar Koil, Saidapet
Guru Sthalam – Ramanatheeswarar Koil, Porur & Thiruvaleeswarar Koil, Padi
Sukran Sthalam – Valleeswarar Kovil, Mylapore, Valleeswarar Kovil, Mangadu
Saneeswaran Sthalam – Agastheeswarar Kovil, Pozhichalur
Rahu Sthalam – Nageswarar Temple, Kunrathur
Kethu Sthalam – Neelakanteswarar Kovil, Gerugambakkam
Location: Kolapakkam is on the outskirts of Chennai. It can be reached from Mount Poonamalee road. At the Ramavaram signal you can take a left turn into Manapakkam and this road will lead to Kolapakkam which is about 3 Kms from there. This can also be approached from Porur – Kunrathur Road through Gerugambakkam which is the neighbouring village and site of one of the other eight Navagraha temples around Porur. This can also be reached from Pozhichalur neighbouring Pammal and Pallavaram which is where the Saneeswaran temple is located. One has to cross a small causeway over Adyar river, so this route may not be very ideal during the rainy season. Moreover, these internal roads are not very well maintained.
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Temple Timings: 7 AM to 11 AM & 4 PM to 8 PM (Timings subject to change on special days and important festival days)
Arulmigu Anandavalli Sametha Agastheeswarar Koil
Chennai 602 122